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  • Vandana Dasi (Vrindavana), Disciple

The Strong Bond Between Guru and Disciple


Om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya Caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

I offer my respectful obeisances to my eternal benefactor, my Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Gosvami Maharaja, to Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, to all Guru-varga and to all Vaishnava.

Dear Srila Gurudeva, I’m very sorry that I did not have many opportunities to be physically in your association, but that little time and those few moments I met you were very intense to me. You entered in my heart like an arrow and left an indelible mark. You arrived and you left like this, it seems like everything happened so fast.

After I took harinam and you left Vrindavana I felt great separation from you, I would have liked to follow you everywhere but because of the seva that I do in Vrindavana I cannot move much. You were always in my thoughts and one day I read from Caitanya-vani’s book that ‘we are where our mind is’, this meant that I was always in your company even if physically distant.

However I missed your association so much and I would have liked your approval for the seva that I do in Vrindavana, so that one night you came to see me in my dream. You were sitting on a chair and you were wrapped in a divine light. I was sitting at your lotus feet and told you everything I wanted to talk to you about. You said nothing but you made a sweet smile as if to give me your consent.

When I woke up I was incredulous, I had such a nice feeling, as of bliss, but I was thinking, ‘Srila Gurudeva really came in my dream or it’s my mind that made it up?’

However this is to show how strong the relationship between Guru and disciple is, since that deep bond is established at the moment of initiation. It is like a thread that keep us always connected despite the distance of this body.

I remember one of the last times I met you in Faridabad, you did not have much strength to speak, you were lying in bed, and those sweet eyes that looked at me full of compassion and mercy remained impressed in my heart. That image is like a photo saved in my memory. I will never forget those eyes wet from the balsam of love for Krishna.

Then a week before your departure from this material world I had a strange dream, I dreamt that I lost the japa mala that you gave me the day I took harinam. In the dream I was desperate and kept on looking for my japa. When I woke up the first thing I did was go and see if there was my japa. I did not understand what this dream meant, I was probably losing something very dear? In those days I did not know that you were seriously ill.

I realized the meaning of this dream when, a week later, I was coming back to Vrindavana from Faridabad and you were about to leave this world to enter in nitya-leela. That dear thing I would have lost would have been your precious physical association. But I know that you are always with us, no matter what!

The perfect life you have conducted in the name of impeccable service to Sri Guru and the Vaishnava is the greatest teaching you have left us.

You have all the good qualities and I hope to be able to acquire even an infinitesimal part of these qualities.

These qualities are described by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita and I have found them in you,

Advesta sarva-bhutanam maitrah karuna eva ca Nirmamo nirahankarah sama-duhkha-sukhah ksami Santustah satatam yogi yatatma drdha-niscayah Mayy arpita-mano-busshir yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah (Bhagavad-Gita cap 12, sloka 13-14)

One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me, such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.

To conclude I would like to offer you the prayer ‘Gurudeva’ from Sarangati by Srila Bhaktivenoda Thakura: Gurudev! Krpa-bindu diya, koro’ ei dase, trnapekha ati hina sakala sahane, bala diya koro’ , nija-mane sprha-hina sakale sammana korite sakati, deho’ natha! Jathajatha tabe to’ gaibo, hari- nama sukhe, aparadha ha’be hata kabe heno krpa, labhiya e jana, krtartha hoibe, natha! Sakti-buddhi-hina, ami ati dina, koro’ more atma-satha jogyata-vicare, kichu nahi pai, tomara karuna sara karuna na hoile, kandiya kandiya, prana na rakhibo ara • Gurudeva! By a drop of your mercy make this servant of yours more humble than a blade of grass. Give me strength to bear all trials and troubles, and free me from all desires for personal honor. • Gurudeva! Invest me with the power to properly honor all living beings. Only then will I sing the holi name in great ecstasy and will all my offences case. • Gurudeva! When will this devotee be blessed by obtaining your mercy? I am low, fallen, and devoid of all strength and intelligence. Please make me your beloved servant. • When I examine myself, I find nothing of value. Your mercy is therefore essential to me. If you are not merciful, I will constantly weep, and I will not maintain my life any longer. I beg you to forgive me if I have ever committed any offenses voluntarily or involuntarily. Thank you for your unconditional mercy, I will always be endlessly grateful to you. Your servant dasi anu das Vandana dasi

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