"I Had Just Received What I Had Only Read About Till Then"
Om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjan- salakaya
Caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya kṛpaika vittaḥ
yaḥ maryādā rakṣati vaiṣṇavānāṁ
kṛpāvalaṁ mādhava preṣṭha kāmī
śrī bhaktidaṁ bhāratim āśrayāmaḥ
When I first came to Vrindavan for Kartik 2016 by the order of my Harinama Guru Maharaja, Bhaktivedanta Padmanabha Swami Maharaja, I received the highest fortune of having the association of my Diksha Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Goswami Maharaja. After about a week in a half of Kartik I began receiving encouragement from different devotees to take Diksha from Gurudeva, Srila Bharati Maharaja. From what little I understood from Srila Prabhupada and Srila Narayana Maharaja's books about Sat-sanga, along with the encouragement from devotees, I felt that taking initiation was something I should do.
I then approached my Guru Maharaja Padmanabha Swami in a very eagerly immature way basically telling that the next day I was going to take Diksha from Srila Bharati Maharaja and that I asked his blessings. However, my Guru Maharaja cared more for my spiritual welfare than I even realized at that time. He told me that first I need to associate more with Srila Bharati Maharaja. He explained to me that such a thing should not be like a Diksha club where everyone just gets Diksha. There is some qualification being a steadiness in the mode of goodness. He told that it is his intention to take his disciples to such a personality but only when they are ready. As I sat there crying I felt truly well taken care of in my spiritual life. I fully accepted this truth and by that, a deeper connection was made.
So after almost two months of associating with my beloved Gurudeva Srila Bharati Maharaja, hearing his classes every day, receiving Mahaprasad from his Lotus hands as well as giving prasad to him, the day came when He was leaving Vrindavan to go to Gurgaon for continuing his tour of giving unconditional mercy to all. His car pulled out of Gopinath Bhavan and as it was parked there out front, all of the devotees crowded around the vehicle and did Sankirtan of the Mahamantra. I was standing a very short distance away from his window. As I was having Darshan of his beautiful face at one point I looked away at something for about 4 seconds. When I looked back Gurudeva was starring right at me! Our eyes were locked while in my mind I'm thinking, "Is this really happening? Is he really looking at me?" He pierced me with his eyes for what seemed like forever. The moment he looked away I experienced an overwhelming feeling in my heart as I immediately started crying. "What was that?!" I thought. I then realized as the car slowly drove off down the road that I just received that thing which I had read about many times. That thing which steals your heart and leaves a deep impression. I had received the merciful glance from a Topmost Rupanuga Vaisnava.
After that extraordinary experience I knew for a fact that the next thing I needed to do was accept Diksha mantra from Srila Bharati Maharaja and try to serve him. I went to my Guru Maharaja Padmanabha Swami the very next day and spoke my conviction to him. How I felt there was nothing else but this. After being pleased with my more "mature" approach and certainty that the path of Bhakti is the only process in which to have a relationship with Krsna, he gave his permission for me to take Diksha from our beloved Srila Bharati Maharaji.
How fortunate we are to have received such a rare opportunity to have Sat-Guru? Actually Srila Narayana Maharaja has told in a class in 1999 that Rasika Vaisnavas come by unconditional mercy only. That there is no amount of Sukrti that can give such association.
So how much more rare is that thing?
When will I be able to really associate with you Gurudeva? When will I be qualified to know you in full truth? You have said that the only duty of a disciple is to glorify their Gurudeva. Therefore, although I have an ocean of faults and my body is made from offences, I ask to you Gurudeva and to the Vaisnavas that you please forgive me
for my tardy written offering which is meant for my purification and the pleasure of Hari, Guru, and Vaisnavas.