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Prerequisite to Receive Śrī Guru’s Real Wealth

[The following is an excerpt of a bhāva anuvāda of the kathā given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on April 1, 2010. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]

vettha tvaṁ saumya tat sarvaṁ tattvatas tad-anugrahāt brūyuḥ snigdhasya śiṣyasya guravo guhyam apy uta

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.8)

[O Suta Gosvami, because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favours bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore, you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them.]

The guru-varga reveals nigūḍa rahasya [extremely deep spiritual mysteries] only to a disciple who has a submissive and affectionate nature. One must possess this quality of snigdhasya śiṣyasya, being affectionate and submissive by nature. One lacking such affection for guru, cannot access those spiritual truths.

Even in this material world, the same principle applies. One may have three or four sons, however, not all of them may be trustworthy. The father will only deal with that son whom he has faith in. I have witnessed this in two or three cases. One such gentleman trusted his youngest son, so he gave him the responsibility of collecting the rent from the properties he owned and also donating 150 rupees out of that collection every month to the Gauḍīya Maṭha. He did not bestow this service upon his eldest or middle son but gave it to the youngest son who was not only trustworthy, but also competent of carrying out his father’s order. If the order is not carried out as it is received, what service can one render?

In his commentary, what meaning did Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura derive from the term ‘snigdha’? The entire guru-varga reveals profound spiritual truths to one who is affectionate to Śrī Guru; not only Śrī Guru but the whole guru-varga reveal.

[All the sages headed by Śrī Saunaka Ṛṣi are addressing Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī]

So here the sages are acknowledging using the term ‘certainly’ - “Certainly, Śrīla Vyāsadeva and others must have revealed the profound spiritual truths to a very obedient and submissive disciple like you. Although we have not witnessed this in person, but by your character and your obedient and submissive nature we can conclude that this treasure must have certainly been bestowed upon you. Just by seeing you, we can perceive that you are expert in all the profound mysteries. That is why by abandoning all those sages who speak their own conclusions; we seek to inquire from you alone the conclusive truth.”

Just as a tamarind tree gives sour fruit, a mango tree gives sweet fruit and a neem tree gives bitter fruit, despite consuming the same pure water of the Gaṅgā, breathing in the same pure air blowing over the Gaṅgā, and standing on the same pure mud of the Gaṅgā river, so also, different disciples coming to Śrī Guru will not receive the same benefit, because they are not inclined to give up their individual nature and surrender. Although they approached Śrī Guru, they did not surrender.

Can neem become sweet? Is it possible? Yes, even neem can be made sweet; I can make it. Just as a sour mango tree can be made to bear sweet mangoes by grafting it with a sweet mango tree, similarly those who surrender and allow themselves to be operated upon [by guru and Vaiṣṇavas], will become sweet. It is not impossible.

Go to the horticulture department and see how ordinary varieties of mango trees are transformed to produce sweet mangoes through the art of grafting. There are varieties of mangoes like langrā, gulāb khās, daśeri and so on. The trees do not resist, “Do not cut me. Do not graft me”. They are surrendered. Likewise, when a disciple surrenders his nature, everything will change. Didn’t Mṛgāri the hunter who took pleasure in torturing and half-killing animals become a saint? Didn’t Ratnākara, who was a bandit, become a saint? This is how it takes place.

So the sages headed by Śrī Śaunaka Ṛṣi said, 'You are a submissive disciple, thus, certainly you must know the truth; this is the process of knowing, so you please speak.'

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