The identity of a Vaisnava

 

The sacred relationship of the Guru with his disciple is the lifeline of all Sampradayas. That should not be intruded upon. It is complex, because there is the Guru as the inspired representative of Krishna, the Guru as the servant of his Guru, the godbrother of his godbrothers and then there's the personal aspect of his Vaisnava life. To bring all of these together symphonically is quite a challenge, if not impossible. Only a mutually magnanimous relationship filled with love and trust can afford two or more Gurus and their disciples cooperating in one joint effort. Generally, a Guru and his disciple require a private place to allow for the development of the exclusive-servitorship-mood in the new disciple. It is difficult enough to place one's faith in a particular Vaisnava Guru in order to get out of the material existence under the present conditions of the world. God brothers of the Guru should not be expected to subsist under pressure to favor such a relationship.

Let us be realistic. Love reigns supreme. And if that love does not exist in both directions between Gurus and their Godbrothers, then for all, including the disciples, the situation becomes awkward, detrimental and unhappy. Lastly, there will be a split and the mission will suffer. Why not provide from the very beginning (meaning the disappearance of the spiritual master) a free forum for senior members of the mission to freely choose how they want to go on serving the Samkirtan mission, taking into consideration what Mahaprabhu said when he told Kurma Brahmana to become a Guru and save his people by delivering Krishna Upadesa to them? Precisely what all of our Gurus have preached and what history has shown.

What we consider today as Gaudiya math is so many temples founded by so many disciples of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta, but actually they were started rather independently and often not approved by other more established godbrothers. Now, years later, we see that they were quite empowered to create great missions, while those who stayed with the previously, established Maths did have to live with many oppositions from within. Let us learn from the past as much as possible. Srila Sridhara Maharaj gave us three golden formulas:

  1. Everybody must be happily accomodated within the mission of his Guru.
  2. Everyone has the sacred right and duty to give to others to his fullest heart's content what he has received from his Guru.
  3. Never expect anything from anyone if he's not able to do it or if he doesn't offer to do it voluntarily.

The Identity of any Vaisnava as servant of his Guru and of the Sampradaya, free of restrictions put on by someone he may not have faith in, is a necessity for an inspired life in Krishna Consciousness. The WVA provides such an identity, because it accepts all those who participate in the noble task of saving others, be it as initiating Acaryas, or as humble servants of any Vaisnava or Vaisnava mission.

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