Mercy of the Guru

There is one important incident from Srila Madhavendra Puri’s immaculate life to be told.

Sri Ramachandra Puri and Sri Isvara Puri were two of Srila Madhavendra’s initiated disciples.

However, Sri Ramachandra was unable to receive his spiritual master’s mercy because he showed him disrespect, whereas Sri Isvara Puri was blessed through his single-minded devotion to him and was thus able to attain the highest level of pure love for Krishna. Sri Ramachandra was unable to understand the sweetness and supremacy of his Gurudeva’s feelings of separation and had the audacity to give him advice based on knowledge of Brahma. Srila Madhavendra Puri became so angry that he shunned him completely.

Even though he was such a great loving devotee, Srila Madhavendra Puri became angry with his own disciple when he became offensive chastised him severely, using harsh words. When Sri Ramachandra told him to remember that he was a spiritual being, Srila Madhavendra lost his temper and said,”Get away from me, you most sinful rascal! I am dying from the distress of not having received Sri Krishna’s mercy, of not having attained Mathura, and you come to add to my misery! Go wherever you like, but don’t show your face to me again! If I see you while I am dying I will take a lower birth. I am dying from the distress of not having attained Sri Krishna and this lowly fool is teaching me about Brahma.”

As a result, Srila Madhavendra Puri withdrew his blessings from his disciple, who then started to develop material desires. He became a dry philosopher without any interest in Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only that but he became critical of everyone, devoting himself to faultfinding.

Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur comments — “Even though Sri Ramachandra Puri saw his own guru suffering of separation from Sri Krishna, he was incapable of recognizing the transcendental nature of his transport of emotions. He judged his guru to be an ordinary man and took his mood to be material, the result of some material insufficiency. As a result he tried to explain to him the value of experiencing the oneness of Brahma. Srila Madhavendra Puri reacted unfavorably to his disciple’s stupidity and disregard for his teachings and thus stopped wishing for his well-being. He abandoned him and drove him away.”

The words material desires means ”the desire for dry knowledge” and from that arose the tendency to criticize the devotees.

On the other hand, Sri Ishvara Puri not only adhered to his guru’s teaching but served him physically and thus received his mercy. He served the lotus feet of his spiritual master, even to the point of personally cleaning, as well as helping him to perform sravan of Sri Krishna’s name and pastimes. In this way he satisfied him completely.

He continuously repeated the name of Sri Krishna and recounted Sri Krishna’s pastimes to him. Srila Madhavendra Puri was so pleased with Sri Ishvara Puri that he embraced him and blessed him, saying, “May you have the wealth of love for Sri Krishna!”

From that time onward, Sri Ishvara Puri became an ocean of love for Sri Krishna, while Sri Ramachandra Puri became a mine of insults. These two personalities thus bear witness to the results of pleasing or displeasing a great soul. Srila Madhavendra Puri taught this truth through them.

He was the spiritual master of the whole world and he gave the gift of love of God.


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