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Guru seva

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1) Question: How can one develop an intimate relationship with devotees after bad experiences? How to develop trust in them?


1) Answer: You are asking me a very tough question. A burned child shies the fire, but you make me remember one important instruction Srila Sridhara Maharaja gave to us, specificially to devotees whose initiating spiritual masters have abandoned their duty.


He said: “Never feel cheated by Krsna.” Consider it your bad karma that you had to go through such a painful situation, and simply pray to be able to learn something. Of course you can also understand that surrender to Krsna is not such an easy thing. You cannot take it for granted that everything works perfectly. But if you asked me 'who is trustworthy?', I would put it in a very few words. He must be a person who is trying to take the service to his spiritual master as his life and soul. He is somebody who will never get unreasonably angry with someone. He is not sectarian. He appreciates all vaisnavas. He has a desinterested nature and impartial judgement and a strong common sense. Those who do not take their relationship with Guru and Krsna very serious, much less will they take their relation with you very serious.


What to speak of spiriutal masters. Just to know how to choose one's friends, one should take all this in consideration. If they do something very wonderful and they invite you to participate then you can try it. If you do not choose anything then you have no good association and nothing nice to do. So there is always some risk in life and we are always depending on the grace of Krsna. By His grace we are eating and sleeping and by his guidence He will provide us good association.


In my own life, after I lost my dear Srila Prabhupada, who gave me two initiations, I met another pure devotee, Srila B.R. Sridhara Dev Goswami Maharaja, who gave sannyasa to me. And after he went back to Krsna and the world surrounding me was submerged in sectarianism, I met another pure Devotee, Srila BP Puri Maharaja. He emphasized to me, that in front of Krsna all devotees are equal and that we should all work together on our common causes.


Srila B.P. Puri Maharaja became my siksa guru and the first president of the world vaisnava association. In my work as a secretary for the world vaisnava association, for the first five years of its existance, I had the mercy to get to know practically every Gaudiya acarya on the planet plus most of their leading disciples. I am very thankful for that experience. The more I know, the more grateful I am to have met Srila Prabhupada. Undoubtedly, there are many wonderful devotees in all missions, but still to meet those who are very advanced and who also have some skill of communication and understanding eastern and western Vaisnavas at the same time, such a person is rare to find.


I hope this information will give you something of value for your own search. I pray that you may be succesful to meet the most beautiful Vaisnavas and thus achieve happiness in your devotional service, because unless you achieve happyness, how will you be able to make others happy? Yogesavara, the master of all mystic powers ki jay.


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