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Faith in the Spiritual Master
The disciple must have unflinching faith in the spiritual master and must make his instructions his life and soul. The Shvetasvatara Upanishad (6.38) states:
yasya deve para bhaktir yatha-deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakashante mahatmanah
"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."
Faith in the guru is the subject matter in a narration about Sri Krishna in the ShrimadBhagavatam (10.80). While recalling His boyhood pastimes, Krishna recollects that, when He once went to the forest to collect firewood for his guru, Sandipani Muni, He and His friend were lost in the forest during a great rainstorm and snent the whole night wandering about. In the morning, when the guru and the other disciples finally found Krishna, the guru was very pleased, and he blessed Krishna.
"It is very wonderful that You have suffered so much trouble for me. Everyone likes to take care of his body as the first consider ation. but You are so good and faithful to Your guru, that without caring for bodily comforts, You have taken so much trouble for the satisfaction of the spiritual master. It is the duty of the disciple to dedicate his life to the service of the spiritual master. My dear best of the twice-born, I am greatly pleased by Your action, and I bless You: may all Your desires and ambitions be fulfilled. May the understanding of the Vedas, which You have learned from me. always continue to remain in Your memory so that at every moment You can remember the teachings of the Vedas and quote their instructions without difficulty. Thus You will never be disappointed in this life or in the next."
Krishna recalled the incident in this way: "Without the blessings of the spiritual master, no one can be happy. By the mercy of the spiritual master, and by his blessings, one can achieve peace and prosperity and be able to fulfill the mission of human life.The faith described herein is not simply intellectual agreement on some theological matter. Rather, the disciple must completely surrender himself as the servant of the guru and take up the guru's instructions as his life's mission. It is then, no overstatement that "selection of a guru is more significant than the selection of a spouse." After all, the guru acts as the disciple's savior. He alone can impart Vedic knowledge and thus lead him to liberation. The disciple therefore owes a debt to his guru, who has personally lifted him out of conditioned ignorance and blessed him with the perfection of eternity, bliss and knowledge. In his turn, the guru must execute his duties humbly as a servitor of the Supreme and of his own guru in the disciplic succession.