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Adisciple should submissively and humbly surrender to the spiritual master. One should consider oneself a fool in front of the guru and should put aside all preconceived notions learnt earlier from unreliable sources.The ideal way to surrender to the spiritual master is the way in which Sanatana Gosvami, a great scholar and devotee of the sixteenth century, surrendered to his spiritual master, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Sanatana Gosvami was a cabinet minister for Nawab Hussain Shah, who was then the king of the whole of Bengal. Due to his high position, Sanatana Gosvami had several magnificent palaces, fabulous wealth, multitudes of servants, and the finest luxuries of life. He had a highly respected lineage; he was born in a Saraswat Brahmin family. He was learned not only in Sanskrit, the traditional language of India, but also in many other contemporary languages including Arabic and Persian. Yet, in spite of having such extraordinary material attributes, when he approached Lord Chaitanya to surrender his life to him, he fell at I the Lord's lotus feet in utter humility with a straw in his mouth and a cloth around his neck. (These are traditionally considered t0 be signs of humility) Submitting himself to Lord Chaitanya, he inquired, "My associations are all abominable, and I am fallen, the most wretched of mankind. I was suffering in the dark well of material enjoyment, and I never knew the actual goal of my life. Indeed, I do not even know what is beneficial for me. A! though I am what is known in the world as a great learned man, a pandita. I am in fact so much of a fool that even I myself think that I am learned. You have accepted me as Your servant, and You have delivered me from the entanglement of material life.Now please tell me what my duty is in this liberated state. Who am I? Why are the threefold miseries always giving me trouble? And finally, tell me how I can be relieved from this material entanglement?"
This is the process of accepting a spiritual master. One shoui approach a spiritual master, humbly submit to him, and then inquire from him about how to progress in spiritual life. Just as a seed planted in fertile land can germinate and a no-tent man can impregnate a fertile woman to beget a child, a bona fide guru can enlighten the heart of a receptive disciple with transcendental knowledge. But if the disciple maintains his own reservations then such a disciple's heart is like a barren land where the seed cannot sprout or like a barren woman who cannot beget a child. An instructive story illustrates the position of such an unreceptive disciple
Once a boy approached the best mridanga teacher in his town to learn how to play mridanga. The teacher asked him, "Do you know any beats in mridanga?" "Oh yes! I have learnt a few beats myself, the student replied enthusiastically. On hearing this, the teacher told him, "OK, your fees will be Rs 200/-." After some time, another student, who knew nothing about playing mridanga, enrolled and was charged only Rs 100/- by the teacher. When the first student came to know about this, he asked his teacher in great surprise, "Dear Sir, I already know some beats in playing mridanga. Then how is it that I am being charged more than this new student, who knows nothing about this art?" The intelligent teacher replied, "Your problem is that you have already acquired some hodge-podge about mridanga. So first, I will have to undo all the wrong beats that you have learnt earlier and then I can teach you the correct beats. But the other student is like a blank slate and is capable of learning all beats easily from the start. So I charged you more fees than him."
Similarly people in the modern times are filled with many . conceptions about religion and they think they know every-i ;ng Without an open mind it is difficult for one to learn anyone or achieve any tangible realization.