An example of misjudging guru’s needs and requirements is: The disciple will tell his guru during the winter season, “Oh Gurudeva, I want to wash your feet. So bring your feet forward.”
Being the season of winter, the chilly weather is making the guru tremble. He is also very thirsty and repeatedly tells his disciple, “Just bring me water and after that, you can perform the puja.”
But his disciple is overbearingly insistent and repeatedly tells him, “Gurudeva, please bring your feet forward.”
“I am thirsty!”
“Please bring your feet forward. I will wash them, because it is written in sastra.”
This way, the disciple quarreled with his gurudeva. We should not behave like this. We should know what our gurudeva wants, his needs and requirements need to be fulfilled. Guru doesn’t need someone to fan him during the winter season.
A situation should also not arise where we will fan Krishna with a peacock feather fan for one hour.
Being disturbed, Krishna will say, “Are, stop it! Stop it!”
The overbearing devotee will reply, “How can I stop? I will have to fan You for one more hour.”
Then Krishna will tell, “Don’t come.”
“I don’t want to be fanned.”
So, we should know the appropriate measures that we have to adopt for every kind of service. We should know the needs and requirements of gurudeva and see to his needs before receiving an order from him. Then we will be an ideal disciple. A disciple who doesn’t know what his guru wants, this disciple is a kanista sisya.
And a disciple who performs services on being ordered by his gurudeva, is anyhow a more advanced disciple.
The disciple who performs services without being ordered to and brings the same things his guru wants, this is an uttama (topmost) disciple.
On being told to perform a service, a disciple who tells his gurudeva, “Wait a little, I am coming,” is not a sevaka (servant), rather, he is a vaka or baka (crane) without the letters “se”. This disciple is like a crane, which has a foot in water and stands in a meditative pose. But what is it meditating on? It is meditating for fish while standing on one leg.
So, vishrambhena guru seva means performing the appropriate services without being ordered to. The disciple will take all the orders of his guru on his head. And then, jnane prayasa udapasya namanta eva.
We should try to forget Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By thinking of our self as infinitesimal and Krishna as infinite, a wall of maryada (awe and reverence) will stand between Krishna and our self, and we will not be able to serve Krishna according to His needs and inner desires.
11 May 1996, HOLLAND