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The principle of Sri Guru. Studying Guru-tattva-vijnana of Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja.

Week 4 - Beware! -



DharmaChakra - Thu, 12 May 2005 09:17:41 +0530
'Abandon all hope, ye who enter this path of nama-aparadha'

Ok, a little jokey, but this section really is a list of dos and don'ts around the guru. They make sense from a basic respect point. Anything really jump out to anyone?
Hari Saran - Fri, 13 May 2005 12:57:48 +0530
ďTHE ETYMOLOGICAL development of the word aparadha is radhat arthat aradhanat- apagatah, which means "to be distanced from worship."

Offenses committed at the lotus feet of Vaishnavas, the Devotees, distance one from devotional service to the Supreme Lord. But in a higher sense it means to be removed from the service of Sri Radha. All divine service to Krishna is being conducted under her direction. To offend her servitors is to make one unfit for her divine service. The whole aim of Krishna consciousness is radha-dasyam, the divine service of Sri Radha, and offenses at the lotus feet of Vaishnavas make one unfit for such service.Ē
by
His Divine Grace
Om Visnupad
Srila Bhakti Promod
Puri Goswami Maharaja
http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/hok_fs.html

DharmaChakra - Fri, 13 May 2005 19:15:02 +0530
One of the things I've always noticed is this love in much Gaudiya literature (and Indic religious literature in general) for rules, especially lists of rules. They seem to list out every single little thing one is supposed to do in regards to a particular situation. What can I do and not do in front of the deity, how should I / shouldn't I act when taking prasadam, etc.

While many of the rules point out basic acts of respect (as in the section here), a good many seem to be rules for the sake of rules. There is the oh so controversial ban on eggplant. (actually, I don't mind that one so much smile.gif )

So, how does one navigate these rules? Does a life of bhajan get thrown out the window for some fried eggplant?
braja - Sun, 15 May 2005 03:56:51 +0530
One of the things that came to my mind when reading the warnings was that this is an indication that it is very easy to see the guru as ordinary, thus the number and manner of warnings given. As we discussed earlier, it's not that the guru is going to be in a permanent manifestation of ecstatic symptoms nor exhibiting miracles left, right and center. We are more likely to see him belch. Therefore the advice is to be extra cautious not to slip into the wrong mode.

However we shouldn't let these warnings keep us back from making inquiries and rendering service. The guru is kind.
Madhava - Sun, 15 May 2005 07:59:08 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ May 12 2005, 04:47 AM)
Ok, a little jokey, but this section really is a list of dos and don'ts around the guru. They make sense from a basic respect point. Anything really jump out to anyone?

Let's pick some of the more common off that list and look at them on a more practical, detailed level.


One should never contravene the words of Sri Guru.

Sometimes it is seen that a disciple, in his enthusiasm to display his learning, blurts out things before the guru when others inquire something from the guru. Such behavior is never pleasing to the guru or the other Vaishnavas present.

Naturally, if the guru is trying hard to remember the second half of the verse or something like that, one may fill it in. However, never should one contravene the words of Sri Guru. The guru is not to be interrupted, especially when he is teaching others. If you feel there is something that needs to be elaborated on, pose questions on those topics to the guru, do not start teaching others before the guru.

One may briefly clarify the words of the guru if others have not precisely understood the teaching. However, one should pay attention to not overstepping one's guru.


One should never violate the guruís shoes, garments, bathing water, bed and other utilities.

The items Sri Guru has adopted for the service of Krishna are to be treated as sacred. One should not think of them as ordinary objects to be treated like one's own. If guru offers you something to use, such as a pencil or a book, treat the item with due respect, not as you would treat yours.


Do not pronounce Sri Guruís name in a casual way.

When someone inquires about the identity of your guru, you are not to answer, "Ananta Das Baba". Add in the proper honorifics and utter the name with folded hands in a respectful manner.

Sometimes, in some contexts, there may be a need to use the name of the guru without the honorifics. For example, if there is a list of the names of many past saints and you mention the name of your guru after them, it would not be proper to say, "Narottam Das Thakur", "Shymananda Pandit" and "Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja", as that would put the guru in a position above the purvacharyas. However, especially in conversations, one should pay attention to saying the name of the guru with the befitting respect.
Madhava - Sun, 15 May 2005 08:11:26 +0530
Never imitate the gait, speech, voice or gestures of the guru.

Sometimes, a neophyte disciple may think that he will also gain spiritual merit like his guru's if he follows the behavior of the guru down to each detail. However, there is no merit in such mimicking. The charisma of the guru arises from his inner spiritual merits, and they are the factor that makes his gait, choice of words, voice and gestures attractive. If one imitates them, hoping to produce the same effect, yet lacks the inner spiritual merits, it will be a bizarre performance and nothing but mockery of the guru.


When coming to the guru, do not sit down without his prior permission, but stand before him with folded hands.

Sometimes, when the guru is teaching or receiving people who are already sitting, it is befitting to also sit without drawing the guru's attention. Not doing so would be an unnecessary disturbance to the situation. However, as a general principle one should not sit down before indicated to do so.


When staying in the presence of the guru, never go anywhere without his permission.

Sometimes people come to guru for darshan as if he were a statue in a temple, bowing down and coming and going as they please. However, especially if one has exchanged words with the guru, one should not leave before clearly indicating that one needs to leave and the guru's finding that agreeable. If the guru is in the middle of talking to someone else, one should generally wait until the situation is over and then indicate that he should go. Of course, if the conversation is very prolonged, one may need to break this rule for practical reasons. At any rate, one should not interrupt the discussion of the guru in such a situation.
Madhava - Sun, 15 May 2005 08:12:16 +0530
That's a start. If anyone else has been reading and thinking, I would expect they'd have a thought or two on the rest of the items on the lengthy list.
Rasaraja dasa - Sun, 15 May 2005 20:41:45 +0530
Radhe Radhe!

The following two really struck me.

It is also a cause of offense to remain silent in front of the Guru, not to praise him or not to ask him any questions about bhajan.

In thinking of this aspect I tried to understand why one would be committing offense by being silent in the presence of Gurudeva. I for one am rather quiet in such situations as I tend to get a bit shy and donít want to waste an exalted Vaisnavaís time with my presence. I tend to meld into the background and observe otherís conversations and exchanges and try to learn from them. For some reason I tend to have very little running through my mind at such times as I get absorbed in the moment and just the mercy of being afforded such an opportunity.

Yet when I really think of this rule I think of how a disciple facilitates the service of ones Gurudeva and does things to please him/her. What is it the service of Gurudeva? To train the disciple in service to Sri Radhika. What pleases Gurudeva? To see the disciple eager to take to the service of Sri Radhika and become absorbed in this service. So how could one possibly facilitates the service of ones Gurudeva and please Gurudeva if they donít afford their time together to advance in matters of bhajan? In a sense it seems that the Guru-Disciple relationship feeds off of one another. It is the disciple who serves Gurudeva by being a receptacle of their mercy but it requires the disciple to open oneself up to act as such a receptacle which both facilitates Gurudevaís service and brings pleasure to Gurudeva.

One must always please Sri Gurudeva in a simple and loving manner, with a saintly heart, with body, mind and words, and with ones house, wealth and oneís very life.

This is a point I often think about as my main aspiration in service to Gurudeva. I have no hope in being a great Vaisnava who can preach the glories of Mahaprabhu and Radha-dasyam to those I meet. I cannot offer much in terms of service. So what I try to base my life and service on is being a simple and submissive servant to Gurudeva. One who is cognizant of my actions and mindful that what I do, say and embody is seen as a reflection of my Gurudeva and parivar. I think of it as a disciple being a fruit of Gurudevaís tree. If the fruit is sweet then how can anyone not think fondly of the tree? If one is bitter then one thinks of the tree as lacking the qualities to produce sweet fruit.

I also see this in context to another aspect we are to be aware of namely Do not go to anyplace where one is so envious that he slanders Sri Gurudeva or tries to diminish his glories. This type of situation can be impacted by the disciples activities and purity. If one sees a disciple acting in an avaisnava type of manner they, in some way, facilitate such blasphemy. Whereas if a disciple is a simple and loving disciple with a saintly heart and who has given ones very body, mind and words, and very life to their Gurudeva it will make an impression on those who witness such a person and may discourage or stop others from committing an offense to their Gurudeva.

Personally I am very mindful of this because of my background, ties and relationship with ISKCON. If, as a disciple, I embody the qualities described in this specific area it will likely result in otherís thinking well of my Gurudeva and put them in a much less likely position to think or speak of him in a disrespectful manner.

Rasaraja dasa
Lancer - Sun, 15 May 2005 23:03:02 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 14 2005, 07:29 PM)
Do not pronounce Sri Guruís name in a casual way.

When someone inquires about the identity of your guru, you are not to answer, "Ananta Das Baba". Add in the proper honorifics and utter the name with folded hands in a respectful manner.

Sometimes, in some contexts, there may be a need to use the name of the guru without the honorifics. For example, if there is a list of the names of many past saints and you mention the name of your guru after them, it would not be proper to say, "Narottam Das Thakur", "Shymananda Pandit" and "Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja", as that would put the guru in a position above the purvacharyas. However, especially in conversations, one should pay attention to saying the name of the guru with the befitting respect.


In my own case, all of my knowledge of Vaisnava etiquette comes from an IGM background, so I'm beginning to suspect that I don't really know any Vaisnava etiquette. I would like to write Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja a letter, and I'm not sure how to address it. Do I write "Dear Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja"? Also, when we don't pronounce the guru's name (so no need for full honorifics), what is the correct way to refer to him? On this board, I see so many people call him "Babaji", and a few times I have copied this practice, but I've never quite felt comfortable doing so. Also, is "Maharaja" a proper title? From Madhava's posting, I'm thinking that it is, but because of my background, I had presumed that it wasn't, blink.gif and would appreciate a clarification on this point.

And in general, when referring to or addressing other Vaisnavas, are there certain rules to follow? I have just about finally broken myself of the "Prabhu" habit, but now lack an equivalent when I'm talking to someone and don't know their name. Any advice?

I really like this section of the book and know that I need to learn these things. I meant to ask all of this when I first read it but haven't had time. Thanks to Madhava for bringing my question to the fore.

Dandavats,
Lancer
Madhava - Mon, 16 May 2005 00:55:47 +0530
QUOTE(Lancer @ May 15 2005, 06:33 PM)
I would like to write Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja a letter, and I'm not sure how to address it.† Do I write "Dear Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja"?

I wouldn't write the full name like that. Generally I just address him as "Babaji Maharaja" or "Guru Maharaja" in correspondence.


QUOTE
Also, when we don't pronounce the guru's name (so no need for full honorifics), what is the correct way to refer to him?† On this board, I see so many people call him "Babaji", and a few times I have copied this practice, but I've never quite felt comfortable doing so.† Also, is "Maharaja" a proper title?

Babaji Maharaja should do just fine. Those who have spent more time with him and have a closer relationship often address him affectionately as Baba, those who haven't met him are probably better off with Babaji Maharaja. Yes, Maharaja is a proper and common title.


QUOTE
And in general, when referring to or addressing other Vaisnavas, are there certain rules to follow?† I have just about finally broken myself of the "Prabhu" habit, but now lack an equivalent when I'm talking to someone and don't know their name.† Any advice?

Dada and Didi, or elder brother / sister. Bhai for younger brother, bon for younger sister. Kakaji for those who are your guru's peers, feminine is kaki. Then there's a word for those who are older than your guruji that escapes me right now. Ma is often used for older ladies.

There is one devotee at Baba's ashram who is a disciple of a gurubhai of ours. I wondered whether I should address him as dada or bhai. I was then told a term I am now forgetting that meant a nephew. Talk about a family atmosphere. smile.gif
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 16 May 2005 01:06:44 +0530
QUOTE(Lancer @ May 15 2005, 09:33 AM)
In my own case, all of my knowledge of Vaisnava etiquette comes from an IGM background, so I'm beginning to suspect that I don't really know any Vaisnava etiquette.† I would like to write Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja a letter, and I'm not sure how to address it.† Do I write "Dear Sri Srimad Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja"?† Also, when we don't pronounce the guru's name (so no need for full honorifics), what is the correct way to refer to him?† On this board, I see so many people call him "Babaji", and a few times I have copied this practice, but I've never quite felt comfortable doing so.† Also, is "Maharaja" a proper title?† From Madhava's posting, I'm thinking that it is, but because of my background, I had presumed that it wasn't,† blink.gif and would appreciate a clarification on this point.

And in general, when referring to or addressing other Vaisnavas, are there certain rules to follow?† I have just about finally broken myself of the "Prabhu" habit, but now lack an equivalent when I'm talking to someone and don't know their name.† Any advice?

I really like this section of the book and know that I need to learn these things.† I meant to ask all of this when I first read it but haven't had time.† Thanks to Madhava for bringing my question to the fore.

Dandavats,
Lancer

Radhe Radhe!

It may be a bit akward to address Baba with a honorific title Babaji Maharaja should due just fine or Srila Ananta dasa Babaji Maharaja if Babaji maharaja feels a bit too informal for you in a first letter.

Maharaja is a common title. As far as prabhu goes you can simply use dada, did or their name.

Radhe Radhe!
Rasaraja dasa
Madhava - Mon, 16 May 2005 01:13:25 +0530
QUOTE(Rasaraja)
It may be a bit akward to address Baba with a honorific title Babaji Maharaja should due just fine or Srila Ananta dasa Babaji Maharaja if Babaji maharaja feels a bit too informal for you in a first letter.

Otherwise, one may address him for example as Pujya Babaji Maharaja (worshipable Babaji Maharaja). I might then exclude the "Dear". What does that mean, anyway?

"Pujya Babaji Maharaja,

I offer my faithful and devoted dandavat pranama at your feet."


That sounds good for an opening line to me.


QUOTE
Maharaja is a common title. As far as prabhu goes you can simply use dada, did or their name.

Generally using someone's name alone is considered disrespectful when talking to him or addressing him. Of course none of us here in the West pay any attention to this, so we also generally don't mind. One should add "ji" to the end of the name, if nothing else. Adding "ji" at the end of "dada" and so forth is also very common. "Excuse me dadaji, do you know where the kirtan is today?"
dasanudas - Mon, 16 May 2005 01:37:07 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 15 2005, 02:43 PM)
QUOTE(Rasaraja)
It may be a bit akward to address Baba with a honorific title Babaji Maharaja should due just fine or Srila Ananta dasa Babaji Maharaja if Babaji maharaja feels a bit too informal for you in a first letter.

Otherwise, one may address him for example as Pujya Babaji Maharaja (worshipable Babaji Maharaja). I might then exclude the "Dear". What does that mean, anyway?

"Pujya Babaji Maharaja,

I offer my faithful and devoted dandavat pranama at your feet."


That sounds good for an opening line to me.


QUOTE
Maharaja is a common title. As far as prabhu goes you can simply use dada, did or their name.

Generally using someone's name alone is considered disrespectful when talking to him or addressing him. Of course none of us here in the West pay any attention to this, so we also generally don't mind. One should add "ji" to the end of the name, if nothing else. Adding "ji" at the end of "dada" and so forth is also very common. "Excuse me dadaji, do you know where the kirtan is today?"



Pujya is good to choose. "Param Pujoniyo babaji maharaj" would be suitable according to my view.
braja - Mon, 16 May 2005 02:21:29 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 14 2005, 10:41 PM)
Never imitate the gait, speech, voice or gestures of the guru.

Sometimes, a neophyte disciple may think that he will also gain spiritual merit like his guru's if he follows the behavior of the guru down to each detail. However, there is no merit in such mimicking. The charisma of the guru arises from his inner spiritual merits, and they are the factor that makes his gait, choice of words, voice and gestures attractive. If one imitates them, hoping to produce the same effect, yet lacks the inner spiritual merits, it will be a bizarre performance and nothing but mockery of the guru.


I'd always taken these kind of warnings to be centered directly on mockery so it was fascinating to suddenly see this from the point of view you've given here.
Pursottam - Mon, 16 May 2005 03:00:26 +0530
Radhe Radhe!

I'd be interested in any thoughts on "Do not...spread out the fingers..."? That one really has me confused. unsure.gif Many thanks!
Madhava - Mon, 16 May 2005 03:19:07 +0530
QUOTE(Pursottam @ May 15 2005, 10:30 PM)
I'd be interested in any thoughts on "Do not...spread out the fingers..."? That one really has me confused.† unsure.gif Many thanks!

aGgulI-sphoTana is the word used. Monier-Williams, under sphoTana, gives "cracking (the fingers)" as a possible translation. I believe that is what it means.
braja - Mon, 16 May 2005 06:33:02 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 15 2005, 05:49 PM)
aGgulI-sphoTana is the word used. Monier-Williams, under sphoTana, gives "cracking (the fingers)" as a possible translation. I believe that is what it means.



Yes. He has a complete entry for aGgulI-sphoTana (under aGgulI): "snapping or cracking the fingers."
DharmaChakra - Mon, 16 May 2005 08:41:03 +0530
QUOTE(braja @ May 15 2005, 04:51 PM)
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 14 2005, 10:41 PM)
Never imitate the gait, speech, voice or gestures of the guru.

Sometimes, a neophyte disciple may think that he will also gain spiritual merit like his guru's if he follows the behavior of the guru down to each detail. However, there is no merit in such mimicking. The charisma of the guru arises from his inner spiritual merits, and they are the factor that makes his gait, choice of words, voice and gestures attractive. If one imitates them, hoping to produce the same effect, yet lacks the inner spiritual merits, it will be a bizarre performance and nothing but mockery of the guru.


I'd always taken these kind of warnings to be centered directly on mockery so it was fascinating to suddenly see this from the point of view you've given here.


Really? I've always thought of is as Madhava puts it. I've seen in person that strange behavior in new bhramacharis, this imitative approach, but never directly copying a particular guru. I could easily see it happening. I find it a pretty simple leap to the thinking Madhava has laid out, especially for the 'new' bhakta. Imitating someone you admire is a natural reaction, but of course in this example you really are just mirroring external behavior. Better to aspire to the qualities you admire in the guru (knowledgeable in scripture, steadfast in their bhajan, etc).
Hari Saran - Thu, 19 May 2005 00:18:17 +0530
What about reading books without Guru's order or permission?

Once I heard from a Guru that he would not read any Vaishnava literature if not authorized (blessed) by his Guru. The question is, would the fact of declining to follow such concept of surrender, considered to be an offense?

Any comment? rolleyes.gif
Madhava - Thu, 19 May 2005 01:50:35 +0530
QUOTE(Hari Saran @ May 18 2005, 07:48 PM)
What about reading books without Guru's order or permission?

Once I heard from a Guru that he would not read any Vaishnava literature if not authorized (blessed) by his Guru. The question is, would the fact of declining to follow such concept of surrender, considered to be an offense?

I removed the bold typeface from your post since that wasn't from Baba's text unlike the other points presented in bold typeface before.

Now, how practical is this? There are literally hundreds of titles from our acharyas you may come across. Will you go to the guru with each and every title, asking for permission? I really don't see the point in that. It's like saying you should ask a permission for every prayer from your guru and check if it's OK to say or recite.

Generally a guru will just say, "Study the writings of the acharyas." There you have it, a permission. However, if a guru says instead, "Don't read anything but my books," then one may begin to wonder, why so.
Madhava - Thu, 19 May 2005 02:02:25 +0530
Do not worship or praise anyone else in front of the guru. ... Do not control others in front of Sri Guru and do not chastise others in front of Sri Guru.

This is translation of:

zrI-gurura agre anyera pUjA-vandanAdi karabe nA | zrI-gurura samakSe anyera prati prabhutva prakAza, anyake tiraskArAdi karabe nA |

With regards to worshiping or praising anyone else in front of the guru, one should note that there is a difference in whether glorifying a Vaishnava is done in his absence and in his presence. In the latter case it wouldn't be very befitting, while in the former it would be proper, since Sri Guru is a Vaishnava himself, and is happy to learn of the disciple's respect for other Vaishnavas.

The words prabhutva prakAza struck me as the core of the whole warning, something that doesn't come across when it's translated. janme janme prabhu sei - He is the master, birth after birth. Do not make others the master before the guru, do not make yourself the master before the guru's eyes.

In this regard, there is a practical consideration one may want to pay attention to. If a senior Vaishnava, your worshipable superior to whom you would regularly bow down to, comes to your guru when you are present, what will you do? It wouldn't be befitting to remain standing or sitting when a senior Vaishnava bows down, and it also wouldn't be befitting to bow to others in the presence of Sri Guru. The solution, then, is that you bow down to Sri Guru together with him.
Hari Saran - Thu, 19 May 2005 02:20:35 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 18 2005, 08:20 PM)

Now, how practical is this? There are literally hundreds of titles from our acharyas you may come across. Will you go to the guru with each and every title, asking for permission? I really don't see the point in that. It's like saying you should ask a permission for every prayer from your guru and check if it's OK to say or recite.

Generally a guru will just say, "Study the writings of the acharyas." There you have it, a permission. However, if a guru says instead, "Don't read anything but my books," then one may begin to wonder, why so.



Thanks!

Talking about practicality, wouldnít in this case the intimacy with Guru be a key point in the process of surrender? I mean if one lives 24 /7 days a week with his Guru, so questioning the Guru about books to read certainly would be a great help to understand his inner feelings. On the other hand, reading without his guidance could lead one to misguidance.

What do you think now?
Madhava - Thu, 19 May 2005 03:13:25 +0530
QUOTE(Hari Saran @ May 18 2005, 09:50 PM)
Talking about practicality, wouldnít in this case the intimacy with Guru be a key point in the process of surrender? I mean if one lives 24 /7 days a week with his Guru, so questioning the Guru about books to read certainly would be a great help to understand his inner feelings. On the other hand, reading without his guidance could lead one to misguidance.

Well, for the 0.2% of devotees who do live with the guru 24/7, I'm sure that would be good. I do not see, though, how the works of the acharyas would possibly be of misguidance to anyone, as long as one remembers to inquire whenever in doubt.

Of course if this reading didn't mean the works of the acharyas but just any books, then of course the risk is always there, and you have to be alert over what you fill your head with.
Hari Saran - Thu, 19 May 2005 03:37:52 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 18 2005, 09:43 PM)
Well, for the 0.2% of devotees who do live with the guru 24/7, I'm sure that would be good.

Well that was the case of Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj, he actually live that life stile for while... but I'm sure many others did also.
QUOTE
I do not see, though, how the works of the acharyas would possibly be of misguidance to anyone, as long as one remembers to inquire whenever in doubt.

Yes, I agree with you, books of the Vaishnavas are full of bliss, however, Guru guides one to dive deeper in it.
QUOTE
Of course if this reading didn't mean the works of the acharyas but just any books, then of course the risk is always there, and you have to be alert over what you fill your head with.


Sure, no doubt! smile.gif
DharmaChakra - Thu, 19 May 2005 05:47:02 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 18 2005, 04:20 PM)
Now, how practical is this? There are literally hundreds of titles from our acharyas you may come across. Will you go to the guru with each and every title, asking for permission? I really don't see the point in that. It's like saying you should ask a permission for every prayer from your guru and check if it's OK to say or recite.

Generally a guru will just say, "Study the writings of the acharyas." There you have it, a permission. However, if a guru says instead, "Don't read anything but my books," then one may begin to wonder, why so.


I've always found it a bit disquieting the ban on reading books that some groups put out there. I remember being shown one devotees 'closet' of secret books. huh.gif It was as if I was being let into Fort Knox.
That said, some books are definately better to read 'under supervision'. 'Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi' and 'Vilap Kusumanjali' spring to mind. Its not that these books are banned, Just that they contain material that may not be suitable for wide distribution, but those of us that want it, unqualified as we may be, by hook and crook whistling.gif can get our hands on it.
DharmaChakra - Thu, 19 May 2005 18:49:22 +0530
For those that are interested, Ananda das Babaji Maharaja's commentary on Verse 3 of Prema Bhakti Chandrika covers much of the same material. It is interesting to read the ties back to Narrottama das Thakuraji's verse. As it doesn't add a considerable amount to the conversation, I won't type it in. You will just have get and read it for yourself biggrin.gif

One addition to the list of "don't" is not shaking your arm or leg in front of the guru. Not really sure what is meant by it. I'm wondering if this along with 'cracking the fingers' is more a showing of boredom in front of the guru (thereby implying that you are uninterested in what the guru is saying, etc.) I have to admit, this is insulting even in a work environment...
Madhava - Thu, 19 May 2005 19:08:11 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ May 19 2005, 02:19 PM)
One addition to the list of "don't" is not shaking your arm or leg in front of the guru. Not really sure what is meant by it.

Do you mean this one?

Do not yawn, laugh loudly, spread out the fingers, sway the body or make oneís hands and feet or any other limb dance in front of the guru.

gurudevera agre hA_itolA, ucca-hAsya, aGguli-sphoTana, aGga dolAno, hasta-padAdi zarIrera kona aMza nAcAno prabhRti karabe nA |


QUOTE
I'm wondering if this along with 'cracking the fingers' is more a showing of boredom in front of the guru (thereby implying that you are uninterested in what the guru is saying, etc.) I have to admit, this is insulting even in a work environment...

That's indeed the gist of it. There are a good many things one shouldn't be doing, some of them unlisted. For example, do not look elsewhere when the guru is talking to you. Don't distract the conversation from the topic the guru has chosen. Show keen interest in what the guru talks about.

And among the grosser no-nos, for example, do not explore the contents of your nostrils and do not chew your fingernails in the presence of the guru. That isn't beyond your average mleccha.
Madhava - Thu, 19 May 2005 19:15:44 +0530
The rebukes and chastisements of the guru must always be tolerated and must never be responded by hatred, ill will or envy.

Any thoughts on this one? The fact that it is mentioned means there's a potential for doing that. What might lead one to react in such a way?
DharmaChakra - Thu, 19 May 2005 19:26:27 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 19 2005, 09:38 AM)
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ May 19 2005, 02:19 PM)
One addition to the list of "don't" is not shaking your arm or leg in front of the guru. Not really sure what is meant by it.

Do you mean this one?

Do not yawn, laugh loudly, spread out the fingers, sway the body or make oneís hands and feet or any other limb dance in front of the guru.

That's it. Recalling it from memory blush.gif
Gettig back to a post I made earlier in the thread on these lists of rules. How does one distinguish the wheat from the chaff? Madhava has pointed out a few times the ban on eggplant. Do we need to vette every rule against all other sastra, and if we can find counter-examples, ignore the rule? Or do we apply common sense & the guidance of guru, sastra and sadhu to figure out how to act?

Behavior in front of the guru is a small example. Sastra is full of these kinds of rules, so how is one to navigate them? Especially given the cultural and temporal differences between the authors and ourselves...
Madhava - Thu, 19 May 2005 19:42:39 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ May 19 2005, 02:56 PM)
Gettig back to a post I made earlier in the thread on these lists of rules. How does one distinguish the wheat from the chaff? Madhava has pointed out a few times the ban on eggplant. Do we need to vette every rule against all other sastra, and if we can find counter-examples, ignore the rule? Or do we apply common sense & the guidance of guru, sastra and sadhu to figure out how to act?

First of all, one needs to priorize one's concerns. There are the aGgI, the primary aspects of sadhana at the root of all practice of bhakti. Their practice is at the heart of the sadhana. Within them, there are varieties of directions that are to be followed. Some of them are prominent, some of them are subsidiary.

Then there are other practices of bhakti, the various bhakti-angas, that are either directly connected with our desired mood (svAbhiSTta-bhAva-sambandhI) or supportive of the same (svAbhiSTta-bhAva-anukUla). Likewise, they also have their prominent guidelines and their secondary guidelines.

If someone follows the nitty-gritty rules of austerity during Chaturmasya, or paints fancy tilaka, and yet fails to adequately engage in the aGgIs of kIrtana and smaraNa, his priorities are confused.
DharmaChakra - Thu, 19 May 2005 19:50:05 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ May 19 2005, 09:45 AM)
The rebukes and chastisements of the guru must always be tolerated and must never be responded by hatred, ill will or envy.

Any thoughts on this one? The fact that it is mentioned means there's a potential for doing that. What might lead one to react in such a way?


Pride, pride & more pride. Its definately a subtle thing. There is something about chastisement that makes our pride well up & our emotions flare against the person bringing the critique. Especially when it is directed at a weakness within us.

I would say there is more than a potential, but that this is something one must really be careful of. Obviously, responding to the guru's words with hatred or ill will has the side effect of seeing the guru as a normal human being, and committing guru-aparadha.

One must foster humility, and keep in mind that the guru wants to see us be successful in our bhajan, and his instructions and rebukes are meant to bring about this goal.