(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 08 April 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, Rama Naumi Initiation Lecture)
Initiation is not only about the ceremony but afterwards, success in spiritual life always depends on blessings. So, always look for blessings – blessings of the Supreme Lord and blessings of great devotees, either from the past or from the present. By always seeking blessings, we will make it and we will be successful!
My role is to give you good advice now and after the initiation to continue to guide you. Also, I am suppose to pray for you, for your benefit. On the strength of whatever service I have done, I pray that Krsna may accept your service! So my prayer is there, that Krsna will take you back to Godhead at the end of this life. All that is there but at the same time though, I cannot be there always.
In the Chandogya Upanishad, three types of spiritual masters are described. One is like the bird who feed their young constantly, endlessly. The other one is like the fish who supervises but lets its young go on its own but at the time of danger, the fish is there. The third type of spiritual master is like the tortoise who places the eggs in the sand on the beach and waits for the sun to create heat and then the eggs germinate – he meditates on them. So, this relationship is going to be a bit of all three.
Sometimes, I am really ready to come in and give lots of personal attention and at other times, it is going to be really as cold as a fish. Or even worse, the tortoise mediating at a distance for the well-being of the disciple. But do not forget that the spiritual master is our ever well-wisher and we should not think, ‘Oh, he has not answered my mail!’ We should not think, ‘I do not have a relationship with him.’
If we think that we do not have a relationship with our spiritual master then it means that the fault is placed with us – it means we are not coming forward in service; it means that something is lacking in our service attitude! Because when we think that the spiritual master is the one who has to do all these things, ‘He has to come and inspire me. He has to say deep things. He has to do psychoanalysis on me and fully understand me better than I understand myself, then he has to enlighten me in that. So, I have to be able to feel that. So, he says things that are deep and profound and go really deep like that.’ No, he may or he may not.
Srila Prabhupada said, ‘I am instructing my disciples intimately in public!’ I really like that – intimately in public, so much is said in public. We must keep that in mind that the onus is on us, as disciples, to dedicate ourselves. We should understand that the spiritual master is always dedicated even if he does not give much attention, still his well-wishes and his prayers for us are there and he is always thinking of us. He may have so many disciples and he may not have the time to speak to each one of them but still, for each of these disciples, his prayer to Krsna is there that the mercy may come and he is meditating like that. So, we should not under estimate what is really going on behind the scenes.