One can see that Prabhupada just gave everything and more of everything. He gave so much that everyone felt:
‘We are hardly doing anything to repay him!’
So Prabhupada had already created the credit before. He had done such a sacrifice. So the spiritual master is conquering disciples through sacrifice – by his sacrifice, on behalf of all the living beings and all the fallen conditioned souls. In that way the spiritualness is conquered, and therefore the firm friendship starts to develop. So I think these roles are important. Once I started thinking like that, I found it very helpful; I found it deepening my understanding of the guru and of guru-tattva.
What I also found interesting is that when I am in both roles (sometimes acting as a spiritual master and at other time acting as a disciple) I also saw that with different disciples they have a relationship with me according to one or two of these roles! Some would rather have a guru who is like a formal representative of the parampara of Vysadeva and not more, and they would rather put me in that role:
‘No I don’t want to bother you. No it’s not necessary for you to interfere with these things. No I really don’t want to give you any trouble!’
Wait a minute you are giving me trouble by hiding from me. You are transparent. You don’t want a living guru, you want a picture reincarnation. The picture reincarnation of the guru is very popular, because he always smiles. If you just get a picture of his big smile and then it is very easy!
The entire Caitanya-caritāmṛta is very much about the guru-tattva, because after all Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself is acting like a spiritual master, because He is acting in a role of a devotee. So even more than Krishna He is acting as a spiritual master, because he is bhakta-rupa seen in the form of a devotee! Therefore Acyutānanda the son of Sri Advaita Ācārya was right when he said that:
‘Sri Caitanya Mahaprahu is the spiritual master of all the fourteen worlds!’
So how can we say that He is a disciple of Kesava Bharati?
And it’s true, that Kesava Bharati was a sannyas guru. We know that when Sri Caitanya went to take sannyas, then the night before He had a dream that He had actually received the mantra. He went to Kesava Bharati and said:
‘I had a dream last night that this was the mantra you had given to me. Is that the correct mantra?’
Kesava Bharati replied:
‘Yes…yes it is the correct mantra.’
And in this way he was initiated by Caitanya Mahaprabhu first, since he heard the mantra from Mahaprabhu first and then he gave it back to Him!