(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2004, Melbourne, Australia, Lecture)
Chastity is very essential. It is very important and not only for a woman but also for a disciple. It is said that disciples should be totally chaste, totally dedicated and focused on the spiritual master. So rather than taking the angle of chastity of women and say a lot about that, I will put that on the shelf and rather open up the topic of chastity of a disciple because both men and women are disciples after all and therefore it is maybe more relevant to us to look at chastity as a disciple.
This means that a disciple must try to understand that the spiritual master is a person who is functioning on a very elevated, exalted platform and that therefore, the considerations of the spiritual master are taking place on a much more refined and elevated level than our own. Our own thinking is happening on the gross platform; our thinking takes place in different moods and modes.
So the sentiments of the spiritual master, the thoughts of the spiritual master and the considerations of the spiritual master, are of a much higher level of refinement than ours and therefore we should try as much as possible to capture and penetrate into the mood of the spiritual master. The mood of the spiritual master is that sum total of his way of thinking and his way of dealing. It is not just the way in which he says things but also how he says it and how he does it. One must not only hear the words but one must also see how the spiritual master acts; this is very important!
Sometimes when we watch videos of Srila Prabhupada, we may encounter a particular episode which we have already read about. It may happen that you have read something about a particular episode in Prabhupada’s life or a particular interview or a particular discussion but when you see the expressions with it as well, it adds a whole different dimension! Like in one particular interview, Prabhupada was saying very heavy things. He was speaking about women and how they are less intelligent, and he was saying that in Chicago. But he was not saying that with a very serious face, he was laughing and chuckling at the same time when he was saying it. When you see him, he says it sort of like grandfatherly, but if you just read the text, it may not come across like that. If you read the text, it comes across like BANG, BANG, BANG! But if you see his facial expressions and his mood with it, then it is totally different.
So a disciple who is chaste tries to absorb the mood of the spiritual master and tries himself to act in a similar mood. He tries to take on this mood and not by imitating but by trying to understand the nature of that mood and trying to understand how the spiritual master is expressing trnad api sunicena (Siksastakam 3), how he is fully expressing humility, how he is expressing tolerance, how he gives respect to others and how he manifests vaisnava qualities. We can learn a lot from how someone manifests vaisnava qualities.
So chastity of a disciple means that the instructions of the spiritual master are siromani, are like jewels on the head! They are carried like a jewel, like a great treasure. Whatever the spiritual master has said is siromani; it is not a casual thing at all. It is never to be taken as a light thing. It is always to be taken as something very important – everything that the spiritual master says! So every moment with the spiritual master is a precious moment even if nothing much transpires, even if no big dramatic statements are made still it is a precious moment. One has to contemplate, “Did I have the right attitude within this moment? Did I really take the proper position of a disciple?” and so on. These are is all symptoms of the chastity of the disciple who is really deeply thinking about what it means to be a disciple and to fully make himself available as the servant of the spiritual master. And that must be such a meditation…