There is No Guarantee with Either Guru or Disciple! (09/08/18)
Dear ______ Dāsa,
All Glories to Śrī Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga.
On one occasion I took a godbrother to Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja who had taken sannyāsa from Haṁsadūta and then again Bhāvānanda, but both had fallen down. After my godbrother spoke with Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja, Mahārāja said that he should retake sannyāsa from either Sudhīra Gosvāmī, Akṣayānanda Mahārāja or myself. My godbrother said that twice he had accepted sannyāsa from a godbrother, but that there was no guarantee that his third sannyāsa–guru would also not fall down. To that, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja replied that there are no guarantees. Śrīdhara Mahārāja then made the point that there is no guarantee for the disciple that the guru will not fall and there is no guarantee for the guru that the disciple will not fall. There are certainly concerns on both sides, its a two way street so to speak.
There were disciples that found fault in our Śrīla Prabhupāda. They said, “He took snuff and therefore could not have been pure.” Fault has been found in almost every ācārya since time began. The gopīs of Kṛṣṇa are also found to have many faults by those without proper vision. Faults are often in the eye of the observer and not in that which is being observed, a spot of dust on the lens of our perception. Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja told that in the search for guru, “Suspicion leads to suspension.” He also stated that those who have lost faith in guru or have lost their guru to māyā are in limbo, a suspended state wherein no spiritual advancement is made.
I have seen how Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja dealt with numerous devotees who were in a similar situation to your own, and he never took it lightly that one was going to reject his guru – especially if the guru was still active in performing devotional service. Even when there was a serious fall down on the part of the guru, he advised the disciple not to be hasty, but to wait and see if the guru recovers. A temporary fall-down is not sufficient grounds to reject one’s guru.
Possibly the “stellar” guru you are looking for does not exist, or possibly Kṛṣṇa wants you to make further endeavor to rectify your relationship with _______ Swami — I cannot say for sure. You can only search your heart for the right answer and go forward from there. In this situation, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja advised that one has to approach Lord Nityānanda and in all earnestness beg His direction and guidance.
Wishing you well.