The Lord can be attained in many ways. However one philosophy that Shastra exhorts invariably is service to the Spiritual master. In the beginning when one is in search of the truth one takes help of Shastra and Vaishnavas. Through their mercy one is blessed with the Spiritual master. The Spiritual master is 3 rolled into one. Spiritual Master is “Krishna” incarnate in the material world, Shastra says so. The Spiritual Master is the one who is the sweet essence of Shastra. Spiritual master himself is the greatest Vaishnava. Spiritual Master thus represents the Lord, the Vaishnava and Shastra. When one is blessed with the auspices of the spiritual master, one need not worry or take reference of any other Grantham or Shastra anymore. One is in safe-custody and when one serves Guru with undivided attention and desire-less intention, one is drawn to Krishna with least effort.
However the challenge is how to serve Guru? The first and the foremost thing is to lay one’s petty desires aside and try to know the heart of Guru. When one abides by the heart of Guru, one is all set to reach perfection in this very life-time. One needs to be pretty clear on certain things while one is rendering service to the Spiritual master. One has to ask oneself these questions while rendering service. Am I serving the spiritual master with divided attention? Do I have any hidden agenda while serving Guru? Do I keep my selfish interests in mind while serving Guru? Do I have any objective other than Krishna-Prema in the smallest activity that I do for Guru? Is my objective to see Guru even a bit unhappy in the smallest deed I do for him? Am I unconscious about the innermost feelings of my Guru when I serve him? Am I hassled to see my Guru’s various preferences when he meets with his other disciples? Do I mistrust my Guru in the smallest way? Do I doubt my Guru’s statements when he gives instructions? Am I hesitant to serve Guru in any way on any of the service that he has assigned to me? Am I down under to serve Guru in any way?
If one has a “NO” for an “honest” answer to the above questions, then it can be safely gathered that one is on the way to perfection in this very life-time. There are various categories of disciples as one renders service to Guru. There is a category of disciples who are told what to do by Guru. Then there is the category of disciples who are not at all told what to do and they do just as the Guru desires. There are a third category of disciples who have surrendered themselves so much to the Lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva , that with every service they delight Sri Gurudeva and make the heart of Srila Gurudeva melt. The first category of disciples are kanishtha shishya varga(mediocre), the second category of disciples are madhyama shishya varga (desirable) and the third category of disciples are uttama shishya varga (best among disciples). When one undertakes Sadhana Bhakti , one has to strive to attain “uttama “ stage. This is possible by constantly contemplating in the heart of how to serve Guru and make him completely satisfied and caitya guru gives inspiration. One has to strive to understand the inner most desires of Srila Gurudeva. One has to make Gurudeva a constant recipient of one’s prayers in the heart. Singing the praises of Guru as recommended by the Gaudiya Guru Parampara as part of one’s daily sadhana is desirable but one should not make this a reason for complacency in Sadhana One has to cry deeply within one’s heart so that one may attain constant service from Srila Gurudeva. One has to decorate oneself with the ornaments of humility and eagerness as one approaches Guru. One should chastise oneself if the Guru is forced to ask for a service from one owing to one’s inattention to service of the Guru not understanding what the Guru wants at different times. Hence it is simply mandatory for every jeeva to be in constant touch with Srila Gurudeva and worry about his service. This is the greatest secret of success in Bhajana.