Calcutta, India — Friday, November 21st

Mea culpa

Everybody knows that Srila Gurudeva's health has not been so good in recent years, and in the last few months especially, His Divine Grace's delicate condition has been aggravated by numerous little ailments and complications.

Still, when Srila Gurudeva is admitted to the hospital, as he was here in Calcutta last week, everybody is rightfully concerned. I never like to blog about something like this because the slightest intimation of any deterioration in Srila Gurudeva's health triggers hundreds of phone calls and/or emails from devotees worldwide, but we cannot always pretend that Srila Gurudeva is doing okay, particularly when His Divine Grace experiences enough discomfort to warrant hospitalization.

Some may think that the sannyasis and Srila Gurudeva's few intimate servitors are so fortunate to always be so close to His Divine Grace, but when you see just how much Srila Gurudeva has to sometimes suffer, up close, you begin to wonder if it is such an enviable position after all.

Why does Srila Gurudeva have to suffer so much?

While it is true that Srila Gurudeva may become gravely ill "just to increase our dedication and service," and that he may magnanimously prolong his stay in this world "just for our benefit, to give us the opportunity to purify ourselves by serving him," when I see how much Srila Gurudeva is suffering now, I have to seriously examine my own culpability and complicity in these tribulations.

When I read in Sri Guru And His Grace where Srila Guru Maharaj says, "The spiritual master will have to digest some of the responsibility of the bad and undesirable activities of the disciple," I am appalled to think how much my bad habits must aggravate Srila Gurudeva's distress.

And when I remember how Srila Gurudeva lamented that "when we took initiation, we made a promise to ourselves and to our guru," but now "circumstances have changed our promise, and we have become a slave to circumstances," and especially how, when we "forget our promise, that becomes painful," then I am all the more mortified.

So it seems to me that rather than pray for Srila Gurudeva's health, or that he may not be taken away from us soon, I should pray for my own improvement and rededication to the Krishna consciousness ideal that His Divine Grace inspires in us all, so that I do not add to his further discomfort and distress... but I am so hopeless!

mat-tulyo nasti papatma / naparadhi ca kascana
parihare 'pi lajja me / kim bruve [srila gurudeva]

"There is no parallel to my sinful, criminal life. Everything that can be conceived of as bad is found in me. O Srila Gurudeva, I am even ashamed to come before you to petition, 'Please forgive my offenses.' What more can I say than this?"

Tags: Keep vows

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