From DASBODH - THE THIRD SAMAS – SHISHYALAKSHAN
ATTRIBUTES OF THE DISCIPLE
If the disciple is unable to find the Guru, his life is futile whereas if the Guru doesn’t get the proper disciple he also is constantly on the look out for one. The Guru after finding the disciple has to work really hard to improve him. It is always highly desirous to have the right person as the Guru and the correct one as the disciple otherwise the whole cause is lost.
The Guru after accepting the disciple blesses him completely and forever. The Guru is having the knowledge of the Parbrahma and is very kind but if he gets a useless disciple all his efforts go waste, it is akin to a rich and great man having a scoundrel as his son! For this reason thence the Guru and the disciple should almost be, in today’s parlance, “Made for each other”. In this case the disciple’s life is made without much effort from the Guru. The Guru is happy that he imparted knowledge to the proper person and the disciple is happy because he got to listen to the real knowledge from a really authoritative person.
Shree Samarth says that even if both of them are the correct persons but they fail to have a dialogue about the real knowledge of the self or the Atman then it is of no use either. Furthermore even when the disciple is convinced about the preaching of the Guru but is unable to maintain the Sadhana the same fate awaits him. Shree Samarth further states that this yield of the spiritualism has to be very industriously obtained and then maintained for the fear of the loss of it which is the greatest loss if anything lost in this Maya can be termed as a loss.
The Sadhak should continue the Sadhana even after getting the ultimate knowledge of the self, through the blessings of the Guru; as slight negligence may allow the Maya to intrude and subsequently divert the Sadhak from his hard earned path. Therefore Shree Samarth says that pursuance of spiritualism is a comprehensive way of leading one’s life. The parts within this way are companionship of the Guru, Saints, Sages and Rishis, virtuous deeds and strict adherence to the religion whereas Sadhana, desire for the real knowledge and worship are its outer parts. The Atman reveals itself where both of these bloom fully. Absence of any of these leads to chaos where the disciple can’t be held responsible because it is the solemn duty of the Guru to improve the disciple even if it requires a total metamorphosis in the disciple’s interior as well as the exterior for the Guru is capable of anything imaginable and even beyond that. Shree Samarth says that the converse isn’t true at all. By this he subtly suggests that howsoever great the disciple may become he can’t and shouldn’t aspire to become the Guru. Shree Samarth says that in the Guru-disciple relation Guru is the major player as he is the one who is responsible for the development of the disciple.
Now he tells how the disciple should be. The main attribute of a good disciple is that he should have total faith in the Guru and whatever he does or says. The disciple should be calm in any given situation, humble, pure at heart, in possession of high moral character, ethical values, Vairagya, should realize his mistakes and never commit the same again, should be utterly faithful, highly industrious, able to concentrate on the abstract, very courageous, charitable, devoted to spiritualism, without jealousy, an avid reader of all the religious philosophies, virtuous, careful in everything, intelligent, thoughtful, independent, full of love, lovable, able to behave according to the demands of the situation yet never leave the path shown by the Guru, able to discern between what is good and what is not and behave accordingly, a troubleshooter, brave, having conviction in his thoughts and deeds, a great Sadhak, worshipper of the God, able to survive any physical and mental strain, a friend of everyone, student of the knowledge of the Parbrahma and should have total belief in the existence of the God. All his senses should be concentrated and directed towards the Guru constantly with a feeling that the Guru is the only person who matters for him and whatever he does or tells is for the good of him which makes the mind of the disciple readily moldable by the Guru to acquire the ultimate knowledge of the self or the Atman or the Parbrahma.
He should not be a materialistic person or a very rich one. He should have experienced grief in his life and known what it is to lead life despite the unbearable grief. There is a reason why Shree Samarth says this. The very rich live life without much thought going into it, because, that is hardly ever demanded in their life. They have only experienced happiness and haven’t seen the naked realities of life which any grief presents with. Who then in such a position would want to tread on the path of spiritualism relinquishing the happiness (Or so they think!) they already have? They most commonly say, “The ultimate bliss? What I am in today is the ultimate bliss, you don’t agree because you don’t have it!” It is almost futile to change the mindset of these people which is like hitting your head over a hard rock in the hope that the rock would break! On top of that it has already been mentioned that the disciple has to totally submit to the Guru and serve him with all the possible means, physically and mentally. The rich always consider service to others as a sign of weakness or it is below their dignity. That is why Shree Samarth said what he did about such people. The case of the people who have experienced almost all types of grief in his family life and who is suffering from physical illnesses or mental stress and strain is the ideal one to pursue spiritualism, the reason being he knows that whatever he did in this visible illusory world yielded nothing but grief and therefore is left with no options than to pray the God and have fullest faith in him and accept whatever the God sends his way with utmost gratitude. Continuous sufferings lead to Vairagya. He firmly knows and believes that this life is nothing but a huge set of problems and is unwilling to overcome them by the already applied means for they proved to be utterly futile and therefore he is mentally well prepared to accept spiritualism as the way for solving his problems may be out of desperation but he is the right and ripe fertile land where the seed of spirituality can grow into a big tree. Such people very readily and utmost faithfully cling to the Guru and follow him to the hilt. They know that they have already reached the bottom and any happening would take them upwards as there is no place to go down and when they see and experience the Guru’s persona and virtues they are convinced to the hilt that he and only he can change the course of their lives which were otherwise destined to doom. The total belief in the Guru now turns into unforeseen faith which really does wonders for them not necessarily materially with which they are already disillusioned but spiritually and they really don’t care because the ever eluding happiness finally comes their way with the blessings of the Guru. Some of the disciples lose their faith due to some reasons and most of them have to undergo all the grief of this visible life and ultimately die with it. Therefore the one whose faith is unflinching is the real disciple who deserves to attain Moksha. Such a disciple’s mind gets the ultimate bliss with the blessings of the Guru and becomes capable of acquiring the best type of Mukti that is the fourth one. He is never attracted towards the material life anymore.
Some very unfortunate disciples think that the God is greater than the Guru. They fail to realize that the Guru is The Parbrahma whereas the God is one step below. This failure of recognition is on account of being bound by the body mind intellect conglomerate as the disciples think that the Guru is a human being who may be even poorer than himself and he can’t be greater than the God who in popular perception is the creator and possessor of all the wealth. They just don’t know that the Guru or the Parbrahma is the creator of everything including the God! The Guru being the Parbrahma is indestructible whereas the Gods are subject to destruction at the end of the epoch. Some people just don’t ever know that Gods aren’t everlasting whereas the Guru is. Shree Samarth says that those who equate the Guru and the God should be considered dubious ones as they prefer to cling to their illusions. The fact is we create God with our imagination and worship whereas the Guru being the Parbrahma the Gods also can’t exactly know the abstract form of the Guru which even the Vedas and Mother Shruti failed to describe. Shree Samarth thence dogmatically says that the Guru is greater than the God the measure of which is beyond any proportion. There is nothing beyond the Guru but there is Guru beyond everything created by Maya including the God. The one who is blessed by the Guru is not subject to any other powers and these very blessings make him imbibe the knowledge of the Parbrahma through which he gains the capacity to consider anything else as a nonentity. The disciple gets to know about the real self in reality and gets the knowledge of the Atman which bares itself for him. With this knowledge he sees only the Atman inside and outside him also. He finally becomes blissfully unaware of the visible created by the Maya. This is the real affluence of the disciple because he has unflinching faith in the Guru. His mind before he met the Guru was burning with all that he had to endure which is totally pacified by the preaching of the Guru. He has so much faith in the Guru that he is not at all perturbed even if the whole universe is set to turn upside down. The Sadhana told by the Guru when followed in its entirety endows the disciple with indescribable powers by which he can even dictate the Gods. He is metamorphosed to a totally different entity who is utmost pure and highly pious in all the aspects.
He becomes the candidate for the Moksha by right.
Those who behave contrarily are treacherous disciples and meet their destined gruesome end. These people are the wise and literate fools. They want organic pleasures and follow spiritualism for just showing off, they make only a gesture of submitting to the Guru for getting publicity. They know nothing of the micro thinking of spiritualism as they are only interested in the macro. They become slaves of their own desires and lust. For such people Shree Samarth gives a humorous simile, if you apply the best perfume to a pig or sandalwood to a buffalo they would just fail to recognize it! It is therefore futile to teach such people even the basics of spirituality. Shree Samarth gives so many other similes to stress this point. Finally he says that if a person clings to his wife and says that he has accepted renunciation as the way of his life he is making a fool of himself rather than impressing others which he thinks he is doing! Shree Samarth says that such wise literate fools can’t even imagine that there is tremendous happiness in being close to the God and thus they remain happy in whatever state they are just as the intestinal worms are in the excreta! He further says that one who is a slave of the organic pleasures and is in fact very happy to take care and serve the prostitutes can’t teach others the importance of moral character. If these people try to pursue spiritualism it is beyond their reach yet they go on waxing eloquent about it and Shree Samarth despises them all.
Can’t the Guru help such people? He can, but for that these ones should feel repentant about their deeds. Then they feel that they should really and totally submit to the Guru who then on realization of their honesty blesses them and then these people can become freed of their sins if they follow the Guru’s advice. Those who betray the Guru get the worst kind of the hell as it is the greatest sin. Shree Samarth says that this repentance should be for ever and not a temporary one otherwise the whole cause is lost.
Shree Samarth then describes other types of disciples who haven’t been able to get over the material and organic pleasures but are wise enough to hide them from others. They are intelligent and therefore are able to do all the things forbidden in spirituality yet can teach others what it is! Shree Samarth describes them in all the details and finally says that they are the worst kind of disciples and don’t deserve to be disciples of the real Guru. Those who are still enveloped by the body mind intellect conglomerate, under the illusion of the Maya, without a trace of Vairagya, without worship and Sadhana, not ready to change themselves, jealous of others, greedy, full of desires and lust, miserly, full of vices and untruthfulness, scoundrels and those who are happy in others time of grief are kept totally away by the God. They realize their mistakes and misdeeds at the time of death when nobody cares for them and leave them at the mercy of the almighty because of their earlier deeds.
Shree Samarth says that those disciples who are not at all having these vices and in fact despise them have a great faith in the God and the Guru and their mind is utmost pure which helps them in attaining the knowledge of the self or that of the Atman. They know that if they cling on to this life it can yield only grief and therefore although doing all the deeds necessary for leading a normal life their soul is detached from those deeds and is always in unison with the Atman. Shree Samarth says that the ones who feel that those who live this life with all the material and organic pleasures without knowing the facts are fools and those who know the facts yet still prefer to overlook them are the wise, literate fools. He finally says that leading a happy family life is a normal thing absolutely acceptable to the religion but it should be after a certain period when he has experienced most of the pleasures with a detached manner if not from without but from within which is the crux of spirituality.
END OF THE THIRD SAMAS