How a disciple wholeheartedly takes shelter of Sri Gurudev.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Gurudev always distributes mercy.

Mukunda Datta once brought Gadadhar Pandit Goswami to see Pundarik Vidyanidhi. When they met, Gadadhar Pandit saw that Pundarik Vidyanidhi had paraphernalia around him that was like a that of a bhogi [enjoyer], a householder. Gadadhar was a renunciant and did not like this. He thought, “What kind of Vaisnava do I see before me? He is eating very opulent prasadam and has very luxurious paraphernalia around him.”

Gadadhar was not happy. Mukunda understood that Gadadhar did not like Pundarik Vidyanidhi’s appearance and activities. To remove the illusion from Gadadhar’s eyes, Mukunda sang a verse from the Bhagavatam.

aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam
jighamsayapayayad apy asadhvi
lebhe gatim dhatry-uchitam tato ’nyam
kam va dayalum saranam vrajema
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 3.2.23)

[“Amazing! Even though the wicked Putana nursed Krishna with her poison-smeared breasts, intending to kill Him, Krishna granted her a position befitting His mother! Of what merciful Lord shall we take shelter other than Him?”]

When Pundarik Vidyanidhi heard this verse, he became like an intoxicated man. He began to act wildly and cry out to Krishna, “Where is Krishna, who is so merciful? I am not worshipping Him. I am not serving Him.”

As he cried out to Krishna in an intoxicated mood, Gadadhar saw, by Mukunda’s mercy, that Pundarik Vidyanidhi had real devotion, and that his cries were not any sort of imitation. Gadadhar felt very shy and then said to Mukunda, “I have greatly offended Pundarik Vidyanidhi.”

Mukunda asked, “Why?”

Gadadhar replied, “When I first saw him, I thought Pundarik Vidyanidhi was a very ordinary Vaisnava, but now I see that he is the greatest Vaisnava. I have offended him, and I want to remove that offence. If I take diksa [initiation] from him, then my offence to him will be removed. This is the only way.”

“Only Gurudev can mercifully relieve one from all offences, so I want to take diksa from Pundarik Vidyanidhi. Gurudev must be merciful to his disciple. Gurudev can do anything for his disciple. For the benefit of his disciple’s transcendental devotional life, Gurudev does everything. Pundarik Vidyanidhi must be merciful to me and disregard my offence if I accept him as my Guru.”

First, a Vaisnava gives mercy so that one can understand Gurudev. Then, Gurudev mercifully ousts all darkness from the heart of the devotee and manifests the light of Krishna there. Here, Gadadhar Pandit shows us this process. Krishna consciousness comes down through the disciplic succession in this way.


Spoken in Sri Jagannath Puri Dham in 1990.