Dear Sriman Vrndavan das,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
Some time ago (July 26, 2014) you expressed some surprise at the amount of tolerance a guru may have with his disciples:
My God how much trouble can Guru withstand on behalf of his disciple!
Recently I had reason to write something about this to one of my disciples. I referred to a very nice reference to forgiveness by Srila Prabhupada (Swami Maharaja) towards a disciple, which is explained by Srila Sridhara Maharaja. When I recently heard Srila Sridhara Maharaja speak about it on a recording, I remembered your remark and thought you might also like to hear it.
Here is the relevant portion of my letter:
“… you return to me asking forgiveness. Then I must say, “Yes, all is forgiven.” Srila Sridhara Maharaja explains the reason in this talk of his. Please listen to it:
Srila Sridhar Maharaja “Forgiveness – The Choice in Life”
One of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples had been seduced and taken away from him by Sripada Bon Maharaja in Vrndavana. Srila Prabhupada was staying in Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s Math when this man (Hrsikesa dasa, I believe), leaving Bon Maharaja, came back to him and told Prabhupada “I committed mistake. I have come back. Please accept me.” Srila Swami Maharaja said “Yes, I forgive you, you are my boy. You are my boy. You have committed some mistake, I forgive; I accept you, go on.” Sridhara Maharaja then explained, “ So, you are mine, I forgive you. Because you belong to me, you have the right to demand from me everything. By my own law, I am bound to do anything and everything for you, because I am your owner, you belong to me. So, whenever you come to me, I take the whole charge; the past, present, future, everything, it is mine. It is mine, I take the risk.” Disciple: “I might have done something wrong; I could not understand.” Prabhupada: “I forgive that. I forgive that.” With this spirit: moksayishyami ma suchah, “You won’t have to repent. I take the whole burden for you. …”
So much responsibility Sri Gurudeva accepts for his disciples. He is more merciful than Krishna, even more merciful than Sriman Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu wanted to reject the Brahmana Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa who was seduced by maya in the form of a gypsy woman. But His devotees like Sri Nityananda Prabhu (who is the general representation of Sri Guru) found a way to keep Kala Krishnadasa in the association of devotees, and in the service of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
Devotees are very merciful. We must be merciful to others if we expect mercy for ourselves.
Swami B.K. Giri