Here it is revealed that the order of Guru is as important as one’s life itself for the disciple. The meaning of accepting instructions as life means, to accept it completely, without duplicity, showing proper respect and obeying it with heart.
Lord Brahma said: My dear son Kardama, since you have completely accepted my instructions without duplicity, showing them proper respect, you have worshiped me properly. Whatever instructions you took from me you have carried out, and thereby you have honored me. Sons ought to render service to their father exactly to this extent. One should obey the command of his father or spiritual master with due deference, saying, “Yes, sir.” [SB 3.24.12-13]
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purports to above verses, “As a man cannot separate his life from his body, a disciple cannot separate the order of the spiritual master from his life. If a disciple follows the instruction of the spiritual master in that way, he is sure to become perfect. This is confirmed in the Upanisads: the import of Vedic instruction is revealed automatically only to one who has implicit faith in SPG & Guru. One may be materially considered an illiterate man, but if he has faith in the spiritual master as well as in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then the meaning of scriptural revelation is immediately manifested before him.”
BRAHMA-MANU Relationship :
Here we learn about the importance of disciple’s full obedience to Guru’s instructions voluntarily, without any reservations or independent mentality. The disciple should be free from envy for the superior and should happily render service to him, by aligning with superior’s desires and expectations. This is the secret of success for a disciple. Here in the translations and purports, some important portions have been italicized :
The sage Maitreya said to Vidura: After his appearance, Manu, the father of mankind, along with his wife, thus addressed the reservoir of Vedic wisdom, Brahma, with obeisances and folded hands. You are the father of all living entities and the source of their subsistence because they are all born of you. Please order us how we may be able to render service unto you. [SB 3.13.6-7]
A son’s duty is not only to make the father the source of supply for all his needs, but also, when he is grown up, to render service unto him. That is the law of creation beginning from the time of Brahma. A father’s duty is to bring up the son until he is grown, and when the son is grown up, it is his duty to render service unto the father. [SB 3.13.7 purport]
Lord Brahma said: My dear son, O lord of the world, I am very pleased with you, and I desire all blessings for both you and your wife. You have without reservation surrendered yourself unto me with your heart for my instructions. O hero, your example is quite befitting a son in relationship with his father. This sort of adoration for the superior is required. One who is beyond the limit of envy and who is sane accepts the order of his father with great delight and executes it to his full capacity. Since you are my very obedient son, I ask you to beget children qualified like yourself in the womb of your wife. Rule the world in pursuance of the principles of devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus worship the Lord by performances of yajna. [SB 3.13.9-11]
The relationship between the father and the son is always sublime. The father is naturally disposed with good will towards the son, and he is always ready to help the son in his progress in life. But in spite of the father’s good will, the son is sometimes misguided because of his misuse of personal independence. Every living entity, however small or big he may be, has the choice of independence. If the son is unreservedly willing to be guided by the father, the father is ten times more eager to instruct and guide him by all means. The father and son relationship as exhibited here in the dealings of Brahma and Manu is excellent. Both the father and the son are well qualified, and their example should be followed by all humankind. Manu, the son, unreservedly asked the father, Brahma, to instruct him, and the father, who was full of Vedic wisdom, was very glad to instruct. The example of the father of mankind may be rigidly followed by mankind, and that will advance the cause of the relationship of fathers and sons. [SB 3.13.9 purport]
Kardama muni-Devahuti Relationship :
From Devahuti’s service to Kardama, we learn how a disciple should serve the Spiritual master faithfully with right attitudes. These attitudes should be painfully cultivated if one wishes to make swift advancement in spiritual life. Oftentimes a disciple becomes pre-occupied in cultivating skills and abilities that can impress the populace. But such acquisitions are useless from a spiritual point of view, when a disciple fails to please the Guru by fulfilling his orders. On the other hand, a disciple, even with no great material qualifications of power of austerity, wealth of wisdom, strength of sense control etc can very easily advance in spiritual life by grace of Spiritual master.
O Vidura, Devahuti served her husband with intimacy and great respect, with control of the senses, with love and with sweet words. Working sanely and diligently, she pleased her very powerful husband, giving up all lust, pride, envy, greed, sinful activities and vanity. The daughter of Manu, who was fully devoted to her husband, looked upon him as greater even than providence. Thus she expected great blessings from him. Having served him for a long time, she grew weak and emaciated due to her religious observances. Seeing her condition, Kardama, the foremost of celestial sages, was overcome with compassion and spoke to her in a voice choked with great love. [SB 3.23.2-5]
The husband is a very intimate friend; therefore, the wife must render service just like an intimate friend, and at the same time she must understand that the husband is superior in position, and thus she must offer him all respect. A man’s psychology and woman’s psychology are different. As constituted by bodily frame, a man always wants to be superior to his wife, and a woman, as bodily constituted, is naturally inferior to her husband. Thus the natural instinct is that the husband wants to post himself as superior to the wife, and this must be observed. Even if there is some wrong on the part of the husband, the wife must tolerate it, and thus there will be no misunderstanding between husband and wife. Visrambhena means “with intimacy,” but it must not be familiarity that breeds contempt. According to the Vedic civilization, a wife cannot call her husband by name. In the present civilization the wife calls her husband by name, but in Hindu civilization she does not. Thus the inferiority and superiority complexes are recognized. Damena ca: a wife has to learn to control herself even if there is a misunderstanding. Sauhrdena vaca madhuraya means always desiring good for the husband and speaking to him with sweet words. A person becomes agitated by so many material contacts in the outside world; therefore, in his home life he must be treated by his wife with sweet words. [SB 3.23.2 purport]
Here are some of the qualities of a great husband’s great wife. Kardama Muni is great by spiritual qualification. Such a husband is called tejiyamsam, most powerful. Although a wife may be equal to her husband in advancement in spiritual consciousness, she should not be vainly proud. Sometimes it happens that the wife comes from a very rich family, as did Devahuti, the daughter of Emperor Svayambhuva Manu. She could have been very proud of her parentage, but that is forbidden. The wife should not be proud of her parental position. She must always be submissive to the husband and must give up all vanity. As soon as the wife becomes proud of her parentage, her pride creates great misunderstanding between the husband and wife, and their nuptial life is ruined. Devahuti was very careful about that, and therefore it is said here that she gave up pride completely. Devahuti was not unfaithful. The most sinful activity for a wife is to accept another husband or another lover. [SB 3.23.3purport]
The wife is expected to be of the same category as the husband. She must be prepared to follow the principles of the husband, and then there will be happy life. If the husband is a devotee and the wife is materialistic, there cannot be any peace in the home. The wife must see the tendencies of the husband and must be prepared to follow him. From Mahabharata we learn that when Gandhari understood that her would-be husband, Dhrtarastra, was blind, she immediately began to practice blindness herself. Thus she covered her eyes and played the part of a blind woman. She decided that since her husband was blind, she must also act like a blind woman, otherwise she would be proud of her eyes, and her husband would be seen as inferior. The word samanuvrata indicates that it is the duty of a wife to adopt the special circumstances in which the husband is situated. Of course, if the husband is as great as Kardama Muni, then a very good result accrues from following him. But even if the husband is not a great devotee like Kardama Muni, it is the wife’s duty to adapt herself according to his mentality. That makes married life very happy. It is also mentioned herein that by following the strict vows of a chaste woman, Princess Devahuti became very skinny, and therefore her husband became compassionate. He knew that she was the daughter of a great king and yet was serving him just like an ordinary woman. [SB 3.23.4-5purport]
Devahuti engaged only in the service of Kardama Muni. She was not supposed to be so advanced in austerity, ecstasy, meditation or Krsna consciousness, but, imperceptibly, she was sharing her husband’s achievements, which she could neither see nor experience. Automatically she achieved these graces of the Lord.
What are the graces of the Lord? It is stated here that the graces of the Lord are abhaya, free from fearfulness. In the material world, if someone accumulates a million dollars, he is always full of fear because he is always thinking, “What if the money is lost?” But the benediction of the Lord, bhagavat-prasada, is never to be lost. It is simply to be enjoyed. There is no question of loss. One simply gains and enjoys gaining. Bhagavad-gita also confirms this: when one achieves the grace of the Lord, the result is that sarva-duhkhani, all distresses, are destroyed. When situated in the transcendental position, one is freed from the two kinds of material diseases—hankering and lamentation. This is also stated in Bhagavad-gita. After devotional life begins, we can achieve the full result of love of Godhead. Love of Krsna is the highest perfection of bhagavat-prasada, or divine mercy. This transcendental achievement is so greatly valuable that no material happiness can compare to it. Prabodhananda Sarasvati said that if one achieves the grace of Lord Caitanya he becomes so great that he does not care a fig even for the demigods, he thinks of monism as hellish, and for him the perfection of controlling the senses is as easy as anything. Heavenly pleasures become to him no more than stories. Actually, there is no comparison between material happiness and transcendental happiness.
By the grace of Kardama Muni, Devahuti experienced actual realization simply by serving. We get a similar example in the life of Narada Muni. In his previous life, Narada was a maidservant’s son, but his mother was engaged in the service of great devotees. He got the opportunity to serve the devotees, and simply by eating the remnants of their foodstuff and carrying out their orders he became so elevated that in his next life he became the great personality Narada. For spiritual achievement the easiest path is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and to serve him with heart and soul. That is the secret of success. [SB 3.23.7 purport]
The above article is an answer to the Open Book Exam (Canto 3.15-33), by Radheshyam Dasa, to the question: “The son or disciple should accept the words of his spiritual master and father without hesitation. What should be the behavior of a disciple towards his spiritual master – present your learning from Kardama muni, Devahuti & Manu”