There are many limbs of devotional service, 64 to be precise. By engaging in these 64 aspects, we can make so much spiritual advancement. The first is guru-padasraya – taking shelter of the lotus feet of the spiritual master. The second one is to accept initiation and receive spiritual instructions. The third is serving the spiritual master with love.
Before we reach love, we may serve out of fear. Why? Well, the sastras create a lot of fear in our hearts as it is very clear that we cannot disobey the orders of the spiritual master. If you do not follow the orders of the guru, your spiritual life will be ruined. If it is not too serious, then you just dry up and become slack in your practice. This causes some fear but there is another reason why we are afraid of the spiritual master. Never before has someone had such authority over us, not even our parents; not even the government or the national leaders have the same authority over us. Sometimes we may cut a few corners or cause civil disobedience, and others are just outright criminals. And as I am saying all of this, I realise that I am looking straight at a lawyer seated in front of me! (laughter) We experience our limitations. We practice these 64 limbs and try to serve our spiritual master not out of fear but by trusting him.
We must take the desire of the spiritual master and wear it like a jewel. Take it happily and not reluctantly. This relationship with the spiritual master must become our greatest treasure and we must have full faith in it. When Lord Nityananda goes into a liquor store, we do not question his motives. We have faith that He is going in there to give mercy. In the same way, we must have faith in our spiritual master. We must offer our whole existence in that relationship. We must become what he wants us to become, not what we want to.