I want to tell the story of a lady Kuntidevi, also a disciple of my guru Srila Prabhupada. She was never a big leader; she was never a person that people honored and respected as being a person of high position. She was a simple mother and a very, very dedicated devotee of Lord Krishna. Those who knew her well honored her, but there weren’t so many people who knew her well. When she got cancer of the breast, that cancer spread viciously, and entered into her spine and into her organs and just crippled her. It was such a ferocious case of cancer that the doctors said, “There is absolutely nothing that anyone can do. You have six months to live, maximum.” She was practically paralyzed from the waist down. She was in a wheelchair. According to the medical analysis, she was racked with pain. Yet, she was always smiling, always encouraging and making everyone happy. It was so phenomenal. How blissful she was! How positive she was! The local television station heard about it. They met her and they had never seen anything like this in their life. I saw that television show too. It was a half hour program and it was incredible. The hostess was just praising her. Kuntidevi was talking to people and giving lectures about the beauty of life, the beauty of bhakti, and the good fortune of anyone who has Krishna. The hostess asked her, “How could you be so happy when you are in such a condition?” She replied, “Because I know I am the soul, I am eternal, this body is just a temporary situation and this situation is bringing my soul closer to God. Therefore I am rejoicing and I am happy.” According to the doctor’s diagnosis, her physical symptoms and everything else was utterly hopeless and miserable except one thing—her consciousness. I happened to have the fortune of being at her bedside when she left the world. She was surrounded by loving devotees chanting the holy names and she just lovingly gave her heart and her life to Krishna in a totally positive, grateful and happy state. Now, you cannot get that consciousness even from the best psychologist or psychiatric. They can do good to a certain extent, but a really true and deep positive attitude in life comes by knowledge and realization of the eternal blissful nature of the soul, the all attractive, all merciful, beautiful nature of God, our relationship with God and the beautiful and wonderful opportunities to serve God that we have at every moment.
CONVERSATION SRI SRIMAD A.C BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA AND REPORTER
Reporter: Does "surrender" mean that someone would have to leave his family?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No.
Reporter: But suppose I were to become an initiate. Wouldn't I have to come and live in the temple?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Not necessarily.
Reporter: I can stay at home?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Reporter: What about work? Would I have to give up my job?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, you'd simply have to give up your bad habits and chant the Hare Kṛiṣhṇa mantra on these beads—that's all.
Reporter: Would I have to give any financial support?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, that is your voluntary wish. If you give, that's all right. And if you don't, we don't mind. We do not depend on anyone's financial contribution. We depend on Kṛiṣhṇa.
Reporter: I wouldn't have to give any money at all?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No.
Reporter: Is this one of the main things that distinguish the genuine guru from the fake guru?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, a genuine guru is not a businessman. He is a representative of God. Whatever God says, the guru repeats. He does not speak otherwise.
Source: Srila Prabhupada Interview
Guru has come down from Krishna's abode. He holds out one end of a rope known as the prema-bhakti-sūtra,the rope of prema bhakti. One end is tied to the lotus feet of Krishna. With the other end of that rope guru has come down here. You are in the deep, dark well,andha-kūpa, the well of material existence, suffering, suffering, suffering, crying, crying, crying. You are in need of a lift out. Guru's heart bleeds seeing your suffering. He says, "Oh, you want a lift? Yes, I will help you. I'm dropping this rope to you." He gives you this instruction, "Grasp the rope very tightly. No leniency, no slackness should be there. Not even 0.1 percent slackness should be there. Very tightly grasp it so I can pull you up." That is guru's business. Guru has to spend gallons and gallons of spiritual blood for it. It is not an easy task. It is a very difficult task to take out even one conditioned soul from the fort of māyā. You cannot understand. There is a saying: A barren woman doesn't understand how painful it is to give birth to a child. Similarly, a guru knows how difficult it is to takeout one soul from the fort of māyā. It is a very dif cult task. Guru has to spend gallons and gallons of spiritual blood to do it. It is said that just as it is very difficult to get a sad-guru, a bonafide guru, similarly it is very difficult to get a sat-śiṣya, a bona de disciple.by Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja (Darshan in Paris. 11 August 1991)