This is an older article written by Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu. I like re-reading the articles written by Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu, as he has a very good appreciation for the potency and attributes of Srila Prabhupada.
By Rupanuga das (ACBSP)
Mar 21, FLORIDA, USA (SUN)
The primary test of a devotee’s speech or behavior is whether he/she is being a transparent medium for Srila Prabhupada, i.e., exactly in the disciplic succession. But, buyer beware! It is said that one must know something about gold before purchasing it in the marketplace. Otherwise, it is most certain one will be cheated. Unfortunate is the person who accepts someone as an authority on bhakti-yoga without testing for gold.
The following article compiled by Ananda devi dasi, has always been one of my favorites. She has captured the essence of the relationship between the disciple and spiritual master in a very scholarly or academic way.
by Ananda devi dasi
May 12 2009, UK
In Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 we read: “The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of Vani. Physical presence is called Vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.”
Srila Prabhupada makes it crystal clear that after the disappearance of the Spiritual Master, the disciple follows the instructions of the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master left His instructions in the form of Books, verbal instructions, letters, tapes, videos, all these are instructions from the Spiritual Master,Vani.