Qualifications of the Good Disciple

Murti of Vedanta Deshika

There seems to have been a great deal of interest in my last post about guruship, so here’s another from a similar period of Vaishnava history. Its by Sri Vedanta Deshika (1268-1387) and it appears in the Sishyakrityadhikara section of the Srimad Rahasyatrayasara, one of his most important works. This piece is about the qualities required of the good disciple.

Six Essential Qualifications for a Good Disciple

1. The disciple should have the highest devotion for his preceptor

2. The wise disciple spreads the good name and fame of his preceptor to others.

3. The good disciple takes care of the guru’s property and his posessions.

4. The good disciple protects his guru’s teachings with a view to transferring them to a worthy disciple of his own.

5. The good disciple is always grateful to his guru.

6. The good disciple leads a pure life untainted by wrong habits and practises. Indeed, he should have the eight virtues of the soul spoken of by the sage Gautama:
Compassion, Patience, Contentment, Purity, Earnest Endeavour, Noble Thoughts, Absence of Greed, Absence of Envy


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