(Arjuna submitting to Krishna)
"So Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa, they are two friends, but friendly talking does not come to any conclusion. Therefore, Arjuna knew that 'Kṛṣṇa, although He is my friend, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.' He knew it. Therefore, he selected Him as his spiritual master: 'So we are not going to talk anymore as friends. Now I know that You can dissipate all my ignorance because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So I accept You as my spiritual master.' Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). 'I am now your śiṣya, disciple.'
Disciple means who voluntarily accepts the spiritual master to be..., regulate. Disciple means one who is regulated by higher authority. He is disciple. The higher authority is called the spiritual master, and the person who voluntarily submits to him for being regulated, he is called disciple. Everyone is very much puffed up. This is material condition. Even the most insignificant person, he thinks of himself as very important. Nobody wants to submit to anyone. This propensity is very prominent in this age, Kali-yuga.
Therefore it is called Kali-yuga, means disagreement. 'Why shall I accept your proposition? I am also independent, I can think independently.' This is the general propensity. But to understand the transcendental subject matter, one has to become submissive. That is the first qualification because the disease is that nobody is submissive. Nobody wants to be lower than anybody else. Although he is insignificant, he has no value, but still—this is called māyā—he thinks himself to be very elevated, learned.
So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching people to become submissive to the authority. That is the beginning of knowledge. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). If you want to learn the transcendental subject matter which is beyond the scope of your thinking, feeling and willing... Mental speculation means thinking, feeling and willing, psychology. But subject matter which is beyond your thinking. So God or anything about God is beyond the limit of our thinking, speculation. Therefore, we have to learn it submissively. Tad viddhi praṇipātena, praṇipāta means submission. Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa nipāta. Nipāta means submission. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena. First of all find out somebody where you can fully surrender. Then you enquire about transcendental subject matter.
Just like Arjuna is following strictly. He has first of all submitted to Kṛṣṇa. Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam: 'My dear Kṛṣṇa, we are talking friendly, so on equal level. So You will speak something, and I shall speak something. In this way we shall simply waste our time, and there will be no conclusion. Therefore, I submit as disciple. Whatever You will say, I will accept.'
This is the first condition. First of all find out such person whom, upon whom you have full faith that whatever he will say, you will accept. That is guru. If you think that you know better than your guru, then there is no use. First of all you find out the person that one who is better than you. Then you submit. Therefore the rules and regulation are that nobody should accept blindly any guru, and nobody should blindly accept any disciple. They must behave, one another, at least for one year so that the prospective disciple can also understand, 'whether I can accept this person as my guru,' and the prospective guru also can understand, 'whether this person can become my disciple.' This is the instruction by Sanātana Gosvāmī in his Hari-bhakti-vilāsa."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Miami, February 25, 1975)