What is the dharma of a disciple? How should he behave? It is a bit difficult to answer this. A disciple is obviously the one who has all the virtues. But, that is not enough. We have to answer the questions. Else, there is no use. The most important and greatest virtue is devotion towards Guru. This is what we must understand. To understand the virtues of disciples, we must learn about the story of Uttanka.
Uttanka was one of the disciples of sage Veda. He completed his education by devoutly serving his Guru. Now it is time for him to enter into Grihasthashrama from Gurukula. He prayed and asked his Guru about the Guru dakshina he wanted. Guru says that he does not need any Guru dakshina because Uttanka had finished his education with great devotion and that itself is like dakshina to him. But, because Uttanka insisted further, Guru tells him to ask his wife and bring whatever she asked for. That will be the Guru dakshina that he can offer. The wife of Guru says that she wanted the ear rings of the wife of King Paukshya within four days. Here comes the problem! He should have gone to his home directly after completion of the education. He had to struggle for this. Uttanka went straight away to the queen and requested her to give the ear rings. The queen agreed but cautioned while giving the rings that Takshaka – the king of Nāgās will snatch them away if he sees them. Uttanka while coming on his way stopped near a river for bath. He kept the ear rings on the floor. Takshaka came in the guise of a sage and took them away. Uttanka understood that it is Takshaka who took away the ear rings. Uttanka started digging the earth to find him. He did so for many hours. Pleased with his devotion on the Guru, Indra and other gods appeared in front of him and blessed him with Vajrayudha. With the help of that, Uttanka went down till pātāla loka (the world below Earth), re-obtained the ear rings and gave them as dakshina to the wife of his Guru. This is a very big story that tells us about devotion on Guru.
The devotion and commitment towards Guru is as equally important as the education that one pursues near him. Only then, he will be successful. In fact, devotion is more important than the education. Our devotion must be at least equal to the amount of education one obtains. Such an education alone will be meaningful. What is the use of education that is devoid of devotion and commitment towards Guru? Uttanka would not have gone to patala loka. Indra and other gods tested him and his devotion. Finally, they helped him go to patala loka. Else, he would not have gone at all. This story is a proof which tells us that only when there is devotion and concentration on Guru, the education will carry any meaning.
Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!