Do you like giving advice? Do you get a rush of adrenaline and importance? Perhaps it makes you feel useful and valued. Or perhaps it allows you to step out of your own shoes and into someone else's for a few seconds or minutes. Whatever the reason may be, and I'm sure there are millions, the majority of people like to give advice. Few like to receive it. :) It's even been said that if you want to win someone over, all you need to do is ask for advice.
In a world where everyone thinks they have the answers it's actually the ultimate coup for someone to ask for advice for it signifies that the advisor knows more than the askee.
Of course most people know that's it's definitely easier to dish it out than to take it. We've all been there. It's always seems so easy to fix someone else's problems than our own. But what we don't realize is that as aspiring bhakti yogis that there is more to this scenario than meets the eye.
Especially as bhakti yogis, we often are placed in the position of advisors. Since the devotees are kind, compassionate and wish they best for all, others will naturally gravitate towards them. But beware, it's also a test.
Recently I was listening to a lecture by HH Radhanath Swami where he said that has seen numerous examples of this scenario where bhakti yogis have given advice. But here's the catch. Anytime they have given any kind of advice, Krsna has put those persons in a similar, if not exact same situation. Why? Because Krsna is not looking to see if we can just dish out good advice. He wants to make sure that we can walk our talk. If we gave some bhakti-centric advice, Krsna wants to make sure that we also recognize and actively implement that same advice when it applies in our own life.
The devotee is meant to be a role model. What good is a role model that just talks very nicely and never does anything themselves? In fact, real potency or ability to affect others, comes when someone practices what they speak.
So be ready! If you act in a role of an advisor, or confidante or friend or mentor keep your eyes open. Whatever wonderful advice you dispense to others, make sure that you pay attention yourself. The time when you may need to use it yourself maybe coming up sooner than you think.