What are the qualification of a shishya? It is said in the scriptures that upadesa or instruction should not be given to the
1) The Covetus
2) The Mislery
3 The Fickle-Minded.
4) A person without devotion fo faith
5) One who does not care to render service to guru.
There are incidents in Baba's life to show how he adopted disciples. On one ocassion a rich man with Rs.250 in his pocket had heard that Baba could impart Brahmajana to any one he chose and would not demand payment for the upadesa. He engaged a carriage from the railway station to shirdi and back. On arrival at shirdi he told the carriage driver he would be back in few hours and went into the mosque and saw Baba . He told Baba he had come for Brahmajana and wanted it immediately as though it was a parcel to be handed over across a counter in a shop. Baba told him he understood his need and asked a boy who was near him to get a loan of Rs. 5 from a moneylender on his behalf. The boy returned after a few minutes saying that the moneylender was not to be found. The boy was again sent with a similar demand to some other moneylenders and he came back with the same reply - not to be found. In this way half an hour had elapsed and the rich visitor was getting impatient and afraid that the carriage driver would not demand for the delay. He thought of lending the money Baba wanted but was not sure if it could be recovered and so he gave up that idea. He then asked Baba why he was delaying giving him UPadesa. Baba asked him :'' Have you understood nothing? I have been all the while trying to impress you with Brahmajana.You see, i want five things surrendered to me. The five are manas (mind) buddhi( reason), ahankar (ego), chitta (thought) and will. unless a man thoroughly surrenders himself and is free from the love of money and love of worldly things he cannot attain Brahmajnana. When the dawn comes there will be light and not earlier. The visitor then realised that Baba had read his mind and that he was to avaricious ever to get Brahmajnana.
For Baba , two things necessary for a good shishya were " Nishta" (faith) and "Saburi "(patience). Baba said his guru asked him for dakshina of two paise and when he gave the coin to him he was satisfied. Explaining nishta Baba said no progress could be made by any shishya who had no faith in his guru or in the scriptures, vedic mantras, etc. No guru would accept a sishya eho lacked the proper attitude and spirit and betrayed lack of faith. Unless a man had the necessary humility he could not approach the guru. A guru had to test a newcomer to make sure that he had or would soon have sufficient humility and respectivity. If one did not have sufficient faith in his guru he would not accept the guru said. It has been said that mantras do not bear fruit unless the one who chants them has faith in him.