Krishna tests us like an examiner, while Nitaichand acts like a Guru. One may ask, what is the difference? An examiner is always neutral. They test rigidly according to the requirements to ensure we have acquired the necessary skills and are up to the mark before they can pass us. There is no partiality. It is like a judge sitting in a courtroom. Krishna is Nyayadhish, as Jagannath das Babaji has said. He will first make sure we are qualified before granting us the benediction of pure devotional service. Of course He is merciful, but there is still consideration as Srila Prabhupada has said. If He is going to give Himself away to someone, He must first make sure that person is worthy.
Now a Guru may also test but his testing is different. It is not like an examiner, it is as a teacher. An examiner will pass or fail the person, but the teacher takes full responsibility of the student. At every step the teacher is with the student. The student would be handicapped without the teacher’s teachings and guidance.
The teacher not only prepares the student for the examination, he continues to help and push them until they make it! Even if the student fails, the teacher does not simply say, “Alright, better try next time!” He takes special notice of the student’s weak points and then accepts the initiative to help clear them away. The teacher personally assists the student in overcoming their shortcomings. Their guidance and inspiration is there at every step. Moreover, the teacher is never neutral. Every teacher passionately wants their student to be successful. An examiner may also desire for the candidate to be successful, but the teacher personally makes sure that eventually it comes to pass. It is a very personal thing.
So Guru is like that. If he tests, it is only with the intention of preparing us and making us better. But there’s nothing to fear in such tests, it is only for our betterment. Nitai acts as our Guru. He does not simply bombard us with exams and then see whether we will pass them, he holds our finger and walks us through the process. This is not surprising, since He is Adi Guru. And the truth is that we will pass Krishna’s exams only if Nitai prepares us and grants us His favor first.
And that is also what Krishna desires. Krishna does not want us to approach Him directly. It is very risky and impudent on the part of fallen, unqualified souls like us. Krishna wants us to approach Him via the shelter of His pure devotee. And who is a greater devotee of Krishna than Nitai?
ashraya loiya bhaje, tahe krsna nahi tyaje
aar saba mare akarane
Nitaisevak ganer seva abhilashi,