Once there was a very learned Guru who was asked by his disciple: “Guru Maharaja, how can we know what pleases Krishna the most?”
The spiritual master answered, “Go to the burning ghat and offend the dead.”
At this the disciple went to the burning ghat and looked for some corpses which were being prepared for cremation.
Then he offended them by saying, “You have wasted your life. Never was there a time when you spend your days remembering and praising Hari.
You are all total failures, materially and spiritually, and so on.”
When he returned, his Guru asked him, “So what did the dead people answer?”
The disciple was surprised at this question and answered, “well Guru Maharaja, these people are dead, they can not answer a thing.”
“Very Good! Now go back to the ghat again and praise them!”
So the disciple went back and praised the dead and after some time when he returned,
the Guru asked once more, “So what did they say this time?”
As before, the disciple was surprised, “but Guru Maharaja, they are dead, they can not respond to my praises.”
The Guru by now had prepared his disciple for this instruction, “Just as they did not answer your praises or offenses, when you do hear praise or infamy from ordinary people you should not become inflated with vanity nor should you become deflated by their discouragement. In this way, you shall become content both in happiness and in distress whilst always fixing upon your spiritual goal come what may. This is how you can please and praise the Lord.”
And, sometimes in the absence of great saints living close to us, we can simply ask that spiritual master within the core of our hearts what we really ought to do.