Why Did Uddhava Refuse To Become The Spiritual Master of Vidura? By His Divine Grace A .C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vidura was older than Uddhava, like a father, and therefore when the two met, Uddhava bowed down before Vidura, and Vidura embraced him because Uddhava was younger, like a son. Vidura’s brother Pandu was Lord Krishna’s uncle, and Uddhava was a cousin to Lord Krishna. According to social custom, therefore, Vidura was to be respected by Uddhava on the level of his father. Uddhava was a great scholar in logic, and he was known to be a son or disciple of Brihaspati, the greatly learned priest and spiritual master of the demigods. Vidura wanted to accept Uddhava as his spiritual master, but Uddhava did not accept the post because Vidura was as old as Uddhava’s father and therefore Uddhava could not accept him as his disciple, especially when Maitreya was present nearby. The rule is that in the presence of a higher personality one should not be very eager to impart instructions, even if one is competent and well versed. So Uddhava decided to send an elderly person like Vidura to Maitreya, another elderly person, but he was well versed also because he was directly instructed by the Lord while He was about to quit this mortal world.
Since both Uddhava and Maitreya were directly instructed by the Lord, both had the authority to become the spiritual master of Vidura or anyone else, but Maitreya, being elderly, had the first claim to becoming the spiritual master, especially for Vidura, who was much older than Uddhava. One should not be eager to become a spiritual master cheaply for the sake of profit and fame, but should become a spiritual master only for the service of the Lord.
The Lord never tolerates the impertinence of maryādā-vyatikrama. One should never pass over the honor due to an elderly spiritual master in the interests of one’s own personal gain and fame. Impertinence on the part of the pseudo spiritual master is very risky to progressive spiritual realization.
— Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) » Canto 3: The Status Quo » Chapter1: Questions by Vidura » Verse: 25 and Chapter 4: Vidura Approaches Maiteya » Verse: 26 Purport·