Friday, August 11, 2006

The Guru

In this day and age, we have so many people claiming to be spiritual masters and so many more following them, that its very difficult to discern who is real and who isn’t. But then again, I’ve asked myself, have I grown enough spiritually to be able to discern the wheat from the chaff? The answer is a very simple “No”.  I don’t have any answers, only a lot of questions.  Ultimately, I think each Guru has a “something” that resonates with certain people but may not resonate with certain others. So, to each his own. Just because you don’t believe or do not vibe with a certain “Guru” is not sufficient reason to conclude that he or she is fake.  He/she just may not be right for you, that’s all. On the other hand, there are certain others who do take advantage of unsuspecting, innocent followers in ways that would put even a criminal to shame! At all times, with all people, in all situations, I think the golden rule is to quiet your mind, be still, and reach within to your own inner voice, your own inner “guru”, as all the answers are already within. Then why, you may ask, do you need an outer guru? Maybe just to awaken the guru within!!

Here’s something I read recently, that made a lot of sense (there’s just one point I disagree with, the one on transference of power). The writer is “anonymous”, so I can’t give credit where it’s due.

Characteristics of a “Master”

* A Master never directs attention to himself. He is egoless.
* A Master’s very presence radiates power.
* Unconditional love is a basic quality of a Master. A Master never judges, is always impersonal, detached and yet compassionate.
* A Master, though possessing some or all spiritual and psychic powers renounces their use except for emergencies and urgencies. He, therefore will hardly ever reveal to anyone that he has them.
* A Master never commands he simply suggests, he never instills fear but awakens courage. He never makes you feel bad about yourself; on the contrary, he helps you build self-esteem.
* As a rule, a Master never predicts a person’s future and he never flatters the human ego.
* A Master is universal and non-sectarian in his attitudes. He sees all men as an expression of the Supreme, regardless of their religious leanings, their color, race, sex, etc.
* A true Master is creatively original. Being enlightened by his own divine essence a Master would teach or even write books directly from his heart and own experience. He would never plagiarize the work of another or teach things that are outmoded.
* Masters do not argue. They know that no amount of argument would convince the skeptic, and to those who are true seekers no argument would be necessary.
* A true Master does not hasten a student’s psychic growth prematurely by any “transference” of power. He always predominately concentrates upon raising the consciousness, improving character, spirituality, and increasing the wisdom and the understanding of his students.
* Perhaps one of the most outstanding and admirable characteristics of Spiritual Masters is that they do not consider themselves Masters. This is their humility. They know that they still have a considerable amount of things to master and learn. They are so aware that they are still undergoing the learning process that they are embarrassed to call themselves “Masters” or have anyone else call them that. In performing their divine and spiritual duties Spiritual Masters declare: “It is not I that works, but the ‘God’ within me.”    


Amit said...

Hi Kary. Some interesting thoughts there. I heard a very simple definition once, a very long time ago, of what a master is, I think it was in the "conversations with god" books. It goes: "A true master is one who makes others into masters."

Antarananda said...

Satsang is "company of Truth", not company of a human personality. Satsang with any enlightened Master only propels one further on the path to Realization. In fact, even if the teacher is not enlightened, your absolute trust and surrender can liberate you!

With a bonafide enlightened Master, the key is to remain open without conditioning of the mind; to resonate with the truth, the pure unadulterated jnana and love of which the Master or Guru is the embodied form.

Instead of focusing on personality traits, or words or actions, which may or may not appeal to your ego (be in accordance with your notions of likes and dislikes in the relative plane), remaining in silent awareness in his/her presence is the best way to awaken to higher consciousness and light. That is how transmission of wisdom happens (in my own experience with being around a few great, genuinely enlightened, compassionate beings).

I once had posted this quote from a Master on my blog:

"Surrender to Guru Process.
Don't be subservient to guru personality.
Be available to Guru Process.
Don't be attached to guru personality"

It takes courage to leap before we look, and to surrender to a living Guru, instead of waiting for the romanticized version that we entertain in our minds to show up in our lives. That will never happen.

Even the greatest enlightened Masters of yore, like Ramakrishna, had human traits and personalities that were often obnoxious, endearing and guileless, all at once! Attuning with the truth is learning to love the divine essence behind the human form.

As said here on this blog that I read:

"You may want to throw yourself at your Guru's feet, fall into your Guru's arms, and run away all at the same time."

Ultimately, while Gurus are many, the SatGuru is only one. The mere sight of a SatGuru in human form is enough to kindle a burning, feverishly intense love of God and a dispassion for all other trivialties of the world that defies all reason and common sense. That sort of burning love is alone capable of liberating an aspirant from samsara.