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Topic: Gurus and followers. In recent years, there has been a lot of controversy regarding certain spiritual organizations and the actions of both their leaders and followers. This has lead to a lot of doubt, confusion and even disillusionment. Mohanji has received many mails pertaining to the subject of Gurus and followers. This post addresses some of the issues raised. Hope it gives you clarity.
“A student threw a stone at his teacher. The teacher was hurt and hospitalised. The head of the institution asked the student’s parents to present themselves for a discussion on disciplinary actions to be taken against the student. The parents appeared on time. The first thing the principal asked the student’s father was “Do you throw stones at your superiors?” The perplexed father said “Well, of course not”. The principal asked again “If you have that much wisdom, then why is your son behaving in this way?”
The point here is, all of us are individuals. Every being is Unique. We all have our own expressions and personal style. We are inimitable in that way. But, society is often two dimensional. When we do something seemingly wrong, irrespective of our reasons for these actions, society will blame our upbringing for that. They will blame our parents, grandparents and even our clan, on some occasions.
Likewise, we have seen or heard many spiritual masters in our life time, both alive and departed. We have also seen or witnessed their followers. Some of them are extremely fanatic and some are moderate, considerate or more tolerant. Yet, we, as society look at their expressions and judge their alive or departed Guru. Am I right? Do we not judge a Guru based on the expressions of his disciples? Are we right in doing so?
The Guru could well be enlightened and might be a total renunciate. His disciple might be a pretender or just another seeker of knowledge carrying a big baggage of sundry desires, dreams and aspirations of making it big in life. He may choose to use the name of a famous guru in order to satisfy his personal desires. Do you think the Guru asked him to do that? Do you think he is reflecting the Guru’s teaching? Do you think that we can blame the Guru for all the actions of his followers? The answer is a BIG and categorical “NO”.
Just like the father of the student was helpless in that given situation, every Guru is helpless in the case of his or her followers. What can a Guru do, if his disciple chooses to mis-interpret or deliberately twist the Guru’s teachings for his personal advantage? This is especially so when the mission grows and the Guru becomes a public figure. He is even more vulnerable. People approach him with multiple interests. Some come in search of guidance and to seek liberation. They are sincere seekers and a big rarity. Some come to obtain a mantra to achieve instant success, which is more common. Some come to see how he operates, which will help them set up their own shop at some point in time. There are many like this. They are collectors. They are after transferable knowledge and not non-transferable experience from the Guru. Some come to test the Guru. Some to compare one Guru with another, and to judge, criticize or ridicule. Some come because of simple things such as they like the food in the ashram or because their spouse cannot cook well. Some come to escape from their nagging realities. Some come because the girl or boy they love visits this Guru. Likewise, different reasons for different folks!!!
As one famous model or actress said to a famous Guru “Your Holiness, I want to sleep with you.” The saint smiled and said, “Why sleep, my darling? I am trying to wake the sleeping people up!!!”. On this occasion, for the model, it is another feather in her cap, “I have also slept with a holy man!!!”. This could possibly give a morale boost for her public standing and her socio-commercial positioning. She may gain more space in the gossip columns and may attain more press coverage. For the Guru, it is usually scandalizing. He may get ruined. His reputation may get tarnished. This is especially so, if the Guru has worked hard to maintain uniformity in his image or cultivated an image of invincibility!!! For those who do not care about their public image, nothing matters.
How can the Guru help all the reasons of his disciples? He can only stay neutral at all times. Terrestrial entanglements are not worth it. Great saints may have become involved from time to time, but for specific reasons and purposes. For example Vyasa, Vishwamitra etc.
Whatever rises, must fall. This is the way earth’s gravitational forces work. Nothing can stay in the air for more than a reasonable time. No bird can stay in the air forever. It must rest its wings some time. So, if we expect happiness and upliftment all the time, it cannot happen. We have to go through the dualities of existence until we die. Or, until we are not worried about or bound by terrestrial sensory objects in order to find our fulfillment. If we are self- sufficient, that means, sufficiently established in self, we will be established in perpetual happiness.
Do not judge or criticise anyone – let alone a Guru or a spiritual teacher, because we do not or cannot know and understand anyone fully, nor do we know their karmic configuration which provokes their thoughts, words and actions. Ahimsa is the best path. Perfect Non Violence in thoughts, words and action. Do not judge a father by looking at his son. Do not judge any Guru by looking at his or her disciples. Guru can give only as much as a disciple can carry with him. If Guru is a flowing river and disciple has the capacity to carry only one glass of water, can we judge the guru’s capacity as one glass of water? Here, the disciple can publicly express his Guru’s stature only within his capacity and understanding, which is only one glass!!.
Please understand this clearly. Guru is often limitless. Followers usually have tremendous limitations. Guru will indeed try to strengthen them to enhance their capacity. It is like body building. You cannot lift the weight beyond your initial or actual capacity, even if your instructor asks you to take or try more weight. Your instructor may lift the weight easily because of his experience. You have to work everyday and slowly increase your capacity. You need faith, tenacity, consistency, application and dedication. Same with spirituality. You cannot understand the consciousness of a Guru, overnight. It takes time and it definitely takes patience. Gurus exist in a much higher realm and the higher they go, the less street-smart they become. Their operational medium becomes unconditional love. When they cross over to spiritual realms and establish there, they stop depending on their body, mind and intellect. I am talking about sadgurus, the great masters. Acharyas are doing it for money. That is a different story.
So, do not judge a Guru based on the expressions of a disciple who operates with his limited body, mind and intellect. Live and Let Live.
Q: Living in the presence of enlightened masters have been given so much importance in the Dattatreya, Kriya as well as Siddha tradition. In fact, all the tradition recommends living near a master. What is your opinion?
Ans: I have split your question into two. Both are good questions and most relevant in today’s time. It is true that the presence of a living master has a purgating, purifying effect in a receptive disciple. If the disciple is not receptive, even if the highest master is near him, it will not benefit him. Individual receptivity and eligibility or capacity for absorption is the key to gain maximum benefit from the proximity of a Guru.
The presence of a true Master is like the fire keeping the tamas of cold away, when you sit near the fire. The tejus of a true master will keep the Tamas away, the most detrimental factor in the spiritual progress. This helps the disciple to evolve faster. The proximity of the master is also a constant reminder to a worthy disciple. In his energy field, situations melt and the events flow through life, effortlessly. A true master can see and understand the constitution of a disciple and delivers only what he can consume. Wastage never happens. The same medicine cannot cure all diseases. A true guru will only prescribe the medicine the disciple actually needs, irrespective of whether it is sweet or bitter. When the intention is pure, then, the medicine works. Unshakeable Faith of the disciple in his guru is the key here. Shaking, wavering or shifting faith cannot bring clear results, just like if you keep shaking the glass, milk cannot be poured without spillage into it. So, living with a saint has its unique value. But, do not imitate the saint who has already attained enlightenment. Allow him to be himself and follow only his directions and teachings, without judging his attitude and behavior. Leave him alone and be yourself. Live and let live. 🙂
Q: I would like to know the most effective method of Shaktipat? Who can give saktipat? What is the criteria and I have read that one of the sign of a true Datta master is his ability to change one’s consciousness through delivering saktipat. Am I right?
Ans: You are right. The most effective Shaktipat happens in the presence of a real Guru. Many spiritual paths and masters use the technique of direct transfer of consciousness or at least energy. This is not only pertaining to the Datta tradition. Great Shaktipat happens in the presence and energy field of a true master. Introversion, silence of mind and surrender is a must, in a disciple, to attain it. An agitated and questioning mind, ego, analysis etc will close the doors of your receptivity. Just the master’s presence, look, eye contact let alone touch, will deliver what the disciple needs. It is like water flowing spontaneously from a hill to a lower land. In the presence of a true master, saktipat constantly happens. There is no need to get stuck with the word “Shaktipat”. Call it merger of consciousness, energy transfer, or cleansing energy or whatever you like. Words have lesser meaning in this context and effect is more important. Indeed, Datta tradition believes in Shaktipat or purification by a Master. A True Master can deliver Shaaktipat and all those whom he has empowered can also deliver saktipat. When those initiated take it lightly, or lose their purity, or mis-use it let alone scandalize it, the Siddhi comes back to the Master. Initiation into Shaktipat is just like re producing oneself in another. The initated has to become the initiator to perform, while delivering it. As I said, purity is very important and mixing and experimenting it with other methods, does not help. It even takes away the effect of Shaktipat.
A true master can deliver Shaktipat where ever the disciple is, irrespective of their physical proximity. Shaktipat can be delivered by a True Master through his third eye, look or touch. There are many occasions, in some paths, where Shaktipat, energy transfers, or initiations are done in waist-deep water, near fire, or even naked in burial grounds. In some method, depending on the level of blockage of a disciple, Masters deliver shaktipat straight at the Mooladhara chakra, or the space between the scrotum and anus, to jump start the dormant energy. These can be done only by True Masters who know exactly what they are doing. Otherwise, the blockage will get transfered to the one who performs it, which could be quite traumatic and binding.There are many methods. This is only for the academic interest that I have mentioned here. Mis-using of such powers will take it away from the user. It needs extreme internal purity, to deliver with perfection. In Datta tradition, the compassionate Masters remove many karmic blockages of all those who approach them through even a glance, applying vibhooti on their third eye, or by aashirvaad or through touch. It does change the consciousness of the receiver. It removes blockages existing in their system since life times.
Q: People hesitate to feed the poor and hungry, but they shower their riches at the feet of Gurus and in some temples. I cannot understand this. Why is God so cruel?
Ans: You are talking about people and why do you drag God into this arguement? Leave God alone. He is truth. He is compassion. He is benevolence. But, He allows you to choose your character, habits and constitution, and allows you to be natural. Has He ever interfered with your ugliest of thoughts? So, God is objective and impartial.
Now, people give money only for purposes that will benefit them in some way. Every investment has an expectation behind it. They want salvation, redemption from their sins, marriage of their daughter, removal of a damaging partner, so on and so forth. They approach Gurus and temples for this purpose. They give money there. True Gurus and Gods need no money. This is ideally recycled back into the society for the benefit of the poor and the hungry. This is the grand collaboration. Gurus and Gods collect the money offered at their feet and they deliver it back to the ailing mass, and use it for the betterment of the poor, needy and hungry, for the birds and animals etc. If this works this way, it is beautiful. Sometimes, greed interferes and the Gurus use it for expressing personal pomposity. They fall. When selfishness takes root, people fall, irrespective of their social standing. We have seen it happening all around us, many times over. Hope you understood this concept clearly.
Wish You the highest awareness.
Wish You Peace and Love,
Topics: Living fully in the present; Understanding Success and Failure. This week, Mohanji gave clarity to many aspects of our everyday life. He just held up a mirror to ourselves, for us to see who we are, what are we doing and where we stand in life!!!…Kindly read on.
Q. It feels like time is rushing past, like I’m always on the go. I have too much to do and so much on my mind. I am also witnessing a wide array of emotions – up, down, up, down, like a rollercoaster. What does it mean really to live fully in the present?
“A: Today. This moment. That is all we have. This moment is our property. We are custodians of this moment. We cannot own anything. We can only use this moment. We can live this moment using our intellect or our emotions. If we use our intellect, we save ourselves from further agonies. If we use this moment emotionally, we invite further agonies associated with emotions. We do not know our tomorrows. What will happen? Who knows? We assume that everything will be fine. We assume that all the people whom we love will be with us. We assume everything. Does our assumption become right all the time?
So, Live today. Love today. Live this moment to the fullest. Live this moment without Guilt, fear or anxiety. Live this moment fully, with the clear understanding that we do not own our morrows. The sun is shining today. The dew drops are glittering. Nature is beautiful. Enjoy it today. Do not sit inside the walls of your own mind, nurturing your fears, anxieties and sad thoughts. Get out of your cage and enjoy the nature today, just like an innocent child. Inhale the fragrance of the flowers in the garden. Sing with the birds. Relish the love and protection of the mighty trees. Feel the grandeur of the mountains. Adopt the persistence of the waves of the oceans. Enjoy the soothing love of the caressing moonlight. Be blissful with Nature and feel your blessings. Divinity is in its full regalia, all around you. Look around. FEEL. So, Live today and Love today.
Maybe what we did today hurt someone unintentionally. We are humans. We make mistakes. Correct it, apologise and move on. Whether the other person accepted your apology at that point in time or not, does not matter. You apologised sincerely and you move on. Others will understand you and follow your sincere love sooner or later. Expectation leads to sorrows. Never expect. Never mind. Do not postpone a word or an action. Live today and Love today.
Maybe my moves were all wrong today. I could not perform well today. It does not matter. When you understand and recognize the wrong moves you made, you also recognize what is right. Understanding is important. Corrective steps are spontaneous. Remember, life is all about the experiences. Everything is about experiences. Nothing else but experiences. Enjoy each experience without guilt. Never blame yourself. You are a human being. Human beings tend to err. A child falls many times before it learns to walk. It must keep trying, ignoring the falls, otherwise, it will never walk. A child is ignorant that the society considers falls as failures. It is blissfully unaware of that. A small child fortunately remains unconditioned by the society till it reaches a few years on earth. If we ignore consciously, or if we are unconsciously ignorant that failures of life are unacceptable to the society, life is smooth. Ignoring failures with full awareness is a beautiful state indeed.
Success and failure are part of our existence. Accept your mistakes gracefully and walk boldly towards the next opportunity to test your mettle once again. Nobody is ever a failure. The other side of success is failure. Failure leads to success, just like pride over success, and the associated ego, definitely leads to failure. So, live your failure and success with ease today, love it today.
Maybe I feel sick today. I will be fine tomorrow. Maybe I indulged in food today. No problem, be careful tomorrow. Accept today as it is. Do not judge or criticise.
Live today, Love today.
We never know about our tomorrows.”
Q. How can I bounce back from failure without harming myself?
“A: Remember that Ego brings you to an artificial world. For example, you fought hard, you did so many things and it all became successful. You became successful, and so you naturally developed an ego. Yes, you are reasonably successful, you are a successful person, you have made money, you have riches. These were all events or situations that rapidly enhanced your ego. Ego then leads to expectations. It leads to firm conditioning. You start telling yourself that you have to be continuously successful, that you cannot be anything but continuously successful, and that you cannot even afford one drop of failure. Failure refers here to the social state, according to the social criteria. You cannot afford the failure, you do not allow it, and if that should happen, then your self esteem goes down. You will start calling yourself a loser. A small loss can mean a lot in that situation. It sometimes even leads to suicide. This is the fall. When your self esteem goes down, fears and anxieties creep in. So, again, you fall back and then you have to climb up. You may need assistance to climb up too. This pulls you down. Sometimes people really fall hard; and sometimes they fall out of the game of life too. Success and Failure should be handled with equanimity. Both are part of the same existence.
Do you see how the chronology of existence works? Success leads to ego, ego leads to expectations and expectations narrow the “walking space” of your path. This means, first of all, the failure side is not acceptable, so you only have the “success” possibility. Life, however, is not like that. Life has both sides. So you cut off all the failure sides, and walk the narrow path of success. If you happen to switch to failure, you have not found permission for that, and you fall out. Sometimes you pull yourself down completely with that. Sometimes, you will even pull your relatives down with this. So, please, accept failure gracefully, and gratefully that it lead you to some new awareness. Tell yourself that this is fine, and this is part of our very existence. No problem. That way you can move on. Otherwise, your self esteem will fall so much and you get very hurt inside. That situation is totally unnecessary. You can counter your failures with awareness that “even this will pass away”.
Secondly, realize that success and failure are determined by … ourselves! Society has nothing to do with it. We judge, criticize and censor ourselves much more than society does and we do not accept failure at all. We think “What will they say? What will “four people” say?” We are worried about “four people”! We then try to modify ourselves to fit inside such limitations, we become bound by the four people (four people being society of course). Oh! What will society think if I am like this? Or, if I have long hair, they will think I’m crazy, so I cut my hair. In this way, we are bound and controlled by “four people”. This is our fundamental cage. We created this cage, with our fears of what others think!!! 🙂 Do we have the guts to live our life? Do we have the guts to be ourselves? If Yes, That is the fundamental shift that will lead you to subsequent liberation.
Indeed, we create several cages, or walls, around ourselves. One is “four people” (Fear related to social standing), one is our own expectations about ourselves and others, one is our non-acceptance of our own reality as it is (we want to accept our reality as we’d like it to be, which is not possible as primarily we have to accept ourselves as we are and before that we should know who and what WE ARE and why we came here.) and the fourth is resistance to changes (resistance to changes always leads to elimination of various kinds from our life and that leads to calamities inside). These essentially make up the walls of our cages. Then of course there are others, such as desires, education, all the conditionings, etc. They are also part of our cage. Everything adds to that “reality”, and finally we end up with no walking space. Sometimes, we pretend we know. This is silly. We do not know and it is better if we accept that. Most easiest way is to pretend. Most of us are living a pretentious life. We fake happiness, we fake love, we fake everything. Finally, we forget the difference between reality and make believe, because we are so used to faking!!! Look at your own daily life. You will know what I mean. Do not kill me for telling the truth… 🙂
We become a victim of the cages that we ourselves created, with the help of our society that believes in cages, so that everyone becomes predictable. We love predictions and predictability. We are used to killing those who were unpredictable, eg: Jesus, Socrates. Our society is rule oriented. Rules that ensure predictability, which in turn restricts our walking space. This is not a joke. Look around. Our society is not creating men. We are only creating BRICKS which are identical!!!
Unfortunately for the society, people are unique, even if they look alike. That is why you sometimes see people behaving in a strange way. They may consume alcohol, drugs or seek strange sexual experiences. They think that this will help liberate them. This is actually escapism. They are feeling so suffocated here, in their current reality. They want to do something else. That is why, unconsciously, people are doing it and you can’t blame them for it. You have to blame the cages they have made for themselves. Otherwise, if you are going to have a drink because you love to have that drink – that’s a different thing. But is that the way people are resorting to alcohol these days? For many, an innocent habit has become an addiction. They are helplessly victims of addictions. Addictions created by ennui and boredom. Addictions created by vacuum. So, are people happy? Mostly not. They are drinking because they want to escape from something else. But, it does not happen. Reality always re-surfaces, in an uglier way than before. People waste a lot of money on dancing girls and such things. What is the benefit? It’s a momentary pleasure. You give money to the dancing girl, she smiles at you and you feel very good. What is the big deal? Some kind of ego satisfaction!!! What are they trying to do here? We are jumping from one cage to another. One habit to another, trying to fill the emptiness within us. The new habit fascinates us for sometime, just like some people marry many times. The new wife fascinates them for sometimes, then they become bored. The quest continues. They never reach anywhere, let alone liberation. Simple Logic. How can you be liberated if you are too bound by hundreds of materials that you continue to fancy? When we try to swap from one habit to another, temporarily we feel fine. This is especially so, when we start on hyper ventilation (Pranayaama) or Yoga. Then, it becomes a habit. It is like buying a new car from the showroom. For a few days, it will be thrilling to drive it. Then it becomes monotonous. Too much dependency on external objects for our internal fulfillment!!!! Food, Films, Wine, Women…Life has got to be more liberating. Right? We are just trying to fill the vacuum due to the absence of a sense object with another. We are afraid of the vacuum within. When we start falling in love with the vacuum, emptiness becomes deep pregnant silence; the silence of the Divine, which leads to detachment and eventual bliss within; and most importantly, we will not be pressured for pleasure anymore. We will not be afraid to be alone. Aloneness will be in beingness. Beingness in bliss. The pressure for doing-ness will change. Doing-ness will become purpose bound. Action for the sake of necessity, not for the quest of external pleasure.
Escaping from their routines, their own cages, people are trying to do something else, and they do not understand that this other thing is merely another trap. All they are doing is jumping from one trap to the other. They are just flying from trap to trap. Liberation is very difficult. Liberation is conscious awareness. There is no conscious awareness here. There are only traps, traps and more traps. You jump from this trap to another, from this habit to another. Even if it is a spiritual habit, it is still a trap. For example “I cannot live without my meditation.” This is a trap. You should be perpetually fine. This is the liberation that we are talking about. Whether you meditate today or not, you feel good. Whether you do yoga today or not, this is fine. Can you be in that mood? That is where you attain your liberation.”
With loving regards,
My dearest Family Members,
Here is another spiritual message from Mohanji, in Q&A format, grounding us in love and possibility. These are random communications. You may find it useful.
With loving regards,
Topic: The spiritual quest in an “information overloaded world”
Q. There is so much information available today on just about every topic imaginable. Sometimes my “analysis”of it all, leads to “paralysis”. How do I know what I need for my spiritual quest?
“A: We are eternal consumers. We consume everything. We keep eating all the time. Most of our discussions are about food of some kind, such as food for the stomach, food for our mind, or food for our intellect. We either fill our stomach with a variety of food, or fill our mind with a variety of emotions, or cram our intellect with a variety of information or ideas.
Most of these “consumables” end up going to waste, since their quantity is usually greater than our capacity to process them. Overeating leads to various types of illnesses. All of us are “crammers” with respect to one or more of these aspects of our existence. Those who do not have any dependency on any of these three aspects are definitely considered as liberated.
Most of the food that the stomach gets to operate on is wasted, or stored as fat for future consumption. Most of the emotions that we carefully, and sometimes even gratefully consume, only tilt the equilibrium of our daily life. We are constantly making webs with our own emotions and we trap ourselves in it. With these emotions, we either get constipated, or we suffer from diarrhea!!!. Most of the food that the intellect consumes is also unused. It is either forgotten or is converted into ego.
Furthermore, we live a self-centered existence as far as food is concerned. We are usually in competition with others. We are in a hurry to cram more. We are proud of our capacities. We are proud of our “vault”. 🙂
The choice is indeed yours. Who are you? What is your choice of expression? Is this the life you have been looking for? When you meet your friends or relatives, what do you normally talk about? Is it about the cuisine in various restaurants, tasty food or the best of wines? Is it about the emotions related to soap operas, about the fight that your neighbours are engaging in/enjoying, or is it about the books that you have read recently, the courses that you attended, some intellectual talk or some Guru’s gospel?
Ultimately though, only you could see where you stand. You are your own guru. If you know where you stand and what your destination is, then the journey is easy. However, if you think that you don’t know, that you don’t understand, or if you pretend to be someone or something, then you are feeding your own ego and your journey will not be easy. So, you must see where you stand. That is the exact point (only point) from where you can start walking. You cannot walk from a different point, unless someone else carries you there. Then, it is not your free will, anyhow.
If you are always thinking and talking about food and restaurants, then you are very much on the terrestrial plane. You are relatively gross in nature. Yes, you could become a “connoisseur” of food. No problem. But still, it is obvious that your operating plane is relatively gross.
If you are operating on the emotional plane, even if you are into social service, unless there is detachment, you are still operating in the denser mode. It is relatively better than the physical gross plane of a consumer of food. But, unless there is detachment in emotions, there cannot be liberation. Tears should well in the eyes, but not overflow.
If you are operating in the intellectual plane, it is another story. Usually, you are craving for an opportunity to vomit your knowledge from books or other people. This certainly binds you. You cannot detach from this dire need to talk a lot. Arguments and debates happen. Ego shoots up. Enmity and competition takes shape. Man suffers. Those unfortunate people who are destined to suffer from your verbal diarrhea, will pray to God that this seed of His be removed from earth!!! 🙂 As the knowledge gets converted into ego, man alienates himself from God.
And then, there is another one. A rare species. He is not bound by any of the above cravings. He is happy if all these types of food are provided. He is also happy in the absence of all these kinds of food. His existence does not depend on Gross food, emotional food or intellectual food. All three faculties are kept relatively empty. He never suffers from indigestion of any kind. He has the capacity to say NO and walk away. He does not suffer fools gladly. He feels and helps without expectations. He is self-sufficient. SELF – sufficient.
He loves unconditionally. He never operates on the plane of gross ego and remains unassuming and many times undemonstrative. His watchdog is conscious awareness. He is objective towards life. He is always aware of who he is and what is he here for. He does not become fascinated by any glitter on this earth. He sees through everything. He has no Do’s and Don’ts. He is never too bound by any habits. Like water, he remains fluid, flexible.
He is liberated. He will have no regrets at the time of death. He craves for nothing. He will leave peacefully, without leaving anything pending. No wishes, No dreams, No desires. Pure and Simple existence.
Just Love All and Serve All.
Wish You Liberation.
The BTW Team.