The Gross and The Subtle, this duality will always trouble the mind. Is the way to unity is through this duality? Mohanji gives awareness to many burning minds.
Do not be disillusioned. No gross form is equal to God, if God is formless, colorless, desire less and omnipresent. Form has limitations; Form has reasons. Form has weaknesses. Forms dissolve and die. A form can indeed represent higher consciousness, which we could call an Avatar. Forms represent various degrees of awareness. But forms also represent duality. While owning and operating a form, there is alienation, there is a division, and there is a corresponding disillusionment too. Forms that represent certain aspects of the all-encompassing God are considered as deities. All forms on earth have its own constitution which is well beyond generalization, even though generalization is possible on the basic level of operation such as hunger, sex, sleep, circulation of blood etc which are the basic general rules of gross existence.
When we expect to see complete unity and diversity of GOD in gross forms, we fail to understand creation, creativity, free will and uniqueness within diversity of existence. We fail to appreciate the basic as well as the collective operating levels. We get disappointed and disillusioned. Uniqueness is the basis of creation. It is no factory product. Creation in larger sense is always hand made. Understand creation at the cellular level and then you will understand the Universe!!!
Let us make one thing clear. This body is called Mohan or in your words ‘Mohanji;. Till my last breath, this body will remain in the name of Mohanji. People may confer titles in front or back of this name. But the name will remain the same.
This body is definitely not Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Baba or Jesus. This body, existing today, is called Mohanji. Consciousness that operates or works through this body is intangible, invisible and often incomprehensible to public eyes. Never be disillusioned. We can only see what we are capable of seeing. Be Happy!!!!
All people are connected to something, some body. This connection is due to their inner compatibility with the object of their connection. One may see the reflection of their object of connection in me. That does not make me that object. There could be resemblances, character similarities, but one is certainly not the other. Be aware of that!!! No person can be another person. Even when soul takes new birth, the incarnation has different names, form and purpose. Nothing is ever the same. Time and space are different and so is purpose on earth.
Do not be disillusioned. This body is called Mohanji and it will remain so till this body dies away. Do not be affected or connected to me- imagining, thinking that this body is that of someone else. That will lead to disillusionment and disappointment.
All incarnations portrayed their unique character and constitution even like we do. Baba is Baba, Krishna is Krishna, Jesus is Jesus. These are names of bodies (certain people) of the past. Their consciousness is certainly one and their consciousness is definitely eternal hence they are eternally available. They all are one. You are one with them too. This is why you are connecting with them or their certain character aspects so effortlessly. There could be many similarities of them – their character, that you recognize in others. There could be consciousness compatibility which makes them feel that this one is that one. But it is a mirage. Do not be disillusioned.
All bodies have duration and purpose. Purpose is always time-related – on earth. Time changes matter. Requirements change on earth. Such incarnations that could handle such requirements take birth. They may have attributes from the past. But they are in a fresh body. They have fresh name and form. They have a new set of parents, language and mission. They are new. Do not be disillusioned. This body is called Mohan and will remain so.
A son may resemble the father, but he is not his father. Likewise, each incarnation is unique. Our inflexibility and non-understanding is due to our own conditioning and mental pictures, images that we have acquired and maintained. Once we become flexible and fluid clarity takes place spontaneously.
7 Billion people. 7 Billion Personalities. 7 Billion types of expressions. Do not try to change the world outside. Change the world inside. If 7 Billion does the same, the world outside will be a much better place. Tragedy lies in the fact that we are trying to change the world outside all the time, ignoring or discounting our conditioning, fears, phobias and prejudices. When we are always “against” something, we will fail to see the subtlety and beauty of existence. When we only look outside, all you see are states of duality and disparity. Unity lies within. The key to a unified existence, oneness with all beings, is kept within us. When we become unified with ourselves, we see the whole world unified with us. The “way out” lies within us.
Why do people worship Gurus – the ones who are in their physical form? Do we need to? I find it inappropriate and meaningless.
This question usually comes from a person who is in the knowledge path – Jnana Yogi. There are many paths to reach God. And Guru is the guiding light. There are many types of people too. Everyone has his or her own style and approach towards any situation. Actually speaking, no true guru or God needs anything from you, let alone worship.
Now, a person of emotional nature, who chants praises of God – usually the form that his mind gets connected to easily, melts himself or herself into that being or object of worship. These people need an object to worship. Human mind needs forms to associate with. This is fundamental. It recognizes forms and connects to forms. Human constitution uses all faculties such as body, mind and intellect to connect to the chosen form. And when the connection through faith increases, individual personality takes a back seat. The individual starts to merge with the object of worship. Non-duality happens. When oneness takes root, often the need for any of the individual faculties that the individual used for the primary connection also becomes redundant. Everything dissolves into oneness. This is the advantage of bhakti Yoga. Usually, Bhakti Yogis merge with supreme consciousness much faster than the other paths such as knowledge, sadhana (spiritual practices) and service. The tranquility and strength that they achieve through surrender cannot be fathomed by the practitioners of other types of paths.
Likewise, the elevation that knowledge gives – based on duality is not understandable to a Bhakthi Yogi too. Experiencing God using the path of knowledge is like the pole of the pole vault. The pole is only used to lift one beyond the bar. Then, the pole of knowledge is shed when the bar is crossed. Then it is just a fall into the lap of Infinity or God. But, if the Yogi holds on to the pole and refuses to let go, handicap happens in the game. He stays with his pole and cannot win God.
There is a saying “If God and Guru come together, whom to greet first?” The answer automatically happens “Guru, because he is the one who brought and guided me to God”. This is one aspect and answer to your question.
Another aspect – in Shirdi Baba’s words “My Guru was indeed powerful. But he taught me nothing. Day and night I served him and watched him. He gave me everything”. This is another aspect. There are paths where there are no explicit teachings or courses. By just a mere glance or wave of hand, Baba used to elevate people. By just being in the energy field of the powerful Guru, the disciple achieves everything. But, in those cases, the Guru would often display mediocrity and shallowness, to test the tenacity and conviction of the disciple.
In the path of courses and examination, the skill displayed is the criteria for elevation. In the case of Path of Pathlessness, ability to cling on against all odds and depth of faith and surrender is the criterion for higher elevation. When people asked Muktananda how he achieved his spiritual proves, he answered “I never asked my guru – WHY?” Total surrender and perfect obedience was the path. This is often very difficult for a Jnana yogi, one who is in the knowledge path who needs answers for every simple thing. The Gurus of the Datta Tradition, Nath tradition or simply those who follow the path of dissolution will not deliver such answers. They even shake the faith of their disciples through abnormal and even unacceptable behavior to test the mettle of the student. Jnana Yogis often scandalizes the guru and escapes, but falls deeper into the birth death cycle and disillusionment. Bhakti Yogis stay.
Now, once again, how do you know a Satguru – the true one?
There are some primary yard sticks – The most important is your destiny. It is destiny that brings you to him. And it is your destiny that makes you recognize the real one.
Second are certain signs of the Guru – does he bind you with fear or he maintains you unbound and free? If you are always kept unbound, you are at the right place. In this path, serving the guru is your choice, yet it is also your elevation.
Third is, he needs nothing from you, or he gives you back much more than he takes – if at all. He changes your basic constitution often based on conditionings and fears, to that of stillness and fearlessness.
Fourth is, when you are with him, you will know and recognize a definite change in your vibratory level, a shift in consciousness. The more you are with him; the shifted consciousness becomes yours too. These are subtle aspects one must feel and experience within.
Fifth is non conformity to any habits and mannerisms. He may behave in strange ways often unacceptable to social norms. This is because a Guru who is established in supreme consciousness operates only in the level of cosmic necessity or purpose and not of individual karma. He is only guided by purpose. He has nothing to do with social do’s and don’ts. His operating level is spontaneity, uncontaminated by thoughts. For example; Vyasa impregnated Ambika and Ambalika because the dynasty had to continue. He also impregnated the maid to bring forth an unconditional, wise man called Vidura into the court of selfish royals. Sai Baba often scolded and beat people to drive away evil lying embedded in the constitution of devotees. People, who got offended, never understood the real meaning behind the action. They left him and went away. The loss was essentially theirs. Swami Samarth used to urinate in front of people which distracted many. There are many such examples.
If the Guru is powerful, he would usually be very ordinary or will often act in strange ways. They scold people for their well-being. They need nothing from anyone. True masters would not care about their mannerisms and will have no efforts to make himself socially acceptable. Those who are totally conditioned and bound by social norms and fears will run away from them. Those who stay get all that they can carry.
So, worshipping the Guru, considering him as representing the Lord Almighty, or personification of the Lord is definitely the path of those who are inclined to Bhakti or devotional path of spirituality. Understand that all paths are suitable for someone. All paths are not suitable for everyone. So, do not judge from your level. If you do, you will only get more disillusioned. You may not understand the pleasure that a bhakti yogi derive from any acts of devotional nature. They often do not have duality. They become one with the object of their worship faster than other paths.
The knowledge path keeps duality longer than other paths because, intellect is the faculty used to digest knowledge and intellect is associated to our limited system. This constitution of ours which is tangible and that we call with a name is associated with a form. Intellect alienates and analyses. Intellect creates walls. When knowledge becomes wisdom, that means each unit of knowledge intake is digested well, and it merges into our constitution, duality slowly starts to dissolve. Oneness takes root.
Understand one thing clearly. No true gurus or god needs anything from people including worshipping their perishable physical form. But, for disciples, it is reconfirmation, confidence and it helps in maintaining their faith. This is why they do it. Every practice has its value only if it is done from the heart. If mechanically, ritualistically done, no activity will have any value.
I hope I have clarified the question at hand.
Remember the old story. Two monks were walking on the bank of a river. One was quite young in his 20’s and the other saint was older, in his 60’s. While walking, they saw a pretty young woman taking bath, half naked. They ignored the sight since they were not allowed to have such distractions and moved on. Suddenly, the woman slipped and fell into the river and started to drown. The young monk left his shoulder sack and jumped into the river and rescued her. He lifted her and brought her to the shore. She had become unconscious. He brought her back to consciousness and when he knew that she is fine and can manage on her own, he took his shoulder sack and left the place. He did not look back or expect even a glance of gratitude from her. The older monk was watching all this. After walking for a while in silence, when they sat down for lunch which they had carried, the older monk told the younger one, ” I do not think what you have done is right. We are monks, celibates. We are not supposed to touch a woman, let alone a naked one. In that regard, I feel you did the wrong thing”. The young monk smiled and said “Nowhere in the scriptures have I read that an act of compassion is wrong. The situation demanded an appropriate action. I acted. I left the girl at the shore. She is far away from my body and my mind. Why are you still carrying her?” This silenced the older monk. The young monk acted objectively, based on the need and purpose. He had no fears. The older man represents our current society. He never considered that the woman needed to be rescued or saving her life was the most important thing at that moment when the incident happened or that was the appropriate action at that point in time. Instead, he was totally pre-occupied by the man-made “do’s” and “don’ts” for monks. This is an example of how the society which consists of people of various evolutionary levels will think and act and how, as a spiritual being, you should act. Again, the bottom line is purity. Action without selfishness.