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Spiritual life without teachers or gurus - Guru Purnima 2006

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    SPIRITUAL LIFE WITHOUT TEACHERS OR GURUS Spiritual life without teachers or gurus is like universities without professors, hospitals without doctors and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 2006

      Spiritual life without teachers or gurus
      is like universities without professors,
      hospitals without doctors and nurses,
      or planes without pilots.

      Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

      GURU PURNIMA 2006:
      Guru Purnima is an annual celebration of the divine force called
      guru. It is on the full moon of July. In the Americas this is on July
      10, 2006. In Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, this is on July 11,

      Here are the precise times of the full moon:

      8:01 pm PDST (US), July 10
      9:01 pm MDST (US), July 10
      10:01 pm CDST (US), July 10
      11:01 pm EDST( US), July 10
      3:01 am UTC/GMT, July 11
      8:31 am IST (India), July 11

      SEE ALSO these TWO articles on GURU:


      EXCERPTS from this article:

      If you prepare yourself to know the higher knowledge, then you will
      deserve. To deserve means to increase your capacity. You want to put
      the entire ocean in a bucket. The ocean is there. You can have it,
      but you do not have the capacity. When you deserve, you will have the
      capacity. The Lord, the Reality, the Truth, is always within you. You
      simply have to become aware. You can make sincere efforts to work
      with yourself.

      Don't be disappointed with failures. When you start to make sincere
      efforts and start to practice, you will find light on the path. The
      light itself will guide you. The light of consciousness is within
      you. If you ignore that light, the guide outside you, the external
      teacher, will be of no use to you. He will make you a slave. Every
      individual has certain notions. He also lives with his notions. He
      creates a following and millions of people are swayed and misguided.

      Do you know what a guide means? The word guru has been vulgarized.
      Such a pious word is being misused. I call it guide. Do not depend
      much on guides. It is better for you to prepare yourself and remain
      awake. The scriptures say to wake up from the deep sleep of
      ignorance. Remain fully awake, remain conscious, and go on learning.
      Never close the door of learning. The day you close the door of
      learning you become ego, ego, ego....

      The word teacher means "knowledge." The knowledge should be followed,
      not the individual personality of the teacher. The subject should be
      given prime importance, not the individual. Teachers have complicated
      things. Yoga science has suffered because of this. One teacher
      says, "This is my method." Another teacher says, "This is my method."
      The poor student is confused. After some time he finds that his mind,
      his individuality, and his pocket have been robbed.

      When you become aware of the light within, and that light reveals the
      Truth to you, there are no chances of being misguided. Teachers come
      and go. From your external teacher just pick up that which is useful
      for you and leave that which is not useful. No doubt you need a
      teacher, a guide. I will never tell you that you should not seek and
      you should not learn from other people, or that you should not study
      books. Teachers only inspire you and make you aware of that Self-
      existence that you have forgotten. Their role is to make you aware of
      the Reality....

      Yoga science tells you to go to the inner levels of your being and be
      guided by the light that is already within you, that leads you in the
      darkness. If you understand the light within, when you are introduced
      to that light, you will not crave for any outer guidance. Learn to
      make your abode in darkness so that you can see the light, but not
      the superficial light. Superficial light creates problems for you and
      does not allow you to see the light within.

      When you start treading the path you will never find any difficulty,
      for the light is already within you. The light within you is coming
      out. When I look at your faces I find that they are different because
      of the light that has the power of discrimination. That light can
      correctly judge and understand and know. That light is higher than
      any other light of the sun, the moon, and the stars. That is why
      human beings are superior to all these lights that you see outside

      In the light of the sun, in the light of the moon, and in the light
      of the stars there is no discrimination. The light within you has the
      power of discrimination. You can use that light to see the darkest
      corners of your inner chamber. For that you do not need outer
      guidance. The purpose of a guide, guru, or teacher is to introduce
      you to that light.


      EXCERPTS from this article:

      In the effort to understand life and approach death meaningfully,
      vairagya [non-attachment] and abhyasa [practices] are the
      responsibility of the seeker. When these two are truly undertaken,
      another help follows. That help comes in the form of guru and grace,
      each linked to the other, each so beautiful and comforting, each so

      The word guru is a compound of two words, gu and ru. Gu means
      darkness and ru means light. That which dispels the darkness of
      ignorance is called guru. The energy and action of removing darkness
      are guru. Guru is not a person, it is a force driven by grace.

      To put this another way, there is an intelligent momentum that
      pervades the universe that is moving all human beings toward the
      perfection we call God. Guru is that intelligence. Everyone's
      receptivity to that intelligence varies. It depends on preparation,
      which includes the development of vairagya or nonattachment, and
      abhyasa or practice. In other words, guru is always there, but the
      student may not be ready to receive what the guru has to offer. When
      the student is prepared, the guru always arrives to help the student
      do what is necessary to progress in removing the veil of ignorance.
      It is said that when the wick and oil are properly prepared, the
      master lights the lamp.

      Guru is not a person, but guru can be represented in a person. One
      who has developed his or her own spiritual awareness to a very high
      level can guide others, and is considered to be guru. Only one who is
      finely attuned to the inner guide can inspire the awakening of the
      inner guide in another. Guru is not a physical being. If a guru
      begins thinking this power is her or his own, then they are no longer
      a guide. The guru is a tradition, a stream of knowledge....

      No human being can ever become a guru. Guru is not a human
      experience, or, better said, guru is not a sensory experience. It is
      a divine experience to be a guru. A human being allows herself or
      himself to be used as a channel for receiving and transmitting by the
      power of powers. Then it happens. Then guru manifests. To do that, a
      human being must learn to be selfless, must learn to love. Real love
      expects nothing. That is how genuine gurus live. Selfless love is the
      basis of their enlightenment, and the basis of their roles as
      channels of knowledge.

      Guru is not the goal. Anyone who establishes himself as a guru to be
      worshipped, is not a guru. Christ, Buddha, and other great persons
      did not set up any such example. Guru is like a boat for crossing the
      river. It is important to have a good boat and it is very dangerous
      to have a boat that is leaking. The boat brings you across the river.
      When the river is crossed the boat is no longer necessary. You don't
      hang onto the boat after completing the journey, and you certainly
      don't worship the boat....

      The spiritual seeker should not worry about who the guru is, or what
      the guru will do. The seeker's first concern is getting prepared,
      organizing her or his life and thoughts in a spiritually healthy way,
      and then working toward a way of life that simplifies and purifies.
      At the right time the master will be there....

      The guru also teaches without words or actions. As the disciple
      learns to surrender and move the ego out of the way, and grows more
      selfless, the ability to learn intuitively from the guru grows. The
      student learns in the cave of silence. It is like tuning into the
      guru's frequency or plugging into that stream of knowledge. The guru
      is always working from there. The disciple's role is to gradually
      learn to also work from that place. The disciple learns this by doing
      all duties with love, by being nonattached, and by surrendering. The
      disciple should always be striving to purify and prepare for more and
      greater knowledge. Then God will say, "I want to enter this living
      temple that you are." Remove the impurities and you will find that
      the one who wants to know reality is the source of reality.

      There is also the activity of grace. Grace is the impulse or the
      impetus of the energy to dispel darkness. There is the grace of the
      scriptures, from the wisdom that has passed down from others. There
      is the grace of the teacher, who imparts that wisdom and helps bring
      it to life in the student. There is the grace of God, or pure
      consciousness, that is alive and ever present in everyone's life.
      Integral to these three graces is the grace of oneself, having the
      will to undertake a purposeful journey in life, to do the spiritual
      work of life, and to prepare oneself.

      How do we get this grace? It comes of its own when a seeker has made
      maximum effort. When all efforts have been made, and all efforts have
      been exhausted, then grace comes.

      A Sanskrit word for grace is shaktipata. Shakti means energy, and
      pata means bestowing. Shaktipata means "bestowing the energy" or
      lighting the lamp. Sometimes shaktipata is translated as "descent of
      power." A power comes from above, of its own, to a vessel that is
      cleaned, purified, and is prepared to receive it. When the
      instructions from the guru have been completed, the seeker has become
      strong in selflessness and surrender, and the samskaras have been
      burned, grace comes....

      Grace is only possible with a disciple who has gone through a long
      period of discipline, austerity, and spiritual practices. When a
      student has done these practices and followed the teacher's
      instructions with all faithfulness, truthfulness, and sincerity, then
      the subtlest obstacle is removed by the master. The experience of
      enlightenment comes from the sincere effort of both master and
      disciple. When you have done your duties skillfully and
      wholeheartedly, you reap the fruits gracefully. Grace dawns when
      action ends. Shaktipata is the grace of God transmitted through the

      Guru is the disciple's guide through life, through the mysterious
      terrain of the spiritual heart, and into and beyond the realm of

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