Guruji on Adhyatma, Learnings from Guru
There are many Gurus who have given us sujnana (wisdom). For any type of learning (vidya), a Guru is necessary. Whatever may be the subject, we definitely need a teacher to teach us, to show us the way, and to explain to us according to our receptiveness. Science, maths and other such subjects may be taught by trained teachers. However, adhyatma (knowledge of the Self – the Atman – the Truth) cannot be taught by them. For imparting the knowledge of adhyatma, we need enlightened souls – the ones who have crossed the bridge to Self-realisation.
No two persons are born alike or with similar minds. Every sadhak (seeker) is born with different aptitudes and ‘prarabda karmas’ (past life actions that create results in this life-time). There are different ways of seeking the Truth. None can follow another’s path. Each one is born with his or her own special path. The one who helps the sadhak to get acquainted with his or her own special path is called the Guru.
At times, at some stage or the other in our lives, we become dissatisfied and restless with the material world. We then start seeking something beyond these material things, perhaps the meaning of real happiness. When this happens, it means that God’s grace has started to manifest in our lives. God then appears to us in the form of a Guru. The sadhak’s life changes completely through the association with the Guru. A day then comes when the sadhak earnestly starts seeking God and the peace within. In other words, the seeds of adhyatma starts sprouting within the sadhak.
Peace is not so easy to attain. At such times, it is necessary to search for the source of peace. It is like searching the source of a river. To know the source of the river, one must strive to swim against the flow. So also in the search for peace, one must struggle against the flow of the material world, guided by the Guru. The Guru teaches one to control the constantly swaying mind through certain spiritual practices.
In the early stages, one should attempt the spiritual practices in a slow and steady manner, increasing the pace only gradually. If due to eagerness to gain quick results, one attempts a fast pace and suddenly strains to do more than one’s physical and mental capabilities, there is a likelihood of suffering ill consequences like nervous debility or exhaustion. This would in turn result in lack of will or capacity to do the spiritual practices. Always remember, to climb the roof, one has to go step by step. This is why the Guru is needed, to guide the sadhak to do his spiritual practices properly.
The Guru does not want the sadhak to follow his (Guru’s) path. Instead, he guides the sadhak to follow his own special path. Under the Guru’s patronage, love and support, the sadhak’s mind gains strength and is able to turn inwards. Through the practice of meditation, the mind is further purified and then is able to remain calm and still, without causing any ripples. Finally, one fine day, total calmness sets in. That calm expanse that sets in is the Peace, the Self, God Himself.
I urge you all to move ahead in meditation by immersing yourselves in universal love. Love cannot be measured nor has it any direction. It is infinite and continuous. It is within all and all are within it. Spiritual progress happens with the grace and blessings of the Guru. So long as the ‘aham’ – ‘I’ exists, it is not possible to taste ‘Ananda’ (bliss). The moment the ‘I’ perishes, ‘Ananda’ exists and the inner Guru surfaces. All spiritual teachings and practices are made with the intention of leading us to the inner Guru. However, it is a slow process and the sadhak has to be steadfast in his or her efforts.
Many sadhaks speak of making little or no progress on the spiritual path. However, to them, I would like to say, “Think a while. How were you, five years ago? And how are you now? Are you the same person you were then? – worrying over simple issues, having little control over your emotions. Do you see the change in yourself now? Do you see that such small things do not leave you restless and raging now? Examine yourself to see how even bigger issues have been faced by you with courage and firmness. You will find yourself largely unaffected by bigger problems. This materialistic world puts us into a great number of difficulties from moment to moment. Even so, you will find yourself living in a state of happiness more often than not. All this is the result of your meditation and the progress you have made in your spiritual life.”
Most of us have a desire to see or experience God and therefore, we have chosen the path of meditation. We also have a desire to do our spiritual practices with discipline. However, due to our various occupations and duties, we are unable to afford the necessary time for carrying out the same. You will observe that at times, the mind dissuades you from doing meditation or other spiritual practices. At other times, it is urging you to continue your spiritual practices. To overcome this duplicity of mind, it is necessary for us to have faith in Guru. We must firmly believe that we shall advance further on our spiritual path though the guidance and spiritual benevolence of the Guru.
It is not possible for the Guru to give you Self-realisation, for it is not a pill to be swallowed. The Guru can guide you but you must yourself strive hard to achieve your goal. Your efforts, your will power and the blessings of God and Guru will certainly lead you to success. Do not give up until you achieve success. Only upon eating does the stomach fill up. You shall progress only if you meditate steadfastly. Self-realisation is already within you. It reveals itself through Ananda, through Paramananda, through Brahmananda and through Divine Love. Engage yourself in meditation and you will find that ‘Meditation is Love and Love is Meditation’. So meditate, meditate and meditate and achieve the purpose for which you have taken birth on this Earth.