- We live in utter ignorance of our true nature, of the relationship
- There is a feeling of love or devotion which can naturally arise within the teacher and the student relationship
- Enlightened masters can make us go out of the tunnel of darkness which is of ignorance into the sunlight at the end that is knowledge itself
August 11, 2017: A spiritual teacher plays a crucial and a lasting role in the life of a human being. A spiritual teacher’s role is unique in a way that the goal is not to transmit knowledge or to develop a sense of understanding but to somehow bring about recognition in the student of the student’s own pre-existing nature.
This is a much more nuanced thing than simply teaching someone a skill. It is not that a spiritual teacher never provides spiritual knowledge but that in itself is not the goal. A student can have knowledge of the broad spectrum of spiritual principles, and yet can still not have truly recognized those principles as being inherent in his or her own being. So spiritual teachers may teach a lot or may not teach anything and it depends on the need of the student in that particular moment in order to experience the deeper recognition of his or her own true nature.
The author of the book ‘God is No Laughing Matter’ Julia Cameron says, “it is one of the gifts of great spiritual teachers to make things simple. It is one of the gifts of their followers to complicate them again. Often we need to scrape away the accumulated complications of a master’s message in order to hear the kernel of what they said.”
If you are lucky enough to learn from such a gifted spiritual teacher, then there are bright chances of success in all endeavors of life – worldly matters and spiritual. There is a feeling of love or devotion which can naturally arise within the teacher and the student relationship which is the immense gratitude that arises when the student sees the truth. Ultimately, every experience is our teacher and with the presence of fullest realization there is gratitude for all of the existence, there can also be a natural deep appreciation for the apparent person who has pointed you to that truth.
It is said ‘mahat sangha tu durlabho agamyo amoghas cha’– it means that it is an extremely rare occasion and difficult as well to gain the company of spiritual people; and even if we come in the same space they occupy, it may not be possible always to recognize how great is their stature. Sometimes, even a person living with such great masters is unaware of their power.
The influence of such a Mahatma is “amogha” (fruitful) and infallible whether one recognizes their greatness or not; it is just not possible to come in contact with a person like that, and not be affected by their being. There are two ways in which come in contact with them- first, you come in close contact or second, you hear them from afar, his influence will sooner or later reach you. Perhaps, you won’t be able to notice a visible change immediately, but one thing is certain that, sooner or later, there will be a noticeable influence of that person in your life.
Presently, we live in complete ignorance of our nature- our true self, we are unaware of the relationship that is there between an individual with the world, and finally with the ultimate Creator. This ignorance can create incorrect notions due to which we are not able to understand the world, make mistakes and as a result of these mistakes and ignorance suffer from anxiety, fear, and unhappiness.
Enlightened masters can make us go out of the tunnel of darkness which is of ignorance into the sunlight at the end that is knowledge itself; they have the power to transform the way we view the world. When we start studying about the scriptures and scriptures itself, what we discover is that there is something ‘Absolute Reality’, it exists. We understand that God also exists. Then, we slowly get acquainted with the enlightened person and their characteristics, realize their importance. We can not truly appreciate the great character of a person like that until we get to meet such a spiritual teacher and try to observe his nature from a close distance.
Such sadhgurus are the ones who show us the way, the way to reach the goal of human birth – moksha. They are the ones who give authenticity and meaning to the scriptures. They have access to reach the heights of divinity; they reveal that no karma on its own can be great or small; it is our motive and our attitude behind the actions we undertake. This makes the karma great or small.
There are different types of people who approach a guru- A bhakta (devotee) has- love, reverence, devotion. But, not all devotees become sishyas (disciples). They do love him, respect, and revere the guru, but they also wish to learn Vedanta (a Hindu philosophy based on the doctrine of the Upanishads) from him.
There are some pople who listen to gurus, get inspired from them and thus offer to volunteer their time as a Sevak. Service over time takes the form of devotion– the Sevak with time becomes a bhakta. In due time, the bhakta transforms into an avid student and a disciple – he inculcates a desire to study Vedanta for full time.
When a person becomes: a devotee who is steeped in bhakti yoga; a Sevak who performs selfless deeds that is karma yoga and at the final stage a sishya gets fully dedicated into learning Vedantic study which is jnana yoga – he reaches the goal; his journey is thus complete.
The greatness of a guru is not only in trusting the right person for the right job or path but to also be able to encourage or inspire the ones who lack the adequate capability and to one day enable them to produce marvelous results.
A true spiritual teacher is there to simply serve your own recognition of your true nature. The result of his or her functioning in this capacity is the degree of one’s own depth of realization. The rest is relatively unimportant unless it serves this simple but subtle goal.
– by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08
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