THE GURU/CHELA RELATIONSHIP
This schoolmaster said to his class, “Look, there can be no eggs without hens; remember that.” Some little bright guy in the class stands up and says, “No, sir, I disagree. My dad raises ducks.”
There could be no eggs without hens. Definitely not. For in the guru-chela relationship, the greatest fallacy for a chela is to project a certain ideal. You do not approach a guru with a preconceived idea. If you have a preconceived idea, then you are not a seeker. You do not go to a guru. You go with a totally open, unbiased, blank mind.
I used to sit at the feet of many, many gurus, and most of them, 99% of them, I could take the whole lot together and wrap around my little finger intellectually. But no. I would sit there and listen, just listen.
The art lies not in speaking but in listening. How much can you listen, and what is listening.
When you listen with an open mind, in spite of whatever other teachings you might have had, or whatever prejudices or biases you have, if you listen with an open mind it means that you are going beyond the mind, you are going to the Heart, and the mind is the vehicle and the instrument through which you develop some understanding.
In the guru-chela relationship, what is required is understanding. If it is a true spiritual master, he does not only give you the understanding, but he imparts something else. As I talk to you, there is something happening within each and every one of you. Perhaps in these few days we are together you will verify this. In some form or the other, some calm and peace have come over you. It is not because of the things I talk about, but in the very words, it is the Spiritual Force that is given that reaches home, that ignites the fire, that switches on the light so that you do not grope around in darkness.
You have to get away from preconceived ideas and think about the alternate perspectives.
A young lady came to me, and she had an interview with me, a counselling thing. She said, “Guruji, this is the first time I have ever come to one of your courses.” I said, “Good, that is fine.” “Yes,” she said, “I was so sceptical and so doubtful that who is this man I am going to meet.” I asked her, “How do you feel now?” And she said, “All my doubts and scepticism has vanished, and I am feeling so, so wonderful and uplifted.”
THE TRUE MASTER RADIATES THE INNER POWER
What force is there, what power is there that does that? That is the inner power the true master radiates from within himself. Buddha, for example, in his later stages, he never gave any sermons or talks any more. He just sat still and went into meditation, and all his people around him found some realization, some understanding, some transformation within themselves.
So, what does a true guru do? He does not only give you the understanding, which is just a small part of it, but he gives you the impetus. He shares himself with you. He is the hen from which all the eggs come from. That is what he gives, and he gives it in totality: body, mind, and spirit just flow, for everything emanates.
For example, many chelas will tell you that they have been to the communion practice; in these events, the Force in the room becomes so powerful that people go through various experiences, and not only that, not only in the room but it extends for far, far, far. Perhaps a family somewhere are having an argument, and suddenly they just stop it and say, “I am sorry, darling.” Or something like that. There is that Spiritual Force that to most people could be intangible, but for the true spiritual master, it is total reality.
Teaching is a word very much misused. I do not teach. But I make you learn! Do you see the difference? Teaching is fostering and forcing ideas upon you – but to learn is to take those ideas and see what I can get out of it according to my capacity. That is learning – it is not ramming things down through people’s throats. That becomes the ideal guru-chela relationship.
A certain kind of magnetism occurs, to use that word for lack of a better word, and this is felt, this is felt deep inside. Sometimes it does not come to the conscious level immediately; it depends on how clear the conscious level is, how far you are deep in or how much you are on the surface. But it will definitely have a delayed reaction if not an immediate reaction and this I have found with thousands of people around the world.
The whole idea is transformation. You are in a particular formation, but you got to be in transformation. Trans-across, beyond your present formation. Are we prepared to do that? If not, the guru does not need you. You have to be a seeker. You have to be a learner. You must have the yearning to learn, that is the purpose of this life? Why am I born on this planet Earth? What is my purpose? Is life not but a school where I have come to learn? So why do I deny learning and stick to the various ideals and ideas that I have in my mind? Are there not better ideas and ideals? Perhaps. You have to explore. You have to experiment.
HEART MEETS HEART
Then, as you are exploring and experimenting, a love affair develops between the guru and the chela, for it is nothing else but a love affair. I do not mean that in the physical, sexual sense. Heart meets Heart, and if you can find oneness with your teacher, your spiritual master, you will discover oneness with the entire universe because the true spiritual master is at-one-ment. Atonement, at-one-ment with the entire universe.
When that connection develops, you automatically become one with the guru; you become one in that love affair, and by doing that you become one with the entire universe. By becoming one with the entire universe your awareness develops, you become aware of the entire universe, and the most important thing is this, you become aware of your identity.
Most people are not aware of their identity. The I is normally associated with I am Jack, and I am Jean, and I am Jill, and I am Joan. That is not the I. Who says you are Jean or Joan? Your mom and dad could have called you Phyllis or blah, blah. That is not your identity. Your real Self is divine: Divinity
A true spiritual master knows Divinity, lives Divinity which you could never yet interpret or understand. But that is not important as long as the yearning is there; that is wanting to find your real identity. As long as that is there, you will find it because there is nothing that is going to be added on unto thee. You are all it. You are divine, and as I always say, to unfold that Divinity is the purpose of life.
I know the western mind today, and I have had this experience everywhere, in Spain, Germany, Denmark, France, England, Zimbabwe, South Africa, you name it. People want complex things, and they look for something difficult, something that is complex. And because they look for complicated things they think it is more valuable, which is not so. Those so-called teachers got to make it very complex so they can charge you a lot of money. But you are getting absolutely nothing.
The true master leads you from complexity to simplicity. For the primal energy of which you are made, of which you are, is totally simple and uncompounded. You say, “Lead thou me on kindly Light, one step at a time is enough for me.” That is how you progress. You do not say, “I am going to a flash course and gain enlightenment in two days.” No! You cannot! It is impossible! Those are moneymaking rackets.
I would like to have these courses totally free of charge for people. But the organizers here have been working so hard, and they have got to pay so much to have this place for the food and the accommodations, and after all, this is a hotel, they do not give it for nothing. Even for a guru, they charge for his room. You see, that is why charges are made. If I had the means, I would hire these places and say come, come, my children, come; learn and listen. But in this western way of life, as society is composed, I suppose one also has to think of the practicality and reliability of things.
THE MARK OF A TRUE TEACHER
A true teacher teaches, not because of what he gains, but because of what he gives. “Life is made to give and not to gain, for if gain I sought this life lived would be in vain.” That is the mark of a true teacher.
For example, if a gift is given to me, and I feel the vibrations that this is not given with love, but is just as a duty, I will never accept it if it is a gift of love yes, because that is a sharing of love between the chela and myself. Those are the principles of my life.
If you dedicate yourself to a certain mission for which you are born, and your guru makes you realize that mission, and you have to fulfil that mission, never mind what might come. You do it.
I go around to share this Love, this little wisdom which is not mine, but which pours through me, and I am helping in whichever way I can and strengthening the bond of the love affair. That is important. That is igniting. Everything is there: the tinder, the wood, the stove, the barbecue, I just have got to light the match, and if your wood is wet, it is not my fault that it will not ignite. All these practices you are given is but a preparation to bring that wood into that dry state where it could just be ignited.
Many people ask me, they say, “Guruji, you have transformed, thousands of lives in the world. Why not mine?” They say they have read in books that Ramakrishna put his foot on the chest of Vivekananda and Vivekananda went into that Nirvikalpa Samadhi. I say, yes, sure. Are you ready for that? If you are ready, I will do it now. The ground must be well tilled and the seed must be strong for the beautiful plant to grow. But the seed can be as strong as possible and the ground is not well tilled. If the ground is barren, how is the seed going to grow? And yet the gardener, the spiritual master, will go on planting and planting and planting. Some seeds will fall on fertile ground, some on barren ground, and some on the rocks for the birds of the air. That is from our scriptures.
THE GURU ALSO HAS HIS DUTY
Did I tell you the story of this fellow that went to a guru? This chela goes to the guru, and he says, “What do I have to do to be a chela?” So, the guru says, “Yes, you got to wake up at 4:00 in the morning, and you got to light the fire,” they did not have electric stoves in those times. “You have to make the fires; you have to scrub the floors, you have to do this, this, this and that, you have to do so many chores, fine.” So, this so-called chela found, “oh, this is so difficult.” So much work for the chela from morning till night. Then the chela asks, “What does a guru do?” and the guru replies, “Oh, he just sits back and talks a bit and advises on this and advises on that, and ahh.” So, this man says, “Then I do not want to be a chela. Make me a guru.”
WE WANT INSTANT
That is the mentality we have, because we want instant illumination, like instant coffee and instant pudding. We do not even take the trouble to warm our food any more. We buy micro ovens and get all those electrodes flowing through it. We have also lost the art of cooking. We buy everything ready-made from the supermarkets, and the men are to blame for that, not the women.
The realization has to come, and there has to be one-pointedness. To repeat a million times over and over again, after all, the basic aim is to find that peace and joy within, to become integrated.
That is what we want, and if I can do that, all of you can, for you are non-different from me. Everyone is on the path to Divinity. Some might be further away, some nearer and some have reached. But everyone is on the path. So, there is no room for despair. But there is room for repair. Repairing means putting all our pieces together, as the American people would say. Getting your act together. That is all and that brings about integration.
People talk about being saved. You are already saved! The entirety of your Spirit is there in its full glory. It is just the recognition, it is just for the Light to be switched on, and the individualized spiritual practices that are given to you help you to prepare yourself and to repair yourself to know one thing only: “I am saved, and I am Divine, and nothing in the world is going to bother me.” I cannot change the world; you will say to yourself. But I can change myself.
But humans are always looking for and finding excuses. And excuses are so, so many. There are more excuses which are untruths than there are truths. Did you know that? There is only one truth, and the interpretation and misinterpretation and twisting of the truth brings about misunderstandings and excuses. You are plain lazy, that is all. Who is not? Ninety-nine-point nine percent of the world’s people are pure lazy. I am not talking now of the work in the world; I am talking of the spiritual path where you are just too lazy. The beautiful pools are there; the beautiful showers are there, the beautiful bath is there. But yet, we would wallow in the mud. And yet, after taking that lovely, refreshing shower, how wonderful we could feel. But we are too lazy, and that is the whole world at large.
Great reformers have come in this world. I could name so many: Swami Vivekananda, Jesus, Krishna, Rama, Mahavir, Zoroaster, I could list them off. They came to reform, and not one succeeded. You cannot reform the world. But man can come from his deformation to reformation.
Reforming yourself, to repeat, is to put your act together. That is all that is required. It is straightforward. Please do what you want to do. But do not go and indulge in these fancy courses that are offered around. In one San Francisco paper I picked up, a tabloid newspaper, and there were over 1000 ads about this, this, this and this. Big moneymaking racket. If there is not a true spiritual master, you will never benefit because all these courses are designed for the surface mental level. That is all. It will give you a certain bit of relief, but in a couple of weeks’ times you are back where you started and even more confused. In contrast, a true spiritual master takes you from confusion to infusion within yourself. Because he loves and he knows that you and I are not apart. We are all bubbles on the same pond. The water in your bubble is the same as in my bubble. Some bubbles are more prominent, some are smaller, but they are still bubbles. The same air and the same water is there, and that is why, because of the sameness of everything, that the guru/chela relationship is a love affair.
YOU ARE DIVINE
A love affair means there is no separation. It is oneness. And that is what He tries to awaken. This about eternal damnation is all rubbish! Forget it! That is just conjured up by organized religions. When they could not conquer you or get you with love, they held a stick of fear. How can you be eternally damned? You that are part and parcel of Divinity? When you are Divine. If Divinity is omnipresent, I would say this a million times, if Divinity is omnipresent then It has to be in you also. Omnipresent means being present everywhere, so you are also Divine. If you believe in eternal damnation, then Divinity is also eternally damned.
Do you see how simple it is? Oh, my beloveds, it is a force and a power that has to be realized, and the best I could do as a teacher is to help you to realise it. Like an ordinary schoolteacher, I cannot give you intelligence – but when I see that intelligence is there, I could make you learn, and uncover the intelligence that is already there.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1983 – 04