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Guru or Ego?

Pujya Gurudevshri dispels the argument put forth by the egoistic mind for not surrendering to the Guru.

Earnest yearning is enough to reach the Supreme Self. Why then do saints and scriptures glorify Guru and make seekers dependent? The simple answer to this question is that dependent you already are. None can make you more dependent. The main reason for such a question is ego. Ego alone can harbour such thoughts. Listening to Guru’s glories, the ego gets hurt because it feels belittled when eulogising the Guru. He who isn’t caught up in ego has only praises for the Guru. Listening to the greatness of the Guru, his heart overflows with joy and gratitude.

Guru and ego cannot coexist. Having Guru in the heart is the death of the ego. Glorifying Guru is negating the ego’s intelligence, its logic, its plea, its wishes. Therefore, the ego is afraid and detests when the Guru is praised. It argues in myriad ways that glorifying Guru is unnecessary because enlightenment is the result of earnest yearning, and the individual himself is inherently the Supreme Self.

If you are the Supreme Self, then why is it not being experienced? It is true that earnest yearning will manifest self-realisation. Then why is such thirst not arising in you? Though there is truth in the statement, an egoistic mind cunningly distorts it. Without understanding the deeper intent of the scriptures, the ignorant holds wrong views regarding the Guru and invites endless harm to himself. To enthrone Guru in the heart is to throw away ego from it. However, he is not ready for it and expresses his frustration through deceptive logic.

Glory of the Guru

To glorify the Guru is to condemn the ego. Guru remains unaffected whether you worship Him or criticise Him. But by condemning the ego, recognising its futility, realising the harm it can cause, the ego becomes insignificant. It becomes ready to bend its knees to the Guru. The instant ego bows at the Lotus Feet of the Guru, the Guru leaves, and the pure Self manifests. It is difficult to bend to anyone in the world, but yielding to the Guru happens very naturally.

In fact, real longing for truth arises only in the presence of the Guru. Seeing His peaceful, contented state, one develops faith in Him and ignites a burning desire for His state. This yearning annihilates worldliness and bestows the state of self-realisation. The Guru becomes instrumental in it. But the egotist is lame. He can neither walk nor can he see. He seeks support but doesn’t have the graciousness to glorify and thank the benefactor. How unfortunate is he!

Worship of the Guru

‘Guru’ means dispeller of darkness. To worship Guru is to move towards light and kindle the light within. Sitting in His proximity, you get immersed in His divine aura. His presence floods you with joy. His purity sanctifies your heart. His energy field makes you calm and silent. He is a pure ocean of consciousness. Taking a dip and staying submerged in it is an actual holy bath.

To be with the Guru is to be in a place of pilgrimage. His stillness soon engulfs you, and you begin to receive His grace in many ways. Sometimes through words, sometimes through silence, sometimes through seeing and other times through closed eyes; sometimes by His sitting with you and sometimes by His getting up and going away!

How Do We Find the Guru?

Where there is light, moths are bound to come. Where truth manifests, seekers of truth are pulled. Their deep longing for the divine will make them locate an Enlightened One. A well does not travel; the thirsty find their way to it. In the same way, Guru does not announce, yet by His presence, phenomena begin to occur around Him. Guru is wandering no more and has no interest in it too. Destiny steers His outer life. Those who wish to end their transmigration reach Him.

When such seekers reach Him, He cannot keep silent. His heart melts and seeing the suffering ones, He guides them with unique teachings. Giving them the path to the truth, He establishes them on it. Taking them by the hand, He makes them reach their goal.

Thirst is Necessary

What is the guarantee that the Guru is genuine? A genuine seeker shall recognise. A thirsty person knows the thirst, what can quench his thirst and the appeasement on drinking water. He doesn’t need testimony from someone. A seeker, yearning for freedom, identifies the Master. With immense reverence and humility, he surrenders to the Guru and gets transformed. Seeing his change, others may go to the same Guru, but without the longing, they do not feel the same reverence, and so they do not benefit.

Merely reading from scriptures that ‘without Guru, there is no knowledge’, is not enough to generate reverence for the Guru. You may go to Buddha, feel charged in his peaceful aura, and desire for the same peace. But unless you have gone through deep unrest and pain like Buddha underwent for six years, you cannot attain that peace. Intense suffocating unrest becomes a doorway to divine peace. Until that inner smothering is experienced, even a Guru cannot command transformation in you.

The Need for Earnest Yearning

The world is impermanent like bubbles in the water. There is no essence in the changing world. Upon realising this, the seeker’s focus shifts to the eternal truth, intense yearning arises within, and the quest for liberation begins. Upon meeting a Master, he recognises Him. Surrendering his will at His Lotus Feet, he engages in following His commands doubtlessly.

To follow Guru’s commands doubtlessly, you must first be doubtless about the Guru. For that, first, check your earnestness for freedom. Do you really want to become free? Are you doubtless about it? Only if it is so, you will be doubtless regarding Guru, His commands and their practice. In absence of such a quest, one seeks Guru from his imagination and never becomes doubtless. The seeker must take the support of Guru’s inner state, His commands and not His appearance. But one who is not earnest, he looks for only the outer traits in a Guru and not intrinsic virtues. Each Guru’s external life is designed by His individual destiny. Hence, while the inner state of every Guru is the same, outer differences are inevitable. His misfortune is that neither Gurus from the past can come to his help, nor the existing one fits into his egoistic mind.

Increase the Thirst

He who genuinely yearns, is doubtless, follows Guru’s word in letter and spirit, attains his spiritual goal, and annihilates all his deluding inclinations. Therefore, increase your yearning, make it intense. Without this, even if you are in a temple, you will not have turned your back towards the world. Your heart will be in the world and the body in the temple! You will go to the Guru with the same worldly desires.

Check your earnestness for Self-realisation. If the quest is genuine, you will recognise the Master. Passing through a street when hungry, you will register only food stalls and restaurants, not jewellery shops and garment shops. A thirsty person can find water even in the desert. Similarly, the seeker will recognise his Guru.


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