“He lights the divine flame
that you nurture with devotion.
In time, your every atom knows you’re not a wave but the eternal ocean.”
You, me, the birds, the bees, the tree, its roots and every atom in the cosmos, are part of the same source – the supreme consciousness. We aspire for divinity even though we are already divine. Billions of us remain unaware of our true whole self. Instead, we search for divinity in other people, places and things. Which door we knock on is all destiny’s play, and if destiny is kind to us, we will find on the other side of the open door, a siddh guru, who will lead us onto the path of spiritual evolution.
In principle, a guru is not a person, but a concept that embodies infinite wisdom and universal knowledge. Thus, in a guru-disciple relationship, the disciple emulates not the person he refers to as his guru – but his gunas (qualities). There are several examples in history where a guru has inspired disciples without being physically present.
A relevant question we need to ask ourselves is, “With all the technology, information and spiritual content being so easily available in every language, do people still need a guru?”
Most people know themselves at a superficial level.
A guru can see through flesh and bone, deep into the aatman and identify who you are at your core. He knows you not only in the physical form you are in now, but also who you were and will be in lives of the past and future. Nobody can introduce you to yourself better than your guru. A siddh guru, who has the intuitive knowledge to recognise you beyond your physical self, knows you at the three distinct levels of the body, mind and spirit, whereas you only know what you perceive of yourself. Or worse, what you believe others perceive of you. By introducing you to you, he introduces you to your destiny and gunas, helping you to accept yourself on an as-is-where-is basis. He leads you to understand and engage in self-acceptance and self-respect.
Your evaluation of yourself is mainly physical and limited to the memory of this life. As you do not know the sequence of the multiple lives of your spirit body, you cannot judge the core that led to your conditioning or destiny. Your guru, however, understands your chemistry and potency and can intuitively see your future potential.
By showing you your worth, your guru shows you who you are in totality, and it is this, that helps you to understand your being. Only when a disciple understands the totality of who and what he is, can he play music to the words ‘Tat TwamAsi’ or ‘That You Are’ which means, at the core, you are a part of the consciousness supreme.
This responsibility is greater than that of the guru playing the role of a mother or performing the duty of a father. The concept of a guru is far more exalted and profound, because he is a role model in almost every aspect of a disciple’s life. He takes on the disciple’s karmic debt and leads him out of it to whatever extent possible, not just in one life, but possibly in future lives as well. It is imperative for the guru to ensure the disciple’s spiritual transformation.
On his journey towards spiritual advancement, a disciple goes through various stages of evolution, from shraddha (devotion) to bhakti (worship). The final stage however, is not of worshipping the guru, but instead, worshipping the guru within. Therefore, even though the journey may start with devotion, it ends with acceptance and self-worship.
There is an enormous difference between devotion to someone and acceptance of the self. While devotion is a matter of heightened emotion, acceptance is a more centred approach without emotion as its power source.
It is not easy to assess the stage of evolution of spiritual people. They come in all avatars and from all walks of life. There is no standard procedure to follow. A man on the street may be more spiritually advanced than one in saffron. Looks and style, knowledge of scriptures and oratory abilities do not necessarily a spiritualist make. There are other attitudes and practices, coupled with destiny and intent that make an individual rise on the spiritual ladder.
A siddh guru always knows the strength of a potential disciple’s spirit. He will also try to sense the connection between the person’s destiny and his spiritual growth.
A guru looks for certain qualities in his disciple:
Sense of Awareness – You can always look through a person’s eyes to see how receptive he is when in the company of his guru. The power of observation comes handy not only to the guru but also to the disciple when he begins to observe himself. At some point he will have to learn to observe his thoughts, reactions and feelings. Only then will he be able to make a self-assessment, which can later lead to self-improvement.
Flexibility – Human beings have preconceived notions about almost everything. Our past experiences and impressions ensure that we react in predictable ways to various circumstances. A guru may want to alter these reactions. He may want us to react differently from how we think we should. That change requires flexibility.
Non-dogmatism – Most religions make people compartmentalise their minds about spiritual growth. How to pray and how many times, which direction to sit in while praying, the list never ends. Stringent rules give rise to dogmas, which must be prevailed over for spiritual growth.
Sense of Sacrifice – A good disciple needs to have the ability to make sacrifices on various counts. There cannot be service without sacrifice and practice. To acquire certain spiritual skills, one may need to sacrifice certain pleasures. To overcome anger, one needs to control one’s emotions. Accepting the dislikeable is a sacrifice in itself.
Sheer Guts – Safety and spiritualism do not always go together. Sometimes, there are unseen dangers one must surmount. Spiritual service includes safeguarding people against such external forces and negative energies transmittable through practices like black magic.
The curing of certain diseases and emancipating people from negative energies require the healer to be brave enough to take risks, since his aura may absorb some of those negative energies.
Initiative – It is easy to learn to philosophise and script a profound speech. While philosophy does sound impressive, it takes initiative and intent to put that philosophy into practice. Most gurus are not looking for yes-men. It is initiative that makes a person go beyond expected levels of attainment and act intuitively.
Obedience – Disobedience and obedience are the snakes and ladders in the game of Guruism. Both obedience and loyalty to a guru are qualities a good disciple must have. While disobedience leads your guru to relinquish his responsibility towards you as you have shown a lack of faith in him.
Loyalty – Loyalty to the guru and his mission is a critical component for acceptance by any spiritual master. Loyalty is a two-way street. Though, in my personal experience, it is the most significant qualification, it is only one of the criteria of evaluation amongst others.
Spiritual training in the physical presence of the guru ensures an interaction, where one learns not only through theory but also from the teacher’s responses, body language, instant corrections and so on. The guru often leads by example and it is a disciple’s curriculum to attain perfection in the prescribed practices and not just understand theory. There is a vast difference between attending a lecture in a classroom and reading scriptures online.
Discipleship needs continuous monitoring and interaction. Such training includes rewards and admonitions. However, the disciple should be cautious of making these rewards the centre of his spiritual aspiration.
Guiding a disciple is akin to raising a child. The only difference is that Guruism requires more than just understanding the disciple. This of course, makes the process of nurturing far more complicated. While the most significant aspect of this discipline is its practice, its most challenging aspect is motivating a disciple to progress spiritually.
Many use their guru as a crutch, and not a launch pad. It is necessary for us to understand that a guru is the remover of ignorance and the one who bestows internal knowledge. Therefore, one should depend on such a person for spiritual support and advancement, rather than making him a crutch.
Physical presence of the guru is a luxury one cannot always bank on for an extended period of time. His teachings and philosophy will succeed him. As a tribute to the teacher, the disciple must implement a collection of his teachings and instructions. Using the power of self-discipline, self- counselling and resolve, it is mandatory for the disciple to overcome distractions and temptations, all his life.
A guru spends a major part of his life acquiring spiritual knowledge. He studies the scriptures and assimilates their lessons after deliberated contemplation. Ingrained in him by his guru are the concepts left behind by the wise men of yore. When practiced, that knowledge gets converted into experience, and the disciple reaps the benefit of the knowledge distilled by his guru. The transmission of the guru’s power of knowledge is a big boon for the disciple.
Many a siddh guru can awaken the power of knowledge or intuition in his disciples by using their will power or spiritual energy.
A guru gives. He gives knowledge, he gives gati, he gives clarity. A guru facilitates the lifting off of the veil of Maya from your being. He walks you through every step of realisation that the world we perceive through our five senses is only a delusion, the reality lies beyond it. He teaches you not only to accept but also to see and perhaps live in this reality.
The guru introduces the disciple to the disciple’s inner being, and within that being lies the ultimate guru.Wishing you luck in the journey of finding the divine with you!
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Hingori works in the service industry and is a teacher of spiritualism who started 35 years ago as a student of Gurudev. His books chronicle his personal journey of transformation and are full of real-life experiences and spiritual insights. The Hingori Sutras are a series of easy-to-read books that collectively distil the spiritual wisdom of the ancient Indian siddh gurus.