Cultivating the Spiritual Path of Laya Marga (55)

The ability to follow a spiritual path of life is a rare divine gift. Especially during the Kali Yuga period, this gift is extremely rare and therefore more valuable. The breath of the divine spirit makes you a person called to enter paths of the spirit. Many are called, but given the vast number of human beings, the total number of called indicates the spirituality of the mystical journey as God’s exclusive circle. Everyone called must demonstrate their worth before God and prove that they are worthy of the trust given to them. Competitors fall in the pre-race, and the later they fall, the harder the fall. This is Jacob’s ladder, the Lord’s stairway to heaven. Only a few are able to follow the spiritual path and achieve spiritual maturity. Co-responsibility for the fate of the entire human brotherhood, the entire human family, is one of the glimpses of such spiritual maturity.

Old poems say that if you do not have the Grace of Guru, the spiritual master, then you cannot receive the Grace of God (Śivam), and this Grace is the most necessary ingredient for a person’s spiritual growth. God’s grace is the very spiritual energy which, transmitted by God to Guru, and by Guru to disciple, accelerates adept’s development and leads the path to his true Self. The energy of blessing is Gurukripa transferred by laying hands on the student’s head. In order to develop on the spiritual path of life, to conduct meditation properly and realize spiritual wisdom – in all this, what is most needed is the Grace of Guru, the transmission of Divine Shakti. How rare it is to find or meet those lucky few who receive the saving and liberating blessings from the hand of true Guru – God’s Messenger. An authentic, God-anointed Spiritual Master is a rare phenomenon on this earth. His blessing is immeasurable happiness. The mere possibility of meeting a spiritual guide in person is a great gift from God to humanity. The fact of such a direct meeting is an undoubted sign of a vocation to spiritual life, a vocation given from the one and eternal Source of All Things, from God. Everyone can pray and ask God for the gift of following a spiritual path. We can pray for our loved ones, so that they too will receive this spiritual gift in due time. Even a thousand practicing Disciples of the Way in a country with several dozen million inhabitants constitute an elite class of initiates in sincere spiritual pursuits. The entire vocation process represents only a small fraction of the general population. What an honour it is to be called to follow a spiritual path of life. How often practitioners do not realize the importance of this gift, how rarely are they deeply and consciously grateful. What a misfortune it is for the soul when someone rejects the spiritual gift bestowed upon him by his Creator.

Many people claim to choose a Guru and say with great noise: ‘This and that is my Guru.’ They are used to choosing a political or sports idol in a plebiscite. Not in this vulgar way Guru is chosen, for no Guru is an idol, but only God’s Servant and Messenger. You really need to have consent, acceptance from Guru, acceptance confirming that you are Her or His spiritual disciple (Chela). This is a great common step taken together by both the disciple and the Master. When Guru agrees to accept you as a spiritual disciple, then he takes responsibility for your life and your future. All your karma (fate, destiny) is under the care and protection of Guru. This is a great and wonderful thing, although students usually have no idea about it, or even if they do, it is little. You may not be aware of this fact, but when Guru accepts you, he takes responsibility for your karma and participates in it. This is the basic role of God’s Messengers, otherwise no one would achieve salvation. Whatever happens, Guru will always lead you closer and closer to God, until you are fully and completely united with Him. The Guru is the Son of God bearing the burden of your sins. Guru is a messenger of God who comes to erase your mark (soul stain) through a spiritual bond and return you to Heaven. Guru is indeed your only redeemer and saviour. God’s greatest enemies on earth are not those who preach atheism or Satanism, but those who fight and slander God’s Messengers – the true ambassadors of Heaven on earth.

It is difficult to imagine the responsibility of Guru in earthly concepts and words, but it can be said that Guru is more than a mother, father and friend on the spiritual path. So, the important thing is that Guru has to consent, has to agree to accept you as his disciple. Guru must see your physical form in person so that His most powerful blessing can be bestowed upon you. Often this is only possible when the candidate for a disciple remains in close proximity to the potential Guru for some time. When Guru accepts you as his disciple, only then is the real silver thread of spiritual communication established. There is no liberation except through the luminous and pure spiritual bond thus established.

Many people experience blissful and uplifting inspiration when they think of a spiritual person as their Guru. Others are immediately repelled by their essentially dark conditions. You can benefit from the inspiration and teachings of any spiritual teacher or master. This can be very encouraging, uplifting and transforming, however, only the student who is personally accepted by the Master actually becomes a participant in the spiritual path of life. Sometimes it happens that Guru, just by looking at your photo or portrait, will send you his most powerful blessing, but these are exceptional situations, one in a thousand and should not be confused with the support and help that every person sometimes experiences from holy people, mainly to have a chance to experience the existence of divine power and help at least once in a lifetime. Individual spiritual direction always requires a real physical meeting and a real confirmation of acceptance as a disciple of the Spiritual Hierarchy of masters, saints and prophets of God who descend to earth to call souls that are maturing in the course of evolution.

You can also have a good relationship with a spiritual master through correspondence, but you still need to remember that it is best to meet your Guru in person. Teaching through letters is a great source of pure love that gradually develops as you put into practice the advice and instructions you receive. It is always a time of special significance when the Guru physically meets and sees his disciple. Such vision is called darśana. An adept accepted by his Guru as a spiritual disciple should always celebrate the festival called Guru Purnima (it is the day of the full moon in July, with preference for the sun in the sign of Cancer). To be able to see your Guru on this day is an exceptional blessing and usually means that Guru truly accepts you as his protege disciple. According to the tradition of all yoga lineages originating essentially from Lord Śiva, this is the day on which offerings called Vastradhana (a robe or some type of clothing worn by the Guru) and Dakshina (offerings or fruits) are made to Guru. If Guru accepts your gifts, it means that he receives and accepts you. Guru Purnima is the perfect time to make a pilgrimage to the feet of your Guru, to the feet of your spiritual master and guide.

Disciples accepted by Guru have much work to do. The spiritual bond with Guru is a guarantee of its success, therefore, once established, the initiatory relationship with Guru should always be strengthened and great care should be taken to never weaken or squander it for any reason. The student must really seriously apply himself to implementing all the advice, tips and instructions he receives from Guru. The work of a spiritual disciple is to overcome and refine the ego (anava) – the forces of the material nature of existence. In striving for vairagya (liberation, salvation), one must loosen attachments to ‘I’ and ‘mine’, to what is ‘liked’ and ‘disliked’, and ultimately lose them completely. Each Master has his own proven working methods and ways of testing the progress of a spiritual disciple. Former “disciples” who devote themselves passionately to the criticism of Guru’s methods are usually failed candidates for discipleship who have not successfully passed some subsequent test. The spiritual training offered by the Master is not for himself, but only for the student and with his development and real spiritual progress in mind.

Students usually follow simple and easy beginner’s instructions, and only when they become proficient and successful in following such instructions are they given more complicated and more difficult tasks. Learn to accept and receive Guru’s verbal instructions. Above all, learn to do the work assigned by the Divine Guru. This is a slow and gradual process, so don’t try to force complicated things or tasks unless you want to quickly join angels who have fallen into the dark pit of disappointment. Be the doer of the work and you will experience the blissful grace flowing from Guru.

A special, simple practice can help beginning students enjoy experiencing the grace of their Guru, Master and Hierophant. Try this twice a day, morning and evening, as part of your spiritual work. Preferably wash your entire body or cleanse it and put on fresh and clean clothes intended exclusively for spiritual practice. Sit quietly and focused in a place specially designated for this purpose. Focus your thoughts and feelings on your Guru with all your heart. Think about Him for a long time. Guru will then send you divine blessings and spiritual energy. Let this divine energy work within you. Practice this on a regular basis. This practice is the beginning (root) of sadhana. Guru will help you in many areas of your life, but you must also make a constant effort to maintain your spiritual connection.

May God’s blessing always be with you and your loved ones. Hum!

Many Blessings on your Path to Awakening and Realization!

Om Namaśśivaya! Hum!

Aćaryaćarya Swami Lalita-Mohan G.K.


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