With gratitude for all letters and questions regarding the importance or irrelevance of a person of Guru during a journey on a spiritual path, with pleasure I undertake this subject, difficult in our culture. I will try to include an outline of the traditional view of enlightened beings regarding the topic raised in the letters.
Literally, the word guru consists of several Sanskrit syllables that definitively determine the meaning of this concept, unfortunately little known to any so-called Western authorities, as well as all free seekers. Many people have concepts about guru. Let’s try to delve into the nature of Guru being.
The first mantra syllable is „GAM” meaning the highest spiritual knowledge that grew out of samadhi. Gam is also an archetype of size and spiritual energy of growth, a force that removes stasis. Gam in the mantric sense is the one who goes, aim, follows; also, the one who can stay, stand and be. Gam points to Gagari, or Song of Return and Ganeśa, an archetype of wisdom born of the spirit in the world of matter. Gam also points to the world of Gandharvas – angels (devas) from the paradise of Lord Indra, who are essentially a clan of artists / singers and dancers in love with the divine spiritual art. Gam also means the correct direction of erotic relationships. The basis of the guru’s work is to point out toward that what is Gam. The colour of the mystical syllables Gam is a kind of vermilion red similar to the colour of the sun rising at dawn.
The second seminal syllable is „UM” which is an aspect of Lord Siva (Grace) as the Supreme Consciousness. This syllable indicates the being who lacks of any limitations of the mind, who lacks of any barriers in the space of the psyche. Um is the Might of Consciousness (Power) manifesting itself as an unlimited mind-heart in the form of consciousness watching over in samadhi. Um points to Paramśiva, or Lord Buddha. This syllable as a mantra gives life force and vigour, moreover, it is the very essence of the life force and vigour, spiritual power. Um is a call to Lord Shiva, as well as the energy of compassion, acceptance, accordance, protection and care, and the command and questioning / interrogation or hearing. The symbol of Um is the moon growing after the new moon. Um gives strength and spiritual power even in the midst of unbearable pain and fear. The colour of this syllable is slightly yellow or better golden-lemon.
The third fundamental syllable is the sound of „Ram” with a flaming reddish hue similar to the shining of heat. The fundamental effect of this syllable is the burning of pollutants. Ram removes and burns all causes of pain and weakness. Ram is the heat itself but also the flame of fire, heat, speed and love. Ram is the heat of love. Ram is the speed of a waving fire flame. Ram is heat felt during the burning of all impurities of the body and mind (psyche).
Syllables „Gam” and „Um” merge into one syllable „Gum” with the sound „u”, while the syllable „Ram” and „Um” merge into one syllable „Rum”, also with the sound of „u”. Altogether we have the mantric form of the word „GURU„. The syllable „Gu” brings success on the path and generally gives all success and prosperity. The syllable „Ru” burns all pollution, burns the causes of pain and weakness. The syllable „Gu” has a heavier nature closer to the earth, while the syllable „Ru” has a lighter nature is closer to fire or light. Well-being (success) comes from the burning of all pollution.
To understand the nature of the concept and energy hidden behind the word „Guruh”, one usually repeats the mantra (essential) prayer: „Om Guruh„. This practice allows to discover and purify your proper relationship with guru, to realize what the energy, praised by all ancient sages, prophets and spiritual masters, from the smallest to the greatest, actually is. At the same time we remember that the „O” syllable is phonetically a long syllable, pronounced twice as long as the remaining vowels of this phrase.
Meeting the various explanations of the concept or person of guru, you will probably find mainly a description of qualities and qualifications, characteristics contained in the mantric meaning of the concept of guru. It is possible that you will ask yourself whether a given person complies with the qualifications described. This is not easy to determine. It is difficult to explore the nature of something that is actually the Ideal of all human effort in following towards the spirit. In the sense of the idea or better of the ideal concealed behind the name, we probably already have some understanding what guru is in its very essence.
There is also the practice of mantric repetition of the essential syllables that summed up form the word GURU. Here is a wreath of sounds to repeat (vibrate):
GAM – UM – RAM – UM
The final sound „m” sounds similar to „n” and it is so called nasal „m” – often written with a dot at the top (so-called anugraha). These syllables are primarily used to connect with your own Guru. The tradition of yoga says that every human being has only one Guru and that he is one of a kind. Beginning a spiritual journey begins traditionally from the search for a Guru person. Finding the only one as always is not an easy task. It is said that all spiritual search begins from the search for Guru. Finding a Guru is referred to as the beginning of spiritual development, the beginning of the path. All great masters say that sincere pursuit of God is tantamount to the desire to find one’s Guru. If one does not need a Guru, then he is a worldly person who does not want God or spiritual development. Someone who has not yet found his Guru has not yet entered the path of spiritual development. You can easily identify the seeker’s aspirations from these instructions. Therefore, the wreath „Gam-Um-Ram-Um”, as well as the practice of „Oom Guruh” is a huge help in spiritual search.
GURU is sent by God!
When a man is sincere and serious in his search for Truth, Love, and Perfection, then God helps him find the right sources of help. These can be holy books, as well as spiritually inspirational teachers. When the seeker is truly sincere and trusting, as well as profound and zealous in his endeavours and attempts, then God sends Guru to meet him! Guru is a person who knows God and is spiritually appointed by God Himself to accept a seeker as a disciple (chela, murid) and lead him out of the darkness of ignorance, foolishness and ignorance towards the light of wisdom, spiritual knowledge and understanding. God Himself teaches devoted disciple through the pure spiritual perception of Guru. This is because God is a being that remains in the Silence of the Eternal Quietness. He never speaks to the disciples directly. He always does this through his messenger, who is the person of Guru. It is so until the student himself reaches the required by God, a sufficiently high level of spiritual development. God’s silence does not mean his aversion to seekers or anything malicious or disrespectful. On the contrary, God, by his love and humility, allows man to remain free to choose and experience his own destiny, or fate. God does not even want to interfere with human ability to free choice. He wants us to choose him, but he will not force us to do anything. It is a wish of the very nature of God that his creation may find him.
Man has independence and freedom of choice. He separated himself from God through errors in the use of his will and independence. Therefore, he cannot hear the Voice of God except through the lips of a person who has already corrected mistakes and knows God with all his being. God in his love continually sends to people his emissaries called messengers or Gurus of various degrees of initiation, depending on the needs of humanity. For before man does not know God, he is unable to hear His Voice. Therefore, it is said that Guru is sent for those who have ears to hear.
It is necessary to work honestly and trustfully to find God. He is more real than anything that can be known by five senses. However, no one attained true connection, communion with God until he heard His Voice. He can be known. Before you know God, you will not hear His Voice. It is so, no matter what kind of spiritual path or school you follow. It is also worth saying that the echo of thought is only the voice of memory and the sub-consciousness. These quarrelling sounds that flow from within the mind have nothing to do with the voice of God, although often one of them is taken for the Voice of God. The speech of the Supreme is not the voice of the demons of ego disputing in the mind. God’s voice is one and only voice. There is no fight or discussion in it. When it appears then all other sounds of the mind are silenced. God’s speech is not thoughts speech either.
In order to achieve success in spiritual search, one must follow the laws and principles given by God. In order to be able to understand spiritual truths, it is necessary to have a spiritual teacher or guide. Guru is the one sent by God. Guru is the one who knows God. It is a feature of Guru to enrich sincerely seeking students. It is always enriching with spiritual wisdom. If you want to find God, you need such a spiritual Teacher and Guide. You also need to follow His teachings and instructions. If there is no such need in you, and there is no desire to be with Guru, do not worry or despair. This call is the longing of a waking soul and perhaps you still have something to do in life before the soul speaks with this longing.
In worse situation are those who were given an opportunity to get closer to the form of Guru, and for some reason they moved away and deny and reject Guru. What is within you that causes you to reject Guru and cut yourself off from Guru? It is always a diabolical part of the dark forces of the personality, the dark forces of the ego. It is true that person of Guru is a test for the seeker. It is a test of sincerity in searching, a test of trust in God. Always the main reason for rejection and separation from Guru is an incorrect relationship with Guru. It is usually a lack of trust in God, in other words, it is a lack of faith. Guru is a stone at the threshold to heaven, on which pilgrims and travellers are stumbling to fall. This is often a test that we see in the denial of St. Peter. Even a zealous and devoted student can stumble over lack of faith. The basis of the relationship with Guru is trust and gratitude.
In the first phase of the relationship with Guru, he reflects the archetype of the relationship with mother! If the relationship with the mother was conflictual, the seekers reject the Guru already during their spiritual infancy and experience many conflicts and dilemmas in this kind of relationship that is formed between the chela and the Guru. Later, one can stumble over the Guru as a father’s archetype. In fact, Guru is our spiritual father and mother in one person. The commandment „Honour your father and your mother” is really used to build the right relationship with Guru. Honour really means deep trust and gratitude. The archetype of God as a terrible and punishing Father is an additional obstacle in Christian culture, which breaks down all the beauty and depth of the relationship with Guru. The right approach to Guru is something the same as a relationship of friendship, a very deep and true friendship. If we have not experienced such a thing in our lives, then it is probably difficult for us to build the right relationship with Guru. For God is the friend of all beings, the one who is the closest! Everyone seems to know about it, but in the „wash” they often seem to be completely oblivious. The only good advice is to thoroughly cleanse your relationship with both parents, because Guru is the Divine Parent. If we do not do this in the process of purification, then we will project our relationship with the parents on the person of Guru. Exactly with the same dislikes and grievances!
God’s answer to the rejection of the sent Guru is reflection in the depths of soul, which becomes a karmic disposition: If you reject the one I send you, now you will wait much longer to meet Him. The mechanism works so that it extends the period of your spiritual search. It is said that one who cannot learn from the wisdom and love of Guru sent to him by God, the one will not find God in this life anymore. Sometimes even several lifetimes on earth must pass before we again have such a great opportunity to achieve liberation (salvation). Therefore, rejecting the Guru is traditionally considered as the greatest harm one can inflict on himself. The most common examples are people who carry the victim’s syndrome, persons with a tendency to create poor wretches and suffering people from themselves.
God’s Law, Rita, is very unambiguous when it comes to the relationship of the chela – Guru. This law is very simple: first you have to find your Guru, then your spiritual development begins. This means in a very clear way that previously we had no connection with the so-called and popular spiritual development. This fact can be difficult to accept by all those who are spiritually seeking and developing according to their own beliefs. However, it is obvious to those who started and finished their work under the guidance of their Guru. The misunderstanding comes from the fact that the path of the so-called self-realization, which is only the first quarter of the entire path to be travelled, is not traditionally considered a spiritual path, but merely a process of preparation for taking the spiritual path. Its crown is to find Guru and start the proper work, which only few really know anything about.
Mistakes on the Path of Self-Realisation!
The path of self-liberation or self-realization is just the path of preparation for a spiritual journey. Yoga calls it the term samprajńata samadhi. It is described by Patanjali in Yogasutras (Yg.I.17) as the work of developing four properties:
- Vitarka – internal logic and ordering, unambiguity of thoughts, words and deeds, uniform direction of aspirations without hesitation or doubts, simplicity of thinking.
- Vichara – prudence and discernment as the ability to make the right choice in accordance with the conscience, compliance with one’s own nature, truthfulness of thoughts, words and actions, distinguishing what is true and proper for us.
- Aananda – unconditional happiness and peace, bliss and beatitude, a state of felicity and calmness emerging from itself and independent of anything outside.
- Asmitaa – the feeling of being a cosmic great self, a sense of all-encompassing unity, awareness of only oneself.
These four features together indicate self-realization or self-liberation. It is the ability to intuitively learn about yourself, the depth of your psyche, your human self. Many psychics remain in this phase of development, thinking that they are enlightened beings. Meanwhile, at this stage they need a Guru to start a spiritual journey. The other three stages are described by Patanjali in three subsequent verses (Yg. 18,19 and 20). Of no use is a deep insight into human nature and the dimension of the psyche. We can only be good psychotherapists in this state of self-liberation, nothing more. Achieving this level many reject Guru on this occasion and what is more, they proclaim themselves as enlightened beings, often under the disguise of psychotherapy or own path. It is a difficult threshold to overcome, especially if it is accompanied by the experience of unity with all life and the entire universe. Such fixated seekers often proclaim the idea of rejecting Guru, the ideas that they themselves and everyone else are God. Often they own the only truth and reject all the authorities of the past, they have issues with all paths claiming they are useless or even unnecessary. God is above all within themselves and they are only listening to him. Meanwhile, these people have only large ego, as great as the universe, and they work as false Gurus, despite their seemingly sincere intentions. The ego begins the journey back to darkness and ignorance. It is like turning into the wrong alley that leads into the abyss. Unfortunately, often these seekers rejecting Guru at this point and relying on a huge and subtle ego, on their own mind and on their own intuition, lose many incarnations before they can take further steps and develop further. The experience of self-liberation thus has such a „small” danger.
To go further, it is only here that Guru is needed. The cure is to find your Guru and devote yourself to His divine protection with all sincerity and loyalty. God will always send you this help, even if you have been in such a hopeless situation for many lifetimes. You just need to unravel your reasons for his rejection. The Lord Jesus used to say to the disciples he sent: „Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever does not receive you does not receive me.” This is the action of God with whom Jesus was in complete unity. Similarly, although much earlier, Lord Buddha taught. God sends his messenger, who is Guru. If you do not accept Guru, it means that you do not accept God. Strange situation: you pray to God to visit and teach you, but you reject him when he comes in human form, dressed up as his messenger. Then you listen to the voice of your own ego that best suits your own imagination of the Voice of God. And so begins the journey from light to darkness.
Developing a relationship with Guru!
Developing the right relationship with Guru is always based on deep trust. Guru does not need any student or relationship. The student needs a relationship with Guru. This relationship is the beginning of a relationship with God, the beginning and the foundation. Unfortunately, God did not foresee another Way of Return. It requires humility and submission. The relationship with Guru is based on pure sympathy, friendship and gratitude. It is said that the love and fervour of praise is directed to God, while gratitude and respect are directed to the living person of the Guru. From the beginning of the spiritual path in its proper sense (Yg.I.18), Guru is accepted as a friend and guide. Guru is a shepherd for souls seeking God. The sincerity of intentions without searching for personal benefits is constantly tested.
Guru should be accepted by the heart, which means engaging feelings. However, these are feelings of friendship and sympathy. One should not give Guru feelings coming from Kama domain, such as sexual desire and the desire for exclusive possession. With these feelings, you can at best achieve the stage of primitive fanaticism, and worse, the state of deep mental illness. Erotic desire for Guru reaches only his carnal form, and this one is empty and free of these kinds of objects, so we achieve nothingness. The perfect feeling is the constant gratitude.
Focusing on the person of Guru and contemplation of the Essence of Guru has two dimensions. The first one is the form, the shape of Guru. It’s about this ordinary human form and the human nature of Guru. The shape serves only to focus on the Essence of Guru. The proper subject of reception is what flows from the depth of this shape. It can be a feeling from the heart of Guru or the light of His true nature. And one should not be afraid of any astrals or mentals. The very fear in itself is a mistake and shows the simple lack of trust, lack of faith. The light of Guru, its luminous and unlimited being is the second and essential dimension of the contemplation of the person of Guru. One should not give importance or pay much attention to the personality of Guru, to his human nature. One should contemplate and ponder, feel the Divine Nature of Guru. Every human form has a human and divine nature. You can do it with every human being. Only that the divine nature of the sent Guru has a saving and liberating power called Grace. And without the Grace it is impossible to achieve the actual liberation from the ocean of samsara (suffering). The ideal is to receive (pratyaya) the waves of Grace (Anugraha) flowing from Guru. You can also contemplate in a similar way the Energy of Initiation (Dikshan), which is always a pure spiritual power and has no relation to the astral powers of human psychism, as claimed by all kinds of pseudo-spiritual scammers. The energy of Initiation is the spiritual power, the pure light of God transmitted to us by Guru. Christians called this power the Holy Spirit. It flows from the burning heart of each Guru. It also flows from the Guru’s blessing hand. In fact, the point of connecting to the Energy of Initiation is to receive support and blessings from only one source, which is God.
There is also another dimension to contemplating the Essence of Guru. It is focusing on the lotus feet of Guru. It is said that the Guru’s feet are the only part of the body to which one can direct the feeling of worship. In response, what is called the Guru’s blood will flow. Then comes what the Christians call the communion of blood, or the Eucharist. It is a blood relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is an ancient brotherhood, a covenant of blood and Holy Communion. The very substance of God’s eternal life is the blood of Guru. We call it makaranda, because it is the blood of the eternal covenant with God and the blood of eternal life at the same time. The desire for eternal life, like the desire for absolute truth and perfect love, are those qualities that indicate desire for God. This is because God is in himself the ultimate Truth and perfect Love, and also a being that always lives, eternally. The thirst for truth which rejects eternal life is the desire for a mortal relative truth flowing from the ego.
The words of Guru are God’s speech addressed directly to us. God always uses the mouths of Gurus he sends to tell us everything that He has to say to us. The words of Guru are an excellent mantra and a prayer at the same time. Remembering and considering the words of Guru is the surest means of liberation that is given to us. Jesus, after less than three years, says to his disciples: The word that I have spoken to you, it has cleansed you. Who has ears to hear, let him hear. Buddha commanded his disciples to store his words and reflect upon them continually. The practice of just listening to the words of your Guru has in itself a cleansing power. There is one condition to listen consciously and carefully, always with a willing heart. Listening develops the most perfect of spiritual qualities: obedience.
Sooner parrot repeating overheard sutra will achieve total liberation, than a man unwilling to listen to the words of Guru and the teachings of sacred scriptures. The reluctance to listen to the teachings of a living Guru reflects fundamentally a personality that is still living in a period of rebellion against listening to own parents. In fact, it is a fragment of an immature personality that we drag along into adult life. Such a tendency shows also the total lack of humility, characteristic of a rebel person rather than a person sincerely seeking God. Disobedience to God, or unwillingness to listen sincerely and confidently and to do what comes from God, is the main cause of falling into materialism. Removing your anger of rebellion against parents, school, teachers, and even against the thread of life that leads you, is necessary to immerse yourself in the eternal life of God.
There is no such thing as addiction to Guru. There is no Guru who would make people addicted to himself. Even the most modest Guru opens wide the gate to freedom through the path of self-discipline. But it is us ourselves who undertake the path of spiritual discipline. No Guru ever enslaves anyone through hypnosis or trance, because the main purpose of the work under the guidance of Guru is the development of self-awareness and further God’s consciousness. Chittam is developed, and not addictions. It is a serious mistake to project an enslavement of one’s own mind on a relationship with Guru and accusing Guru of enslaving our person. The truth is that it’s our own devastating passions that enslave us. Addiction to Guru is pure fiction. Such state is created by own passions, which as a demonic force within the ego, defend themselves against the power of God’s blessing that flows through the figure of Guru. It is true that one of the attributes of Guru is annihilation of the false ego. This way of defending the ego, in which everything the worst is attributed to own Guru, is a perfectly known trap on the spiritual path. That is why the ego must become humble and devote itself more deeply to Guru, develop trust and sincerely desire for God, and the trap will be overcome. Otherwise, own ego’s demons triumph and we reject all Gurus as harmful. In fact, it is called the pseudo-freedom of demonic possession. This is just hypnosis and enslavement!
Śraddha – sincere faith and trust must be constantly developed. The further along the path, the more trust, the more honest and selfless must be intentions and motivations. Guru is the greatest friend you can meet on earth. Friendship is based on perfect trust. The relationship between chela and Guru is the only perfect relationship that the soul really needs on the path to salvation, to kaivalya. It is the only completely pure compound. And we should not mess it with own filthy slops from the depths of the dark nooks of our demonic ego. For by griming a relationship with Guru, one is completely griming his relationship with God. Show me your attitude to Guru, and I will tell you what your attitude towards God looks like. The relationship with God, speaking clearly and simply, is reflected and viewed in the mirror of Guru. The relationship with Guru within one’s own heart (Iśvara) is mirrored in the image of the relationship with Guru outside. Your attitude to Guru in human form shows the quality of your relationship with Guru within you. The old law says: „As above, so below, as outside, so inside.” People who deny all Gurus are those who deny God in their own being. This is the most demonic phase of falling into the dark and compelling forces of your ego.
I trust that this short study will answer many questions and issues related to Guru that came in the form of letters and questions during the workshops. The teachings about guru passed on by Baba Śivananda, as well as by Paramahamsa Yogananda, Śirdi Sai Baba, Goutama Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth and Djwhal Khul Khan were used in the elaboration of this bulletin. I trust that the view of enlightened beings is the most appropriate and trustworthy. Hum!
Aćaryaćarya Swami Lalita-Mohan Ji G.K.