The role of a true Guru
I once had this imagination that if I could just go to India to some sacred place then I could get Enlightened. I did that, and didn’t get Enlightened. I had the imagination that Baba or someone was just going to wave their hand and I would become Enlightened. I now realize I have to put in the effort. I know Baba’s guidance is imperative but I have to put in effort. My question is about compulsion versus volition in our lives, compulsion meaning the acquired habits causing compulsive behavior. I wonder if Baba can talk a bit about when we are on the meditation path acting more out of volition than by our compulsions.
First I appreciate your sincerity of trying to burst the myth and hope this could be a lesson for so many other spiritual seekers in this world and they accept. This is what we continuously try to tell. Reality itself is much more of a great wonder and amazing magic than the myths that have been built up. A Guru or a particular sacred place is recommended. Any place that you go a likely imagination gets generated within the mind. So, for example, if you go to a shopping mall an imagination of Divinity is not going to be generated though the Divine’s presence is everywhere. But a different type of imagination gets generated which is likely to take you away more from your real Self. So to help you acquire such an imagination which can cut the earlier worldly imagination these sacred places or a Master's Lotus Feet or presence, all these things, are recommended. But those are not a complete cure. After that one has to put in effort, self-effort. That is the purushatta. Purusha literally means ‘man’ but not in the gender-wise way, but in the mental effort, a superhuman effort is very much needed for everyone.
We can look back in history, no-one has really obtained such a Realization without putting in effort. If anybody claims that they simply got it like that they are not sincere to themselves and they are not sincere to others also. That is why this is done.
Now we come to the practice of meditation. As I have always told in meditation you are trying to rectify your mistakes. You are not trying to set right the world at all. You are simply trying to set right yourself from all the acquired habits. Habits die hard. But, with an antidote of determination, discipline and an understanding of the need one can overcome through constant practice. So that is the job of the Guru also, to inspire and keep slapping the student again, slapping the student again, slapping the student again so that habit can be given up. So it’s like every time you put your finger there you get beaten up, ‘remove that!’ it goes again, slap, ‘remove that!’ [laughter] So that’s what you’re trying to do through meditation and what the Guru’s job is.
So imagine this is what you are supposed to do. Simply if you can overcome this you are there. Because you have picked up a habit so you are unable to be aware of the truth of that wonder, unnecessarily looking for simple wonders which are e belittling yourself so much, very low quality things.
Like my Guru used to tell, if you ask the Divine, you will end up simply asking for a small chocolate, the Divine wants to give you the supermarket. You are the owner of the supermarket and you are so worried about a small chocolate piece. That is the practice of meditation – you need to be determined otherwise simply time will pass by. Ten years have passed by since I came here first. Forty years would have passed, forty lives can pass by, forty life cycles can pass by if you don’t understand this and you simply expect somebody else to do it for you. You will be cheating yourself, life after life, life after life. Know that it is you who has to do it for yourself.
Shri Krishna has also told in Bhagavad Gita, “Atman is the Atman’s best friend and Atman can be the Atman’s worst enemy.” Atman means the Self. You can be your best friend and you can be your worst enemy. For all your sufferings you are your own worst enemy. Nobody else has troubled you, except you, yourself. Simply you have to overcome. So that is what you have to do by understanding.
Know that only a real Self Realized teacher can talk this truth. Ordinary teachers will never talk this truth, they will tell, “I will do it for you, don’t worry.” “You are already Realized, don’t worry.” And they will try to pick your pocket. [laughter]. This is Guru Gita’s talking, I am not trying to be disrespectful to any Gurus or any such thing. The Guru Gita tells, such a one is the real Guru who would not plan to rob the property of the disciple but gives the truth repeatedly by slapping, taking that risk that the student might misunderstand the Guru and likely to go away. But if the student is destined, will come back.
10 May 2014 USA retreat