Secrets of success 3 – learning from the best

Reverence and gratitude towards the teacher and guru is the like finally getting the key that will open the door to grace to flow into your life. This grace is very important on the spiritual path.

We have added a transcript of the video below in case that helps. Then right at the end of this post is a Journal Activity. Enjoy!

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Third principle is follow the teacher. Cultivating a certain attitude towards the teacher. To accomplish something great requires a great teacher. On your own you don’t learn anything. Always from a teacher who is either internal or external. If you work hard at your practice, at some point you get in touch with the Infinite in you and you discover your inner teacher but it takes a long time to achieve this.

If you have the guru from outside it will save you a lot of time. Guru pujanam. More than following the teacher but love and adoration which will create a direct conduit of the knowledge and you will receive the knowledge. You attain the guru of the highest. When we are born we have our family as our first teachers. But we have to understand that they are not themselves teachers but conduits for the Supreme Consciousness, the real teacher.

Just like when we study Pythagoras’ Theorem, the teacher we are learning from is a conduit for the knowledge started many, many years ago and continues. The teachers are the transmission pipe but the knowledge is the actual thing. Only Brahma is the only guru. When we develop the reverence for Brahma and the conduit then you open up yourself as the conduit. Just like when I was in school and I loved certain subjects because I liked the teachers. My marks suffered when I didn’t like the teachers.

Every teacher has his or her merits. As you think so you become. If you focus on the merits you will get the knowledge. So respect the teacher for his or her merits and gain the knowledge rather than be picky about the personality. Children should respect the teacher. Sometimes we hate the teacher, no chemistry. Again, what choice I have? If I want to gain the teaching, I must respect the teacher. Then I am enjoying the fruits of the teacher. Is she worth my respect? Yes, she is worth my respect. Same with parents. Children must respect parents as father and mother not your friend. As a son, you adore your father even though sometimes he is very bad. You find that which is good.

When you have this respect for your teacher you will learn many things. I have a difficult time with my father but I respect him. When you go to a martial arts dojo, there is always a picture of the master there. Flowers. Who is that? He’s the guru. Are you worshipping him? He is only a human being. The answer: As you think so you become. He is the highest state of that path. If you are constantly in touch you will become like him. Then the more I knew about him and his personality the more I admired him and adored him.

So I started telling this story from the Mahabhaharata. There was this man who wanted to learn archery from a guru. But due to political reasons, not the proper bloodline and was rejected. He tried again and again. But again he was not successful. Then he went into the forest and built an image of this guru and he practised and practised. One day the guru was in the forest with his followers and his dog started barking. The followers let fly arrows and so did the man. The arrows locked in such a way that the dog was unharmed. The guru and his followers were surprised.

They went to investigate who had shot the arrows on the other side. The guru saw the man whom he had rejected. The man prostrated himself in front of the guru and thanked him for the teaching. But the guru said he needed payment in the form of his right thumb. That means the man would never be able to shoot another arrow. But he did it. He cut off his right thumb and offered it to his guru.

Just like me when I don’t know what to talk for these videos. Then I think of my guru and suddenly the words come. Just like this I adore, I respect and it starts to come. Can you imagine? For every teacher, father, mother develop the habit. In India, when the children meet their parents they touch the latter’s feet. If your ego is strong it will block the conduit of knowledge.

So what is the guru? First of all, it is Brahma. Shapeless, colourless, soundless, pure flow of bliss. The true form of the guru. The effulgent light is the guru. In that tiny molecule everywhere. The Universe is saturated with the guru. The Universe is the guru. When you want to know something, you will get the answer somehow. In a book. Through the radio. The Universe talks. Sincerity to learn and the Universe will teach.

Another manifestation is your conscience. If you go within, listen to your heart you will know if it is true or not. This is very peculiar. Sometimes when I open a book I realise what is right or wrong. The universe and your conscience is one. When the Supreme manifest itself as a person, your father, mother, teacher. Like the parrot who has learnt to speak by imitating. When a person has got a spiritual elevation it means you have tamed the ego to surrender to the Supreme. You have become a slave of your heart and a servant of the Supreme. Your mind has merged with no more difference in your heart and the universe. This is the inner guru.

Sometimes a saint comes back again to serve humanity and does not wish to merge. That sort of guru is the supreme guru. When you meditate on such a guru, it’s like you have an abundance of jewels with endless motivation. Where to find such a guru? I was such a rebellious child and wanted to practise meditation. I had this acute desire to do meditation. I followed some books which said I cannot practise without a teacher. Well, for goodness sake how am I going to find a guru in Siberia. I will go to India and find my guru. Cross the border, etc, but I was desperate for a teacher. Once the desire becomes mature and you realise that whatever you do creates hell, some higher power is needed to show the true path.

I am not satisfied for material comfort but am yearning for spiritual liberation. I want to tear apart the bandages and when you feel that way, the guru will appear. I want to go with you. At that moment, God manifest himself as the guru. if you desire something for your ego, a teacher may appear and may not teach you something pure. I was going through a difficult stage in my youth – smoking, drinking. Then one day I said to God if you exist show me the way. I must have a teacher. Either kill me right now or you give me the teacher and the path. But it should be the best teacher and best path. In one week I met the Baba Nam Kevalam teacher and feel great. Then Dada came and initiated me. I got in touch with my spiritual teacher. If you are pure in your desire He will come to you.

At that moment, you receive the mantra that connects you with the Supreme source. The relationship with the teacher is so important. When I see my teacher I see beyond the form, name and find that you are connected. You are that same thing. Spiritual path is following after the guru. It is not meditation, etc, etc. These are superficial things. Enlightenment comes with the grace of the guru. Follow your heart. Don’t betray your heart. Your heart tells you the right thing. Before that you have to develop the discipline of the mind. Know the difference by mastering your emotions and instincts. Viveka which is discrimination. You will need the yamas and niyamas which the external guru show you by the example of his behaviour.

External teacher is the practices you follow. The inner teacher is the ability to know what’s right and wrong. I have said so much and have more to say. So the third principle is to follow the teacher. Develop the ability to follow and respect and the teacher will come. Adore him for the treasures he has and you are ready for the spiritual path.

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Journal Activity: Reverence for the teacher begins when we are willing to say, “I need to know. Please teach me.” It begins with humility. This doesn’t come easy to a lot of folks. Instead they will criticise the teacher and pick on this or that. Here we will ask you only one question but it may be a tough one. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate yourself on your humility quotient? 1 means you really find it difficult to accept you were wrong. What are some ways that clinging to the ego has prevented you from learning something important or made you refuse to see the truth? What behaviours do you have right now that you could let go of so that by letting go and changing that one thought, you could have greater happiness and fulfilment in your life? Flexibility and humility go hand-in-hand. Your next step is to assess how easily you can accept changes that don’t go your way. Do you react strongly and insist on your way? Do you end up making others unhappy because of that?

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