Instructions to the Disciple

Swami Satyananda Saraswati speaks to the teenage Sannyasis on developing the inner awareness of guru. Recorded in a small Satsang at Bihar School of Yoga, Monghyr on 22.4.1981.

There is a state or experience, a little beyond the mind, in which you can see a person or an object that you love very much. Then you can materialize it on your inner plane of awareness as clear as reality. Of course, this only happens when your consciousness is raised. Then the image appears and becomes clear. In this elevated state, you can see Swamiji the same as if you were sitting in front of him, and he is talking to you. So, try to develop this, every day a little, for half an hour or one hour.

There are two states of consciousness. In one state you know that you are witnessing the whole thing, but in the other state you do not know. Afterwards, when you come out there is a little imbalance. But it passes shortly if you are under the guru's direction. However, if you are not under the guru, and the imbalance continues, it is possible to go crazy. That is why sadhana should never be done without the instruction of the guru, never, not even kunjal and neti should be done. The disciple must completely resign himself to the guru. Then, at the proper time, the guru will give him sadhana. I am telling you things now which I never told you before in all these years, because a certain maturity had to be reached.

If your relationship with guru is very simple, you can have any relationship with him. You not only have a guru, but a parent, child, friend, lover. Of course, he is a man and you are a woman. But the guru's relationship with all disciples is very clear. Whatever he does is only to impress their consciousness. Guru does not have disciples for any other purpose. But most disciples do not understand. So what happens is that emotional imbalance often develops. Sometimes you think, 'Swamiji loves me too much,' and at other times, 'Oh, now he does not love me at all.' But that is a mistake. The guru never loves anyone. Whatever he does is solely to change the quality of the mind.

You have seen how adding sugar changes the quality of milk. If you put tea, you change the quality of water. In the same way, once the guru gets into your mind, he changes the whole quality and structure. It is a very simple process; there are so many available ways in which he can do it: by mantra, sadhana, lectures, singing, thinking. When the guru comes into your mind, then the sadhana has to begin. But never think that the guru is attached or loves anyone in any personal way.

At a certain point, the disciple should be able to develop his own awareness. Then he does not need the guru physically at all. There is no difference between that state of awareness and physical contact. It is exactly the same. Maybe even that state of awareness is more tangible than this one. If you can visualize or feel me in moments of solitude, that is far more fulfilling and satisfying than communicating with this physical form. You can try.

But, first of all, you must know that I am your guru and you are controlled by me at every moment. That is what guru means. Sometimes I may get angry and abuse you, kick you, or put you out of the gate. All these things must be accepted too. The disciple means one who is always controlled by his guru. Then, the consequences of that experience will not be negative.

Otherwise, many disciples work very hard in spiritual life. They develop some experience, but afterwards they go back to normal. Because they have no guru, they do what they like, go on talking and talking useless things. If I ask you not to sleep, to keep quiet, not to argue with me, you must obey without any thinking or hesitation. With guru, disciple should have no personality, I mean so far as the sadhaka disciple is concerned, then only can he be helped.

So, you have all the elements with you. Work hard. Once in a month, once in a week, once in a day practise this. Develop the inner awareness. Have communion with your guru, inner communion. That is more tangible, satisfying, potential and real than the outer one. You will know it. After a few times you will get used to it. It is not unreal. Perhaps this seems real and that unreal, but it is only because that is a higher awareness. You know how the awareness is projected. You can see it in moments of extreme fear, passion or bluff; this is manifestation of consciousness. But when you practise it, there is one thing which you must be aware of. You should not do it unless you know that whatever I say to you is final, no argument. Only after this can you practise it. Otherwise, if manifestation of consciousness takes place even momentarily, it becomes very difficult to control. You might say, 'I am going to Australia.' And if I tell you, 'No, don't go,' you will not listen.

Therefore, first of all, you must establish a relationship in such a way that whatever I say is final. There is no second word on it, no argument, analysis, judgment or after-thought. When I say no, it is Finished. Otherwise, what will happen when the consciousness manifests? All sorts of thoughts come to the mind and people get uprooted. So, if you say, 'I am going to Australia,' and I say, 'Wait, not now,' then you should say, 'OK, Swamiji said, so I will not do it.' Then everything is Finished there.

The relationship between guru and disciple is only one. What guru says, disciple has to follow quietly, right or wrong. Until this relationship is established, the disciple should not attempt higher sadhana, otherwise he will be misguided after that experience. Always, except in a very few, this is the case. That is why I tell you, 'Be quiet.'

In the normal affairs of life, you have your experience, and I have mine, but the relationship between guru and disciple is always spiritual, even if you are involved with accounts or money. Therefore, everywhere you go, this awareness has to be there. It does not matter if you make certain mistakes in your department because of what I have told you to do. After all, I have told you to do it. If you are in the kitchen and I say, 'Keep the wheat outside,' and then ten bags of wheat are destroyed, it does not matter. I said, 'Put the wheat out.' In spite of the fact that it was raining, you just put it there. It was a material loss, but a spiritual gain because you obeyed the guru. Always remember this, and your progress will be very rapid.

A guru does not exploit the disciple. If the disciple has great devotion, guru can never exploit him. Only if the disciple is selfish, can guru exploit him. Many people write in books that guru exploits the disciples, but it is my experience that guru can never exploit the unselfish disciple. Guru can only exploit a selfish disciple. An unselfish disciple, a sadhaka, never loses anything, no matter what the guru asks of him, because he goes on developing his higher consciousness.