Double-edged Blessings of the Guru

Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati

With your left hand
Gently coaxing
And an occasional prod
You lifted me into bliss.
But in ignorance I started
To think I was a sage.
With every elevation of your hand
My pride increased
Until I thought
There was nothing
That "I" could not do.

With a mighty sweep
Of your right hand
You sent me sprawling
Into the depths of despair.
Gone was the bliss
Gone was the wisdom
And gone was the sense of achievement
Fallen from my pedestal
My ego shattered and squirming
What was there
That "I" could do.

When my heart was humbled a little
You raised me again
With both hands
And gave me hope and blessings
With which to cross
This stormy ocean of the world-
Oh disciple, most sincere
The Guru has two hands
One to inflate, and one to deflate
One to make, and one to break
And both are bestowers of his grace.

Reflect, Oh seeker,
That this world is not
A soft carpet of rose petals
Nor is it a bed of thorns.
It is a bit of both
And to reach
The spiritual sky above
We must learn
To endure all extremes
Good and bad
And also go beyond.

So remember always:
When you are being launched high in bliss
Or crashed to lowest abyss
The Guru's caress
Is as good as his slap
But can "I" bear it?