The Ideal Relationship

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

You have said that you never missed your guru when away from him. If one misses and longs for one's guru, does that mean one has the wrong relationship with guru?

Don't compare! Everybody needs to develop their own relationship. Don't try to copy someone else because if you do it is not you and you are putting on the mask of a copycat. You have to think about how you can relate with the guru. Sometimes we become attached to the guru emotionally, sometimes we become attached to the guru intellectually, and sometimes we become attached to the guru spiritually.

Emotional attachment to guru leads to more conflict and tension. One faces difficulties because one thinks, “the guru belongs to me,” instead of thinking of guru in terms of guru. We superimpose on the guru the relationship that a husband can have with a wife or that a wife can have with a husband. This does happen. It has happened to many people who begin to fantasize about the guru as their husband or as their wife, depending on whether the guru is male or female.

If it is an intellectual relationship there are also certain problems. You want a justification of your own thoughts. As long as the guru is talking about flowery subjects you enjoy it, but when the guru begins to talk about practical guidelines and subjects, then you start thinking, “Oh, God, how hard he is, he's relentless. He is after me. He is making sure I go through all this trouble and suffer.” Such thoughts do come.

Therefore, the true relationship with guru is the spiritual one. There the energy of the guru is part of you, not different from you. If you can identify with that, it's a laurel in your crown. The spiritual relationship in which the soul of the guru becomes one with the soul of the disciple, in which the energy of the guru becomes one with the energy of the disciple, is the ideal one. Aspire for that relationship.