The Glory that is Truly Yours

From Light on the Guru and Disciple Relationship, Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

On tour with Sri Swamiji, I met a lady who told me her experiences during her search for a guru. She was a seeker like any one else. She had been practising yoga for a few years and it had triggered off a process of inner development. She then began to realize a growing need to relate to a guru, someone who could guide her to the deep mysteries within her soul. She had so many questions that were unanswered. She needed to know so many things. And the question she pondered over a great deal was “How can I know my guru?”

She was often apprehensive that perhaps she would never find one. One day she heard that a guru from India had come to her town and was meeting people who wanted spiritual guidance. So she went along, wondering if her search was over. In her mind she assembled all the questions that had been tormenting her. She was impatient to clarify many things.

She arrived at the appointed place and was asked to wait until the guru was free to see her. She thought about what she would say to him, and tried to create an image of him in her mind. Every new thought brought on a new image. Her concept of a guru was obviously tainted by the confusions of her mind. After exhausting her mind with pent-up thoughts and emotions, she began to notice a sense of tranquillity which crept into her. She looked around, and for the first time noticed the room she was sitting in. Just as she was pondering on the bright cheerfulness of the room, someone called her and led her to the guru.

He was seated cross-legged on a cushion. He smiled, and the warmth of his smile crept into his eyes. “What have you come for?” he asked.

“To meet you,” she replied.

He was silent for a while, with his eyes closed. Her gaze was totally fixed on him. Then suddenly he opened his eyes and, looking out of the window, said, “Nice day, isn’t it?” She simply nodded as if she had lost her tongue.

“Do you have any questions?” he asked.

“No,” she answered, “I simply want to be in your presence.”

He nodded his head slowly and for what seemed like ages sat motionless.

She got up to leave. At the door she turned around and almost in a whisper said, “Can I be your disciple?” He simply nodded and smiled.

When she left the room she felt euphoric, as if walking on air. There was joy bursting in her. The sun was once again shining through the clouds. It was not until much later that she realized that when before the guru, her mind had ceased to question. She felt a great joy just to be there. There were no questions and no answers to be sought. Her search was over.

I felt a deep respect for this lady. Perhaps unknowingly she had realized the true essence of a guru-disciple relationship. When a disciple meets the guru, there are no questions, no intellectual bantering. Something is kindled and the link between them is established. After that, the disciple’s adventure is over. The disciple donates himself to the guru and then it is the duty of the guru to do what he chooses. The guru now begins his adventure. He decides whether the disciple is to practise karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, raja yoga or kundalini yoga, or no yoga at all. The tensions and neuroses of the disciple simply disappear. When the ego in all its forms is resolved and when the guru has been realized, then and then alone does every mental state become samadhi and full-fledged realization.

Disciples have erred again and again. They have been neurotic about sadhana, God-realization, moksha, siddhis, samadhi, and have therefore failed to fully realize their relation ship with their guru. They simply transfer their neuroses to guru.

For a disciple, the first and last adventure is to realize a guru and establish an unbreakable relationship with him.

Leave everything else to guru, then in time you will be able to experience the glory that is truly yours.