THE ROLE OF GURU IN A SADHAKA'S LIFE
The swami in charge of the goshala had left and the man looking after the accounts of the Ayurvedic Pharmacy approached Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, when Swamiji abruptly took off his glasses and began to speak – words which touched everyone's heart, and shocked and stunned the assembled seekers:
“There comes a time in the life of a sadhaka when suddenly he feels that he is alone in this world, that he has no friends, and that perhaps even God has rejected him. This situation does not arise in the life of a novice; often the novice feels that he can easily realise God. It arises only in an advanced sadhaka. In that state one is utterly tormented and one does not know what to do. He is haunted by terrible doubts. He knows he is miserable, but he does not know why. Only the Guru knows why. That is the difference between the sadhaka and the Guru. Only the Guru can guide the seeker at that stage.”
Swamiji then spoke at length of Lord Jesus, and also hinted that he spoke in parables for the benefit of the masses but reserved the esoteric truth for the select few. “There is a religion for the masses. This religion, which is popular, is satisfying. Most people are satisfied with what is called religion. But there is something which is beyond that religion, which cannot be taught, which cannot be put on paper. In fact, it is not even wise to broadcast it to the masses, for the masses cannot understand it. This can only be directly transmitted by the Guru to the disciple.”
One such enigma is found in the Bhagavad Gita. Swamiji cited this example: “Even though it was Yudhishthira who was the best among the Pandavas, according to popular standards, Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘I am Arjuna among the Pandavas.’ Why did He not say, ‘I am Yudhishthira among the Pandavas’? Again, take the case of Lord Buddha. He declared that ‘Everything is’ is one extreme, and the doctrine that ‘Nothing is’ is another extreme, and that one should avoid both these extremes, for the truth is in the middle. What is that middle path? This question cannot be answered verbally, and if it is answered, it will not be understood intellectually!”
Perhaps when the brain melts and fills the heart, Truth can be realised!
A German doctor couple had come in to take leave of Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. The gentleman had a question: “All day long people come to me with their problems. When I have attended to them I find that I have no energy to devote to my spiritual practices. I find this frustrating. What should I do?”
Swamiji took them step by step along the road to the Absolute:
“Serve the patients for five days of the week. Have a complete holiday for the other two days. Close the clinic for those two days. It is better to go away from the familiar environment for those days. This facilitates your spiritual practice.
“It is not so much the length of time you meditate, but the quality of your meditation that counts. Most of the time, people who wish to meditate are merely struggling to find the switch to meditation. Finding the right switch is the most important thing. You do not find the right switch because the mind has not been properly prepared for it.
“The right switch is found only if you feel that meditation is not only good for you, but that it alone is good. The mind is not yet convinced of this truth. It makes you think that whereas meditation is good, there are other things which are also good. Therefore, there is no application, and the right switch is not found.
“In order to arrive at this conviction, you should realise that all that is good and desirable in the world is gained by the one thing that you get in meditation. It is very difficult to love God and God alone. This is possible only if you do not consider anything as superior or even equal to God, or as other than God. This is a lofty stage. Someone has said that when you love God, you cannot live. You are then totally absorbed in God. You see nothing other than God. Then you have found the right switch. In a moment you can enter into meditation.
“In order to reach this lofty stage, you have to train the mind gradually. But then if you forget this even for a moment, it is lost for ever. It is in order to remind themselves of this ideal that the mystics carry with them some sacred object like a rosary, or a scripture or a picture. You can adopt this practice, too.”