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Way to Realisation(Role of the Guide)

Master and His Function

Realisation cannot be achieved by mere abhyas, for the reason that at higher stages the conditions are such that even if one ascends a little by self-effort he quickly slips down because of the strong push from above. Hence, so far as our entry into the higher regions is concerned the help of Master is indispensable. For the practical aspect of sadhana too, it is essential for everyone to take up the practical course of spiritual training for which we have to seek proper guidance. There have been cases, however, where sages have attained perfection by mere self-effort by surrendering themselves direct to God. But such examples are rare. It is really a very difficult course and can be followed only by persons especially gifted with uncommon genius. Guru is the connecting link between God and man. It is through his medium only that we can reach God. He is the only power that can extricate us from the intricacies of the path.

It is also necessary that the guide we select must be one of the highest calibre and worthy of the task of tearing off the intricacies at a glance with the aid of the extraordinary power at his command. It can only be one who has himself attained perfection or complete negation of self. We must connect ourselves with such a great power by feelings of love and attraction. It does not matter much what conception of him we entertain in our mind. We may call him our friend, Master, servant or whatever we may be pleased to choose. But he remains after all the guide or guru as he is commonly called. The conception of a guru as mother is in my opinion by far the most appropriate and advantageous to a disciple. A mother is the very embodiment of love and affection. Only a mother’s heart can bear with patience all troubles and miseries caused to her by her son, thinking all the while of trying to provide for her son, thinking all the while of trying to provide for her son’s comfort and happiness. The same is the position of the real Master or Guru who is the spiritual mother of the disciple. As such the guru is always on the look out for the spiritual welfare of the child, the disciple. It is due to the affectionate attachment of the guru with his disciple that the attention of the great Father with whom his spiritual mother (the guru) is so closely connected, is directed towards him, the disciple. The function of a mother and of a true guru are closely similar. The mother retains a child within her womb for a certain duration. The guru too retains the spiritual child within his mental sphere for a certain duration. During this period the disciple, like the baby in the womb, sucks energy and gets nourishment from the spiritual waves of the guru’s thoughts. When the time matures he is born in a brighter world and thence his own spiritual life begins. If the disciple enters the mental sphere of the guru surrendering all belongings to him, it takes only seven months to deliver him into the brighter world. But the process is generally delayed for a considerable time because while living in the guru’s mental sphere the disciple retains the consciousness of his own thoughts and feeling. Thus we find that the position of a guru is much the same as that of a mother. The conception of guru as a spiritual mother promotes in us feelings of love, reverence and surrender which are the main factors of spiritual life.

The selection of a worthy guru is no doubt a very difficult job. On the basis of my personal experience I may give you an easy method of judging. When you happen to come into contact with one, try to understand whether his association promotes in you a feeling of peace and calmness and silence for the time being at least, the restless tendencies of mind without causing any weight or effect upon it. If it is so you should conclude that he can be a fit man to lead you on the path. There is another difficulty as well. It is that even if such a Master is available and accessible, he is not trusted unless he plays some striking miracle. A raja yogi endowed with the power of transmission can no doubt display miracles but he never likes to do so since that will be derogatory to his real conditions. We have the example of Christ who displayed miracles all his life. But in spite of all that, he got only twelve disciples amongst whom there was even that one who subsequently brought about his crucifixion. That shows that his miracles were of no avail in promoting faith among people. It was, in fact, his noble teachings alone that afterwards secured for him such a large following. It is, therefore, in our best interest, to have our eyes fixed upon Reality rather than upon miracles which are undoubtedly very petty affairs and can be displayed by a person of comparatively inferior attainments and talents. Miracles are no criterion for a saint or a yogi. It is on the other hand, a deliberate fraud played by dexterous gurus upon weak and credulous people to entrap them in the fold of their gurudom. Before deciding about the final selection, one must be fully convinced of a man’s capabilities and merits with regard to his practical attainments on the path. For this he must have continued association with him to judge things through perception and experience in a practical way. When he is thus convinced, he must then trust him in good faith and rely upon him firmly. This is very essential for a successful pursuit.

I have a heart ever ready to help anyone who might be in need of it. I take the task only as a humble servant of humanity. There are and have been masterly gurus who work and have worked as masters in their time, but I prefer to be a servant instead and to work as a servant for the good of the people in general. Please do what you are told and inform me of your day-to-day progress and also of the difficulties if any. I may assure you that you can achieve the goal very easily if you go on persistently with constant remembrance.

Learned teachers of religion generally induce people to worship gods and deities. He alone who has travelled the path up to the final point, can guide successfully. Learned teachers are more like roadside signposts which tell you where the road leads to. This is all the purpose they can serve. It is no doubt very strange that one aiming at freedom from materiality should fall upon material forms and grosser conceptions.

The word mahatma has been defined in several ways, not perhaps without some reasonable basis. But my definition of it as a “Not-being Being”, though somewhat peculiar, is meaningful. It may also be interpreted so as to relate to one who has been away from spirituality. But that may not be acceptable to those who aspire for spirituality. But if we go deeper to explain its real significance I fear it will not be understandable so it is better that I hold over the topic. We know that it is not royal robes alone that make a real king. Similarly it is not the form or dress that makes a real saint or a yogi. Outward physical features are not the sure indications of the heart within.

Gurus of today might conveniently be classified under the following heads:

1. Quacks: Those who go about advising and conducting the worship of trees, animals, insects, diseases, ghosts and spirits.

2. Book-Moths: Those who prescribe practices and methods which they have picked up from books.

3. Practical teachers: Those who prescribe to others that which they do or have done, not taking into account the merits or demerits thereof.

4. Inspired teachers: Those who guide people on the basis of their inner inspirations.

5. Inspired experienced teachers: Those who guide people on the basis of their practical experience supported by higher inspiration.

In the same way disciples may also be classified as follows:

1. Self-seekers: Those who take up the pursuit for the fulfilment of the yearnings of their senses (needs).

2. Time passers: Those who take it up as a pastime (kalakshepaka).

3. Followers: Those who try to follow the guru’s directions.

4. Earnest Disciples: Those who try to follow in the steps of the guru and try to copy him.

5. Devout Disciples: Those who become the focus of Master’s attention.

Unfortunately, today, the selection of the proper guide is much neglected, although every religious-minded Hindu believes that it is incumbent upon him to have a guru in order to satisfy his craving for spiritual benefit. Generally people select anyone for the purpose without any regard to his capabilities or worth. They are induced to do so mostly by persuasion or by miracles displayed by those so-called gurus to attract the ignorant masses. Disciple hunters are not wanting. They are as numerous as the leaves of a tree. For most of them, gurudom is a very profitable job which can secure enormous income which they cannot otherwise earn. Besides, they command highest respect and personal service from their disciples. The ignorant masses thus fall a ready prey to these self-seeking professionals. A petty miracle or an ordinary display of something charming is enough to attract hundreds of these silly sheep to the fold of their gurudom. A simple threat of a curse upon one who happens to displease them, may bring thousands to abject submission. Not only this, but in order to ensure monopoly of their profession they declare that none but one belonging to the privileged class has the right of being a guru, whether he may be a sannyasin or a householder. They claim to be world-teachers of religion by right of birth irrespective of their capabilities and worth. Sannyasins too, you will find these days in multitudes, posing as mahatmas and professing to be jagat gurus – teachers of the world. Is it not a pity to find such professional imposters, who are a shame to the nation and religion, roaming about with complete impunity to cheat and defraud ignorant people, in order to serve their own selfish ends?

It is high time for the masses to open their eyes and see what havoc has been wrought by such persons. Gurudom as the monopoly of a privileged class is an absurdity, propagated by the professional gurus to safeguard their personal interests. The popularly believed principle that a disciple can never break off the sacred connection with his guru under any circumstances, is also a cunning device adopted by those false gurus to make their position safe and secure, and is nothing but a fraud. The practice of ‘initiating’ a disciple has been much abused by most of the modern professionals, who do not understand its real significance. Their only function as a guru is to breathe a few ‘mystical’ words into the ears of the disciple at the time of ‘initiation’ and tell him to follow certain ceremonial practices by way of worship. Their duty to the disciple ends there and nothing more is done by them for the betterment of the disciple except giving him their darshan every year and realising their annual toll and tribute from him. Really a disciple should formally be ‘initiated’ only when true faith exists in him and Divine love takes prime root in his heart. Initiation signifies that the disciple’s link has been connected with the Supreme Power. In that case spiritual force begins to flow to the disciple automatically according to the absorbing capacity he develops in himself. It depends upon the power and capability of the Master to establish a sound connection for which high calibre is needed. A sound connection once established shall continue until the disciple secures liberation which in such cases is not a far off matter to be attained after numerous lives. In fact, if a disciple is initiated in the right sense as mentioned above by a guru of high calibre the question of breaking off can never arise. But, for the professional gurus who perform mock initiations to serve their purpose, it is a matter of constant anxiety. Therefore, in order to keep a disciple permanently in their grip, they proclaim it as a divine dictate that he shall be courting all the miseries of hell if he ever thought of breaking off from them at any time. The ignorant masses accept it as gospel truth, trembling at the very idea of doing anything which might displease their guru. So they always try to put up with all their atrocities in passive submission. I am sure that there is not the slightest suggestion to this effect found in our Shastras. It is only ingenuity on the part of these teachers of religion. I hold it to be the birthright of every man to break off from his guru at any time if he finds that he has made a wrong selection or has misjudged the guru’s capacity or worth. He is free to seek another guru if at any stage he finds that his guru has not the capacity to take him beyond what he has already acquired. On the other hand, a conscientious guru must himself, under the circumstances, direct his disciple to seek another more advanced and better qualified guru, so that the disciple’s progress may not in any way suffer. This is the sacred duty of a true, selfless guru. If, however, permission to break off sought for by the disciple, is denied by the guru on account of his selfish motives, the disciple is at liberty to break off from him at once and seek another. No moral or religious law ever forbids him from doing so.

A little advanced among the class of gurus are considered to be those who teach and preach on the basis of their knowledge of the Shastras and other holy books. They have established orders and ashrams, where they enjoy a kingly position among their followers. They go out and address large audiences telling them what to do and what not to do, explaining to them problems concerning maya, jiva and Brahman. People flock to them in thousands to hear their sermons, admiring their high ideas and extensive knowledge, and regard them as great mahatmas or saints. They ask them numerous intricate questions, and if they are able to answer them out of their stock of the knowledge of the Shastras, their greatness as a mahatma is established in their minds; and they are induced to accept them as gurus. But really they have thus put to test their learning and not the real worth. It must well be borne in mind that it is not the learning or knowledge that makes a man perfect but it is only realisation in the right sense that makes a true yogi or saint. It is just possible that the man who has thus impressed you, with outward form, learning or eloquence, may be at the lowest level as regards practical attainments. Knowledge, therefore, is no criterion of a true mahatma or yogi. Similarly the real test of a mahatma or guru is not his miracles but experience on the path of realisation. The popular meaning of a mahatma as a great individual does not appeal to me. I would define a mahatma as the most insignificant being or rather a neglected figure, beyond all feelings of greatness, pride or egoism, dwelling permanently in a state of complete self-negation.

There are some who hold the view that knowledge being the preliminary stage of realisation is essential and indispensable. I do not agree with them on the ground that knowledge is only an achievement of the brain, whereas realisation is the awakening of the soul; and hence, far beyond its scope. Therefore a real teacher is not one who can explain to us the soundness of the religious dogmas or who can prescribe to us do’s and don’ts. What we stand in need from a guru is the true impulse to effect the awakening of the soul, and his direct support in the course of our further march on the path of realisation. Such a man we have to seek for, if we aim at success. Now it is evident that while judging a man to be our spiritual guide, we must take into account not his learning or miracles but his practical achievements in the field of realisation. A man who is himself free can free you from eternal bondage. If your guru is not free from the bondage of samskaras, maya or ahankar, it is not possible for him to free you from those bondages.


By the grace of my Master I shall try to reveal a great secret or mystery, which the people in general do not know. It is a great wonder when a great personality like Lord Krishna, Swami Vivekananda or my Master changes the entire course of a man’s life. It is absolutely necessary for us to find out such a guide who can life us higher and higher by his power. This mystery is known as pranahuti – the power of transmission. This is power working through the channels of pure mind. Pranahuti is effected through the power of will which is always effective. If a trained in spirituality exerts his will to mould be mind of the trainee, it will be effective and yield excellent results. Many swamijis who start the profession of gurudom as soon as they put on the ochre coloured uniform, complain that although their disciples listen to them with interest yet they remain as crooked as the tail of the dog afterwards. The reason is obvious. Either the swamiji does not exert his will or he has got no power. They prescribe many laborious and brain-taxing practices and leave their disciples to their own fates. Neither the teacher knows the result of the practices nor does the disciple care to use his discrimination. The result is grossness and dullness of intellect on the part of the disciple, and corruption, degradation and moral turpitude on the part of the gurus who are only conscious of their right to teach and quite unmindful of their duties and responsibilities.

Some sceptics may say that it is after all due to the person, who wanted to change himself, and the master or guru was the cause merely for name’s sake. If Lord Krishna had such power why did he not change the heart of Duryodhana instead of bringing about the battle of Kurukshetra? They may also quote many stories wherein somebody taking a worthless person or even a lifeless object as a guide has become a great saint. But this does not hinder us in trying to find out Reality because God’s ways are mysterious. Some are deluded by their own thinking and some are illumined by the Divine Grace.

The worthy trainer by the power of yogic transmission weakens the lower tendencies in the mind of the trainee and sows the seed of divine light in the innermost core of his heart. In this process the trainer used his will-force which has Divine Infinite at his back. In a way he is conscious of That; and he just focuses it through the lens of his goodwill upon the heart of the trainee. The trainee may not feel anything in the beginning. The reason is that he is accustomed to feel only through the senses. After sometime, however, he may feel the results of such transmission, which also are in the form of subtle changes of the working of his vital parts and tendencies of his mind.

It is a matter of great regret and pity that this age-old process of yogic transmission originated and widely practised by our ancient sages has now gone into complete oblivion in the very land of its origin, where, today, only a few might feel inclined even to believe it. Some people try to ridicule it by misinterpreting it as nothing but mesmerism or hypnotism. The results of mesmerism or hypnotism are contrary to those of pranahuti. In these baser arts the hypnotiser uses his will-force with the backing of material power. The will of the hypnotised person is weakened, and he finds himself dull and heavy hearted, after he wakes up from the hypnotic trance. A disease may be cured or a particular tendency of minor nature may be suppressed to some extent depending upon the power of the hypnotiser and the submission of the hypnotised. But the effect does not last long. The hypnotic power is developed by some intense mental and physical practices using material things or mental images as objects of concentration. These practices often lead one to mental deformity or insanity and sometimes even physical deformities will be the result. A successful practice may, however, result at the most in the gain of some material power, which is limited and useful only for the gratification of some kinds of desires as long as it lasts.

Here I may assure you, that spiritual training for the attainment of higher stages is only possible by the process of yogic transmission and by no other means. Frequent references to this process in the present society of educated persons have led certain religious teachers to defend their inefficiency in this respect by explaining to the people that there is nothing peculiar about transmission. It generally happens that when you are in the company of a mahatma or a saint, you are to some extent relieved of your disturbing thoughts and feel comparatively calm for a while, this they claim to be due to the effect of transmission by the mahatma. Those who offer this explanation, mean only to deceive the public with a view to whitewashing their incapacity. What they interpret as transmission is really the automatic radiation of the pious paramanus (fine particles) from the mahatma. It affects all those assembled there with the result that calmness prevails to some extent, so long as they are there. It is only a natural process and has nothing to do with transmission. It is not only from a mahatma or saint that such paramanus (fine particles) radiate, but also from everyone whether pious or wicked, saintly or devilish. If you are for some time with an impious or morally degraded person, you find impious paramanus radiating from him and affecting you, with the result that you find your thoughts flowing in the same channel for the time being. The effect of such radiation remains only for a little while and disappears when you are away from it. This is the reason why often religious teachers are found to be making complaints of the indifference of the people to follow what they preach to them. They say that people, when they go back after hearing their upadesh (sermon) cast off then and there all they have heard, retaining nothing of it in their mind. I think it is not the people but the teacher or the upadeshak (preacher) who is really to be blamed for it, for he has not the capacity or power to transmit what he means to preach from the platform. But the power of transmission is a yogic attainment of a very high order by which a yogi can infuse by his will-force the yogic energy or Godly effulgence within any one, and remove anything unwanted in him or detrimental to his spiritual progress. He can exercise this power not only on those assembled around him, but on those too, who are away from him. The power can be utilised in any way or at any time. One who has got command over this power can, at a glance, create temporarily or permanently, a condition of mind which is far ahead of the existing condition of the mind of the abhyasi, and which, otherwise, will require a lifetime to be achieved. It is not a vain assertion but a bare fact and may at any time be practically verified by any one who pleases to do so. Sages have often, through power of transmission, changed the entire nature of a man at a mere glance. The wonderful example of the great sages like my Master Samarth Guru Mahatma Ram Chandraji Maharaj of Fatehgarh, Swami Vivekananda and others offer ample proof of it.

I have met the heads of many sansthas, and to my increasing surprise, I have found transmission sadly missing everywhere, so much so that to most of them it was quite foreign. Swami Vivekananda had, no doubt, that capacity but such personalities are always rare. Personalities like my revered Master are not accidentally born.

As a matter of fact, all of us are like beggars at the Master’s door, having a begging bowl in hand, which the Master readily fills. But when the bowl is already full with things other than spirituality, the question of getting anything from Him does not arise at all, for, if anything is poured into it, it will flow out at once. The primary thing for us is therefore to make ourselves empty so that the bowl may be filled up with the Master’s Grace.