DAKSHINA ~ a love offering
Foundation for Cosmic Religion
(Part 10, Chapter 4 in its entirety)
Chapter 4 ~ Bound to the Wheel
It took some years after meeting Guruji, attending satsangs,
performing various sevas (services), earnestly and consistently
practicing the teachings—thereby not just studying the wisdom but making it her
own—surrendering again and again to the process of having her ego chiseled by
the Guru, sometimes painfully so (she was once equated to an ungrateful dog—go
ahead, try that on, what it feels like to be called that by the Master you
adore—but at the same time, don’t forget to try on and discard the arrogance
which prompted such a chastisement), admitting and trusting that God would send
her to somebody who knew what the... what the heck he was doing, all this took
May the reader forgive me for going to the
personal point of view at this juncture, but the necessity for a guru on the
path was driven home to me in spades just today.
A charming, intelligent, genuine seeker of many
years who has seriously trod several paths in his life and settled on none had
some profound and genuine God experiences about eight months ago. What I call
the “Game On!” or “God Sets the Hook” experience.
So he’s been going online, researching his
experiences, questioning, probing. He got introduced to Guruji’s teachings
through our association and these events and began listening to and
appreciating the online satsangas. We began an email correspondence in some
depth and with a great deal of respectful friendship. He approached me as an
inquisitive seeker, so I responded as one who had answers to share, those which
had been shared with me. Yesterday, he sent a series of strongly-worded emails
addressed to me, apologizing for rambling and basically thanking all those who
had helped him get completely illumined. I issued a cautionary email in return.
“Namaste, (an opening or closing salutation, like
aloha; he had asked about that)
“Zero apologies needed, dear one. But it could prove
quite useful for success in your quest to more than reflexively ask, as you do
at the end of your email, why did you write to me or someone like me? Someone
like me would be a little confused, too.
“If you’re writing only to report and share ‘musings
on my path, I can do this on my own, thank you,’ I and any someone like me
would feel delighted to be listed in the share circle of a genuine seeker like
yourself. And we could just read the email, smile or raise an eyebrow and get on
with our tasks.
“But at least we’d not be impaled on the horns of a
dilemma because we couldn’t tell with these last series of emails if you’re
politely asking for us to stop giving feedback, ala putting a ‘checkmark’ by
this observation or a ‘question mark’ by that one if we know the Truth to be
simply, well, either in alignment with or different from your conclusion? And
why would any of us want to engage with you in a debate about it? Or has the
“Each someone who reaches the goal or thinks they have
has had a map. When you go to different teachers, C., they’ll all give you a
glimpse of their map, no hoarding there. Well, maybe some will charge a really
exorbitant fee. Map marketers, I calls ‘em. And some will give you an elaborate
map whose terminus ends [is that redundant?] at their own feet; dem be called
“I guess what I’m saying here in a way is, I really
don’t think your method is going to work, C. You’re trying to draw your own map
by getting glimpses (in varying degrees of detail) of everybody else’s map and
then trying to do a synthesis of that. Even down here on earth plane, that
doesn’t work as a method for negotiating a path through a formidable forest
fraught with obstacles, seen and unseen.
“And how can you be certain without spending the time
to study their maps in some—if not microscopic detail—that they’ll take you to
the destination you want to go, even though they all might purport to do so?
“A jnana yogi would say ‘Fathoming the mystery
of Atman is not for the weak, nor the indolent.’
“A bhakti yogini would say, ‘Do you think the
Ultimate Game Player is going to make the Ultimate Treasure Hunt a piece of
cake without throwing not only red herrings but every other conceivable colored
herring and some you haven’t even dreamed of in your path? Maybe even make ‘em
“As above, so below. Yet your admittedly
unenlightened intellect convinces you this method will do the trick for you?
Like I said, I really don’t think so.
“What might prove useful as research is to see if people
who made it had delightful and profoundly meaningful experiences with God
first, then were directed to a teacher who could help them understand what they
experienced as well as help them learn to repeat it and more. You’ve only had
the hook set, Charlemagne! [a nickname]
“Re your objection to the use of the word ‘insidious’
by Bob when describing ego, Merriam’s doesn’t give it the connotation of
‘enemy.’ It says insidious is the most looked up word on Merriam.com (!) and
that it means ‘awaiting a chance to entrap’ or ‘harmful but enticing.’ You
colored those concepts as ‘enemy’ (or maybe Bob did, but that’s not how you
quoted him here).
“I have a different understanding of ego and its
nature than either the Western lama you quoted or Bob. Both are half-right
which means, the way I do math, that they’re both half-wrong. It really may be
time for me to come out and teach so I don’t have to keep doing this one by one
for people who don’t think they need a teacher?
“If you’re seeing a flash of teeth, I apologize. I am
really working earnestly with Divine Mother for some of Her softness. But the
Truth is an uncompromising, relentless sword which cuts to the very root of our
ignorance. Or sometimes a mace. Even a cursory glance at a murti
(statue, symbol) of Mahadurga will show you She’s holding eight weapons in Her
hands. Because Her extreme protective Love is coupled with Her weapons and the
knowledge of how to use them, She’s a terror to ignorance and the demons which
cause it. But like Guruji taught, the teeth of the cat are death to the rat but
protection for the kitten. C! Wake up!”
Today, I got this.
“Well, dear Swami V.,
“I can save you a lot of reading by summing up the
previous messages as follows. At some point, one must move beyond one’s
teachers and validate one’s own experience. At some point, we must stop looking
for external validation and say, ‘Yes, it’s clear to me now. I am on the right
path. I have awakened and am awakening.’
“Like the desert fathers of the Christian tradition
and the holy men (and now women) of all traditions who retire to their caves,
hermitages, and mountaintops, we know when we have made a valid connection with
God and are on the path.
“No further human validation or guidance is
necessary. It is the ongoing guidance of God that we must rely on from that
point forward. It has taken me a while to assimilate all the learning and reach
that conclusion, but now I know who I am.”
“Dear C., you’re going to be embarrassed no end one
day that you wrote this email and I hope it happens so soon it makes your head
spin and you won’t know what to say, except, ‘Oh, God! I can’t believe I
claimed that!’ I promise I won’t tell. Well, I’ll try not to tease you about it!
Namaste, OM and Prem, Sw. Vandana
Guruji writes in Essence of Bhagavad Gita and Bible,
The necessity of a guru, a man of
God-realization, is felt by all seekers after reality. Even in material
matters, the necessity of a teacher is felt; how much more it should be in the
case of spirituality, for the path is very subtle. In the ocean of rebirth,
lust and rage are the two big rocks through which the boat of life cannot pass
unscathed. The thieves of greediness are waiting to steal the spiritual wealth
of an individual.
There will be sharp showers of arrogance and jealousy
and the hurricane of illusion which overturns the ship. Guru alone knows the
proper way to escape these dangers and reach the other shore, for he has
already arrived and has come, out of compassion, to take others to the other
side of the Ocean of Samsara.
Spiritual initiation is a necessary factor in the
path of spirituality. During such an initiation, a spiritual power is
transmitted from the guru to the disciple. One who receives such
transmitted power is a disciple, and one who transmits it is a guru.
This power is very subtle but powerful. It clears doubt, extinguishes
confusion, settles the mind, and the disciple reaches stability and equanimity.
He finds safety in the benign smile of the guru,
like the young of the kangaroo finds safety in the pouch of the mother. Such a
one could stare at death without any fear, for he has reached immortality by
the all-encompassing love and protection from the guru. The guru
purifies understanding. The vrittis or deformities of the mind subside,
and the mind resides in the higher realms of consciousness. Evil thoughts dare
not approach the disciple who is steadfast in his devotion to the guru.
He feels the presence of his guru everywhere and at all times.
Sant Tukaram says, “Guru makes his disciple one like
him. Even though the preparation takes a little time on the part of the
disciple, it take no time for the guru to enter into the disciple to
make him one like him.” He says he cannot compare the guru to the
philosopher’s stone or the touchstone which only turns metal into gold, because
the guru makes his disciple one like him—another touchstone.
Groping in the dark, one can never reach the light.
Light will come from one who is flooded with it. By the grace of the guru,
impossibilities become possibilities, and future possibilities become very near
ones. The dull and slow evolution gets compressed, and that which has to be
attained after many lives is at hand to the disciple now. He feels immense joy
in the wide skies of ananda (bliss) where he can fly with wings of
devotion and wisdom.
He attains the power to say yes to good thoughts and
no to bad ones. He can never be compelled to do any sinful deeds and is never
attracted towards phantasms. Life which was boredom becomes a life of freedom,
for he has attained the kingdom of God within. All this was possible due to the
grace of guru, who took him slowly to the inner chamber of his heart and
showed him the goal of life which is God.
Guru is a veritable treasure house containing rubies
of wit and humor and emeralds of truth and divine grandeur. He is deep and
sublime, but simple and approachable. He is a fire burning the bad karma
of his devotees. Guru has the greatness of water to purify and quench the
parched thirst of his disciples. He punishes through his silence and teaches
through his action. His ways are as mysterious as the ways of God whom he has
His grace oozes forth through the pores of his body
and shines through his lustrous eyes. “It is impossible to attain mukti
or emancipation without the grace of the Guru,” says Purandaradas. A man might
be well-versed in all scriptures. He might have renounced the world and might
have crucified his flesh, but Truth is revealed only to him who has become the
slave to the great Master.
Unconditional surrender is the key toward success in
life divine. Nobody can set a time limit for realization—it can be immediate or
after many years. But it will certainly be given according to the intensity on
the part of the disciple or according to the will of God to give him an
instantaneous illumination. Due to conscious loving service, proper ground is
prepared in the heart and mind of the disciple. He is purified.
Seeing the right time, the guru will summon
the disciple to his chambers and whisper in the cavity of his ear the great
secret of OM. Even though the Word, as a word, the disciple has heard or read
many a time, this invaluable and glorious truth vision will be revealed to him
only during the imparting of OM by the guru at the auspicious moment.
Thereafter, the disciple becomes calm and serene.
The insurmountable difficulties which he had in
conquering anger, enmity and other qualities are completely transformed into divine
love and great compassion. He finds in every word a deeper depth and a higher
height. In other words, he becomes immortal. What is the price of immortality?
Therefore, he remains indebted to the spiritual Master forever and ever. Such
is the power of the grace of the spiritual preceptor.
Varieties of Gurus
There are various types of gurus. Sometimes
their realization is the same, but the method of teaching is different.
Sometimes their method of teaching is the same, but the method of initiation is
different. Just as there are gradations in realizations, similarly, there are
gradations in gurus. Some are vidya gurus, or the gurus
who teach certain scriptures.
Some are diksha gurus, who initiate
into the meditation on Brahman or into spiritual practices. The real guru
is one who makes the disciple realize God. Such a one could teach also, but his
is a power separate from the mere teaching. Such a guru is considered as
the highest. In the scriptures, twelve kinds of gurus are described:
Datuvaadi Guru teaches various austerities and
penances, the practice of which can lead the disciple to the attainment of
salvation. There is a strict spiritual discipline of physical exercises,
rhythmic breathing, fasting, exhalation, inhalation and retaining of the breath,
gazing at the tip of the nose or between the eyebrows, bringing the upward and
downward breath together to generate a heat inside the body so that the kundalini,
or the serpent power, can be awakened.
Chandana Guru releases the spiritual fragrance
just by his presence. He is just like the sandal tree which wafts its fragrance
to the adjoining trees. It is said that the bamboo and the plantain trees are
incapable of being influenced by the sandal tree. Similarly, those that have no
faith will not receive the fragrance of the Chandana guru. It
means he is capable of influencing people who are endowed with faith.
Vichaara Guru is full of wisdom, clarifies
every subtle thing, removes the doubts of individuals, gives them food for
thought, always teaches discrimination and appeals to the reason and intellect
of people. The way becomes very clear to the disciple due to the clarity of
Anugraha Guru is the teacher who teaches just
by his grace. His glance or touch has a power to purify the disciple. He need
not have any scriptural knowledge nor intellectual capacity, yet he is able to
purify the heart and mind of the disciple just by pouring his grace, for as
soon as purity is attained, truth reveals itself to the practicant. Here it is
the oceanic love of the guru that works the miracle of turning the heart
and mind of the disciple Godward.
Parasa Guru is the guru like a
touchstone. The touchstone changes metals into gold by a mere touch. Even an
impure soul could be converted into a saint by the touch of the guru.
This touch should not be mistaken as just a physical touch; in most cases it is
the preparation on the part of the disciple to receive such an alchemic touch
of the guru. The guru should concentrate and intend to transmit
his spiritual vibrations through such a touch.
It is a scientific fact that the eyes and the fingers
are powerful channels through which the vibration of one individual passes to
the other. So through the touch, the power of the guru passes on to the
disciple. Of course, even without any preparation on the part of the disciple,
many a time the touch of the guru gives him some healing, either of a
physical or mental ailment which he may have. So also when sinful people touch
the guru, it is said their sins are forgiven by the guru and due
to their sins, the physical body of the guru suffers.
Kachchapa Guru is like a tortoise which is
capable of giving nourishment to its young one just by a mere glance. This is a
mythological description that applies to the spiritual imparting of the wisdom
by the guru to the disciple. At any given moment, guru could pass
on his spiritual vibrations to the disciple by his mere glance. Kripa
Kataksha or the graceful look, has a very deep significance in mysticism.
Such a look by the guru could inspire the disciple to rise to a very
great height of spiritual experience. The glance has a soothing effect which
could reveal a great truth to the disciple.
Chandra Guru is like the moon which shines in
a special type of stone called the chandrakantha stone or moon-stone.
The moon-stone alone reflects the rays of the moon, even though the moon is
physically away from it. Similarly, this type of guru can be compared to
the moon reflecting in the hearts of only specially qualified disciples even
from a distance. This speaks about the jurisdiction of the rays of vibrations
which are so wide and powerful as to reach long distances, yet be very cool,
soothing and redeeming.
Darpana Guru is like a mirror. He is
transparent and pure. No sooner does the disciple approach him, he sees himself
reflected in the guru. Due to that purity, he makes the mind and heart
of the disciple like a mirror in which the disciple finds his Self reflected.
Chaayanidhi Guru is like a mythological bird.
On whosoever its shadow falls, that man becomes a king. Similarly, the shadow
of a Chaayanidhi guru showers divine blessings on the disciple.
Wherever his holy shadow has fallen, there shall always be divine vibrations.
Nadanidhi Guru is compared to a mythological
rare stone known as the Nadanidhi stone. If the sound of any metal
reaches it, it transforms the metal into gold. Similarly, if any devotee’s cry
is heard by the guru, the guru confers on him the highest
blessings and knowledge.
Krauncha Pakshi Guru is compared to a huge,
mythological crane or bird. It is said that this bird leaves its young ones and
goes away to bring food. On its distant journey, if it once remembers its young
ones, the young ones feel their hunger is satisfied. Similarly, the guru,
wherever he is, if he even remembers his devotees, that is enough for their
protection and spiritual upliftment.
Suryakanta Guru. When the rays of the sun pass
through a magnifying glass, the cotton kept behind the crystal is burnt.
Similarly, the darshan, or the sight of a Suryakanta guru
burns the karma of a disciple.
Guru is infinite. Guru is not a person, but rather
the supreme principle manifesting through the person. The person manifesting
Guru is a temple of the Cosmic Mind.
Salutations to Guru!
Some people fear to have a guru. Vandana fears
not to. Not long, perhaps two years after she met Guruji, the resident swami,
O’das, disobeyed the guru and practiced certain esoteric worship
ceremonies propitiating Divine Mother. The area—temple room, altar,
articles of worship, everything—where Shakti is invoked must be kept
scrupulously clean, both physically and energetically. It wasn’t that O’das
wasn’t ‘pure’ enough; the problem was he thought he had enough spiritual power
to make the field pure enough, too.
But Guruji knew that Western women, until they were
specifically taught otherwise, approach the altar, offer red rice (akshata),
kumkum and the arati, etc., while they are still on the first
three days of their monthly cycle. The men priests of the olden days never
explained why this was such a big no-no; they just screeched, “Impure! Impure!”
The deal is the energy of Shakti during those days is
all downward and outward. Yet puja is done to have that energy go inward
and upward. The energy aroused and circulating during puja isn’t just in
the priest or the Master; it’s all around the field. The Masters teach and so
should their students that no mantra save Taraka mantra (OM Sri Rama
Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama) should be chanted during that time nor should puja
be offered to the deities. Both are purifications but contrary in energy to
Guruji explains that Shakti is like nuclear energy.
It can be used for constructive or destructive purposes. That the same power of
attraction (vashitva) which made a Hitler made a Gandhi. Motive is
everything, but faithfully following the advice of the Knowers and Servants of
the Divine Mother is good advice. Swami O’das didn’t. Therefore, during one
Sunday morning satsang, he had an experience of Shakti rising which he
couldn’t control. For weeks afterwards, he was mentally and emotionally unfit
for his duties and then finally, he left Guruji altogether to start, with the
encouragement of one couple who financed his aspirations, a center of his own.
Vandana was in attendance at that satsang and
the swami’s experience frightened not only her but many others. There was no
mistaking the power of the presence which came over him. Watching the eventual
outcome of the experience where Swamiji abandoned his guru was far more
powerful for her, however. And troubling.
Never one to ask questions of Guruji, eventually this
uncertainty created so much disturbance in her mind that she had to resolve it.
One day, while he was descending the red steps from the porch, Vandana spotted
him from the dining room window. She raced to the door and was able to catch
his attention while he was yet only part way down the flower-bordered walkway.
She leaned over the porch railing and blurted out to him.
“Guruji! Guruji, how can it happen? How can a
disciple get so confused that he abandons his guru? Will that happen to
me? Can that happen to me?” To put in so much time, to sacrifice so much, to
love so much, to surrender so much... could this be the result for her, too?
Guruji looks fully at her and pauses. Then he raises
his right arm and jabs forcefully with his finger pointing directly at the sun.
“As long as Surya Narayana remains in the sky, you
and I will be together!” he declares authoritatively. Very.
Like having a pesky thorn plucked from her heart, the
words give a relief which instantly makes Vandana’s face blossom. All right
then. She straightens up, does one quick, short nod completely accepting the
truth behind his words. Guruji lowers his arm, turns without saying another
word and strides to the waiting car.
Prarabdha karma, the predestined karma, the plan
for your life which you set in motion by past choices in this and previous
births, operates in every jiva’s life about 80% of the time. The balance, 20%,
is free will, the opportunity to make good choices now in order to influence
the scheme of things to come. When this law is understood, really understood in
its simplicity, one makes an effort to use one’s free will to effect change for
Here’s another way to look at it. Every choice you
make, every choice every moment—in thought, word and deed, usually in
combination—is a vote cast for reincarnation or one made for freedom. Very
simple. Teach your kids this from a young age.
It’s becoming very clear that parents are
neglecting to teach their children about accountability for their choices.
“Losers” get rewarded exactly the same as “winners” in school, sports and
It’s a very rude awakening for these offspring
when the consequences of choices return home to roost. Even then, they squirm
uncomfortably, cry bitterly, stomp angrily, deflect skillfully and say, “But
it’s not my fault my life turned out this way!”
When you’re completely fed up with or fed up
enough with this “wheel of rebirth,” and you mean it, God’s infinite grace will
put you at least in the same ball park with a Knower of Him or a Lover of Him
or a Servant of His.
That is your Hallelujah day. Listen attentively,
reflect sincerely, meditate deeply on the teachings shared by the saint. If
that lightbulb can be persuaded or is preordained to be your guru and agrees to
initiate you when the time is right, that is your second birthday. That is to
be “born in Spirit” as the Bible teaches. The other, the water initiations,
symbolizing bhuta shuddhi, purification of the earthly instruments, are also
important in every religion. Guruji writes a description of different kinds of
initiation in “Sadguru Dattatreya.”
Revealing the Truth, imparting the pure knowledge of
Truth, transmitting the spiritual energy, purifying the disciple by burning his
karmas or sins through different rites and disciplines—all this is
included in the word diksha (initiation).
Diksha dispels the ignorance of the disciple,
removes the impurities in his body and mind, and blesses the disciple with the
fragrance of holiness. Wisdom, Light and inspiration energy is transmitted into
his heart and the disciple experiences divine joy and peace.
There are three kinds of higher initiations. They are
called shakti diksha, mantra diksha, and shambhavi diksha. When
the guru awakens the shakti kundalini (the divine energy located
at the base of the spine) and makes it flow through the spiritual spinal column
(sushumna nadi) until the shakti merges in Shiva (pure
consciousness of God), it is called the shakti diksha.
When the disciple has prepared himself with fasting,
prayer, and other disciplines, seeing the place and the time as auspicious, the
guru expands the disciple’s consciousness by imparting a power-word or mantra.
This is called mantra diksha.
And when the guru is in a high divine mood and
feels that the disciple is ready and worthy of such a high initiation, he leads
him to the pinnacle of divine experience either by a glance or looking into his
eyes or by a touch—making him one like himself—then such a kriya or
transmission of energy is called shambhavi diksha.
All have to go through the mantra diksha to
receive the shakti diksha or shambhavi diksha. Either by the
merits of past lives or through rigorous spiritual disciplines of this life, or
by a special grace of God or Guru, one is blessed with these initiations. These
three initiations are known as maha diksha or great initiations.
Now, there are four smaller initiations to prepare
the disciple for the higher initiations. They are called kriyaavati,
varnamayi, kalaavati, and vedhamayi.
Kriyaavati initiation is related to several
kinds of rituals and worship services that purify the disciple by bringing the
blessings of deities. Varnamayi initiation is called nyaasa,
which means locating the consciousness in different parts of the body and limbs
and making the mystical syllable vibrate that part of the body until the
disciple feels the throb of the mantra all over his body.
Kaalavati shakti initiation is extraordinary.
Through this initiation, the guru integrates the five kinds of shaktis
in the body of the disciple and makes the disciple realize his great Self.
These five different shaktis are known as: nivritti
shakti or the energy of detachment, which flows from the soles of the feet
up to the knee; pratista shakti, or the settled energy that flows from
the knee up to the navel center; vidya shakti, or the wisdom energy that
flows from the navel center up to the throat chakra, shanti shakti,
or the peace energy that flows from the throat center to the forehead center; shaantyaatitakalaashakti,
or the energy of the ‘peace that passeth all understanding’ that flows from the
forehead to the top of the head or crown chakra. In this initiation, the
spiritual Master calls all the shaktis from the body of the disciple by
the power of the Lord and integrates them all in his crown chakra and
gives him an experience with Lord Shiva.
The fourth initiation is known as vedhamayi,
which means making the energy kundalini to pass through all six chakras
or mystic centers in the astral body. The guru does this with his grace
upon the deserving disciple by uttering the word or the mantra for each chakra
and leading him gently through the sushumna nadi to the crown center.
There are two other kinds of special dikshas
known as panchaayatanee diksha and krama diksha.
In the panchaayatanee diksha, five aspects of
God known as Shakti, Vishnu, Shiva, Surya and Ganesha are invoked in the body
of the disciple. In the outward worship, any one of these aspects of God is
given importance as per one’s chosen deity (Ishta Devata), and the other
four are kept in the four directions, keeping the chosen deity in the middle.
Then the puja (worship) of the deities is conducted by the disciple as
per the instruction of the guru. Thereafter, the guru will
explain the mystical meaning of that worship and invoke those deities in the
body of the disciple and give him an experience of the Divine. By this
experience, he is able to see many in One and One in many.
Krama diksha means an initiation in which the
disciple will have a gradual expansion of consciousness. Service and obedience
to the guru plays an important role in all the initiations and
especially in this diksha. Daily participation in worship of God,
chanting of the mantras and prayers, listening attentively to the words
of the guru, reverently bowing before him again and again with devotion,
serving him selflessly, and pleasing him through seriously practicing the
disciplines given by him, are some of the ways through which the disciple
prepares himself to receive the light.
After the initiation, guru will give some
instructions which should be carried out by the disciple. Some such
instructions are as follows:
1. The disciple should not tell the guru-given
mantra to anyone. He should not say the mantra publicly.
2. If the guru has taught a private puja
or worship of a deity as a sadhana or spiritual discipline, it should
not be revealed, taught or publicized unless through the guru’s
3. Holy scriptures like Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad
Gita, etc., should be read. And whichever scripture the guru has
recommended to be read, the same should be read with all devotion.
4. Honoring other Masters, serving the needy and the
poor, serving the aged parents—all kind acts should be done diligently.
5. Rhythmic breathing, japa (repetition of the
mantra), puja, and meditation should be practiced every day
6. Any great spiritual experience or dream
experiences should not be said before others, other than one’s own guru.
7. One who scrupulously follows the spiritual
instructions of the guru certainly attains the Supreme.
In the Kulaarnava Tantra, three more kinds of dikshas
are explained. They are sparsha diksha, or initiation by a touch; drik
diksha, or initiation through a glance; dhyaana diksha, or
initiation through the guru’s mere thought of the disciple. Sparsha
diksha occurs when the guru, attuning himself with God and preparing
the heart of the disciple, touches the disciple and transmits the spiritual
energy. Most of the time in this kind of initiation, the guru places his
right palm filled with the grace and the spirit of God upon the head of the
disciple. Paramahamsa Sri Ramakrishna gave this touch initiation to Naren
(later known as Swami Vivekananda) by placing his foot on Naren’s thigh. A
tornado of light permeated his being, which tossed him into samadhi (the
After a long meditation, as per the will of God, when
the guru looks at a disciple who has prepared himself and is very eager
to receive the blessings, a flood of energy of light and love flows from the
eyes of the guru into the eyes of the disciple and the heart of the
disciple fills with ineffable joy and peace, it is called drik diksha.
When Sri Ramana Maharshi, the sage of Arunachala,
looked into the eyes of Paul Brunton, Brunton had a blissful experience with
the Atman, the great Self. Ancient Masters of the Himalayas used to give such
initiation to the deserving disciples.
Initiation given just by a powerful thought to the
disciple in meditation by the guru is a unique kind of initiation. The
disciple may be living thousands of miles away, but the guru can initiate
him by giving a great spiritual experience merely by a powerful thought.
Sometimes the guru may write to the disciple to prepare himself and sit
in the lotus posture at a fixed time indicated by the guru. Sometimes,
the guru may even enter into the dream of the disciple and impart the mantra
to bring the awakening in the life of the disciple.
After these great initiations, the jiva chafes at
the bindings of karma which keep it bound to earth. Now there is knowledge of
something else, something divine. Very clever patience is required to learn to
suffer and enjoy one’s predestined karma—both so-called ‘good’ and so-called
‘bad’ karma—with equanimity. Westerners often do not understand that karma has
its pleasant aspects, too. All the good deeds you do with motive to enjoy its
fruits must also be dealt with. So karma does not just mean ‘negative’ stuff.
Let Guruji explain.
Asaktah Satatam Kaaryam Karma Samachara
Asakto Hy Acharan Karma Param Aapnoti Purushaha
“Arjuna, do your duty efficiently without attachment. Doing work
without attachment, man attains the Supreme.” Bhagavad Gita III:19
Karma means action. The term comes from the
Sanskrit root ‘kri’ which means ‘to do.’ Therefore, all actions which we
do, consciously or unconsciously, are karma. Every karma has its
result; every cause has its effect. But the cause will not end just with the
effect. Instead the effect itself will become the cause of other effects, just
as one sows a seed which sprouts into a tree. There the seed is the cause and
the tree is the effect, but the effect does not end by becoming a tree. It will
yield hundreds of fruits which will brings thousands of seeds; and those seeds
when sown again will become trees. Thus, karma is an endless chain of
cause and effect. The doctrine of karma means this—the law of cause and
Karma in relation to people becomes duty. When
a man marries a woman, a duty arises. Similarly, when a couple beget children, karma
takes the shape of the duty of those parents toward their children and the duty
of the children toward their parents. In relationship with the idea of rights,
the concept of duty widens. Thus, the duty of a man includes his community,
country, world, etc.
The Indian rishis (sages) have found that man
comes to this world with five debts, or becomes indebted to five principles or
to the mother
Pitri rina—indebtedness to the father
Deva rina—indebtedness to the gods
Rishi rina—indebtedness to the sages and gurus
Atma rina—indebtedness to the soul
Indebtedness to parents is for giving us the body,
loving care, protection and education, and for continuing the progeny. Looking
after them with all reverence during their ailments and old age and obeying
their righteous commands may release the soul from these two debts.
Deva rina, or debt to God and gods, is
fulfilled by thankfulness to the nature deities and the supreme God for giving
us the privilege of human birth; for rain, food, light, air, earth and the
infinite bounties with which to live here happily; for giving us the heart to
feel and the intellect to discriminate. Such devotion and worship is considered
to be good, as it may bring us the blessings of the celestials and God, by
whose grace our soul may find rest and peace.
We are indebted to the sages and gurus who
have sacrificed their lives to find the Truth, but for whom we would have been
left in the darkness of ignorance regarding our purpose of life, the nature of
God and soul and their relationship, the way to reach God and innumerable
facets of the Truth. Studying the message which they have given and acting
according to their advice with great respect and reverence, may alone release
us from the debt we owe to them.
Last is duty toward our own soul. Questions about
duties really surround the foremost duty which is toward our own individual
soul. To release the soul from the bondage of karma, to make it attain
enlightenment and liberation, is the one goal of all religions and religious
duties. Meditation, devotion, yoga, truthfulness, sincerity, purity, right
speech, right conduct, prayer to God, study of scriptures, service to masters,
service to humanity, all that is good and divine which will bring light,
wisdom, bliss, peace and liberation is the duty of everyone toward his own
The very fact of our birth is decided by karma.
The benefits which the soul receives from others makes it indebted to those
from whom it received its benefits. Indebtedness brings bondage, unless we
clear it through service and thankfulness.
A statement in the Gita (IV:37) declares all karma
is reduced to ashes by the fire of knowledge. It should be known that only
those effects of karma which have bound the soul are totally burnt by
the fire of knowledge in him who obtains such knowledge. It does not mean that
he will have no more work; instead, he will then be working selflessly. He will
do divine works in accordance with the Divine Will; this work will not bring
Such selfless action performed through wisdom is
called karma yoga. Selfish action is karma (cause) which will
bring karma (effect); the performance of karma (duty) as a puja
(worship) will bring jnana (wisdom), which burns all karma (the
cause and effect of selfish actions).
The motive force in karma is selfish desire
and its fulfillment; the motive power in karma yoga is selfless love and
the renunciation of desire for the fulfillment of God’s work. Both are karma
(action); but one binds, and the other releases. What is the reason? Motive. In
karma, it is the motive which decides its results.
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