Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 68

THE GURU

...Again, "each has an individual path which is known to the guru'; and his tendencies indicate whether he should take the path of devotion or worship, or of psychic control, or the path of knowledge of the Real, or of unselfish work. All paths lead to the goal, but one of these will present fewer obstacles to the aspirant. Having set the disciple on the path, the guru, like a loving mother, warns him of dangers, explains experiences that might otherwise alarm or dismay. He is the Guardian of the Threshold, not to forbid entrance, but to protect the neophyte against groundless fears. To him the disciple goes for courage. To him the disciple pours out his confidences and tells his experiences. He must tell them to no one else. His mantram, his ishtam, his experiences, must be, as Swamiji said, "not secret, but sacred." There must be the utmost devotion and unquestioning faith in the guru. "Would you jump out of window if I asked you to?" he once asked. He wanted a few disciples who had that kind of devotion. He needed that quality for his work. Again and again, he told the story of Guru Nanak (Govind Singh) who, putting his disciples to the supreme test, asked who would trust him even unto death. One came forward. He look him into his tent and in a few minutes the great leader came out, his sword dripping with blood. Again he put their faith in-him to test, and again one went into the tent with him and did not come out again. This was repeated until five had gone into the tent not to return. Then he threw open the tent-flap, and they saw their companions unharmed in the tent, and with them a goat which the Guru had killed. Is it to be wondered at that with disciples whose devotion was unto death it was possible for Guru Nanak (Govind Singh) to accomplish the great work he did? For, as Swamiji so often said:

"'The guru must be wonderful and the disciple must also be wonderful.'"*

"Worship your guru as God. He will take you to the other shore. Trust him through everything. 'Though my guru should visit the tavern and still, my guru is holy Nityananda still.' * — Have that kind of faith in him."

"'Only those who go through the Sushumna (the path of Yogis) reach the Atman.'"

"They must go to a guru to learn."

"The guru is the vehicle by which the spiritual influence is brought to you."

Great as he himself was, one never felt inferior in his presence. In some indefinable way he made all who came into contact with him feel great. Was this because he had trained himself to see only the best in others and to make nothing of their faults and weaknesses? It was probably even deeper than that. Realizing himself as the Atman, it was his constant effort to see that Divine Self in others. Little faults can drop away, but That remains and shines forth. He knew us better than we knew ourselves. How constantly he voiced the highest truth as: "The greatest sin is to think yourself weak. No one is greater; realize you are Brahman. Nothing has power except as you bestow it. We are beyond the sun, the stars, the universe."