Guru’s position – a disciple’s perspective.

5 09 2014

Prologue : A teacher is one who wants to teach you, a ‘Guru’ is one who makes you learn. A students idea is ‘to be’, whereas a disciple (shishya) is the one who wants ‘to become’. In other words a student is looking for change while a disciple is aspiring to transform.

Whatever I say is with this context in mind.


Many years back, must be my secondary school days, if i remember it well, around my wonder years,  back in time when I was studying in 8th or 9th grade, I happened to read a story. This story has had a lasting impact on my thought process. I do not clearly remember that story and its context, but it is this one scene from the story which has stayed with me and shaped my understanding. It goes like this.

A young disciple, completely devoted to his guru, was someone who was committed to follow on the path shown by his guru. He had this habit of always going to his guru whenever in some critical decision making situation. And the Guru would readily guide him out during each such instance; in the process the guru would enlighten the disciple. One fine day, in a similar situation as the disciple reaches out to his Guru, the Guru doesn’t offer him any guidance. The disciple is astonished and couldn’t believe this fact. The Guru sends him back by saying “Son, I have given you enough, I leave you now to imbibe all of that, find your own path, and make your own experiences. Its time you take your decisions without me.”

Now this incident from the story found its way deep within myself. Over different periods of my existence this story has provided me different lessons. It started with me believing that a ‘guru’ can only take one this far. One cannot have a guide to eternity. At some later stages i realized the importance of ‘swadhyay’ or ‘learning by self’. Further ahead I understood that it will all be fruitless if one does not learn to take his/her own decisions.

Over many summers of my existence I was fortunate to come across many learned people and many loving teachers. It was quite later in my young life that i discovered a ‘Guru’. It was destined for me to get my greatest lessons from this one person. However the above story was always a part of me, and hence in spite of total surrender I never actually became dependent. That infinite love and reverence can thrive and still one remains boundless was a unique experience and a learning for me. Secondly I knew that the physical proximity and one-to-one transfer of knowledge with the ‘Guru’ can only happen till a limited period of time. This understanding fueled my urge to learn and make the most of those transactions. Many individuals close to me, around that period, sensed a transformation in me, they sensed an urgency in me; I could not explain it to them, than, but deep down i knew that i need to build myself to a level from where I can be on my own. Also I never wanted to come to a point, like the boy in that story had to, where my Guru feels that his disciple has not learned to be on his own.

Many Guru – Disciple relations end in agony and bitterness or in sheer blinded dependence. The crux of this eventuality is the non-realization of the fact that – a guru can only take you this far. With this dawned another important learning from that story and a whole new dimension of learning opened up for me. A disciple is the one who is aspiring to move to a higher destination, in every which way. A ‘guru’ is the form who takes the disciple to that destination. However if one remains focused on the destination and not the form, than ‘guru’ dissolves his form and becomes a part of your being. Somewhere within you the ‘guru’ is installed, and without any one-to-one interaction the transaction continues. Whenever in doubts or in crisis  I am able to talk with my ‘guru’ without even talking with him. In certain extraordinary situations i would have resorted to the one-to-one interactions, but largely I have come this far with the help of the ‘guru’ within. Many times while I ponder on all that I have received from my ‘guru’, I end up tearful. The enormity of the receipt is so huge that all the ego inside me is pushed out by way of tears.

And so I learn that the ‘guru’ in the story while denying his disciple the guidance, has actually given him the greatest lesson anyone can learn. That ‘without’ can be turned into ‘within’.

This has been my experience since a decade now, whereby the ‘Guru’ has found a position ‘within’. In his distinct  style he had shared something, which for me is the articulation of the above learning. He said to a few of us, “I do not want you to be learned, I want you to be learners’.

In whatever limited capacity, with pride, I can tell myself, that I have not stopped learning and I know, the ‘Guru’ within would not let me decay ever.


Magic of Love!

5 06 2009

dedicated to the magicians in my life.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,

they are in each other all along.

~ Rumi

There are two types of people in the world. Believers and Non-believers.(in GOD)

For Believers everything starts and ends with HIM. For a non-believer everything starts and ends with ME. For a non-believer everything around is just matter and his/her drive is to extract value from that matter. Whereas for a believer GOD exists in matter and s/he perceives life in every particle.  Now, I am not gonna talk about GOD here. But the point I wish to make is that just as in GOD, LOVE is also a belief.

Love is a belief. One can experience it only if one believes in its existence. For a believer LOVE is what connects him/her to other being, whereas for a non believer LOVE is just a word that s/he utilises to connect to other being. For the former LOVE is the end while for the latter ones, LOVE is nothing but a means to reach to a desired end.

I believe in love. Love for me is the metaphor for life. Its a simple emotion, which in worldly matters is so highly dramatized that most of us become weary of it. If truly believed in, this emotion can take you to unknown realms of existence.

For a moment, imagine a world without love. What would happen then? Lust, Greed, Power and Control would take over. I am not denying the existence of this equally powerful and potent emotions. To an extent they rule the world and they define the structure of most societies. But the fact remains that, amidst the jungle of animal instincts there exists a humane society which thrives on an undefined emotion called Love.

How else do you explain a touch which makes you hear the other persons heart beat? How else do you explain that hug which flushes out tears from deep within? How else do you infer the phenomenon whereby seeing someone smile alters your mood? How else does one understand those hours of silences where in you communicate the most? How else do you explain that drive to be good and work hard? How else do you explain that wish to make someone proud? How else…?

It is nothing but the belief in LOVE that would explain such happenings.  It is out of love that amidst all the Greed there still are events of ‘Giving’; amidst all those who lust for power, there still are those who willfully ‘Surrender’;  among all the chaos for control, humility still prevails.

This I believe is the magic…the magic of love! This belief in love is the doorway to many varied moments, love filled moments, magical moments, which alleviates me from my physical being.

And when I look back I only recall those moments. My mind forgets events, forgets occasions, but it fondly remembers these magical – love filled moments.

Never let go any chance of expressing your love, never let go the opportunity to create magic. Just Believe, and the price that you may have to pay will seem futile.

I believe in Magic. The Magic of Love.

“Life exists in moments, and these moments are what stays with you for your entire life”

PS : A few days back I was about to commit a mistake of ‘not doing’ what I wanted to do. I was about to hold back my expressions. But I am glad that my BELIEF was strong. I finally did express what I wanted to express, did it with all the love and joy! And what followed were some unimaginable moments. Moments wherein time and space almost evaporated, I got totally drawn into that wonderful moment of love. Added a few more to my collection of love-filled moments.

The Two ends of a relation – A Passing Thought

14 05 2009

Why do i behave so differently while receiving and while giving of the same thing ?!?
Why? I fail to understand this behaviour of mine. When I receive something – could be a thing or an emotion – from someone I tend to take him/her for granted. On the other hand when I am the giver I desire the receiver to NOT take me for granted; I desire him/her to consider my ‘giving’ special. I desire acknowledgments, I desire a special response.

Not that I am a cold receiver; but it’s definitely not the way while I am the giver.

Let me try and interpret this for myself.

Hypothesis 1 : “I give, because I ‘love’; while I receive, because I am being ‘loved’ ”

There is a fundamental difference in loving and being loved. The former is a process with active involvement while the latter is a passive act. For example, say its your birthday and I wish to give you a gift. So I will think of different gifting ideas, will search for those things, might also put in my own art/craft skills to make what I want to give you.  I will be thinking about it night and day, visualizing your expressions on receiving and similar other thoughts would occupy me.  Now, suppose I am in receipt of some such ‘gift’ on my birthday; I just can’t know or understand the entire process that the giver might have gone through. At best I can just receive.

Now, within a relationship, it becomes important that both involved should play both the roles. If my giving you, promts you to give me back, and so on and so forth than the dichotomy would cease. This continous shifting role play makes the relationship so very exciting and I think there would be a stage when one doesn’t realise that whether one is giving or receiving!!!!!That experience is what I understand as BLISS!

Hypothesis 2 : ” I give, because of uncertainty & fear while I receive because some one is uncertain & insecure for me”

Here also, the fear (of losing) or uncertainty of relation makes the giver much more alert and active and involved than the receiver. The receiver by no means can match the degree of intensity of the givers emotions. For example, say things are strained between you and me for some emotional reasons. Its just not going well since some time. But I do not wish to let you go. So I put in efforts, think of ideas to excite you by expressing in a non-verbal fashion, by planning a surprise date full of special things etc. Now, if I am receiving this I may or may not be so excited as the one who is giving this moment to me.

This kind of exchange, I believe would lead to ‘reciprocity’. A relationship wherein I would just reciprocate to the opposite persons action. I react because I do not wish to be labelled as insensitive or insipid. Such equations are what I term as being ‘practical’ or ‘pragmatic’.

Hypothesis 3 : “I give, out of some  formality, and I receive, because of a prescribed social rule”

Not much to say here.  The most ideal example would be a wedding reception. But than I do subscribe to it as this is what gives me my social standing.

These three Hypothesis tells me the probable causes for my behavior. To an extent they answer the question with which I started off  “Why do i behave so differently while receiving and while giving of the same thing ?!?” At the end of it, I believe that the dichotomy is my nature. (I don’t think I am the only such being, maybe all are alike)

Depending on my interpretation of a particular relation (which are highly distinctive) I  subscribe to either of the above mentioned hypothesis. I must also understand that the three hypothesis are not mutually exclusive – all three might be working in a single relation at the same time.

 And depending on the other persons interpretation either of the following experience awaits……

Bliss…Pragmatics… Formality…awaits!