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.


I wish to die, NOW.

19 05 2010

Some recent talks and incidents around me :

  • A gentleman in his mid fifties; goes merrily to the park for his every day routine morning walk. While in his routine, some unknown thing happens inside his heart; the medical terminology terms it as a heart stroke.  He passes away. All that he might have planned to do on that day after the walk remains undone.
  • A young lad, barely 21 graduates and receives his engineering degree. A hint of relaxation coupled with a whiff of anxiety; dreaming about his future he returns to his native. The chap loved biking. It was the 3rd day after his graduation and his mind must have been filled with  lots of plans as to what choice of job and/or further education would ensure him a secure future. Like any routine evening he sets off on his bike to roam around. His bike hits a passing car, he skids, hits the road and some thing unknown happens inside his skull; the medical terminology terms it as a severe hemorrhage and skull fracture. He does not survive to reach hospital. All his faint thoughts and loose plans about his ‘tomorrow’ remains undone.
  • An elderly lady, an octogenarian , lives with her son and his family. Reasonably healthy she passes on each day performing the basics that the body requires. A very secured life she has. All possible eventualities (mostly) can be taken care by her son. She does not have much to look forward too. There is nothing left for her to hope. All that routine hopes of  ‘seeing your grand children and great grand children’ are also satisfied. Her days go by and she awaits…
  • A couple, in their early sixties. Childless, they live on their own. Economic struggles over past one- one and half decade have taken the gleam out of their eyes. They have  in their banks a sum lying which is taking care of their survival. However to secure the eventualities that might confront them; which is quite plausible; they live frugally. The intelligence of planning for security is making them save their capital. Eventually when they would not be mortal the beneficiaries would be the ones who have no great connection with them. The couple however are feeling reasonably secured today.
  • He’s in his early thirties. Started his employment career pretty early in life. Tried his hand in all sorts of employment options, but almost every now and them he finds himself jobless. What has he earned over these years? – dunno; but he lost something precious over these years of ensuring-employment-planning. That precious something is his passion and skill for music. Even the tangible remains of his passion viz. the equipment does not exist any more. He’s still searching for that breakthrough employment that shall secure the rest of his life.

These are not one-off or rare examples. Millions exist who fall close  to either of this situations. The point I am trying to make is “Are we living for something?” or we just “Dying for nothing?” To make it more narrower “Are we living or dying?”

I believe that Life is the duration between two accidents namely Birth and Death. If that is the case, there is no way anyone can secure / control this duration. It is absolutely out of bounds. If the first accident namely Birth has occurred it is a mandate that the second accident namely Death has to occur. That is it. But no one that I know (including my own self) want to believe this simple fact. And hence may be this entire cycle of securing and fear fullness occurs. We are out to secure something which is impossible and we know that, and hence we are in constant fear. And we double that fear by making hectic choices ,which generally speaking, take care of our insecurity. Short lived that they are, to keep us in a continuous and unending struggle towards death.

You go to school to find a decent employment. You take up a job to settle down and marry. You marry to secure your need for companionship in later years. You have kids so that you have someone to inherit your crap. You retire because you have collected enough money by now. And now you wait for life to end because maybe now the world around considers you useless. The society has made a template; and we all download this template into our lives and rut accordingly. And so most people alive are already dead!

Why can’t one go to school just to study and learn? Why can’t one take up a job that s/he’s good at or simply enjoys doing it? Why can’t one find companionship without marriage? Why can’t one have kids if they really wish to rear a life, otherwise don’t? Why do you have to leave stuff for someone to inherit? Why the hell should anyone retire ? If retirement is all one was waiting for , why the hell were they working for all these years? Why is it that we equate our worth to the money we are generating or have already generated?

The moment one becomes conscious of his/her existence the only choice s/he makes is to secure/control tomorrow. In spite of being witness to thousands of incidents where a dying person has left all his/her plans undone, we simply reject that reality. In our entire lifetimes we hardly have even a day when we can pronounce boldly that THIS IS HOW I WOULD BE IF TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF MY LIFE.

WHY so?

The only reason I could see is we are all so fearful of END. The manner in which we are programmed we are made to feel that END is bad.Fear it.  And so dumb we are, that out of the fear of END we hardly ever begin. We never begin to LEARN!(all we want is a degree) We never really pursue a hobby?(all we want is a job)We never really fall in love? (marriage is available) We never really begin a venture we believe in?(failures are not acceptable) and WE NEVER REALLY BEGIN TO LIVE! ( as death is always around the corner)

I wish to die now! Die not to end, but to begin. Die in order to live and not just survive. Die with fear so as to live without any fear. Instead of dying every moment until death, Die now!. Die now so as to awaken to life. A life full of love and passion, a life where I work to ‘do’ something and not to ‘become’ something, a life to find myself, a life to know myself, a life just to live.

For this, I wish to die, NOW.

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.