31 December 2006

The Guru

In this day and age when there is a great multiplicity of teachers, methods and choices it is very helpful to read Sri Ramana's remarks regarding the Guru, particularly his remarks about the role of Arunachala as Guru.

Q: What are the marks of real teacher (Sadguru)?
A:Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with an equal eye unshakeable courage at all times, in all places and circumstances.

Q: There are a number of spiritual teachers teaching various paths. Whom should one take for one's Guru?
A: Choose that one where you find Shanti (peace).

Q: Should we not also consider his teachings?
A: He who instructs an ardent seeker to do this or that is not a true master. The seeker is already afflicted by his activities and wants peace and rest. In other words he wants cessation of his activities. If a teacher tells him to do something to do in addition to or in place of, his other activities, can that be a help to the seeker? Activity is creation. Activity is the destruction of one's inherent happiness. If activity is advocated the advisor is not a master but a killer. In such circumstances either the Creator (Brahma) or the Death (Yama) may be said to have come in guise of a master. Such a person cannot liberate the Aspirant, he can only strengthen his fetters.

Q: How is one to decide upon a proper Guru? What is the swarupa (nature or real form) Guru?
A: He is the real Guru to whom your mind is attuned. If you ask 'How to decide who is the Guru and what is his swarupa?', he should be endowed with tranquility, patience, forgiveness and other virtues; he should be capable of attracting others even with his eyes just as magnet attracts iron; he should have a feeling of equality towards all. He who has these virtues is the true Guru . . .

Q: Maharshi did not have a human guru.
A: I might have had one at one time or other. Did I not sing hymns to Arunachala. What is a Guru? Guru is the God or the Self. First a man prays to God to fulfil his desires. A time comes when he will no more pray for the fulfillment of material desires but for God himself. God then appears to him in some form or other, human or non-human, and to guide him to himself in answer to his prayer and according to his needs.

[Compilation of Ramana Maharshi's talks on the Role of the Guru]

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