Surrender wholly to the Guru—it is the easiest way for the disciple to accelerate his spiritual progress. Obey every word of the Guru without harbouring the least doubt. Cultivate a mind that enables this. After that, everything will be much easier.
No matter what the Guru advises, the first thing that arises in the disciple’s mind is his personal desire, and he is likely to act accordingly.
As a result, he makes mistakes, which cause sorrow and suffering. That is when he realises that he had acted according to his own desires and not according to the Guru’s will. This understanding enables him in due course to act in accordance with the Guru’s will.
The peace and bliss that the disciple stands to gain through surrender further inspires him to strengthen his surrender to the Guru. Eventually, the disciple becomes ready to defer all his wishes to the Guru’s will.
Thus, through sincere effort, the disciple’s inner Guru awakens. But before this can happen, the disciple must cultivate shraddha, patience, the attitude of surrender and optimism.
It is natural for seekers to make mistakes on the spiritual path. However, one must never waver, because it is from error that one moves to rightness.
The lotus blossoms in mire. If one is innocent, one can correct oneself and move ahead. The biggest mistake is not trying to correct oneself. When toddlers try to walk, they fall. They get us and try to walk again. They fall again.
The faith that is she falls, her mother will be there to help inspires the toddler to keep trying. Similarly, the faith that the Almighty will save us from all dangers is the seeker’s inspiration and strength. Owing to his egoism, the disciple might not experience this inspiration or strength initially. However, if he is innocent and bent on reaching the goal, all these will manifest in due course.
Our bodies have grown, but our minds haven’t. If the mind is to grow, it must become child-like. In order to be child-like, we must learn to remain a beginner. If we think we know everything, we will never learn anything. If a vessel is full, what can you possibly pour into it? Only when the bucket is lowered into the well does it get filled with water.
Even a Nobel Prize-winning scientist must humbly submit to a teacher if he wants to learn how to play the flute. If he continues dwelling on his status as a Nobel laureate, he will never learn how to play the flute. One might be very knowledgeable in many fields of the material world but an utter novice in spirituality. To gain spiritual knowledge, one must bow down; there’s no other way.
One cannot open all the locks with one key. For as long as we cannot bow down, we will not be able to advance an inch.
If we approach a Guru with innocence and show eagerness to learn, we will not face any difficulty in understanding the true import of his words. The key to open the treasure-chest of spirituality is made of innocence and surrender to the Guru.
What a disciple needs are the sincere desire to realise the God, and humility before others. Awaken these. We will then become capable of receiving everything, and thus become fulfilled. Self-knowledge is ever filling us, though we are unaware of it.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader