The Presence of a Master or Guru

When you are on a spiritual journey, you are very lucky when you find an authentic Guru who can guide you. If the Guru is not realized himself, it is like a blind man guiding blind men, which has been used as an example by many masters. But if you do happen to find a real Guru, then his presence helps you more than what he actually says by words. His very presence acts as a catalyst.

In our Indian tradition, we have been so fortunate to have many realized beings like Ramana Maharishi, J.Krishnamurti, Ramakrishna, Osho and thousands of realized beings who lived many centuries before, like Buddha, Shankara and Mahavira. We are also very lucky to have Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a realized mystic and yogi who is alive with us today. With his tremendous work , wisdom and vision, he has also consecrated Dhyanalinga, which has the same power of a Guru’s presence.

What is so special about being in the presence of a Guru or Dhyanalinga? Here are some excerpts from Osho and Sadhguru:

BELOVED OSHO, SITTING WITH YOU IN DISCOURSE AND HEARING YOU TALK ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT AND SILENCE, I FEEL IMMENSELY BLESSED, SOMETIMES ALMOST TOUCHING THIS SPACE OF COMING HOME, AND SILENCE COMES TO MY MIND. BUT AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE THROUGH THE DOOR AND THE MUSIC STOPS, IMMEDIATELY THE CHATTERING INSIDE STARTS AGAIN. FOR ME IT IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO BECOME SILENT WHEN I AM MEDITATING ALONE, BUT SO EASY IN YOUR PRESENCE. IS THIS NATURAL IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MASTER AND A DISCIPLE?

Deva Anuragini, it is very natural. Being in the presence of a master, silence happens on its own accord. Just as in the deep Himalayas, where the snow is eternal and the silence almost ancient… just sitting there under a tree, you start feeling, falling in tune with the immensity that surrounds you.

To be in the presence of the master is even more deep-going. Because what is the meaning of being in the presence of the master? It is being with someone you love, someone you trust; someone with whom you are ready to go into the unknown. Being in this climate, you forget your trivial matters; and forgetting comes easy, not by your effort.

The master is silent and silence is contagious.

His heart slowly slowly brings you also into a synchronicity. You start beating with his heart, in the same rhythm.

This is a beautiful experience in itself, but it is only a lesson on the path; it simply gives you a glimpse. Silence has to come to you in your aloneness, then it is your own. Otherwise, silence in the Himalayas belongs to the Himalayas; you are simply overwhelmed. And the silence in the presence of the master belongs to the master; you are simply touched. That’s why, as soon as you are left alone to yourself, your old mind is back; it has just been waiting by the side. It comes with a vengeance.

You have to understand one thing: that the presence of the master simply gives you an indication that you are capable of silence, that mind is not your master. That it is not an impossibility; that you can have a little taste of it. Whilst being alone, remember it: that the mind is just a servant mechanism.

Watch it; it is very ancient, and your silence is very new. Your silence is almost like a roseflower and your chattering mind is like a rock, very ancient, very old. It can crush the roseflower at any moment unless you are aware, unless you learn one lesson — that mind may go on, yakkety-yak, chattering, but you should not become part of it.

Certainly you are not the mind, just as you are not the body. You are within the body, within the mind, but your center is separate from the cyclone. It has a totally different quality to it. Silence, stillness is just natural to it; it is its flowering

             – The Invitation, Chapter 6 by Osho

BELOVED OSHO, IN ALL THE YEARS WITH YOU I FELT MEDITATIONS SIMPLY ‘HAPPENED’ TO ME. THEN IN THE LAST TIME WHEN I WAS AWAY FROM YOU I FELT THIS WAS NOT ME, BUT YOUR GRACE OVERFLOWING TOWARDS ME. FOR THE FIRST TIME I SAW THAT I NEEDED TO GIVE MEDITATION A PRIORITY IN MY LIFE OR IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN. NOW, MELTING IN YOUR PRESENCE AGAIN, EVERYTHING I COULD EVER DESIRE IS HERE.OSHO, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DISCIPLE WHEN ONE IS WITHOUT THE MASTER?

There are only two possibilities when the disciple is not with the master.

One is that he goes back to the zero where he had been before he met the master.

The second is, seeing that if without the master things that were happening in his presence are not happening, it simply means that his presence has not become an intrinsic part of your being.

The master need not be outside you.

In fact, he is always inside you, and if you can remember it – ”The master is inside me”…. And the master is not asking much, just a small place, a small bedroom with an attached bathroom.

Once you start feeling yourself as carrying the master within yourself, everything that was happening in the presence of the master not only continues but grows a thousandfold. Because it was the master outside, there was a distance. Now there is no more distance; even the distance has disappeared. You are not alone.

It is only a question of how much you love, of how deep is your devotion, of how great is your disciplehood.

   –  The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 27

Last night you spoke of satsang and the importance of the disciple’s proximity to the guru. Does this mean physical proximity? Is the disciple who lives at a great physical distance from the guru at a loss?

Yes and no! Yes, a physical closeness is necessary in the beginning because you cannot understand anything else right now, as you are. You can understand the body; you can understand the language of the physical. You exist at the physical, so yes, a physical closeness is necessary – in the beginning.

And I say no also because as you grow, as you start learning a different language which is of the non-physical, then physical closeness is not necessary. Then you can go anywhere. Then space doesn’t make any difference. You remain in contact. Not only space, but time also doesn’t make any difference. A Master may be dead, you remain in contact. He may have dropped his physical body, you remain in contact. If a trust happens, then time and space both are transcended.

Trust is the miracle. You can be in closeness with Mohammed or Jesus or Buddha right now if trust is there. But it is difficult! It is difficult because you don’t know how. You cannot trust a living person, how can you trust a dead? If trust happens, then you are close to Buddha right now. And for persons who have faith, Buddha is alive. No Master ever dies for those who can trust. He goes on helping; he is always there. But for you, even Buddha is there physically, standing behind you or in front of you, just sitting by your side, you are not close to him. There may be vast space between you. Love, trust, faith, they destroy space, time, both.

In the beginning, because you cannot understand any other language, you can understand only the language of the physical, physical closeness is necessary – but only in the beginning. A moment will come when the Master himself will send you away. He will force you to go away because that too becomes necessary – you may start clinging to the physical language.

Gurdjieff almost always, all his life, will send his disciples away. He will create such a miserable situation for them, then they will have to leave. It will be impossible to live with him. After a certain point, he will help them to go away. He will force really them to go away, because you should not become too much dependent on the physical. The other, the higher language, must develop. You must start feeling close to him wherever you are, because body has to be transcended. Not yours only, the Master’s body has also to be transcended.

But in the beginning it is a great help. Once the seeds are sown, once they have taken root, then you are strong enough. Then you can go away, and then you can feel. Just going away, the contact is lost – then the contact is not much importance. Trust will grow, further you go away. Trust will grow more, because wherever you are on the earth you will feel the Master’s presence continuously. The trust will grow. He will be helping you now through hidden hands, invisible hands. He will be working upon you through your dreams, and you will feel constantly, like a shadow, he is following you.

But that is a very developed language. Don’t try it from the very beginning because then you can deceive. So I will say, move step by step. Wherever trust happens, then close your eyes and follow blindly. Really, the moment trust happens you have closed your eyes. Then what is the use of thinking, arguing? Trust has happened and trust will not listen to anything now.

Then follow and remain close unless the Master himself sends you away. And when he sends you away then don’t cling. Then follow. Follow his instruction and go away, because he knows better. And what is helpful he knows.

Sometimes, just near the Master, it may become difficult for you to grow – just like under a big tree a new seed will have many difficulties to grow. Under a big tree, a new tree will become crippled. Even trees take care to throw their seed far away so that the seeds can sprout. Trees use many tricks to send the seed away; otherwise they will die, they fall down just under the big tree. There is so much shadow. No sun reaches there, no sun rays reach.

So a Master knows better. If he feels that you should go away, then don’t resist. Then simply follow and go away. This going away will be coming nearer to him. If you can follow, if you can silently follow without any resistance, this going away will be a coming nearer. You will attain a new closeness.

–  Osho, Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, Ch 2, Q 5

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev talks about the presence of a master:

Questioner: To grow spiritually, is it necessary to be in the physical presence of a Guru?

Being in the physical presence of somebody is needed because your perception is still so dependent on what you hear and see. Unless you see with your eyes that there is somebody sitting there, your perception does not open up.

Many people are actually not mature enough to be in the physical presence of a Guru because if you are in the Guru’s physical presence, your judgments about him will not stop.

You will watch the way he eats, the way he drinks, the way he speaks, the way he mixes with people, what he does, what he does not do. From this, you will helplessly form opinions. The more opinions you create within yourself, the less receptive you become. This is one reason why a lot of Gurus always kept themselves out of reach of their disciples. Once in a way they appeared but the rest of the time, they were only available to two or three people around.

They did not do this because they had an allergy for people or because they thought they were too big to mix with people. It is just that, this was their device. They knew, if people ate, slept and walked around with them normally, people would miss their whole aspect and would just get entangled with the Guru’s personality.

So being in the Guru’s physical presence can be a blessing but can also be a big barrier because then, you will helplessly make your opinions about him and miss the whole dimension of who he is.

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Author: Shanmugam

I am a blogger and I was a spiritual seeker. I had a tremendous awakening experience in July 12, 2014 on a Gurupurnima day in the presence of Sadhguru but I wouldn’t call that as spiritual enlightenment. But it did free me from many things and changed many things.

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