Am I cheating my Guru if I follow somebody else?
Dearest Ekta Didi, I have been with a spiritual foundation for the past 22 years and have done several courses there. Ever since I stumbled upon Ramana’s sessions with you, there has been a huge change that I can not describe. I completed the Advaitha, and Kabir sessions. Now I am faced with a dilemma. I feel like I am cheating on my Guru. I am constantly debating in my mind, but I cannot convince myself. I am literally miserable. I am just a volunteer there and nothing else but my association with Guruji has been for 22 years. I don’t know what to do.
That is an answer for you to find within yourself, dear. Here are a few insights that I can help provide from the ancient spiritually enlightened and acclaimed masters of yesteryears, maybe this can help you figure out your own answer.
Kabira khada bazaar mein maange sabki khair
na kahun se dosti na kisise bair
I wish for the wellness of all and yet I am unattached to all. I don’t demand any loyalty from anyone nor do I reject anyone. I am beyond the attachments of ‘wanting’ and ‘not wanting’. This is what Kabira is saying.
This is what a truely Enlightened person would say to you, ‘Do not get attached because attachment to spiritual teachers is nothing but pumping the Fake ‘I’ and keeping yourself away from attaining Advaita [non-duality].
Because by nurturing ‘attachment to the Guru’ you are sending a subtle message to the Ego that it is okay to get attached. Thus the mind will always be caught up in the Dvaita [duality] of attachment & detachment. This duality will never let you rise to the peace of Advaita [Non-Duality].
Honor them, revere them, listen to that which chimes with your heart after filtering out that which doesn’t. But don’t develop another craving for them’. They are not your masters and you are not slaves to them, they don’t particularly love you nor hate you, they are simple guides like the ‘North star’ pointing in the direction of the North. Keep moving.
Ye sab Guru hain hadh ke, beyhadh ke Guru naahin,
beyhadh apne aap upje, anubhav ke ghar maa hi
All external Gurus are bound by their own limitations, they are not the Gurus of the unbound. The unbounded Guru arises spontaneously in the house of self-experience.
Here Kabir is explaining that the witness consciousness is the true Guru. All external Gurus are just pointing towards that internal Guru. You will have to eventually drop all external supports and look within, there is no other way towards the highest TRUTH!
Buddha told Ananda to keep focusing on his own practice but Ananda did not listen and kept getting attached to Buddha, so much so that Ananda did NOT get Enlightened during Buddha’s lifetime. It was Ananda’s own attachment that became an obstacle in his own path. Only after Buddha passed away did Ananda get enlightened.
Do better than Ananda dear. it is possible for anyone to attain the highest potential of human Truth only if they make an effort to let go of the chains of bondage that they have tied around themselves.
On another note, if you regularly visit a Buddhist monastery, the monks will eventually advise you to visit multiple teachers/monasteries so that you do not get attached to a single teacher. You can visit a monk and experiment with this for yourself.
Ashtavakra says, ‘Mukta evasi sarvada – we are always free! [not bound]‘, we create bondage in our own minds. Since there is no bondage to a path/guru, there is no question of cheating. Recognize that you have conditioned your own mind dear, only you can un-condition it.
The honestly Enlightened Master like an Ashtavakra or a Buddha or Adi Shankaracharya wants you to not get attached even to him.
Kabira khada bazaar mein liye lukati haath,
jo ghar baare aapna, chale humaare saath
Kabira explains that your own conditioning is your trap and will prevent you from getting enlightened. Whether it is a material world attachment/conditioning or a spiritual world attachment/conditioning, both inflict chains of bondage on the Fake ‘I’ [Body/mind/Intellect/Ego].
Unless one breaks from the chain/net of this trap of conditioning, one can NEVER attain Enlightenment. The Fake ‘I’ will not be able to dissolve into the Real, Universal ‘I’ until the ghar [house of conditioning] is baare [burnt]. Spiritual conditioning builds a house that is hard to burn. Only the one who has the courage to burn it all can walk the path to Enlightenment.
This becomes easier to do if you have the clarity that the most important criterion on the spiritual path is:
– your own loyalty to yourself and your spiritual quest.
– your sincerity in your own spiritual quest.
– your authenticity with your own self and your spiritual quest.
You have to choose that which is TRUE for you at the moment. True does not necessarily mean that it is going to be pleasant and easy. The TRUE path is usually the harder path. For e.g. when you were a kid, you believed in Santa Claus, and as you grew older, it seemed hard for you to digest the truth that Santa does not exist.
It is your own personal choice whether you want to be with your own TRUTH or not dear. Once you have chosen, remember that nobody in this entire wide world has the right to override your own personal choice… not your spiritual peers, not your family, not your spiritual teacher, not even me. Nobody!
Always follow your own inner voice and do that which makes you:
– feel true to your own self. It’s not about others, it’s not about me, it’s not about your Guru. It’s only about YOU.
– feel that you are not fooling your own self.
– blossom spiritually [not only benefitting you and your family members but the entire humanity at large].
Follow your own Viveka! Follow the flow in the direction which the Universe is taking you naturally, devoid of raagas & dveshas.
I hope it is clear that I am not telling you to stay with an organization, I am not telling you to leave an organization. I am not telling you to stay with your Guru, I am not telling you to leave your Guru. I am not telling you to follow me. I am not telling you to not follow me.
I am simply signaling towards the right answer that lies in your own heart. Look within and make your own decision dear.
Krishna says to Arjuna that “If you are looking for a direct decision from me whether you should fight this battle or not so that you get saved from making this decision, that will not happen Parth [friend]. I cannot take away this right from you. This battle is yours. The decision is yours. Whatever your decision is, I am always there for you dear.”
Mukta evasi sarvada – You are always free!
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