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Daily Inspiration

SRUTI - PAM's Encyclopedia



GATHERING  |   GIFT  |   GITA  |   Commentaries on the Gita  |  GLORY  |   GOAL  |   GOAL CLARITY  |   GOD  |   GOD'S COMMAND  |   GODLY WORK  |  GRACE OF GOD  |   GRANTHI  |   GRATITUDE  |   GREATNESS  |   GREED  |   GRIHASTHASHRAM  |   GROSSNESS  |   GUIDANCE  |   GURU  |   Guru - Adept  |   Con-scientious Guru  |   Guru - Fraud  |   Guru - Free Thinker  |   Guru - Capable Guide  |   Guru - Guide  |   Guru - Brahma  |   Gurudom  |   Guru - Pashu  |   Guru - Ingenuity  |   Guru - Initiation  |   Guru - Knowledge  |   Guru - Mahatma (Saint)  |   Guru - Master  |   Guru - Mother  |   Guru - Personal services  |   Guru - Preachers  |   Guru - Professional gurus  |   Guru - Pseudo-religious leaders  |   Guru - Qualities  |   Real Guru  |   Guru - Role  |   Sadguru  |   Guru - Search  |   Guru - Selection  |   Guru - Sermons  |   Guru - Teacher  |   Guru - Types  |   Unworthy-Guru  |   Guru - Usurp  |   Worthy-Guru  |   GURUMATA  |  


Hear about our gathering. Some gentleman does puja for the sake of courtesy, and another sits for it for the sake of formality. Well, thank God, there is at least this much. Some gentleman has got the habit of sitting for puja once in a while, and wishes that I myself should form this habit in him. Well, so much for the better. Possible someone or other may even enter the sphere of blasphemy by remembering me instead of God in times of difficulties and hardship. None seems to possess the real interest. Even if there are such, they can be counted on one's fingers; they have got neither longing nor craving. Once my master Lalaji had written to some gentleman, “I require lions, not sheep”. And he orally told some gentleman, “I have admitted even sheep in my Satsangh for courtesy's sake”. This was his experience. Remembering this, no complaint against anybody remains. It appears that it is my fault alone. But then, everyone has to be looked after. I thought of methods. It is a matter of gratification to me to think of receiving some light, or of receiving it in future, which at least is better than nothing. Some work or other at least would have been done. Anyway, our intention is right. (SS-212,213)


Everyone is apt to receive blows in the life of this world, and this has happened in your case regarding your salary. If you cannot think this as a gift from the beloved, think it is from Satan and you will have some courage. The heaviness will disappear by God's grace and probably it has already disappeared. (SS-439)

For further reading please see AFFLICTIONS.


It was in accordance with the need of the time that Lord Krishna revealed the truth depicted in the Gita to Arjuna. We must be highly indebted to him for all that he put forth for our benefit, which in course of time has become the guiding light for us all. It was not merely an idle discourse but the actual revelation of the very thing needed for a true pursuit of the Divine path. They relate directly to the various conditions which an abhyasi passes through during the course of his march. It related to the practical realisation of those conditions which can be attained through proper Sadhana. There may however be elevated souls present in the world today who may be able to give you a glimpse of it, or to create instantly the same state in you by the application of their own inner powers.

Let us here consider how much time Lord Krishna could have possibly required for speaking out the total text of the Gita as we find it today. The armies were standing face to face on the battlefield, and war trumpets were sounding loud, announcing the zero hour for action. How much time was there at the disposal of Lord Krishna to bring Arjuna round to the proper course by preaching a sermon to him? The recitation requires at least a few hours. How could that be possible at that critical moment? Evidently he could not have taken more than a few minutes for it. The fact is that Lord Krishna actually transmitted to Arjuna, within a few minutes, all those mental states necessary for the purpose at the time. Really they were the very conditions which an abhyasi passes through during the course of his march. The process brought Arjuna instantly to a higher state of spiritual Consciousness and purged out the feeling of undue attachment from his heart. This can as well be possible today if a personality of that calibre is there. But, as it is too commonly witnessed, people hear and recite Gita for the whole life without taking in the least effect thereof. None has so far ever turned round like Arjuna in spite of hearing the Gita for years together. The reason is that those who recite to others are not capable of transmitting its truth into their hearts, on account of which no effect is produced upon the hearers. For that purpose it is necessary that the reciter must have a practical approach up to the conditions related therein, and should possess a strong will and the spiritual force necessary for making his voice vibrant so as to carry the effect of the sound right into the hearts of the hearers through the process of transmission. Then alone can its recitation be useful to the hearers.

As for the teachings of the Gita, we are ever being told by teachers and preachers of high rank and reputation that man should never consider himself to be the actual doer of things. But at the same time it is quite evident that mere reading or hearing of it is of no avail unless we take up means to achieve it practically. But we are always in the dark about those means which are necessary for the purpose. Nowhere can the slightest hint to that effect be traced out in all other discourses. The result is that the hearers are wrongly led to the conclusion that only the frequent repetition of the words, ‘I am not the doer' is all and enough for them. It is in fact an inner state of mind in which the physical actions of the abhyasi do not create impressions upon his heart. Consequently, a feeling of being a doer does not arise in him. When impressions are not caused the sanskaras are not formed, and consequently chances for bhoga do not arise. The formation of sanskaras is thus stopped. This is quite essential for those on the spiritual path. This was in fact the actual state which was transmitted into Arjuna, and by the effect of which he at once rose up to that level of higher Consciousness. The oral expression given at the time constituted only seven slokas to offer brief hints to illustrate the condition acquired by Arjuna through transmission.

The state of atman described in the Gita is a further clarification of the same point. When one has practically attained that state, he begins to feel the same all through. That is in fact the actual state of Realisation. Great stress is laid in the Gita upon nishkama karma or desireless action. One may go on saying like that forever, still it may never crop up within him unless he adopts the means and practices for its achievement. This is in fact a kind of layavastha (state of merging) without which the vision of Virat, as displayed to Arjuna, could never be possible, though proper capacity and advanced insight on the part of the abhyasi are also essential for the purpose. On witnessing the scene of Virat, even Arjuna cried out that he could not bear to see that dreadful sight. The reason was that the Layavastha which had been transmitted into him related only to the conditions of the virat desh, while the scene witnessed by him was the display of the full force of the brahmanda mandal, which is far beyond the region of Virat. It was in fact the sphere wherefrom everything comes down to the material plane. The entire plan of the battle of Mahabharat was there in an astral form. It was this vision that Lord Krishna brought to Arjuna's view after pulling him up to that level. Some people may not however feel induced to believe it as it is, and they might have their own reasons for it. But I may assure them that though normally wanting in practical proof, it is quite possible and practicable even today, provided there be a personality of such calibre, and provided the sadhaka too be capable of being lifted up to that level. 

The Gita also emphasises the importance of Duty, which constitutes the very basis of the social order of the world. It falls within the scope of Raja Yoga, and it is immensely helpful in bringing about the cessation of sanskaras. The state commences when all senses are silenced. Mere saying or hearing is of no avail in this respect. It is only to be practiced, and for it a broader heart is required. It is not so easily attainable in a brief span of time. Persistent labour with proper means is essential for it. It is likely that people may not pay heed to what I say herein; but soon the Reality which has, due to the effect of time, got covered with complexities, shall be unmasked and the people shall begin to realise its true significance. May the time come soon! Amen. (SS-542, 543, 544, 545, 546, 547, 548)

Commentaries on the Gita

There are numerous commentaries {on GITA}, and more are still being added. Almost everyone attempted it from his level of learning and reason for the people to understand it from the same level of thinking. But though their physical labour in this respect may be appreciable to some extent, the actual purpose is not served at all; and, to be more frank, the commentaries have made the original text all the more complicated by putting the bare truth under coverings or misconceptions.  In other words we increase our own limitations by adding more and more complexities to it.

Similar is the case with the worship of God who is represented as physically similar to man, with the only difference that he is a superior being and has a bigger sphere in proportion to his bigness. (SS-541,542)


The glory of God is reflected only in the heart which is pure like a mirror. May God grant you all the capacity to come up to it to solve your problem of existence. (SS-165)


It is very essential for everyone to fix his thought, at the very outset, upon the goal which he has to attain so that his thought and will may pave his way upto it.  It has been observed that those on the path of spirituality who did not fix that final state for their goal have definitely remained short of the mark, because, before arriving at the final point, they mistook one or the other of the intermediate states to be the final point or the Reality, and stopped there.  Thus they suffered merely for not having fixed their goal.  Even in worldly matters so long as a person does not keep his object in view his efforts are never so intensified as to ensure success. (BWS-145)

Our goal of life, as discussed in the previous chapter is the final stage where we are nearest to the Superactive Centre or Zero, which is the primeval cause of the entire manifestation and to which everything will ultimately return after Maha Pralaya (complete dissolution). To acquire this state we have ourselves to become zero. (BWS-195)

Now I come to the point what the real goal of life should be. It is generally admitted that the goal must be the,highest; otherwise progress up to the final limit is doubtful. For this, it is necessary to have a clear idea of the highest possible limit of human approach. (BWS-191)

The final point of approach is where every kind of force, power, activity or even stimulus disappears and a man enters a state of complete negation; Nothingness or Zero. That is the highest point of approach or the final goal of life. (BWS-192)

Such is the extent of human achievement which a man should fix his eyes upon from the very beginning, if he wants to make the greatest progress on the path of realization. (SS-132)

For further reading please see NOTHINGNESS.


There should be a goal before us, and we should try to attain it in the most natural way. There are many methods of realisation, and each one claims its efficacy. But it is our duty, before entering into any system, to consider which is the best system, and it depends upon one's own judgement and the grace of God to get a real method to solve the mystery of one's life. (SDG-142,143)

For further reading please see GOAL.


God is one and one alone, so we must take up the one to realise the one alone. The idea of Trinity will definitely lead you to multiplicity, whereby the object shall be lost. One may however adhere to the worship of gods so long as proper means are not within his sight. But when he discovers the right course he must give them up for the better and higher one, and take up the direct way to the realisation of the Absolute. (SS-334)

God is not to be found within the fold of a particular religion or sect. He is not confined within certain forms or rituals, nor is He to be traced out from within the scriptures. Him we have to seek for in the innermost core of our heart.

There are various conceptions of God. People look upon Him differently according to their capacity and understanding. The most commonly accepted conception of God is Eternal Power. But the philosophic view goes much beyond and includes the idea of Nirguna Brahma or Indeterminate Absolute, which is above all multiplicity and distinctions. It is the ultimate cause and substratum of existence, the supra-active Centre of the entire manifestation or the Absolute Base. It is beyond quality, activity, or consciousness. It is also known as Para Brahma. Next comes the idea of God as Supreme existence. We see the universe with all its diversities and differentiations and we are led to believe in its creator and controller. We call him Ishwar or Saguna Brahma (Determinate Absolute). We think of Him as a formless Eternal Existence, which is omnipotent and omniscient and possesses all the finest attributes. He is the efficient cause of the world and He is also its preserver and destroyer. It is only when viewed from this lower standpoint that God (as the God of religion) becomes an object of worship. This is the final approach of almost all the religions. So far, God is conceived of as Nirakar or formless, but possessing of certain attributes. This is in itself a difficult idea for the common folk to grasp. They therefore, try to secure an easier approach by taking up to a more tangible form. Some, therefore, think of Him as seated on the highest Heaven, administering justice and benevolence to all. Others think of Him as an all-pervading power controlling the Universe. Thus by degrees we are in a way gradually drifting away from the Nirakar or formless aspect to some tangible form or Sakar. Much has been said in the religious books about the two conceptions, the Nirakar and Sakar, but really both the conceptions, as generally understood, are greatly misleading. Really God is neither Nirakar nor Sakar but beyond both. Those who treat him as Sakar limit the Limitless within bounds of form and shape. The result is that they cultivate narrow-mindedness and remain forever within bounds. If we take Him as Nirakar the very idea brings to our mind the limitation of attributes as creator, controller and destroyer. Even the idea of God as Power or Energy is still a limited conception. We go on ahead to the idea of non-entity or zero, still we are in a way somewhat away from Reality. What then? Expression now fails. Sufficient be it to say that if we are really away from both the conceptions, we may think ourselves to be in the right direction. So long as we remain confined within the bounds of religion the God of religion remains in our view and we remain entangled within one or the other view. The highest spiritual attainment is only possible when we go beyond. In fact spirituality begins where religion ends. (BWS-177,178,179)

There are some who advocated the idea of a personal God, others that of a formless God, still others that of saguna or nirguna (with or without attributes). There are heated discussions resulting in bitterness which create feelings of hatred against each other and produce causes for dissension. The supporters of both saguna and nirguna concepts, though they vie so much with each other, are, in my opinion, equally in the wrong and neither of them has thereby been able to achieve the ideal. They are really the two paths with the same (common) object, viz. Realisation. The only difference between them is that for those who proceed by the former (saguna) and remain fixed to it, Infinity ever remains out of their view. That means they have solidified the watery vapours of the air into hard icy rock. Now if icy rock slips down into the sea, ships are likely to strike against it and get sunk. Similar shall be the fate of the advocate of the nirguna view if he sticks to it forever thinking it to be all-sufficient, perhaps with the only difference that his rock might be a little further on. Truly speaking, God is neither saguna nor nirguna but beyond both. He is what He is. What should then be done to solve this mystery? The only possible solution can be to fix our eyes on the Absolute, be it saguna, nirguna or neither, and develop love for it. (SDG-77,78)

Really God is very simple and plain. He is not in solid forms. There is no solidity whatsoever of any kind in Him. God is simple and extremely subtle. In fact the very simplicity and purity of the Ultimate has become a veil to it.

In order to understand the conception of God or Ultimate Reality, let us start with the stand taken by an atheist, that there is no God. This is to say in mathematical terminology, that no positive or negative value can be assigned to it. The mathematical sign for that which has no positive or negative value is ‘zero’ or ‘naught’. Now let the atheist be faced with the question as to what exists. A consistent agnostic can doubt and deny the existence of everything but not of his own self, viz. that which doubts or denies. Speaking again in mathematical terminology it may conveniently be expressed as ‘one’.

Look at the magical function of ‘zero’. As you go on adding more and more of that which does not exist, i.e. ‘zero’ to the right side of that which exists, viz. ‘one’, it goes on swelling and multiplying itself. There is hardly a comprehensible limit to this expansion, and the Upanishads have rightly characterised this expanded Infinite as bigger than the biggest (mahato mahiyan). Then start adding ‘zero’ to the left side or negative side of ‘one’, with the function of negativating will, i.e., the decimal point. The addition of more and more ‘naughts’ will gradually bring the ‘one’ closer and closer to the ‘zero’. Again there can be hardly any limit to this shrinkage of the ‘self’ and the Upanishads have rightly characterised it as smaller than the smallest (anoraniyan).

For the sake of understanding we may call it ‘Zero’ or the ‘Centre’, or the ‘Base’. No prakriti and no universe can stand without the Base. There must be a backing for the existence and that backing is God or Brahman, Ultimate Reality. It is the Bhuma, a substanceless substance and a forceless force. (WU-12,13,14)

God is quite plain and simple, devoid of everything, not to speak of any solidity. So, it is absolutely necessary for us to free ourselves from grossness and solidity in order to achieve Him. The solidity comes in by the effect of our own thoughts, actions and surroundings. Our thoughts must therefore be regulated, and the individual mind must be thoroughly disciplined so as to clear off the weight settled in. We should become as light as possible so that a single breath of the master may put us to the highest possible flight. (SS-312)

Some think that the concept of Indeterminate or attributeless God (Nirguna) is better than that of determinate God (Saguna).  Others hold just the opposite view.  In fact, both of them are erring.  They neither attain Nirguna Brahman nor Saguna Ishwara.  There are, no doubt, the two ways; but the goal is one - the realisation of the Ultimate or Eternal Absolute. Both the conceptions, as generally understood are greatly misleading. Truly God is neither nirguna nor saguna but beyond both. (WU -11)

It is very difficult to explain God because there is nothing to compare Him with. We are therefore compelled to take up the method of contrast. (SS-506)

Whatever it is we must love it.  (WU-11)


Every one must be prepared to meet his end. That means he must attain the highest spiritual level as early as possible so that he may not have to regret when his end comes. Devotion and constant remembrance are the only surest means thereof. God- realisation is not at all a difficult task provided one diverts his attention to it in the real sense, with faith and confidence, resigning himself completely to His will. It can be very easily accomplished if one attends to the due discharge of one's worldly duties taking everything in the sense of God's command. (SS-110)


Time has almost matured for a change which is imminent and inevitable and for which the Godly energy in human form is already at work as referred to in my book Efficacy of Raja Yoga. It may not at present seem convincing to some of us but it is a fact beyond doubt. The world shall know of him and his work in this respect after some time when events have sufficiently come to light. Godly work is always accomplished through the agency of some human being of high calibre and not direct. The reason is that God does not possess mind, which is the only instrument to bring things into action. Man possesses mind, which can be utilized for the purpose, but only when he has lost his feeling of individuality in toto. What remains in him after he has achieved complete negation of self, is not the human mind but only the Godly mind in pure and absolute state. Now Nature works through this Godly mind although apparently it exists within the frame of a human being. (BWS-281)


Sometimes, the fortune favours and one gets such a Master even though one is not fit for the best sort of spiritual training. In that case there is nothing but the grace of God. (SDG-146)


Please see KNOTS.


Even as the harshness of the Beloved is appealing to a lover since it contains a gentle tenderness which reflects love all through and attracts him all the more, the rebukes of the Beloved are very pleasant to him and offer him greatest joy.  If we take a cruder view of these scoldings they assume the form of painful experiences which people call by the name of miseries which are so easily endurable to a true lover who takes them with delight even in their grossest form.  When this state is acquired, the underlying emotional trend converts it into a state of gratitude.  This indicates how nicely he has welcomed them and is now so happy with them because they have come down from his Beloved.

This results in all joy and he begins to abide in it.  After sufficient practice it becomes his second nature and its consciousness too drops off.  The glamour too passes away.  When this is attained, there remains nothing but the swimming in the sphere of Reality, and further on the idea of swimming too becomes extinct.  The power generated by the habit of forbearance helps him a good deal in his pursuit, and he enters the sphere described above.  What happens next has already been dealt with sufficiently.

In our system this stage is often attained by an Abhyasi.  It offers him pleasure and he begins to appreciate it.  It helps his entry into the above mentioned circle where he begins to have an experience of the calmness of mind.  Then he begins to realise that all these things which had the outer form of misery or scolding had come down only for his good.  They are really invaluable to us when they come as gifts.  Being overjoyed to have them, one is naturally inclined to express his feeling of gratitude for them. (BWS-155,156)

The kicks of the past should be considered to be like the thrashing by a teacher to bring the pupil round to the right path, and for which we should be grateful. (SS-26)

For further reading please see OBLIGATION.


We thought of one thing and one alone, attaching ourselves to the thing far above our conception. The idea of greatness is now in our heart. Naturally we feel ourselves as its part, or a trifling thing in comparison to that. We do it over and over again. Now we have made the passage by connecting our thought with that high region for realisation. As we practice this, clouds of darkness begin to disperse and vacuum is created by the force of the will. The power then begins to rush in, in higher degree, with the result that individuality goes away and mind remains. (BWS-34,35)


Greed is our own creation. It should be eradicated completely. One should not have greed even for spirituality. It is seen that some abhyasis are very greedy of taking sittings. (SS-22)

For further reading please see VIKARAS.


Grihastha ashrama {Family Life} is not a bar in gaining the Real. I think this is the best ashrama in which higher approach is easily possible. I am a grihastha and my master was also one. I assure you that a perfect saint may be found in this ashrama alone. We perform our duties and remember Him as the Ultimate Reality. Duty is itself worship if the idea that it is the order of God remains in the mind. (SS-135)

For further reading please see FAMILY LIFE.


The currents flowing down from the Origin manifested themselves in diverse ways. They had descended not without purpose. They were in fact powers which began to act in numerous ways, producing the required results. All these powers had emerged from the Origin and began to manifest their actions. Take the case of a baby. At the time of birth he could not even move about. Subsequently he began to sit, stand, talk, walk and run. That is to say, the capacities lay dormant in him, which now began to develop into action till he attained blooming youth and acquired the full active vigour of a man. The elements contained in the composition of the baby developed in various forms, though the origin of all these was the same tiny drop. Veils after veils began to set round which were caused by the effect of the mother’s habits, the father’s thoughts, the type of training and all external influences which began to display their respective actions. All these influences had a touch of materiality. The multiplicity of actions made him uncognizant of all the various changes which he had undergone during his march towards grossness. Now he is so intensely engrossed in it that it defies all efforts to get out of that state of complete grossness. Later on it took another turn. He came in touch with the world around and was influenced by the dealings and associations of others. The environment caused its own effect. One became possessed by thoughts and worries. His entire existence being coloured thus, he assumed a changed form and began to attract material for the same. What was he, and what has he become now. The original drop was suppressed so much that it went quite out of view? Not only this but the elements thus introduced went on growing stronger by the effect of his own thoughts. Consequently their action grew still more powerful and intensified, with the result that they began to draw in greater power from the forces of nature. Just as a tiny spring composed of a few drops of water trickling down from a mountain crevice flows down in the form of a petty rivulet, and goes on swelling by the additional supply of water from the melting snow or from tributary stream till it develops into a huge sea of water, so does a baby, when the things introduced into him at the primary stage have attained full development, attain maturity. The origin of the ripples present in the water is nothing but the result of the Karmas (actions) which had helped him during the course to acquire its final form. These are the waves which are lastly considered to be the waves of joy often misinterpreted as ‘Anandam’. In a man’s life this phase comes during the period of youth when he is sufficiently coated with contaminations. When a man comes into this form which is the result of all the actions, his state is similar to that of the ocean. (BWS-141,142)

Moreover unfortunately today the ideal too kept in view during these practices is not the highest. In most cases they remain all along in close touch with the idea of gods in the physical form keeping in view their gross body and activities. The effect of this gross conception is nothing but internal grossness and opacity, which they inhale all along during the practice. A gross conception will necessarily keep you within bounds and limitations and final approach or absolute freedom can never be possible. This is the reason why in spite of years of practice they find themselves at the lowest level of attainment. They are, so to say, searching everything in a stagnant pool where even oxygen, necessary for the upkeep of life, is wanting. They have made such a pool their permanent abode. Proper light is needed to make pearls. (BWS-185,186)

Life is the awakening of the State of Being. When we brought in our share of the awakening state, every function of the material existence commenced. In the beginning, it was more in relation with Divinity from which life started. With the progress of life, actions continued having their effect according to their nature. Now we have lost our balanced character and have grown unbalanced.

Action is a very strong thing because it is connected with life. So its misuse has produced wrong effects and each centre has lost its originality and has begun to imbibe different effects, with the result that the whole frame of the body become a human factory and began to pour out, what we have collected so far. And this process continued for years. When the span of life ended we took another form with the accumulated effects of grossness we had formed. Thus we have been adding at each birth till we have become the actions themselves. Every centre of the nerves became a pole itself producing different climates and changes. We have formed the poles according to our actions and the repeated actions made the centre more strong. The outcome is that we remain embrassed by the commands we receive from different centres for each faculties.

Now our life changed from spirituality to matter and this went on and we became worse. Somehow, either by the effect of circumstances or by the company of pious persons, we got a passing air of Divinity and began to compare it with the present state, and then we came to know that there is something superior to what we have. (SDG-47,48)

Our excessive attachment to the environment, and surroundings of a similar nature, create in us heaviness and grossness. Subtleness is lost and everything that comes to our view is interpreted in the same light. This not only veils our understanding, but the heart and brain also get affected by it. It was the same tendency of mind which displayed itself through all the writings of men of knowledge and learning. For thorough understanding of things one must have practically attained the state of mind required, before one can come out to explain it to others. (SS-540,541)


You are definitely under the guidance of such a one in the form of my great master, whose effulgence, if keenly observed, will be found spreading all through the world. If anyone ponders seriously over it he will find it full in every nook and corner. I shall however go on serving you with the wine of spirituality and at the same time developing your capacity for more and more. What else do you want of me? (SS-203)


Having in view our determined goal and the proper means to achieve it, our next lookout must be to find out the right type of person as our guide, who might successfully take us along the path of realization. In all cases(including those pertaining to worldly attainments), we stand in need of the help of a capable guide. It may, however, be possible that after acquiring some knowledge, we may proceed further by our self-effort. But even then we have to depend upon the experience of the teachers of the past contained in their books and writings. In spirituality the case is otherwise. The need of a Guru or Master grows greater and greater as we go on advancing and securing higher stages. Books are of no avail to us in this respect. (BWS-212)

The help of a Guru or Master is, therefore, essential and indispensable for those engaged in spiritual pursuit. There have been cases, however, where sages have attained perfection by mere self-effort, surrendering themselves direct to God. But such examples are rare. It is really a very difficult course and can be followed only by persons, specially gifted with uncommon genius. Guru is the connecting link between God and man. It is through his medium only that we can each God. He is the only power that can extricate us from the intricacies of the Path. (BWS-213)

The selection of the proper guide or guru is the next point to be taken into consideration. The guru’s job being the most significant and invaluable factor of spiritual life, it is absolutely necessary that due precaution be taken to select the right type of man for the guide. The slightest error in this matter may often prove highly disastrous. God alone is in fact the real guide or guru, and we all get light from Him alone. But only he who has cleaned his heart to that extent feels it coming therefrom, while a common man engrossed deeply in material complexities feels it not. He therefore stands in need of one of his fellow-beings of high calibre to help him in that direction. We may call him guide, guru, master or by whatever name we like, but he is after all a helper and a supporter, working in the spirit of service and sacrifice. His role is by far the most important, for it is he who, as a matter of fact, pulls the real seeker up and enlivens him with the light which is lying in him under layers of grossness. The light thus awakened begins first to cast its reflection upon outer Coverings and removes grossness and impurities therefrom. By and by it goes on developing, affecting the deeper layers also. The light can, however, be awakened by independent efforts as well, but that requires persistent labour for many years together. For this reason association with a worthy guide is of immense value to the abhyasi, since the master too, is duty bound, keeps on removing obstructions and impediments on the path. (SS-190,191)

When the disciple completely merges himself in the guru, the latter becomes restless to take him further, especially when the disciple is unable to go further of his own accord. I will answer a question which possibly arises in every one's heart: “If guru happens to be a traveller of the region of baqua, how is it possible for the disciple to reach a higher region when needed?” If the guru is a liberated one the disciple will surely receive his help, provided the disciple has developed a condition due to which his voice reaches the guru. The voice of those people who are initiated by him reaches the guru quickly. Apart from this, there are representatives and teachers who fulfill the needs of the disciple. (SS-326,327)

Guru - Adept

It is very difficult to find an adept in Raj Yoga, but they are there, no doubt, in this world. I tell you an easy method of finding them out. If you sit beside such a person, never mind he be a sanyasi or a grihastha, calmness, the nature of self, will remain predominant and you will be care free for the time being.  You will remain in touch with the real thing so long as you are with him.  The effect is automatic i.e., even if he does not exert himself. So if you really want to search for such a person, what you have to do is only look to your own heart and note the condition of your mind. It becomes comparatively calm, quiet, and the different ideas that have been haunting your mind and troubling you all the time are away so long as you are with him. But one thing is to be clearly borne in mind, that mind should not in any way be taxed and there should be no heaviness. (BWS-94,95)

Con-scientious Guru

I hold it to be the birth right of every man to break off from his Guru at any time if he finds that he had made a wrong selection or had misjudged the Guru's capacity or worth. He is also free to seek another Guru if at any stage he finds that his Guru has not the capacity to take him beyond what he has already acquired. On the other hand a con-scientious Guru must himself, under the circumstances, direct his disciple to seek another, more advanced and better qualified, so that the disciple may not in any way suffer progress. This is the sacred duty of a true and selfless Guru. If, however, permission to break off, sought for by the disciple, is denied by the Guru on account of his selfish motives, the disciple is at liberty to break off from him at once and seek another. No moral or religious law ever forbids him from doing so. (BWS-218)

Guru - Fraud

The popularly believed principle that a disciple can never break off the sacred connection with his Guru under any circumstances, is also a cunning device adopted by those false Gurus to make their position safe and secure and is nothing but a fraud. (BWS-216)

Guru - Free Thinker

I have always been a free thinker, so I feel no hitch to express myself freely and frankly. I am always ready to welcome any one who may be able to take abhyasis farther on beyond the limit to which I mean to give them approach. When you have taken up one for your guru or guide on the Divine path, and at any subsequent stage discover his incapability to help you up to the final mark, decide for yourself of what avail he can be to you, except wasting your time and energy, and to remain ever deprived of the final approach. You engage a tutor for your child to coach him up in a certain subject but afterwards you discover that he is not so well up in the subject to serve the required purpose. What will you do then, except to replace him by another, better suited for the job? The same should be the procedure in this case also. (SS-204,205)

Guru - Capable Guide

You must remember that only he can be a capable guide who has torn off his own Coverings, and at the same time possesses the power of transmission to help and support others on the path. (SS-50)

Guru - Guide

It is absolutely necessary for us to find out such a guide who can lift us higher and higher by his power. (WU-78)

There have been great saints of highest calibre in India almost at all time and they have by their teachings and preachings tried to guide through to uplift the masses to a higher level of consciousness. But, of all these, one who can foment us by his own inner powers would be the best for a guide in the spiritual pursuit. It is he and he alone who perceives our inner complexities, understands our real needs and knows how to conduct us along the path up to the final limit. Pranahuti or Yogic transmission is of course the chief instrument he works with. That is the only effective process to introduce immediate change to regularise the inner tendencies of our mind so as to effect our gradual transformation. Under the present conditions when the poisonous effect has overshadowed the entire cosmos so as to attack every mind and keep it in a constant state of tumult and disorder, when the senses have all gone out of control, and when the individual mind is on the wings every moment, we stand in dire need of such a personality to take us along supporting us by His superior Powers. This is what we had in the Divine personality of the Great Master referred to above. (SDG-10)

A real guide is never eager for fame or honour, and there are examples of saints who have often courted general disrespect by adopting outwardly, at times, things derogatory to their position. There is one such instance related about Kabir which helped him to get free from the association of his false followers. (SS-170)

Guru - Brahma

As for the relative position of the guru and God I may say that this question crops up only when one means to aspire for the realisation of God through the help and guidance of the guru. When such is the case it is evident that the two, God and guru are both in his view. In that case the third one (i.e. the self of the devotee) also can by no means be ignored. Thus it comes to a trinity like that of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. He thus remains fixed in this trinity which may otherwise mean multiplicity. But so far as spirituality is concerned, our real purpose is to march from diversity to unity, and then beyond it to whatever ‘It' might be. But the course we thus take up leads to the reverse of what we aspire for. What is to be done under the circumstances is for each one to decide for himself.

They say that one must love his guru as much as he loves God. In my view that is quite impracticable for there can never be two parallel objects of love. The human heart is not a caravan serai where any and every one may come in to have his stay. Love admits of no dual loyalties not to speak of multiplicity. It has no room even for the duality of the lover and the beloved

“Jab mai thaa tab too naheen
ab too hai mai naheen.
Prem galee ati sankaree
taame dho na samahi.”

“When I was there thou wert not;
now thou art there I am not.
The love-lane is very narrow and
cannot contain two (I and Thou)”.

Such is the path of love. It is also an answer to the question regarding the relative position of guru and God. That means we have to ignore either of the two. For this Swami Vivekananda reminds us saying, “Know thy guru as Brahm.” That is the only solution. But this does not apply to professional gurus who teach and preach for their earning or who are after name, fame and riches. (SS-255,256,257)

My experience of spiritual life is almost mature. From your point of view it may be for me a piece of misfortune since I could not have the taste of many things of the world. I had become quite dumb, having laid myself down upon my master's feet; but definitely from that time onwards all my miseries were over. My worldly life was altogether transformed and I began to view an ocean of bliss all around me. That was due to the kind grace of the Master and to my implicit faith in Him. Under the influence of the Divine current flowing into me from His heart, I felt lost within my self. All this brought me closer and closer to Him, ‘my all and everything'. You might question whether or not God was there in any way near about in my thought. To this I can only say that it was the only relation between Him and me, as it must necessarily be with every real abhyasi. The Shastras too give out a similar view — “Know thy guru as Brahm”. Swami  Vivekananda also puts it thus, “When we speak of God as He is in His absolute perfection, we meet with miserable failure, as we are limited and bound by our present constitution to think God as man”. It is indeed a childish view to say that it is blasphemy to regard man as God. Really we start from dualism and automatically reach advaita. When we are lost in it, Reality dawns. This is however my anubhava or experience. (SS-271,272)


Orthodox idea of gurudom which to my view is nothing but mental slavery. (SS-189)

Unfortunately, today, the selection of the proper guide is much neglected, although every religious-minded Hindu believes that it is incumbent upon him to have a Guru in order to satisfy his craving for spiritual benefit. Generally people select any one for the purpose without any regard to his capabilities or worth. They are induced to do so mostly by persuasion or by miracles displayed by those so-called Gurus to attract the ignorant masses. The disciple-hunters are not wanting. They are as numerous as the leaves of a tree, for to most of them Gurudom is a very profitable job, which can secure enormous income, which they cannot otherwise earn. Besides they command highest respect and personal service from their disciples. The ignorant masses thus fall a ready prey to these self-seeking professionals. A petty miracle or an ordinary display of something charming or attractive is enough to attract hundreds of these silly sheep to their fold of Gurudom. A simple threat to pronounce curse upon one who happens to displease them, may bring thousands into their abject submission. (BWS-215,216)

Guru - Pashu

Those who stick to the idea of the physical form alone as the Master, create for themselves the grossest entanglements and complications. Kabirdas has rightly termed such persons as Guru Pashu. (BWS-257)

Guru - Ingenuity

For the professional Gurus who perform mock initiations to serve their purpose, it is a matter of constant anxiety. Therefore, in order to keep a disciple permanently in their grip, they proclaim it as a Divine dictate that he shall be courting all the miseries of the hell if he ever thought of breaking off from them at any time. The ignorant masses accept it as the gospel truth, trembling at the very idea of doing anything that might displease their Guru. So they always try to put up with all their atrocities in passive submission. I am sure, there is not the slightest suggestion to this effect found in our Shastras. It is only an ingenuity on the part of these teachers of religion. (BWS-217,218)

Guru - Initiation

The practice of initiating a disciple (though really based on sound principle) has been much abused by most of the modern professionals who do not understand its real significance. Their only function as a Guru is to breathe a few mystical words into the ear of the disciple at the time of initiation and tell him to follow certain ceremonial practices by way of worship. Their duty to the disciple ends with it and nothing remains for them to do for the betterment of the disciple except to give him their Darshan every year and get their annual tribute from him. Really a disciple should formally be initiated only when true faith exists in him and Divine love takes prime root in his heart. Initiation signifies that the disciple's link has been connected with the Supreme Power. In that case the spiritual force begins to flow to the disciple automatically according to the absorbing capacity he develops in himself. It depends much upon the power and capability of the Master to establish a sound connection for which high calibre is needed. A sound connection once established shall continue as long as the disciple does not secure liberation which in such cases is not a far off matter to be attained after numerous lives. In fact if a disciple is initiated in the right sense as mentioned above by a Guru of high calibre the question of breaking off from him can never arise. (BWS-216,217)

Of course, it is true that initiation is an essential thing and there is no go without this. This is necessarily helpful in attaining really high approaches. It is a different thing if anybody creates in himself the conditions of high approaches. Even then he remains deprived of the Great Gift. The person who does initiation becomes as compelled after the initiation as the father to his sons. However naughty the son may be, still the father claims him as his own son and his parentage remains the same. Yes! In spirituality some such thing is also produced in special cases where the teacher can cut off any of his spiritual descendants. But this is done in very exceptional cases, and only the Guru can decide about it. The principle of initiation is that initiation can be done only when the faith of the aspirant is matured, and when he is going deep enough in love. (SS-211,212)

Guru - Knowledge

There are some who hold the view that knowledge being the preliminary stage of realization is essential and indispensable. I do not agree with them on the ground that knowledge is only an achievement of brain whereas realization is the awakening of soul and hence far beyond its scope. In books on spiritual science we read much about the conditions of mind at various spiritual stages and get acquainted with them but as regards practical attainments we are far away from them. We can talk to people about those conditions, advance arguments for and against them and establish our superiority in learning but inwardly we are quite ignorant of them. (BWS-219,220)

Guru - Mahatma (Saint)

The real test of a Mahatma or Guru is not his miracles or his extraordinary ways and manners but only his practical attainments on the path of realization. The popular meaning of a Mahatma as a great individuality does not seem appealing to me. I would define a Mahatma as the most insignificant being or rather a neglected figure, beyond all feelings of greatness, pride or egoism, dwelling permanently in a state of complete self-negation. (BWS-219)

A saint or a Mahatma is not in any way different from an ordinary worldly man, except that his mind and senses are in a well-disciplined state and wholly under his control. He remains free from the effect of the different hues and colours of the world and remains ever merged in his own, the one colourlessness. He attains a state of contentment and settledness which breathe in an atmosphere of peace and calmness. (SS-427)

The word mahatma has been defined in several or various ways, not perhaps without some reasonable basis. But my definition of it as a ‘non-being person', though somewhat peculiar, is meaningful. It may also be interpreted so as to relate to one who has gone `off' with spirituality. But that may not be quite acceptable to those aspiring for spirituality. If I go deeper to explain its real significance I fear it may not be understandable, so I had better hold over the topic. (SS-513)

Mind generally has two trends, the one directed towards the world or diversity and the other directed towards the Ultimate or Unity. There must be due adjustment in them. Excessive attention to either is a drawback.That is where an ordinary worldling differs from a true saint who can, at will, turn the downward tendencies of his mind upwards. That is not within the capacity of an ordinary man. (SS-350)

Guru - Master

I do not hereby mean to advocate the orthodox idea of Gurudom in any way. Only a person capable of transmitting Divine Grace through the Yogic process of Pranahuti is fit to become a Master. (SDG-20)

A true Master can be he and he alone, who possesses such wonderful power and can at a glance create a state of light in an aspirant, diverting his thought from darkness to light till his tendencies, which were previously directed towards darkness, begin to absorb brightness within them. His passage towards light thus becomes smoother and his own internal power begins to act for it. His problem is thus solved and he is saved from all adverse influences, imbibing only that which is to his advantage. Another remarkable thing, which if adopted will leave no stage uncrossed, is that one should try to copy Master's merging. I did the same and it helped me to attain my present state. May God grant you all the capacity for it. (SDG-4,5)

 It is very sad in the present state of society that they have given up the idea of service and taken to the idea of Masterhood instead. History tells us that we have grown from poverty to power, and from servant to Master. The idea of Master, is pregnant, really, with the idea of service but generally our saints forget it although the very idea of service has brought them to their present state. When the basic idea is forgotten, the structure falls off, and there remains neither servant nor Master. The proper sort of training, if the Guru is perfect, is that the teacher should generate among his disciples that sort of smell which leads them to the garden. (SDG-145)

Guru - Mother

The conception of a Guru as a mother is, in my opinion, by far the most appropriate and advantageous to a disciple. A mother is the very embodiment of love and affection. Only a mother's heart can forbear with patience all the troubles and miseries caused to her son, thinking all the while of trying to provide for her son's comfort and happiness. The same is the position of the real Master or Guru who is the spiritual mother of the disciple. As such the Guru is always on the lookout for the spiritual welfare of the child, the disciple. It is due to the affectionate attachment of the Guru with his disciple that the attention of the great Father, with whom his spiritual mother is so closely connected, is directed towards him. A mother's affection is well known but people know very little of the Guru's affection and still less of God's affection. The function of a mother and of a true Guru is closely similar. The mother retains a child within her womb for certain duration. The Guru, too, retains the spiritual child within his mental sphere for a certain duration. During this period the disciple, like the baby in the womb, sucks his energy and gets nourishment from the spiritual waves of the Guru's thoughts. When the time matures he is born in the brighter world and thence his own spiritual life begins. If the disciple enters the mental sphere of the Guru, surrendering all his belongings to him, it takes only seven months to deliver him into the brighter world. But the process is generally delayed for a considerable time because while in the Guru's mental sphere the disciple retains the consciousness of his own thoughts and feelings. Thus, we find that the position of the Guru is much the same as that of a mother. The conception of the Guru as a spiritual mother promotes within us the feelings of love, reverence and surrender, which are the main factors of a spiritual life. (BWS-259,260)

Guru - Personal services

Most of the so-called Gurus nowadays encourage the practice {seeking personal service}, because it offers them personal comfort and feeds their vanity. They say that by touching the feet of Guru, or by massaging his limbs the magnetic currents pass on from the Guru to the disciple, which helps the disciple to form pious Samskaras. Thus by this practice the disciple draws in much of purity and piety from his master. It may be true, but let me question them for a while whether the same thing is not possible if the Guru renders the same service to his disciple. I think none can dare deny it. Evidently then the motive at the back is nothing but personal comfort and ease. In my humble opinion the process should now be reversed in accordance with the need of the time and the Guru should himself render such services to his disciples. Really the position of Guru is very strange. If he feels himself as a Master and hence far above his associates, it will be an Ahankar of the worst type in a Guru. It is really the lookout of the disciple to devote himself to the service of his Guru with love and devotion and not the right or privilege of the Guru to demand it. I am reminded of an instance. A simpleton once approached one of such prevalent type of Gurus and offered to become his disciple. The Guru, delighted at the prospect of one more addition to his fold of Gurudom, began to teach him the duties of a disciple. "You should," he said, "be in complete submission to your Guru, attending all the time to his personal needs and services. You should prostrate before him every morning and evening and go to bed after the Guru is asleep and get up before he wakes." The poor fellow finding himself incapable of doing all this innocently questioned: "What will be the result if I failed to act in strict accordance?" "You will be turned out and doomed" was the firm reply. "Then, Sir," he added politely, "It shall be very kind of you, if you accept me as a Guru". We often come across instances of jealousies and frictions between a Guru and his disciple. What is all this due to? It is only on account of selfish interest or personal gain. (BWS-228,229)

Guru - Preachers

A little advanced among the class of Gurus are considered to be those who teach and preach on the basis of their knowledge of the Shastras and other holy books. They have established orders and Ashrams where they enjoy a kingly position among their followers. They go out and address large audiences telling them what to do and what not to do and explaining to them problems concerning Maya, Jiva and Brahma. People flock to them in thousands to hear their sermons admiring their high ideas and extensive knowledge and regard them as great Mahatmas or saints. They ask them numerous intricate questions and if they are able to answer them out of their stock of the knowledge of Shastras their greatness as Mahatma is established in their minds and they are induced to accept them as Gurus. But really they have, thus, put to test their learning and not the real worth. It must well be borne in mind that it is not learning or knowledge that makes a man perfect but it is only realization in the right sense that makes a true Yogi or saint. It is just possible that the man who has thus impressed you with his outward form, learning or eloquence, may be at the lowest level as regards practical attainments. Know-ledge, therefore, is no criterion of a true Mahatma or Yogi. (BWS-218,219) 

Guru - Professional gurus

In order to ensure monopoly of their profession they declare that none but one belonging to the privileged class has the right of being a Guru, whether he may be a Sannyasin or a householder. They claim to be world teachers of religion by birth, irrespective of their capability and worth. Sannyasins, too, you will find these days in multitude posing as Mahatmas and professing to be Jagat Gurus(world teachers). Is it not a pity to find such professional imposters, who are a shame to the nation and the religion, roaming about with complete impunity to cheat and defraud the ignorant people, in order to serve their own selfish ends? It is high time for the masses to open their eyes and see what havoc has been wrought by them. Gurudom as a monopoly of a privileged class is only an absurdity, introduced by the professional Gurus to safeguard their personal interests. (BWS-216)

Many Swamijis who start the profession of Gurudom as soon as they put on the ochre coloured uniform, complain that although their disciples listen to them with interest, yet they remain as crooked as the tail of the dog afterwards.  The reason is obvious.  Either the Swamiji does not exert his will or he has got no power. The teachers  prescribe many laborious and brain-taxing practices and leave their disciples to their own fate. Neither the teacher knows the result of the practices nor does the disciple care to use his discrimination.  The result is internal grossness and dullness of intellect on the part of the disciple, and corruption, degradation and moral turpitude on the part of the Gurus - who are very conscious of only their right to teach, but quite unmindful of their duties and responsibilities towards their disciples. (SS-230,231)

Guru - Pseudo-religious leaders

The responsibility for it lies mainly on those who have made it their profession to indulge in false dealings presenting imitations for the real. They, not taking into account its evil consequences, went on recklessly engendering poison into the hearts of the people. Thus poison alone was administered in place of the nectar and spirituality was in fact strangulated at the very outset. Undoubtedly they ruined not only themselves but also others by their misguidance. Learned lectures, spirited sermons and manifold discourses are all the merit that attracts the minds of the people these days. As the masses were so did they get the leader to guide them on. They applauded him for his show of knowledge and he in his turn went on imposing more and more of his importance upon them. Thus he came to be generally accepted as the knower of true knowledge, who deserves all honour and respect. Thus his means of livelihood were ensured safely and in a most honourable way. This is all that he got as the reward of his labours.

But if anyone was to question him as to whether the sermon he preached was the one based on his personal experiences or on experiences of others which he had borrowed from books, he would only say “whatever it might be it is after all the very wisdom”. Some people went even so far as to presume that mere acceptance of the transitory nature of the material world and the infinite character of the Divine is all that wisdom implies. This goes to mean that they can relish the taste of a mango by simply talking about its sweetness. Can the description of the taste ever satisfy the appetite of the listener or can the hunger of a man be ever appeased by preaching to him that bread can satisfy the hunger? Certainly not. But still these pseudo-religious leaders feel greatly exalted to think that they had preached a grand sermon and that they were real gnanis(knowers of true knowledge). This is exactly as a man who enacts the role of a king on a stage goes about afterwards thinking himself to be a king in a real sense. Can he ever command the same honour and influence as a real king would? Let a person assume himself whatever he wills but that will always be far from reality and it will not be difficult to judge at sight the real worth and the level of approach of such vain preachers. They may however silence others by the logical display of their scholarly knowledge but still the reality at the bottom seldom remains unrevealed. May God have mercy on those who are in the hands of such impostors who keep themselves confined only to books.

The real wisdom not being the concern of such persons, they pretend to preach and lead people on the path, which they themselves have never traversed. Living is not for them to bother about, forbearance is a foreign word to them, and toleration is against the code of their so-called saintly conduct. Acceptance of personal service from others is their birthright while to serve others in the same way is below their exalted dignity. To them divine knowledge is quite exclusive of all these most common rules of etiquette and good conduct. In their view wisdom is only an academic current meant for the fickle minded masses, theirs being the only job to divert it towards them. This is all the greatness of their saintly personalities. How to awaken the various states of the real wisdom in the abhyasi’s mind is not their concern at all. To understand the mysteries of the Granthis(knots) or to attain Layavastha(merging) and to unfold and master the different states of enlightenment is all beyond their conception. Neither do they themselves know anything about it nor would they condescend to learn it from anyone and accept his guidance in the matter. Yet from whom, after all, are they to learn when all of them are alike in this respect?

They feel and proclaim themselves to be teachers of men following a family life. To learn anything from the latter is beyond their understanding and their sense of dignity and pride. This vanity and egotism has entirely ruined their spirit and thus the real merit is lost though the outward form still remains intact. When it comes to be so, similar developments began to come into effect as its result. Everything assumed a crude state and the same effect began to be reflected from it. The significance of yoga was lost and parrot like recitations were taken to be all needed for the purpose. This began to be preached all round as the highest mark of perfection. Thus they not only remained blind to reality but have also been incapable of even imitating it in its outer ways through their external practices. On the contrary adverse thoughts began to settle down in their minds and they began to teach the same to others. If they turned towards devotion(Bhakti) they began to display playful show of human qualities; and if they leaned towards knowledge(Jnana) their wantonness was revealed in its true colours. They squeezed out only that which their garment was drenched with. In short the people inherited the very defects, which existed in those teachers.

A common man being pleased with their easygoing rules adopted them for their practice only to drive themselves finally to a state of distortion. They are in fact following the very practices, which go against the attainment of the real knowledge, yet still the vanity of being a Jnani(knower) stands. They do not bother about what others say about it. Their only concern is about what they themselves say. They do not even allow others the privilege of pointing out the right thing to them, because that would be a rude shock to their sense of self-perfection, and in that capacity they inwardly feel justified for it. What the Nature wants men to lead to is quite unknown to them because they have no access up to it. They do not even know that now the time has come for them to mend. (BWS-289,290,291,292,293,294)

Guru - Qualities

My Master of revered memory was an example. All through his life he treated his associates as brethren. The idea that they were his disciples never once crossed his mind. He was ever ready to offer personal services even to his disciples and very often he did it without letting it come to their knowledge. I think and feel it as an essential thing for a Guru to give up his masterly position and feel himself an ordinary servant of humanity. His claim for personal service from the disciples has no justification except in cases of dire necessity and that too only to an extent to which he himself is prepared to render to his disciples. (BWS-227,228)

I have a heart ever ready to help anyone who might be in need of help. I take the job not as a master but only as a humble servant of humanity. There are and have been masterly gurus who work and have worked as masters in their time, but I prefer to be a servant instead, and to work as a servant for the good of the people in general. Please do what you are told to do, and keep me informed of your day to day progress and also of the difficulties if any. I may assure you that you can achieve the goal very easily if you go on persistently with constant remembrance. (SS-340)

A Guru must, therefore, necessarily be quite devoid of any personal motive or selfish interest. He must be totally free from all feelings of pride of greatness. He must be a selfless man and a true servant of humanity at large, teaching people out of pure love without any ulterior selfish motive of name, fame or money. He must have his access up to the farthest possible limit and must have the power of Yogic transmission. Such a man we must seek for, as our guideif we want complete success. It is better to remain without a Guru all the life than to submit to the guidance of an unworthy Guru. (BWS-229,230)

It is therefore essential for him to think of himself as a humble being, and act in the spirit of love and service. He must completely devote himself to the service of his fellow beings both individually and collectively. The service may be physical as well as spiritual. Spiritual service he must always be occupied with, physical service too he must ever be ready to perform if needed. He must be thoroughly devoid of feelings of greatness, self-importance and pride. He must not be a mere preacher of theories but a practical man who has traversed the entire distance up to the final limit of human approach and has completely merged in the state of Infinity. Such a man alone can be the fittest to act as guru or master to take the abhyasi along the path of spirituality. In that case the spiritual force keeps on radiating automatically all the time from him and affecting those around him. But such special beings are Nature's gift to the world. They come into the world only at Nature's will to work as a medium for Nature's work. Such a high soul is to be sought for if possible and available; otherwise one must get himself attached to the next highest personality available and accessible. By merging himself in his expansion, the abhyasi can acquire corresponding expansion for himself. (SS-191,192)

There are such men in India who can very easily guide you to the Destination, so near and dear to you. But the selection you have to make yourself. For Him to guide you in your search, I may say that where you find the idea of service with no selfish motive of the Guide, there rests the Real Thing. One more thing to take into account specially, is to know and be sure that one who can foment you with his own internal divine power to make your task easy, is the only capable hand for spiritual guidance. To get such a man is a sure sign of successful solution of the problem of life. For you all I pray that the seekers may get such Guide. AMEN!

I think now there remains little on my part, to pray for your spiritual elevation when you get such a man as your Guide. (SDG-119,120)

Real Guru

God is the real Guru or Master and we get Light from Him alone. But as it is extremely difficult for a man of ordinary talents to draw inspiration from God direct, we seek the help of one of our fellow beings who has established his connection with the Almighty. He must, therefore, treat himself as the humblest servant of God, serving humanity in the name of the great Master. There will thus be no room for Ahankar and for its resultant evils, which are unfortunately too common nowadays. Reality is totally absent where these evils prevail. A Guru or teacher must, therefore, banish from his heart even the slightest feeling of greatness and superiority and consider himself as the humblest associate or a servant of humanity. (BWS-227)

Guru - Role

I must say, for entering into the vast ocean, swimmers and swimming, both are needed. So Swimming is the part of swimmer and to teach swimming is the part of Master. We can get such a Master as can lead us to the extent of his approach, if we follow him earnestly. But really speaking, such a Master is required as may be able to foment us by his divine power. There are stages in the cosmic regions which we have to cross and indeed we proceed to a certain length. Afterwards the power of the abhyasi fails to get at the subtle force. It is very difficult to cross it unless and until a push is given to the next step and that is the Master's work. (SDG-33)

The job of the Teacher is the component factor in weaving the destiny of man's life. It is a fact beyond doubt that an abhyasi cannot go above by his own effort after a certain level of improvement, because he comes in contact with the subtle force which he cannot cross. In the lower stages also it becomes difficult if he proceeds by his own effort. The human consciousness is there which only he is aware of. He is to go into the Divine Consciousness, one after the other, which will ultimately lead him to the goal. (SDG-112,113)

Fortunately we have got a master who is all spiritual. Then it will be master's duty to destroy the poles we have formed by the effects of our unbalanced thinking. When they are destroyed, their channel of wrong influence is cut off and we move to the proper level of spirituality. It becomes the duty of the Master to regulate everything and to bring about the original state into us, so that we may begin to realise the awakenness of Divinity which first fell to our share. How does the Master proceed? He introduces in the abhyasi the Pure State of Divinity, which he is having because this is his work. For the sake of help and cooperation he prescribes certain methods. The best one is meditation and he helps abhyasi in it also. Meditation really means that the mind may be accustomed to the centre itself instead of wandering elsewhere. Meditation on heart is prescribed for that purpose. Why we meditate on heart is already written in the books, so I need not repeat it here. (SDG-48,49)

The job of the Master is to remove the thick layers so that the Divinity may begin to bloom. In the state of spirituality the bud becomes a bloom. Every transmission from the preceptor, even if given with a lack of confidence in himself, will give light to the abhyasi, whether the latter feels it or not is due to lack of sensitivity, because the one and the same force is working in all of us. Moulding is the Preceptor's Business. I am happy that all the preceptors of the Mission are doing good service to the abhyasis selflessly, not as a Master but as a fellow being. May this develop further. (SDG-54)

Our Sahaj Marg recommends the method for the cleaning of the centres, and the Master himself does it through the process of transmission. (SDG-59)

Here the guru’s assistance is still needed, since even the subtlest force of the swimmer in the act of his heavy swimming sets up waves of energy that erect a barrier against progress. Only the experienced, capable and watchful guru helps in setting the waves and teaching the swimmer the art of light swimming which is almost akin to floating but still is not floating which type of swimming does not set up opposing waves. The guru also helps to keep the swimmer from slipping into enjoyment of the state of light swimming, which will impede further progress, and takes him on the further journey. (WU-85,86)


A person can rightly be taken as the knower of the divine knowledge in true sense when he has mastered the various conditions depicted in this booklet {Towards Infinity}. He who transcends them is capable of being a guru or teacher and he who transcends beyond where one might rarely be able to reach deserves to be called a Sadguru. Further beyond there remains nothing, which is not within his comprehensive knowledge. (BWS-294,295)

Guru - Search

We have to search for such a good Master who has his approach to the final limit. It is very difficult to find such a Master, and in the words of the Upanishads it is equally difficult to find a disciple. But if burning desire is there for Realisation, the Master will reach the seeker's door. (SDG-60,61)

The question now arises, how to find out such a man. In my humble opinion they should judge first their fitness to deserve such a Master. If they fall short of it they should make themselves deserving.

Those, who are deserving, for them I repeat my pet sentence that the real cry of the pangful heart of a true seeker brings the Master to his door. For making one-self deserving one must have his goal and his present position clearly in his view. Afterwards one should adopt the means which should be conducive to the spiritual growth, and guard against the retarding things which may prevent one from attaining the objective. These should be the basic lines which will constitute the search for Reality. There are so many among us who have the idea that simply knowing of God is enough. This is their wrong conception. Having God is the real subject of spirituality. If we proceed methodically experiences are there and the transformation takes its root from the very first day. Of course, there are experiences in the beginning which are mixed up with imaginary ideas, but as we proceed on we come to that sort of experience in the end which requires no other experience. (SDG-146,147)

The only thing required for the sure success shall therefore be intense restlessness for the attainment of the goal which shall bring the real Master to your doors. (SDG-97)

We now began to seek the method to revive our original condition. We searched for a proper man. If the thought deeply touched the core of the centre which is ultimtely found in all centres, in other words, if somehow we touched the spirituality, the basic substance of all the centres, it produced a kind of trembling, and as every action has some result, it had its own, i.e., it would lead us to the proper man who is really spiritual. If we fall short of it, we will move towards the person who has formed a personality, gross, in the garb of spirituality. We will always get the right person if the craving is for the realisation alone. (SDG-48)

No doubt the world is in us and we are in the world, but we have to search out who is behind the scene. Meditation and everything is for that alone. We feel He is hiding from us, although it is not the case. We see stars sometime, but after some advancement, we begin to feel the lustre of the sun; and after that there comes the time when we are able to see the sun itself. As long as we think of the lustre of the Sun, the real Sun remains hidden from our view. I earnestly pray that all may reach the Goal — the cause of all our existence. (SDG-155,156)

Guru - Selection

The solution of the problem as to what sort of man should be selected as a guide or Guru is not difficult to seek. When our eyes are fixed on the final goal we can never be satisfied with any one who appears to be short of mark. Every saint or Yogi has got his own level of attainment and of self-elevation. If we attach ourselves with any one of them with faith and devotion and secure merging with his highest condition, we will ourselves attain corresponding elevation. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to select one, of the highest attainments as our Guru. If unfortunately we are somehow or other induced to select one of inferior attainments we will correspondingly be lagging behind in our final approach. (BWS-226)

It is therefore essential that the guide we select must be one of the highest calibre and worthy of the task of tearing off the intricacies at a glance with the aid of the extraordinary power at his command.  He can only be one who has himself attained perfection or complete negation of Self.  Hence we must connect ourselves with such a great power by feelings of love and attraction.  It does not matter much what conception of him we entertain in our mind. We may call him our friend, Master, servant or whatever we might be pleased to choose. But he remains after all our guide or Guru, as he is commonly called. (BWS-214,215)

The selection of a worthy guru is no doubt a very difficult job. On the basis of my personal experience I may give you an easy method of judging the worth. When you happen to come into contact with one, try to understand whether his association promotes in you a feeling of peace and calmness, and whether the restless tendencies of mind get silenced at least for the time being, without causing any weighty effect upon the mind. If it is so you must conclude that he can be a fit person to lead you on the path.

There is another difficulty as well. It is that even though such a master is available and accessible he is not usually trusted unless he displays some striking miracle. (SS-196,197) 

For our spiritual help and support we therefore need as our Master not one who displays wonderful miracles, or exhibits extraordinary feats of Asana or Pranayama, or delivers learned discourses on the philosophy of Maya, Jiva and Brahman, but one who can solve the practical difficulties, remove impediments from the path and help us along by his own inner power. If fortunately you happen to find one whose association promotes in you the feeling of peace and calmness, and the restlessness of mind seems to be silenced by his effect, you must understand that he has transcended the limit of senses and that he can be a fit person to help you in the solution of your problem of life by the exercise of his inner powers. By connecting yourself with him with love and devotion you also begin to transform accordingly. (SDG-90)

In my opinion when we come across one whom we think to be capable of guiding us on the path, we must first have sufficient association with him to judge how far the tendencies of our mind are being affected by it, i.e. whether they are getting gradually silenced or maintain their usual trend. We must try to understand whether his association is causing the same effect upon our heart as it finally must. In the present age of degradation such guides or masters may be rare no doubt, and those having a command over it still rarer. (SS-548,549)

Guru - Sermons

We attend lectures and hear sermons on Gita, we recite portions from Gita regularly everyday, and we read commentaries on it written by great men of learning but what practical effect is thereby produced upon us? Has any one of us been ever able to acquire practically any one of the conditions depicted in it? They may, however, repeat the words "World is Maya, Man is Brahma" and so on, but inwardly they are quite unconscious of what they speak in words. None has ever been able to develop the conditions, discussed therein, just as Arjuna did when he heard it from Lord Krishna. Gita as we have it today is really a commentary on what Lord Krishna spoke to Arjuna on the eve of the battle of Mahabharat. Lord Krishna had actually transmitted the very conditions, explained by words of mouth into the heart of Arjuna with the result that Arjuna was literally feeling the same condition prevailing all over, both within and without. Thus it was, that every word, which he heard, descended right into his heart producing a permanent effect. The cause of failure of modern teachers and preachers of Gita to produce the desired effect upon the mind of the hearers is their lack of power to transmit those conditions. The various conditions of mind discussed in the Gita are really the different stages, which a man comes across during his march on the path of spirituality. They develop automatically from within. Formal means adopted to acquire a particular state of mind at a premature stage increases internal grossness, which is detrimental to our progress. (BWS-220,221)

Guru - Teacher

A real teacher is not one who can explain to us the soundness of the religious dogmas or who can prescribe to us do's and don'ts. Almost every one of us knows enough of it. What we stand in need of, from a Guru is the true impulse to affect the awakening of the soul and his direct support in the course of our further march on the path of realization. Such a man we have to seek for, if we aim at success. It is, therefore, evident that while judging a man for our spiritual guide we must take into account not his learning or miracles but his practical achievements in the field of realization. A man who is himself free can free you from eternal bondage. (BWS-221)

Guru - Types

The types of gentlemen that are generally responsible for almost everything in our midst, and among whom we consider some to be Gurus.

They are the following:—

(1) Guru Sifli — Guru of the lowest type;

(2) Guru Kitabi — Guru of books and knowledge;

(3) Guru Azli — Born Guru;

(4) Guru Fazli — Guru of the higher type;

(5) Guru Azli Fazli — a born Guru of the highest type;

Gurus of the lower type are those who tell us to worship ghosts and apparitions and who know some charms. Bookish gurus are those who, merely on the authority of books, tell others to practice. They are not concerned with the purpose of practices and the conditions under which they prove beneficial. Born gurus are those who go on prescribing practices so that men may attain perfection in a certain field, provided they are not caught up in the whirl; but if, perchance, they are entangled, it is beyond the power of such gurus to pull them out. I have used the word “Fazli” for Gurus of the higher type who always enjoy the grace and kindness of God, and who are capable of utilising that grace for reforming others. There is still another type called “Azli-Fazli” which is very difficult to find. This Guru of the highest type has reached the supreme original condition and is always attached to the origin. Therefore, brother, it is such a Guru we have to search for, and if such a one is not available we should pull on with a Fazli Guru. There is room for every kind of suspicion in a bookish guru. It is quite possible that his conduct may not be good. But, in Fazli and Azli-Fazli Gurus this is not possible. People who have no mind to believe will never believe this even if you go on repeating this. In the words of Kabir: “Whom can I convince when the entire family is blind?”

About the Azli Guru (Guru by birth), though such a type of guru has the original condition free from ebbs and tides, he does not have the capacity to foment others from his inner condition. But a Fazli Guru can do this. He can transfer the grace of God into the abhyasi. There are two types of this. 1. When grace flows involuntarily unto him, he transfers his share into others. He cannot do so prior to the flow of the grace. 2. One who can consciously transfer the grace is capable of invoking the grace and transferring it whenever he wants. In our system each and every trainer is a conscious transmitter, the system of training itself being such. And what to say of Azli Fazli? He can do whatever he desires within the blink of an eye. Such saints are rarely seen. (SS-446,447,448)

In respect of the associates who are under training with me, suppose I think of them as my disciples, shall I not thereby be doing discredit to myself by imposing again the link of relationship which had so kindly been cut off by the magic effect of my master's grace? The thought of their being disciples would create in me an idea of being myself a guru. So in that case the training imparted by me shall never be pure and free from egoistic feelings, and any thing disparaging or derogatory to my position will incite me to fury. May the Supreme Master keep off this worst evil from our sanstha for ever! Now, since I do not think of anyone as my disciple, there is no reason for me to mind any unbecoming behaviour from his side. If you examine this with the heart's eye, you will find that it goes to promote the feeling of non-beingness. Thus we take up from the very beginning the thing which we have to finally arrive at. (SS-325,326)

Unworthy Guru

Really a man is fit for the work of training only when he does not entertain in his heart the slightest impression of being a teacher or Guru. I believe that if the idea of being a Guru crosses his mind even once in life he becomes unworthy of being a Guru for all his life. The very presence of this idea shows that he cherishes in his heart a feeling of self-importance or greatness. The consciousness of being a Master, if maintained, soon develops into pride, the crudest form of Ahankar, and consequently into its resultant defects, which are the worst drawbacks in a Guru. It is, therefore, essential for a man to get rid of these evils before he comes out into the field as a Guru. (BWS-226,227)

If your Guru is not free from the bondages of Samskaras, Maya or Ahankar it is not possible for him to free you from those bondages. Suppose you are bound to one pole and your Guru to another, how is it possible for your Guru to free you from the bondage? Only a man who is himself free can release you from the bondage. People have, in most cases, gone astray for this very reason as they have submitted themselves to the guidance of such unworthy teachers, whose primary motive is perhaps mere self-  aggrandisement or some personal gain. With this view in mind they are generally found to be eager to maintain their position and prestige by false impositions. To them it is probably the greatest shock to their pride of power and position, to acknowledge the superiority of anyone more advanced or better accomplished. This is nothing but Ahankar in the crudest form. If you submit yourself to such a Guru, you are sure to inherit the same feeling of pride, which is the worst type of grossness and is sure to hamper your spiritual advancement. Liberation is never possible so long as this evil exists. (BWS-221,222)

Guru - Usurp

It is thus quite evident that if a man comes out as a Guru or Master he has usurped the position really due to God and as such it is nothing but mere blasphemy. (BWS-227)  

If a guru comes out into the field as a master, puffed up with feelings of greatness and superiority, it is obvious that he has usurped the position of the real Master — God. As such it is quite definite that he cannot benefit others to the required extent. (SS-191)

Worthy Guru

Ordinarily a spiritual teacher should never consider himself fit for training others, unless he has secured his approach up to Brahmand Mandal at least (also known as Virat Desh) where everything appears in the subtle form, before it actually takes place in this material world. When a teacher has connected himself with that plane or sphere, he is constantly in touch with the inexhaustible storehouse of power. On the other hand if a man takes up the job of training others in spirituality before acquiring this stage, he not only begins to lose his own power but is contaminated with the Samskaras and grossness of those under his training, with the result that very soon he himself gets spoiled. In our mission permission to impart training is not generally granted at this stage even. (BWS-226)

The general rule is that the light should begin to flow automatically without any willful effort. And when, without their being aware of it, people begin to receive spiritual benefit from a person, then he is fit to be made a trainer. (SS-240)

You do not consider yourself worthy of being a trainer. When that idea is there, no more time is required for one to be so. By the Master's grace he can then be raised to that level in an instant. (SS-263,264)



Please see DISCIPLES