I have a friend who was bitter about his experience with Sathya Sai Baba and at the Art of Living. There could be many reasons. One reason could be that someone from that organization behaved inappropriately and in another case it can be that the friend couldn’t come to terms with the delivery and format of what was being offered. He may have had a certain set of expectations, which didn’t work out well.
This piece is from one of our conversations. Am sharing because this articulates my thoughts of a Guru and how to “receive” from a Guru. Most of his concerns and reasons for disliking his experiences may be very genuine, but there is a play of cynicism in the interaction as well.
Skepticism is a great way to be, but Cynicism is damning. When you go in with “I don’t know” that’s Skepticism. When you go in with “I don’t think you are good” – then that is Cynicism. Arjun of Bhagwad Gita is a complete skeptic. A fanatic Jihadi mind like Zakir Naik reading Bhagwad Gita is a Cynic.
So, how can one receive a “Guru”? (Although this was address to a particular person, but it could be addressed to you and I – as we all make the same mistakes)
Some plants can take in lots of sunlight and make food for themselves.. others burn away.. many people can use sunlight for their health.. many get cancer. What you get from sun, is not a reflection of the what Sun is, but who you are.
Forget Sri Sri, Sathya Sai Baba or Sadhguru…. even in case of Krishna, Ram, or Nanak, there were countless who would attain enlightenment just by uttering their name. Many, however, were after their lives! No one was probably as much hounded as Krishna was. So, ironically, some attained to the ultimate just by his name, and others couldn’t get enough of their hatred even after being after his life for ever. What you get from Krishna or any Guru is a reflection of who YOU ARE.
There are many – thousands – in Islamic countries like Iraq, Pakistan etc. who have gained so much in terms of peace of mind and a stress free life from receiving what Sri Sri has to offer. But what you came back with was bitterness.
What went to Art of LIving was your ego. And it is the inherent quality of the ego to strengthen itself. It went with a cynical view. It wasn’t disappointed. But you lost. You could have gained so much but got nothing out of it.
I had never wanted to go to Sri Sri.. not because I think he is bad, but because what he is offering is not what I was looking for.
On the Spiritual path only ONE currency works – Longing for Truth. And you can receive anything of value through only ONE VEHICLE – Humility to Learn.
Guru is not a person. Guru is the quality of this universe/creation. A kid can teach you if you have the humility. If you don’t then even Krishna will be totally useless.
Our spiritual culture has been unique in that it has been able to find many Valmikis in the Thugs. But in Kali Yuga, the irony is that we are totally capable of finding a Thug in a Valmiki. It won’t matter to a thug or a Valmiki as to what you think of him or what you make of him, but to you it will mean a lot in the long run. Your ego will remain intact, healthy and strong.