Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
A number of people who come for channeling have a similar story to narrate. Each one has their Guru. Different people who have various powers and who have a multitude of devotees and since years their faith has been unshaken.
Then something happens. Either the media reports a particular behavior or through personal interaction with the Guru, disillusionment takes place.
The faith is shaken. The one who they thought was a man or woman of God, has shattered their conviction and the Guru seems to have feet of clay.
It is a heart wrenching phase for the individual whose faith now lies tattered under the feet of reality.
But the ancient scriptures and even The Perfect Masters have made it clear that the Guru can never be wrong. The illusive Creator, who has in a haze of impulsive rashness created a world that makes no sense and now plays a harp that needs immediate tuning and smokes questionable herbs somewhere in the ether, cannot be reached without the grace and guidance of a Guru.
But the Guru has feet of clay. Forget introducing to The Big Boy up there, the Guru seems to have gotten lost in the by lanes of maya; rumors or media reports indicate, sex, havala and various scams and this is the same person who was your be all and end all, your ticket to nirvana.
Then why have the scriptures kept harping about the Guru and to hold on to the Guru’s very sigh for eternal salvation?
I write this as in the past six months I have met too many disillusioned friends and people who have not only disowned their Guru but seem to have turned their back even to our seemingly out of tune Harpist.
I keep elaborating on the difference between a Perfect Master and a Guide.
A Perfect Master is One, who has merged with the Creator but still inhabits a physical shell to take on the suffering of His or Her tribe and to help the devotees and disciples move forward and with considerable speed towards self-realization.
The Perfect Master might or might not display a range of sparkling miracles but the main plan of action is evoking love, compassion and bringing forth self realization in each and every devotee and disciple who is under the wings of The Perfect Master.
The Master might initially fulfill material, emotional, intellectual needs of the devotee to bring forth faith and through faith, greater love and devotion and when The Master is satisfied that the feet of the devotee are firmly entrenched on The Path, then the beautiful, sweet, pain in the rectal opening process of karmic cleansing is initiated. But as the devotee is enveloped with love and faith, the process is borne with calmness and thus the individual drops various baggage and slowly sheds of various karmic attires and then stands completely bare, in the buff, with nothing hindering self realization.
The path is rough but the devotee knows that s(he) is never alone and it might take one lifetime or a few, the journey continues till it leads to the final destination, initially front row seat where our Harpist in a haze performs the greatest gig of all times and then one is brought on to the stage and then the individual realizes not only is s(he) the Harpist, the harp, the herb, the stage, the audience but everything and anything that ever has, is and will be ever created.
Thus the Perfect Master’s sole purpose is to make each one of us realize our Godhood or as one sage told another, to make us realize our damn self.
The way the Perfect Master goes about this metamorphosis could be via chanting, meditation, prayers leading to love, compassion and phenomenal karmic laundering but the aim is to realize one’s true higher self; the caterpillar atma evolving into the butterfly Param Atma. All caterpillars don’t metamorphosise into butterflies but this is work in progress and The Perfect Master never lets go. Like a dedicated dhobi, the Master keeps at it till either the dirt from the cloth is removed or the cloth itself disappears.
What these dashing, often peculiar Dhobis really achieve is to make you realize The Guru within you and that in reality your higher self itself is The Guru, as the higher self is one with The Harpist and the strange off key song that comes through is in reality the only song worth playing, singing and doing the tango with.
The problem is that we have begun to look at everybody as The Perfect Masters. We have clubbed The Perfect Masters, sages, pirs, walis, aulias, avdhoots, the white path aghoras, saints, mystics, lamas, sufis, the Oneness brotherhood and clubbed them with those who are merely guides and teachers (flawed just like you and me) and given them the stature of Godhood.
The one who dispels darkness is a Guru but that individual is a Guru for that particular moment where consciously or by default, the individual has lit a spiritual candle and with the soft glow for that moment at least darkness has been dispelled.
You, me, laloo Prasad yadav and the dog on the street can dispel darkness, light the candle and for a short span play the role of the Guru, which in reality is the role of a guide. But you, me and our man laloo can be bursting at our seams with flaws and weaknesses and limitations and a controversial bank balance. We are all gurus and seekers each moment of our lives. That doesn’t make us The Guru or one without cartloads of weaknesses.
If you are following such an individual, who himself or herself is meandering in the by-lanes of illusion and karmic cleansing, then eventually you are going to get the heart broken.
So one would ask how would one know if the chap with that silly grin on his or her face is The One or not. How would one truly know who is a true Guru?
Well the answer is simple. Does the Master make you a better human being; a more compassionate individual; a less judgmental person; doe S(He) equip you to be able to handle the karmic cleansing onslaught that keeps hurling itself at you at various knots an hour; guiding you towards the realization that we all are One and that only Oneness is real; and most importantly make you realize your true self, without making you fearful of a false angry God and a hell that’s slightly worse off than dealing with cops, doctors, lawyers and often the in-laws?
A true Guru will tell you to go within and find your true self within and will make you focus not on Himself or Herself but the Godhood within The Master and when you start focusing on the God within The Master and even if The Master is not completely without human frailties, the chances of you being fooled or led astray or disillusioned become highly unlikely.
I have known individual’s who I consider Masters and I have known that the individual has certain flaws and I am not blind to those flaws but the individual is still truly evolved and I seek that evolvement and with eyes open to the flaws still love the Master.
When you go beyond the physical charisma and beyond the words and focus on The Godhood within anybody, leave aside a Master or one still not there, even if you were to focus on the Godhood in a truly messed up individual, trust me, the individual, knowingly or by default will help you on the path of spirituality.
The problem is that the Master may not be without quirks and idiosyncrasies but the important thing to ask is whether the Master is without any dirt within, without a selfish agenda and has your wellbeing uppermost on His or Her mind. A true Master will make you a better and a more compassionate human being first.
We are flawed. We come from either apes or from that couple who walked about without a stitch on them, eating that blasted apple. But within us is that spark, that tune that comes from a questionable harp, but played by the great Harpist Himself. We can’t go wrong if we follow that tune and anybody who makes you hear that tune and makes you go within as the music emanates from within your very depth, can’t be all that bad.
With great power comes a greater headache, so go within as all that you seek is already there, waiting for you to open your eyes.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha