Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
Two articles on stories from scriptures about the love shared between the Guru and the disciple has got me thinking about a few things and also a number of folks, who obviously have a lot of spare time in life seem to be asking me the same thing, which is, how does one surrender one’s entire soul and consciousness and ego to another human being, even if the human being is very evolved and how does one know if s(h)e is a real Master?
Well, that question has been bothering me for over twenty years, since I began to channel and then people started diving at my feet for my blessings and I was bloody thirty years old, no common sense, truckloads of issues, the most unsuited person to be in this arena of spirituality and no matter what I did or said, people continued and till date continue to grapple with my feet.
Even now, two decades down the line can I swear by everything which I hold pure and noble that Sai Baba of Shirdi comes through me every time I sit for channeling? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’. I truly don’t know. I would like to believe that He does. I would like to believe the dreams of innumerable folks who have seen Him and me together while they slept snoring their blessed lungs out. I would like to believe the clairvoyants and Sages and fakirs who are certain that He does come through me, but can I wager the life of my loved one on being absolutely, certainly, emphatically certain that Baba Sai of Shirdi speaks through me…well unfortunately it’s a No.
And let us assume for a moment that He does come through me, has that stopped me from making mistakes, blunders and mess ups, these past twenty years? Once again the answer is unfortunately negative. If there was an award for shooting oneself repeatedly in the foot and in random parts of the anatomy, my name would feature right up there, the forerunner for the title, miles ahead of the nearest competitor.
So even if a Master comes through an individual, even if an individual can predict the future, even if the chap can materialise rolex water proof watches made in Taiwan, that still does not make that individual a Guru. There is a difference between enlightenment and having certain powers over the five elements. Just because one can make a parrot rattle away a few sentences does not make the parrot an authority over the language.
So how does one know if the Guru is the Real Deal?
Well, there are two issues at play in this time and age. There are Spiritual Giants and there are noble people in the field of spirituality. The difference is like twenty four carat gold and ten carat gold and very often gold plated stuff.
Thus, I believe, that in this age and time, we have spiritual guides who have now taken on the mantle of Spiritual Gurus. I think the problem lies here. So we have folks who are reasonably wise, dare I say partially evolved, very knowledgeable in the field of spirituality. They can quote the Scriptures. They know about planets, rituals, prayers and the stock market. A person who can help us navigate through the by lanes of one’s own needs and wants and fears and stupidities. Somebody who has foresight. A person who can inspire and is a shoulder to lean on when life with spiked shoes is jumping on our unmentionables. Now unfortunately we have made these individuals, whether they wanted it or not, they who are more like life instructors into Gurus.
Please don’t misunderstand me. These individuals are truly needed and they can make one’s journey less complicated and prevent us from major blunders. But they too are on the path, in the same boat as we are and may be they are in the first class cabin, while we grapple shoveling coal in the furnace of the damn steamer, but still they too are travelling in the same boat. Spiritual Giants, Perfect Masters are not travelling in the boat….They are the Boat.
Thus we have slotted these good people, in a role which has been traditionally reserved for Perfect Masters and truly Evolved Beings.
Thus, the moment a person can predict the future, without the astrological chart, solve problems of those who flock to them, he or she is considered to be a Spiritual Master. This is where everything gets complicated and messed up, because the line dividing a wise person and a Spiritual Giant has got very badly blurred. And then when the wise person does an unwise thing, shit hits the fan and everybody bays for that poor sod’s blood.
No matter how wise one may be, every individual can experience a momentary lapse of sanity. A fact repeated countless times all over the world, in the Court of Law, by innumerable criminal and divorce lawyers.
So, I think we need to be clear as to what are we seeking first of all? Are we seeking a Perfect Master, like Sai Baba of Shirdi or are we looking for somebody who can show us the way through life and guides us as and when we need guidance and who can help us navigate through the mires of deceit and glitter?
We need to understand this very clearly. What are we seeking? Just because a person can predict, does that person become a Spiritual Giant? I don’t think so. I think I should know after twenty years of channeling. When did psychics, mediums, channels, healers, become Spiritual Masters? I have no clue. And I truly don’t think it is wise to hand over your life to a person who can once in a while see into the future? I mean, even a parrot on the road, in the cage, once in a while will pick out an accurate card. As somebody has written long time ago, that even a broken non-functioning clock is accurate twice a day.
So first of all we need to get this into our heads that a medium or a channel or a wise person or somebody who is well versed with Scriptures, though maybe a decent human being, maybe a good person, maybe a genuinely helpful chap, is just that, a person who is decent at heart and wants to help out. Why have we started to place these individuals on a pedestal and then when the poor bastard does something wrong we want to hang the person from every social media lamp post and do detailed anatomical dissection of his mangled life?
So, whose fault is it when one’s faith is shattered by these normal people with some extraordinary ability? It is our fault. Obviously. Even a drunk worm would confirm this, that we are at fault for making normal people into Spiritual Giants.
We have a tendency to now treat any and everybody as a Guru. A Spiritual Guru is eventually somebody who takes one out of darkness into light; takes one from ignorance into awareness; removes duality and brings forth Oneness and helps us to cleanse ourselves of Karmic baggage, all the while doing so compassionately but firmly and has no personal agenda with you or your wealth. But now we have started using the word Guru very liberally. Anybody who can predict the future, quote the scriptures, has become a Guru.
Yes in a liberal manner a Guru is also a teacher as every teacher’s role is to remove ignorance from their ward. But the issue is that anybody who teaches me something that takes me from ignorance into awareness, yes, is a Guru, but may not be a Spiritual Giant, a Spiritual Power House, a Perfect One, but is still a teacher who needs to be respected but certainly not Sainted. That is why Lord Dattatreya said that He had twenty four Gurus, which included a raven, a serpent, a spider, a pair of pigeons, a moth, an elephant, fish, a black bee. That did not mean all the mentioned Gurus were Spiritual Giants but they taught something to Lord Dattatreya, that removed the veil of ignorance or made Him realise something deeply profound that helped Him on His Path.
So we have Gurus who are teachers who fill our lives with knowledge and then we have The Perfect Ones who have the five elements in control; five senses in control; the past present future in Their control and all that They seek is to make us realise our highest self. How many of the so called Gurus have control over their lives and destinies and planets and elements. Most of us don’t even have our bowels in our control. So when we say that this person is our Guru, do we mean a teacher, guide or a Spiritual Giant?
I have known of very pious individuals who are noble and very decent human beings who are mediums or who speak on spirituality and those who helped people through their power of seeing into the future or tapping into the data bank of their own Spiritual Guru. To respect such individuals is the right thing to do. To seek their blessings is perfectly natural. Not as a Spiritual Guru but as a good human being, just as one would seek the blessings of an elder.
So when I write about Gurus, I am writing about Spiritual Giants. If you don’t have one in the physical plane, then I am writing about The One whom you believe in, who is no longer in the physical body or then I am writing about the Primordial Guru, the Creator of the entire gigantic circus, who resides in each one of us.
As you are reading my article, your intellectual abilities are already suspect, you might ask, how does one obey a Guru whom one has never met in life? The answer is simple. Live each moment as though you are answerable to Him or Her. Live each moment as one’s offering to Him or Her. Live each moment giving our hundred percent and then accepting whatever is in store for us, calmly, gracefully and with joyful surrender. I think that is what They want. What else can we give Them. We miserable bacteria have only this to offer Them, our true selfless love and spread Their Fragrance through each moment of ours.
How many of us lead our lives that reflect the Fragrance and Radiance of our Masters? I don’t know. I am sure just like me, you too must fail Them countless times in a day. But They are Merciful. They are Wise. They are Tolerant. They are our Parents.
For me each Master is the merger of Shiv Shakti. Father Mother. Ying Yang. If we have a Guru, whether in the body or in Spirit, then follow The One who takes us from darkness into Radiance. Hold on to The One who wants to help us remember our True Self. Yearn for The One who wants us to be cleansed of all the garbage which we have accumulated over lifetimes. Miracles if they happen, great. We all love a good miracle. But what the Masters want of us is to become the Miracle by living each moment of our lives, giving our very best, with no thought of rewards and no fears of perceptions and to accept our lot with grace and with the firm conviction that our Master truly knows Best.
When somebody calls me baba, I would like to believe that the person is referring to me as a father-brother-son figure, because that is what baba generally means in India, as I am very clear, that for me, there is only one Baba and that is my Sai Baba of Shirdi.
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha