Is Guru required to achieve the Ultimate experience of Yoga?
When I started my path of Yoga, frankly I never imagined that I would have an enlightened Guru because I wasn’t even searching for one. But the moment the Guru happened in my life, that was when my life truly began for me. Before that I was merely existing with a lot of suffering, struggles and confusion in my life. From my own experience, after meeting my Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji), I am able to cognize my ignorance, complete with the past hangovers and discover other higher dimensions in life, self and Cosmos.
I was reminded of a beautiful Question and Answer (Q&A) session where a devotee asked Swamiji – ‘How can I find my Master?’
His reply was: “You cannot find the Master. The Master finds you. Only a God can find a God.’
When I was reading the source book – Nithyananda Yoga edited by Swamiji, it gave some reference to the traditional Yogic scriptures which stressed the importance of the Guru on the path of enlightenment. From the Thirumandiram (Tandiram 3, Mandiram 569) written by an enlightened master called Thirumular, his Apta Pramana (the authentic compilation of experiences of enlightened sages, siddhas, rishis, munis and avartars, direct disciples of Sadashiva), he said that “When prana is brought under one’s control, crystal-like will the body be, and young despite years. When Guru’s grace provides the light, in the subtle spheres, the blessed souls will move.”
In another reference called Hathapradipika of Svatmarama (Chapter 5, Verse 2), it states: “When the dormant Kundalini (inner potential energy) gets aroused by the grace of Guru, then alone all the padmas (lotuses or chakras – the energy centers) and the granthis (knots) get pierced.”
Swamiji further revealed that all scriptures, all literature, all methods of teaching can only inspire us. They cannot give us experience. All books, all DVDs, everything can only create an inspiration in us but cannot give the Ultimate experience. Experience can light a lamp, same way Jeevan mukthi (liberation) can only be transmitted only from a burning lamp (a living master). It is transmitted only from a living body to another living body. If that body has to catch Jeevan Mukthi, it has to catch from a same material source which is living enlightenment. Mahavatar Babaji, a great enlightened master who had left his body at least 2500 years ago, he cannot give you living enlightenment. He can only give you inspirations and some glimpses but if he wants to give Jeevan mukthi, he will have to guide you to a master who is in the physical body.
As a seeker on the path of yoga, I had numerous inspirations from the past masters who left their body like Swami Vivekananda, Paramahamsa Yogananda and Maha Avatar Babaji, but they will not be able to liberate me because it has to be transmitted from this plane, from flesh and bone. That is why the need of a living master. That is the master key! That is also why no huge organization is able to move spirituality other than a living master. That is the reason why still that living master necessity is not replaced at all. Still the necessary for a living master is there when the whole thing started by Sadashiva (the AdiYogi who is Super consciousness) millions of years ago.
When you have a living Guru, you experience the Shaktipata (entanglement) with him. Shaktipata is the process of entanglement where the disciple can start reflecting the master’s neurons. This is the highest form of spiritual process in the master’s presence. With Shaktipata, you experience an increase in viscosity of bliss, an increase in depth, presence and intensity of the bliss in you, so that automatically the blissful space breaks the pitta layer – the delusional layer of the mind.
Do you know that with a Guru, even yoga need not be a practice? Every yogasana (yoga posture), purification techniques instructed by the Guru becomes an opportunity to entangle with the Cosmos and the Guru such that the transmission of experience can simply happen without practice. Once a disciple is able to experience the Oneness with his/her Guru in Shaktipata, the entanglement should be happening constantly in our system by the sweet Leela Dhyana, a sweet remembrance.
The oldest relationship on planet earth is Guru-disciple relationship because Guru, Self and God are one and the same! The Guru makes you raise in love with him, then he turns that love to your Self through completion and communion with him. Love is one of the most powerful stepping stones for living in Oneness (Advaitha) with the Whole. Only with ultimate divine love, can the deep-rooted patterns of many births be broken and melted away. Raising in love with the Guru (Guru Bhakti) who is the embodiment of the very Cosmic energy, he then turns that love towards Self (Atman Bhakti) and completes the whole circle of love. By being in love with the Divine, you enter into the pattern-less space where you live from freedom to freedom, move from freedom to more freedom. All your actions are from freedom to freedom; where your doing is freedom to freedom, and your being is freedom.
In conclusion, it is the Guru who holds the master key for you to reach your kingdom, hence in the Vedic tradition, there is such a great emphasis on the importance of a living Guru in your life. Namaste 😀