How I met my Guru

In yoga there is a lot of importance given to Sankalpa which can be equated to the english word resolve. I had an intense longing to know more and everytime I sat for my yoga practices I did a silent sankalpa that I want to know the self in all its entirety. Looking back I cannot overestimate its sankalpa in the path of self realisation. I can only guess as to how nature acts as a guide when sankalpa is repeated to oneself. However even from a purely psychological viewpoint sankalpa can be seen as an affirmation shaping both one’s conviction and outward reality.

There is a oft repeated saying ‘When the student is ready, the master appears’. I feel the time I spent doing the Isha practices was helpful in me getting ready and prepared to meet my Guru. From being someone who did not believe in God to becoming someone willing to accept that God is all there is. From being someone who was self confident almost to the point of being arrogant about one’s work and worth in the scheme of things to feeling that I do not really matter at all. From rejecting all spiritual gurus as charlatans to being reverential to a Guru to the point of being illogical. If I had not spent the time I did wandering around doing different things and getting ready, I would not have been able to accept my Guru. I feel now that I actually spent a lot of time and energy unlearning my conditioning so that I could come close to what would be a blank slate.

I had a close friend in college whom I had lost touch with reach out to me and share his experiences. He had heard from a mutual friend how I had started doing yogic practices. What he had to share was astounding!! He said that he had got Kriya Yoga Deeksha from his Guru who was a Brahma Jnani, a realized master. He said he just does 15-20 mins of practice and the kind of states that are described in yoga shastras were occuring. If it had been anyone else, I would have outright laughed in their faces. From what I had seen at Isha, intense sadhana is needed to know the self and I was doing 3-4 hours of it everyday. I was still nowhere near to these experiences. It was not just his inner experience though, it was also the way he was speaking. It was as if he had undergone a significant internal shift which also transformed his outward mannerism completely.

Now, I had read the Autobiography of a Yogi and I always felt the things described in there to be so outlandish that mere mortals could never aspire to them. I was thus inspired by my friend’s experiences and the fact that his Guru led his life like a normal householder without any outward show of being a spiritual person. I recalled what I had read about Lahiri Mahasaya and was convinced that only someone at the ultimate pinnacle of self realization can live as if he were a normal householder while being a Guru. That was it for me. I realized that his Guru must be a great master and I decided that I have to request him to teach me.

When I reached out to Guruji, at first he took his time to let me know whether he accepted me. Later on he told me he only accepted me because his Guru gave him permission to take me on as a shishya. This was unlike what I know of most modern self styled Gurus, who take on one and all without checking their adhikaratva and patrata for sadhana. I had to wait for nearly 4 months before I could meet him in person. That meeting was when my life changed completely…

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