Do I Now Have Two Gurus?
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2002-03-17
A question came in by e-mail"Do I have two gurus now? Are both you and Gurudeva my guru?" Each guru works inwardly from the inner worlds with his initiated successor, such as with Yogaswami and Gurudeva. Many devotees have seen Yogaswami working through Gurudeva, and devotees of Yogaswami who knew Chellappaswami must have seen Chellappaswami working through Yogaswami. How far back does it go? The duties of the disciple and the intensification, happens when one is with a satguru. Being challenged spiritually and always trying to improve oneself is what it is all about. We don't want to settle down in a comfortable place and feel that this is as far as we need to go. Even the most spiritually mature continue to strive.
An interesting question was raised in an e-mail to me and I am still working on the answer. I thought I would share it with you. One of the sishya wrote in and said, "Oh, thank you so much for what you are putting on TAKA. It is really helpful and I have been working with that for a long time. Do I have two Gurus now? Are you my Guru and Gurudeva also my Guru?"
I have been pondering that question for about a week and a half, how to answer. It raises a very interesting perspective. I answered him partially, saying, "Well, I am thinking about it. Here is a partial answer for you."
Yogaswami worked closely with Gurudeva ever since he initiated Gurudeva. Or said the other way around, when Gurudeva received initiation from Yogaswami, Yogaswami started working very closely with him inwardly. A number of the monks have had inner experiences of Yogaswami in one degree or another. So, to them the idea of having two Gurus is not new because they experienced Yogaswami and they experienced Gurudeva. It is not a new situation. Some of us have already encountered that idea of, "Are there two Gurus? Is Yogaswami my Guru and Gurudeva my Guru?"
Then you go back further to someone who knew Yogaswami. Looking at Gurudeva, he again faced that question, "I guess there are two Gurus. First I knew Yogaswami and now I know Gurudeva."
It is an interesting question in that, how far back does it go? You go to Yogaswami, you go to Chellapaswami, you go to Kadaitswami. How many Gurus really are there? It is not answerable to me at the moment. I am just pondering it. Does it go back to Siva? We have a drawing like that in one of our books that has Siva as Dakshinamurthi, sitting there and then the line of Gurus coming out from Him.
It is a very interesting question.
The sutra of the day is very insightful. It is about monastics. "Their past is small, their future is large." That is the title of the sutra and right there you can see where it is going. You don't even need to read the sutra really. But we will read it anyway.
"Siva's monastics walk bravely into the future, letting go of the past and letting what is be. Through yoga their kundalini rises, expanding consciousness, changing values and creating magical happenings around them."
Walking bravely into the future, letting go of the past is a way of manifesting your full spiritual potential. In other words, when a monk clings to his past, who he was, what he could have been, to some degree or another he is perpetuating the karmas of that past rather than stepping into a new karmic cycle. There is no reason, no value in being a monk and clinging to the past. It is like a contradiction because a monk is someone who has no past. He has let go of the past. He has given up the plans he may have had for some kind of worldly life, some kind of profession, accomplishing something in the world. Totally let that go to become a monk. Becoming a monk and letting go of that, a new pattern manifests which cause more spiritual progress than the old pattern.
Always keeping the past small is an important monastic discipline. Of course that means not talking about it, not thinking about it and so forth. We even have the tradition in our monastery that when parents come, they are our parents. They are parents to all the monks, not to one monk. In that way, we kind of let the past go, keep it small as much as possible in that situation.
'Creating magical happenings around them'. That is an interesting statement and it shows the spiritual magnetism, the spiritual force that reaches a certain intensity that is magnetic to wonderful things. If it is of a lesser intensity, it is not. When it reaches or goes beyond a certain point, it influences the lives of people and attracts to it wonderful kinds of situations. I think we are getting a sense of that in the monastery, wonderful things have been happening. This is a nice explanation for why. As long as the monastics keep the kundalini force high, then this occurs. It is that simple.
Those are the thoughts for the day. No, there is one more. One more thought here, excuse me.
Duties of the disciple, this one struck me. "Being with the Satguru is an intensification on the path of enlightenment. Always challenging, for growth is a challenge to the instinctive mind. If the Guru does not provide this intensification, we could consider him to be more a philosophical teacher."
That is a nice point to remember, the idea of being challenged spiritually. The idea is we don't want to settle down to a comfortable routine in our spiritual life, just doing the same thing over and over again because it is comfortable. As Gurudeva says about certain religious groups, "All they do is come together and sing and eat and that is it." There is no real sadhana going on, maybe gossip afterwards. That is not a challenging, spiritually challenging situation.
Challenging is always trying to improve. That is the essence of challenging. Always trying to improve oneself spiritually to one degree or another. Never being content, never having the feeling, "Gee, I have arrived. I have matured enough spiritually for this life. I will just coast from now on. Every thing is comfortable, peaceful, just the way I like it."
That is not the spirit of having a Satguru. The Satguru is there to keep you inspired to keep improving spiritually, keep moving forward. No matter how far you have gone, you can still go further. The same idea of highest potential, just said another way, to keep everyone moving forward.
That is an important attitude to always hold and never feel that, "Gee, I have arrived, this is all I need to attain in this life." Rather feel, "Gee, this is great but let us move even further forward."