Ever since classical times, India has been known as the land of the miraculous and still today reports keep coming in of those popularly known as “godmen”, who possess a blend of divinity and stardom that infers an ability to play fast and loose with the laws of time and space. One such power is an extraordinary depth of meditation, a holy hibernation that puts the body into a deep state of physical and psychic suspension.
“If you are good at nothing in life - become a Baba; the chances of your becoming successful and prosperous are very high.” This seems to be the common perception! Perhaps this is so because today several self-proclaimed ‘babas’ and ‘saints’ take to wearing saffron, green or white. Their wardrobe, length of beard, the ailments they claim to cure you of and the crowds they pull are all taken as yardstick to gauge their spiritual Quotient. Vulnerable devotees lavish praise, power and wealth on their professed Baba, helping set up ‘ashrams’ in the name of elevating consciousness.
This is a dangerous trend and is a threat to our culture. By ‘our’, I mean our collective culture as human beings. How then do we differentiate between a fly-by-night Baba and a truly evolved Guru? There are others, who, after years of rigorous tapa and sadhana, despite having achieved all that they had to in material life, take to a higher search and has interactions and exchanges with the world of energy. Such a one may not sport a beard and may live in T-shirts and track pants-he may not even call himself a saint or baba.
The Vedas say that a guru exudes radiance. He has to channelise energy, and for that purpose, his body is strong and free of disease. Whatever he says or thinks manifests, his chants have the effect of completely changing the environment of a place, diseases get cured by his gaze alone and phenomenal energy is transferred by his touch.
A True Guru is in a state of vairagya or detachment from the pleasures of the physical world. He may choose to lead a life of luxury as everything is at his beck and call, but he is not attached to it. He has complete control over the elements and the five senses. When you are in his company, you experience the same sense of detachment within you, your thoughts and desires begin to manifest, your complete form changes, you stop falling sick and your involvement in charitable activities increases manifold. Experiences of the world of energy and subtler dimensions follow.
The Vedas clearly state that a guru is Satya - speaks the truth; asteya – does not steal from you or country; aparigraha – does not amass assets or political power; ahimsa – nonviolent and brahmacharya – is celibate. Such a guru does not charge you a fee or ask for physical favours in exchange of yoga, because he knows that tying of yogic sciences to Maya renders them ineffective. A guru may earn his living, but does not sell knowledge of yoga.
The purpose of a guru is not to cure your illnesses or rid you of your physical problems, but to show you what lies beyond, from where all that you see around is controlled, and put you on the path of achieving that. This guru does not organise rave parties where drugs are served and does not organise social gatherings where intoxicated people dance to music. So do not go looking for a Baba, go look for a Guru. A baba will tie you in knots; a guru will release you from it.
Rasika Kokare (BMM)
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