Category: Guru-Disciple Relationship
How do I know which Guru is right for me?
From our own perspective, it looks like it is up to us to FIND our Guru. Yogananda tells us that God leads us to our true Guru. It might help you to think of your search in this way. Swami Kriyananda has encouraged people to focus on their love for God, first. As you deepen your devotion, your willingness to change yourself, and your eagerness to be free from ego limitations, God sees that you ar ready for a Guru and will guide you to him/her.
It is said that the disciple needs at least one physical contact with the Guru (or guru's earthly representative), Is it possible that one could have had this contact in a previous incarnation and would that count for the current incarnation? I ask for those that are not able to travel to Ananda centers or otherwise are unable to receive this.
Yours is a most interesting question and I thank you for asking it. Swami Kriyananda has written and spoken extensively on this issue and yet I don't recall his commenting on this subject in quite the way you have done so here.
I will go out on a limb, therefore, and say that the term "physical contact" could include a "virtual" contact through the mail, telephone, email and internet. I believe that contact with other disciples in these forms would constitute "contact" for the purposes of the truth behind the teaching.
Is it necessary for a Guru to be a Jivan mukta? How can a person, who is not free himself, liberate others from bondage? How do you identify such great souls?
In the broadest sense of the word, it is not necessary for a guru to be a jivan mukta (one who has overcome all ego-sense, and therefore no longer accrues personal karma). "Guru" simply means dispeller of darkness.
However, one who is not a jivan mukta will not have the same power to uplift disciples as would a jivan mukta. Such a person can certainly help others, but may not be able to lift them into final freedom. The true guru is one who knows God and has the power to help others to know God. Final freedom is beyond knowing God; it is merging into God.
I was given kundalini diksha by the disciples of a master who has left his body many years back; I have not seen the master in person but only through videos & photos. I dont know much about him much. His disciples SOMETIMES fail to deliver what they are supposed to. So,I doubt my master;my mind starts to waver; I dont know whether I am at the guidance of the right Guru.But sometimes I feel that he's my guru.What should I do now? Why am I finding it hard to accept him as my guru?
You are asking a very natural question, and there is much that could be said about it. Here a few thoughts:
1. If you expect perfection from any guru's disciples, you are guaranteed to be disappointed. Like you, they are "saints in training." A better measure is to look at his disciples and ask yourself, "Do they seem to be sincere? On the whole, even with their failings, do they seem to have what I'm looking for, or at least be moving clearly and steadily in that direction?" If the answer is "Yes," then it may well be that this is your guru.
I have seen many times that in chruch there is one box type cabin where father listen to the confession of sin of person who wish to do so and thus he is relieved from the burden of his misdeed in this process nor father knows who came for confession nor the confessor knows who was the father.I want to know whether this custom is still there in West? Did master advocated this? As per law of cause and effect how can such person be relieved from his misdeed? Or it is assurance he wont do it again?
My name is Nayaswami Hriman. I was born and raised a Catholic and once studied for the Catholic priesthood before coming to the path of Self-realization.
In Yoganandaji's many years in America he became familiar with the sacrament of (Catholic) confession. He asked the same questions you did. Not all priests have attained the same level of God-realization and therefore not the same level of spiritual power to help others.
When we pray why do we say, "divine mother, jesus christ, babaji, lahiri, yukteswarji, AND OUR BELOVED GURU Paramhansa Yogananda". If they are all masters and all one with divine mothers' infinite expression, then why are they not all our gurus? what makes yoganada the specific guru?
Thank you kindly.
As you know from the Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda was sent to this country by Babaji and Jesus Christ. His was a special mission from these masters to bring back teachings of Yoga and original Christianity to uplift the consciousness of the west. His mission, therefore, was special to all of us in this century.
When we talk about having a Guru, does the Guru need to be a living person you interact with and can talk with you, or can it be someone who has passed (ie. Paramhansa Yogananda)? I'm confused on this matter.
This is a very important question and the answer includes different perspectives.
First of all, any true guru (sat-guru) such as Paramhansa Yogananda, continues to help his disciples even though he is no longer in his body; indeed there is no diminishing of the blessings in the guru-disciple relationship.
What are the key traits, tendencies, or attitudes of a true disciple towards his Guru?
Thank you. :)
Entire books have been written about this subject, so it's difficult to summarize! I'll add some further resources at the end of my answer.
Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda have emphasized one aspect of the disciple's part in the Guru/Disciple relationship over all others: attunement. Yogananda often spoke to his close disciples about attunement to the Guru. Swami Kriyananda recently stated that meditation and yoga technique are secondary to attunement and discipleship to a true Guru.