Category: Guru-Disciple Relationship
I need a guru but alas I am a 19 year old with no money. I want to know God. That is slowly becoming my only desire. I want to just find a self-realized guru and learn under him/her for years at an ashram. Can anyone give me advice on how to find a true guru? And do gurus take students free of charge?
Dear Friend and Fellow Chess club member,
Perhaps you have heard the old "saw," "When the disciple is ready, the guru appears!" At age 25 I sold everything and went to India for the same purpose, but, like Dorothy and Toto in the Wizard of Oz, I, too, came up empty handed, only to find my guru upon my return.
I, of course, believe Yoganandaji to be an avatar. However, it brings up several questions in my mind.
When Yogananda met Sri Yukteswar, he made him promise that he would reach God realization within this lifetime. But if he was an avatar, did he not already reach this state?
Also, after his guru died, he said that a blackness had polluted the river of bliss that had been flowing in him. How could this be so? I do not understand, though of course I still believe it to be so.
Those are good questions, ones that thoughtful devotees tend to stumble upon. We see similar instances in the lives of many great souls, avatars. So how can we reconcile their perfection in God with their humanity?
Well, I suspect in ways not unlike our own, just a difference of degree. As you can be noble and high minded in one instance, but perhaps irritable or frustrated by circumstances in another, and yet still be the same soul, so, too, an avatar who willingly assumes the garb and limitations of human form, must deal resopnsibily with the humanity in which he participates. Yogananda could be sweet or he could be strict, neither would necessarily affects his inward state of consciousness.
For Nayaswami Gyandev - read with interest your comments on listening to the sound of AUM from the right ear. Have you ever heard of a Guru kissing an initiate on the right ear? If so, it's meaning. Thanks.
I've never heard of a guru kissing an initiate on the right ear, although I suppose it may have happened. Perhaps it's even common in some lineages. It's not, however, a part of Paramhansa Yogananda's lineage.
So I can't speculate on the ear-specific meaning, other than the obvious thought that it would be an additional offering of the guru's spiritual vibrations to the disciple. One would hope that the disciple would receive such a gesture in a spiritually healthy way.
Did Jesus forgive Judas for Betraying him?
A disciple who was reprimanded by Paramhansa Yogananda once asked, "Will you forgive me, Sir?" The Master replied, "What else can I do?" In that loving spirit, certainly Jesus forgave Judas and included him in his statement on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
I would like to know how to invoke Babaji's blessing and presence with me to reach the level of samadhi in meditation. Can I repeat his name as a mantra to invite him?
Paramhansa Yogananda answers this very question in his Autobiography of a Yogi in the chapter, Babaji, Yogi-Christ of Modern India. He quotes Lahiri Mahasaya as saying, "Whenever anyone utters with reverence the name of Babaji, that devotee attracts an instant spritual blessing."
How should I communicate with my Guru? and How can I make relationship with my Guru stronger?
When you do find your guru, this question is age-old for the disciple. The process of attuning yourself to the Guru is an ever creative adventure.
If your Guru is in his body, then the adventure is simplier. You need to be with him as much as possible. In seeing him interact with his disciples, in listening to him lecture on spiritual topics, and in just meditating in his presence, you will be blessed and changed.
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.