A ‘CLEAN’ SURRENDER More than a 1000 men had just finished the Bhandara. All who came took with them supreme contentment & had left behind a gigantic mess. Labor was cheap, hundred rupees per hour to be precise. In about a thousand rupees, all evidence of the grand event could have been cleared in a matter of hours. But when Baba ji was asked if a workforce could be hired, his reply would be a subtle smile accompanied with a call of my name in his booming voice ISHAN!
Whenever I heard that voice, I knew I had to abandon all I was doing to answer and accommodate any and all requests of my father and my Guru. I went to him, touched his feet and enquired why I was summoned. He showed me the field filled with garbage and in front of everyone said my son will clean all this.
That was it. No questioned asked, I got down to work, no thought, no logic. It was a matter of pride for I was raised to work hard. Perseverance was in my DNA. I knew if my Guru had told me to do something it would help in strengthening me, in making me a better man and like the monk in the movie 36th Chamber of Shaolin, I would fulfil any task assigned to me. It took me almost 16 hours but it was a job well done.
OPEN TO BE HELPED This was one of the many tasks he would often assign me. It was no big deal. A simple understanding – I shall reap what I sow. I had a goal in my life and to reach it, my Guru was going to help for he knew the path and I was willing to walk, no matter how perilous the terrain.
When I would go to him, I would be blank & malleable like the clay in the hands of the potter and he would mould into what I needed to become.
KYC – KNOW YOUR CREATOR A simple relationship, like between a sailor and the captain of a ship, the wise captain steered the ship to its destination while the sailor made sure all was done to help the captain keep the ship in its course. Best part was I was becoming a better person each day. I liked what I saw in the mirror. I adored the principles with which I started to perceive the world, but most importantly there was a feeling of achievement each time I succeeded in my spiritual or worldly endeavors and in the time of victory, gratitude would pass through my lips for my guardian angel.
As I kept growing, I would often wonder why was spirituality portrayed to be such a tedious task as my journey had always been smooth and progressive. All one had to do was find a master to captain his ship, I felt.
NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS The query remained, till one day I met a man. He said he was looking for a Guru. He said he had many queries but I realized they were statements. Apparently this man despised his wife, loathed her very basic nature, conspired against all that was the female form. The best part was, as he continued to babble out these statements, he looked at me expecting sympathy, solace and understanding. He thought that all religious people would agree how women are inferior and need to be kept in place. Maybe but I am not religious, I am spiritual.
I refused to agree with him , even though he was a man of stature. My morals were simple, experiential. I have always respected the women in my life & in turn they have respected me. The best part – this wasn’t even part of my upbringing but this was common sense. He should have done his research. In his head, I was a loner fanatic, dishing out advice, comments and statements for everything under the blue sky. He thought that if a personality like mine would agree about how worthless his wife was, then he would have divine providence to insults and maybe even justify leaving her. But to his dismay, I took a stand for her. He was shocked to learn that I was happily married for six years, my father happily married for 40 years.
Finally, he stood up – frustrated and exclaimed that I was too young to understand, which I took as a compliment. After all, who doesn’t want to look young? He left saying I was not the Guru for him.
NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS VERSION 2 A few weeks later, at an airport, I saw this man with another dressed in the garb of holy man. He came to me and introduced me to the man with him as his Guru. The Guru looked as frustrated as a man who had just endured an hour of colonoscopy.
The moment he opened his mouth, he explained on how worthless the government was, then he stated a few more random aggressive statements and as he spoke, I saw his disciple mesmerized by his words. I mustered enough courage to ask him how were things with his wife. Before he could answer, Guruji exclaimed that the lady was hindering this boy’s spiritual growth. He was commanded to leave her, to which the disciple exclaimed I surrender to Guruji’s will.
The epiphany hit me like a bolt of lightening. The answer was crystal clear – people find spirituality tedious as maybe no one is looking for spirituality.
GURU AS FASHION OR GURU AS PASSION? A very famous jingle of my childhood stated “Sair to sirf bahana hai, Papa ko kulfi jo Khanna hai”. I realized the same stood for so many people around me. Guru, God, Sadhna and Satsang was just a bahana, an opportunity to socialize, a base for networking or just a method to justify doing anything that one’s heart pleases. And so I understood the difference between kalyug and satyug.
In the bygone times, a man looked for a Guru to help him reach the light. But today, a Guru is a hobby, like a gym, or a fast food chain, all so very colorful, a vast variety. So like a boy goes to a food court and reads a variety of menus before deciding which cuisine would subdue his gastronomical cravings, so too a man goes to the Internet to find that Guru which suits him best. And like a zebra walks with a zebra, a lion with a lion, a monkey with a monkey, so too ‘women-hating-disciples’ find ‘women-hating-gurus’. Politically ambitious student finds politically motivated gurus, and disciplined students will find a disciplined master.
This completely changes the age old saying that “When the student is ready, the master appears” as what is the student ready for?
SUPERSTITION, AT DISCOUNTED RATES Every man is at a point in his life and how he is sure enough he will find a master to care for his whims. That is why one finds, in the age of science, many are the takers of superstition and many the providers. The saying should be – Like energy attracts like energy.
WHY THIS GURUVARI JI If one wants to find a hero or even become a hero, one must ask why? Why am I looking for a Guru? Is it so that I can fortify my delusions? Is it so I can use spirituality to manipulate the gullible? Or is it that I am bored and awkward and a workshop seems like a best place to socialize? If these are one’s reason to search for a Guru, he will find himself to be like a dog chasing his tail, putting tremendous effort yet reaching nowhere.
TWAMEV MATA One’s relation with a master should be simple, like that of a mother with a child – there is no contract, no hidden agendas, no subtle ego fulfilment, just a divine understanding – where one’s goal is the light and the Guru is the bridge to the light.
Hence when one seeks a Guru, one’s criteria should not be affinity to the master’s political views or his clothes or his life. You never ask the pilot what he eats? How does it matter as long as the pilot is capable to take you to your destination?
In the same manner seek not propaganda but wisdom.
TO MASTER FOCUS, FOCUS THE MASTER When one goes to one’s Guru, he must, in his mind, have a goal. A goal to keep him focused. Focus so the consciousness may rise above the chaos. Focus so that in the hall where millions sit, a man sees but his Guru, hears but his words. For this man has a goal and a passion to reach it, this man knows the Guru can give everything but passion to succeed must come from within. For this man, only the Guru sits and talks night and day. For, in this man, the Guru sees a vessel empty to be filled with greatness and divinity. For, this man is the one who will become the beacon of knowledge and hope. For generations yet to come this man will be the true hero.
PUMPING IDLE VS PUMPING IRON I went to the gym once. Twenty boys were around me, ten took selfies and updated their Facebook status – “Too pumped”. Five others in the gym were ogling the girls in the squat rack, two were discussing with the trainer the expenses to run one’s own gym and two were discussing which brand of shoes were the best, while one in the corner with earphones kept on shooting one pull up after the other.
After the gym I saw all the boys in the changing room with 19 of them looking at the one who was doing pull ups, amazed at his ripped body, disappointed at their own love handles and flab as compared to that one boy’s chiselled physique. And as the 19 stared, one of them looked shrewdly to his mates stating that we spend the hours in the gym the same way. The only possible explanation is he (the muscular guy) must be taking STEROIDS. They all snickered and consented with the explanation retorted.
This is the story of every ashram, every gym and every place where ANYONE can become SOMEONE – the choice is yours – to be like the 19 or to be like what I chose to be in life, the one.
Bless you Namah Shivay