Who is a Guru?

Guru is the energy which brings you to the Ultimate. It pushes you, attracts you, guides you and then illuminates You. There are several “modern-age Guru’s”, who claim that they have attained Moksh and mislead aspirants. Speaking soothing words and manipulating using language is very easy. Getting caught in the tangle of modern-age marketeers is common. It is very rare to meet a real enlightened Guru in these times.

Who is a Guru?

This is what I would advise genuine aspirants who do not have access to a real physical Guru. Real Guru-s are Jivan Mukt. They have Experienced and Transcended this manifested Creation. They may look like human but they are not human. My own Guru, he physically looked like an old bald man wearing a white dhoti and a kurta, but the energy! Now he is physically gone, but the energy is still very much there! Except I cannot remember his face now, if I close my eyes and think of him, I get that blast of energy from everywhere in the Universes and from also within me. You have to understand that a ‘Guru’ is not the human but the energy, a tremendous blast of energy. You will have to find a way to bring in this energy and channelise it into your life.

Every step of your life the Universe is guiding you to Yourself, these are also Guru. Some tiny incidents which leave an impact on you, or some inspirational story which motivates you or some spiritual text or mantra which energises you, are all aspects of the ‘Guru’. You are much more, allow your subconscious and astral self to help you find Yourself. You will see cues everywhere.

A real Guru will never ask you to worship him or keep his photograph or build temples in his name. A real Guru will always make you practice what he has taught you, to do your Sadhana. If you are being urged by your friends to join up a spiritual group and get initiated by their ‘Guru’, here are 3 tests that you can evaluate this group/Guru against.

  1. Granth prachiti (guidance from texts) – Are the philosophy, discourses, activities of this group/Guru in harmony with the philosophies of the Ved, Vedanta, Upanishad, Bhagwad Gita, Vignyan Bhairav tantra etc.
  2. Guru prachiti (guidance from the Guru lineage) – The lineage that they claim to be, is it from a real Guru? In India they will claim to be initiated by renown Gurus of the past, but always take this with a pinch of salt.
  3. Finally and most important and over-riding Atma-prachiti (guidance from your own self) – How do you feel about this Guru/group? Your conscience is the most unfailing guide you have. Your inner sub-conscious self knows more, so trust your gut-feel. Choosing to follow a spiritual guide is the most important choice you will make, so think and evaluate very carefully. Trust yourself completely.

Now this is what you can do, as the safest, best and the most effective option. Do this only if you feel this to be ok in your heart. You are the ultimate judge of what you do. Do this only if you feel this simple practice resonating with you.

  • Get a Shriyantra and set it up on your puja ghar/altar. This will be your focus point. You can buy one engraved on a silver/gold plate or if it is not available for sale where you live you can even take a print-out of this geometry from the internet and laminate it. (Just remember while choosing the image to print, the central triangle is an equilateral triangle and the central dot is at the very center of this triangle). Or if you prefer it in 3-D you can buy a Mahameru in sphatik/clear quartz stone.
    • This is the geometry of your own internal energy. All the chakras in your spine when placed on one top of the other create this geometry.
    • You need a focus point to concentrate your intention on. The central Bindu/point of this geometry represents the Ultimate, You. So you focus on this point.
    • When you focus on this Bindu, you are consciously arranging all your chakra energies to their perfect orientation. You are showing your internal energies how they should look like and they will resonate with this geometry.
    • Here is a detailed post on this geometry.
  • Now that you have your focus, you will need to set up the place where you will sit, your asan (detailed post here). The asan acts as a foundation for your practice as well as sort of a recharge battery. It ‘holds’ your practice. It protects you in every way.
  • Now you have your focus and your asan, so you have to charge your energies. There are two ways you can do it.
    • If you are drawn to the jaap method, the Gayatri mantra is the best possible option (full post here). You can recite the Gayatri mantra in sets of 108 repeats (ideally at sunrise/midday/sunset or else whenever you find the time, will take 15 mins for 108 repeats). Count on your fingers. After you finish don’t get up suddenly, enjoy the peace and internal silence for at least 5 mins more. Or you can then continue with Dhyan if you feel so inclined and have time.
    • If you are more drawn to just Dhyan (detailed post here) do it sitting on your Asan in front of your focus geometry. Will take 30 mins of your time initially, (20 mins for breathing 108 times and 10 mins for enjoying the peace/silence.) As it deepens it can go for hours. Initially sit once or twice a day, at sunrise or sunset or if not possible, then any time at night or when your surroundings are silent. This is nothing complicated, just breathing normally with focus between your eyebrows and mentally reciting the mantra (it is Om or Hamsa or Soham)
    • This sitting silently afterwards is the real essence of mediation, your mind has been stilled by your 108 mantra repeat and you are very deeply silent. Enjoy!

This practice may seem very simple but it goes in very very deep. It is like full-fledged energy work-out. This ‘simple’ practice will take you all the way to Moksh. There is no need of doing any complicated stuff which is ‘marketed’ in today’s world.

(If you are a woman take a 5-day break when you have your monthly cycle, do not sit on your Asan. Here your body is undergoing physical destruction within and you need rest.)

Pranayam, the basic 3 methods

Always know your real name is Om, your energy looks like the Shriyantra geometry, you are the Ultimate yourself, now you just have to experience it again. But are weighed down by desires and conditionings which block you from this experience. You have to resolve these. And they will get resolved, you have to put your faith/shraddha in your practice.

There were several people in the past, enlightened Guru-s perhaps, but they are not physically available now. You can read their teachings for inspiration, you can feel gratitude for them in your heart, acknowledging that you learnt something is always good.  Now, if they were really Enlightened they were never ‘human’, they were/are the Parabrahma. My Guru had a name and was very well known in society but his real nature was/is Om. When he gained his Moksh, his ‘society identity’ dissolved. His real nature became Parabrahma. The real name/nature of every enlightened Guru was/is Om, just the same as yours, it is Om.

But your practice is what you do sitting on your Asan. Here you will think only of your real Self. You will become who you focus on, so always focus on your own perfection. That is in sound ‘Om’ and in geometry the ‘Shriyantra’ in all its dimensions. When you close your eyes for doing the jaap or dhyan you will only think of your mantra Gayatri-jaap or Om/Soham/Hamsa – dhyan, nothing else at all. You will focus at the center of your eyebrows. It will seem pitch black at first but persevere. Be patient and do your action, breathe+mantra+focus. This will balance out everything. Trust your actions.

For doing spiritual practice you do not need to take sanyas and live in a monastery, you can do all this quite easily living with your family, doing your job and being with society. Just one thing if you can, control what you eat/drink. Tamasic food/drink make your astral self ‘heavy’. So if possible, avoid non-veg (fish is ok not other meats), avoid alcohol (once in a while for social/medical reasons is ok), avoid heavily spiced food (overloads the digestive system) and eat at least one thing which you have cooked/made with your own hands (even a cup of tea will do!)

In Sanatan Dharm the Observer is given prime importance, your experience is yours. Your friend’s experience is his, not yours.

Trust your own self always. This is your personal journey within yourself, to yourself.

Who is a Guru?

 

(This post is in response to this comment I received in the Contact form, I hope it has been of some use to you.
“I have been reading some of your interesting posts lately.. Particularly because i am interested in spiritual development..
I have trust my true self before and practiced awareness or even meditation with the help of my inner self (i call it my own Guru although He has not a name).
But the thing is that a friend recently told me i should not meditate without the help of a true Master or even doing breath exercises because it was dangerous… so i stopped it. He particularly recommended me to read about his own Master. I read about it and i agree that His words are wise and helpful but i feel that i don’t want in my heart to choose Him as my Master aswel.
I don’t even know from where i get all this inner good thoughts and guidance and before felt enlightened, in the good path, and that my own Guru has no name..so it is hard for me to choose some specific of the ones who lived before.
My friend keep saying that i cannot ever reach true enlightenment by my self meditating and without cleaning my self from my past karma. (which i feel i have been doing naturally with help of the Universe or God.. He says that the only way is initiating according to His Master, but i don’t feel i want to initiate in anything. I don’t want to become a non or a living saint. I just want to live a honest life without attachment, give love to my family and people around me, live true to my self..

When i meditate or do dhyan should i have in my awareness gratitude for all Masters or Gurus ever existed or should i choose a particular one (besides trusting my inner self)? This is the question i have been struggling lately.
If you don’t have a particular answer it is enough with a advice. I trust because you seem to have good experience about spiritualities path.)

Asan, the foundation of spiritual practice

I wrote about the Asan in my post on the use of leather. So here is a full fledged post on this very important tool in your Sadhana/spiritual practice. The asan is a 4 layered mat on which sages then and even now sit for doing their spiritual practice. The asan is a highly individual energy tool. Ideally no one other than you should even touch your personal asan. You cannot pass it on, or share with anyone else, or use an asan already used by someone else. Once laid out, this Asan is never to be refolded and stored away. Unless you shift house or something like that.

When you do Dhyan, the vital energies/pran of your body are amplified and re-directed by the act of slow breathing, repeating a mantra in synchrony with the breath and focussing on your ajnya chakra/third eye. When you focus on the third eye, which is the opening of one of the two branches of the sushumna nadi, the energy generated is distributed through out the body and this pran/vital energy starts cleaning out all the big/small nadis of the body. Thus the objective of this 4 layered mat is to insulate the body perfectly. It stops prana/vital energies from being transferred to the ground by earthing.

Lowest Layer One – Darbha/Kusha grass mat associated with Muladhar chakra.

  • This is a grass mat made of Darbha/Kusha grass (botanically Desmostachya bipinnata), the dried grass is just tied together with either strands of the same grass or pure cotton/jute threads.
  • It is found plentifully in marshy areas in the Gangetic plains. It has several medicinal values however from our point of view, Darbh is the best insulator for your body’s electrochemical energies, specific to the earthy energies of the Muladhar chakra.
  • The second major property is that it stabilizes the Muladhar chakra, which is associated with survival and animal tendencies. It is an advantage as this chakra related thoughts do not arise in the mind to distract your focus.
  • Modern science has proved that this mat is so effective that it can stop even X-rays.

Asan, the foundation of spiritual practice

Second Layer – Deer skin associated with Swadhishthan chakra

  • This is only for academic interest as you cannot legally buy deer skin in India. And the skin has to come from a naturally dead deer not hunted or butchered. Also in case your family as such a deer skin, (remote chance) you cannot use it if it were already used by some one else. Deer skin of the chital deer, spotted deer was used by our Maharishis.
  • This is also primarily an insulator, it is specific to the swadhisthana chakra’s energies. This chakra is the energies of every type of creation and also of reproduction as it is basically a creative act.
  • The deer skin is leather so has all the properties of leather and in addition it stabilizes the watery energies of Swadhisthana chakra.
  • This means that you are not distracted by the urges of the body governed by this chakra, and your mind remains calm and focussed.
  • The deer skin is laid out such that it is completely within the boundary of the Darbha grass mat, layer one.

Asan, the foundation of spiritual practice

Third Layer – Pure wool mat associated with the Manipur chakra.

  • This layer of pure wool stabilizes the fiery energies of the Manipur chakra. Now individual will, ego, purpose, and self image etc are all under control and do not disturb the mind during the Dhyan.
  • It is also a specific insulator for the energies of Manipur chakra. So the manipur-specific energies generated during the Dhyan process do not get earthed and absorbed by the earth. Instead these energies are absorbed at the Manipur making it rotate faster with more energy. Also the nadis associated with Manipur start getting cleaned out, blockages removed, and better flow of prana through them.
  • This item is easily available. I use a white pure wool shawl bought from Khadi India. It is set such that it is entirely within the area of the second deer-skin layer.

Asan, the foundation of spiritual practice

Fourth and top-most Layer – Pure silk associated with the Anahata chakra.

  • This layer of pure silk is again set so that it lies entirely within the boundaries of the earlier wool layer. This piece of silk is not to be stitched/hemmed with cotton thread\
  • This layer is linked to the space energies of the Anahata chakra. There is another opinion that Anahata is the energy of the air, but I have always felt the Vishuddhi to resonate more with airy energies and the Anahata to resonate with space/Vyom. It is my personal experience.
  • The silk provides specific grounding for the energies generated for speeding up the Anahata chakra. And also controls and stabilizes the thought patterns linked with it.
  • So the mind is not disturbed by any imbalance in the Anahata and can focus more deeply on the Consciousness.
  • I have bought 1mX1m cream silk piece from Khadi India.

Asan, the foundation of spiritual practice

So when you sit on this asan your entire body should be within the area of the silk mat, so that you are properly insulated. The electrical properties of these 4 layers stabilise the lower 4 chakras so you are free to really work on the higher chakras. Your spiritual progress becomes faster.

This the real Asan, the foundation of your sadhana. In todays life getting a complete 4 layered set is impossible, you cannot obtain an appropriate spotted deer skin. But even without the deer skin it is good enough.

  • So if you feel so inclined, dedicated and have that much space in your house, you should really get a Darbh mat, pure wool and pure silk and make an Asan for yourself.
  • If the darbh grass mat is not available where you live, wool and silk is available everywhere. So please if you can afford it buy 1mx1m pieces of pure wool and silk and make this into your asan.

But I know this, perhaps 1% or less people will actually get this privilage of an Asan. But this knowledge is valuable and should be put on the Internet so that someone who needs it will find it by chance. Serendipity!

Why I dont prescribe gemstones

Go to any astrologer today and the first thing he/she will do is scare you. I mean really, scare you, with some line like ‘good you came to me at this time, you are about to suffer a major misfortune!” or something like this. Most of the astrologers charge by the hour and seem to want to make a one-off client a permanent patient, so that he can be scared again and again and of course charged money again and again.

And then they prescribe complicated pujas to be done at the temples/pandits of their choice or prescribe expensive gemstones to be bought from the jeweller of their choice. Naturally the pandit and jeweller pay a percentage of profit back to your astrologer. An equivalent of the doctors cut-practice. And scare you too with some misfortune too.

Why I dont prescribe gemstones

I have never prescribed such pujas involving pandits or gemstones in my entire life of reading horoscopes.

The reasons are very simple, for pujas,

  1. I have yet to meet a pandit or temple pujari who was very sincere about carrying out pujas and kept themselves away from tamasic stuff so that they could sincerely do their pujas. e.g. where I live in Uttarakhand, India temple priests are known to eat meat!
  2. A pandit who could pronounce the mantras properly and with the proper intent. Again a big question.
  3. The materials as required for the pujas are not pure anymore. Simplest example is cow ghee from the market is never made from pure desi cows milk and for pujas nothing else can do.

And for the gemstones,

  1. Untreated and pure stones of the desired quality are not available. Most of the gemstones in the market are treated, meaning that they have been at least heated to get better commercially desirable properties.
  2. Gemstones are quite expensive, eg a good quality blue sapphire can easily cost RS 5 lakh or more. And wearing a substitute or lower quality one is no good and in fact may cause damage.
  3. Even if you manage to get yourself a gemstone, that particular piece may not suit you. Gemstones too are living beings, in the sense that they have prana (life energy) and its quite possible that the particular stone you just bought does not resonate with your personal energy. This will also cause damage. This is seen most spectacularly with blue sapphire where wearing a stone that does not suit you will cause you damage almost immediately within days.
  4. And the last but most important point which no one knows about. The Gemstone is a living being with prana (life energy). It has to be recharged regularly else it will lose its prana and “die”. When the gemstone is first worn a puja is done over it. If this puja is done properly with intention it nicely charges the stone. But over time depending on the quality of the stone and the horoscope of the individual using it, its energy gets drained. Dead gemstones lose their lustre, may develop cloudiness and some may even crack. Wearing a dead gemstone will cause damage. So how to recharge gemstones? No astrologer will tell you this, that this has to be done regularly by doing a simple 108 jaap of the associated planet’s beej mantra over it.

So in my practice I soon came to the conclusion that I did not want repeat patients because I never took any money or anything for reading horoscopes or consulting, and I have always believed that astrology is an empowering tool. I never wanted people dependent on my words and wanted them to ultimately find their own spiritual core.

Of course a horoscope has plus and minus points and to put its energies in harmony certain corrective actions have to be taken. Over my practice I have found the following work with the added benefit of spiritually pushing the client healing him deeply from within.

  1. I always prescribe Dhyan, on how to do it here is a small video i made –> https://youtu.be/DSI4-I2Ahvg
  2. Beej mantras of the relatively weak planets which need boosting up in the horoscope always work. eg. OM hraang hreeng hroung sah suryaya namah 108 times jaap sitting on your asan on a sunday morning will work better than any ruby that you may wear. Just the individual has to be sincere and express his wish properly with full intention.
  3. I also ask my clients to perform homams. Doing Agnihotra daily at sunrise and sunset is highly desirable as it improves the energy of the entire surroundings and a simple mahamrutunjai homam is quite easy for any one to perform without a pandit and without unnecessary paraphernalia. What is essential is the Intention (Sankalp) of the individual.
  4. In case of specific problems also there are mantras which work 100%. e.g. for issues regarding marriage chanting Shrisukta once a day and then applying a tilak of kesar (saffron) always works. In fact Shrisukta is such a wonderful remedy for all problems because “Shri” is prosperity Herself. What ever is desired She grants. She grants worldly desires and also ultimately takes the individual along the spiritual path.
  5. For curing diseases, there are specific mantras from the Devi mahatmya (Durga Saptashati). To use it. Chant siddhakunjika stotra once and then the navavarana mantra ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामुण्डायै विच्चे |रोगानशेषानपहंसि तुष्टा रुष्टा तु कामान् सकलानभीष्टान् । त्वामाश्रितानां विपन्नराणां त्वामाश्रिता ह्याश्रयतां प्रयान्ति |ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामुण्डायै विच्चे | at least 3 times (ideally would be 108 times)
  6. Or for those who are a bit scared of invoking Devi Chandi for curing diseases, Vishnu sahastranama is also a wonderful option. Either reading it or listening to it or keeping the book under the pillow at night can work.
  7. For removal of curses, evil eye, ghosts etc ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामुण्डायै विच्चे 108 times is more than sufficient. Of course to activate this mantra chanting Siddhakunjka first is necessary.

So my dear readers, in case you get caught by an astrologer who wants to make you his regular patient, do remember that expensive pandits, pujas and gemstones are not everything. There are always other and more effective methods of changing your energies. If not anything else chant the Gayatri Mantra 27 times in the morning and evening and see yourself evolve. And as the Gayatri is also not correctly chanted here is how it actually should be chanted …

भूर्भुवः स्वः
ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् | 

 

Why I dont prescribe gemstones