In Peace and Silence you Grow
The Indian tradition tells us that the Guru is indispensable. What
is he indispensable
A mother is indispensable for giving the child a body. But the soul
she does not give. Her role is
How is it with the Guru? Is his role also limited, and if so, to
what? Or is he indispensable
The innermost light, shining peacefully and timelessly in the heart,
is the real Guru. All
merely show the way.
I am not concerned with the inner Guru. only with the one that shows
the way. There are
who believe that without a Guru Yoga is inaccessible. They are ever
in search of the right
changing one for another. Of what value are such Gurus?
They are temporary, time-bound Gurus. You find them in every walk of
life. You need them for
any knowledge or skill.
A mother is only for a lifetime, she begins at birth and ends at
death. She is not for ever.
Similarly, the time-bound Guru is not for ever. He fulfils his
purpose and yields his place to the
It is quite natural and there is no blame attached to it.
For every kind of knowledge, or skill, do I need a separate Guru?
There can be no rule in these matters, except one 'the outer is
transient, the innermost --
and changeless', though ever new in appearance and action.
What is the relation between the inner and the outer Gurus?
The outer represent the inner, the inner accepts the outer -- for a
Whose is the effort?
The disciple's, of course. The outer Guru gives the instructions,
the inner sends the strength;
alert application is the disciple's. Without will, intelligence and
energy on the part of the disciple
outer Guru is helpless. The inner Guru bids his chance. Obtuseness
and wrong pursuits bring
a crisis and the disciple wakes up to his own plight. Wise is he who
does not wait for a shock,
can be quite rude.
Is it a threat?
Not a threat, a warning. The inner Guru is not committed to
non-violence. He can be quite
at times, to the point of destroying the obtuse or perverted
personality. Suffering and death,
life and happiness, are his tools of work. It is only in duality
that non-violence becomes the
Has one to be afraid of his own self?
Not afraid, for the self means well.. But it must be taken
seriously. It calls for attention and
when it is not listened to, it turns from persuasion to compulsion,
for while it can wait, it
not be denied. The difficulty lies not with the Guru, inner or
outer. The Guru is always
It is the ripe disciple that is lacking. When a person is not ready,
what can be done?
Ready or willing?
Both. It comes to the same. In India we call it adhikari. It means
both capable and entitled.
Can the outer Guru grant initiation (diksha)?
He can give all kinds of initiations, but the initiation into
Reality must come from within.
Who gives the ultimate initiation?
It is self-given.
I feel we are running in circles. After all, I know one self only,
the present, empirical self. The
or higher self is but an idea conceived to explain and encourage. We
talk of it as having
existence. It hasn't.
The outer self and the inner both are imagined. The obsession of
being an 'I' needs another
with a 'super-l' to get cured, as one needs another thorn to remove
a thorn, or another
to neutralise a poison. All assertion calls for a denial, but this
is the first step only. The next
to go beyond both.
I do understand that the outer Guru is needed to call my attention
to myself and to the urgent
of doing something about myself. I also understand how helpless he
is when it comes to any
change in me. But here you bring in the sadguru, the inner Guru,
root of being, the standing promise, the certain goal. Is he a
concept or a reality?
He is the only reality. All else is shadow, cast by the body mind
(deha-buddhi) on the face of
Of course, even a shadow is related to reality, but by itself it is
I am the only reality I know. The sadguru is there as long as I
think of him. What do I gain by
reality to him?
Your loss is your gain. When the shadow is seen to be a shadow only,
you stop following it. You
round and discover the sun which was there all the time -- behind
Does the inner Guru also teach?
He grants the conviction that you are the eternal, changeless,
beyond all appearances.
A conviction is not enough. There must be certainty.
Quite right. But in this case certainty takes the shape of courage.
Fear ceases absolutely. This
of fearlessness is so unmistakably new, yet felt deeply as one's
own, that it cannot be denied.
is like loving one's own child. Who can doubt it?
We hear of progress in our spiritual endeavours. What kind of
progress do you have in mind?
When you go beyond progress, you will know what is progress.
What makes us progress?
Silence is the main factor. In peace and silence you grow.
The mind is so absolutely restless. For quieting it what is the way?
Trust the teacher. Take my own case. My Guru ordered me to attend to
the sense 'I am' and to
attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any
particular course of breathing, or
or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my
attention from it and
with the sense ‘I am', it may look too simple, even crude. My only
reason for doing it was
my Guru told me so. Yet it worked! Obedience is a powerful solvent
of all desires and fears.
turn away from all that occupies the mind; do whatever work you have
to complete, but avoid
obligations; keep empty, keep available, resist not what comes
the end you reach a state of non-grasping, of joyful non-attachment,
of inner ease and freedom
yet wonderfully real.
When a truth-seeker earnestly practices his Yogas, does his inner
Guru guide and help him or
he leave him to his own resources, just waiting for the outcome?
All happens by itself. Neither the seeker. nor the Guru do anything.
Things happen as they
blame or praise are apportioned later, after the sense of doership
How strange! Surely the doer comes before the deed.
It is the other way round; the deed is a fact, the doer a mere
concept. Your very language
that while the deed is certain, the doer is dubious; shifting
responsibility is a game peculiarly
Considering the endless list of factors required for anything to
happen, one can only admit
everything is responsible for everything, however remote. Doership
is a myth born from the
of 'me' and 'the mine'.
How powerful the illusion?
No doubt, because based on reality.
What is real in it?
Find out, by discerning and rejecting all that is unreal.
I have not understood well the role of the inner self in spiritual
endeavour. Who makes the
Is it the outer self, or the inner?
You have invented words like effort, inner, outer, self, etc. and
seek to impose them on reality.
just happen to be as they are, but we want to build them into a
pattern, laid down by the
of our language. So strong is this habit, that we tend to deny
reality to what cannot be
We just refuse to see that words are mere symbols, related by
convention and habit to
What is the value of spiritual books?
They help in dispelling ignorance. They are useful in the beginning,
but become a hindrance in
end. One must know when to discard them.
What is the link between atma and sattva, between the self and the
As between the sun and its rays. Harmony and beauty, understanding
and affection are all
of reality. It is reality in action, the impact of the spirit on
matter. Tamas obscures,
distorts, sattva harmonises. With the maturing of the sattva all
desires and fears come to an end.
real being is reflected in the mind undistorted. Matter is redeemed,
spirit -- revealed. The two
seen as one. They were always one, but the imperfect mind saw them
as two. Perfection of the
is the human task, for matter and spirit meet in the mind.
I feel like a man before a door. I know the door is open but it is
guarded by the dogs of desire
fear. What am I to do?
Obey the teacher and brave the dogs. Behave as if they were not
there. Again, obedience is the
rule. Freedom is won by obedience. To escape from prison one must
sent by those who work for one's release.
The words of the Guru, when merely heard, have little power. One
must have faith to obey
What creates such faith?
When the time comes, faith comes. Everything comes in time. The Guru
is always ready to
but there are no takers.
Yes, Sri Ramana Maharshi used to say: Gurus there are many, but
where are the disciples?
Well, in the course of time everything happens. All will come
through, not a single soul (jiva)
I am very much afraid of taking intellectual understanding for
realisation. I may talk of truth
knowing it, and may know it without a single word said.
understand these conversations are going to be published. What will
be their effect on the reader?
In the attentive and thoughtful reader they will ripen and bring out
flowers and fruits. Words
on truth, if fully tested, have their own power.