Acharya Prashant: Essentially all words are just the same; be it the crying of the toddler, the ranting of the madman, or the utterances of the wisest man ever – they are all the same. To credit a man with the ability to cause a change in another man’s mental condition, is to say that there surely exists a ‘benevolent’ ego.
There is something that happens between two human beings.
Here is Priya, and she says that there was a dog she recently met who acted as her Guru. Now what great words is the dog uttering? Ask her. I didn’t say that. What great words is the dog uttering? It is just grace. Neither is there anything in the dog, nor is there anything in the guru.
That same, for his own reasons, unfathomable to you, sometimes presents himself in the form of a man, and sometimes in the form of a dog. Could the guru do anything, we had a ready-made recipe in our hands.
“Bring the guru in front of ten people per day, he will create ten more; and in no time, will there be a transformation in the world.”
The guru himself is helpless; what can he do? Without grace shining on the disciple, what can the guru do? And is the guru a guru, if there is no grace shining on him?
And with grace, the dog is a great guru. The greatest guru!
Listener: Sir, the dog is still a body, it is the intellect that must have something powerful in it.
AP: The intellect is worthless. The intellect accounts for nothing. There have been so many intellectuals, and the world is just too full of intellectuals. An intellectual is not at all a mystic.
L1: Then, what is wisdom?
AP: Wisdom is not intellect. And to think that just because somebody can speak well, has read a few books, appears confident . . . none of that. There is only one guru – the super boss.
I have said that to you earlier as well; go to ‘That’. And that super boss does not tolerate middlemen. He can only be approached directly. That is one of ‘His’ commandments: “middlemen not tolerated.”
You must have your own unique, personal relationship with the super boss. Is that clear? No middleman is needed, not at all.
Or, are you saying that you are less worthy? Or are you saying that grace is selective? Yes of course, guru is wonderful, guru is divine, and guru is God. Simple! The guru is the ‘source’ itself. What else is the suru? Why do you need another guru? The ‘source’ itself is the guru – always present, always ready, always knocking, and closer than the closest.
L1: Sir, you said middleman . . . so, any way, any method, any discussion, any studying that is used to reach the source . . . does it not become the middleman?
AP: You do not use methods to reach the source. You do things situated in the source. Is the source somewhere else that you will reach it? What do you mean by reaching the source? Is it located somewhere that you reach it? You can be in it, you can play in it, you can have fun in it, you can exist in it, you can dive in it, you can swim in it, you can breathe in it, but you cannot reach it!
How can you reach it!
L2: Sir, what capability does a blind man possess so that he can identify a man who can see? Let’s say there is man who can see, and there is a man who is blind; now the blind can never identify the one who can see. It is the one who can see that holds the blind man’s hand and helps him.
AP: This analogy is alright in affairs of matter. When you say that a man is blind, all you mean is that he cannot see matter. So, in affairs of matter you are very right. But here, are we talking of affairs of matter? Nobody is blind. Forget about a human being, even a blade of grass is not blind.
What do you mean by blindness? There is no blindness. Nobody is blind. To think that the ‘source’ creates imperfection is an insult to the ‘source’. What you mean by blindness is imperfection. There is nobody blind. Nobody is blind. There is only the illusion: “I am blind.” And that illusion is there when you are separate from ‘That’; and the more you search for a guru, the more you will be separated from the real guru.
Do you know those people who never meet the real guru? Who never get the joy of submergence in the source? Who are those people?
L3: Those who are in search of a guru.
AP: Those who are always in search of a guru. And that is there punishment. Because you are always searching for a guru, you will always be separated from the real guru, which was always present but you never cared for it.
All your illusion is because all your life you have been hunting for a guru. The guru is there; closer than the closest.
L3: He is in everybody!
AP: What do you mean by everybody?
L3: In this organization, or in any other organization, the facilitators, in the training program, or in the classes, have to go to the student to guide, to give the light . . .
AP: You don’t give light! We don’t show any way! No-no! No. Nobody who ever conducted a session will say that we show a way. None of our activities (referring to HIDP activities) contain anything that shows any way.
L3: We take the student from one conditioning to another conditioning.
AP: We don’t do that! There is no way to be shown. Every way is a particular way. If you look closely at any of our activity, all it says is “Boss! Open your eyes!” Simple. That’s all it says: “Open your eyes.”
What else is attention? What else is understanding? What else is intelligence? “Open your eyes.”
L3: Who says so?
AP: We say that!
L3: We are then the guru!
AP: We are not the Guru!
L3: You say this, and guide.
AP: A man is driving a truck and he is feeling asleep. There are two ways he can wake up. One is, he meets an accident – let us say a small accident – or let us say that the truck falls in a pot hole and comes out, and the man wakes up. “What a shock! What a jerk!”
The other way is: there is somebody sitting by his side who says, “Sardarji! Neend aarahi tussi! (O dear! You are falling asleep.),” and he wakes up. He has woken up! The other man is just as much of a guru as the pot hole.
Life anyway does a lot of things to everybody which helps them wake up. We are just one of those things. We are no special. That fellow may fail in his semester exams and wake up. That fellow may have a break up with his girlfriend, and wake up. The girl friend is a guru! The exam is a guru. We are only as much of a guru.
If you want to call us a guru, then the exam is also a guru, then a girlfriend is also a guru, because life itself is presenting situations which are present in front of everybody.
Buddha woke up by looking at a corpse, a dead body!
Life is giving you opportunities all the time.
Life is the Guru! We are a part of life. When we stand in front of the student, what are we? Something that life has brought in front of them. Yes, we are guru! Of course, why not? Because when the ‘source’ itself is the guru, everything in life is guru. So we are guru. But that does not mean that the piece of chair, the wood, is not the guru. Wood is also guru!
All is guru. It is just incidental how the light of the divine will shine upon someone.
Some get it through dancing, some get it through singing, some get it just through serving somebody, and some get it through listening to a man. But that does not mean that the man is somebody special. If the man is somebody special, then the ornaments of dancing are also equally special, then the dead man that the Buddha saw is also equally special. Avadhuta Gita lists twenty four guru of Avadhuta. What kind of gurus are they? What kind of gurus? A Snake!
L4: A pigeon.
AP: Pigeon, prostitute . . . all gurus. Life is a guru!
Do you want to know, what is it to be a guru? To be a guru, is to be ‘That’. Because the ‘source’ itself is the guru. When the mind is immersed in the source, you are the guru. Wonderful! Only then, you are the guru.
So, do you want to know who the guru is in this room? Anybody who is immersed.
Guru is not a qualification; guru is a state of mind!
An immersed mind is the guru. It may be quite possible that I, as a speaker, might be speaking from a state of disturbance, and somebody over here might be totally immersed. Who is the guru then? Me or that person? That person! Just because somebody appears to be speaking a lot, he doesn’t become the guru.
The guru is one who is in the ‘guru’. And what is the guru?
L4: The Source!
AP: The one who abides in the Source, is the Guru!
L4: In this state of mind, what all powers does the guru have?
AP: Why are you bothered about this?
L4: That’s what it is all about – what can the guru do? What powers does he have? The power to give grace . . . it all comes back to this.
AP: You are still personalizing the whole thing! “What can the guru do?” What do you mean by, “What can the guru do?”
L4: But we experience that the Guru is doing something.
AP: Guru never does anything, everything is done by situations. Guru has never anything to do. He has no agenda. Whatever is done, is done by situations, because ‘doing’ itself is a metaphor applicable only to the world. Guru is the Source. There is no world there. So what can he do? No one does anything.
L4: But there is an effect.
AP: The effect is felt. Yes, of course! But not because he wants to do anything. It’s the presence – simple and direct. And that presence is not a personalized presence. This is a very important thing to understand.
The moment you utter the word, “Guru,” the image that comes to your mind is that of a person. Please get rid of that notion. I mean, this is a personality cult. You are running after personalities. You have personified the guru.
Beware of this falsity!
~Excerpts from the Shabd-Yoga session. Edited for Clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Your own essence is the Guru, the essence of everything