Once, Yogi Ashwiniji was lecturing on yog at the Oxford University, London, when someone from the media got up and told him, “If you talk about the Guru, we will not be able to publish your views. In the West, we do not believe in the concept of Guru.”
Yogiji replied to the journalist, “We are 1 billion Indians and we can export yoga to you in 1 billion different ways, but if you want actual yog, you have to accept the Guru.”
Guru has been given the highest place in the Shastras.
Guru is not someone in a fancy robe, who promises to cure your illnesses after emptying your pockets. Guru is the giver of gyan, the one who puts you on the path of experience and takes you beyond, beyond the realm of five senses.
The importance of Guru cannot be stated enough. For a person who desires to experience reality or gyan, there is no other path but the Guru. Yog begins and ends at the feet of the Guru.
“Guru is an immensely powerful energy which is Supreme, Unending and The Ultimate. This energy is beyond time. It is anadi, anant, akhand. There is no other force higher than a Guru,” says Nandini Ghose, the Head of Marketing at AV Energies and a practitioner of Sanatan Kriya under Yogi Ashwiniji. At 60 years of age, Nandini has an absolutely disease-free body that exudes glow and radiance, and can do asanas for 4 hours at a stretch. She is full of energy, ready for any endeavour in life. “Nothing in the physical world bothers me and my thoughts get manifested in an instant. It is all because of the grace of my Guru,” she says.
Sneh Chibba, a teacher by profession, feels that it is a true blessing to find a Guru in today’s day and age. “A Guru knows you more than you know yourself. S/he knows your strengths as well as weaknesses and takes you over your fears & apprehensions. You will understand what I mean, when you experience a Guru yourself,” she says.
As the path of yog is one of experience and not of the intellect, it requires a force – a guiding light to take you through experiences. The Guru is not a physical form, s/he is the energy, the medium through which gyan flows to the shishya.
“Guru shows us the path, holding our hand, guides us in the right direction. S/he is everything for the shishya as s/he is the one who takes the shishya to God. A Guru never lets anything happen to the shishya,” says Simrandeep Kaur, a young film editor based in Mumbai.
While there was a time where transference of gyan was possible only in one way – through the Guru to the shishya (disciple), today the scenario is different. People often ask what the need of a Guru is or why when knowledge is available in texts and books does one need someone to show them the way?
“Without a Guru, you are like a bomb that can burst anytime, destroying yourself as well as others around. Had it not been for my Guru, I would be wasting my time in frivolous things, my health would have never improved (I used to be sick all the time earlier), my aim in life would have been to hop from one party to the next. I would have never had experiences of the subtle dimensions and energies. I would have been running after cosmetics and treatments to glow the way I do right now. Guru is a necessity,” answers Ridhi Kale, Assistant Editor, India Today.
“You need a Guru to make you experience, to guide you, to protect you and to help you evolve. A person without a Guru is like a wanderer, someone who is never satisfied and always searching for something new,” explains Shivam Dewan, entrepreneur.
When you find a Guru, the quest ends, and a journey begins. “A person without a Guru, is a person stranded in the middle of the ocean, with no sense of direction and no radar to guide him through,” asserts Engineering Manager, Yogender Saroha.
If gyan could be imbibed by just reading books or listening to discourses, the Guru would not have been given the supreme place in all the yogic and tantrik practices. “Books and lectures increase knowledge, they feed the mind and increase the ego. Gyan comes when the mind is stilled and the ego dissolves, and both are impossible without GuruKripa,” reveals Dr. Ritu Dangwal, a Psychologist who did plenty of reading until she found her Guru.
If you take the shishya to be an ice-cold stone and gyan to be boiling hot water, then the Guru pours this hot water onto the cold stone gradually, drop by drop, lest the stone cracks with the heat.
“When I met Yogi Ashwiniji, I used to think I am perfect. That’s a dangerous opinion to have for it blocks any chances for improvement. A Guru moulds you – hammering so you know what you actually are and also cushioning the blows to ensure you can take the reality, giving you the experiences you desire (one by one all my desires materialised) and also upgrading your desires by giving you the experience of what lies beyond and putting you on the path of achieving it, such that with every step forward you are surprised at your own changed form. Guru is a must because it takes a Guru to show you your real face, knowing well you will not like it, and also change that for you. Others will try to please you to gain favours, Guru will make you grow,” shares Chandni Jain, a fashion designer.
This fact can be seen through the eyes of the sadhaks at Dhyan Ashram. Each and every one has had individual experiences, initiated by the Guru’s energy that has propelled them on the path of gyan. Their experiences under the sanidhya of their Guru have guided them towards reality, satya.
“Hectic work life, pressure of professional expectations, emotional congestion, weak body…that’s what used to define me. Guru has given me the real purpose of life, has blessed me with detachment. Yog under his guidance helps me maintain high-energy levels, increased productivity. Today, at 40, I am much healthier than what I was 10 years back, doing extremely well professionally. Most importantly, neither body nor job nor emotions rule me anymore. I am driven by something larger and far more satisfying,” reveals Sandeep Sharma, General Manager, IBM who despite his hectic work and family life, finds time to lead the country-wide campaign for protection of animals by Dhyan Foundation.
“I met my Guru as a 20-year-old-boy, whose looks ruled his life. He craved for a muscular attractive body but could never attain one. I speak in third person for a reason…My Guru elevated my consciousness levels to a degree where I can change my form at will, hence releasing me from the clutches of the mirror and making me understand that this Creation is actually controlled from a subtler dimension, which can be accessed once the consciousness is elevated and for that…one needs a Guru,” shares Shivan Chanana of Barcroft Media. “If you look around you will find that the issues that trouble a 20-something are not very different from those that plague a 50-year-old. Growing up and growing old are two different things. With a Guru, you grow up. Without, you just grow old,” adds this young journalist who’s before and after pictures make for a case-study.
Ram and Krishna also made Gurus, even though they were gods. “Without a Guru there is no yog, without yog there is no evolution. Yog is not standing on your head or breathing funny. It is the path of self-experience. Guru knows everything about you and gives you experiences and a path most conducive to you,” reveals Ruchi Kale, whose glow and energy-levels at 55 are enough to give any teenager a run for their money.
There is no religious merit acquired by charity or devotion or by visiting places of pilgrimage greater than the worship of the Guru’s feet, for if someone has done that, s/he has worshipped the three worlds. All places of pilgrimage which exist in the whole universe reside at the feet of Guru. Om shree guruve namah om