Saturday, July 2, 2011


Six students approach a Guru with their individual problems and doubts. They all knew that the great Rishi was fully capable of clearing their doubts and never doubted his perfection.

 “तानह  स  ऋषिरुवाच  भूय  एव  तपसा  ब्रह्मचर्येण  श्रद्धया  संवत्सरं  संवत्स्यथ  यथाकामं  प्रष्णान्प्रुच्छत  यदि  विज्ञास्यामः  सर्वं  ह  वो  वक्ष्याम  इति  !” 
To them the Rishi said, “stay here for a year with austerity, celibacy and faith; then you may ask as you please your question; and if I know them I will surely explain everything to you.” (Prashnopanishad 1:2)

The Upanishad here clearly indicates the necessity of attunement between the Guru and the student. It clearly indicates the importance of austerity, celibacy and faith. Celibacy should mean avoidance of excessive indulgence in the world not just sexual abstinence. Austerity redeems the personality of the seeker, while celibacy relieves his psychological debilities and faith sharpens his intensity in meditation. The Guru / Hindu scriptures insist on this practice as they want good and substantial results for the seeker. The practice helps in the finite words of the Guru / scriptures passing through the intellectual comprehension of the student finally leading to his spiritual experience.

After a year of such living with the Master, the teacher promises that he will try to answer all the doubts “if I know”. This is not a declaration of his own lack of confidence or hesitation but shows extreme modesty of the man of wisdom even in the presence of his own students. A true teacher is he who knows no egoism or vanity.

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