Full Audio and Transcript from the Divine Lineage's 'Connecting to the Lineage of Masters Remote Group Meditation Program' Conference Call with Monika Penukonda and Nityaananda, broadcast on June 29th, 2014.
Monika (reading the words of Sri Kaleshwar): “Every person should know this truth – studentism is like slavery. Studentism is feeling your master is God. Don’t do that. It’s a big crime. Love a master as a friend, and as a brother. Give your thanks to him. If you have the bhakti way then you can touch his feet.
In India, thousands of years back they found some supernatural things. It’s being kept a secret. The masters don’t release it to the public. Or, even if they release it, they do not give perfect guidelines to implement it. Students have nobody showing them how to drive the car. What good is a car, no matter how beautiful it is, if you cannot drive it? I know car driving. I give the car keys to you. I show you how to drive. When you have a car and know how to drive you are a new person.
Instead of driving their own car, so many people say, “Jesus is great, Shirdi Baba is great, Mother Divine is great.” So what! Ok, they are great. So what! When will you become great like that? Do you want to be a slave forever and ever? Why are they so great? Why are you not that great?
If you want to see the real thing – focus. The person who is making you focus is not God. He’s a friend who came in your life bringing light to push you. On one level he’s a God to you, but the real God is what he experienced, what you are experiencing.
You make yourself go down and down if you keep on ignoring your capacity and only depend on somebody else. “He is great. He is great, I am nothing. He’s great, he’s great, and I’m nothing.” You’re pushing yourself down, pushing down, and pushing down. You have no faith in yourself. You feel unworthy. You never implement whatever your inner heart gives you in your thoughts. You never test your thoughts. You only care about somebody else. That’s why you are in huge trouble. This is why you are always addicted to somebody else.
Don’t follow my tradition if you ignore yourself. That’s my sincere advice. You are wasting your time. As your friend, as your master, as your teacher, I don’t want you to do this crime to yourself. Don’t do it. You’re reaching your death day-by-day. I don’t want to create fear. It means I see you wasting your time, and the end is closer, closer, and closer. Make sure of what you’re doing. You can spend huge amounts of money, but not time. Time is the big gold – don’t lose it.
Stop slavery. Stop studentism. Love your master. Love your friend. Love everything. Go. See the reality. Every person is a piece of God. Every person’s soul is a piece of God. Make your soul bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. With your own hands you can come up. Everything is in your hands. When I went in spirituality, I went through the same process as you. When you really hook something, it is like a blessing. It brings you the same way I went.
What I am changing in this creation is the way people relate to the master. People are going to relate to the master as a friend. Don’t always see Swami as great. Ok, on one level you have to surrender to the teacher, fine. But, even though you surrender to me, I see you as my friend, and make jokes with you. I never care if you surrender or not.
My happiness is when you really get success – that is my selfishness.” These are the words of Sri Sai Kaleshwara Swami.
Nityaananda: And Namaste and welcome once again to this Guru Purnima 2014 program Connecting to the Lineage of Masters. Nityaananda here at the Divine Lineage Healing Center in Laytonville.
Monika: A big welcome to everyone, this is Monika here.
Nityaananda: That was really a beautiful reading that we started with today. It really does distill in many ways the essence of Sri Kaleshwar’s teaching about gurus, about teachers, about the need and also the trap there. And we started talking about this last week and we’re going to go deeper into this whole concept, fleshing it out through the teachings and through the experiences with Sri Kaleshwar, but also the teachings of other traditions from the East as well, which are very, very consistent with the importance of the guru principle, but also the necessity to transcend that at some point. I don’t know if transcend is the right word.
Monika: I think the better word is for us to understand it and have a broader understanding of what the guru really means. What is the true nature of the guru? And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.
Nityaananda: Right. And with God’s grace in a way this discussion will offer everyone who is listening and who hears it later, who reads the summary points later, insight into their own path as a spiritual person, their own master/student relationship. And also their own understanding of that, as Swami said in that quote we just started with, the true guru’s only goal and happiness in that relationship with the student is the student’s success and growing capability as a spiritual person themselves, as the light themselves. That’s our prayer and that’s what this program is about, we started the program and mentioned, even in the title of the program when we announced it a few weeks ago, maybe a month ago, the names of four great masters, gurus, that are active on the planet: Shirdi Baba, Sri Kaleshwar, Jesus Christ and Babaji. We talked a little bit last week about the differences in form, about how that is an illusion, how there is really only one energy there that they’re representing and bringing into this play of form. So, let’s dive deeper into this guru principle today.
Monika: When Swami describes a master, when he gave the definition of Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheswaraha, he said “The master is light. The master is light.” He is beyond the three characters of Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva, it’s beyond that and really to understand that a little bit, it’s good to understand the word “guru.” Guru has two syllables, “Gu” and “Ru.” “Gu” means darkness, and “Ru” means light. It’s the guru power that swallows the darkness, it’s that light that swallows the darkness. And “Gu” also represents maya, all of this illusion. And “Ru” being the light, is the supreme knowledge, it is that that destroys ignorance, that destroys the maya that is around us. So to understand the word guru, it is that light that is always bringing us out of the darkness of the ignorance, that we don’t understand that we’re the same as Jesus and Baba and Mother Divine, you know, how do we come out of that? It’s that light that brings us out of that.
If we look, there is one philosophy in India, and ancient philosophy called Kashmir Shaivism, and it’s really the study of Shiva Consciousness, how Shiva’s energy goes in stages into this creation, you know, Shiva, it’s the one consciousness, and then it’s Shiva and the Mother and then this whole creation comes. But they describe the five powers of God as, first is creation, maintenance and destruction. Of course we know that, we know those three. But it’s also concealment, and that means it’s concealing the reality that in fact that we are all the same and it’s all one and it’s one consciousness, it’s concealing that reality, that’s a maya. And then there is revealing or grace, and that power of grace is really the guru, the guru is the grace bestowing power of God, meaning it is bringing the light to reveal what has been concealed. This function is part of the creation. Of course, it’s this big play and here we are forgetting who we are, but then there’s this whole mechanism of how we get out, and it’s through the grace of the guru and the guru principle.
So when we start to see, look at the guru, because today we are going to be exploring more of the nature of the guru. I mean it’s such a big topic, of course we can explore this, keep exploring it because as we evolve in our relationship with that principle, becomes more mature, we can of course go deeper and deeper into this incredible ocean because the guru is the same as God. That principle is the same as God, the same as the supreme reality, it’s satchitananda, it’s the Absolute, it’s pure consciousness, and that power of consciousness that brings us out, that bestows grace and reveals what’s concealed and brings us out of the darkness of our ignorance of not knowing who we are, that is functioning everywhere at all times. And it is, once that power comes into our life, then our spiritual life really unfolds and that’s when we begin to see.
Nityaananda: Yes, it’s a fundamental principle in our spiritual tradition, in the Eastern spiritual tradition in general and the ancient knowledge of the palm leaf books specifically. In Kashmir Shivism specfically. In the teachings of Swami Kaleshwar, Shirdi Baba specifically, and that is the role and the need at certain stages in the soul’s awakening in form as a human being, the soul is awakening to it’s true nature in a human life for the necessity of the guide of a teacher. I mean the opening quote put it really beautifully and one of the things that helps me in this area is thinking just about human activity and behavior in general. I mean the West in general, and in my own life in particular, and I think in the lives of many, many of the students of this knowledge now, you know we aren’t raised with the concept of guru or teacher in that respected way, in that highly valuable way in the West. We’re independent minded, don’t tread on me, I’m capable, I can take care of myself, you know this whole concept of apprenticeship is still alive in all kinds of fields pragmatically. But the value, the cultural value of the preceptor, of the teacher, of the guide, is less celebrated in the West than it is in the East, which makes it more difficult for Western students to approach into this avenues of spiritual education and receiving grace actually, we’ll get to that, that stage of the guru relationship. It’s harder for us to approach it.
When I first met Sri Kaleshwar I had no concept or desire at all to take on a guru. I would have been termed, if I had examined it with clarity where I was coming from really kind of anti-guru at that stage in my life. When in fact I can be very capable in different areas, but in every area that human beings are capable, with the rare exceptions of the savants, of the geniuses, the one in a million, one in a hundred million, one in a billion human beings who somehow have that access to their capacity without someone else apparently awakening it. But for the rest of the 99.9999% of humanity, whatever it is we’re learning, riding a bicyle, driving a car, becoming a doctor, being a welder, driving a piece of heavy equipment, cutting down a tree with a chain saw, cooking a meal, we’re constantly learning and we are benefiting from the expertise and the guidance of others as a way to most rapidly and most perfectly master some art or another, some body of knowledge. Spirituality is especially important in that way, and it’s especially important in the knowledge of the cosmic energy channels, the shakti energy channels, the high octane spiritual channels where through form we’re reaching to the formless, but we’re reaching through the experience and the knowledge of the power of God, the power of God’s love – we need a guide. Even the name guru, when you were deriving that word, guru implies the darkness is present and so the light is necessary to dispel the darkness, that means we’re in the illusion, we’re in the creation. Before there is duality, there’s only light. So the light can’t know itself. One of the reasons this creation forms is so that that God consciousness can experience itself through the illusion of form.
So anyway, guru means maya is there, darkness is there, ignorance is there, lack of knowledge of the truth is there, but then the light principle, the “ru” is coming, it’s the combination. As long as there is a creation, as long as there is darkness, as long as there is ignorance there is a need for guru, for the guru principle. And it’s just a powerful principle that I’m reminded living now in the West full time after living more than a decade primarily in the East in India at Sri Kaleshwar’s ashram and traveling with him. I’m reminded now in the West again, how one of the big obstacles to spirituality in the Western mentality is simply accepting that there’s a teacher, that there’s a tradition, that there’s knowledge, there are practices, there’s something to be learned from, there’s something to surrender to. And surrender here is not a bad word. Swami even mentions it in that quote. Okay, yes at certain stages you need to surrender, I needed to surrender to my anatomy professor to really learn everything I needed to know about anatomy even though I could read a book, I could teach myself. But it was nothing like receiving it. So that’s a big obstacle. Now everybody in this program has obviously overcome that obstacle, but as bringers of the light ourselves, as those who are carrying the light into the world with the hope and the prayer and the intention to share it with others who themselves can carry and grow the light, that’s something to recognize, that there’s an intrinsic resistance to the concept of guru that we just need to acknowledge and overcome.
Monika: And as I think as we go on to today’s discussion to talk about more of the nature of the physical guru and the guru principle, that immortal principle that is always bringing us out of the darkness, we can see how we get caught up. You know, we bring our illusions to our relationship with the master, the physical master and actually for us to move on in the stage in our own evolution and stages of enlightenment, we need to gain understanding of that because otherwise we’re stuck. So, we will talk about that.
Nityaananda: I mean we have to give absolute benefit of the doubt and poetic license to those who we are learning from, who we are receiving release and relief and grace from, don’t we? We have to at a certain point take on that as teacher and learn from it versus understanding in advance what is happening every step of the way, that’s not a teacher, is it? As Swami said, when his students started to understand what he was doing, then he had to, he said, “Use the third degree.” He had to change it, he had to make it, because the whole point is not leading us deeper into an understanding of maya, even though we do learn about maya consciousness, we have to understand maya consciousness, but it’s to lead us out of that and that means it has to lead us into new ways of thinking, new ways of perceiving, new kinds of experiences. It really is a re-making of how we utilize this great facility that we call consciousness. And it’s really the grace of the guru that does it.
I love the way in Kashmir Shaivism those first three principles, okay we have those from the teachings of Sri Kaleshwar and the ancient knowledge that he shared, the gunas, really, rajas the creative guna, sattva or the maintenance state, and then tamo or the destructive aspect, these are all God powers, God creates, God maintains the illusion of that creation being stable and then the God energy destroys or takes back and transforms that creation into another state and there we have G.O.D. – Generator, Operator, Destroyer. But in the Kashmir tradition they add also some of the aspects, one is the aspect the power of maya and that is the power of God to conceal the truth. And that’s what we’re all sharing. I mean completely that’s what we share and if we can gain any compassion for all human beings, no matter whether their enemy or friend, stranger or lover, whatever our relationship it should be that we’re all in the grips of the maya and the truth of so much is being concealed from all of us by that power. But then finally that fifth power and that is the power of God to take away that concealment, to receive grace and through grace and only through grace really is the truth revealed. And that’s also a God power and that’s actually a power that the guru holds in their hands.
And by the way we mention guru and we use the pronoun “he” and that’s a whole other discussion we’ll get to, but it’s not a “he” it’s actually a personality or a form, it’s an energy, it’s an aspect of God and there’s no doubt the guru energy can and will in the future be demonstrably held by women, by female form, we’re trying to transcend these barriers. But we need to mention that since you know, this is an age increasingly to be led by the feminine principles, by female form, by women and not just spirituality, our planet in general desperately needs that. That’s why we’re starting the Guru Purnima program out with a whole day dedicated to that. But we need to remind that too, because an overwhelming majority of students of this knowledge during Swami’s lifetime and including today, 75-80, 85% women. So, yes the guru principle is embodied by both men and women.
Monika: So we’re talking about this incredible principle that exists everywhere, all the time. You know, it’s that light that’s there waiting to bring us out of the darkness. And really when does that come to us, when do we become aware of that? It really is that once we start seeking and, you know, we’re praying to God for material things and then, you know, first seeking, then we pray to God for material things and then we evolve and then we want to know something more. We want to know the reality, however that comes to you, you want to know Jesus, you want to know God, you want to know the Divine, you want to know the pure silence. Any of that, that seeking comes from us, then a form of the guru comes to us. Some form. And it could be any form. It can come as a physical form, it can come as something in the nature, it can come as a supernatural experience, it can come in any way because this is, it’s basically consciousness is taking form. And now something from inside of you there’s an external thing that is coming to you and so this relationship is really unfolding now, which is the external guru and our internal guru. Because really the guru is the same, it’s that in us. The guru is in us.
Nityaananda: That same guru principle is in us. That’s the point.
Monika: Exactly, it’s the consciousness is in us, the inner guru is in us. It’s the same. We’re all the same, but we don’t know it, it’s concealed from us. But yet something, the suffering in this maya brings us to want to know something beyond this whole illusion game. And then the nature comes and starts to bring us, brings us the guru however that may be. And it looks different for each person and we’re going to, maybe we’ll read the story of Baba coming to Swami, because Swami is an example, you know, that Shirdi Baba came to him, but he didn’t have a relationship with a physical guru in his life. Actually, it was a sadness to him because of the great joy of, there is the incredible joy of that relationship.
Nityaananda: Right, because of that relationship, the relationship with the guru, and now we’re talking guru principle here. So, Swami Kaleshwar, yes sadguru, Shirdi Baba, yes sadguru, Jesus Christ, yes sadguru, Babaji, yes sadguru, many others. But this principle of guru is the same, it’s light. Like many candles, they look different, but the light is the same. So, that principle is, we’re trying to reach a relationship with that, an understanding of that that’s more true and as we do that then that’s a relationship with God. That’s a relationship with the Truth. Again, in form there’s always, you know, warts and hiccups. Maya by definition is imperfect. It’s perfectly imperfect, you know? The maya is always concealing, so the guru in form will have aspects that lead to doubting whether it’s a guru, or getting lost in that personality trait, or in that physical characteristic. Like with Swami Kaleshwar, many people would fall in love with his beauty, you know with his gentleness, with his brilliance, you know there was so much about him, but then falling in love with that person, with that form, with that story of a human being and that would frustrate Swami to no end. You know, it was just another layer of the maya covering that. But once we start reaching relationship with the true guru, that guru relationship which all of us has, then that is the most, that’s the most authentic relationship that we have while we’re in form. It’s reaching past form, it’s reaching past these false definitions, and ultimately we’re reaching that relationship inwardly too. I like that, we’re looking out and we’re looking in at the same time and the outward is guiding us inward. And that inward guidance in turn guides us and leads us to greater discrimination about what’s happening outwardly so that the guru’s energy, that light which is dispelling the darkness of maya can flow through the world around us and it can flow from within us, it can flow through all the people in all the circumstances around us, and it also is flowing from within us.
Monika: We can look, when we imagine the rishis living in the Satya Yuga, that kind of gives us some yard stick really of, you know then the physical form the guru, gurus didn’t need to be embodied as a physical person because each person was connected to that. Sharing the same consciousness, aware of that consciousness, aware of that everywhere and they were living in that while in the body. And then they were doing all these divine works on the planet, but they lived in that state of unity and they were themselves vehicles, everyone was a vehicle of that energy. And that’s really–
Nityaananda: The darkness wasn’t so deep then, you know.
Nityaananda: Yes, it was in creation so that means there’s maya, there’s duality, but as Swami said there was no need for avatars because everyone was an avatar. We can really not imagine what life on this same planet was like when the energy was so much more positive then, there was so much more consciousness then. And so, the inner guru was still not hidden to the degree that everyone would find that. In the same way, the way babies were conceived and the way people used their physical bodies, and how long the bodies lasted, just so many aspects about that time on the planet we can’t imagine now, but it’s good to know about it.
Monika: It is good to know because this is the knowledge that we’re practicing, the Saptarishi channels.
Nityaananda: Exactly, we’re practicing the same knowledge that they practiced then, that’s actually an interesting point.
Monika: So, that’s what we’re doing and that’s what’s bringing about this awareness for each person and then the tools of “how to.” Swami said, okay, he’s bringing this thing in this creation that we look upon the master in this way, oh you’re a God and I’m not.
Nityaananda: Right. In a very hierarchical way.
Monika: Yes. We need to change that, he changed that idea.
Monika: And he did very well at it because you know, he really was a friend to us. And we were friends, we enjoyed that.
Nityaananda: Well, that was his style. You know, he said upfront, okay this is what I’m about, this is my style, this is my philosophy. This is like some of the quotes we’re sending out this week are really fleshing that out, you know. So, he really did his best and he said upfront well this is what I’m doing. But to be truthful, a huge number of his students did get lost in the cult of personality, you know, in the attachment to those things that were so beautiful and powerful because of his light. But also, it was very frustrating for him as a guru to handle. And actually he ended up sending tons of people away or his behavior became extremely avadhut. And he said, before he became avadhut, he said the guru becomes avadhut because the students make the guru to become avadhut because of their blocks, because of their getting stuck. So yes he said that, and that’s one of the beautiful messages that we need to bring to the world. It’s a true message, the message of the real guru and the role of the guru. But also, we need to make it ourselves in this life and to help others in the future acknowledge that the maya also captured many, many people who were looking and who are looking actually to Sri Kaleshwar as guru, as guide, as leader, as teacher to bring them to true self-realization, and put them in a cage of their own, you know there were people who wanted to have Swami’s baby, for instance. And they got in some crazy illusion, and he said at any given time about half of the, not half, a quarter of the ashram was in some kind of a romantic fantasy with him. And you know, this was a big frustration for him.
Monika: It was.
Nityaananda: He had to put some people at huge distance, he had to send some people who were close away for the last years of his life because of falling into other traps, you know, competitive traps or unworthiness traps, you know whatever it is. So, we’re using this because Swami sacrificed his life, he dedicated decades of his life, the majority of his life he dedicated to his Western students and waking them up. So, every aspect of every students relationship with Sri Kaleshwar is instructive and valuable for us today as we go forward carrying the same torch, but we should learn from what has gone before. Yes, he did everything that he could to wake everybody up around him. And he is still doing that. Now in the pure consciousness state reaching Sri Kaleshwar as the doorway we talked about last week, you know, as that opening to the divine energies as a whole, we need to pass through all of these illusions, we need to pass through.
Monika: It’s very interesting, you’re bringing up the master’s leelas because this is part of the mechanisms of how to get you to wake up, it’s a big mirror. The master can’t give your self-realization – moksha, all he can do is remove the darkness and help you to see because it is already there. So, this is an incredible process that he’s doing, but if we look, when you just brought up his avadhut nature at the end of his life. And really what he was trying to do, we were talking the other day here at dinner with everyone about, I was sharing my experience with Muktananda. And I had spent three years with Muktananda and I was there at the very end of his life, where he became very avadhut in the same, not in the same way, but in his own way. They all have their own styles.
Nityaananda: Fully avadhut, yes.
Monika: Fully avadhut, you know, so he, this really threw a lot of people, yet if you had real discrimination you could see he was pointing to something, he was trying to destroy a structure and show another way through his behavior. And some could see it and some couldn’t. And watching Swami as he was going into it, really in the last year and a half where he became very, very avadhut. It was the same way, he tried to destroy all those kind of belief systems and structures.
Nityaananda: Or show that darkness in that individual, you know there’s different individuals and we’re stuck in different kinds of darkness.
Nityaananda: Exactly. And just behaving, doing what, okay it’s a last shot, I’m going to show you, I’m trying to show you this. The guru is a big mirror. We talked about that. The nature as guru is a big mirror. Trying to bring that up so you can finally see that block, the aggression, that blaming, that anger, that controlling nature, jealousy, those blocks. It was like a last shot, okay, boom. And we’re still seeing the fallout of that. We’re still seeing. And Swami said this straightly, people will argue over my life and the meaning of my words and my techniques and what I was really doing and what I really said for hundreds and hundreds of years to come, already it’s starting. But inside of those kind of debates, when I’m listening what I’m trying to see and hear with compassion, I’m trying to be very quiet and see what it is that, when somebody is so attached to a certain meaning or a certain illusion, especially when it’s revolving around their relationship with the guru or their understanding of the life of the guru. Then what they’re really doing is unconsciously showing where they are stuck in that. There but for the grace of God we all. So, with compassion hearing that and also with discrimination, teasing out, okay what’s valuable there for me in my own relationship. Because that’s really the most important thing, isn’t it? Not our outward words, or our outward accomplishments, but where are we in our own cycle of our relationship with God, in this case on the planet today it means through the grace of a guru, where am I now? That’s the juice that will really yield growth, development and awakening in each of us, when we are taking care of our own process that way.
Monika: One of the very last things that Swami said was that beautiful evening outside the Dwarkamai which it was Chinello and you and Patrick-
Nityaananda: At the fashion show.
Monika: That’s another story!
Nityaananda: That’s another story! Maybe that’s an in-person story.
Monika: Right! But it’s a beautiful story. Swami gave, cause he had us watching in the final days of his life, he had us watching his early Jesus interviews that Philip and I did with him. And the stories of the masters and their leelas, Ragavendra and Tulsi Das, and Sri Manjunatha.
Nityaananda: That’s right.
Monika: And then he said, then he pointed to that as, look at, you know how do you watch these things, look at the leelas of the gurus, what are they doing there?
Nityaananda: Think deeply about that.
Monika: Right, and you know some of the behaviors of these stories are just outlandish.
Monika: Yet, okay, what is really going on there and it really was again they left that to awaken. Here, all of the leelas are to understand that this incredible, divine, infinitely loving principle of the guru, that force flowing through the master is always trying to bring you into, to keep you going. It never leaves you, never ends, no matter how stuck you are in whatever illusion, no matter what things you ever do or have done and will do, never leaves you and is always trying to guide you through.
Nityaananda: Right, returning to that principle, the guru exists to dispel the darkness, period. Everything about the relationship, everything about it. As you said, including now, our guru is in Mahasamadhi. Many people who are studying this knowledge and will in the future dive deeply into this knowledge, Swami Kaleshwar will be a set of pictures and peoples stories. As he said many times, he doesn’t care if anybody remembers his name, what he cared about was the knowledge and sharing the knowledge and sharing the light. The knowledge is actually the seeds of the light to bring us out. So everything about that relationship is about bringing us into reality, every single aspect. When we attach blame, whatever blocks they are, jealousy, left-out, whatever the blocks are that are still running in people’s master/student relationship then that’s just darkness that needs to be dispelled, that’s all it is. And we all, you know, the maya, when every baby comes out into this creation the maya covers it and it just keeps covering it. There is not a soul whether it is an avatar or a new soul, a perfect soul like Jesus, or a soul that’s been through countless lifetimes and is just working out their karmas, lifetime after lifetime, same exact mechanism, comes out of the womb into the creation covered with the maya. This should help us to be compassionate with ourselves and the darkness that is still plaguing, whatever that might be, and when we’re in relationship with others and judging. Especially when we’re in relationship with our guru, with our teacher and making comments there. I mean that is just maya compounding interest on top of maya when we do that.
Monika: You know, if we find fault with the master, really no matter what their personality is, because it doesn’t matter, when you are in a physical body automatically those limitations, yes, you have things that are not perfect. That’s the nature. That’s the nature! You’ll get sick or you’ll be irritable, whatever it is.
Monika: And, so not to look at that, not to be identifying with it, personality or the form of the guru because that’s transient. And that has all it’s different qualities that any human being will have. But really we have to recognize that the real thing there is that energy that is flowing from the master to you, and we keep that recognition then we don’t get caught up in things like if we’re finding fault with the guru, what does that mean really? It means you need to clean your lenses, because that fault is either something of you’re own impurity that you’re not recognizing, that you’re putting out there on outside, or it’s that you’re not recognizing the leela that the master is giving in your life for you to wake up. You know, you’re really holding this thing in the wrong way and that’s really one of the beauties of the avadhut lessons. We know the avadhuts, we talked about Swami, or Baba, how avadhut he was. Or as I explained with my experience seeing Muktananda in the end that way, that you know, these are only tools of, sometimes extreme ones, to make you wake-up, demonstrate something to you, but you have to see it as that, and then as soon as you start to see that then you can really get the nectar from what the divine was trying to give to you through that embodiment of the master. It’s so interesting as we’re talking, because it’s this human form and that relationship, you know, all the interactions that go on with that, and it’s also this divine principle that comes and uses that form.
Monika: You know, they’re embodying it and they’re using it, they are a vehicle of that energy and you know, I’ve heard it said by the masters, a beautiful master, that they don’t have a choice over it. Sometimes they see someone and they want certain energy to go to them, but the energy won’t ago. But then another person will sit in front of them and the shakti just comes right through them, gives it to them. They are the servants of that.
Monika: So, this is to recognize that that is flowing through this form of the guru, and it’s also flowing through each one of us and all of nature, and that’s why we look at our sankalpam, we should just–
Nityaananda: Yes, let’s remember our sankalpam right now.
Monika: Read that, because this is so much the stage that we’re at now, the Guru Parampara stage. “Bless me to recognize the master is everywhere, in all of nature, in each person, and in the silence of my own being.”
Nityaananda: Yes. So there’s that external guru and that internal guru. Some of the main points of today’s teaching, recognizing, and we’re really able to get to this place quite deeply esoteric, but by everybody’s grace we’re able to reach this place together. In the pure consciousness and the relationship with the nature, the Father and the Mother within the nature, the guru’s consciousness is available externally. And as you said it comes in all forms, any form, it can come in any way, the nature is acting there as a mirror towards the readiness of the individual soul, the longing, the desire, also the purification and many factors that we don’t even know that go into what makes a soul ready to receive the grace and the guidance to interact, just to come into relationship with the external, with the guru as an external form. Baba said all the time, and he still says and advises, hey, I am in all things, see me in all forms, recognize me in all forms, if you can’t recognize God as the formless then worship God as my form. But he never said his form was God. So, the external guru is one of the key things, recognizing the guru’s energy through consciousness is around us in all aspects of the nature. But then there’s also that inner principle guru energy that is there, and that relationship between that outer and that inner. You know the outer plays a role, it’s a dynamic.
Monika: You brought up Baba so beautifully there, you know that he was trying to teach us, you know, demonstrate through his leelas that you know, he’s in the cat that goes to you know, visit the family that he promised to go see. He was there in the cat. How many times did he demonstrate that. You know, he was there in the beggar, in the cat, in the dog, and this was really, this was the highest teaching he was giving. I am everywhere, and I am with you and see me there.
Monika: Then sometimes his unique characteristic is that he does show up in physical forms as well, you know, in a body and he gives that experience, that’s one of his unique personality characteristics, and what he set up, who knows? It’s a mystery what Baba is doing, let’s just say. We can say, we get to enjoy that, we get to experience that in our lives very much, and actually this would be a good time to share that story about how Baba came to Swami the first time.
Nityaananda: Yes, lets do that. Also, another great thing about this story to my reading right now at this time is the model it is for our relationship with the guru too, because Swami, our whole time with Sri Kaleshwar, and his whole life, that form of the guru which that divine soul is so linked, which we call Shirdi Baba. We call Sri Kaleshwar one, we call Shirdi Baba one, they have countless lifetimes, countless different relationships in different lifetimes. But that soul union there is immortal, so for Sri Kaleshwar’s entire lifetime, 1973 to 2012, that form of the guru was not in physical form as an incarnate life, that’s important for us to recognize. And we did get to experience vicariously the ups and downs of having that type of relationship you know through Swami sharing his relationship with Baba. The first time I met Swami he told pretty much this story, you know, I had gone there to learn something about healing techniques, then he’s suddenly talking about his master who took samadhi in 1918 and so through the end of my relationship with Swami he talked about his master until the last night of his life, sitting with him in his office and his Jesus temple, he was just as present and interactive with his master Baba at that time as he was at any other time. I mean, the focus, and this is really one of the key things, this inner and outer. The outer guru is helping us to focus our attention on the inner guru and we constantly need that reminding, we’re constantly deceived and distracted by our own illusions, by our own self illusions, “I am a man, I am a doctor, I am a husband, I am a friend.” Whatever, “I am happy, I am sad,” whatever we’re telling ourselves about who we are, these are all illusions. The guru is constantly directing you towards something which is more true. So anyway, let’s go to this, this is from the Divine Mystery Fort.
Monika: I just want to add this one thing here you were saying because, you know, Swami still had that relationship with the living guru was ever present for him. And it was that energy of also, you know, his relationship, of course Baba still was a unique aspect of that energy, you know, yes, you worship the Mother, or you worship Jesus, or you worship Sri Kaleshwar or Baba, whatever form you have some unique draw to it’s all the same. But that relationship was so alive for him even though he wasn’t in the body, Baba wasn’t in the body, it was as vital as if Baba was in the body and that is also for us too to understand that we’re in that living relationship with the master now.
Nityaananda: Exactly. And that’s the most important relationship in our life.
Monika: And the most fun and the most extraordinary, it gets, it keeps going and expanding.
Nityaananda: Yes, so here from the Divine Mystery Fort is Swami’s recounting of his first meeting of Shirdi Baba in his life, in that lifetime:
"In my ashram there is six foot marble statue of Shirdi Baba. He’s a big boss. Yes really, he’s a master of the masters, a supernatural soul, a very supernatural soul. In my life, I had a lot of practical experiences. I will tell one story.
When I was 14 years-old I had no faith in God. I was playing games, riding the bicycle, swimming in the river. That was my nature. It was a very hot time, summertime, examination time in my classes. I was studying in tenth standard. In each subject I got 92 to 95%. In my classroom, I was the first boy – first in the class.
So I was studying in an old temple shed, a good peaceful place to prepare for my examination even though I had to ride my bicycle two kilometers out of the village to the temple ruins. Everyday an old man came to the temple. He was an old man and he didn’t walk perfectly. He was very old, with a beard, with a cloth, carrying a bag, a begging bowl and one stick. I observed him for four days. After I finished studying, when I was leaving, he asked for some coins, “Can you give some coins?”
For two days I gave him coins. On the third day he asked and I said no. Then on the fourth day, it was around 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. and I was very hungry and ready to leave to go to my house to eat. As I was going, he asked for coins, “Can you give one coin or two coins?”
I said I had no change, I had no coins. Then he said, “Why are you’re lying? You have 50 rupees with you.” I was so surprised, I had forgotten I had a 50 rupee note.
“How do you know that?” I said.
He said, “I know about you. It’s true.”
Then I said I had no change, and I wasn’t going to give him 50 rupees!
“All right,” he said, “I will give you change.”
“If you already had 50 rupees why are you asking me for two rupees? I’m going to my house to eat and then I’ll bring back the coins, so don’t worry.”
“Why are you going to your house?”
I said, “To eat the food, I’m very hungry.”
“I’ll give my food.”
I said, “No, no, no, I don’t like your food.”
“You don’t like my food? It’s very tasty.” Then he opened his bag and brought out his begging bowl. The food was very spoiled, four or five days-old.
I asked, “Why are you eating this food? That’s why your health is so bad. I’ll bring food from the house, don’t worry.” Then he looked at me with tears in his eyes. I said, “What happened? No problem, I’ll bring you food in half an hour. Tomorrow is my examination.”
“Tomorrow is your mathematics, tomorrow your examination subject is mathematics.”
I was surprised. I told him, “Maybe you’ve been observing me these past four days, maybe you saw everything.”
“How can I know that? I’m Shirdi Baba.” Shirdi Baba – I was hearing this name for the first time. It was the first time I had an introduction to a spiritual master.
“Okay,” I said, “anyhow I’m going.”
“No, no, no,” he said, “You eat this food.”
“No, it’s very spoiled.”
Then he took his stick and tapped his begging bowl three times. The food was steaming, giving vapors. I was surprised. Then I felt afraid. “Who are you, why are you doing this magic?”
He said, “I’m a master of magic.” Each word he said was very deep, each word was very deep.
At the time, I was very anxious to go to my house. The next day was my mathematics examination. It was a very difficult subject and I needed to prepare since I had much confusion on that subject. But that old man caught me, and pulled me into a discussion. Then he said, “Just taste my food a little to see if you like it or if you still want to go to your mom and take your food.”
Then just he put a small bit of food in my hand. I tasted it. Very beautiful! Very tasty!
After his food touched my tongue, he attracted me. He made two spoons with his hand. I ate 20 to 30 times from the bowl. Then I was full and went just 20 feet to the water tap to wash my hands. I was gone for only a matter of one to two minutes. Still, he disappeared before I returned. But he left his stick at the place. Still I have this stick.
I felt afraid and confused. It was an old temple, nobody was there, and he couldn’t walk even a little distance within five minutes. Then I climbed to the top of the temple. I looked but he was nowhere. I found his footprints. My heart was very beating, like 240 speed. It was making me sweat. Oh my God! I was in full confusion.
There was nobody else in the temple for me to tell what happened. So I took the stick and I went home to my mother. I told her my experience. She said, “Maybe you dreamt it. You had a dream.”
“You see the stick?”
Just she said, “Oh, you’re always silly.”
When I was writing the examination the next day, I heard his voice. His voice came directly to my ear. Again I was writing, again his voice was coming. He only said, “How are you? How are you?”
After that, I went to a priest and said, “One old man made magic on me. He’s talking to my ears. What happened – is it good or bad?” The priest didn’t believe me. He did a prayer and he charged me 50 rupees.
After a few months the old man spoke to me in my dreams, “Why are you afraid? I’m not a bad man. I’m your Grandfather. I’m a Grandfather to all the people. You will do innocent work – you’re a global person, you’re a global person.” I could not understand. Then he invited me to come to his place. “You come to my place. My place is Shirdi, it is in Maharastra state.”
Then after that I searched. Where is Shirdi? Who is Shirdi Baba? Then one priest showed me a Shirdi Baba picture. The picture was the same man I saw in the temple. I decided that I wanted to go to Shirdi to visit his samadhi tomb and see where he lived when he was alive. I found one group was going to Shirdi by tour bus. My mother was not giving me permission to go. For two days I made a strike in the house, no eating and no water. I said from my bed, “No, I won’t eat. Give permission for me to go to Shirdi and then I’ll eat, after you give the permission.”
“Why do you want to go to Shirdi?” she said.
“It’s a spiritual center.”
“Why are you going to Shirdi? Why do you have such a strong desire? Okay, go.” Then my mother gave permission so I could go to Shirdi.
When I stood in front of Baba’s tomb in Shirdi, he said in Telugu, “I’ve been waiting for you. Now the right time is coming. I’ve been waiting for you.” It’s true. I was just standing in front of his statue and he spoke to me. From that beginning to now, I am just an instrument of the divine.
Sometimes I’m praying, “Why are you making me do very hard work, too much hard work? I’m not giving good service to anybody.”
Then he says, “Just it’s enough. Nobody can get it at any one time. You try your best. Do hard work, do hard work.” "
So, that was Sri Kaleshwar’s first meeting at age fourteen in his life, that would have been 1987 or so on this planet. So as we wind down this portion of the satsang, we’ve spoken about nature as guru. We’ve been talking about this really since Swami’s Mahasamadhi, that was the name of our first Guru Purnima program here, Nature as Guru, or was it last year?
Monika: That was last year.
Nityaananda: So, we’ve been speaking about it for some time, recognizing it, being directed that way. Everybody in this group, everybody listening now, everybody reading these words later will have personal recognition through their own direct experience of what it is for the guru’s consciousness to reach to them through the outer, through the nature, there is no doubt about that.
Monika: And actually that’s happening a great, great, great deal. Really, we’re hearing about that all the time. Just look at that! Two deer.
Nityaananda: Yes, as we speak two deer just jumped the fence. Peacefully.
Monika: Very peacefully. Really, those experiences are happening, reflections are happening, they are quite extraordinary, and we can just say divine, they’re miraculous, they’re divine in simple ways and big ways and really, we’re seeing the alertness also is growing in everyone to recognize and look even if you don’t understand what the meaning of that, the thing is. You know that it’s something that stands out in the nature and is a symptom of something. Really, we can see how – Swami talked about Guru Parampara stages, you know, how many stages there are is a question mark.
Monika: To us anyway.
Monika: But we know that there are stages in that and we can see now we’re in this stage and it’s a glorious stage. Of course, you know, there’s a longing to sit with him that comes up, also his physical presence, but also there’s a much broader feeling or understanding of who he really was. Also, not limiting him to that personality, he was way beyond that. How many personalities were there? How many lifetimes did we know him in different forms and attributes, you know, that came in that life, next life will be different. Who he is, what that consciousness and that relationship is, you know you’re seeing it and experiencing it a lot so much more broad, mature, in a broader mature way. And that’s required, you know, it’s required.
Nityaananda: So, before we open this up, let’s talk a little bit about disciples’ grace. It’s quite important actually. You know, from our side, what is it that we do to further that relationship? How do we keep turning, turning, turning again and again, and what is our role in this most perfect relationship actually.
Monika: We’re talking about how amazing the guru’s grace is, the guru principle which is guru’s grace and how amazing that is. But the disciple’s grace is actually greater.
Monika: Which also we heard Swami say, “Without my students I’m not a guru.”
Monika: You can only be that when there is a relationship with a student so, you know, there is something amazing about that, that being in that master and the student, it’s really, if I can think, Shiva was the first guru and Vishnu was the first student. Well, they are both great. So, you know, the appearance of otherwise is a play, that really to recognize our role to bring, we’re actually bringing, we’re making the guru, because without us there is no, it doesn’t have to be a guru.
Nityaananda: Well, it’s like the example you talked about that we saw so much sitting with Sri Kaleshwar in different combination in different settings. The same person leading a conversation with a certain combination of people in front of them, would suddenly become a different person, an animated, you know with the right receptivity, with the right, with the grace of the student they’re pulling that form. So, it really it is a dynamic and both parts need to be played, you know, there’s absolutely, we have to develop and refine our grace as a seeker, as a student, in order to receive most fully and completely, you know, and that has to do with these divine qualities. I mean we saw one of the teachings from Swami in this week’s daily contemplations about what it is it that is important. What is it that the student actually, that guru, that guru principle, that consciousness, that God consciousness is looking for in the student? What is it that pulls that guru’s grace? What is the grace of the student which is pulling the grace of the guru? And it’s a very short list of things: kind-heart, loving nature, how much energy experience in the world, how capable, hard work, loving nature. And then how much dedication there is to really work hard for the good of the world. How much inner silence is there. As Baba said, faith and patience. And then what capacity is there for honest self-reflection. This is a small handful of things that are in our hands to develop, that brings the guru’s grace into our lives.
Monika: You know, it’s interesting, if you think of those qualities of kindness and experience and a hard-working nature, silence, faith, patience, self-reflection, that if we are really embodying that, doing our best, you are really trying, you are doing you’re best, it’s kind of that. When he was saying don’t be in studentism, you are that if embody these qualities, you become the master then.
Monika: That’s the point, your divine nature, your God nature is shinning through.
Nityaananda: And that is the goal, the guru’s goal is to show the master inside of each of us. So, in turn that light can be shared with others. And it comes down to some simple things, simple divine qualities. This, you know, in the end Swami was very mature and would point us into that maturity, you know he did not like new-ageisms which were just pie in the sky, unrealistic, not based in any kind of worldly experiences that can lead us anywhere. And so, he would often describe this creation as a big ocean that he was swimming with us in, or it was a cage with a tiger that we were all in the cage together, including the guru. Which is one of the greatnesses, the gurus don’t do this from an ivory tower, those great souls, including all of us who are seeking to help in the world, we’re not standing at a distance in peace and quiet and ultimate tranquility as the chaos of the world flows all around us, we are engaged in that chaos, we are engaged and that’s how the guru can help us. The guru’s energy is in the creation with us, it’s inside of us.
Monika: I remember as you’re speaking, Swami said this to you and I, I think it was probably 2008, and he, this is when he really started us working together on the dharma and really put us in a huge process with that. And then he said, now I’m throwing you, you guys I’m putting you in a little boat and throwing, you’re really going out in the ocean.
Nityaananda: I’d forgotten that. He called once and said, now your boat is, you can’t see the land anymore. That was the whole message, you can’t see the land, you’re just out to sea. He’s not saying whether we’re doing good or bad, or you know, whatever it is, it’s just, you’re out to sea.
Monika: But I’m with you. He said I’m in the boat with you, and that’s really the, that’s the master he is in the boat with us. So, I’d like to close on this quote because it’s about being in that. This is a quote from Sri Kaleshwar: “We are all in the middle of the ocean swimming. The master can throw a life jacket to help, but you must still do the swimming. The student must keep swimming means, keeping on with your inspiration, hard work and dharma. Swimming means love for God, for knowing God, for understanding God.”
Nityaananda: Swimming means inspiration, hard work and doing the dharma. Swimming means love for God, love for knowing God and love for understanding God. Okay, let’s swim on together and close this satsang portion, this teaching portion of the satsang and open the call up to comments, contributions, sharings of any kind by the grace of the guru.
Monika: Jai guru!
About Monika Penukonda, Sri Kaleshwar said:
“Monika belongs to the Divine Mother, Kanaka Durga’s, feet. She is a Divine Ma on the planet. She’ll walk and give a lot of wisdom and clarity to bloom wisdom. This lady will bless millions of people on the planet. She’s going to do it.”
Monika is the author of Kaleshwar, and a modern rendering of the Sri Sai Satcharitra, The Wonderful Life and Teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba. She was the editor of Sri Kaleshwar’s books, including The Real Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and Shirdi Sai Baba - The Universal Master.
Nityaananda (Clint Thompson, MD)
is a physician who trained directly for 15 years with Sri Kaleshwar until his mahasamadhi in 2012. He resides at the Divine Lineage Healing Center in Laytonville, California and gives teachings, healings and healing energy transmissions around the world.
Nityaananda is the author of The Awareness of Healing.