“The Holy Lord said: When he leaves behind all desires emerging from the mind, and is contented in the Self by the Self, then he is said to be one whose wisdom is steady” (Bhagavad Gita 2:55).
Nothing could be easier to understand: an enlightened person wants nothing, finding total fulfillment in the Self–both individual and Universal.
Therefore when we see people with even “spiritual goals” such as “serving God in others” or exhibiting a veritable passion about a “world mission” or “saving” or “enlightening” others, we can know they are not illumined, and therefore incapable of doing any of those things in a real manner, however fine the exterior machinery might appear.
Qualities of a true spiritual teacher
A true spiritual teacher has no expectation of others whatsoever, much less foisting demands on them. Knowing that all growth comes from within, never from an outer factor–including him–the worthy teacher knows that it is his duty to teach, and that is the absolute end of the matter. From then on it is up to the student to either follow the teaching or not.
If he asks for help or advice from the teacher, it is the teacher’s duty to give the requested assistance and then leave the matter alone. (Swami Sri Yukteswar was a perfect example of this, as was Paramhansa Yogananda. They loved and cared deeply, but they also respected the freedom of those they taught.)
In spiritual life as well as material life there is a division of labor that should be adhered to. Under the guise of “love” or “devotion” there should be no violation of spiritual law. And no authentic teacher will ever break any law.
It is virtually impossible to find any popular “guru” that does not live like “the jewel in the lotus”–both materially and socially. Although there is a pretense that their disciples are insistent upon it, it is really the guru that demands continual adulation and material accouterments that would have been considered extreme even for a Di Medici monarch. [Read more…]