General Questions

Detachment represents a state of mind that is constantly observant of the nature of events and that remains unaffected by them. Once you realise that you can be a witness to the events taking place in your life, your awareness will expand and you will be able to see the reality behind situations. Detachment implies that no matter what is going on in your mind, no matter what you are thinking, rather than identifying with the thinking, you become the detached witness to what is transpiring in the moment. If thinking is happening, allow it to be so. The task is to learn to detach from petty ideas and feelings. In other words, detachment means going beyond delusion and opposites.

Verse 213 of the Dhammapada says, "Emotional ties bring only sadness and fear. Avoid attachment in emotion and you avoid sadness and fear." Once we are attracted to something, then our ego and the possessive quality of our nature is manifested. Detachment on the other hand, involves a state of mind in which you use your discretion and act accordingly. It is not a game of action and reaction but of stimulus and response. 'Involvement' means getting involved with a thought or situation and creating a drama out of it by getting into the why, how and what of it by oscillating between the past and the future, both of which do not exist. The past is dead and gone and the future is yet to be. Do not confuse involvement with attachment. Attachment creates illusions and desires. If a desire is unfulfilled, then what arises is anger. One thing leads to another, and anger leads to confusion. Once that happens one fails to use one's reason. This downward slide stems from a single unfulfilled desire.

Through the disciple's reverence, devotion, love, and surrender to the Guru.

If a Guru has entered you in the form of shakti or energy, that is an indication that you have been blessed with the grace of the Guru. In other words, when in the energy field of a Guru, your own energy gets awakened and you can feel its functioning within; it means that you are the recipient of your Guru's grace. Once the energy is awakened, it will take you wherever you are meant to go and it will grant you whatever experiences it wants you to have. These will manifest in accordance with your accumulated impressions.

This has been very simply put by Master Charles: "What does it take to get a suntan? Nothing, whatsoever. It is just a matter of exposing oneself to the sun. It is the nature of the sun to radiate its power, its light. We do not need to do anything, except lay on the beach and expose ourselves to the rays.

"The master is the 'sun' to a meditator who endeavours to live more consciously and fully. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in the presence of a master, all you need is to stop 'doing'. This is traditionally understood in terms of surrender. Surrender means letting go of the need to do anything. We just follow the sun, so to speak, and the suntan keeps happening."


According to my understanding and experience, when knowledge through the Guru is passed on to the disciple in silence - it is termed as 'transmission'.

There should not be any mental, emotional, physical or spiritual blocks in an aspirant because transmission can happen only when the aspirant has de-conditioned his mind and rendered it free from all limitations.

His mind has to be empty of all thoughts so that the transmission can be received. This would also mean that the Guru and the disciple's consciousness functions at the same level of awareness. The aspirant's Kundalini has to move in the same sequence as the Guru's (in the first two visuals on the facing page). The play of Kundalini is happening at the Sahasrar centre. The Guru's Kundalini energy, which lies coiled at the base of the spine like a cauldron of fire has risen up to the Sahasrar centre and like a magnet the aspirant's energy follows the same course. The aspirant also needs to vibrate at the same frequency at the Ajna chakra in order to translate the knowledge received. Thus we see (in the next two visuals) the vibrations in the form wings at the aspirant's Ajna chakra matching those of the Guru's vibrations. It is necessary that the aspirant vibrates at the same frequency as the Guru in order for any transmission to take place.

The vibrations of the Ajna chakra give a feeling of wings. They represent the functioning of consciousness on the higher planes.

In order to receive the transmission, the aspirant has to go beyond the mind and be open and receptive to the instructions or information passed on to him. This is where 'surrender' becomes so important in the aspirant's life, so that he is able to operate in a higher state of awareness and receive the Guru's transmission of knowledge, grace and wisdom.

Different mantras work on different levels of the mind. Each mantra, and the rhythm of its recitation, is designed to probe the deepest level of consciousness. If the initiation of an aspirant is performed with a particular mantra, it is not necessary that the same mantra will stay with him throughout. When the work of the mantra is completed at a particular level of the mind, the Guru may change the mantra to take the aspirant to the next level of self-discovery, which would depend upon how sincere an aspirant is with his practice.

Attentiveness means that you are focusing on one thing exclusively, whereas to be aware means to be conscious of the whole.For example, when there are a variety of fruits in a basket and your attention is only on the apple and you do not see anything else; when you look at the stars and do not see the space in which they appear, this is attentiveness, wherein the 'you' or the 'I' is very active. By seeing only the apple and the stars, you have blocked out the rest of the fruits, the basket and the void in which stars appear. Our brain works in such a way that we cannot give attention to something without ignoring something else.

When you see the basket and the space around it as a whole i.e. the basket with all the different fruits - apples, mangoes, bananas etc., then you just 'are'; there is no focused feeling of 'I'. This is awareness. There is a sense of just 'being', you are just 'aware'. In awareness, there is no thought, the 'I' disappears and you are a part of the whole. As soon as you lose awareness, thinking starts and the 'I' steps in, and with that, the ego also returns. Simply put, awareness is inclusive of all that is; attention is exclusive.

When I asked my Guru for any explanation, his answer would always be, "It will unfold."I feel the Guru's response would vary from aspirant to aspirant. However, what you find out for yourself becomes a great source of energy and motivates you to reduce your limitations and expand your experience; to discover and understand what is transpiring. It encourages you to think intuitively, to explore and enquire. The less that is fed into your mind, the more insights you get by yourself. You do not doubt your personal experiences because it is your experience and your truth. You have to keep in mind that it is 'your truth' and not the universal truth. Each aspirant's experience will be according to his psyche and the karmic data stored in it.
Destiny is of two kinds. One is controlled by a higher force or God. This concerns your birth and death - you have no control over it. The nature or destiny of fire is to burn, of wind to blow, and the river to flow.The second destiny, that of your life's path, can be changed by you. There is a statement in the scriptures, which says that through karma you can change your destiny. This is possible provided that through action, you try to channel the forces of your life with awareness. That would mean a shift from unconscious living to conscious living, where every act is viewed as a stimulus and every reaction becomes a conscious response.

If one has any doubts, it is better to wait. Just as love is blind, so is faith. When the soul gets embodied, it enters the state of limitation because it is governed by the law of its karma; whether it be a Guru or a disciple. Once a Guru or anyone is born in the physical body, he will undoubtedly have flaws. So, when you meet your Guru and if you begin to analyse him intellectually as a spiritual, moral or learned person, then you will not get anywhere.

If you judge your Guru with your heart and your feelings rather than your intellect, you will overlook and not recognise the flaws, which not only your Guru but every Guru has or will have. Swami Satyananda Saraswati says that, "If you look for a Guru with your intellect, you are not going to find one because there is no one who can fulfil your intellectual needs. A Guru is not an intellectual need, just as love or marriage is not an intellectual need."

'Surrender' melts away one's pride, wipes away accumulated impressions, does away with cravings and longings, dispels ignorance, and establishes one in the real Self.

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