Throughout our life we take the help of teachers for almost every subject that we learn, from academics to music and sport. In the same way if one sincerely wants to make spiritual progress, it is important to have a spiritual teacher or Guru.
The Guru will work individually with each disciple, with Dhyana meditation, the seventh limb of Yoga, being the principle vehicle of communication between the Master and disciple. Through meditation an inner connection is established that strengthens over time. Although a Guru may write books, give talks and answer questions from seekers it is through this inner connection that the most significant and profound teaching and guidance of a Guru occurs. The Guru has a unique personalised ‘inner programme’ for each disciple. “The most important thing a spiritual master does for his spiritual children is to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself.” – from The Master and the Disciple by Sri Chinmoy.
The goal of Yoga which is union with God is an inner goal and a part of us that we already possess but are not aware of or in touch with, therefore it can greatly expedite our progress to accept the help of someone who has already achieved this union and has a free access to the God consciousness that lies within all of us. Sri Chinmoy likens the role of a Guru to that of a boatman, whereby he carries each disciple in the boat across the sea of ignorance to the ‘Golden Shore’. Without a Guru, it can feel more like crossing this ocean on a raft with no directions and a feeling that one could capsize at any time! Having a Guru brings a certainty and confidence of being ‘on track’ to our Yoga practises especially with Antaranga or the inner limbs of Yoga, which are concentration, meditation and samadhi.
It is important not to underestimate the help of a Guru for those wanting to make real progress spiritually. As Sri Chinmoy explains: “We have to know that the spiritual path is very arduous; only on rare occasions have people realised God without the help of a spiritual Master. Most Spiritual Masters themselves took help from someone for a day or a month or a year or ten years before they realised God.” – from The Master and the Disciple by Sri Chinmoy.
A Guru is not only working on earth for his direct disciples but for many other individuals who are crying for peace and happiness in the inner worlds and may never even meet the Guru, but are able to receive from the Gurus meditative offerings. A God-Realised Master’s presence on earth has a profound effect on the collective earth consciousness. Even if a God-realised Yogi does not accept disciples, the power of their meditation is able to elevate the global consciousness and perhaps even prevent the destruction of humanity. Because of their expanded consciousness and tremendous oneness with humanity, the great Masters are very connected inwardly with the events of the world and feel the ripple effects that they create as part of their own reality. For example, they may experience physical pain after a world catastrophe.
I remember an occasion when Sri Chinmoy left our meditation grounds abruptly without saying a word which was very unusual. Later we discovered that was the exact time that the Atlanta bombing had occurred.
Whether we realise it or not we are all contributing a vibration or energy into the world around us with every thought and action. We can sometimes see the result of these thoughts and actions, but some of the results we may be largely unaware of as they are operating on very subtle levels. The higher our consciousness vibrates as we progress in our Yoga, the more we are able to help uplift those around us and humanity as a whole. In the case of a God realised Master the effects are profound and far reaching.
Dr David Hawkins, author of a number of books including Power vs Force, has completed 29 years of study and research on this very concept. He writes: “In this interconnected universe, every improvement we make in our private world improves the world at large for everyone. We all float on the collective level of consciousness of mankind, so that any increment we add comes back to us.”
Dr Hawkins has researched the concept of consciousness counterbalancing. He believes that the higher your consciousness goes toward enlightenment and knowing God consciousness, the more you can counterbalance the negative vibrating energies in the world. Here are some fascinating figures from Dr Hawkins research:
- One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of optimism and a willingness to be non-judgmental of others will counterbalance the negativity of 90 000 people who calibrate at the lower weakening levels.
- One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of pure love and reverence for all of life will counterbalance the negativity of 750 000 people who calibrate at the lower weakening levels.
- One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of illumination, bliss and infinite peace will counterbalance the negativity of 10 million people who calibrate at the lower weakening levels (approximately 22 such sages are alive today).
- One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of grace, pure spirit beyond the body, in a world of non-duality or complete oneness, will counterbalance the negativity of 70 million people who calibrate at the lower weakening levels (approximately 10 such sages are alive today).
Dr Hawkins believes that the negativity of the human population would self destruct were it not for the counterbalancing effects of these higher energy fields from great Yogis. So the vast role of a Guru, ranges from the intimate one on one coaching of their close disciples to the elevating of all of humanity.
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