Make the New Year new: Decide to determinedly go for God. It is far better to take a chance and go for God, than to miss the boat entirely because of fear…or because being ‘spiritual’ makes you feel silly. Give yourself permission to get silly—be different, unique—and go for God.
Know this: Through humble submission, inquiry and service, a wise one, a perceiver of Truth, will guide you.
This is something we must learn if we want to reach The Absolute and be finished with our karma: submission, inquiry and service to the wise ones, the perceivers of Truth. Getting their compliments is lovely, but feel-good spirituality will not get us to God, or even enlightenment, and will certainly not free us of karma running our lives.
The Sanskrit word for ‘submission’ means ‘by bowing respectfully to, by humble submission, by prostrating oneself’. The import here is that this is done with a “wise one”, one who has attained what we seek, so that they will teach us.
It may seem that the wise would withhold Truth from us if we do not submit to them, but it not is they who withhold, it is us. We are the ones who withhold, balking at the idea of bowing down to someone else. Surely we are not afraid that there is someone out there who knows more than we do…? And we are certainly intelligent enough to know that no one can take us over and control us just because we bow to them. Yet with cartloads of explanations and reasoning we resist, throwing away an extraordinary opportunity. This is ego at work.
If you cannot humble yourself, bypass your ego, you will not receive significant teachings. If you haven’t the interest or the courage to ask for their tutelage, you will learn nothing. If you are too good to be subservient to another from whom you wish to take something, deep down you do not believe you deserve to have it, so it will not come to you.
All this bowing down business is not for the one you bow down to anyway, it is for you. This gesture magically draws the knowledge and understanding of the ‘wise one’ to yourself. Done with sincerity, it will suck it right out of them.
The Sanskrit word for ‘service’ means ‘serving, waiting on, attending to the wise one’. We do this to keep the teacher well and alive so they can teach us, while overpowering our own egos so that we are receptive to what is taught.
A Personal Aside
We are a fear-based society that feels controlled and imprisoned. To counter this, we yearn to control the environment around us, and we spend our time playing it safe and struggling to get our desires fulfilled. But we mistake the prison as being of the making of someone other than ourselves. Nevertheless, this seeming prison is why, and how badly, we want to be in control, and therefore, why we think a teacher would want to control us. But no teacher in their right mind would ever want to control anyone—they wouldn’t want the karma.
Unfortunately, not everyone is in their right mind. Some teachers and preachers of yoga and other spiritual paths and religions, have persisted in trying to bring people to a state of humility, submission or egolessness, by bringing down their sense of self-worth through humiliation, criticism, insult and even violence. Sometimes these tactics are even applied for the purpose of eradicating a student’s karma in order to help them reach liberation.
This is a terrible mistake, and it is sad, for it doesn’t work anyway, and it can magnify an already existing lack of self-worth to the point of destroying the person, and derailing the continuation of their spiritual path altogether. Yet serious seekers continue to be drawn mostly to these kinds of teachers.
Even though these teachers and preachers are few, in fear of finding ourselves in the clutches of one of them, we guard our pocketbooks and take a position of entitlement, feeling that we should be given everything we want. Instead, this attitude limits us severely in what we might otherwise receive.
By avoiding uncomfortable feelings about bowing before another, having to ask them to teach us (the teacher should just be able to read our minds and give us what we want), and doing for and giving to the teacher what is needed, we avoid the very things that would take us where we want to go, by clearing away the things that hold us back: ego and karma.
So, while it is wise to beware of false prophets, it is up to each of us to be willing to take a chance, and very much worth a relatively minor risk. It’s not as if we couldn’t change our minds if we found ourselves in an abusive situation.
It is far better to take a chance and go for God, than to miss the boat entirely because we are afraid or don’t want to feel silly. So give yourself permission to be silly, and go ahead and go for real gold: find your guru and go for God.
The best way to God is to surrender to God.
Surrender is the highest form of worship.
We become what we worship.
In the Guru Gita (‘The Teacher’s Song’), it is said that God and Guru are two names for the same thing; that the Self, God and Guru are the same; and that for this reason one should find the Guru that is meant for them.
In the online course, Surrender Meditation, there is a substantial section on “Shopping for a Teacher”.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
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