Mas India Posting Page
Finding a spiritual teacher is truly a momentous undertaking. The only thing more difficult than finding a spiritual teacher is finding your own guru because of the little known adage that there are many teachers, but only one guru.
A spiritual teacher can be anybody who gives you some object lesson in your life. For instance, we can learn humility from most anyone who points out something we have done to hurt somebody or create some other kind of harm. If one takes that lesson to heart, and learns by it, then that person who is kind enough to point this out has become our spiritual teacher.
As we go through life, there occur many instances when we are asked to surrender a piece of ourselves in humility either to somebody or some event. A common one is when a mother surrenders to her child’s needs. For example, if the mother has to go some place but the child is asking at that time to be fed, the mother will surrender in that instance and feed her child. Another example is if somebody in your life or family becomes very ill; in that case, out of love or respect for that person, you might be required to change your life in some large way. If that relative or friend needs to visit another city for treatment, you might even have to change your schedule to accommodate them, and otherwise modify your life so as to provide a comfortable space for this person. Suddenly, this person has become the loci of your life and your first wish is to serve them, rather than yourself. That event is a spiritual teacher.
Sometimes we are asked to change our behavior to service someone else’s ego needs or desires that severely compromises what we consider to be our integrity or our character. That is not known as righteous surrender when someone asks you to compromise your sense of integrity or morality. That kind of surrender withers and diminishes us. A true spiritual teacher is one who is desirous of leading you to your true self and with whom you feel enhanced and expanded. In that case, one must ask, is my service to this spiritual teacher one that will lead to greater service to my soul and establish a connection that I seek to my spirit or God.
Other questions in seeking a spiritual teacher are: How do I feel in the presence of this spiritual teacher? Do I feel an expansion of love in my heart? Do I feel connected with others by virtue of my connection to this spiritual teacher? Am I growing inside myself? Is this spiritual teacher following her own teachings? Most importantly, do I surrender my own ego to this spiritual teacher from love or from fear? If it the former, I would suggest that this seems to be a good criteria for following a spiritual teacher.
There are wonderful spiritual teachers in every path whom have proven themselves to their devotees in terms of their loving nature, wise counsel and disciplined lives. Some of the writings of these wise spiritual teachers can be found in the library of Ma’s India. The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace offers his wisdom in interpreting the Buddha’s teachings. The Inner Journey, Views from the Hindu Tradition, is compiled from the Parabola Anthology Series complete with interviews, vignettes, and essays of famous spiritual teachers ranging from Sri Aurobindo to contemporary wisdom teacher Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati.Finally, if one were intent on finding a spiritual teacher, one need not look any further than the writings of Neem Karoli Baba, Swami Nityananda, Ramana Maharshi, and Sri Ramakrishna to see the ultimate example of spiritual teachers. These men/gurus have proven themselves to be great spiritual teachers as seen by the love, devotion and respect of their devotees.
May you be blessed with wisdom in your search for a spiritual teacher!
by: Mas India