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APPROACHING THE GURU : 3.

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Part-3.


I remember, in those days, while at Swargashram, Sri Swamiji would save every possible minute and add it to his Sadhana.

He would keep old rotties (breads) in his room, dry them in the sun every day, and soak them in water an hour before his meal-time and this he would have for his meals along with gud (jaggery).

In this way, he was able to save more than an hour which he would have spent in going to Kshetra for Bhiksha (alms).

This was Swamiji's food at a time when Vivekananda abused him for not supplying ghee.



Another instance. A young Sannyasin, a disciple of Swami Sivanandaji, met me, at Madras. He related his miserable life at that moment.

He came to South India to lead a Parivrajak-life after visiting Badrinath and other places in Uttarakhand.

The first thing I asked of him was, whether he had taken Sri Swamiji's permission and whether Sri Swamiji had instructed him to undertake a Yatra (pilgrimage).

To both questions, he replied 'no'. Further, he relate…

APPROACHING THE GURU : 2.

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Part-2.

Here I can tell you one or two incidents in the life, of some Sadhaks who went to do what Swamiji had not told them to do.

In those days (1924-34) while Swamiji was living in Swargashram, there was a Sannyasi-disciple by name Swami V. Without the instructions of Swamiji he began to practise Hatha Yogic Kriyas.

He was doing Vastra Dhauti.

 He began to complain that Swamiji did not give him a bottle of ghee (clarified butter) while his throat was bruised owing to the Kriyas.

He went on abusing Swamiji. Mind you, it was a time when Swamiji himself was living on Kshetra food (alms).

Who asked the disciple to perform the Kriyas?

 Without procuring a bottle of ghee first, why should he start doing the Kriyas?

Sivanandaji never asked him to do so.

Had Swami V. surrendered his individuality to Swamiji, the latter would have guided him correctly, and put him on an easy path.

This the disciple never cared to do.

He had his own individual ideas about spirituality and never gave a chance to …

APPROACHING THE GURU : 1.

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Part-1.

Many a young aspirant who wishes to tread the path of spirituality, first does so with very many ideas—may be helpful or otherwise—and does not allow himself to be moulded by the Guru.

He forms variedly wrong notions as to what spirituality is.

He thinks that spirituality is living in seclusion in an Himalayan cave or growing a beard and matted locks or roaming throughout the length and breadth of the land.

Anyhow, he retains the individuality in thought and cannot hopefully surrender his ego at the lotus feet of the Guru, which alone can see him well off in the spiritual path.


I, for one, first approached Swami Sivananda with a clean slate so that he might write on it all that he thinks will benefit me.

I had no idea of my own.

If Swamiji says, a trip to Badrinath or Mt. Kailas will help in realising the Lord, I will do it at once.

 As a matter of fact, Sri Swamiji has never told me that, and I, too, have never visited those places.

I remember, only once he asked me to…

Guru—Disciple : 20.

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Part-20.

So it is not easy.

I am not saying anything derogatory about us or the Guru, but this thing is extremely sacred and extremely difficult.

Otherwise millions of people would be claiming to be disciples of Gurus and all of them would have attained enlightenment.

So service is necessary in order that the heart may literally reflect the Guru’s teachings, so that from there on you are one.

It is the most sacred and beautiful relationship.

There is no relationship, you are one.

In oneness there is no relationship.

Oneness is not called a relationship, and only when that oneness has taken place does the other person become a Guru, not until then.



In the famous eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna sees the cosmic form of Krishna and himself.

A moment before, Krishna was standing in front of him as a human person, and suddenly he had become a cosmic being.

In that cosmic being he says: "I see myself also. I see you, I see myself standing on the battlefield and I see all …

Guru—Disciple : 19.

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Part-19.

His divinity was recognised by half a dozen people and he had two proper disciples whom he taught.

Arjuna, who learnt the Bhagavad Gita from him, and there was another wonderful man called Uddhava, who learnt from him later, just before Krishna left the world.



Even Arjuna it seems came back to Krishna much later after the war and said : -

"You know, I remember that you gave me some marvellous instruction during the war, but I have forgotten the best part of it. It was inspiring, that much I remember, but I have forgotten it. Can you repeat it?"

Here I am not telling you the story of Mr. So and So, who listens to Swami So and So and then forgets the story.

We are both mortals and subject to error.

But here was God almighty teaching Arjuna, who was supposed to be a fantastic person, and Arjuna says :-

"I have forgotten what you taught me."

What kind of a disciple is that?


Sri Swami Venkatesananda
To be continued  ....




Guru—Disciple : 18.

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Part-18.

So there is no distinction here between ‘I am the Guru’ or ‘you are the Guru’ or ‘so and so is the Guru’.

But this much is definite, that you must serve the Guru.

Why? Only then is this mirror ground and polished nicely, otherwise it doesn’t reflect the truth. Here we are talking of non-verbal communication.

The inner spiritual experience cannot be put into words, cannot be communicated by means of language.

Language is totally inadequate.

This is a realm in which language has no application at all.

You may read all the books in the world, you may listen to a million talks, all this is useless.

You may meet thousands and thousands of Swamis, holy men and prophets, even avatars, incarnations of God himself.

All this is also totally useless.

I am not trying to discourage you, but I hope you realise that in the time of Jesus Christ how many were enlightened?

How many believed in him?

He only had a small bunch of people.

Ten of them ran away, one of them betrayed him and the oth…

Guru—Disciple : 17.

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Part-17.


While talking to Swami Sivananda he expressed some difficulty, in that although he did not lack good ideas, he did not have workers, somebody to execute his ideas.

Swami Paramananda was there with Swami Sivananda at that time as his disciple, but there was no ashram in those days, they were both mendicants.

It seems that Swami Sivananda looked at Swami Paramananda and said :-

"Go with him and serve him as you would serve your own Guru," the idea being that Guru Seva is necessary.

It does not mean that I want your service, but service of the Guru is necessary.

Serve the Guru, whoever it is.


There is another example which is the reverse.

A disciple of some other Swami in South India came to Gurudev’s ashram, liked Gurudev and stayed as Brahmachari.

Later the Swami from South India visited the ashram and told Gurudev he would like to initiate his disciple into sanyas.

Gurudev said: "Very good, he is your disciple, initiate him."

He didn’t say that the discip…