Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


Is it possible for a human being who is absolutely full of determination, will power and patience, who is willing to dedicate his entire life, and who meditates using the right technique to attain Samadhi without having any guru?


Two have answered this question: Lalita Arya (Ammaji) and Michael Smith.

From Lalita Arya (Ammaji):

How does this student know what is the "right technique"? A guru - teacher is an earned blessing who guides us according to our status in life toward the path best suited to the individual seeking 'samadhi'.  Even if the guru does not appear in person when the student is ready the Guru/Teaching will guide.

Guru is not necessarily a separate physical being. Understanding the connection/immersion of the self with the greater Self is important as there is no separation when realization occurs. Guidance happens then when the connection is made because Ego disappears and that is what samadhi is about.

From Michael Smith:

“Guru,” in the highest sense of the word, is not a person. Words are difficult to come by, but maybe “Universal Intelligence” or “the Teaching Spirit of the Universe,” which can flow through an especially “graced” person, would give an idea. 

With this understanding, here is an excerpt from an article by Swami Rama:

“The first stage in guidance is in initiation into a specific mantram. Then the aspirant may be given concentration on a particular sound or light or chakra or center of integration, whereby the spiritual energy of that center is awakened and the blocked channels of subtle energy (nadis) are opened. They cannot be accomplished by the aspirant on his own, but is possible only through the initiatory power of a Guru. The Guru is a channel with the power flowing down the long line of Gurus dating back many thousands of years. There are more advanced stages of initiation beyond this until the aspirant reaches full realization of his Divine Nature through the grace of the Guru.

“In meditation a conscious, voluntary attempt is made at stilling the activity of the conscious mind. Through withdrawal of the senses and concentration, one-pointedness of mind is achieved. Then, like a continuous flow of oil from one vessel to another, concentration flows into meditation. The uninterrupted flow of the mind leads to timelessness, and intuitive knowledge dawns. The transition from the one-pointedness of the conscious mind to expansion into superconsciousness is possible only through the grace of the Guru. Without such grace, the aspirant, through concentration, stills the conscious mind and then becomes aware of the murky depths of the subconscious . . . . Concentrations may be mentioned in detail in books, but they do not take the aspirant very far unless they are prescribed by the Guru.”  (from “What is Meditation” by Swami Rama from “The Theory and Practice of Meditation – Dawn Series 1,” Himalayan International Institute of Yoga  Science & Philosophy of the USA, Glenview, Illinois [1975], pp. 11-12.)

Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use this link to ask it:  http://ahymsin.org/main/adhyatma-samiti-spiritual-committee.html

For previous “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…” columns, please use this link: http://ahymsin.org/main/practice/administrator.html



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