One of the books I purchased not too long ago and which arrived by mail recently is part of a trilogy of quotes by three successive gurus of a lineage I’m studying. They’re “specialty” is Raja Yoga and, I think because of my background with Jnana Yoga, a lot of it is making sense. So far, it seems like Raja and Jnana yogas are more conspicuously related than some of the others appear to be – although, we know that all interweave at various points and if practiced long enough and “correctly” will integrate eventually.
The book I mentioned is the first in the trilogy and holds quotes only from the first guru of the lineage’s “official” organization. (For the record, I’m speaking strictly in terms of the relatively modern face of this lineage, which actually traces its roots far, far back & includes Patanjali and others before him.) The quotes are divided into chapters according to their context or content. One chapter is titled, “GURU,” and leads into the quotes with a single sentence, “The definition of a Sat-Guru is that:” after which there are listed five apparent traits a satguru is to possess. The chapter closes with a few paragraphs of discussion. I’m still chewing on some of this, but you can see below the five traits that “define” a Sat-guru.
1) He should attach himself to Reality, i.e., he should dwell in the fourth state and in the jivanmukta condition.
(For the record, while I’ve known the term “jivanmukta” for a solid decade, I’ve really only encountered its use with one other teacher.”
2) He should have practiced yoga (shabda-abhyasi) and by means of this practice should have control over the inner regions of the human brain.
3) He should have glittering eyes and a broad forehead.
4) He should have knowledge of devotion, knowledge, and work, and should be able to answer questions but should not bind the tongue of the questioner.
5) He should concern himself with spiritual things, i.e., he should pay attention towards them.
“These are all ordinary characteristics. But the real inner qualification is that he should be able to satisfy his disciples by imparting the Divine grace, transmitting grace, through the awakened inner vision.
“If you sit by a fire, you feel warm; if you sit by ice, you feel cold. Why then will you not get transformed if you sit with a person who is perfect in discipline and etiquette? Worship of the worthy Master should be done. Association with Reality is called satsangh. Guru-bhakti means only worship. Spend some time in the company of the Master and get your doubts cleared.
“A master should treat all equally. His love should flow evenly on all without any difference. He should not think himself superior to the abhyasis in any way. Love alone does everything.”
So far, I think the biggest standouts for me would be things that amount to, as a dear pal would say, semantics. The main purpose of this post is to share the five traits and the paragraphs that follow them in the book, so I won’t go into those semantic differences right now.
Umm… I also think I know that the guru who gave these sayings lived in a part of India that was (is?) influenced a bit by Middle Eastern culture. I’ll have to check again but I think he spoke Hindi & Urdu and some sources say that he rubbed elbows with Sufism – a mixture I find particularly interesting, if true.
As I said, I’ll definitely be chewing on this / these for a minute or two more, but now you can see the five traits that “define” a Sat-guru, according to him.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha