Article Index


Guru’s Pathway to Perfection

  1. Kapata: Deception – as to one’s true nature
  2. Buddhi-vyapara: Reception – to higher mind/intellect
  3. Abhina: Recollection – of one’s true nature
  4. Nirupana: Inspection – of the real and the unreal
  5. Tyaga: Rejection – of the unreal
  6. Artha-bhavana: Reflection – on life’s true meaning
  7. Upalabdhi: Perception – of higher knowledge
  8. Brahma-chintana: Introspection – on Divine Reality
  9. Samyagdarshana: Perfection – abiding in the Self

Epitomizing the best of the radiant road to realization called Guruyoga, the guru has his own prescription for spiritual awakening, and this he lavishes on the apt and avid student. This is no easy path, and neither does the guru put on kid gloves when administering its prerequisites and practices. Deception, reception, recollection, inspection, rejection, reflection, perception, introspection and perfection — this is the sequence placed in operation and overseen by the adept guru. Deception in the mind gets loosened by reception — openness to the acidic effects of hearing the Truth. This openness allows for initial recollection of one’s true nature which in turn allows for deeper inspection of Reality and relativity. Rejection of what is unreal or insubstantial occurs next, giving rise and pause for profound reflection on the true meaning of life and existence. Heightened insight, or perception, follows thereafter giving rise to a deep-rooted desire to meditate on Reality, Dhyana, the path of introspection. This culminates in realization of the innate perfection of the Atman — the highest nondual Reality. This nine-tiered process transforms every sadhaka who strives for transcendence of dualities, freedom from suffering, the destruction of ignorance and the attainment of union with the Divine. The guru stands back and confidently witnesses the soul’s return to equipoise and equanimity once again. It is like releasing a homing pigeon from captivity in a pen, and observing as it unerringly courses its way homeward.

Guruyoga, then, is a salient and sempiternal pathway to Brahman which confers upon lineage-holders the grace and subtle power of Divine Reality. In keeping with this amazing fact, it proffers a detailed list of the many excellent qualities of the guru. These are rarely found outside of spiritual circles and even then attend only upon the most sedulous and enlightened of beings. A short list would include such remarkable attributes as integration of heart and mind, patience that knows no bounds, single-mindedness in thought and action, inwardness of vision, absolute control over mind and its emotions, composure impervious to problems and dualities, wisdom beyond logic and intuition, freedom from agency and the results of work, a retentive memory which remembers all inherent divine traits, continual alertness and wakefulness (the “insomnia of Yoga”), knowledge of the Self, the world, and the spiritual Source, recognition of the divinity underlying all things, knowledge of the past, present and future, freedom from embodiment and the ability to embody by choice, clear and proper conclusion regarding the knowledge of the scriptures, perfect realization, and more. Even the presence of one of these magnificent qualities in an individual would make him or her worthy of respect, but the Guru — by design of the Divine Mother of the Universe — holds them all, by degrees or in full measure, and thus warrants our heartfelt reverence.

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