Shakti: When we met last time, you appeared upset about marketing us? What is that you are referring to? How can we be commercialized? We are present everywhere and what is the necessity for anyone to market us? Even if they do so, they do with good intentions only. They are only revealing you and me to everyone else.

Shiva: You have referred to one part of my statement. I also told you that I will teach easy techniques so that it is easy for everyone to realize us.

Shakti: I remember that. I wanted to first know this marketing, as it amuses me a lot. What is that?

Shiva: Realizing us is simple and I have told you already that this is possible only by working on one’s breath, mind and consciousness. The purest form of consciousness is me. We can be attained only through sādhana or spiritual practice. In the first place, one needs to have a good spiritual preceptor, without whom I would say that realization will never be complete. There are paths, the right and easier ones to attain both of us. They can be taught only by the one, who has already realized us. When someone teaches masters in a university, he should have mastered the subject much more than his students. Is it not?

Shakti: Yes, I understand. But that is related to knowledge. How is this related to our realization?

Shiva: Breath, mind and consciousness alignment is the highest form of knowledge and hence it is called sādhana, which can be explained as ‘leading straight to the goal’. Look at this meaning; it says leading straight to the goal, which means, it is not a circuitous route, but a straight route to the goal. Understanding and realizing us is through spiritual knowledge as against material knowledge, which is related to understanding the material world and its various components. The difference between spiritual and material knowledge is subtlety. Spiritual knowledge is subtle in nature, because both of us are extremely subtle in nature. It is easier to teach about something that is visible to one’s eyes. Teaching about the highest reality is extremely subtle in nature and the one who imparts this knowledge should have understood, experienced and stayed with the highest reality, you and I.  A teacher’s knowledge along with his experience alone matters.

Shakti: Who are eligible to impart this highest kind of knowledge?

Shiva: There are not many and it is difficult to find them. Such men and women do not reveal their true identity to the world, as the true knowledge of knowing us is also known as secretive and sacred knowledge. As far as material knowledge is concerned, it is neither secret nor sacred. There are three orders in spiritual realization. The one who is realized and continues to carry out his duties is the best teacher. Such men and women perpetually stay connected with us and at the same time they involve in activities such as imparting spiritual knowledge to others. They are the ones who can truly impart supreme spiritual knowledge, at the highest level. Their knowledge is based on pure Advaita philosophy without even a trace of dualism. There are mediocre persons who can stay connected to us only if they want to. They cannot stay connected with us all the time as they have not evolved to that stage; however they are continuously evolving to attain the first stage. There is a third group of men and women who can connect to us still using practice. They are also evolving, but their progress is slow as they do not involve themselves with the sādhana sincerely. They have multiple priorities and they will not be able to realize us in this birth; however, they will continue their spiritual state in next births from where they left in this birth.

Shakti: Can you please elaborate about the first category who can impart true spiritual knowledge?

Shiva: These men and women look like normal persons. They do not reveal their true nature to the external world. They also perform mundane tasks; they too have likes and dislikes; but they have no desires and attachments. They do not sell their knowledge for monetary gains. They have no expectations from those to whom they impart the highest level of spiritual knowledge. Such great personalities know that we cannot be sold for monetary gains and they cannot even think in those lines. Such highest and subtlest knowledge can be imparted one-on-one as the quality of every learner will never be the same. This teaching is not like teaching in a class room. These men and women impart this knowledge by entering into the minds of their students. They laugh and cry with their students. They use different techniques for different students and these modifications are made depending upon various characteristics of the student concerned. This is called true Guru-disciple relationship. I am aware of teachers going out and
buying medicines when their students are not well.

Shakti: Then what about these huge gatherings I see almost on a daily basis at different places? I have also heard about latest terminology in the spiritual world such as seminars, workshops, etc? What are these?

Shiva: Spiritual gatherings are always good, but they serve only a limited purpose. Such gatherings create ecstasy in the minds of the participants. A few of the participants take this experience forward and others remain only in that state. They think that experiencing this deceptive ecstasy is the ultimate. They do not understand that we can be realized only under the direct care of a person who has already realized us. This I have told you already. Both realization and liberation can happen only in isolation.

This apart, the painful aspect of spiritual path is monetarily squeezing the aspirants in the form of conducting workshops, seminars and group discussions. In their over enthusiasm, the aspirants spend a lot of their hard earned money to attend these programs. A person after reading some texts or other gives spiritual discourses using his or her vocabulary and oratory skills, without any personal spiritual experience and lectures how to realize us. They do not end up here. This can never be accepted, as they are committing mortal sins for misleading honest and sincere spiritual aspirants. They begin to charge and their charges increase depending upon the crowd they are able to attract.

Shakti: What is the need for charging? Do they depend upon these charges to make their day to day living?

Shiva: No, they do not depend upon this for their living. They are amassing wealth, build palatial buildings, open branches, fly in aircrafts and thus turn simple spiritual path into a business venture. A small ashram turns into a business empire. They have time only to attend to their business and they do not bother to spend time, to take forward the aspirants, in the spiritual path. Simplicity is taken over by pomp and vanity. How those who are amass ing wealth to run spiritual business can speak about dispassion, ego, pride and greed? When they are the embodiments of everything that are to be shunned, how can they discourse that these attributes are to be annihilated.

Shakti: Then why so much of crowd for them?

Shiva: There are two main reasons for this and the foremost being the miseries and pains of men and women. Generally, one begins to seek his or her spiritual path only after undergoing some turbulent period in one’s life. But they do not understand that they have to undergo this period in their lives for two reasons. First, they have to experience their karmas and second such difficult situations lay foundation for their spiritual path, former leading to the latter. You know very well as to how many have lost their wealth by performing remedies. No remedies can solve their problems as they have to undergo their karmas, otherwise Law of Karma will become defunct. Though you and I can remove any one’s karma, we never do that as we do not transgress laws made by us. All remedial measures have only psychological impact on one’s mind. At the most, they can stop accruing further karmas, provided they surrender to us through their mind, intellect and ego and as you know these three put together are known as antaḥkaraṇa.

Secondly, there are true spiritual seekers and they truly want to pursue spiritual path. Their spiritual desire is always pure and in order to find the right spiritual teacher, get attracted to the pep talks and end up in wrong places. By the time they realize the truth, they become frustrated.

Shakti: Who is accountable for this mortal sin?

Shiva: Who is a sinner, between the one who gives poison and the one who consumes poison, without knowing that he is drinking poison?

Shakti: Then why are you allowing these unethical things to happen?

Shiva: I have already answered this. It is the Law of Karma that operates. Who knows what is in store for them except you and I.

Shakti: What is the option available to true spiritual seekers then?

Shiva: They have to approach a realized person to take them forward in their spiritual path. Without one-on-one interaction between the teacher and his student, spiritual path can never be pursued to its logical end. It is like interaction between a research scholar and his guide/mentor. Without this one-on-one interaction, realization will never be complete. Sometimes, one could experience deceptive realization due to incomplete and imperfect knowledge. Only one-on-one interaction can prevent this deceptive realization. One could have learnt everything; but many times they will not be able to connect the missing links. This can be taught only by the one who has realized us.

Shakti:  How one can evaluate such true teachers?

Shiva: It is simple. His simplicity, his willingness to help, no pecuniary interest, his way of speaking and teaching, his life style, lack of interest in building his image, lack of deceptive external appearance and many such attributes are there to identify a true spiritual teacher. The seeker’s karmic account should permit to have such a teacher, as he alone can take him to the path of realization and some advanced teachers can even liberate the aspirants, again subject to their karmic accounts. (Will You Comeback Guruji book deals about this intricacies and the book can be read through the link).

Shakti: I never know that so much is there about spiritual teachings. It is very sad to know about this. But, I also find some places where people lead sub-normal standard living and teach highest form of spiritual life. They also talk to students in groups, but not always one on one. How they are different from the previous category?

Shiva: There is a lot of difference. To mention a few, the second category do not have mansions to teach spirituality, no luxury there, no pomp and vanity there, no money is collected by them. Everything is serene in their dealings. Some aspects of spiritual path are taught to a small group, not to a huge gathering. But they never lose out one on one session. This is the best place to learn, understand and realize us.

Shakthi: How do you plan to stop the first group from committing mortal sins? This also affects others.

Shiva: Things will change very soon and kālapuruṣa will take care of this. I think we can stop this discussion. If you have any other doubts, please let me know.

Shakti: Not now; but I have many doubts and confusions. You must clarify them.

Shiva: Yes, I will for the sake of poor and true spiritual seekers. Spirituality can never be linked to one’s financial status.

{This article is not meant to undermine any noble and genuine organizations. Only facts are highlighted here. I know many people who have lost their wealth by associating themselves with unethical spiritual organizations unknowingly. This discussion is needed to put many people on alert and to save them from losing their wealth, time and peace of mind.}

More articles:

Shiva In Conversation With Shakti - Part 7

Shiva In Conversation With Shakti - Part 9 - Concluding Part