This is part VII of “Guruji in the Horizon”, a spiritual novel consisting of many parts. To read the previous parts, please go to the labels on the right bar and click on this title or click on this link:  Will You Come Back Guruji

He continued, “Mind is one of the amazing instruments of human life. Mind is endowed with the power of creativity and when manifested, the dualities of pain and pleasure are realized.  The mind could be pure or impure depending upon the external influences. If the mind is not properly trained and tamed, it turns out to be a potential source of danger, dangerous than the calamitous nuclear war heads. That answers your question.

“God does not have a form.  He is the source of all the energies in the universe.  Note that I am using the word universe.  Earth, in which we live, is only a tiny part of the galaxy.  Universe comprises of many galaxies.  Galaxy of our earth is known as Milky Way. Though it is not necessary for you to know all this, I am sharing this with you to make you understand, how big the universe is.  I leave it to your imagination how powerful God would be, as He is solely managing the affairs of the universe.”

My head was reeling.  I was happily enjoying my rustic life, working in our land, playing with my Jimmy and sleeping on the rocky bench. I could not understand about universe, galaxy, etc.  I did not want to ask any questions to him, as he has clearly told me that I should be attentive.  I was very much attentive, but I did not have the capacity to grasp the details he had told me. I thought that the best way to overcome this situation is to remain silent.

“I know it is difficult for you to understand as to what I have said.” I was shocked when he said this.  I concluded that he can read anybody’s mind. 

“Shankaraaaaa, you cannot continue to lead the kind of life that you are leading now.  You are not born to while away your time like this.  Your disinclination and laziness are your enemies.  Man is born not only to take care of himself but also to help others.” He stopped for a moment and looked into my eyes.  It appeared that he was not convinced about my attentiveness.

He continued, “You have to be more attentive and should evince interest in developing your knowledge.  You do not know that there are two types of knowledge.  One is the temporal knowledge and another spiritual knowledge.”

A sudden flash in my mind said that I should listen to him very attentively.  He smiled at me and continued.  His powerful eyes and his smile ignited a spark in me.

“Temporal knowledge is worldly knowledge.  It is the knowledge about knowing perishable things. Take for instance, your Jimmy.  You know what Jimmy likes and dislikes.  Jimmy is not going to be with you perpetually.  He has his own life span and you have your own life span.  Nobody knows who is going to predecease the other.  At the time of your birth, your death is also determined. Your birth and death are determined only by you.  God does not interfere in day to day life.  He has evolved a law that binds everything in the universe.  God’s law is known as Law of the Lord.”

Now I begin to understand.  I have heard stories about imbecile men composed verses on Gods. I now understand that he is not just another teacher. I am sure that he also knows that I am able to grasp his teaching now.  I know it is only the flash that he has imbibed on me, that has transformed me.  

He continued.  “Not everyone is lucky to have a good spiritual master.  The only qualification of a spiritual master is that he should have realised God.  He has to teach through his own experience and from texts.  Anyone with good memory power and good level of understanding can teach from texts.   Teaching from texts alone does not make a spiritual man. Ultimately it is the experience alone that counts.  Interaction between the master and his disciple should be one to one.  The disciple should have the liberty to meet and discuss with his master at any time.  They are only called as gurus.  Those who address hundreds of men at the same time are not gurus. They can at the most be called as spiritual teachers. Gurus are different from spiritual teachers.  Spiritual teachers speak from what they have read and memorized. They are good orators.   They do not have direct experience.  You may wonder why I say, that they do not have experience.  If they have direct experience, they will not address a huge gathering.  Gurus will select only a handful of disciples and teach them directly.  They do not teach for money and in fact they do not even touch money. Their main intention is to share their hard earned knowledge to those who are really interested in spiritual process. They choose their disciples. You cannot make an unintelligent person to pursue a master’s degree.”

“Guruji, what is the difference between being religious and being spiritual?” I asked him without any hesitation.  I also know that my question is relevant here.  I do not want to proceed without thoroughly understanding each of his words. 

“If you are religious, you are bound to become spiritual.  There are lot of differences between a religious person and a spiritual person.  A religious person has lots of duties, as Holy Scriptures dictate him to perform several duties. These duties are to remind a person about different forces through which God acts.  Unfortunately, these are not understood in their proper perspective.  Many say that God is omnipresent and hence rituals are not necessary.  They are absolutely wrong.  I would even call them as atheists. You have to perform all the prescribed rituals till you become God conscious.  Once you realise the Self within, you don’t need to perform rituals. Rituals are meant to purify your mind.  Understand that by performing certain rituals, you cannot get away with your sins.  You have to undergo pains and miseries of your karma.” As he was speaking, his voice turned from being melodious to expression of perturbation.

“Spirituality does not arise all of a sudden.  You can’t undergo spiritual transformation from your present level. You have to gain extensive knowledge.  You cannot gain spiritual knowledge by whiling away your time.  Interaction with spiritual masters is very important, if you really want to begin your spiritual journey.  When I say spiritual masters, I refer to jivanmuktas.  Jivanmukta is a person who has already realized God and continues to live till he exhausts all his karmas. Liberation is not possible unless you exhaust all the traces of your karmas, whether good or bad.  This I will  explain in detail later” he concluded.

My mother announced that lunch was ready.  Guruji began to walk towards our house. The time should have been around 11:30.  My mother was waiting with a vessel containing water and handed over to guruji.  He first washed his feet, his face and finally his hands. He always hangs a towel over his left shoulder.  He is in the habit of frequently washing his face and hands.  After drying his face and hands, he waited for a few moments to get his feet dried.  Meanwhile, my mother went in and was getting ready to serve lunch.  She kept two freshly cut plantain leaves and asked guruji to take his seat. I was waiting for my guruji to take his seat. 

I pushed my plank a little backwards and ensured that my leaf is one foot behind his leaf. My mother began to serve.  He drank a glass full of water. When she finished serving rice, he took some rice in his hands and held it against his chest and murmured some words by closing his eyes.  He then placed the rice back in the leaf. 

“You should not speak while you are eating.  Not even a single word” he told me. Looking at my mother he said, “Please do not serve any item, unless the previous serve is eaten by us.  You should serve neither more nor less. If you serve more, excess quantity will be wasted.  If you serve less, hunger will not be fully satisfied.  If such a person curses you, there is a possibility that the curse could manifest.  Generally, if a person’s hunger is fully satisfied, he always blesses you and your family.  His blessings are bound to manifest.  This is the basis for serving food for the needy.  I am not here to say that everyone will curse you or bless you, but at the same time we should not take chances.  Taking chances is always risky. Knowingly we should not take chances.”

My mother simply nodded her head.  Taste of the food was extremely good and was totally different today.  It is not my mother’s usual stuff. 

“Why your Jimmy did not eat with you?” he asked.

I knew for sure that it is only because of guruji Jimmy did not take food with us. 

“This is the first time, he had not taken his lunch with us” I said.

“God has created creatures assigning certain places for them in the earth. A fish can live only in water and if it is taken out of water, it will die. In the same way, a dog is meant to be a guard.  A dog can listen to any sound that a man cannot hear.  God has created every being with a specific purpose and such species should be used only for that purpose.  Instead of a dog, if it were a pig, will you allow it to take his food along with you?  I am sure you will not, as pigs are the source of several parasites and spread them to humans. You may not know that a dog can cause vision failure.

“One is born as a dog because of its karmas.  You are trying to overrule the act of God.  Any violation of Nature is punishable under law of karma.  Jimmy is born here to undergo suffering.  You have not used Jimmy for the purpose for which it is born. It is your mistake and not that of Jimmy.  If someone gives you all the material comforts on earth, you will not work to make your living as everything you need is available to you.  In the process you become lazy.  God does not like anyone, who is lazy.

“A dog has to be a dog and a dog cannot be equated with a man.  You have to serve food to a dog only after you finish eating and not before.  A dog has to remain outside a house and not inside.  You must understand the law of Nature. I also love animals.  It is important that we should never torture animals.  We have no right to torture anyone.  Shankaraaaaa, your Jimmy’s life is coming to an end.  It will have human birth next time and will join you as your disciple.  You will pave for his liberation.”

(to be continued)