Serve the Yogis
Yogi means ‘the one in whom is at-one-ment’. It means the individual soul that is in eternal union with the Universal Soul. A yogi lives as soul in eternal link with the Universal Soul. He never separates himself. His natural state is That I Am. To give it in the terminology of Jesus Christ, “I and my Father are but one.” It is a situation, which can be called ‘one in two’ or ‘two in one’. A yogi does not separate himself from the Universal Soul. He lives in a non-separate state. It is a natural eternal union. Separated state is called viyoga, non-separated state is called yoga. The other terms used for Yogis are Initiates, Masters, Teachers, Saints, Swamis, Babas. These terms indicate the realised state of a being.
Serving such ones would help an occult student to gain the touch of the soul. These Initiates come to serve the world. They seek not service from the beings around. They are examples of givers, but not seekers. Serving such ones who serve others and do not seek service is a joyful experience. It is not easy to serve the Yogis. For the simple reason, their actions many times seem contrary. They are only seemingly so. Men with concretised mind and intellect get perplexed when they serve a Yogi. Many times the servers who gather to serve walk away due to lack of understanding. Many more times, the servers when they serve a Teacher, they become proud and by their own pride they distance themselves. The Masters or the Teachers through their inexplicable behaviour pose challenges to the students of mental and intellectual plane. At the same time the students receive the subtle touch of the soul that transforms them abundantly to gain the touch of the soul. The personality of the serving student would like to get away from the Teacher, but the soul of the serving student would like to stay in association. Thus for long years the student lives in oscillation. He can neither stay, nor can he leave. This is the subtle way by which the Teacher initiates a battlefield in the serving student. The battle is between the soul and its personality. The Teacher waits to witness and to guide, if sought. That is the secret of Krishna being in the chariot of Arjuna making himself available. He advised Arjuna only when sought. He remained silent otherwise.
Arjuna served the Master, Krishna, therefore the Master made himself available to Arjuna. Arjuna is the student. He is our representative, the representative of humanity. Krishna is the Teacher, the representative of the Hierarchy. The former is the personality, the latter is the soul. The presence of the soul enables the personality to orient to the soul, but the effort to orient rests only with the personality. Light is always light. If one orients to light, it is helpful. If one does not, the light does not lose anything. It is for the personality therefore to orient to and to gain the related light.
Pride and Prejudice
When pride prevails one cannot serve the Teacher, the Saint. Pride is the most formidable of the thresholds that man needs to cross. Pride is supported by prejudice. When there is pride, prejudice is active. Prejudice tends to judge. Such judgements are far from justice. They are far from correct perceptions. Perceptions go wrong, when there is pride. With incorrect perceptions when judgement is done, such judgements mislead. Only when soul prevails over personality, right perceptions happen. The soul cannot prevail over personality when personality is filled with pride. It happened to Arjuna. It also happened to Hercules. Many times it happened with many world disciples when they were not oriented to their Teachers.
Serving the Teacher includes all-round doing of service in the physical plane. The Aryan Dharma says, “Physically serve the Teachers and gain the subtle wisdom they teach through their silence, subtle actions and casual utterances.” Profound teaching is expressed through casual utterances. Keys are given to wisdom in casual utterances. Structured teaching is only a general teaching. Casual and cryptic statements unfold volumes of wisdom.
Proximity to the Teacher
To serve a Teacher it becomes necessary to be in proximity to a Teacher. Proximity is a facility and is also an impediment. It is like being proximate to a blazing flame. It is helpful when alert. It is also dangerous, for it can burn. It is the quality of Sraddha which enables the student to gain the proximity of a Teacher. When the student falters at Sraddha there is a drop in the degree of alertness, which amounts to placing fingers in the flame.
That is why working with a Teacher is compared to walking on a razors edge. Slight drop in alertness can result in a severe injury. The severity of the injury is primarily because of the tremendous speed. The otherwise slow and gradual transformations which a student would undergo by the method of trial and error over long cycles of time suddenly attain unimaginable speed in the proximity of a Teacher. It is said that the learning and transformations that are even difficult to be attained through strenuous efforts in twelve births can be accomplished within a span of twelve years when in the proximity of a Teacher. It is this speed of events to which the student is subjected to for quicker progress which demands a high degree of alertness for comfortable and safe journey. Thus unless one is exceedingly alert, one cannot function in the proximity of a Teacher for long years.
Light also has shade in its proximity. A lamp transmits much light into the surroundings, but down under the lamp there is the shade. Many times through illusion when the student succumbs to the pride of being proximate to the Teacher one dislodges oneself from the light being transmitted by the Teacher and falls into the shade. This is much more so in Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga itself is defined as ‘searching for light in the shadow of the lamp’. How can anyone help when someone is searching for light in the shadow? That is the only little place, where light is not. This is how students working proximate to the Teacher are susceptible to the fall into the shade of the light due to their pride of proximity which in turn manifests through them by their exhibition of possessiveness over the Teacher, exhibition of control over co-students and incorrect interpretation of Teacher’s teachings. They even fall in to the gossip relating to the Teacher, whom they really know not.
Lucky are those who relentlessly pursue to be in the presence of the Teacher even while in proximity. After all it is the presence that causes silent transformations. To them the touch of the soul happens effectively and the bindings of the personality yield. Unfortunate are those who gain proximity and lose the presence.
Personality is bound, as I said earlier, by pairs of negatives, namely pride and prejudice, ambition and fear, suspicion and possessiveness, comfort and sleep, anger and irritation, ignorance and illusion, desire and aversion. These pairs coil around the personalities and hold them tight. These coils are like the coils of the python that binds a man head and foot. Such a one cannot help himself, since his hands and legs are also bound. He can be helped only from an agency, which is beyond such bindings. A Teacher is unbound. Therefore he can help releasing the bondages. The purpose of Hierarchy is to release the humanity from the bondage of its concretized personality.
One has to be very alert, alert to perceive the subtleties of the Teacher. Special wisdom can be noticed by those who perceive these subtleties. To such ones the path remains joyous. The joy comes not from outer events, but from the inner revelations. The minimum period for serving a Teacher is said to be twelve years, while the maximum is said to be thirty years.
Even among the students who serve the Teacher, the ones that excel in service are taken by the Teacher to a different grade called ‘son-ship’. Those are the ones through whom the Teacher continues to work, while others transform into disciples (accepted aspirants) and carry on the work with his inspiration.
The period during which the student stays in the proximity of a Teacher is called the period of internship. During this period the student is within the aura of the Teacher. In this period of internship the student needs to turn inward, internalise to experience the aura. The aura of the Teacher expresses as the inner light to those who internalise. Thereby the student gains guidance from within. The Teacher outside is apparently in the human form, while his light is generally hidden. The Teacher inside is not of the form of flesh and blood. He is of auric light. The experiencing of the Teacher inside enables the student to make inner contemplations.
Self-realisation is the Goal
The purpose of being with the Teacher commences from this point of internalisation. Self-realisation is its goal. Unless one learns to internalise, one cannot gain much light, one cannot gain this light of the Teacher. The Teacher does not pronounce this. It is for the intelligent students to grasp it and work with it. This process leads to insight and vision. At this stage one would like to internalise much more than moving in the objectivity with the help of the objective mind. The subjective mind becomes active.
Man’s mind can move inside as well. Man learned to move only outside with the help of mind. That is how he trained the mind. Now he turns to another training of the mind: of turning it inward and moving inside. An occult student is one who can move into subjectivity with as much ease as he moves in the objectivity. The mind is subjective and objective. It can turn inward. It can turn outward. Mind is a mirror. It remains a mirror and reflects according to the direction that is given. The mirror can be set to the West (objectivity). The mirror can be set to the East (subjectivity).
Be an Observer
The Teacher does it with facility. The student can follow with ease, since there is a demonstration. Staying inside, turning the mind inside would lead one to observe what thoughts and what patterns of thoughts prevail in oneself. The person is beyond these patterns of thoughts. To be able to stand beyond one’s own patterns of thoughts, the technique is to observe one’s own thoughts. This has to be done over long years of practice. The thoughts do not let the person observe. The thoughts kidnap the person. Each time one is kidnapped by a thought, he needs to make effort to stand once again as an observer.
Thoughts cause movements of energy. When one gains the facility to be an observer of one’s thoughts, he stands out of these movements. Only with his cooperation thoughts move. Only with his cooperation there is the movement of pulsation and respiration. As one tends to observe the thoughts, the rate of production of thoughts gradually reduces. Along with it the speed of respiration also reduces. As the movement reduces the practising student starts experiencing the comfort of being inside. He also starts experiencing that essentially, he is the stable one that enters into the mutability. He recognises that in the inner side of his being he is immutable and in the outer layers he is mutable. From time to time he thus enters into subjectivity and the related stability. In that stable state he would only experience subtle pulsation, which trumpets the truth, That I Am.
Thus the student becomes an insider, indweller. Such indwellers receive more attention of the Teacher. They receive greater measure of light as also the magnetic impact, which should enable them to get deeper and deeper into oneself. He gets into experiences, which are hitherto imperceptible and intangible. It slowly leads to an understanding that the indweller has access to the subtle world for experience, whose joy is many times more than that of all experiences of the gross world with the help of the gross body of outer mind, senses and body. The gross body is then seen as a vehicle for the outer work. During times of contemplation and meditation the outer vehicle is parked and the inner vehicle is taken for inner experiences. In the subtle, one experiences with the help of the subtle body. In the gross, one experiences through the gross body. The subtle body is the replica of the gross and vice versa. The presence of the Teacher enables this transformation faster. Likewise the Teacher subtly imparts teaching and training to enable the student even to shed, to park the subtle body and enter into causal body. Thereafter even the causal body is parked to experience just as soul. At that state the experience is only of That. That I Am is the experience of the soul. For this reason the soul is called the vehicle of the Spirit. The soul in turn can function in the causal plane with the help of the causal body, in the subtle plane with the help of the subtle body, and in the gross plane with the help of the gross body. Such is the facility of the Teacher’s presence through which he would lead the sincere student to go through these transformations.
Thus the soul has three bodies of three different gradations and the related radiance and magnetism. The soul once realised has the facility to enter either of the three bodies and exit the three bodies. Mystically this is stated as, “Man has to die three times before he realises himself.” Understand, death means departure. There is no death as such. Such is the beauty of transformation that happens. Therefore one cannot just limit oneself to the gross form and stick to the gross name of that form. We have different names in different states of Be-ness. Names are but codes to function in different states. Unfortunately in spite of this knowledge being imparted, students still very strongly stick to their names and forms, to their gross names and forms and to all that is related to it. In all such cases the Teacher waits. Serving the Teacher is the sixth commandment. Service to the Teacher has in it the goal of self-realisation. As you realise the goal, you also realise what the Teacher is. The Teacher also reveals as much as the student stands for revelation. There are many more dimensions to this commandment. A dimension is presented here.
The Teacher is a Vehicle of the Divine
Lord Krishna also strongly recommends serving the Teacher who holds the keys to action, to wisdom and to self-realisation. The Teachers are yogis, are representatives of the Divine. Through them the Divine sees. Through them the Divine listens. Through them the Divine talks. Through them the Divine gives touch. Aspirants get abundantly benefited in the presence of a Teacher. Just like an iron piece gets magnetised in the presence of a magnet. The Divine presence flows through the Teacher or yogi, and it makes itself available to sincere aspirants. The purpose of Teachers on planet is to be available for the sincere seekers. The Teachers look ordinary, but they are extraordinary. They are the vehicles of the Divine, like Jesus, Pythagoras, Maitreya, CVV, Ramakrishna and a host of others. These Teachers live among the people. They remain common among the commons. But they are the uncommon ones. The Teacher remains neutral and lets the Divine work through in the surroundings. The Teacher has no specific program of his own. The program of the Divine is the only program of the Teacher. He witnesses the play of the Divine into the surroundings through himself. He witnesses that the Divine blesses some. He talks to some others. He touches yet others. He smiles at some. He is serious with some. He is silent towards some and he is talkative to yet others. The Divine does different things with different aspirants that gather around the Teacher. The Teacher remains impersonal. The Teacher knows that the Divine is at work and remains alert to enable the Divine to respond to the aspirants in the surrounding according to their present needs. What the aspirants need is different from what the aspirants desire. They know not to desire what they need. They generally feel their desires as their needs. The Divine fulfils not desires of the aspirants but fulfils the needs, if the aspirants are oriented.
For aspirants to get right orientation, the key is to serve the Teacher at all levels, i.e., to serve him at the physical plane, to cooperate with his work, and to be generally available to the Teacher to any assistance the Teacher may need at his personal level. Serving the visible Teacher pleases the invisible Divine. And the Divine in turn transmits keys. The keys are essentially three. One is the key to action. When the key to action is realised by the aspirant, one will stop acting in a manner that binds oneself for the present or for the future. Action is realised as a joyful function with no strings attached. The key to action liberates the aspirant from karma. Secondly, the key to wisdom is given to enlighten one’s personality and attain soul consciousness. Thereby the aspirant grows into greater measure of light. The third key is the key to self-realisation. This is given as a technique of prayer or worship or meditation. This will enable the aspirant to realise the self. All these keys are transmitted by the Divine through the Teacher to the aspirant. Therefore serving the Teacher is a key by itself which opens doors to all other keys.
Lord Krishna gives this key in the fourth chapter of Bhagavad Gita as the 34th sloka. The sloka says, “Know that through humble, dedicated and devout service to the Teacher one would receive from the Teacher the knowledge, the knowledge of self, of creation, and of all that Is.”
… to be continued