Guru and the Light Within
By Swami Rama
If you prepare yourself to know the higher knowledge, then you will deserve. To deserve means to increase your capacity. You want to put the entire ocean in a bucket. The ocean is there. You can have it, but you do not have the capacity. When you deserve, you will have the capacity. The Lord, the Reality, the Truth, is always within you. You simply have to become aware. You can make sincere efforts to work with yourself.
Don’t be disappointed with failures. When you start to make sincere efforts and start to practice, you will find light on the path. The light itself will guide you. The light of consciousness is within you. If you ignore that light, the guide outside you, the external teacher, will be of no use to you. He will make you a slave. Every individual has certain notions. He also lives with his notions. He creates a following and millions of people are swayed and misguided.
Do you know what a guide means? The word guru has been vulgarized. Such a pious word is being misused. I call it guide. Do not depend much on guides. It is better for you to prepare yourself and remain awake. The scriptures say to wake up from the deep sleep of ignorance. Remain fully awake, remain conscious, and go on learning. Never close the door of learning. The day you close the door of learning you become ego, ego, ego.
In the Himalayas the teacher examines the student and the student examines the teacher. When my master sent me to various teachers he told me, “The teacher who can sit still for a long time is a good teacher because he has practiced something. Listen to him. If the teacher changes his posture many times in five minutes, do not waste your time there.” There are certain signs and symptoms that have been explained by the great scriptures. The scriptures help the student to know who is a good teacher so he does not waste much time. Otherwise, what are we teachers doing?
Suppose you want to go to New York. You come to Swami Rama for directions and Swami Rama says to go this way. You meet a different Rama on the way and he says, “Oh, come on! He does not know anything. Go this way.” And the student is very sincere. Then another teacher says, “Both Ramas are fools. Better go this way.” By that time the poor fellow has wasted twelve years and he is nowhere.
The word teacher means “knowledge.” The knowledge should be followed, not the individual personality of the teacher. The subject should be given prime importance, not the individual. Teachers have complicated things. Yoga science has suffered because of this. One teacher says, “This is my method.” Another teacher says, “This is my method.” The poor student is confused. After some time he finds that his mind, his individuality, and his pocket have been robbed.
When you become aware of the light within, and that light reveals the Truth to you, there are no chances of being misguided. Teachers come and go. From your external teacher just pick up that which is useful for you and leave that which is not useful. No doubt you need a teacher, a guide. I will never tell you that you should not seek and you should not learn from other people, or that you should not study books. Teachers only inspire you and make you aware of that Self-existence that you have forgotten. Their role is to make you aware of the Reality.
You do not need any new form. Christians should not become Hindu, Hindus should not become Buddhist, and Buddhists should not become anything else. They should remain as they are and not create any serious new problems for themselves. A known devil is better than an unknown devil. Remember this. Try to make your life happy wherever you are.
Yoga science tells you to go to the inner levels of your being and be guided by the light that is already within you, that leads you in the darkness. If you understand the light within, when you are introduced to that light, you will not crave for any outer guidance. Learn to make your abode in darkness so that you can see the light, but not the superficial light. Superficial light creates problems for you and does not allow you to see the light within.
When you start treading the path you will never find any difficulty, for the light is already within you. The light within you is coming out. When I look at your faces I find that they are different because of the light that has the power of discrimination. That light can correctly judge and understand and know. That light is higher than any other light of the sun, the moon, and the stars. That is why human beings are superior to all these lights that you see outside yourself.
In the light of the sun, in the light of the moon, and in the light of the stars there is no discrimination. The light within you has the power of discrimination. You can use that light to see the darkest corners of your inner chamber. For that you do not need outer guidance. The purpose of a guide, guru, or teacher is to introduce you to that light.
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