How to be a perfect receptacle of Guru’s Grace?

Today is 18th of July, 2008 and an auspicious day of Guru Poornima. As I feel the compassionate Grace and divine blessings of our Gurus flowing abundantly today, I can’t help but write down my thoughts that are stirring in me. They surely have something to give and say to us on this special occasion. With all my gratitude and complete humility, I bow down to the Divine Preceptors, who at the behest of God are assigned the task of giving spiritual teachings and guidance for the upliftment of the human soul.

Since morning, as the day has been progressing, my mind instead of concentrating on the glory and praises of the Guru, has been mentally occupied with a continuous stream of inspiring and thought raising questions. I am thinking today as to what are my responsibilities and duties towards my Guru? The Gurus are flawless and are constantly sending their divine vibrations, but how can I be more effective and receptive in receiving what they continuously give? How can my relationship with the Almighty, who is an Infinite teacher or Adi Guru and a friend or sakha be more purposeful? How to become an ideal disciple? How to receive the subtle vibrations and god messages from the Higher World? What are the noble qualities of a perfect disciple and how does he stand out from the other so many disciples? How to maximize learning in minimum time span in this life? How to please the Divine and the God given Gurus? What makes the Guru trully pleased and happy with his disciples?

As I think over the couple of  raised questions, I am reminded of the life and story of Eklavya, the great marksman of Mahabharat times. In those days, only the Kshatriyas, the warrior class were given the education and training of archery, shooting, horse riding and other martial arts. Eklavya, being the son of a bheel or the tribal was not qualified and permitted to be initiated in archery. So he used to hide behind the bushes and trees and observe Guru Dronacharya imparting daily lessons in shooting and archery to Arjun and others in the forest. Eklavya wanted to be the favourite student and wished to please Guru Dronacharya. He was keen to learn the nuances of archery and also longed fervently to be the best marksman in the land of Hastinapur. So he established Dronacharya’s image in a  stone idol in the forest and without telling him began to worship him and practising the learnt art after seeing him from behind the bushes without the Guru’s consent.

But as luck would have it, when Dronacharya found out that Eklavya was practising archery with his bows and arrows hiding in the thick forest in front of his idol without his consent and knowledge, Dronacharya was furious. Eklavya had installed his Guru’s statue, nestled him in his mind with devotion and began practising archery and became an expert and had also acquired the potential of a world class archer.

 But alas! Dronacharya was furious instead of being pleased with his devotion. To show his displeasure, he asked for his right hand’s thumb as a guru dakshina or teacher’s fee, which Eklavya very bravely cut off and offered to him without blinking his eyes. In turn, for this extra-ordinary act, he has earned a name and glory for himself in history as a classic example of a devoted disciple.

But now, when I review the story of Eklavya with a different view-point, I find myself ruffling some questions which give a new glimpse and perspective to the whole historical saga. Why did Dronacharya get furious with Eklavya and ask for his right thumb so essential for positioning and releasing the arrow from the bow? Why did not his guru bless him for his exceptional devotion towards him and to archery?

To me, these are the most probable answers that seem to be satisfactory and answer all my questions. And let me tell you that even earlier, this was one of the memorable stories that I have kept in my mind so that I emulate the qualities of a great student and learner from the pages of history. Here are some of the qualities that I feel are essential to adorn and play the role of a worthy student. So Mandira, please read to know what makes a good disciple rise in the eyes of his teacher.

Honesty. Be completely honest with your guru. Do not hide anything from him as a pure relationship such as that of a guru -shishya rests on one thing – trust. If you are honest, he will prepare and show you the kingdom of God. God will reveal Himself at the appropriate time to his follower and ardent devotee when the last traces of shallow egoism, craftiness and deception has been completely washed off from his core and inner being, called antha karan.

Do not do anything in deed or thought which will tarnish you and never hide or cover it up from your guru. In real sense, your Guru is the Parmatman or God residing in you so be pure in heart. Do not allow and mix the basal impurities of the mind to blend with the purity of your soul! Be as pure and innocent as your heavenly Father!

Eklavya was always competing with Arjun and wanted to supersede him and take his place and become Dronacharya’s favourite. To this, let me tell you Mandira, that we become special or favourite of our Guru because of our virtues and qualities of the pure soul and not because of specializing in some activity or skill! The qualities and virtues in us belong to the soul while the skills and talents belong to the mental abilities. Can you see the fine line and differentiate the two? Think about it.

The best guru dakshina to our guru will be our guileless and guiltless heart. That will make him most happy. If Eklavya had only wished to be the most superior archer in the world, it would have been a great thought. But he too like Karna, wished to compete with and beat Arjun and thereby become number one in the kingdom. Do you see and understand the fine point that I wish to bring your attention to?

The main aim and aspiration behind Eklavya’s whole endeavour was to compete and not excel! It is ultimately the thought and intention behind any action of a person which defines and decides the result or the fruit of his action. So in your lasting relationship with your Guru, the foremost thing to remember is- Be honest with yourself and your Guru both. Honesty pays. Do not attempt to hide what and who you are. Just be like a mirror in front of him. You will reflect Divinity!

 Attunement. The continuous turning in of the mind with the Mind of the Guru is the next essential requirement, my dear Mandira. A true guru is omnipresent and all pervading. He is ever present in the universe and instead of a monologue, a dialogue is possible if you keep your mind always focused on him. He will send you the necessary subtle thoughts, inspiration and spiritual guidance through telepathy, silent hints and meaningful gestures and suggestions in others in your environment. Read them! Decipher them! Interpret them! Soon you will get attuned to the constantly flowing divine powers in your life and you will be able to act on them. Like all other things, attunement also comes with practice. So practice it. Do not waste your energies in unnecessary talking, unproductive activities, gossips, arguments, lethargy and mental confusion. Stay calm, tuned, focused and interiorized so that you are ever prepared and enabled to pick up any subtle hint of guidance delivered to you as soon as possible.

The direction of the flow of the mind’s energy through the senses is outwards. Stop for a while now and then. Remember it and bring your mind to the centre of equilibrium time and time again. Be centred always. Do you remember the post on ‘awareness’? Read it again and this important lesson will be reinforced.

Devotion. Just as we offer fresh and clean flowers to God, likewise an untarnished and virtuous heart is to be offered to God!

Offer all your unnecessary, unhealthy and weak thoughts to God, empty out everything and you shall be rewarded in many enriched ways. It is only with devotion towards one’s guru that we are able to purify ourselves of all the contamination, demerits and shortcomings accumulated over the past so many lives. The Guru will show us through his stainless Spirit what is divinity. By emulating and following his footsteps, the muddy waters of the mind begin to settle down and we cast off the blemishes and stains ingrained in our psyche gradually. This process being life long, should be endured to get maximum results. So you see the guru is the cleaner, the polisher and the exhibitor of our Divine soul. So my dear child, give your heart and mind as an offering at the Guru’s feet. He will eradicate and sweep the muddy layers of the materialistic perception and attitude of the mind and in return give you devotion.

Devotion is the vehicle which will take us to God’s kingdom.

There are so many stories of devotion of great disciples and devotees down the lanes of history. Can you recall and get inspired by some of them?

Surrender Self surrender comes to a devotee once his heart fills up and brims over with devotion. It begins to flow naturally and the devotee submits himself completely at the holy feet of the Guru.  To me, surrender is not the annihilation and crushing of one’s personality as is widely believed. Surrender to the guru comes by itself with the knowledge that there is a Supreme Power, the highest Force in existence and that is reflected from time to time in the guru. So in fact, we surrender to the Highest Force which is ever shining in the divine preceptor.

The devotee realizes only with selfless devotion towards his guru that his self image and belief is untrue and deceptive and that he is incomplete and powerless. His understanding and perceptions are based on his false and changeable ego which is limiting and misleading. His ego is the sole cause of his restricted personality while his Divine guru is all powerful, capacitated and all knower in persona. As this knowledge dawns on him, he humbly surrenders himself and comes face to face with his true self. A true guru’s aim and mission is imparting self realisation through self discovery. Self realization leads to God- realization.

So dear, please submit your egoism and be humble always. Humility is a great gift and a virtue in humans and it is an indicator of the soul’s evolution.

Be a great learner. My dear child, our whole life is meant for attaining valuable education and continuous learning. Therefore never be shy of admitting that you are still a student and be a keen learner all your life.

Keep good friends, read enriching books and add value to your life. Be your own good critic.

Be open and receptive to criticism and correct yourself. Accept your mistakes and then take corrective measures. Be a good listener and listen attentively. Respect others and their views and ideas. Avoid arguments and in its place focus on what you can learn from the person and situations.

Look around yourself quietly and observe carefully. Wait patiently till your soul unfolds to you life’s hidden mysteries. That’s true learning!

At night before sleeping, evaluate yourself and your day sincerely. Pray to God to give you better understanding of things and his grace to uncover all the power and glory of your Spirit. Let your soul blossom and shine. God and nature work in silence. Come in contact with blissful silence. Attain peace and divine blessings.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti Om.

22 Responses to How to be a perfect receptacle of Guru’s Grace?

  1. Shilpa says:

    Thank you for this post. I needed it today!

  2. Shahid says:

    I always used to wonder what is the best guru Dakshina I can give to a Guru and I found the answer here in this blog:

    ” The best guru dakshina to our guru will be our guileless and guiltless heart. That will make him most happy. “

  3. Shahid says:

    Dear Sarika Mom, I found this short write-up on Nachiketa and it was inspiring to read, especially when he asks Lord Yama for knowledge of self. I am pasting it below for the benefit of other readers of this sacred blog :
    —————————————————————–

    The Kathopanishad deals with the complex matter of life and death, dealt in the simple manner of a dialogue between the lord of death, Yama, and a little boy named Nachiketa. The story of Nachiketa is an inspiring one, and is what forms the basis of the entire Kathopanishad.

    Nachiketa was the son of the rishi Uddalaka. Uddalaka was a great Rishi with great capability, but just one flaw – he was a miser. Once, he performed a great Yagna to please the gods. It is customary to donate cows, money, clothes and food to Brahmins during a yagna, but Uddalaka loathed spending precious money to make the donations. He sought an easy way out, donating old and weak cows past their milk-bearing stage, which no one would otherwise take, to the Brahmins who arrived for the yagna. Nachiketa was aware of this, and was deeply disturbed by the parsimony of his father.

    He attempted to speak to his father, warning him of the effect of his wrongdoing, but Uddalaka turned a deaf ear to his wise son. Nachiketa did not give up, but instead asked his father, “I too am your property, a property which does not yield any returns. Whom will you donate me too?” This question annoyed Uddalaka so much that he finally lost his patience and shouted, “I shall donate you to Yama!” Yama was the lord of death, presiding over the nether regions called ‘Yama Puri’, and Nachiketa decided to go there, as commanded by his father.

    As soon as Uddalaka realized what had happened, he repented for his anger as well his greed, and tried to persuade Nachiketa to stay back. However, Nachiketa was firm. He had been given to Yama in charity by the word of his father, and he would gladly go to the abode of death in fulfillment of his father’s command.

    Nachiketa found his way to Yama Puri, only to find that the lord was out, and wouldn’t return for 3 days. The guards refused to let him enter the palace in the absence of their master, and the little boy spent the 3 days and nights outside the palace gates of Yama, without a morsel of food or a drop of water! What endurance! and that too for a boy barely 7 years old!

    When Yama returned, he was stunned to see the child waiting for him at his doorstep, and was aghast when he learnt that no one had even offered him food or water for 3 days! He reprimanded his wife and servants, and ordered them to serve Nachiketa at once. He himself took the little boy inside and fed him with the choicest delicacies, and made him comfortable.

    However, he still felt responsible for violating the rules for treatment of a guest, and, in an effort to make up for it, said, “Nachiketa, I have sinned by making a Brahmin child like you wait without food or water. Allow me to cleanse myself by offering you three boons. Ask for whatever you wish, and it will be yours!”

    Nachiketa explained the situation to Yama and said that as per his father’s word, he was now a property of Yama, and that he would stay back in Yama Puri as his servant. But Yama pacified him, and assuring him that he was relieved from his bondage, and insisted that he ask for the 3 boons he wanted. Finally, Nachiketa replied, “Lord, thank you for welcoming me so warmly, setting me free of bondage, and offering me the boons. My first wish is that when I return home, my father should welcome me warmly, without any ill feeling.” Yama replied “Let it be so.” Nachiketa then said, “My second wish is that I acquire the knowledge through which I can attain immortality and go to heaven.” Yama was pleased and taught him the secrets of the sacred fire which unveiled the secrets of heaven and immortality. Nachiketa learnt this so fast and easily, that Yama further declared that this fire would henceforth be known by his name, as ‘Nachiketa Agni’.

    It was time for the third and final boon. Nachiketa asked for the knowledge of self – Atma gnanam – which is also the secret of life after death. Yama was stunned that such a little boy could ask for such a profound knowledge, and tried to dissuade him, offering him wealth and heaven, instead. But Nachiketa was steadfast. He said to Yama, “you are the only one who can grant met this knowledge, and this is all I want from you. Please grant it to me.” Finally, Yama realized that this little boy was a great soul, and was ready for this profound wisdom, and taught him the secret of ‘OM’, which is the greatest knowledge of all.

    Thus was Nachiketa enlightened, and when he returned, he was warmly welcomed by his father and the other rishis, and he grew up to become a great rishi himself before attained the heavens, free from death.

    The story of Nachiketa inspires us to be kind to animals, generous with our fellow-men, respect our parents and be steadfast in our resolve.We also learn that Divine knowledge
    is more valuable than worldly luxuries.
    ————————————————————————

  4. Shahid says:

    Thank you very much Asim bro. Shall check out this video 🙂

  5. Shahid says:

    Happy to read this post today morning mom.
    THANK YOU again God, Beloved Babaji, All the holy masters and
    dear mom for this GEM of a blog.

  6. midhunpk210 says:

    ohm namo bhagavade vasudevaya.

    dear ma,

    this is really a valuable and wonderful read and teaching.

    honesty, selfsurrendering, attunment, devotion, learning..

    I have read it carefully. will read it again.

    thanks a lot for this post ma,

    May god bless each spiritual wanderers to reach their destination.

    With love,

    Midhun Pk

  7. Shilpa says:

    – Gurus are flawless and are constantly sending their divine vibrations, but how can I be more effective and receptive in receiving what they continuously give? How to receive the subtle vibrations and god messages from the Higher World? How to maximize learning in minimum time span in this life? How to please the Divine and the God given Gurus?
    – Honesty. Be completely honest with your guru. Do not hide anything from him. Be as pure and innocent as your heavenly Father!
    – Attunement. The continuous turning in of the mind with the Mind of the Guru is the next essential requirement. keep your mind always focused on him. Do not waste your energies in unnecessary talking, unproductive activities, gossips, arguments, lethargy and mental confusion.
    – Devotion. Offer all your unnecessary, unhealthy and weak thoughts to God. give your heart and mind as an offering at the Guru’s feet.
    – SurrenderSurrender to the guru comes by itself with the knowledge that there is a Supreme Power, the highest Force in existence and that is reflected from time to time in the guru. submit your egoism and be humble always
    – Be a great learner. Keep good friends, read enriching books and add value to your life. Be your own good critic. Be open and receptive to criticism and correct yourself. Accept your mistakes and then take corrective measures. Be a good listener and listen attentively. Respect others and their views and ideas. Avoid arguments and in its place focus on what you can learn from the person and situations. At night before sleeping, evaluate yourself and your day sincerely. Pray to God to give you better understanding of things and his grace to uncover all the power and glory of your Spirit.

  8. pandey2 says:

    Ma,
    Most of us would have read the story of Eklavya, but i am sure most of us (at-least I never) thought about the point which you have mentioned. We always read one side of story and thought Eklavya as a victim. When i read this post probably a year before it puzzled me. Today i read it again and got much needed clarity..

    -A pure relationship such as that of a guru -shishya rests on one thing – trust.
    -Do not attempt to hide what and who you are. Just be like a mirror in front of him. You will reflect Divinity!

    We become special or favourite of our Guru because of our virtues and qualities of the pure soul and not because of specializing in some activity or skill!…………… Very delicate points Ma..

    -The qualities and virtues in us belong to the soul while the skills and talents belong to the mental abilities.

    We always get amazed by how Eklavya happily cut his right thumb without any second thought. In today’s world It is rare to get such amazing devotee considering he had desired to compete with Arujna……but..

    -The best guru dakshina to our guru will be our guileless and guiltless heart. That will make him most happy.

    Some other key points i took note are:
    -Be centred always. Keep your mind always focused on Guru.
    -Give your heart and mind as an offering at the Guru’s feet.
    -Humility is a great gift and a virtue in humans and it is an indicator of the soul’s evolution.
    -Never be shy of admitting that you are still a student and be a keen learner all your life.

    Thank you for this enlightening post on how to be an Ideal disciple..So many finer points and it takes multiple reading and contemplation to digest just few.

    My Humble Pranam Ma.

    I bow down to you, Babaji and all divine Masters

  9. Resham says:

    What an enriching post, Maa. No words to thank you for the beautiful and well explained points to help us know the essential qualities to be an ideal devotee/disciple.

  10. Resham says:

    No matter how much I read it, it is not enough . …

  11. Surbhi says:

    A true guru is omnipresent and all pervading. He is ever present in the universe and instead of a monologue, a dialogue is possible if you keep your mind always focused on him.

    These lines touched my heart. It is our will power to overcome the delusion of maya and get attuned with the Guru.

    • spiritinlife says:

      As they have been rightly saying-The Master arrives when the pupil is ready. This hold true for you also Surbhi.
      A Self Realized Guru won’t expect you to exert too much because of his own highly accomplished divine powers. Is contribution is far more than anybody knows.
      Our job is to have that will and earnestness to liberate ourselves now and here. Overcoming the delusion of Maya rests mainly on us. If we wish to overcome, the Guru will give you those experiences which will remove the cover of illusion from your eyes.

      • Surbhi says:

        Sarika Ji,

        How I wish I can have glimpse of my Guru, but my soul is not ripe enough for it now, but my Guru is kind enough to bless me with your guidance.

        Surbhi

  12. midhunpk210 says:

    “It is only with devotion towards one’s guru that we are able to purify ourselves of all the contamination, demerits and shortcomings accumulated over the past so many lives”

    Pranam ma..You composed everything about which needed for a desciple in his journey to divine, We benefit it so much..& countless aspirants will benefit each word of this sacred blog in future.may we all learn effectively & achive the ultimate target. Surrendering to you in all aspects dear god & Gurus. Thank you so much always ma..

  13. Shahid says:

    ” We become special or favourite of our Guru because of our virtues and qualities of the pure soul and not because of specializing in some activity or skill! The qualities and virtues in us belong to the soul while the skills and talents belong to the mental abilities. Can you see the fine line and differentiate the two? Think about it.

    The best guru dakshina to our guru will be our guileless and guiltless heart. That will make him most happy. If Eklavya had only wished to be the most superior archer in the world, it would have been a great thought. But he too like Karna, wished to compete with and beat Arjun and thereby become number one in the kingdom. Do you see and understand the fine point that I wish to bring your attention to? “

  14. Shahid says:

    ” Be open and receptive to criticism and correct yourself. Accept your mistakes and then take corrective measures. “

  15. Shahid says:

    On this Guru Poornima day, I would like to thank you dear mom again for bringing this Holy Blog into this world. This blog has guided me, comforted me, filled me with peace and has helped me in ways I may not even know. This blog is like a holy sage itself. Thank you Holy blog for being so easily accessible and providing comfort and peace to so many around the world. Thank you God, Guru’s, all the masters and mom for speaking to me and guiding me, through this blog. May the grace of the Guru shine on us all and awaken us to the Guru- consciousness within ❤

    • spiritinlife says:

      My dear, dear child Shahid, indeed what you say is so perfect! I see our blog as a spiritual tree, a Banyan tree, a holy sage, a meditating yogi, a big light of golden drops and a perfect place of peace and silence.
      You are always welcome Shahid, I am sure there is so much more this blog can give you so do your soul journey without any interruptions.
      Yours Mom

  16. Neeta says:

    Dear Ma..
    thank you for this lovely post..so many times one tends to falter and go back to old tendencies..but a great Guru like you has the power and foresight to bring one back on the track.i will always remember the qualities that make a good disciple( honesty,attunement to the Guru, devotion, surrender, learning ability) .
    We become special or favourite of our Guru because of our virtues and qualities of the pure soul and not because of specializing in some activity or skill!
    Deep gratitude and love

  17. Supriya says:

    Dearest Ma,
    I am in search of a Guru. This post has gave me a valuable guidance on what are my duties and responsibilities as a seeker ,as a deciple. I understood that first I need to have good qualities and virtues.

    Devotion, Attunement, surrender, and be a good learner are really the essential qualities of a ‘shishya’. I will always remember and implement it.

    As you mentioned “Offer all your unnecessary, unhealthy and weak thoughts to God, empty out everything “, I will strive to fill my heart with all good and sefless thoughts.

    I will practice and become humble and a continuous learner.

    Thanks Ma for these pearls of wisdom.

    Ma, Wishing your blessings in all my endeavors.

    Yours sincerely,
    Pranam Ma,
    Supriya.

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