Soma and the Pineal Gland – The Source of Mystical Experiences

Soma and the Pineal Gland – The Source of Mystical Experiences

“Stop seeking” is a piece of very common advice we get to hear often in spiritual circles these days. It would be great if that were to happen by merely deciding to be so. Unfortunately, such “non-seeking ness” doesn’t sustain for long. 

The mind can never stop moving, pondering and desiring. It is not in its nature to stay still by mere mental understanding or reasoning. After all, it is the mind telling itself to do something that’s contrary to its own nature. The seeking, therefore, will continue as long as something from beneath or prior to the mind doesn’t captivate it or hold it to itself. Something more powerful than the mind alone can manage to tie the mind down into non-seeking. 

The closest one can arrive into non-seeking state is by falling in Love. When one is in Love with another person, most problems simply disappear and energies begin to find a new sense of aliveness and joy within. Love is an extremely potent form of feeling/sensation that can often neutralize the anxieties, fear, disturbances, challenges etc that the mundane world brings forth. It is beautiful to be in Love and temporarily all problems appear to dissolve or drown in the presence or thought of the lover. But the downside is eventually the mind kicks in again by creating a world of fantasy and expectations. 

Unmet expectations lead to agitation and eventually a fall out of romantic love itself. This is unfortunately often the case.

Hence, the Yogis suggested we find the joy we seek within. They pointed out that a sweet nectar-like honey pot ever flows within us and through meditation, we can drink that divine juice which will finally silence the mind. 

They asked us to learn from bees. Bees don’t hover or circle around sugar. Sugar too is sweet but it is not honey. Once the bee finds the honey, it will stick to it and its entire world will revolve around the honey pot. 

What is that honey pot within you? It is Soma. Soma means nectar. A liquid of intoxicating bliss and joy that manages to captivate the mind and hold it steady like a bee to honey. Through soma, a yogi is able to maintain constant awareness without the interference of thought much like the bee is able to maintain a constant connection with honey. Nothing can divert a bee’s attention away from the honey pot. Similarly, the inner intoxication brought by Soma stills the movement of ever unsteady mind and emotions. 

How are we to access the Soma? 

Soma is pouring at all times from within our brains and into our whole existence but we may still miss it. Why is that so? Sometimes it could be raining so heavily but if the mouth of a vessel is kept upside down, it won’t be able even a single drop inside. It’s the same. The mouth of our vessel (attention) is often away from the direction where the bliss is pouring from.

So what is that centre within us from where such bliss, such joy ever flows? It is the pineal gland also called the third eye. The pineal gland is like a pine cone-shaped similar to the size of rice grain and is accessed through meditation on our 3rd eye (the space between the eyebrows).

When we stimulate the Pineal gland through 3rd eye meditation it releases soma in the form of various secretions. Soma is a collection of various secretions and chemicals. Pineal gland can, therefore, be compared to be a beehive which contains the Soma honey and can release it as and when desired as per the Yogi through various secretions and chemicals.

What are the chemicals released by the Pineal gland? 

Serotonin:

Neuroscientists say that the secretions of the pineal gland control and moderate one’s moods and experiences. If you have a very stable and sufficient pineal secretion, having a pleasant mood within yourself is not a problem. Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical produced in our body. It provides energy, alertness, and clarity to a person. Often when a person is depressed or low, it is due to a lack of serotonin in the brain. 

Melatonin:

Melatonin secretion by the pineal gland of the brain plays a pivotal role in the control of circadian rhythms thereby regulating sleep. The pineal gland is made up primarily of secretory cells called pinealocytes, which secrete melatonin at varying rates throughout our 24-hour cycle. The highest rates of melatonin secretion occur in the middle of the night; they begin to decrease as it gets closer to dawn. This schedule of melatonin release is maintained based on information about the amount of light in the environment that the pineal gland receives from the retina. The retina sends this information to a nucleus in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and from there it takes a convoluted path to the pineal gland. The significance of melatonin in maintaining circadian rhythms, however, and the pineal gland’s role in producing it, suggest that the pineal gland is an essential structure for the health of the central nervous system.

 DMT: 

The pineal gland has been also attributed to produce and release another mystical psychedelic compound called “DMT” (Dimethyltryptamine). 

According to Dr Rick Strassman M.D, the pineal gland contained all the enzymes and building blocks to make DMT. The pineal gland DMT is also called as metatonin. DMT produces visions of extraordinary nature like light, tunnels, OBE experiences, near-death experiences, buzzing sounds, interaction with and visions of higher intelligent beings etc. 

My own experience (in addition to the above) was exploding white light whereby my vision transformed and I could perceive the world to be a form of 3 D illusion like a holographic movie or images within space. This experience absolutely assured me that the world had no real substance or existence apart from the reality that all is held in a blissful empty space. DMT is similar to LSD except that DMT is natural, organic while LSD is a synthetic drug and of course more complex. Yogis can easily induce this chemical by simply focusing on the third eye stimulating the pineal gland. 

Oxytocin: 

On the stimulation of the pineal gland, we may experience the release of another molecule called Oxytocin. Its referred to as the LOVE molecule. This is the chemical that the brain releases when we fall in love. Soma is not a poetic expression or a romantic idea but an actual substance with chemical properties. This is now being scientifically proven through research. 

My experience 

When Soma is released in meditation (but awareness of the physical body is still present), then it is released as these chemicals (serotonin, melatonin, DMT and Oxytocin).

It is my absolute conviction and experience that through specific way of inner breath retention a meditator can induce specific neurotransmitters mainly serotonin and dopamine through the connection between the gut, spinal fuild and pineal gland. Same goes for melatonin (hormone responsible to regulate sleep) and DMT. 

The energetic connection between these three cause a certain liquid or “juice” to enter inside the pineal gland. Inside the Pineal Gland are tiny little calcite crystals. These crystals are known to produce bioluminescense, which is a form of light without heat. By stimulating the crystal’s within the pineal one can induce these chemicals to flow freely apart from experiencing higher altered states of consciousness. Kechari mudra, in my opinion facilitates the partaking of Soma immensely.

The Yogi over time and with regular practice can regulate and modulate these secretions as per his/her will resulting in the altered state of consciousness as mentioned by the neuroscientists.  

Imagine what it would be if those suffering from depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and other mental health issues could have access to a more natural, organic and holistic way which their own bodies can naturally produce, rather than depend on chemical drugs in form of pills with severe side effects. It’s too early to provide precise medical conclusive evidence (other than my own experience) but efforts are on in this direction. 

Finally when deeper absorptions happen in one’s meditation (when the awareness of physical bodily existence is not present), the effect of these chemicals becomes 1000 times more profound and powerful. 

One cannot call it a secretion or chemical anymore. No words can describe what happens to a Yogi in that state.

There is no Yogi left. The world becomes Soma. 

It is scientific and those who are willing to explore this should work on the third eye under the guidance of a Guru/teacher who has enough experience and knowledge about the functioning of the Pineal gland.  

~ Rajiv Kapur

The 3 Types of Pleasures

The 3 Types of Pleasures

Bhagavan Shri Krishna has laid down three types of pleasures: Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. 

Starting with sattvic, the Lord says (BG XVIII: verse 37) :

 

यत्तदग्रे विषमिव परिणामेऽमृतोपमम्
तत्सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तमात्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम्

That pleasure which feels like poison at the beginning, but becomes the very nectar of life towards the end, is sattvic, and leads to happiness.

         

Sattvic pleasures involve study and activities involving creative art like music, martial arts, painting, acting, learning languages, rendering seva and service to society, etc. to name a few. Meditation is highest form of sattvic pleasure.

These activities require discipline, commitment and hard work in the beginning but once mastered, they become big sources of happiness for oneself and inspire others to do the same.

The next type of pleasure is rajasic. On this, Bhagavan says (BG XVIII: verse 38):

विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगाद्यत्तदग्रेऽमृतोपमम्।
परिणामे विषमिव तत्सुखं राजसं स्मृतम्।।

That enjoyment which, arising from the union of senses with their objects, is at first like nectar but like poison in the end, is known as rajasic.

 

Most pleasures fall into this category. The type of enjoyment that is highly appealing in the beginning, but turns out to be painful later is referred to as rajasicRajasic pleasures are food indulgences (over eating), movies and music (excessive visual and auditory stimulation), total preoccupation with career, money, fame (worldly pursuits), etc.

Our senses are forever turned outwards towards objects to seek some form of pleasure and happiness. The “unholy alliance” between the senses and the sense objects, even though they look promising in the beginning, always results in pain later. Neither our senses belong to the sense objects nor do the objects belong to the senses. They deceive each other and can often lose interest in each other. When that happens it becomes very painful and the mind will remain agitated for a very long time unable to meditate. That is why I call it an unholy alliance. Hence, a wise person does not fall prey to such an insidious play between the two, and therefore moderates the needs and desires of the senses and their objects.

Most do not understand the need for “sense management” and often get swept away by the play of senses and suffer severe consequences later. If the senses are allowed to roam freely indulging in every object of desire either through thoughts (fantasies), actions, or both, it will always lead to agitation of the mind and interfere in sadhana. Attachment to sense objects will also lead to fear and anger and create further disturbances in our mind. By restraining the mind and body (Sama and Dama) towards such indulgences, we prevent ourselves from much pain and suffering and can easily focus on our sadhana.

Sense management through Sama and Dama doesn’t mean total abstinence. It means moderating our desires towards these pleasures, so that we don’t fall into cravings and urges which would agitate our mind. Total preoccupation and obsessions must be totally avoided and efforts must be made towards removing them if we are to succeed in our sadhana. 

 Last are tamasic pleasures. According to Bhagavad Gita (BG XVIII:39):

यदग्रे चानुबन्धे सुखं मोहनमात्मनः।
निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थं तत्तामसमुदाहृतम्।।

That pleasure which deludes the self initially and in its result, caused by sleep, lethargy and intoxication, that joy is called as tamasic

Unlike the two other types of pleasures mentioned above, tamasic enjoyments are those which do not make you feel good at any point. Tamasic pleasures are intoxicating substances of any kind, excessive sexual thoughts and desires, excessive sleep, etc.

They are distasteful at the very beginning, in the middle and until the very end. Not only are they distasteful, but they also dull the intellect, and do not allow the mind to remain focused and concentrated on any higher goal as one falls prey to false intoxication, lethargy, dullness and sleep.  YET, many people suffer from indulgences of tamasic nature. Why?  Because there is some sensation of joy which has to be acknowledged even though it is unwanted and destructive. It is toxic and is a perverse form of joy and pleasure. This is what makes tamasic pleasures different from rajasic pleasures. 

Such habits don’t go away easily due to repeated past actions of indulgence in these forms of enjoyments. Often those who indulge in them experience an uncontrollable urge and craving, and fail to get passed such habits. They also suffer from guilt and shame due to that.

One must never be disheartened despite repeated failures to overcome such addictions and obsessions, and strive harder each day. One will require supreme effort to overcome it but with conviction and devotion to the Lord (Higher OTHER) one can easily overcome such addictions.

With love and support from ever deepening faith in the Lord arrived through discernment (making conscious right choice) and daily meditation (at fixed time each day) such cravings can lessen in a matter of days, and finally one becomes free of being dependent on them. Once free from these pleasures one must NEVER try to flirt with them even to test one’s inner strength. One must forever guard against them and totally renounce such pleasures. If memory or craving arrives we must remind ourselves the of the limitations (dosha) and suffering (dukkha) that such pleasures bring about. Total abstinence is the requirement as regards pleasures of tamasic nature.

The Song of Kali

The Song of Kali

The Song of Kali

by Rajiv Kapur and Daniel Mills

The I-Am that I am is not just in the background; the I-Am that I am is also in the foreground.

The I-Am that I am in the background is in the form of Durga; the I-Am that I am in the foreground is in the form of Me, Kali. Together we serve Shiva, the Absolute. But know, O Wise Ones, that unlike Durga, the Kundalini, I have no interest in merging with the Absolute; I work independently.

The I-Am that I am in the background in the form of Durga manifests beauty in this world. Golden sunshine, sparkling streams, flowering trees, majestic mountains are all part of My creation. But when I, as Kali, arrive in the foreground, the sun, streams, trees, and mountains may still remain, but their beauty fades and vanishes.

The I-Am that I am in the background has always been given attention; the I-Am that I am in the foreground has always been ignored. That is why I, Kali, come for you with a flashing sword, eyes red in rage, face and breast stained with blood. Your cries of “Mother, Mother” cannot save you. Your Father, Shiva, the Absolute, cannot protect you. No one and no thing can rescue you. Know that for certain, O Children.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, am brutally fierce with any and all deep relationships you have established with anything, profane or sacred. Your misery, pain, and agony will show you I do not allow any trace of attachment or identification, lofty or lowly, to remain.

To know the Absolute, you need the blessing of the I-Am that I am in the background, but to recognize even a glimmer of Consciousness, you need My blessing.

Impure ones are obsessed with the world; pure ones are obsessed with the I-Am that I am in the background. But in the foreground, I, Kali, spare neither the impure nor the pure.

The I-Am that I am in the background is available as peace, stillness, joy, and bliss. But this is all lost to you when I, Kali, arrive in the foreground. I bestow the blessing of the destruction of your pride; I will burn you in the flames of True Wisdom.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground comes in three forms:

  • One to burn the seeds of habitual tendencies and vasanas.
  • One to dispel the results of past bad karmas.
  • One to deliver suffering, humiliation, and disgrace.

I, Kali, come as temptation, anger, and attachments in my first form,
As loss of health, money, and people you love in my second form,
And finally as old age, prolonged illness, ignominy, and death in my third form.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, see no difference between Jnani or fool, saint or sinner, spiritual or worldly. When I come, all doors to the I-Am that I am in the background will be closed.

O Proud Ones, remember that the I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, will destroy whatever pride and faith you have in Me as the I-Am that I am in the background. Indeed I am my own bane and adversary.

The I-Am that I am in the background deludes Jnanis, Yogis, and Bhaktas to believe their ego is gone; the I-Am that I am in the foreground reveals the truth that the ego never leaves you until your skin is burned, bones are crushed, and heart is wrung like a piece of wet cloth. The last shred of ego is never destroyed by any practice, means, path, Guru, or God, but by Me alone.

You cannot please Me through any penance, abidance, meditation, devotion, or good deeds. Nothing can soothe Me. Only the humiliation, disgrace, and helplessness that arrive by your defeat can satisfy Me. O seekers of Truth, know that this alone may calm Me and free you from My wrath.

When tremendous pain and suffering, humiliation and disgrace come, know that it is not a time for seeking or accepting. Both will be impossible. Meet My arrival by surrendering and enduring all, and taking refuge only in My ferociousness and brutality.

The I-Am that I am in the background can witness, accept, dissolve, and direct you towards the Absolute, but when I, Kali, arrive, none of that is possible. Know, O Wise Ones, that at that time, you are Mine.

Some offer Me mantras. Some offer their breath. Some offer various other sacrifices. Yet the One who pleases Me most is the One whose eyes are ever-resting on My feet, and whose heart is one-pointedly devoted to My Lord Shiva, the Absolute.

Intuit the Sacred Cavities in the Heart and the Brain

Intuit the Sacred Cavities in the Heart and the Brain

Imagine there is a dark room. Inside there is a lot of furniture, among which is a small cupboard containing a precious gem. You are asked to get that gem. But there are problems. Not only is the room completely dark, but the pieces of furniture are moving around at rapid speed. How will you ever get to the gem?
 
You will have to not just turn on the lights, but also stop the speeding furniture. You must find the gaps and spaces between the furniture to find the gem.
 
That is why, in order to find the Gem of the Self, we need both Awareness (turning on the light), and the ability to find the gap between our thoughts (speeding furniture). Let me say this again—we need both!
 
Fortunately, Awareness facilitates our ability to STOP the thoughts. Once we are able to “turn the lights on” by being AWARE, we will then be able to STOP the movement of our mental thoughts, be at the GAPs, and find our way towards the inner Gem. But to do so, you will first need empty space to move around.
 
Today’s meditation is a very special and advanced one. Moving beyond the head and the Heart means intuiting the hole or cavity in the brain and Heart where we can find unalloyed and uninterrupted Bliss and Joy.
 
We must strive to arrest the movement of the thoughts in order to locate the cavity of Joy in the brain. And we must also strive to arrest the movement of life force into the left side of the Heart, and locate the cavity at the right side. 
 
Now we will begin the process of intuiting the two cavities or holes—one at the Third Eye and the other at the Heart…
 
The first part of this process is done by freezing the brain through a deep looking-within. So begin by first simply noticing the flow of thoughts. We close our eyes, and allow our AWARENESS of the flow of thoughts to arrest its movement. These thoughts condemn, justify, and spin stories around themselves. We simply accept the Void, but not the thoughts. We trust the GAP and the Void. Thoughts are nothing but ways to fix, dominate, control, complain, and worry. They are RANDOM thoughts that create obstacles. We are letting them all go, and allowing them to disappear into the GAP.
 
IN THIS MOMENT WE DO NOT NEED OUR THOUGHTS.
 
We are allowing ourselves to feel naturally and completely safe and secure. We trust this Emptiness and Nothingness. And from this state of pure Nothingness and Void emerges a pathway within the Third Eye. And as we move within the Third Eye, we begin to experience total Void—the brain will be nothing but total space.
 
So the first pathway or cavity is in the Third Eye where the random thoughts are silenced. As thoughts begin to be silenced in our brain, we feel sucked into our Third Eye, where we begin to float in the Void inside.
 
Now we will begin the process of intuiting the cavity or hole at the right side of the Heart. The first practice of moving stillness into our Third Eye prepares us for this advanced process. Here you will meet the real you—the SELF.
 
The moment I mention the right side of the Heart, most of us will begin to move into the area of the chest, and try to stay there or move energy there. But that is NOT how Sri Ramana prescribed. He gave only one instruction called, “Summa Iru,” which means “JUST BE.” That means putting forth no effort to know the SELF, but simply Being. Sri Ramana gave this instruction because the more effort we will put into knowing the SELF, the more frustrated we will become. It all becomes a quest of the mind. 
 
But how do we attain what Sri Ramana instructed? The way to know the SELF is through the INNOCENCE of a pure Heart. And the first rule in attaining such innocence and purity is to be honest and AUTHENTIC. It is obvious that we have to be authentic all the time, and not just in our sitting meditations or other practices. It is not about forcing the life force into the right side of the Heart. No amount of forcing the prana to the right will help. 
 
We are not required to change anything. There is no demand except to be authentic and real in our search for the SELF. And to be authentic, I have to begin from where I am at this moment itself. Otherwise, I would be someone else. We must have the character and strength to allow and accept ourselves to be how and what we are, without the interference and manipulation of the mind.
 
Thus, the process here is entirely different. We are going to do nothing except allow and accept everything we are in this moment. We will not focus on any specific thing or area specific, but simply allow everything. We will allow all kinds of thoughts, good or bad. Allow all kinds of sensations, pleasurable or painful. Allow all kinds of feelings, loving or fearful, to emerge and arise. This will activate within us both the left side and the right side of the Heart—the left being our humanness, and the right being our Divineness. We will accept ALL.
 
We will accept our fears, our weaknesses, our desires (both human and spiritual), our conditionings, our defenses, our strengths, our purity, our impurities, and everything else that makes us what we are—what I AM.
 
There will be no judgments, nor opinions. Everything will be cast aside and I will simply relax into knowing both my left side and right side. I will accept BOTH totally. I will look and accept even the way I judge things—like my desire to be free and not bound by the limitations of my humanness.
 
I can also allow my mind to drift anywhere it wants to go, and I will simply remind myself to relax and accept. There will sometimes be a pull towards the left side with all its human desires, and sometimes towards the right with all its spiritual goals. I will accept BOTH equally, and allow the pull to take place. I will be patient enough to watch how this process unfolds. As it does, I will keep breathing and relaxing.
 
The right side will tell me what I NEED to do—be detached, be humble, and practice spirituality by honoring the life force and the breathing practices, and by serving others. Meanwhile, the left will entice me with what I WANT to do—be in the world, profit from it, and desire it.
 
Everything has weight—both right and left sides. This weight we carry is called “concepts,” and so both sides exert their pulls and influence on us. Accept and allow BOTH. Then RELAX. In this way, we can end the conflict between the two, instead of being a part of that conflict.
 
Simply watch, accept, and relax as ourselves, no matter what is presented within to us—material or spiritual. Nothing is specifically desired. BUT all is accepted. The body is NOT desired. The breath is NOT desired. Thought is NOT desired. Bliss is NOT desired. Peace is NOT desired. Purification is NOT desired. Worship is NOT desired.
 
YET, EVERYTHING is accepted and allowed! Neither the left side nor the right side is desired, YET both are fully accepted. When everything that arises from within you is accepted as it is, WITHOUT ANY FORM OF MANIPULATION, BUT WITH TRUTH AND HONESTY, then and ONLY then the cavity of the Heart opens up. Humanness is also Divine—just like the wave is also the ocean. So accept it all.
 
In this meditation, the left side of the heart (humanness) is also acknowledged. And in fact, it is allowed to be expressed as it wants, in terms of thoughts and feelings.
 
NOTHING IS NOT ALLOWED!
 
There is no resistance to any kind of feeling or thoughts, because we are AWARE that they come from either our humanness or divineness. And BOTH are accepted.
 
Please remember that “accepting” the feeling or sensation means continuing to persist in being with it for as long as needed to clear the pathway towards the spiritual Heart. But because we are not fighting with ourselves or any particular thought, and simply watching and allowing everything, we will save energy and be able to attend to THAT point where there is inner unity—where both left and right meet.
 
We are allowing the complex human body-mind and the spiritual body-mechanism to operate on their own will without any interference, except watching, allowing and relaxing more and more. Soon the feeling, emotion, and thoughts will dissolve and leave us in a state of neutral Void, or in deep acceptance and peace.
 
Automatically the left side will begin to dissolve into the right side, and the Spiritual Heart will begin to open up to receive Peace, Bliss and Love.
 
The vasanas of the left side will be consumed by the Wisdom of the right. Only when we learn to forgive ourselves, can we love ourselves, and only when we can love ourselves, can we truly love others. It is only then that our heart will begin to smile or feel warmth—will begin to LOVE.
 
In short, by allowing, watching, and accepting the pulls of both the left and right sides, we NEUTRALIZE the two, ending the conflict and effortlessly allowing the left to slip into the right. That is how clarity, honesty, authenticity and innocence emerge.
 
The moment the two sides meet, the conflict is over, and the door opens. The cavity and the hole become wide open. Love happens. The gate opens, God enters, and the ego drops. And that is how we begin to live our lives 24 by 7.
 
Through authentic living, acceptance becomes easier, and opens the window of innocence and purity for LOVE to HAPPEN—A LOVE not for just one person or a few people, but for everyone. Our hearts will become alive and will beat with so much Love that they will become gardens of beautiful, fragrant roses sowing seeds of newness and freshness each and every moment.

How to Recognize a True Guru

How to Recognize a True Guru

My dearest ones. Today is Guru Poornima — the day where we honor and worship our Gurus.

So who is a Guru?

In reality there is only ONE true Guru and he is always within us — in our hearts as our guiding light. Some call it the Self, some God, Christ-consciousness, Krishna-consciousness, Shiva, etc. But often we cannot hear its voice as we are in a trance completely besotted and infatuated due to the constant stimulation we derive through our connection with this world.

That is why a physical Guru becomes important… whose only purpose is to speak the language of the inner Guru, help guide you to Him where eventually you become one with Him. Therefore a big part of worshiping and honoring your inner true guru (which is the very purpose of this auspicious day) is to first recognize a real physical Guru. 

A real physical Guru is recognised by two things:

  • First by the message he gives, and
  • Second by the level of responsibility he takes of your spiritual growth.

In the message lies his wisdom, and in his responsibility for you lies his love and compassion. 

So lets first take what is the message of a true Guru. From the very beginning of Guru-Shisya tradition, the two messages given to every shisya is Abhyasa and Vairagya, which means Practice and Detachment. This was the constant message. 

The first message —  Practice — means bringing the mind under control, constantly watching its movement and redirecting all energies to higher spiritual centres at the third eye and the heart. This is very important, as the long time habit of the life force is to feed the senses and derive temporary pleasure from them by the constant interaction with the objects. By virtue of intense practice a seeker reverses that habit and brings the life force to eventually sink into the very source of happiness and joy and meet the inner Guru. 

The second message — Detachment — means being in the world, but not of it. The root cause of all our suffering is due to the various identifications we inherit from this world. It is very easy to get caught up in this love affair of the world. Therefore, one must be very careful and constantly watch if passions for the world and for its objects arise in the mind and bring the mind within as per the instructions of your Guru. 

So Practice and Detachment are the two basic messages given by real Gurus.

Now look around and you will find almost 90% of today’s so called teachers or Gurus never talk on that. In fact, they teach you just the opposite when they say nothing needs to be done, you are already free, there is nothing to attain and all you need is to be present —  here and now. They are all therapists, but not Gurus. All they do is point to a certain “stillness” by a practice of recognizing an awareness independent of thought which they term as “what is” or “now” or the “present” but such a recognition has only a temporary effect as the ego finds its way to pull you right back again into the world once the effect wears off. It lacks the intensity and depth that a sadhaka needs to reverse the life force back into the SELF for it to stay there. 

So you see, the very foundation of such new age teaching (on which your entire spiritual journey rests) is compromised as these teachings ignore the two most basic instructions given by our sages and saints.

Now we come to the second part of recognizing a true Guru.

Which is about the level of responsibility he is committed to take for you. A real Guru takes complete responsibility of a seeker, which means he is committed along with the seeker in respect of time given and efforts put. This means he is forced to be selective. He carefully chooses his disciples and works with them very closely through his physical and subtle presence. Nowadays the modern Gurus who hold so many retreats aren’t even aware of the names of those who attend their satsangs, let alone the progress he or she is making on the path. 

The path is not as easy as it is made out today. It is not about embracing life or making it easier, comfortable or happier “here and now”.

In reality the path with the Guru seems to do exactly the opposite, especially when one starts working with Guru. The Guru recognizes the egoic patterns based on habits and tendencies which want pleasure through stimulation of senses. The same ego then seeks momentary stillness by attending retreats and satsangs and finds some comfort in that. Hence many of the new age non-dual Satsangs today do nothing but feed the patterns of the ego by offering that comfort. They are, therefore, actually working against your real interest yet surprisingly they manage to thrive and grow exponentially because the majority of the seekers want to continue to indulge themselves with the pleasures of the world and are happy with the instantaneous ease and “spiritual” relief offered. It seems like a great deal earlier on, but a bummer later when 15 to 20 years have gone without any serious gains. 

On the contrary, a real Guru who works closely with his few chosen disciples, hits a disciple’s ego hard, repeatedly and relentlessly, till the disciple’s ego finally releases its hold and grip on his disciple. His method is not to induce comfort, but to bring you out of your comfort zone, to reverse the egoic pattern and ultimately to bring about its complete annihilation. 

Expiration (of ego), and not just inspiration, is the goal of a real Guru.

Those who stay long enough, and can endure the work that a Guru puts on him, ultimately knows real freedom, real joy and real love which is not of this world. Such blissful realization is not fleeting nor changeable according to the circumstances he or she is in, the presence or absence of anything. It stays forever blissful in the midst of grave calamity, or even if this world had to collapse. 

So you see the real responsibility of a Guru is to remind you of your responsibility, which is a life long commitment to never forsake or abandon the true goal of acquiring a human body/mind, which is Self-Realization. 

On this blessed day of Guru Poornima, I hereby conclude by reminding you of 3 things you need to do to serve and honor your Guru:

1) Practice
2) Detachment 
3) Unconditional surrender to the instructions of the Guru.

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