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Can the Guru assure you of liberation? || Acharya Prashant, on Nitnem Sahib (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
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अउध घटै दिनसु रैणारे ॥ मन गुर मिलि काज सवारे ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥ जा कउ आए सोई बिहाझहु हरि गुर ते मनहि बसेरा ॥

~ राग गौरी पूरबी, पाँचवा महला, सोहिला साहिब


The life passes day and night. My mind, meet the Guru so that he sets things right. Meet the Guru so that he attaches you to the recitation of the name of God. Make the deal for which you have come to the world. Recite the name of the God, and through Grace of the Guru The Lord will settle in your mind.

~ Raag Gauri Purvi, Fifth Mehla, Sohila Sahib

Question: Acharya Ji, your talks and pointings are the best things that have happened to me. Being an under-nourished soul, not reciting His name enough, my mind struggles with greed and fear. Please assure me that you are my Guru and you will take me outside the cycle of birth and death.

Somewhere inside me I can see that is still looking for a guarantee, but I can’t help myself. Today is my birthday, and I beg you for this eternal gift.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Goudhaman (the questioner), I am. And what I am is full of Love for you.

It is a promise that I will keep inviting you always. It is a promise that I will never withdraw or disappear. That should be enough. But going by your question, that is not enough for you. You want an assurance, a guarantee, as you said.

The role of the Guru is to be present. That is his being, that is his definition, that is who he is. And that’s not merely his role. Presence. The Guru is not going away anywhere, rest fully assured. But you are not assured, you want more. And you are saying that it is your Birthday, and you want a Birthday gift.

I said that the role, the Being, the very mandate of the Guru is to just be present. And ‘presence’ does not mean interference. The Guru’s presence is a passive one. It does not impose itself.

But through these words, you have asked for trouble for yourself, and for me.

You do not merely want a presence, you want a presence that assures you of itself. You want the presence that actively comes and tells you, “I am here.” You do not merely want the father in the house, you want him to come to you twice, thrice, four times in the night and check upon you. Therefore I said that you are inviting trouble for yourself, and for me.

I am anyway there, but now you have asked for a gift, I am gifting you my intrusive presence. That is not given to the Guru to do. In some sense, it is a violation of the Guru’s maryaada (dignity).

The Guru must be there, teach and stop, otherwise it becomes an interference in the Freedom of the other. I have repeatedly said that even God respects the Freedom inherent in Prakriti (nature) and Jeev (creature).

The ego too enjoys a certain Freedom that God does not meddle with, and the Freedom of the ego lies in being free to choose or reject God.

So God remains present, but never obtrusive. He lets the ego take it’s time, He lets the ego choose on it’s own. He may send messengers, he may create conditions. He may knock, he may show the Light. But he would never decide on your behalf, or live your life on your behalf. That’s the choice you have to make – how to live.

But if in Love the ego decides to surrender it’s freedom, then even God has no choice to accept the offering. God will never take away the little ego’s little freedom forcefully, but the little ego can offer it’s little freedom as a loving gift in Surrender to God.

And then that gift is accepted.

It is never taken, but it can be accepted. The assurance that you are talking of is actually a gift that you want to make. You are saying that you forever want to remain the student. In asking me to forever be the Guru, you are actually asking to forever remain the student.

In committing that you forever want to remain the student, you are actually surrendering your right to not to be a student. Do you see that? Apparently you have written that I am the Guru, and I must remain the Guru, and that is what you are asking for.

But it’s not something from me that you are asking for, I am anyway and always there. It’s something that you are asking from yourself. You are asking from yourself that you would forever remain a student. And in committing that you would forever remain a student, you are giving up your right to not be a student.

You are surrendering the little ego’s little freedom.

I said that it gets both of us in trouble. Because the ego does sometimes in a moment of Light, in a moment of revelation, in a moment of Love does surrender itself, and then later on it regrets. It says, “May I have that back please. You know I left something with you. Mera kuch saamaan tumhaare paas padaa hai (Some of my belongings are lying with you).”

But now that you are giving it, let me be a little greedy. I think that I will take the opportunity. But in accepting what you are saying, I said, “I am violating the Guru’s maryaada (dignity) and creating trouble for myself,” because this would now require a more active relationship.

Now I cannot just shine the Light, now I will have to enter your room. Are you getting it?That’s not really a Guru’s mandate. That’s beyond the Guru’s brief.

But Love makes strange things to happen, so probably this is going to happen.


I don’t want to find you complaining now. You asked for it.

Happy Birthday!

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