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Why does one distance himself from the Guru? || (2018)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Questioner: Pranam Acharya Ji! I somehow know that you are beyond what I, as a person, can know and experience. Not that I want to leave you or go somewhere else, however, why do I feel fear leaving Acharya Prashant as a person and his foundation? Why am I always dependent on something tangible or someone tangible who talks about the Truth? This dependence too does not seem right, and I feel I don’t have the courage to walk alone. I think I should give up all crutches and walk alone. Support is just dependence.

Acharya Prashant: If you were intending to discard all support, it would have been a greatly welcome happening, but are you intending to discard all support? Or are you so attached to support of one kind that you want to give up on the other support? Man is born with crutches; man is born dependent. Man is born, attached and obsessed, and fearful.

The role of the teacher is to bring you close to himself so that you can be torn away from all that which you are attached to. The role of the teacher is to firstly bring you close to himself, that is step one. Why does he bring you close to himself? Because you are obsessed with closeness, you are born dependent; you need someone to be dependent on. If you are not dependent on the Guru, then you would be dependent on the world. If you are not related to the Guru, then you would be related to the world, and you will have so many foolish relationships there.

So, step one has to be a step in which you get attracted to the teacher. Why? Not because the teacher derives any pleasure from attracting you but because you are someone who is a compulsive dualist. You cannot exist alone; it is compulsive upon you to seek support. Somebody else, the other, the dual. So, the teacher has no choice. He attracts you to himself. The next step is when you come quite close to the teacher. Having come close to the teacher, you start regaining yourself. Now, the need to be dependent reduces.

In step one, it was important that you come close to the Guru otherwise you wouldn’t have left your worldly compulsions, obsessions, crutches. In some sense, the Guru comes as a replacement, as a substitute. “You are getting attached to that, come rather get attached to me”, so says the Guru. But closeness to the Guru is qualitatively different from closeness to the world, let this be put across very clearly. When you are with the world, the world will ensure that you remain dependent on the world. In fact, the more you stay with the world, the more your dependency on the world gets solidified. On the other hand, when you are with the Guru, the Guru ensures that you do not remain dependent on anybody including the Guru.

So, the Guru liberates you first from the world and then from himself. There is a qualitative difference, but then there are foolish tendencies, foolish and cunning both. The student starts saying, "If I get close to the Guru, is that not the same as remaining close to the world because after all, I am remaining close to somebody. Be it the Guru or be it the world, I am still attached."

What the foolish mind does not see is that attachment to the Guru has a different quality about it. And I said not only stupid but also cunning because our greedy and fearful tendencies start sensing that when we are coming close to the teacher then our attachments and fears and stupidities are dropping.

If you do not see that, then others around you start seeing that and they just don’t like that the prisoner is breaking away. They just don’t like that one from their community is set to fly away. So, they start corrupting and instigating, they tell, “See, what you are developing is just another dependency. If you say I am attached to the cinema then, aren’t you attached to Acharya Ji’s YouTube videos?”

Most often, it is the husband or the wife or the father or the mother or the son or the daughter, who would come up with such a brilliant argument. "What is the difference between you and me? If I am watching movies, aren’t you too watching something? It does not matter what we are watching after all we are both just watching." This argument is the same as saying, "If I am eating poison, aren’t you too eating fruits? It doesn’t matter what we are eating, after all, we both are eating. So, we both are same, at the level of eating."

One has to acknowledge the unimaginable immensity of stupidity contained in this argument. Because you see, as we discussed in the first question today, coming to the Guru, walking the way involves taking a stand. It is not about indifference; it involves taking an affirmative and positive stand as well.

So, on the WhatsApp group if a video is shared where people are shown behaving like a flock of sheep, a herd, in the most stupid way, in the most conditioned and greedy way, then you need to take a stand and boldly declare that "Yes, this is indeed stupid." But if your wife or mother or friends are all doing the same thing and worse still, if you yourself are doing the same thing as the folks in that video are, then it hurts you.

How can you take a stand against yourself or how can you take a stand against your wife or your mother or your brother? So, you start saying, “Let’s not be judgmental please, let’s not criticize them. We all are just the same and equal.” Would you find a Buddha in that crowd, sir? How are all the same?

The path of Dharma is not the path of diplomatic, middlemanship. The path of Dharma is for those who can call a spade, a spade. Being with the Truth, first of all, necessitates that you call the false as false. And if you don’t have the guts for that, why do you call yourself a seeker or whatever? Why don’t you just drop out as you already probably have?

You are saying that if you are not with Acharya Prashant or the foundation, you would walk alone, would you? No, you would not walk alone, you already have a crowd that is telling you to leave Acharya Prashant. A lot of that crowd is in your mind, some in those crowds are in your house, the others are at your workplace.

You already are in and with a crowd. By leaving Acharya Prashant you won’t be walking alone. In fact, it is that crowd itself that is making you leave Acharya Prashant. But it requires devotion to the Truth to accept one’s falseness. It requires a great devotion to freedom to accept that one is in deep bondage.

What do you think, those who come to the Gurus become slaves? No, coming to the Guru is coming to ultimate freedom. Guru is not a monster who would kidnap you, arrest you, confine and lock you somewhere. Guru is the key to all locks; he opens the prison gate for you. He has no interest in keeping you with him.

In fact, a day comes when the Guru pushes you away. Even if you want to stay with the Guru, he says, "No more, you are big enough now. Your education is complete, your time has come. Go away, go!" And if you insist on still staying put, he kicks you away, but here is our wise man saying, “Being with the Guru is some kind of a bondage.” Go away!

Those who are not firm of mind, those who have contaminated devotion, anyway have nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality is not, I repeat, for the herd, spirituality is not for the feeble-minded or the chicken-hearted. It is an outright war. You need to be very clear about which flag you are fighting under. You cannot be indifferent here. You cannot be ambiguous here; a position needs to be taken.

In the name of avoiding judgments, in the name of compassion, in the name of equanimity, in the name of indifference; just check, you might be just protecting your fears, your pusillanimity.

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