Question 1: What distinguishes a real guru
of Brahman from an ordinary teacher of the world?
A real guru never leaves the Self
even for one moment and is capable
of looking upon everything with a courage that cannot be destroyed.
Question 2: What makes a disciple into a disciple?
The disciple ideally knows the limits of all material pleasures
and is therefore only desirous of putting sorrow away for good.
Question 3: What are the qualities of genuine spiritual instructions?
The guru of the heart, who is the epitomy of the qualities of Brahman's nature,
lifts the disciple out of his self imposed attachment to duality
and reminds him of the undifferentiated nature which they share in common.
Genuine spiritual instructions amounts to revealing
what is distant to be more than near.
The disciple will eventually grasp how Brahman is never different from himself.
Question 4: If the guru is my Self,
then how are we to understand that no matter
how accomplished a disciple is in knowledge and occult powers,
he still nonetheless cannot become Self-Realized
without the aid of the guru's grace?
Although it is true on the absolute platform
that the guru is what is in your heart,
it is generally very difficult for the individuated soul
to climb to a sufficient height that will clarify anything and everything.
The mind, when in the company of the guru,
is automatically controlled and rendered very small.
Many in their arrogance boast of knowing everything
there is to know about Brahman and they even go so far
as to claim to be able to perform miraculous events.
When the guru of the heart speaks to them
in an authoritative tone, asking whether they have
seen the Self and have understood the Self,
such persons whimper away; hanging their heads in the gutters of ignorance.
Thus, never underestimate the sheer power of the guru's grace.
Question 5: What is the guru's grace?
The guru's grace is as abstracted as Brahman is.
Nothing, not even I, can properly speak of it.
Question 6: If it is unknowable,
then how can we know with certainty
whether we have been blessed by such an event?
Just as the elephant immediately wakes up after seeing
a lion in its dream, the disciple similarly spontaneously understands
his real position when confronted with the guru's dream like eyes.
Question 7: Why is the guru considered to be equal to the Supreme?
For the individuated soul who is devoted to true knowledge,
the Supreme manifests itself in a human form when
the individuated soul has reached the stage of maturity.
Absorbing the blessings of the guru,
the individuated soul recognizes how the Supreme
is non different from both the guru and the disciple.
Question 8: How, then, do we account for those great siddhas
who have become Self-Realized without meeting a guru?
To those who are mature enough already,
the Supreme shines its light fully
on such knowledgeable individuals.
Question 9: What is the final result of devotion?
To become conscious of how actions
which are performed selflessly
without the concept of "I"
renders every action into the action of the Supreme.
Question 10: What is the final result of knowledge and the Vedanta?
To be liberated from the desire to be the doer
and to realize that the "I" which you identify with
is in fact the "I" of Brahman.
Question 11: How are these two paths the same?
The Silence of samadhi destroys the "I" in both cases.
Thus, whether you take to working in devotion
or meditating on the Vedanta,
so long as the "I" is no longer present,
the goal and means of each path are practically identical.
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