Sri Gurubhyo Namaha
These are 10 things which “I” learnt by talking to, observing, imbibing the values of my teachers. The glories in these understandings lie with them and the faults lie with me. There is no particular order, except for the first. The list is of course not limited to them but just something of the top of my head. I chose to make this list so I may remind them to myself now and again.
1. There is no substitute for Satsanga or Saadhusanga. A saadhu or a satpurusha takes nothing from you but gives you everything in his capacity for the sake of your spiritual progress. This is absolutely paramount for any spiritual seeker. Irrespective of the number of books one may have read, irrespective of the amount of cassettes/mp3s/generic talks one may have listened to, there is no substitute for being in physical contact with a live teacher. Any number of evidences can be given from tradition and history to show that this is true. Special cases like Ramana Maharshi do not deserve our attention in this respect.
2. There is nothing in this world which is deserving of our hate or enmity. Yes, I would include all the atrocities in this list too. There are only things to be done, to be looked into, to be changed, to be served; there are no things nor any people that deserve hate or enmity.
3. Whatever logic/Vedanta, etc., that one can talk about, it is important to be loving towards everybody and anybody whom one comes across. Simply asking their well-being in a caring and motherly fashion, and being a small support for them to raise to the next higher spiritual level, is itself the greatest spiritual work that one can do.
4. As long as you think you need something from this world, you are indebted to it and need to do Karma yoga. The moment you can stop caring about the states of your body-mind is the moment you are ready for Sanyaasa, which then is a logical progression and also your duty at that stage.
5. The mental state of happiness is a result of praarabdha and not a result of your achieving something, in the same way as sorrow is not a result of your achieving something but a result of praarabdha. Therefore it is wise to ignore both of these states and do what you came to do.
6. Never give even a day’s break for spiritual practice. The price to be paid for such a grave mistake will be very heavy.
7. Faith in God, in Guru, in Shaastra, in Dharma, in goodness, in Karma, is everything, until it is replaced by self-knowledge, which only fulfils the prior faith and does not demolish it.
8. As long as you consider yourself an individual, live as though there is only you and Ishwara. There are no second individuals either prior to Self-knowledge or later. All the above items in (7) should apply to you as a rule and to others as the message you embody through your life.
9. Do not sidetrack your personal spiritual journey for the sake of sensory-pleasures, family, country, world, or anything else. To do this, you should be ready to face the consequences of living a spiritual life, which could mean sacrifice with respect to all above aspects from a worldly person’s point of view.
10. Every place, position, relationship, etc. is something which one should grow out of. All Ashramas are meant to be left. All organisations serve a limited purpose. To stand alone and to be capable of giving shelter to all is the goal.