choosing a spiritual master | seeker's guide

Paramhansa YoganandaEverything that is transient is not necessarily Divine. Not all powers contribute to a righteous path. Visions, voices, astral projections, auras, levitation, predictions, communications with the dead and other similar feats are dangerous. They are all possible, but they do not lead to God. They empower us temporarily. They make our ego believe that we are special. But all these powers soon sour, cause illness, distress and depression. They are detours that confuse, if not destroy our true seeking.

When choosing a guru (spiritual master) or seeking groups, ask the following questions:

1. Is money taken at any time? (the truth cannot be owned, nor can it be bought or sold).

2. Do your teachers pressure you like salesmen? (you should know the value of their path by your own conviction, not by the number of books you read, classes you attend, or pledges you make. Truth is not dependent upon salesmenship).

3. Can you, yourself, feel the effect of the technique? (do not be satisfied that you will be in an "inner circle" at some time in the distant future).

4. Do they clothe you in unusual dress, seat you in strange postures or submit you to wild chanting ? (the truth is not something that has to be attained through strenuous efforts. It is the strength of your desire that counts, not the harshness of their tests).

5. Is the new path you've chosen dharmic ? (that is, is this a the path of the center, similar to that followed by the sages, yogis, and great men and women of the past, or will it lead to frightening experiences of a subconscious or super-conscious nature ?)

6. Are the members of the organization, especially the leader, founder, or guru, people you can trust? (are you comfortable with them? Do they display love and joy? Is their warmth genuine? Is the value of what they are teaching evident in their eyes ?)

7. Do you have the freedom of choice to leave or continue? (follow your heart, not your ego. If you have fears or misgivings, give them heed. If you are in doubt or under duress, leave. Do not be bullied.)

Any worthwhile view of the Divine realizes that God resides within each of us. He is there to be awakened as we become a part of the Greater Self.

credit: Sahaja Yoga / A Seeker's Guide
related post: on Spiritual Abuse - a valuable lighthouse for seekers of all traditions

image: Paramhansha Yogananda (1893 - 1952) a sage and guru of not so distant past. May God sanctify his secrets.

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Technology of the Heart: choosing a spiritual master | seeker's guide
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