Disclaimer – I am not against initiation or looking up to any physical guru. My message is just that if it’s not in your reach, then it’s not a big problem.
I wanted to write this one from long time but it was not just framing properly and I was procrastinating. When I read Swami’s post Personal vs Private, I thought now I should write this. Then when I read the Surprise post, I was like, “Okay, I will do write it.” Then on Sunday, in a conversation with a friend, we happened to touch this topic and I was like, “No more procrastination, this will be the next post.”
I don’t have a physical guru. I have learned from a lot of people. I once accepted Shiva as my Guru and there has been no looking back. There was a time I used to visualize him blessing me, keeping his hand on my hand. Shiva and Shakti are my guru and formless, the whole universe is my guru. I don’t have a particular master as my guru but even this is a blessing because somewhere this kept me open and I got to learn from many. There are 4 such, 3 alive and 1 not in body, from whom I have learnt a lot, they are like the topmost of all the guides I have found. They can’t be compared. What I learnt from one, I couldn’t learn from other. Each one of them has equal importance in my life.
Last year, before starting my sadhana after leaving writing on os.me, I once again invoked Devi as Mahakali. There was no strong vision but by the end of her Sadhana, there was a deep change and a strong thought took over. “No one is my enemy, no one is against me. Everyone and everything is to teach me a lesson. Whole universe is my guru.” This was a great blessing she gave.
The absence of initiation/physical guru should never become an excuse of not walking on spiritual path or not evolving. Yes having a guru makes it easier but there are millions of people initiated in different lineages, but not all of them reach to pinnacle of spiritual transformation. Yet there are such, who without a physical guru, walk on this path and have genuine transformation. I have met few such on os.me and they all just inspired me.
It was challenging in the beginning, because most of the sources have a view as, “Don’t do this without a guru, don’t do that, etc.” But my heart said something else, Shiva is known Dakshinamurti, the supreme teacher, he is Adiguru, Adiyogi, the first yogi, the first teacher. So I surrendered to him and took him as my guru. In 2019, with the Bhaav of Shiva as my guru, I took up a 3-lettered mantra from Shiva yoga Samhita, a Devi Mantra. And amazingly, within a few days, I felt as if she was standing in front and blessing me for the journey which had started. (Truth be told, at that moment, I took the mantra attracted by results. However, with time, everything has changed, I am no longer the same person who took that mantra. As if the universe was attracting me to chant that just as you show a child a candy to get some work done :P. As Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa said, direct your vices to the divine.)
Then, in 2020, after around 1-year of taking that mantra, there was a phase. Those were emotionally sensitive times and during those days, I told the universe. The universe listens to your ramblings, if you are willing to talk, take the first step. It was somewhat like, “I surrender, become receptive, I become open to all the Siddhas, the divine masters roaming out there, do whatever you want with me, I want to transform.” And there were significant transformations in one year.
Still sometimes I would feel lack of self-confidence, a feeling of what if I end up failing just because I don’t have a physical guru. Then, I had dreams. Before I started on my sadhana last year, I had a dream, of Swami. The dream was set in night, as if in a forest like area probably and he was emphasizing the significance of Sadhana I was going to start. I also saw a small baby in that same piece of dream. I don’t know what a newborn baby has to do with it, but told what I remember clearly. I have seen Swami in 2 more dreams, in one I was asking him a question and after a few months a 2-part video related to that question was released on the YouTube channel. The third dream, I don’t remember clearly. Besides these, I have seen a few more dreams with someone teaching me. Some have faded. I remember one in which there was a person with white long beard, I have an idea who he was.
I don’t want to create any misunderstanding here. I have never felt any devotional sentiment towards any particular Master, I have learnt from them, I have imbibed their teachings, I have tried to practice what they taught but I never felt that devotional sentiment for anyone and I neither pretended that. That I feel for two forms, Shiva and Shakti, or better one form- Ardhanaarishwar.
One day as I was chanting LSN, a name got emphasized by inner voice, “दीक्षिता – dikshita.” The inner divinity, Devi in the form of Kundalini inside is “दीक्षिता”. दीक्षिता is feminine for दीक्षित which means who is initiated. The inner Devi is already initiated, then why should I worry. It is said that the external guru makes your connection with your inner guru, your inner voice which knows what you don’t know. I once again say, initiation does has its own importance, all I want to say is that if your heart forces you to walk in certain direction, don’t stop just because you are not initiated.
But all this was not enough for the childish mind. In this video, at that particular time, Swami said that, “Either don’t make a guru, or if you make one, there should be no shortage from your side.” And it hit me, “I have accepted Shiva as my guru, then why any subtle doubts. He will do the needful.”
Then in February, my inner voice told me to invoke Devi as Bagalamukhi, but I was again doubtful and was procrastinating. Then there was a post here which served as an indication, so I decided to do it. In 2020, I had dreams in which I saw 3 Mahavidyas. I had already invoked 2 of them with beautiful experiences. The third one was Bagalamukhi, so believing my dreams, experiences and inner voice, I invoked her on Vasant Panchami. I do everything mental, mansik, no pretense, subtle chanting and offer it to her. And within a few rounds, less than 5 I remember, the mantra showed its subtle effect.
It was quite a scattered post, so I would like to summarize some key points :
- I am neither running from nor running for initiation, I am open to any possibility.
- I just have to focus on my Sadhana, doing whatever is in my hand.
- I have left this to the Universe.
- If it is required, if I am worthy enough, someone will come and initiate me. I don’t doubt nature for that. Nature has always provided me exactly what was perfect for me, nature never fails, it’s just that we humans often don’t understand with our narrow perception.
- I try to learn from nature and everything else around me. And really, everything is a lesson for us, if we are ready to learn. Even a small child can teach you if you are receptive enough, I say this from experience.