This perhaps is the hardest post I have written. Simply because I don’t really speak of my Guru a lot, let alone write about her. It is far too personal besides how does one, who is a tiny dot like me write about eternity and love embodied in the human form? However when I read the newsletter and the challenge I thought I would write. Not to win anything. I am just happy I can share this with you. And also because as I write, these little moments give me time to be with my Guru.
My Guru belongs to The Ramakrishna Sarada Vedanta order. Her monastic name is Pravrajika Mokshaprana. What does Pravrajika mean? Well its a female equivalent for Swami and it means one who has renounced. So the nuns in the order all have that as their title. I have met her about three or four times in her physical form.(She is no longer in her physical body but there are other ways the Guru can be seen , but this post is not about that).
I met her first when I was just about thirteen or fourteen on the day of my initiation. She was this rather homely grandmother like figure in ochre. She could easily be the grandmom who cooks for reads you stories the kinds you would hug, if not for her ochre robes. I was too shy and nervous to even look up. Yet there was this one brief moment I saw her smiling at me. That smile will never leave me.
In my twenties I had a huge crisis, spiritual and otherwise. I believed in nothing and I even gave up on my Guru. I had given up on my will to live. It was a rather dark night, enveloped in pain and a lot of suffering. By then my Guru had given up her physical body. And that I had no longer access to her in the physical form when I needed her the most only added to my distress. (No she didn’t turn up in haloed light to help me.)
Yet as I lamented and screamed, cursed (yes I even cursed her) and was ready to give up even on life, strangely I would always feel a gentle presence. It never allowed me to take a wrong step, whether it was trying to hurt myself or anyone else. It was so subtle, yet so powerful and strong. It was there like a powerful thread that wouldn’t let me give up on life.
It was months and years before I started understanding what she was doing. Suffering and pain is inevitable in life. It’s different for everyone. Perhaps my destiny had a certain kind of suffering that was needed to speed me up on my spiritual progress. And she made sure I never gave up on that. It’s easy to always let the person whom you love walk the easy route. But you need a tremendous heart to make a person who you love walk through an inferno and walk behind through that inferno because you know that will be the key to opening the door to something bigger. Gently holding and covering when it got to much but allowing the heat to burn it all up because it was needed. If I hadn’t gone through that pain I would never have seeked anything beyond the material. Also if I didn’t have my Guru, I wouldn’t have made it through that pain.
The newsletter said write about how some teaching by your Guru changed your life. In my case there was no earth shattering change or teaching. All my Guru did was love me. And with all great love, there is nothing earth shattering about it, it’s just gentle and warm and it slowly churns you from the inside. And that’s what she is doing for me even today. What more can I say, a love that keeps nudging me closer and closer to experience Truth. There can be nothing greater than that. No greater learning. I have learnt nothing. I only know I am loved.
I am sharing with you picture , you cannot possibly miss that smile!
So that is my Guru, my teacher, the one love I cannot doubt.