The Guru’s Unconditional Love
for Each Disciple
by Sister Preeti
Excerpts from a talk at 2010 Convocation, August 7, 2010
Guru — is He whom God appoints to lead you out of darkness into the land of eternal light.
God uses the Guru to attract and guide lost souls back to God. The Guru plays a part in God’s divine plan for each of us.
The Guru extends His hand to act as a personal guide. He holds a light to guide the way, offering encouragement each step of the way.
We may have many teachers, but only one Guru.
We have to take the Guru’s hand and allow Him to guide us. We have to be ready to accept our Guru.
Prem-Avatar — divine incarnation of love. Prem = love, Avatar = soul who attains union with spirit and returns to earth to help mankind.
“Oh, I will come again and again…
if need be, a trillion times —
So long as I know
one stray brother is left behind.”
— Master’s promise to us.
The Guru's Love
The Guru loves us just as we are right now. Does the mother love the baby any less because he doesn’t know how to walk yet? We do not have to earn the Guru’s love. Our shortcomings do not bother the Guru. The Guru focuses on the divine potential of each disciple.
Jesus reached out with compassion and understanding to his disciples. He offered his unconditional love to all who were receptive. Jesus saw a divine strength in Peter to build a foundation for his teachings. His love and faith in Peter was unchanged, even though Peter denied him three times. Even Judas was not forsaken by Jesus. Jesus had long before accepted Judas as a disciple. Judas earned salvation in India in the 20th century from Jesus.
Ordinary love is selfish. Divine love is without condition, boundary and change.
“The Guru’s Love” — a poem written by a westerner in the 1950s… “You may come to him for a few seconds… his love is unchanging…”
Precious unchanging love is eternal. We hold a secure place in the relationship incarnation after incarnation. Guru watches over us from birth to death. He is calling to our souls.
Babaji to Lahiri Mahasaya: “Though you lost sight of me… never did I lose sight of you… I followed you like a mother following her young.”
Eternal and unconditional. The Divine love and friendship between Guru and disciple is eternal and withouth condition. Human love often contains conditions.
Sri Yukteswar to Master: “I give you my unconditional love.” Master was received back by Sri Yukteswar after he left him. Sri Yukteswar: “I do not expect anything for anyone… so then actions can not be in opposition to me. I am happy only in your true happiness.”
“A new commandment I give unto men – that ye loved one another as I have loved you. — Jesus’ to his disciples.
“Only love can take my place.” Master’s promise to Ma, but words meant for all of us.
“Lord, Thou has given this monk a large family.” — last line in AY Master thought of convocation as a large family.
The Guru’s love is also personal – the Guru/Disciple relationship is personal. Sometimes it’s hard to feel in our hearts that Master came for us. The Guru extends his hand to each disciple personally.
We deepen our personal relationship with the Guru by feeling he is always by our side.
Each disciple has a personal story to tell about how Master came into their lives. The Guru’s love embraces every disciple. Never doubt your Guru’s love.
How can each of us experience the Guru’s love and friendship in a tangible way? How can we deepen our relationship? We have to start where we are right now and build on that relationship. Some of us are motivated by feeling, some by reason. We have to nurture the relationship each day. There is great joy and comfort in saying the Guru’s affirmations.
When one has found one’s Guru, one should have unconditional devotion to the Guru.
Both head and heart has a place in all relationships. A mutual give and take of love and trust and loyalty.
There must be a foundation of give and take. The Guru’s hand is always extended to the disciple. The more we reach out, the more we open ourselves to receive his love. By giving our heart’s devotion to the Guru and by receiving the Guru’s love in return, we know what it’s like to love God. Love and friendship need to flow both ways. Sri Yukteswar promised Master his unconditional love and then asked Master if he would offer him the same.
When we give our love to the Guru, he takes it and gives it to God.
Open communication, sharing of hearts and minds. We can be completely open with our Guru and feel safe. The disciple bears his soul to the Master. The Master bears his heart to the disciple.
Take your joys and problems to your Guru. Don’t be shy – he knows everything anyway. He is completely open when we bear our souls to Him.
Never try to deceive the Guru, because you cannot. He is right inside our heart and feels every one of our thoughts. Look for ways of thinking the Guru near.
Keep photographs of the Guru in many places you frequent during the day. Look at his picture and talk to him. Look at him at eye level so you can look right into his eyes. Sister keeps a picture nearby and starts her day talking to the Guru.
One who knows God can be a voice for the silent God.
Chant with him. Feel you are in Master’s presence as you listen to his voice, for indeed you are.
Hold Master’s hand when you want to keep him close. Sri Yukteswar held Master’s hand and led him to his first residence.
We have to learn to trust the Guru and the Guru’s love. His is pure, unconditional and eternal love.
How can we trust that the Guru’s love will always be there for us? Give Master the love you have felt for deceased loved ones.
We have to know and trust that the Guru is looking out for us. He has a better vantage point. He knows our past, present, and future. Like a wise father/mother, he may withhold things from us.
If we look back over our lives, we can see Master’s hand in our lives. Lay your desires at Master’s feet. When we trust the Guru, we are blessed with a tranquil heart.
Loyalty must flow both ways. The Guru will never forsake you. He will faithfully guide you back to God.
“I will be your friend from now to eternity, even if you err, for then you will need my friendship more than any other time” — Yogananda
Our Guru will even embrace us with his love, no matter how many mistakes we make. Once the Guru has been found, you need to remain loyal to him through death and eternity.
Open your heart and keep him close in your thoughts.
How to realize his help and guidance in our lives? He is ever present. Never doubt he will always give his help to us. God’s love flows through the Master, to those whose are receptive to his transforming touch.
In AY, there are many stories of disciples being blessed by the Master’s transforming touch. Lahiri Mahasaya didn’t recognize Babaji until Babaji touched him on the forehead.
Sri Yukteswar possessed a transforming power. At his touch, a transforming light went through his being.
To be touched by a Master’s hand only requires inner attunement, not a physical touch. We want to become attuned so we can be receptive to the Guru’s touch.
What does the Guru’s help look like? We have to know and follow his guidance. Without attunement we can’t be receptive to the Guru’s guidance. Never doubt the Guru’s ability to help. God’s power flows through the Master to the disciple as long as the disciple is receptive. We might know we need the Guru’s help, but we might have expectations as to what this help looks like. We need to be receptive. Pray to attune yourself to the Guru.
How to attune ourselves? It naturally grows as we work on our personal relationships to the Guru.
Right Activity and Meditation
Right activity and meditation – a balancing act. The long arm of Maya reaches in and pulls us away from balance and meditation. Every truth seeker should be able to express the dual nature of Martha & Mary (from the Hoffmann painting) – dutiful actions and absorbed meditation on God – a life of balance.
If we think of the Guru strongly at the beginning of meditation, he will strengthen our meditations. We can ardently attune ourselves with the Guru when we meditate on his picture.
Meditation is the time to set aside our worldly concerns to offer our devotion to God and Guru. So at the end of meditation, we can ask questions to the Guru. If concentration on the guru is deep, we will receive insights. If our concentration is deep enough, we will get answers in the form of new inner perceptions.
Study the Guru’s teachings. Start your day by reading something of Master’s. God speaks through a devotee through the teachings.
We have to have a willingness to change ourselves’ when we put Guru’s teachings into practice, we will begin to change.
The world is a school but many treat it as a playground. Work in partnership with the Guru.
Although the Guru is willing to come back a million times, no one wants to be the stray brother he comes back for. Know his unconditional love supports us at all times. When we feel loved and accepted as we are it makes it easier to introspect and see what we need to change in our lives. We have come so far already. We have a practical tool for affirmation. It takes the will and willingness to change:
I can change!
I have the will to change!
I will change!
It’s amazing the ability we have to change. The Guru’s sole purpose is to guide us to self-realization.
Take the Master’s hand and let him guide you.
These notes are not an official publication of SRF. They were taken by the devotees during talks given by the monks and nuns. Please be aware that there is a degree of human error involved in taking and transcribing notes.