Now, I will speak about the two fundamental qualities of a genuine spiritual teacher:
- Direct experience of the Self
- Solid knowledge of the scriptures dealing with the Self
If he does not have those two qualities, he is not ready for teaching people yet. If he has direct experience of the Self but lacks knowledge about the scriptures, he has spiritual power but cannot present arguments. If he has solid knowledge of the scriptures dealing with the Self, but lacks direct experience of the Self, he is a theoretician. He has knowledge but no spiritual power.
By “solid knowledge of the scriptures dealing with the Self”, I mean that a genuine spiritual teacher must fully know them. Regarding the Sanskrit tradition, I have noticed that many Yoga teachers call themselves “spiritual teachers” but they write in transliterated Sanskrit horribly. They have no idea what they are doing. It is not about being quite a grammarian, but if a spiritual teacher using scriptures written in Sanskrit to teach other people does not even know how to write the most elementary terms in transliterated Sanskrit, he is not serious at all. I have also noticed that most Yoga teachers pronounce awfully. If someone is teaching mantra-s and does not know how to pronounce them rightly, I wonder what is the point of all that in the end?
If you want to be a Sanskrit grammarian, this will take about 12 years of hard work, according to my Sanskrit teacher. I am not saying that those Yoga teachers must spend 12 long years learning Sanskrit grammar in depth, but they should know about Sanskrit writing (at least transliterated Sanskrit) and pronunciation. When I gave courses in my city some years ago, that took about three months (writing in signs included). So, I know for sure that a person can learn to write and pronounce Sanskrit words decently in the term of three months. If someone is calling himself “a spiritual teacher”, and he resorts to scriptures composed in Sanskrit to spread his message, he should make sure that he will be writing and pronouncing the words properly. It is thoroughly absurd, and in fact a lack of respect, to teach people about scriptures dealing with the Self and at the same time to write and pronounce Sanskrit in an awful way.
Therefore, a genuine spiritual teacher is one who has at least spent three months studying how to write and pronounce Sanskrit in a decent way. If he did not have three months to do that, he is not serious at all. Besides, he could run into some problems if someone with strong Sanskrit knowledge goes to his classes. If a Sanskrit scholar is offended by the absolutely horrible pronunciation or writing of the supposed spiritual teacher, he might publically destroy all the arguments of that teacher. And by “destroy” I meant exactly that. A Sanskrit scholar is someone with a massive knowledge about Sanskrit grammar and scriptures. As most Sanskrit literature deals with spirituality, when one studies Sanskrit grammar he is always forced to read philosophical scriptures one way or the other. So, I wonder what will that supposed spiritual teacher do when a powerful Sanskrit scholar begins to correct him in public? He will have to commend himself to God, really. In order for nobody can make a public laughingstock of a spiritual teacher, he should know at the very least how to pronounce and write in Sanskrit decently. This is elementary. Anyway, 99% of the supposed spiritual teachers do not know how to do that. I am completely sure of it because I have seen them in action for so many years on the Web.
I have not gone to any Yoga courses or lectures for many years. Why? Just not interested. When I used to go to those courses or lectures in the remote past, the only thing I always saw and heard was horrible Sanskrit. As a result, I did not pay attention to the teachings, because the quantity of Sanskrit nonsense was just too much. Some people might think that Sanskrit is secondary. They are completely wrong, because languages (not only Sanskrit) are the very foundations of every culture around the world. For example, I write in English in a way that is at least above the basic level. Imagine that I were to write at a level which is even lower than that basic. You wouldn’t be able to understand me at all. Consequently, language is always essential for keeping and transmitting cultures, traditions and teachings. Even if the language is not written, it is at least spoken, and in this way the tradition is passed from one generation to the other. For the most part, a lot of current Yoga teachers are passing Sanskrit garbage to the next generations. This being the case, what is the point of my going to their courses and lectures? Just wasted time.
In my case, I never corrected a spiritual teacher in public, except when he asked me to do so. I am of the compassionate kind. I guess that other people who have in-depth knowledge about Sanskrit will behave like myself in the courses and lectures of spiritual teachers, but who knows. One of them might take offense at the way a spiritual teacher is pronouncing and/or writing Sanskrit. As the old saying says, you do not know what God has in store for you. If this calamity happens, and the one taking offense is a Sanskrit scholar, I can assure that supposed spiritual teacher that his career as a spiritual teacher will be finished very soon. Having his own authority undermined in front of all his own disciples is the worst calamity for a spiritual teacher, because his teachings will not fully spread. Therefore, before starting his path as a genuine spiritual teacher, one should make sure that he has solid knowledge about the scriptures dealing with the Self (Sanskrit writing and pronunciation included) or he will be exposed to be ridiculed at any moment for his own dullness. If someone talks about Yoga and can’t pronounce the word “Yoga” properly is not being consistent. In fact, that is absolutely ridiculous. One should not be the disciple of such supposed spiritual teachers.
The other requirement for being a genuine spiritual teacher is having a direct experience of the Self. I taught you in previous posts that there are, broadly speaking, three realities: Self – mind – physical body. When someone realizes his own Self, he realizes that the Self is not associated with mind/physical body at all. He experiences His Absolute Freedom in that way. One just cannot believe how Free he is at that moment. The experience of Self-realization is the most awesome experience a human being can have, and I am absolutely sure of this.
I will describe the experience of Self-realization (Absolute Freedom) now: It is not related to being “good” or “bad”, “powerful”, “weak”, “nice”, “not nice”, “handsome”, “ugly”, etc. NO. It is related to being completely Free. One experiences Supreme Indifference to all is happening inside and outside. This Supreme Indifference is not negative like the ordinary human indifference but a divine state of detachment. A person in such a state is able to behave in a way the vast majority of people just cannot. As he is “absolutely” detached, all that happens to his mind/physical body is never happening to “himself”. This condition of absolute detachment makes him able to do things that most mortals just can dream of. For example, in this world, death is always frightening. Most people are not only afraid of dying themselves but also of their relatives or friends dying. When this happens, they feel horrible pain and a void. This is especially hard when it comes to children. Well, a liberated human being is always in the same condition of absolute inner Peace in spite of the external fuss. He could even cry and so on, but he is never affected by pain really. Paradoxically, pleasure cannot affect him either. His state of Freedom is indescribable.
NO, he is not inert like a rock. He is full of Life but not as in the case of the rest of people. He is completely detached from his mind and physical body. His divine state is that of the Self. This state always resides in everybody, but as most people fail to realize their Self, they live as if they were not the Self. Absolute Freedom dwells in them, but not having realized It, they cannot enjoy It. As a result, they continue to be identified with mind/physical body, and consequently, all the things that happen to these two happen to “themselves”. In spirituality, this limited state is called “bondage”. It is not a desirable state, rest assured. Anyway, out of sheer ignorance, you see that people seem to be satisfied with that heavy burden on their shoulders. The great mystery of spiritual ignorance is like that.
So, a liberated person is the one who enjoys Absolute Freedom. However, as his divine state could be shocking to the rest of people, he will probably hide it. What is higher can easily delude what is lower. So, nobody (except another liberated one) can see such a person as he really is, if that person decides not to be seen as such. He will disguise himself as a usual person, for example, and nobody will notice his divine state. The idea that a liberated person is impressive like a superhero is not serious indeed. NO. This type of person could look like the rest of people and nobody would detect his great achievement. When he reveals his state to someone, he is impressive but not due to some wretched powers (e.g. flying, clairvoyance, etc.) but to his Absolute Freedom, which allows him to remain the same all the time under all circumstances. He is always in peace and perfectly happy even if the entire universe is annihilated. Manifestation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe is a triviality in his case, because he has attained the Core of Reality. When you achieve the Self, you could lose your body, mind, family, etc. but your state does not change at all. All becomes just a triviality to you. You could be rich or poor, healthy or sick, but none of these things can disturb your divine state.
In order to enjoy such an Absolute Freedom, one has to realize the Self completely. At first, Self-realization lasts for a moment. Next, it starts to last longer and longer till you are fully enlightened. When you experience Self-realization for the first time, you will think, “What was I doing before?” You will be so amazed at your Freedom that you simply won’t be able to believe it. At that time you will fully understand that the state where you were identified with mind and physical body was bondage, without a doubt. This understanding is shocking, because although you could have known that theoretically before Self-realization, once this takes place, you fully understand how limited your previous condition was. The contrast is so strong that you will keep scratching your head, perplexed. During Self-realization impartiality is so overwhelming that it is totally incredible. You cannot see anything/anyone that is bad or good. You only see the Self inside and outside. Along with this experience, you feel Complete Indifference to what is happening to your mind/physical body. Whether or not they exist is of no importance. You feel that you could live anywhere without it ever disturbing your perfect happiness.
That experience is the most awesome experience a human being can have. It will take some time until one gets used to it. At first, it looks like a strange dream, especially if one lacks knowledge about the scriptures. This is why you need to know what the scriptures specify. In this manner, you will know for sure that you are achieving Final Liberation and not merely experiencing hallucinations. The state of the Self is so inconceivable that if, for some strange reason, you are not ready for it, you will think you were dreaming or having hallucinations. Impartiality and Supreme Indifference to what occurs inside and outside are the marks of spiritual enlightenment. This does not mean that you will wander about like a lunatic or stay in one place like a rock. NO. You could hide your divine state, keep your present role and carry on with your usual life as before, or else, you could become a spiritual teacher. This is decided by the Self and not by a human mind. As you are totally Free in the fullest sense of word, you are not affected by the destiny of your mind and physical body, whether you become a beggar or the greatest spiritual teacher in the entire human history. All this is a triviality to you after you have realized your own Self, and I am completely sure of it. If the one reading this article is Free like the Self Himself, he or she will understand my words perfectly. And if the one reading this article is not Free like the Self Himself, he or she will understand my words in due course, after Self-realization. Do not worry then.
The important thing here is that a spiritual teacher must have experienced the Self directly at least one time. If he never realized his Self, he is just a theoretician and can easily get lost or even cause other people to get lost, too. But once he has Self-realization, he knows for sure what the Goal is. Besides, a genuine spiritual teacher must have a solid knowledge of the scriptures dealing with the Self or he will not be able to present arguments and explain the Truth to his disciples in an understandable way. And by “solid” I mean “solid”. Weak knowledge is not enough in order to cope with the task of leading other people to Self-realization.
Well, it is enough for now. See you soon!