Note: This question is the second in a series of questions: ‘Three questions every spiritual seeker asks‘.
Once the question about god vanishes and we are set in the spiritual path, our mind will start bothering again with this question: who is my guru. Even if the awakening happened in the presence of a particular guru, our mind still will have this question. Because once we are awakened, we now realize that knowledge comes from everywhere, not just from the guru that we had assumed. Now we clearly recognized the role of different people around us in our spiritual progress; we recognize that even the people whom we hated earlier had special contribution in our life. We realize the contributions of our father, mother, friends, and many other people we met in life. Not just people, we now realize that even the animals and non-living things have/had impacted our being. We realize that the mountain in our hometown also affected us. We realize that even the birds that came close to us blessed us. We also feel tremendous respect to any one who is a devotee of god regardless of race, religion, and sects. And most importantly, we now clearly recognize the living and non-living spiritual masters who accompanied us in our spiritual journey.
In my case, after my spiritual awakening, first thing I became aware of was that there were so many living self-realized people on this planet. I had no doubt that Sadhguru was my guru, but after my awakening, I became aware of other gurus who had influenced me previously. For example, I realized that swami Prabhupada had implanted the seed of spirituality upon me many years ago when I had visited India. I had read “Gita” written by him at that time but could not understand it much. But after my spiritual awakening, I could understand the verses of Gita effortlessly. Similarly, there are many people who have touched my heart at different times. If I have to name, I would name Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Ramana Maharishi, and Mooji baba. In fact these masters came as I needed them and each of them imparted unique, progressive knowledge and cleared my confusions. This list goes on. In fact, I find a new source of knowledge everyday.
And it was Ramana Maharishi and Mooji baba who made me realize that our “self” is the ultimate guru. I would say, only with their instructions, I really started turning inward. Only then, I understood the real meaning of “awareness”. Only then, I realized that we cannot really do meditation; we can only be meditative. Until then, I was still looking outside for god and guru to come and bless me. In other words, I was still living in imagination not in reality, like many other people in the Hindu society. In our society, many of the spiritual seekers do not realize that the “self” or “I” is the only/ultimate god and this is one reason why they do not make much progress in spirituality. They make god an object and search him outside, in murtis and temples. This is no more than a fantasy. We must pass through this cloud of fantasy if we want to make real progress in the spiritual path. Sadhguru clearly tells that guru is a happening, not a person. He has emphasized that a guru is a doorway and we must not be stuck in it. But I still find that many spiritual seekers get stuck in the personal form of a guru.
Once I really started turning inward, this question lost its strength automatically. I was no longer asking the question who is my guru.