Disciplining by the Guru

Disciplining by the Guru

Children, in spiritual life, proximity to the guru and disciplining by the guru are very important. Through proximity and satsang, patience and other noble characteristics develop in the disciple, even without his knowledge. The guru will guide the disciple through befitting circumstances. He will give the disciple jobs that the disciple hates to do. The disciple will disobey his guru. Then the guru will give him the necessary teachings. This will encourage the disciple to contemplate on the guru’s words. Through this, the disciple will find the strength within himself to overcome the unfavourable circumstances that arise in life.

The greatest force for purifying the human mind is love. The only person who loves the disciple with unconditional love is the guru. Even if the rest of the world hates the disciple, the guru can never hate him. He can never discard him.

Once, a guru took in an orphan. He brought the boy up with lots of love. The other disciples thought that the guru was showing too much love and affection to this boy. They became jealous. As he grew up, this child developed many bad characteristics and fell slave to many bad habits. Even then, the guru did not show him any less love. The other disciples could not bear this. The extreme affection of the guru towards this boy didn’t make any sense to them.

One day, one of the disciple told the guru, “Your darling child is lying unconscious in the gutter, totally drunk.” Without saying a word, the guru set off to find him. When he reached where the boy was, he found him lying unconscious in the street, totally unaware of himself or his half-dressed state. It was freezing cold outside. He took his wool shawl and covered the boy’s body. Then he returned to the ashram. The next morning, the boy regained consciousness. When he saw the shawl covering his body, he was confused. Suddenly he realized it belonged to his guru. Full of remorse, he started crying and ran to the gurukula. He fell at his guru’s feet and washed them with his tears. This purified his heart. This lead to a huge transformation in the boy. He even became a role model for the other disciples.

The guru knows the nature and tendencies of his disciples. He knows their previous births and works according to his divine inner vision. So, when we try to evaluate the guru’s actions, we must also know our own limitations. The guru knows what will help his disciple’s spiritual growth and acts accordingly. Each moment, the guru is striving to make the disciple aware of life’s value and to lead him towards its ultimate goal of Self-realization.

Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi