Baba used to say “Thank God for false gurus.” Why? Because they serve as foils by which we can recognize the true. I never questioned this. Baba had me take care of the false gurus that came to see him. He taught me to discern the difference between these false guides and Baba. These people had trappings, disciples, protocols, rituals, all of which meant little or nothing. Most of them also had shakti, energy that emanated from their bodies. People get swayed by the energy they feel coming from a guru. Clearly, since all these people had shakti, the energy does not make the teacher real. Of course, Baba had and has tremendous shakti, but he taught me that shakti does not make a Guru.
What made the difference between these people and Baba was Love. They all had power and lacked Love. There was never a sense that they wanted what was best for their followers. So what is really clear to me now is that false gurus are the counterfeits that show us what is truly real—if we have the discernment and discrimination to see. We have to know the difference between what is false and what is real.
Ignorance is what causes us not to be able to tell the difference between the true and the false. Ignorance, according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtras, is taking the false to be Real, the temporary to be permanent, the impure to be pure, the non-self to be the Self. Once we are ignorant, we then lose our subject in the object we have mistaken to be real. From there, we are attracted to actions and lifestyles based on our false self. We are repulsed by all that does not agree with who we think we are. And finally we cling to this false life and fear we will die if we lose it.
There is a difference between what people say and where they are internally. When we try to forgive someone for having wronged us before we have reached a place where we are truly able to forgive, we actually prevent resolution. We perpetuate disharmony between people. Denial or resignation is not love of ourselves or others. If our actions do not head toward resolution, we are not going toward Love.
Power is not love; however, Love is the most powerful force there is. Ultimately Love will prevail. Pleasure is not love; however, Love is bliss. We have to wake up and discern the difference between Love and hate, between the real and the false, between resolution and destruction.
If we do not discern clearly, we will be blindsided. Unfortunately most people’s idea of sādhana is to be blissfully unconscious. Blissful ignorance will bring destruction and will be repelled by real Love. Love is uncomfortable for people who are attached to hate. They will misread the situation.
Because Love goes to resolution and dissolves hate, it can be seen as destructive by those who hate. Recently in Charleston, South Carolina in the United States, a young man went into a church and sat in on their Bible study. “After joining them for some period of time, he obviously became very aggressive and violent,” said Sylvia Johnson, a relative of a victim. In the midst of Love, this young man felt hate. Hate moves to destruction. He then opened fire and killed nine people.
Love always goes to resolution, but we have to discern what true resolution is. Enabling does not resolve; it is not Love. Enabling encourages destruction.
Baba said: “If someone asks me, why did man take birth? Then I will say, only for the sake of love….Supreme Bliss pervades everywhere, but man is not aware of this, and that is why instead of having love he has the opposite of love, and that is agitation and anxiety. Instead of experiencing love, he experiences sadness. But he experiences sadness only because he doesn’t recognize the true love inside himself.” Love brings us to real security. Outer security can be taken away easily, but inner security is always there to bring solace.
What Baba is really pointing out is that Love is our true nature. In verse II.4.5 of the Brihad-āranyaka Upanishad Yājñavalkya explains to his wife Maitreyī the reality of the Self. “Verily, not for the sake of all is all dear but all is dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, Maitreyī, it is the Self that should be seen, heard of, reflected on and meditated upon. Verily, by the seeing of, by the hearing of, by the thinking of, by the understanding of the Self, all this is known.” True resolution ultimately brings us to the Self of All.
In our daily life resolution is working so that everyone is in harmony, loved, and headed toward what is truly best for each person. If we are not working from and for Love, then the outcome is hurt, alienation, agitation, separateness, emptiness, irritation, shallowness, superficiality, anger and hate. These will be the true goal, though we may say our intention was love. We are then not willing to see the true from the false. We have to want to Love so that we can resolve ourselves. We resolve ourselves through Love.
If we want to love, we first must be opened to Love by a moment of Grace. Then we have to confess—to own and accept—that we actually do not love, and do not know what Love is, because our “normal” has nothing to do with real Love. We have to discern Love from the false. Whatever we have called “love,” we must call what it truly is. Then we must reap the past and earn the present, so that we can Love.
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