The Role of the Spiritual Guide as Described within the Tantric Tradition

Posted: March 12, 2017 / in: Blog, Tantra / 1 comment

The notion of Spiritual Guide is greatly misunderstood in our modern times, especially in the Western world. It has become synonymous with manipulation, domination and readily conjures up images of an authoritarian figure who robs unwitting individuals of their free will. Charlatans have unfortunately paved the way for grotesque misconceptions about this important part of the spiritual life, spoiling many people’s chances to come into contact with authentic spiritual guidance and desecrating this aspect of reality. However, there are precious gems to be found among the fake gurus and it can take perseverance and deep spiritual aspiration to really find genuine guidance. But as the saying goes: “When the disciple is ready, the master appears”. It is up to us to ready ourselves in order to come into contact with this important and essential part of the spiritual life. We can begin to do this by firmly aspiring to receive true spiritual guidance, inviting the spiritual guide into our lives.

Spiritual guidance is one of the cornerstones of any spiritual path, and nowhere is this more relevant than on the Tantric path. In Tantra, the Spiritual Guide is of paramount importance, and is highly revered.

On the birthday of my Spiritual Guide, Grieg, I am posting this article in gratitude to all he has helped me to discover and become in this life, and to help promote the true and positive image of genuine spiritual guidance and the huge importance it plays in the human life. As long as we prize the ego and materialism above a spiritual life then the notion of spiritual guide will remain shrouded in mystery and tainted by wrong understanding.

Note: To keep the text simple, the masculine pronoun is used when speaking about the spiritual guide, however, a spiritual guide can be of either gender.

What is a spiritual guide? How does Tantra envision the notion of spiritual guide?

In order to more easily understand the notion of spiritual guide, here is a classic example which is often used in Tantric treatises when describing the notion of spiritual guide.

Let’s imagine we want to go for an expedition in the mountains, with the intention of exploring a particular peak we’ve never been to before. We prepare for this journey by obtaining all the necessary equipment, the most appropriate clothing, and a very detailed map of those places, as well as a good compass.

However, even when we’ve finished all our preparations and have all the necessary tools with us, we still haven’t thoroughly fulfilled all the conditions for the trip to become the anticipated success. Even if we have read the description of the track in a magazine or studied the map and been training for climbing and for mountain trekking, the presence of a mountain guide is still essential in this situation. The mountain guide will make the trip efficient and will inspire us in difficult moments given the fact that, due to their vast experience on that track, they know what follows. The mountain guide can also show us how to most efficiently use the equipment we’ve got, giving us the knowledge of how to use it in ways we had never even thought about.

spiritual guide gregorian bivolaruIn Tantra, the spiritual guide does not only have the role of indicating the track to be followed but he steps ahead of us on the path to offer a living example for our own transfiguration. The spiritual guide will thus enable us to copy or mould his inner state and to become able to decipher the esoteric keys that bring an efficiency to our practice which is beyond theory.

Moreover, the mountain guide enables us to envision the reality of the path as if with the eyes of one who knows that path very well. He is the one who is able to eliminate all that is illusory or inadequate about what we had previously thought about the chosen path, about using the tools we’ve got, and about the expectations we have built about this trip.
Just like the mountain guide doesn’t carry our backpack, but will give life to our map, in the same way the spiritual guide will give life to our spiritual path, and he will embody all the purposes of our path, yet he will not take upon him the lessons we are meant to learn.

Nevertheless, in Tantra, which is a practical path par excellence, evolution does not only occur by means of the transmission of special information and by offering a certain example, but also by the radical and efficient transformation of the perspective we have. This transformation takes place in the middle of our life’s actions, in full movement of continuous manifestation.

Without this almost continuous and efficient transformation of our perspective, the efficiency of the exercises we practice is greatly reduced, especially regarding the possibility of operating transformations beyond our current level of consciousness. Thus, we only deepen and perfect that which we already know without succeeding to either conquer new inner horizons or escape the grip of the ego, regardless of the fact that by this time the ego itself has become a spiritual ego.

This particular effect of opening oneself towards a new horizon or towards another perspective is actually a manifestation of divine grace and it is brought into one’s life through the Spiritual Guide’s being. The spiritual guide is not only the one who provides the unaltered spiritual information, offering an inspiring example which we can in turn follow by ourselves, but he also induces in our being the ineffable transforming impulse. He triggers a formidable ascendant force which is at the same time almost incomprehensible for the level of consciousness at which one is currently situated. To use an analogy, the spiritual guide’s being acts like an extraordinarily powerful catalyzer which enables the already learnt theoretical teachings and practical examples to become fully operational, thus becoming spiritual fuel to feed our accelerated evolution.

Tantric spiritual guide gregorian bivolaruSecondly, on the Tantric path the necessity for immediate and effective guidance is immense, given the fact that traversing life’s experiences without isolating ourselves from (or without refusing all that cannot enter) the ego’s perspective exposes one to a very high risk. Analogically speaking, it is as if we are climbing a mountain on a very narrow path. In the ancient Tantric treatises Tantra is likened to walking the edge of a very sharp knife. This succinctly explains the need for a possibility to receive an impulse which can re-awaken us and bring us back on the path quickly and repeatedly.

When we choose asceticism and bodily mortification then we look upon everything as an illusion from which we intend to wake up. Then our existential experiences are reduced to a minimum and this is exactly why even just a single yearly meeting with the Spiritual Guide can be enough to correct the taken direction. However, when the track we took can be altered at each step by internal or external factors, the permanent adaptation of the teachings to be efficiently used becomes a fundamental necessity. Then this process of catalyzing the transformation of theory and of the examples offered in a mixture becoming effectively part of the practitioner’s being is the very grace of the Spiritual Guide in what Tantra calls INITIATION.

“The consciousness of the spiritual guide is activated within the consciousness of the disciple … in this way the initiation leading to liberation is offered.” Para-Trishikha-Vivarana by AbhinavaGupta

In order to even better understand this very important idea here is another intuitive example: let’s imagine we are convinced that the Earth is flat. We’ve developed a system of measuring which enables us to even configure the maps of mainlands quite precisely. Certainly whenever we want to measure something in our home or in the town in which we live the calculation methods and measuring ways are good enough and the obtained results are satisfactory.

Nevertheless, if we’re planning a trip to Australia, using the model of the flat Earth and the maps based on this model, we would reach the situation of having great errors in our advancement. Even if the data we collected would enable us to deduce the fact that the Earth is a sphere and not a disc, we would still not be able to crystallize all the experiences and models into such a puzzling conclusion. Such a genuine revolution in our way of thinking would be excluded by education and the habits we have formed until now.

transformationAnalogically speaking, the spiritual guide is the one who, by teaching us methods of geometry and calculus, triggers in our being a mysterious process of synthesis and transcending of all the preconceived ideas we’ve had up until that point regarding the shape of the Earth. The result is that we reach to that moment of “eureka” even though apparently the spiritual guide hadn’t directly spoken to us about the spherical shape of the planet we’re living on. Yet, following this revelation all our calculations will be perfectly integrated, thus we’re able to entirely assimilate the theoretical model (the maps) with the reality from the field, without any risk of errors.

From this initiating perspective, the spiritual guide is the catalyst of practical understandings; he is the one who mysteriously awakens a superior, supramental and perfect vision in our being.

Once we’re touched by this ineffable grace we will be able to efficiently walk the path so that we will not only be able to comprehend what we’ve been taught but also to live in accordance with those spiritual teachings.

On the quality of spiritual awakening that is manifested by the spiritual guide in Tantra through initiation: diksha

This exceptional quality of the spiritual guide, of which the Tantric teachings speak in various ways, is based on the immense occult energy a genuine spiritual guide has accumulated in his subtle structures.

The genuine spiritual guide is the one who is able to bring to life the teachings we can all read in books. In the famous ancient epic, Mahabharata, it is stated: ”Books are but a burden as long as we do not realize the truth beyond the words.” The spiritual guide is the one who can inspire life in the words so that we can see beyond them.

The Tantra path reveals a close relationship between the spiritual guide and the aspirant who must follow him or her unconditionally. Nevertheless, this situation will by no means lead to a state of dependency on the spiritual guide, but on the contrary, it leads to a state of spiritual autonomy, as well as to the amplification in the being of the aspirant of a state of inner freedom which is a ”duplication” in their being of the state of inner freedom manifested by the spiritual guide.

The presence of the spiritual guide ceaselessly brings transformation inside the being of the aspirant by means of the mysterious phenomenon of INITIATION, diksha.

Only the spiritual teachings received from a genuine spiritual guide can have spiritual efficiency, and the represent the keys to the following levels of consciousness.

greorianbivolaruyogaclassShiva Himself reveals:
“Initiation is the key to any (spiritual) victory.”
“Oh Goddess, the one who has been deprived of initiation can neither have success, nor a happy destiny. That is why the aspirant is meant to always aim to receive initiation from an authentic spiritual guide.”

The occult power radiating from the being of the spiritual guide makes it so that the darkness of ignorance is dissipated and replaced by a state of spiritual awakening. This state of spiritual awakening is deeply rooted in the being of an authentic spiritual guide and it is his or her main characteristic.

The spiritual guide plants the seed of enlightenment in the being of the aspirant by means of the mysterious process of initiation. The germination of this occult power takes place due to the occult power which is transferred within the process of initiation. The aspirant will bear fruits from this seed which started to germinate, by nurturing it with love and tenacious practice.

Tantra holds the grace of the spiritual guide manifested in the form of initiation, diksha in high regard. However, one should not understand from this that initiation is only a formality; a ritual practiced in a strict and rigid frame. Initiation can occur in the most unexpected moments, in ordinary places where the spiritual guide is deeply and intimately in connection with the aspirant. Given this super-human connection between them, the spiritual guide experiences a certain situation with maximum intensity, while at the same time he or she transfers into the being of the aspirant their way of living. This is contained in a seed which is instantly transferred into the soul of the aspirant just like a seal transfers its shape to a piece of hot wax. Through this initiation of a new state of occult resonance which until then hadn’t been experienced by the aspirant, the occult power from the spiritual guide’s being is transferred into the being of the aspirant. This makes it so that, for the moment, all of the blockages, which once stopped the aspirant from spontaneously achieving that new state of occult resonance, are cancelled or eliminated.

This veritable release of karma is the mysterious effect of the initiation process. In Tantra this is called the grace of the master, or guru-kripa.

”Only the knowledge received from the mouth of the spiritual guide can lead to liberation. If not, then it does not bear fruits, it is infertile, possibly even the bringer of much suffering.
The one who makes efforts to fulfil the wish of the spiritual guide (through his devotion and through the firmness of applying the assimilated spiritual discipline) receives the secret knowledge. At the right time he will also receive the fruit of this knowledge.
Incontestably, the spiritual guide is the father and the mother of the disciple, he or she is the very divine essence. That is why the aspirant must follow him or her (to mould him or her from the inside) in all of his actions, thoughts and words.
By means of the grace of the spiritual guide, the aspirant can obtain all that is favourable. That is why he must always follow his spiritual guide”
. Shiva-Samhita (chap 3; 11-14)

Tantra reveals the fact that without the grace of the spiritual guide, even if we have the correct knowledge of some methods and techniques, our spiritual efforts will be an endless chain of suffering, similar to pushing a boulder uphill. The more we approach the peak, the steeper the track becomes and in the end the boulder will fall, rolling down into another valley, so the efforts must be restarted. In the extent we advance in a certain direction, everything we haven’t yet solved, due to preferential attitudes (which we cannot objectively detect), transforms into inner blockages which increase more and more.

The presence of the spiritual guide is essential in this case to indicate for us precisely what we must achieve in order to solve those hidden problems of our being. However this possibility implies that the spiritual guide is very present in the being of the aspirant and it implies that between the two of them a certain type of unique relationship develops, as described by various analogies in the Tantric texts.

Because it plays such an important role on the spiritual path, the relationship with the spiritual guide is presented as having parental nuances (he is the father and the mother of the aspirant), as well as deifying nuances: he is seen as the ultimate divine nature of the aspirant and of the universe, as Shiva Himself. Nevertheless, this is not a request coming from the spiritual guide, but a necessity of the pure and transfigured aspirant which must be taken into account by the aspirant. The relationship with the spiritual guide is always defined by the attitude of the aspirant who thus has complete freedom to choose at any moment how intimate and deep their relationship with the spiritual guide is.

yangpiralAt this point it is important to highlight once more that Tantra insists by all means on the complete elimination of any formalisms from the relationship with the spiritual guide. This relationship must be of a sincerity which goes far beyond words and relies on the immediate reality of the facts. In this way, the aspirant is constantly situated in a process of ”aligining” with the spiritual guide by means of the smallest ”gestures” which are performed ”as if being done by the spiritual guide”. Through this process the consciousness of the spiritual guide starts to ”awaken” inside the aspirant’s being and thus the conditions for profound transformation are gradually fulfilled.

The parental aspect of the relationship with the spiritual guide ensures the aspirant a profound state of soul intimacy and of openness towards his or her being, similar to what one feels when together with his or her own parents. There are no more formalisms or limitations which could blur the communion between the two souls who start to reveal to each other as being already united at more and more profound levels.

It is important to distinguish here the polarly neutral nature of this relationship, due to the fact that the spiritual guide is both the mother full of compassion and nurturing but also the hyper-lucid, wise father
This polar-neutral condition of the relationship with the spiritual guide prevents any excess in one direction or another, which makes it so that the personality of the aspirant can grow strong and balanced. In absence of one or another of these components of the relationship with the spiritual guide, the aspirant will lack firmness and lucidity, becoming a spoiled person who will constantly expect to receive spiritual gifts, or a rebel who would even have the tendency to consider that he knows some aspects of life better than his guide, thus exposing himself to the dangers of deviation or even of deterioration from the spiritual point of view.

This is why Tantra recommends that the state of filiation the aspirant develops towards the spiritual guide covers both aspects, equally aims for both the paternal and the maternal aspect, obviously in their most essentialized and pure forms.
Through his very nature, an accomplished spiritual guide will express in a balanced manner both polar aspects, the only necessity is for the aspirant to pay attention and embrace both aspects of the spiritual guide’s life.

With every step an aspirant takes on the path of self re-discovery, he discovers with amazement that at the same time the light of consciousness helping him in this inner journey comes from the consciousness of the spiritual guide who reveals himself in the aspirant’s being. In this way, the aspirant reaches to validate through direct experience the mysterious Tantric saying: ”before discovering and choosing your spiritual guide, he has aready discovered and called you”. Each detail of life becomes part of the relationship with the spiritual guide, his or her presence being experienced even in the apparently most insignificant aspects of the aspirant’s daily life.

This is also one of the reasons why the Tantric masters have been looked upon by persons outside of the spiritual path, who have an ego-centric point of view, as an invasive presence, who imposes himself until the point of gradually encroaching on the entire life of the aspirant. Yet this vision is wrong because the aspirant is the one who relates to the spiritual guide down to the smallest details of the spiritual guide’s life, and repeatedly invites the spiritual guide into his life.

It is evident that only an accomplished spiritual guide will be capable of fulfilling such a requirement because each aspect of life is brought to perfection in his case and there is nothing left outside of his consciousness which is thus fully awakened and united with the Divine Consciousness.
In this way, the parental aspect ensures a relationship which goes into the smallest details of life. This is doubled by the aspect of divinity which enables him to have a firm orientation towards transcendence in the very midst of the most intense experiences of the aspirant’s life.
The divine aspect of this relationship with the spiritual guide represents the ensuring of the ascending motion of this process of discovery. The aspirant sees in the spiritual guide Shiva Himself, God the Father in His highest aspect. This aspect is based exclusively on the aspirant’s transfiguration. In Tibet this is expressed by the well-known saying:

perfectspiritual“If you look upon your spiritual guide as a perfectly accomplished spiritual being, you will receive the grace of a being who is perfectly spiritually accomplished.
If you look upon your guide as a spiritually enlightened being then you will receive the blessing of a spiritually enlightened being.
If you look upon your spiritual guide as a special being endowed with paranormal powers then you will receive the grace of a being endowed with paranormal powers.
If you look upon your spiritual guide as an ordinary being then you will not receive anything from the spiritual guide.”

Without the ”sacred touch” of the spiritual guide (which is the way the spiritual guide’s presence in the life of the aspirant is often described), the overwhelming variety of life’s experiences cause the aspirant to become a ”consumer of the grace”, looking time and again for the spiritual guide’s help in order to save himself from the difficult situations in which he repeatedly finds himself, without learning the necessary lessons; just like a spoiled child abuses his parents kindness in order to preserve his ego and his ignorance while benefitting from all the gifts generously offered by them.

This is precisely why the deifying manner of relating, filled with a profound respect towards the divine nature of the spiritual guide, manifested right in the middle of the daily life, is perceived as having a nuance of severeness, and even as being frightening, particularly for those who refuse to become spiritually mature and choose to remain in a spiritually infantile state which can apparently justify their compromises – small or big – which they still manifest.

In this respect, the aspirant should manifest a familial way of relating to the spiritual guide (in some treatises it is even indicated that the aspirant be included as part of the spiritual guide’s family), simultaneous with a revered way of relating to the divine nature incarnated by the spiritual guide. However both ways of relating are deeply transfigured and should be kept equally in the field of the aspirant’s attention. By means of this way of relating to the spiritual guide, a transformation of the connection with God the Father is gradually produced inside the being of the aspirant. This is the most valuable and extremely subtle gift that is left behind by the genuine spiritual guide.

Tantra describes the accomplished spiritual guide as that being who owns and paranormally controls the accomplishing power and who can transmit this at will to the aspirant who is prepared for initiation. Yet considering the perfectly free and spontaneous way the Divine Grace manifests we start to discover that this capacity to transmit the grace is only possible for the one who has become one with Its Supreme source, God the Father. Such a spiritual guide is able to transmit the initiation both in a formal frame and in an informal one, using very diverse methods yet always having as a result the awakening of the aspirant towards the spiritual realities he hasn’t yet directly known.

Even if the Tantric spiritual guide has access to amazing spiritual powers, siddhis, these will always have a specific particularity: their manifestation ALWAYS takes place only in the sense of transmitting towards the aspirant a particular superior form of consciousness, in the sense of awakening him from the spiritual standpoint, to orient the aspirant towards the Light of Divine Consciousness from the very place where the aspirant is situated in that moment.

spiritualtransformationThe ego-centric personality that is solidified by repeated habits is extemely persistent when it comes to transformation, and especially when it comes to that type of radical and uncompromising transformation that is required by the Tantric path. This is why the powerful faith in the spiritual guide’s being (who becomes in this way the source of divine grace and the catalyst for spiritual transformation) must always be grounded in diamond-like discipline. This discipline is otherwise obtained by applying the indications received from the spiritual guide until the smallest details. Such an attitude enables the aspirant to always be ready to receive the spontaneous grace of the spiritual guide. This manifests during the special moments of initiation, which are only truly known by the spiritual guide. This spontaneous form of initiation that comes from the overwhelming bestowing of the divine grace through the spiritual guide’s being is considered to be the highest form of spiritual initiation; it may consist of a gesture, a look, a word, or a special moment. A famous example is that of Swami Vivekananda who entered a state of trans-conceptual samadhi (nirvikalpa samadhi) when his master, the great liberated Ramakrishna, placed his foot on the chest of his disciple in the moment when he least expected such a gesture. This example illustrates not only the state of spontaneity of the spiritual guide, but also the relationship that completely lacks any trace of formalism between the two, which enables the direct action of the guide without hitting the filters built by the ego of the disciple.

And yet, for this state of intimacy not to fall into the banal familiarity of habitual relationships, Tantra offers a vast array of attitudes, which are apparently extreme, that the aspirant is recommended to adopt in his relationship with the spiritual guide. At this point one can easily see that to the extent a path contains an increasing number of methods and procedures, the greater the strictness that is required in the relationship with the spiritual guide.

In this way the methodology offered by the spiritual guide must not serve as a replacement of the direct relationship between the aspirant and his or her spiritual guide. In this respect, the well-known Tantric text Kularnava Tantra presents several very practical indications, which must still be understood from the correct perspective so they don’t trap us in the labyrinth of mental speculations and in the constructions of the ego.

”As long as they don’t manifest their entire love and devotion towards a perfect spiritual guide, the beings keep on wandering in the realm of ilusions – samsara – suffering because of various pains and disappointments”
. Kularnava-Tantra

And still, the request (which is hard for many people of our times to comprehend) of fulfilling the wishes of the spiritual guide appears to be even more radical.

gregorianbivolarugrupThis is due to the fact that this request of fulfilling or satisfying the spiritual guide has nothing to do with any form of ego.

”The aspirant must make all the necessary efforts to praise his spiritual guide so that the guide is always content. This is due to the fact that when the spiritual guide is content, the sins of the aspirant are destroyed.
Even the yogi saints, the great wisemen, the gods such as Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva, will pour their overwhelming grace upon the aspirant when the spiritual guide is content. There is no doubt about this aspect!”

This requirement of fulfilling the spiritual guide’s wishes also represents, in an unexpected way, an important esoteric key that can only be fairly used by those who are ready.

The aim of fulfilling the spiritual guide’s wishes places the aspirant in the position of an open explorer, who leaves behind his own egoistic limitations and intuitively aims to discover those elements which could serve for the fulfilment of the spiritual guide. This quest must be an intuitive, superior quest that activates the superior intellect, buddhi, or, in other words, the supramental structure of the aspirant. The aspirant who tries to make deductions, who only focuses on the human side of the spiritual guide’s being, onto whom he projects his own ego, will be lost in sterile speculations, in expectations and delusions which will transform into countless disappointments.

A fundamental element worth mentioning here is the FACT THAT THE ASPIRANT COMES FORTH TO MEET HIS OR HER GUIDE, or actively aims to intuit what he or she is supposed to be doing, because essentially the fulfilling of the spiritual guide’s wishes is the fulfilling of God the Father’s will which appears in the moment we do all we can to discover Him and to unite with Him. Thus the aim to fulfill the spiritual guide’s wishes is not about subjecting to the whims of an egoistic personality, but it means to become active in the intuitive quest of the accomplishing efficiency that accompanies the path indicated by the spiritiual guide. It means to get out of the state of unconsciousness even when it comes to spiritual practice which then becomes increasingly more efficient. Every step taken in the direction of correct attitude is rewarded by the subtle smile of the spiritual guide.

By accomplishing a state of intimacy in the relationship with the spiritual guide, the aspirant finds the path towards his or her own heart. Yet for this he must willingly and tenaciously get closer to the entire inner universe of the spiritual guide, making the necessary efforts so that nothing is left aside. The key element in this attitude is described by Kularnava-Tantra:

”The aspirant must love those who enjoy the appreciation of the spiritual guide and must respect his wife and his family. The spiritual practice of the spiritual guide, irrespective to the forms it takes, must not be criticized by the aspirant under any circumstances”.

Each time we find the main thread of things, the spiritual guide’s contentment inundates our being in the form of a feeling of fulfilment which we gradually discover comes from the depths of our own being.

Fulfilling the spiritual guide’s wishes is revealed as being a direct criterion, beyond any limiting concepts, which enables us to quantify the extent to which we follow the spiritual path.

It is obvious that the mediocre aspirants’ understanding of only the exterior aspects of this request leads them to focus their entire attention on satisfying that which they believe to be the spiritual guide’s wishes. They strive to stand out, and play games of image or power in an attempt to attain their much-desired goal: the fulfilling of the spiritual guide. Nevertheless, as we can see from the abovementioned perspective, this is a tragic error.

Therefore the exemplary aspirant must intuitively aim, beyond any formalisms, to remain in a state of communion with the spiritual guide, even down to the smallest details of life, and to follow his guidance. The guiding thread of this guidance is the state of contentment of the spiritual guide. Nevertheless, this attitude must be purified of any inner poisons, limiting projections and preconceived ideas.

Then again, in order to clarify things in this direction Kularnava-Tantra mentions the consequences of not observing this indication, of having an incorrect attitude towards the spiritual guide. From the above paragraphs one can easily see another side of the overwhelming importance of the attention that must be directed towards the spiritual guide-aspirant relationship.

“Destruction results from the manner of the spiritual guide, problems appear from trying to cheat him, deadly danger appears when the spiritual guide is criticized, severe illnesses appear when he is discontent. An aspirant can survive fire, can survive the ingestion of very powerful poisons, and can even come out of the grip of death, but not the one who has sinned against the spiritual guide. Wherever the spiritual guide is maliciously criticized the aspirant must not open his ears, O Ambika, but to immediately leave that place so that such a thing will not be heard. He must even invoke the name of the spiritual guide to counteract what he might hear.”

shivaWhen there are no more separating differences between the aspirant’s being and the personality of the spiritual guide, the fact that the supreme goal is not replaced by the personality of the spiritual guide, but is discovered through fusion with his being in the heart of the aspirant, inside the aspirant’s essential nature is realised.

In his efforts to dissipate the darkness, the inner spiritual victory of the spiritual guide will bear fruits in the aspirant’s being in the extent to which the aspirant is ready – by means of the direct efforts performed – to give up all the limits of the ego. However, this requires intense spiritual effort beforehand, which is directed towards applying the teachings received from the spiritual guide with great dedication and strictness. No traces of inertia or hypocrisy can ever be part of starting this pure connection with the spiritual guide, not even in the smallest gestures, when apparently the aspirant is far away from the spiritual guide.

By proceeding in this way, the grace of the spiritual guide meets the necessary efforts of the aspirant and together with them it creates the conditions for the highest spiritual achievements: attaining the ultimate essential nature, ATMAN.

“The aspirant reaches to enjoy the state of spiritual liberation when he or she realizes that the Supreme Immortal Self ATMAN is the witness, the Ultimate Divine Truth, the Totality, that is omnipresent, non-dual, supreme and that inhabits the body, but is not limited by the body.
The knowledge of the Supreme Immortal Self ATMAN (atma-jnana) that appears from the grace of the master is the only means through which the final spiritual liberation can be attained. The one who knows this fact is truly liberated in this world. There is not doubt about this.”

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Comments (1)

  1. D@n Davies says:

    Thank you to Advaita for publishing this essay on the importance of the spiritual guide, which I have found to be very helpful in providing context, guidance and inspiration for my own spiritual experiences.
    And Happy Birthday to Grieg for March 12th 🙂

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