[Advaita-l] The Guru and the ego
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad at gmail.com
Tue Aug 9 17:25:41 CDT 2005
Does the advaita tradition and/or vedAnta in general lay down
guidelines for answering the very personal question: "Who is / can be
my Guru?". Ofcourse, I am asking this within the realms of mAyA, where
we are "supposed" to seek a guru to guide us in our search (in this
life or perhaps in some other). I am asking this in the most general
sense, keeping in mind that every "reaction" has its right catalyst, a
very specific agent of deliverance.
Here is a rendering of my personal chemical reactions (that take place
often in my brain, etc.)
Even in this search for a Guru: a SEEMINGLY "external" source of
inspiration, I first have to ask myself, what kind of guru would be
right for me (here the me is the ego). And to answer that I have to go
"soul searching". For a long time while I sit in partial silence (the
mind is abuzz), searching within, there is a single thought which
seems logical: "Look, you have started searching for your inspiration
without any external inspiration, so your inspiration lies within! It
is 'me' who is My inspiration". But this thought is cyclic, for I
never get past this vishisht "me".
And then sometimes I am freed from this cyclic thought thus: "I need
an inspiration that can kill my ego without hurting it". Shoot "me" in
the head, kill "me", but without pain, for pain makes "me" rise again,
stronger than ever. And hence the search for such a Guru, one who can
kill My ego (me) without hurting it, and give Me humility to fill the
void. Because without humility the process of Realization cannot come
about in this mAyA.
Humility itself is not infused by elaborate, towering preachers. They
themselves have little humility to give. All they can do hurt my ego.
And this pain only makes it stronger. How many times have I dismissed
"great scholars" because of their poking at my ego by preaching to me
things I already "know" are right or wrong. They poke, but they never
kill, and that just makes "me" stronger: indignant.
"Where is My guru?" I ask myself. One who is still, One who does not
call, does not teach, who IS brAhmaN, one who does not advertise, but
can be found, and at that instant finding, will kill my duality, my
Are these thoughts too egotistical? Too bound in ignorance? What does
Sruti say about this search for a Guru?
These are the fireworks that sometimes erupt somewhere within, like right now.
Why this sudden self-indulging outburst, one may ask. "What are you
trying to show Mr. Chadha? By exposing these inner things you are only
Bragging to yourself and to the poor reader, only fueling your ego!"
(I am asking myself this very thing right now too)
My answer: To kill the ego, it must be exposed. The first step in
finding humility might just be the realization that I have no
humility! (Although my ego tells me that statement is full of humility
"do aur do kA joD hameshA chAr kahA'n hotA hai
soch samajh vAlo'n ko thoDI nAdAnI de maulA"
Where have 2 and 2 always made 4?
Oh lord, give the wise a whisk of innocence!
Where is the ecstacy of the search for brAhmaN-hood, the final
Ecstacy? Shed the dry intellectualism sometimes I say.
And please forgive my ego for taking up your time:-)
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad AT gmail.com
Mobile: +91 98 400 76411
Home: +91 11 2431 4486
Room #1024, Cauvery Hostel
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Chennai - 600 036
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