Emotional Love for Guru

Swami Veda Bharati holds the prestigious title of Mahamandaleshwara in the Swami order of monks. He is also the Chancellor of HIHT University, Dehradun, which was established by Master Swami Rama. He has authored approximately 18 books on Indian spirituality including a 1500 page comprehensive commentary on two of the four chapters of Patanjali's Yoga-sutras. Before taking the vows of Swamihood in 1992, Swami Veda Bharati was known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya.

Swami Veda BharatiOne of Swamiji's very dear students wrote to him seeking an answer for emotions flowing towards Guru. Swamiji's response to her is posted here as she feels there are many in a similar situation who would benefit from Swamiji’s response.

A very very dear has written the following inquiry:

Experiencing my Guru's love and the realization how much my Guru is doing for me and helping me in my internal journey is making me deeply emotional. I end up with tears almost every day. Just the thought of my Guru precipitates the journey of these tears finding their way to the eyes. I am trying and can credit myself with the efforts of controlling my emotions but i fail in this situation miserably. Even writing this mail makes me teary eyed. How do i handle this emotion? Am i going wrong with observing my thoughts? Is it reflection of weakening of my mind?

My answer will sound hardhearted but it is based on solid realities.

  1. As you know, I do not allow the use of the word 'guru' for myself. (I also do not allow my photograph to be hung anywhere in the Ashram). MY students are students; only gurus have disciples. In my LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT I have given clear instruction to all swamis in my succession that they also, for all future generations, have to remain free of the title of 'guru'. Only my Guru, Swami Rama of the Himalayas is the Guru.
  2. Having lived in the western countries, especially in USA, I forgot the hierarchies of relationship to the degree to which they prevail in India. I am used to an average American student of mine seeing me from the distance, waving his hand and shouting "Hi Swami, how ya doin!"

Then I moved back to India. Here everybody touches a senior's feet at the slightest excuse. I felt very embarrassed. Now, what to do? How to stop these devoted people from touching my feet?

If I asked them not to touch my feet, they would do it even more so, saying "oh, how humble this swami is !!"
Well, I am a Devi-worshipper in its deep sense. I said to myself, "fine, at least if a lady touches my feet, I will touch her feet back. That should stop them!"
But, this is India. If I, a swami, touched a lady's feet, I would get the natural exclamation, "oh, to what naraka (hell) are you condemning me?". But for a while it worked.
But, I am a heart patient. It is difficult for a heart patient to bend down low and immediately come straight back up! I had to give up on touching the ladies' feet in response to their touching my feet.
So what do I do now?
Now, every time someone touches my feet, I go into my guru-chakra (those initiated know where that is) and mentally recite the "akhanada-mandalakaram.... Tasmai shri-gurave namah" mantra and pass on the pranams to my guru: aap jane aur yeh jaane, main beech men naheen hoon. " Gurudeva, I am not coming in between you and this disciple of yours; the pranam is to you."
I take no one's pranams; I pass them on above. These are for the Guru, not for me.
So I am free. Free of the possibility of being infected by this kind of vanity of being some great guru!

  1. So, my dear dear child (how do I say 'pyaree beTee' in English?), transfer this intense love to where it belongs. You help me so much to serve my Guru's Mission. Give him this love.
  2. Now comes the hard-hearted, psychologically realistic part. There is some unfulfilled emotion in you from your other relationships and/or absence thereof. It was lying suppressed for a long time. I saw that when you first met me.

My own life and approach is such that when people come to see me, they often cry out their anguish and pain because they meet true love that seeks nothing from them. (In fact, my helpers in the Ashram know that a box of tissues should always be by my side for these visitors' use to wipe their tears.) Here, you have met love that seeks nothing from you and you trust ( I hope I remain worthy of that trust). So, your long suppressed emotion comes flowing out. I have become its immediate visible target.

  1. I do not allow such emotional dependence on me. When I see signs of such dependence, I very hardheartedly pull away from that. In the case of one student - I refused to meet or speak to her for better part of 6-7 years and returned or destroyed all her donation cheques. I kept that distance till the emotion calmed down and the relationship became more evenly balanced. (Some, few perhaps, unscrupulous swamis exploitatively misuse such trust and love of 'disciples'. Please, God and Gurudeva, save me from such traps of ego.)
  2. Search out what human emotional part of you remains unfulfilled. There are ways to fulfil that to a certain degree. I can help you find this 'empty' spot that you can fill in human ways. 

Love and serve my Guru. I am only a go-between.
Assuring you of my purest love from which this is written.


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