Can a Guru Participate in Worldly Activities?
Shiva and his Shakti Chakra
Question: A guru is an enlightened master who renounces family ties and attachments to worldly things. Can he or she participate in worldly activities?
The answer is definitely, yes. A guru, spiritual master, baba or saintly person can participate in worldly activities or talk about politics, social and economic issues, science, etc. They may even engage in sexual activities. In Hindu tradition there is no such bar on enlightened masters. Some are born to be visible (drsya) and uplift the world or help others in liberation. Some are born to remain hidden (adrsya) and silently help the humanity with their contemplative power, releasing powerful vibrations in the earth consciousness. The earth has a destiny, and in that, spiritual beings have a role as teachers, guides and role models.
If you study the Puranas, the epics and even the Upanishads, you know the answer. Our ancient seers were not restricted by the moral and ethical standards of the western world or their constricted view of sex and sin. They followed their own code of conduct as dictated by the highest principles of dharma and righteousness, in which actions were judged not by a rigid set of values and morals but by the intent and purpose with which they were performed and the spiritual state of those who performed them. The same principles are exemplified even by our gods through their actions as the upholders of dharma, order and regularity. Unfortunately, 300 years of British rule changed our perception of what is right and wrong. We have wrapped our awareness by their values and thereby lost our discernment.
However, there is one condition which is applicable to enlightened masters but not to ordinary gurus who teach Vedas, yoga, etc. The guru or the spiritual person who guides people on the path of liberation should be unconditionally pure, with his inner mind (chidakasam) illumined by his pure self and its potency (chitshakti). He must have overcome duality and division and firmly established in his self, whose nature is pure consciousness. In other words, he must have become just like Shiva, immersed in his innate, inherent and inborn nature (sahaja yoga), illumined by his infinite consciousness, and united firmly with his Shakti Chakra, the force matrix of the universe in its purest and most potent form.
In that state, all knowledge becomes sahaja (natural). He remains incorruptible and immutable by the touch of pure and impure things or worldliness Nothing can disturb him or distract him or bring him down from the heights of his purity and auspiciousness (shivam). There is nothing he can or cannot do. There are no bars and restrictions upon him because he is the lord of himself (Isvara), with nothing above him, below him or other than him. He is Shiva like (shivoham), for whom the world is an extension of himself, his very body.
Immersed in himself, whether he is awake or asleep in the body, he sees the world (which is now his body) as his playground and himself as an actor (nartaka) or dancer (nataraja) in it, enacting multiple roles in multiple guises, as everyone and everything. His thoughts and words contain the potency of mantras (mantra shakti), whereby he can invoke the shaktis (matrikas) who are hidden in all the letters and sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet by his mere will. Just as an ordinary person is the enjoyer of his body, as the soul of the universe (visvatma), he is the enjoyer (viresa) of the universe, which is his extended body. Being independent, he is free to express or exercise his willpower (iccha shakti) or his manifesting power (kriya shakti).
When a Pasu (an ignorant person) enjoys the world, he does so because he is under the control of the pasu shaktis (animal energies) in him, which render his iccha-shakti impure, limited in potency and ridden with selfish desires. Hence, whenever he exercises his freewill, which is not actually free but bound, he incurs karma and remains stuck in the cycle of births and deaths. In that state, he is a slave and servant (dasa) to his shaktis rather than their lord (pati).
In contrast, a self-illumined yogi, is the lord (pati) of all his shaktis. They become his shakti chakra, the force matrix. Having become absorbed in himself, he remains ever awake in all the four states of consciousness (jagrat, svapna, susupti and turya). Firmly established in himself in the transcendental state of oneness, he uninterruptedly enjoys the bliss of turya (turyananda) whether he is alone or in the company of others or engaged in any physical or mental activity. For him, there is no day or night, no good or bad. There is nothing that is to be done, not done. He is complete and perfect. In that state, he can exercise his unbound free will and engage in creation, preservation, concealment, suppression and revelation. By mere thought, he can manifest. Such is the power of the one who has attained Shivatma and experienced the state of Shiva (shivanubhuti). He is the lord of the bhutas (bhutanath), indriyas (senses) and all the tattvas and gunas, with inviolable will. Now, who can stop him from doing whatever he wants to do? Who can judge him for his actions which arise from a pointless and independent consciousness?
These statements are not born from my imagination. I have not made up anything here, except that I clothed the profound knowledge which is hidden in our scriptures in my own words. They are exactly what our tantras and sutras teach. If you study them, you know the truth. It is difficult to imagine that people with such supernatural powers (siddhis) exist in today’s world.
At the same time, they were not born from the imagination of our seers who worshipped Truth as the highest power, and who composed those scriptures. They expressed such truths which they knew to be true. Therefore, when you read them you will not feel that they are stating theoretical possibilities but actual experiences, powers and abilities which are within the reach of determined humans and which can be invoked and experienced in wakeful states, if they can transcend their limitations and attain the supreme yoga. In reality, people who attain that exalted state would not be interested in worldly matters, hold public meetings or engage in frivolous conversations. If they exist, you will come across them by chance because of your karma and destiny only. It is like seeing Mahesvara himself in person.
Now, here is the concluding remark. If gurus and spiritual teachers are truly enlightened and attained the supreme state of oneness and purity, whether they possess the powers which are stated before or not, they have the freedom or the independence to engage in any worldly or spiritual activity as they choose. By doing that, they only help the world with their wisdom.
However, if they are not, the fault is not theirs because worldly gurus are expected to engage in worldly activities. It is the fault of those who elevate them to that status in their minds for one reason or another, and become victims of their deception and trickery. It is always good to use your discretion (buddhi) while choosing anything, be it a guru, a life partner or a profession.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Importance of a Guru in Spiritual Life
- How To Choose Your Spiritual Guru?
- Psychedelic Drugs and Spirituality, The Traditional Perspective
- What Is the Advantage of Meeting Holy Men?
- The Basis of Morality in Hinduism
- Hinduism - Sex and Gurus
- Are Soul and Atman (Self) the Same?
- Sravanam, Mananam and Nidhidhyasana In Hindu Spiritual Practice
- Is Wealth Evil and Sinful?
- Hinduism - Rules for Fasting
- The Idealism of Sanyasa Dharma in Hinduism
- Why do people go to Gurus?
- The Concept of Sin in Hinduism
- Hinduism - The Role of Shakti in Creation
- Hindu God Lord Shiva (Siva) - the Destroyer
- Essays On Dharma
- Esoteric Mystic Hinduism
- Introduction to Hinduism
- Hindu Way of Life
- Essays On Karma
- Hindu Rites and Rituals
- The Origin of The Sanskrit Language
- Symbolism in Hinduism
- Essays on The Upanishads
- Concepts of Hinduism
- Essays on Atman
- Hindu Festivals
- Spiritual Practice
- Right Living
- Yoga of Sorrow
- Mental Health
- Concepts of Buddhism
- General Essays
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