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Some Salutary Qualities of the Guru

  1. Driti – Infinite patience
  2. Hrydayamanasa – Unified heart and mind
  3. Ananyata – Singlemindedness in thought and action
  4. Antarmukha-vriti – Inwardly-oriented mind
  5. Yataman – Complete control
  6. Samatva – Absolute steadiness through austerities
  7. Buddhehparatah – Fully developed intuition
  8. Karmaphalatyaga – Freedom from motivated works
  9. Smriti-shuddha – Pure mind and perfect memory
  10. Utsaha – Constant wakefulness
  11. Shandilya-vidya – Comprehensive view
  12. Upaya-pratyaya – Attainment of enlightenment
  13. Pratyabhijna – Divine recognition
  14. Sakshatkara – Perfect realization
  15. Trikaladarshi – Knower of the three phases of time
  16. Urdhvaretoyogi – Master of sublimation
  17. Tadyatma – Perception beyond the body condition
  18. Purnakama – Supremely fulfilled and free of karmas
  19. Siddhantavakhyashravana – Conclusive insight

The guru is a murderer, for he systematically kills all that the ego thrives upon, putting it to death as well, but only at the appropriate time, at the auspicious moment. Essentially, he is destroying what is already dead, what is insentient, but which has been given an illusory life due to the delusion of the individual and collective mind. This significant demise of delusion culminates in the proverbial resurrection — the classic coming together and merging of the teacher and disciple in Brahman. Oneness, commonly spoken about but seldom achieved, is realized. As the Zen Masters say, “Daishi” — at some time the student must “die” on the meditation cushion. Along with well-guided, well-intentioned self-effort, then, training from an illumined soul is necessary. As Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa expresses it, “If a man in the form of a guru awakens spiritual consciousness in you, then know for certain that it is God the Absolute who has assumed that human form for your sake. The guru is like a companion that leads you by the hand.” And finding the guru is not so hard as people imagine: “It is a mysterious law of nature, that as soon as the field is ready, the seed must come, as soon as the soul wants religion, the transmitter of religious force must come.”

In Guruyoga — different forms of which are common to all traditions — impeding mental impressions are destroyed, despondency is put on the run, destructive thoughtforms are obliterated, mental distraction is equalized, contrary thoughts and views are removed, falsehood and deception find their end, gaps in the mind’s awareness are filled in, and even refined mind is purged of its subtle inhibiting tendencies — all to facilitate the descent of nondual Awareness with its gifts of peace, wisdom, truth, love, freedom. Even doubt and fear, the mind’s most persistent assailants, die away, rendering the mind to be “no mind,” its field and periphery revealed as vast and boundless.

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