Saturday, October 25, 2014

Guru or Painkiller?

While the United States is known as the land of opportunities, India can be called the land of Swamijis. Every now and then a new Godman emerges out of nowhere, every state and city has its own quota of Swamijis of all kinds, helping people from all walks of life connect with the Divine.
God and Godmen become necessities of life when what life offers is not adequate. Life in its splendor can be colorful at times and cruel at others. People want to run towards what they like and run away from what they dislike. Sometimes they are stuck. Godmen help push the wheel forward. They help us connect with the Divine and clear our hurdles to reach our goals.

There are a few reasons why people head to the Swamiji. When they have a problem, or when they are venturing into an unknown, when they need more than what they can get, and mostly when they do not know how to go about a situation, and it appears that logic is functioning against them.  What the Swamiji does is ease the situation and help folks get past their troubles. This he does with a combination of tools, from divine talisman to rituals, to penance, to tactical and strategic advice. 
Rarely one comes across a Swamiji who tells us we are helpless, there is always help at hand. 

If one analyzes the workflow of consulting a Swamiji, one will become aware that it is similar to a painkiller. Pain happens, its part of life, to endure is wisdom. But we need to move on with our busy lives without a rest, and hence a painkiller becomes inevitable. The danger however lies in the fact that the solution is temporary, worse than that, it is no solution at all. Soon we realize the habit forming addictive nature of the process. A relationship is built with the painkiller. The Swamiji becomes part of family, to such extent that he knows more about our problems than ourselves. We stay comfortable with the notion that we have divine help. The cycle of consultations go on and pain gets converted into pleasure momentarily continually.

A rare and true Swamiji however is more than a pain killer. He gets to the root of the problem, and rather than providing a sugar coated pill for the symptom to subside, he provides the bitter medicine and perhaps a lengthy treatment for the cure of the disease. Self Knowledge is the treatment for the disease of suffering, and one who gives that to the seeker is Guru (literally, One who removes darkness). Self knowledge delivers us from all forms of pain and results in an ever joyful life.

So next time you prepare for a Swamiji visit, check if he is a painkiller or a Cure.

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