Ramna Ashram, 17th August 1939
The Necessity of a Sadguru in Spiritual Life
I raised the topic of Sobha Ma, saying:
"Sobha Ma maintains that without. taking initiation from a Sadguru one cannot get anywhere in religious life. But you don't say so.
Mataji : I too say this.
Myself: But not all the time.
Mataji: Whom. do you call a Sadguru?
Myself: Him who has realized the Brahman.
Mataji: Yes, he has been established in the Brahman. Look, one finds a Sadguru after acquiring a great deal of merit. You know, I lay much stress on the repetition of the Lord's name and maintain that everything can be achieved by His name. You must thoroughly understand the spirit in which I assert this.
Look, you teach in a College, but not everybody can do so. One can teach in a Colleqe only after having acquired the capacity and the necessary degree. But one cannot ignore someone who teaches A, B, C in a primary school, for this is also not in vain. Because the knowledge of A, B, C is necessary also for B.A. & M.A.
Similarly there are different levels on the path of sadhana leading to the knowledge of Reality. A person can only speak from the level he has reached at that time. So on all these levels a Sadguru is relevant. You know this body's ways, don't you? It never discourages anyone. If somebody is told that he can never make any progress without a Sadguru, he may be so discouraged as to remain quite inactive. This is why I always advise constant adherence to the Name. By repeating the Name great yearning for Him will ensue and the keen desire for a Guru will awaken.
Perhaps even after having found a Guru one's longing may not be appeased. Then you may possibly notice that some aspirants move from the shelter of one Guru to that of another. 'Step-by-step initiation' is also mentioned in the Sastras. This is something similar. Guru, mantra, lsta are all one. From the worldly point of view one may perceive several Gurus, but in Supreme Truth they are all one. Although there are thousands of waves in the ocean, they are all nothing but water. I behold everything as one; I cannot speak of anything in division.
The essential thing is a real thirst for the Divine to prepare the ground properly.
The body is just the soil. If it has been prepared we!!, then as soon as the seed is sown the tree
will start growing. So as to increase the' desire tor Truth, to prepare the soil properly, I advise the repetition of a sacred Name.
(Pointing to Herself) For this body everything has happened of itself. Perhaps in one in a million or in a billion everything may take place spontaneously, So under these circumstances, how can I declare that nothing can be achieved without a Sadguru? However, it is preferable to avoid mentioning how it was with this body.
Again, viewing it from another angle of vision suppose somebody does not have recourse to a human Guru and starts practising the Name or a religious rite. Although it may appear from the ordinary point of view that he has no Guru, I will say that what he does is certainly due to the Guru's prompting. When referring to a Guru we mean God Himself who is the root cause of all thought, feeling and action. In a case like the one just mentioned, I would say that it is the Guru residing in his heart who is inspiring him to engage in those practices. So in this sense you can say that nothing can be achieved without a Sadguru. But the real purport of what people say about the necessity of the Sadguru's shelter is that once you have been accepted by a Sadguru there is no more downfall. For he inculcates divine power into the mantra so that it is never destroyed.
Nevertheless you may find that aspirants, even after having been initiated by a Sadguru, look for another Guru because eagerness to find God is so intense that they cannot place full reliance in their
Sadguru. About this kind of thing, I will maintain that their keen anxiety, this having recourse to one Guru after another: -- even this is due to the will of the Sadguru. Eventually one reaches a stage when the Guru, His grace and all the rest disappears -- all is merged in the One. Surely, there is also a state of existence without Guru, is there not?
Myself: How can I tell? I have not yet reached that state.
Mataji : But you have read the Sastras.
Myself: Yes, I have previously heard of such things from you.
Mataji : Yes, as soon as the sense of duality vanishes, then such a state supervenes. Who then
is whose Guru? Who showers grace on whom?
Myself: Ma, you have previously said that it is only as a result of many meritorious deeds that one obtains a Sadguru. Why then can no special improvement be noticed in oneself even after having been blessed by a Sadguru?
Mataji: Not only as a result of one's good deeds does one secure a Sadguru. His mercy is also without cause or reason. This is why some obtain quick results after being blessed by a Sadquru, while others are faced with delay.
Myself: Is the delay due to the disciple's tendencies and inclinations brought over from previous births?
Mataji: The Guru's power can achieve everything. He can burn to ashes everything in a moment;He may also cause delay.
Myself: Sobha Ma declares that having once been blessed by the grace of a Sadguru, one attains to liberation within three births. This may be applicable to persons with lesser qualifications. Is this correct?
Mataji: It does not occur to me to reply to this question just now.