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Differentiate Satguru & Guru In the word Satguru (Lord in human form), the prefix ‘Sat’ means truth. A Satguru always preaches the truth. Truth is always harsh and is not liked by several people. Therefore a Satguru will have only very few disciples. A Satguru says that the path with thorns will lead to the Lord. People will not like this. He also says that the path with flowers leads to hell. People will not be happy with this preaching. A Guru preaches which several people like. The Guru says that the nature of the goal will be the nature of the path. Since the Lord is full of bliss the path also must be with flowers giving happiness. Since the hell is giving you lot of pain the path with thorns which also gives lot of pain must lead to the hell. This argument is very attractive. Several people will like this and will become the followers of Guru. Several people will praise him and give lot of Guru Dakshina because his argument is pleasant. But a Satguru says that the path with thorns alone will lead to the Lord because in this path you have to cut the bonds with your family and with your hard-earned money. Sacrifice gives lot of pain and sacrifice alone will lead to the Lord. The path with flowers strengthens your bonds with your family and money which gives you lot of happiness. Such path leads to the hell. Several people do not like such argument and so only one or two persons who can realize the truth will become His disciples. A Satguru will never worry about the number of the disciples and about the quantity of Guru Dakshina. Even if a single disciple is available He is happy. Majority always goes to hell. Only one in millions like Sankara, Vivekananda, Meera can reach the Lord. Diamonds are always in minority. Gravel stones are in majority. Therefore a Satguru will be only one in thousands of Gurus and a true disciple will be only one in millions of disciples. When you are doing prayers you are praising the Lord as a poet praises a king. The foolish king may give some gift to the poet. But the omniscient Lord can never be fooled by such praise. When you sing songs are chant the name of the Lord or express the feelings of devotion by shedding tears or by meditation you are getting the happiness and peace immediately. You have achieved the fruit. The Lord will not give another fruit for these things. When you are pained and loose peace by cutting the family bonds and by sacrificing your work and wealth to the Lord, then only the Lord will give the real gift to you. When you are working in the field for the owner, doing the work pains you. The owner will pay money for your work. Without doing the work, if you are simply chanting the name of the owner or sing songs on the owner, a wise owner will never give any gift. You have already derived the bliss and peace by eating the sweet in your hand. Why should I pay you when you are eating the sweet? When you sacrifice the sweet to me I shall pay you. A Satguru teaches only the sacrifice which is the path with thorns leading to the Lord. Veda says that sacrifice alone can bring the grace of the Lord (Dhanene Tyagenaike). If you ask the payment by prayers and devotion the Lord will pay you from your pocket only. He will bring the results of good deeds from your future life cycles and present them to you. But when you are sacrificing the sweet to the Lord in spite of your hunger and your heart pain, the Lord rewards you from His pocket. Therefore the true path leading to the Lord can be identified by loss of peace, mental worry, pain etc., The path to the hell is identified by peace, happiness, benefit etc., Satguru leads you to the Lord and Guru leads you to the hell. Satguru is like the class teacher teaching you the complicated concepts. Guru is like the teacher helping you in your study hours. Satguru may become Guru, but, reverse is not possible. Satguru tests your practical sacrifice without any need for it. A grandfather presented a packet of biscuits to his daughter or daughter-in-law for the sake of his grandson. The mother gives a biscuit to her son without informing about the grandfather based on his instruction. Now, the grandson is eating the biscuit. The grandfather begs for a bit of the biscuit to test the love of the boy on him. Satguru is like that grandfather as we see Shirdi Sai Baba asking offering of money. The same offering given to a Guru is like giving a bit of the biscuit to a hungry person, who is in need of it. Some people cleverly color their greediness by saying that God, the all-giver, is not in need. In the case of Satguru, you must prove your theoretical devotion through practical sacrifice and in His case, both are essential since He is not in need like Guru. Theory is the source of practice and theory must be always enclosed with practice like an application for job must be enclosed with copies of certificates of qualifications and experience. 1) The Veda says that God is true, infinite and excellent knowledge (Satyam Jnaanaam..., Prajnaanaam...). The adjectives indicate that the knowledge of God is the best. This doesn’t mean that knowledge is God. This means that God is personified knowledge. Whenever a quality is in excess, the person possessing that quality is mentioned as that quality itself. In Sadguru or human incarnation, God identifies Himself with the human being-component and hence, Sadguru is the spiritual knowledge itself meaning that He is the personified spiritual knowledge. 2) When Sadguru propagates the spiritual knowledge, it is only to help others since for Him there is no need of any help. Any human being propagating the true spiritual knowledge, clearing the doubts of all the souls is the human incarnation, which is its unique identification. The soul must know that spiritual knowledge alone gives him right direction in the spiritual path, which is essential for its eternal uplift. 1. True and False Devotees and Incarnations A false devotee is one who tries to escape from the practical service and sacrifice to God. He exploits the fact that the omnipotent God is not in any real need of service or sacrifice from petty human beings. A true devotee is one who performs the practical service and sacrifice to God along with pure theoretical devotion. He completely surrenders to God in both theory and practice. He proves the theoretical devotion in His mind by practically serving God and sacrificing his money for God. A false incarnation is a glorified beggar. He cheats devotees by saying that they must do practical service and sacrifice to him for the sake of their own spiritual welfare and not because he needs it. A true Incarnation never aspires for anything from the devotee since He has absolutely no need. He accepts the service and sacrifice of the devotee in the interest of the devotee so that the devotee may be truly uplifted on the spiritual path. There are two perfect matches. The first is the true devotee and the true Incarnation and the second is the false devotee and the false incarnation. When the true devotee meets the true Incarnation, the devotee is benefited. When the false devotee meets with the false incarnation, the false incarnation is taught a good lesson. Let us also see the cross-associations. When the false devotee meets the true Incarnation, only the false devotee suffers a loss. No loss ever comes to the true Incarnation. When the true devotee meets the false incarnation, the true devotee gets cheated if the devotee is not capable of doing a proper analysis in order to recognize the true Incarnation. Just as the Incarnation tests devotees, the devotee must also test Incarnations. Tests based on sharp and intelligent analysis are needed on both sides. The customer tests the golden ornament before purchasing it from the jeweler. The jeweler also tests the currency notes given by the customer to see whether they are genuine or fake. Krishna began His preaching of the Gita with the concept of buddhi yoga , which is sharp analysis using one’s intelligence. He even ended His preaching highlighting the same point of thorough analysis (Vimṛṣyaitadaśeṣeṇa...). This intelligent analysis must be used to test the Incarnation. The devotee must never blindly accept the knowledge given by the Incarnation. He must accept it only upon being fully convinced after a thorough analysis. 2. Identifying the Incarnation of God How to identify a true Incarnation? Generally, people identify an Incarnation by His ability to perform miracles. People are attracted to these miracles since they are useful to solve their worldly problems. But the worldly problems are confined only to this birth. Such people realize their blunder only in the last minutes before their death when there is no time for rectification. Miracles can be done even by devils. They get miraculous powers from God through rigorous penance. The main problem with miracles is that they increase selfishness in the devotee. The devotee develops the habit of exploiting the power for solving worldly problems and getting worldly benefits. But the usefulness of these miracles is limited only this birth. Unfortunately, the selfishness developed in the devotee as a result of the miracles prevents the divine grace from working on the devotee and spoils the spiritual growth of the devotee. This is a huge loss which affects the soul in all future births. Miracles are useful to deal with scientific atheists or atheistic scientists. These are people who do not believe in God but who are capable of objective and patient analysis. They are people who accept proof and are capable of changing their opinion in the face of contrary evidence. There is no need to attempt to change adamant atheists because they will never change even if they experience miracles. They lack the ability to conduct an objective analysis or change their opinion in the face of contrary evidence. Similarly, silent pure scientists are satisfied to study only science and are not capable of inquiring about anything beyond science. There is no need to show miracles and attempt to change them either. Miracles are useful to the devotee to solve the worldly problems of the present birth. But they increase the devotee’s selfishness. Eating sweets serves the purpose of temporary pacification of hunger, but it increases the risk of diabetes! The best identification of an Incarnation has been told as the true spiritual knowledge given by Him. This divine knowledge helps souls progress in worldly life (pravṛtti) by establishing justice and peace. It also helps souls progress in spiritual life (nivṛtti). This true spiritual knowledge is described in the Veda as “Satyaṁ jñānamanantaṁ Brahma” and in the Gita as “Jñānītvātmaiva...”. Why has the true spiritual knowledge been given such total importance? The reason is that it helps in giving right direction to the soul for its temporary welfare in pravṛtti as well as permanent welfare in nivṛtti. A person usually has a strong fascination for worldly bonds of money, spouse and child. Driven by this fascination, he commits sins in the world. The true spiritual knowledge diverts a person’s strong fascination from the worldly bonds towards God. Thus, it prevents the person from committing sins. Then the person naturally avoids punishment in this world and in the afterworld. This is the contribution of spiritual knowledge to a person’s worldly life. As the person advances further and further in the same true spiritual knowledge, in course of time, it brings the person closer and closer to God. The person gets the opportunity of not just becoming a Human Incarnation, but also the master of God. Becoming the Human Incarnation of God is attaining monism with God, which is the goal of the monistic philosophy of Advaita. The goal of the dualistic philosophy of Dvaita is to surrender to God as a devoted servant. But God out of love treats such a surrendered devotee as His own master. Thus, the goal of dualism is higher than the goal of monism. Of course, both these fruits are given by God only to those devotees who do not aspire for any fruit from God. Hence, attachment to God is the essential starting point for success in pravṛtti as well as in nivṛtti. It is the railway ticket purchased right up to Delhi which represents the goal of nivṛtti or spiritual life. It allows you to break the journey at the intermediate station which is pravṛtti or worldly justice. If you learn spiritual knowledge, develop theoretical devotion and practice practical devotion to God, you have purchased a ticket right up to the abode of God, which is known as Brahma Loka. You can break your journey for a very short time at the intermediate station which is heaven or Svarga Loka. But if you only do good social service you have purchased a ticket only up to the intermediate station called heaven. With it, you can stay for a longer time in heaven, but you will have to return to earth thereafter. If you consider the attachment to God as nivṛtti, then this nivṛtti is essential from the very beginning of pravṛtti. The attachment to God leads to a simultaneous detachment from worldly bonds. In the first stage of pravṛtti, the attachment to God is only partial. The partial detachment from worldly bonds due to the partial attachment to God enables a person to follow the path of justice in pravṛtti. The attachment to God grows and becomes complete in the latter stage of nivṛtti. Both partial and full attachments to God can be called as nivṛtti. Thus, spiritual knowledge, which is the starting point for developing attachment to God is the essential requirement for both the worldly path of justice and the spiritual path of devotion. www.universal-spirituality[.]org Universal Spirituality for World Peace