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‘Attract a guru, not a Ravana in your life’

Life is born out of ‘desire’ and we remain prisoners of this desire over countless lifetimes. During these births, the soul remains oblivious of the purpose of life and gets more and more entangled in  various attractions of the physical world — in relationships, career, properties and places, occupations and hobbies. He is totally immersed in the web and glue of maya, bound to the senses and their objects. 

What, then, is the purpose of life? It appears to be in experiencing desires which brought you here. And desires are unending. They start with the cycle of karma — one leads to the next and it becomes a successive movement, one that continues forever, until the soul decides this quest is over and finally decides to get back home. But until you return all you took from Creation, you will keep coming back. You have to pay back every karma you play out in your life. 

It might be okay to experience and enjoy pleasures, but it is also important to remember the purpose of your life and to remember that with every pleasure, comes pain. That maintains balance in Creation.

We are limited with our senses and our mind cannot comprehend either our purpose or ways to achieve it, so we continue living aimlessly until we meet a guru. Finally, it is the guru who defines our path and our life’s purpose, giving us the means to achieve it as well. 

An individual soul, unaware of its capacity, remains ignorant until the guru enlightens him with jnana and awakens the hidden potential within the sishya. Rama was just 14 when Maharishi Vishwamitra came to take him away to annihilate the most dreaded demon of those times. Dasaratha blinded by the veil of maya was aghast, but his guru, Rishi Vasishta assured him of the great victory his son was going to achieve when the grace of Guru Vishwamitra fell upon him. Rama, being Vishnu incarnate, bowed at the feet of the guru and received grace. 
The grace of a guru is the collected tapas performed by the guru himself which he grants to the sishya. It is believed that Maharishi Vishwamitra alone was capable of slaying all the demons on earth including Ravana, but instead, he chose to bless Rama, his sishya, so that he could achieve the purpose of his birth

In this day and age, demons like Ravana, Hiranyakashyapa, and Kansa do not exist in bodies, but they still exist as energies. By the force of their evil, they can easily get into normal human beings, some of them even taking the guise of gurus. It is imperative before you choose a guru that you safeguard yourself by the principles of Ashtanga Yoga, especially the five yamas — satya, truth; asteya, nonstealing; aparigraha, noncollection; ahimsa, nonviolence and brahmacharya, celibacy.

In Kali Yuga, any normal person practising these five yamas has the capacity to become a guru. And even any exalted soul not practising them can become the embodiment of Ravana. 

On the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, let us pray that we meet a guru and not Ravana in disguise.

(This Article by Yogi Ashwini came in Speaking tree, times of india, in 2013 )

30th July, 2015, Guru Poornima Celebrations with Yogi Ashwini, 6:30-8:30pm.
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