Srinatha Raghavan posted the following on fb.
I once got an opportunity to meet an elderly gentleman, a humble Farmer, who took on the role of a Spiritual Guide and Mentor for a sincere few, who cared to seek his guidance. He never accepted anyone as his disciple, pointing bluntly, "Your Karma is your own responsibility and I can't carry it for you!"
At that time of life, I was going through a very rough patch, with no job, no purpose, no love, no nothing. I would wander the city like an hopeless man without a vision, going wherever my feet took me to. While on one such escapade (I was trying my best to flee from my destiny!) I met a guy by chance in a local train, who was a follower and benefactor of this old Guide. We struck a conversation and he invited me to come with him to meet this Guide, who was luckily camping in a place not far from where I lived then.
On the appointed day, I met this newly made acquaintance and we both left to meet his old spiritual guide to seek his blessings. There he was sitting on a sofa, with his legs atop each other, even though his frame was too hefty and big for such a feat. He was chewing Betel leaves, with bright red stains all over his white kurta and dhoti. He wore a white Gandhian skull cap, which looked too small for his massive head. He was a rustic and simple man, with no marks or airs of a Spiritual Teacher. He looked at the acquaintance who had got me there and waved his hands in blessings and mouthed something in colloquial Marathi, which went straight above my head.
He then turned his attention on me and called me to sit at his feet and massage them for a while. I did so as I was told, while he was talking to the small crowd of followers and devotees. I couldn't understand much of the animated exchanges, as it was emerging muffled up from a mouth that was constantly chewing betel leaves and also in a language I had much trouble coping all throughout my schooling years.
Suddenly turning towards me he gave me a Betel Leaf to chew and I was taken aback beyond measure by this offer.
Like one righteous fool I blurted out, "I don't eat Paan Sire?" whereas I loved it.
He laughed like a child, his full frame shaking with the laughter and said, "By eating this, only your tongue will be stained and nothing else. Whereas there are so many things you are daily consuming, that is staining your very soul?"
I felt as if a clean slap was delivered across my face and quietly took the Paan from him and keeping it in a cover, I put it safely inside my pocket to be had later, as you aren't supposed to eat anything in front of the Guru/Master.
I feel highly fortunate to have met many such simple souls, with no airs of Gurudom or the over sized Spiritual Egos of the so called Keepers of Wisdom. Alarmingly these days, many so called Gurus, methodically train you to become a Spiritual Zombie, making the disciple totally dependant on the Guru, ultimately taking away one's spiritual freedom and common sense. A real Guru does exactly the opposite - She sets you free!
Thankfully there are many living Masters still in this time and age, living unknown to the gaze of the overtly zealous world, beautifully hiding in plain sight. It is they who have kept alive the ancient adage of "All is one!" least discriminating the poor from the rich. They treat us all alike, in love and compassion, which thankfully renews hope and faith, in cynical beings like myself.
~ The greatest blessing is to earn the company of the Wise.
And another piece,
They called Him an Avatar,But He absolutely cared not,He came, He spread love, He went away,But those around Him built a huge hype,Of He being the Highest One,
On His deathbed, he is said to have told,"I came a Human, lived a Human and now dying the same,Don't build me a Temple & make me a god beyond reach?"
This is the story of many a Modern Masters,With the hype their disciples create on their name,They make them god like in no small measure,Till the Master too begins to believe the same.
Alas! Gone are the era where Masters lived among us,Side by side & shoulder to shoulder they freely walked,No one was barred from meeting them, be they rich or poor,It didn't matter!They distributed their love and grace to all without exemption,Till they got extinguished like a candle after giving their light.
Now it's a different story altogether,Where the Master never comes down from a pedestal,For they seem to like all the "Lights, Camera, Action",Only to have become an elite club of veteran Spiritual Actors?
Kali Yuga baby, Kali Yuga!Where almost every version of God is copyrighted,So someone else don't claim Him to be theirs.In this Age,It's up to us, to choose wisely whom we want to follow,Because the ones leading us may least know,Where they are going themselves anyway?