Wednesday, 18 April 2018

APPRENTICESHIP

Roopa Subramani shared a beautiful piece from https://tricycle.org/magazine/calligraphers-apprentice/ on fb. You have to read this piece first before continuing with my post.

As Master Guojun wrote, 
Songnian was always following me with his sharp eyes as I went about my tasks. I could walk in front of him once, and he would just stare at me. But if I walked twice, he would rebuke me: “Lazy cat!” (I was born in the year of the tiger.) “Why are you so idle? What a shiftless dolt you are! Go and scrub my bathroom floor.”
He seemed to enjoy making me stop and attend to him when I was particularly busy. Sometimes I suspected that he would decide to do calligraphy when he knew I had a lot of work, out of spite. “Set up the table and put things in order,” he commanded. I had to drop whatever I was doing, make ink, and set out his paper and tools.
Only in his later years did Master Guojun realize that his Shifu was molding him for a purpose.
He was preparing me to shoulder the responsibility of the dharma and carry on his legacy. Each time I draw I am grateful to be able to stand with one foot forward. I have inherited the bamboo forest, the pine for the charcoal, and the sun’s light and warmth that makes the forest grow. I dissolve into the ink, the white sheet of paper, the infinite universe that recreates itself moment by moment, always and forever changing and becoming.
He gives recognition to all things and expresses it beautifully .
Just as the daffodil is made up of the nutrients it draws from the soil, the energy of sunlight, the water that helps it grow, and the bees that pollinate, so, too, we are made up of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the ancestors who have come before us and made our lives possible.
Gratitude par excellence!

Now moving on to my post.

The days of apprenticeship are no more.

"Now everybody who desires or wants something is given it - so easily. In my days we had to earn it. We had to prove that we deserved it", many old folks lament, shaking their head from side to side, in dismay and unhappiness. 

This easily applys to the spiritual world too. When my father left the family to seek salvation in an ashram back then, he served the master, washed his cloth etc. He and the other students of the master had to do chores. They had to upkeep the ashram clean and tidy, help in the kitchen, make the beds besides spending time sitting quietly and contemplating on the words of the master who spoke rarely. Yet after serving him many years my father was called over and told to return to his family in Malaysia to fulfill his remaining responsibilities. "If the divine desires, you shall return and have your desire fulfilled" was the master's parting words. My father never went back. 

Arunagiri had to sit alone in solitude for twelve long years before he received the instruction from Lord Muruga to sing his praise, we are told. When Arunagiri was sitting alone Lord Muruga worked on him closely, till he shed his old self and his physical body healed gaining a luster and shine. Athru Swami or Pundi Mahaan must have sat in the spot for years oblivious to the changes taking place around him, only to be discovered by the villagers, covered in soil, mud and silt, after the flood waters had resided.

Supramania Swami tendered forty years of his life in tapas or doing austerities in Thiruvannamalai before attaining the samadhi state. Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal spent many years on the move seeking the Siddhas.

These real life stories of saintly personals tells us that there is no short cut to freedom from this cycle of birth and death.

Tavayogi told me I had to wait twelve years before he could give me something/ anything. Mataji, his dedicated aid and assistant, told me she was waiting too. Lately he addressed us mentioning that Agathiyar had come quite easily to us without the need to seek them out in the plains and meadows, jungles and caves, hills and peaks as he did.

Yes. The days of apprenticeship are no more. Now strangers pop up from nowhere and everywhere passing around and dispensing upadesam or spiritual guidance freely, teaching techniques and practices, laying down do's and don'ts, and giving teechas or initiation, purportedly to open the chakras, raise the kundalini, and many more without the need for an apprenticeship and building a bond or relationship between them and the receiver. Strangely neither the giver nor the receiver know each other well these days.

A seeker shared with me how he received an activation of his chakras unexpectedly from a visiting Swamiji whom he went looking for in the playground. The host had directed him to the Swamiji who was taking a stroll in the playground in the neighborhood. The whole process took place on a bench in an open field in public. He had already had several initiations from various gurus and masters before this. His wife tells us that one of his guru had blocked his energies for fear that his student would outshine him. Even after confronting the guru he refused to reverse his action. He tells us he had earlier run away from an ashram for various reasons. None of the initiators into these paths or practices knew or asked about his previous accomplishments in the spiritual field. These led to an upheaval of intense energies leading to disruption of bodily functions in him. Agathiyar pulled him over and cleared all his ailments. Today we are happy to see him get his life back together. 

Yogi Ramsuratkumar refused to bless someone who dropped by after visiting another saint at her ashram for the mere reason that he did not want to disturb the energy the seeker carried from the previous saint.

There are instant formulas in the spiritual path these days just has we have instant milk formula and noodles. No more waiting period. Mantra initiations are given to people and total strangers on the streets without the least reverence for these magical syllables and their efficacy. When I received my initiation together with my wife and six others from Tavayogi, it was done behind close doors. He cautioned us not to reveal it otherwise our heads would burst into pieces!

There is a fad now in meeting visiting Swamijis and collecting teechas. Teechas are not honorary achievements to be pinned on one's chest or or displayed in showcases. Supramania Swami apprehended my brother for not following or putting into practice the numerous teechas he boastfully revealed that he had received from visiting masters. 

The days of apprenticeship are no more. Initiations are available online now. Practices are prescribed via email and correspondence.

Although limited in learning, and limited in experiences, I would like to share my thoughts, with seekers taking the first step into the vastness of the spiritual path.

A guru is required to closely monitor the progress of the student, after having initiated him, helping him overcome obstacles on the path, giving solutions to problems encountered in the inward journey, and finally helping him see through the ordeal of transformation that takes place.

Tread carefully. Ask for divine help. Recognize it. Once it is given live up to it. As Supramania Swami said all our efforts will give us returns; nothing is wasted.

Take a guru, get an initiation from him, work on it diligently till he gives you another, once he feels you deserve it. Stick to a mantra or practice till your next. Stop gathering teechas as you would gather tokens in the funfair. Stop mixing and matching the practices collected from other visiting gurus, the internet, YouTube etc. All these will not come to your aid in event things go wrong for you.

Stay faithful to a path. Stay faithful to a Guru. Stay faithful to his teachings. You shall see progress evidently.

As I listened to the past Nadi revelations I began to realize all that was prophesied by the Siddhas in the early years of my search are beginning to take place some twelve years later.

Tavayogi was right.

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This blog postings are those of beginners who have taken the first step exploring the mysterious & mystical world of Siddhas. It is purely about devotion (Bakthi) and miracles. For those who think or feel that they have advanced spiritually and passed these initial, preliminary and primary stages, please reserve your comment.