The Guru-Sisya Dynamic: From darkness to light
The Sanskrit word guru has long since been accepted into modern lexicon to describe the role of teacher. It has in fact many connotations, from VIP, to teacher to expert. The name itself derives form the words, ‘gu’ meaning darkness and ‘ru’ which is dispeller of darkness through the bringing of light.
The process of self realization is predicated on the dynamic between guru and disciple or sisya. Self realization is said to rely on finding one’s guru and being guided to realize the light within us. But it is a process.
Our first guru is the mother, the second our father. We are then exposed to teachers throughout our lives that inspire our potential to be realized. These too are our gurus. I had a few growing up, from my first Hebrew teacher who opened the passion for learning, to my English teacher in high school who ignited a love for the word. She saw something in me and had the acumen to cultivate it. English became my passion and a life long connection to the word developed under her tutelage into a relationship with words, writing and poetry. My early twenties were characterized by me dropping into some form of expression of creativity through writing. As time progressed this connection to the word developed into a spiritual practice predicated on the power of intention or prayer. Today I am well known to drop into prayer, so deeply connected to the efficacy of the word to consciously create that I have been inspired to truly live on all levels.
Over the next two and a half decades I spent my every moment in pursuit of what is referred to as the sat guru. Sat is truth and the sat guru is the one that takes the aspirant to the realization of self, to the highest recognition of the light that is our essential nature. The pursuit took me (and my loved ones who had to shlep along for the ride) all over the world, to masters that were still in body form, and to a few that had long since left body behind. Each offered a pearl of illumination on the growing mala (garland) of my expanding consciousness. Each dispelled another veil of the darkness that kept me separate from my true Self.
The guru sometimes reveals itself in ways that are less obvious. The person you are most challenged by, the one that presses your buttons can be the real teacher to show you who you truly are beyond your reactivity. Your triggered response to people, actions or situations can be just as revelatory as the guru in the saffron robe or the baba in the loin cloth.
When the fallibility of the human guru with its concomitant disappointment led me to abandon the external search and look within me and to seek the guru that was free of form, I finally came to peace. That guru that I had been seeking was here all along in the form of the light within me. This light illuminates whatever wisdom is needed in the moment to expose truth.
I bow to each of them, to every guru that graced my path. They taught me in many ways either through the offering of knowledge, to the exposure of who not to be, or through the ultimate teaching which was to connect me the wisdom inside of me. Throughout my life all these mentors, gurus and teachers have pulled away whatever is obscuring the truth within me.
To come to realize the self is a universal destiny, inevitable now or later. The dynamic of guru-sisya will always be here for us to move from our minds to our hearts, from the darkness to the light. May you be blessed to find your mentors, guides and sat guru that will bring you home to the Self to the realisation that the true guru is here, right now within you.
With love and blessings,