YOUR UNIQUE INDIVIDUALITY IS PART OF THE KEY|
Which Spiritual Path is Most Likely to Bring One the Most Personal Enrichment?
Choose Your Spiritual Path, Guru, and or Teacher Carefully
Tuesday, 6-1-2004, Vol. 10: Article 19 (Updated May 26, 2016)|
Choosing Your Spiritual Path
A massive quantity of spiritual paths can be found all over the internet. Which ones should one look into or which ones could be just cults or those with leaders with much less than spiritual motives? The confusion can be overwhelming until one learns just exactly which spiritual path is most likely to bring one the most personal enrichment and wholeness.
I would like to share with you my thoughts regarding what one should look for when choosing a spiritual path. I have studied so many lately that I have been able to come to some set of standards or guidelines to follow when choosing a spiritual path. There is an important difference between a spiritual path, a cult and a religion.
A religion is usually a dogma based on some past spiritual revelation who's principle leader or master has long since passed away. A spiritual path is a presently used method of God-realization taught by a living master, guide or teacher. A cult can be any group of people ruled or controlled by a dangerous, self-serving, often charismatic dictator with hidden, evil, sensual or diabolic motives. Some cults can be far worse than others, of course.
Unfortunately there can be many shades of gray between a genuine spiritual path, a religion and a cult. For example, Osho seems to have a lot to offer, but while he was still widely known as Bhagwan shri Rajneesh, he appeared more like a leader of a cult where many people got hurt. Sometimes a genuine spiritual path can degrade into a cult or in rare cases evolve back into a more innocent teaching or following because the teacher himself often continues to evolve.
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These days, my best advice to you is to simply avoid following any cult, guru, teacher or religion (unless you are looking for company) and instead find your own way through self-knowledge, healthy lifestyle, education, research and experience. Your goal should be to become materially, emotionally and spiritually independent, rather than remain dependent on someone else for spiritual truths. The whole point of learning from other teachers in the first place should really be to become emotionally mature rather than emotionally dependent.
The horrific "Buddha boy" cult leader Ram Bahadur Bomjon is an excellent example of why one should be extremely, extremely careful long before getting too seriously involved or emotionally dependent on another person, teacher or guru for spiritual guidance. Unfortunately and to my shock and horror, several former female devotees came forward to say they were tortured and sexually abused by this "wolf in sheep's clothing." Do your diligent research and you will see for yourself.
If you still strongly feel the need for a guru, personal guide or teacher, try to find one who abides by the following rules and do a very, very thorough background check on that person, cult or religion before ever committing yourself, otherwise you could get seriously hurt, sexually abused, or taken advantage of:
1. It should always have a living Master or Guru who has fully mastered the goal of the path. (At least one perfected living example is essential, otherwise what evidence would there be to prove that this path really works?)
2. The living Master or Guru must always be kind, loving, cheerful, helpful, open minded, available, and more than willing to do all he or she can to bring about the successful and complete liberation from all problems, etc. of his or her chelas.
3. It's methods and values, etc. should be based on scientific evidence and never on faith or dogma, while fully supporting one's own personal faith or religious beliefs, other gurus, paths and spiritual inclinations and/or practices.
4. One should NEVER be forced to accept anything or act on anything based on blind faith or dogma.
5. It must be practical and adaptable to the needs of the modern lifestyle.
6. There should be no unreasonable and/or difficult requirements especially if not fully explained and not providing any scientific proof.
7. It must WORK HERE AND NOW (not in four lifetimes!) to fulfill all one's spiritual yearnings to his or her individual capacity, and fully answer all one's questions, etc.
8. Regular, deep meditation, some form of breath control, and/or listening to the inner sounds while experiencing God's love should be a major part of it.
9. The lifestyles of purity, chastity, spiritual marriage and/or celibacy should be fully encouraged and supported.
10. The Master or Guru of this path must be completely free of all lust, alcoholism, attachments, personal desires, selfishness, and any other moral imperfections, egotism, etc.
Definition of the Word, "Guru"
The word, "guru" means "teacher" in Sandskrit. It also means "heavy with knowledge." One can have many teachers, but only one guru. The guru is one who is regarded to have great expertise in one or more areas and acts as a guiding light for others. Literally, the guru is the "dispeller of darkness" or one who destroys ignorance or darkness (Sandskrit, "Gu" meaning "darkness") with the light of spiritual illumination (Sandskrit, "Ru" meaning "light").
The guru is the "divine preceptor" who leads the devotee to God. When the guru initiates the devotee in a practice such as a mantram or other yoga technique, some of the guru's shakti is given along with it making the devotee his chela and permanently obligated to his guru until God is fully realized. There have always been many false teachers claiming to be gurus. A real guru is very rare and hard to find. There is often no question when one is found because of the profound aura of peace, authority and God-tuned magnetism that they give out.
Terms Related to the Word, "Guru"
yogi Christ, (maha) avatar, master, sage, teacher, (divine) preceptor, authority, advisor, counselor, guiding light, guiding spirit, (spirit) guide, great soul, leader, tutor, mentor, pole star, higher self, pundit, scholar, expert, wizard, chief, analyst, specialist, director, mastermind, adept, virtuoso, attendant, abbott, lama, captain, chaperon, cicerone, conductor, controller, convoy, docent, example, exemplar, exhibitor, genie, genius, ideal, inspiration, lodestar, role model, monitor, paradigm, pathfinder, pilot, pioneer, rudder, ruler, helmsman, scout, superintendent, usher
11. The Guru should never insist on any money or financial support of any kind, except for voluntary donations or contributions.
12. It should not require any rituals, idol worship or religious activities, beliefs, etc. of any kind yet all religions, other paths, cultures, etc. would be fully appreciated and understood for what they are.
13. See God within and without in all people and in all form, know yourself and everybody else, no matter how they act, as a God in form. Acknowledge that all living beings are from one and the same Source.
14. It would encourage giving gratitude for all of God's Blessings, and as much as possible having one's attention fully on the NOW moment.
15. It would uphold the SUPREME COMMANDMENT which is to have an undying and totally unshakeable love and devotion for God.
16. There would be a strong emphasis on gaining direct experience from the highest levels of super-consciousness rather than obtaining revelation through channeling, mediumship, hypnosis, etc.
17. A 100% vegetarian, raw food lifestyle should be encouraged but not required.
18. It should encourage only the healthiest, most ethical diets and lifestyles.
19. The eating of red meat such as beef, ham, lamb, etc., should be avoided as much as possible.
20. The path must involve the respect of all life as precious and honour and marvel at God's Creation.
21. All immoral, unlawful behavior, etc., should never be encouraged.
22. Illicit sex, drugs, drinking, and smoking, etc. would be discoraged and replaced with healthier, happier and higher alternatives. (Sri Ramakrishna smoked a pipe but did this to stay grounded!)
23. The "finer things" in life, such as higher values, spiritual marriage, deep devotional love, etc. should always be encouraged and supported.
24. There should always be an open-minded quest for higher values (such as truth, goodness and beauty) and their expression.
25. The Guru's love, joy, humor and ethusiastic devotion to God should be reflected in the eyes of all its members -- signs of a truely happy, mature, and psychologically balanced group of people!
26. It should be non-judgemental and always willing to help those in need.
27. It should be progressive and open-minded to new ideas as long as they can be scientifically proven.
28. It would never be too rigid or inflexible to the point of excluding other methods from other paths that could otherwise be of some benefit.
29. Exceptions should be allowed for genuine individual needs.
30. Not only must there be a daily meditation practice, that practice must include several hours a day of perfect concentration on the inner sounds and inner light of God through the third eye.
31. The goal of meditation should be to "die daily" through advanced methods of stilling the mind, withdrawing into the center, slowing and stopping metabolism with intent to develop the ability to leave the body at will and soar into higher levels of reality with the goal of leaving behind the astral and causal bodies to soar into the highest, most loving realms of complete, permanent liberation from all reincarnation and all suffering.
32. Everything should be done to make meditation as completely rewarding and fulfilling as possible as soon as possible. This could include a meditation clinic where all meditation problems are properly diagnosed and treated.
33. Individual spiritual needs should be fully acknowledged and adequately met.
34. It should not only be a system of self-realization, but also a system of God-realization through self-realization.
35. There should also be an unending quest for higher and higher possibilities such as the the process of living on light and the creation of an immortal light body that can function on the physical plane.
35. The Guru has the ability to transmit his or her consciousness in various ways that can benefit others while demonstating this proof of the higher realities of God to other sincere truth seekers.
36. The Guru can demonstrate actual miracles just to prove the reality of the spiritual worlds.
37. The Guru has the ability to transport your soul to higher realms of consciousness and bring you back.
38. The Guru has the ability to astral travel and visit you in one of your dreams. (This actually happened to me personally in a very awesome way while receiving a subsequent initiation from my Guru in a dream!)
39. The Guru has the ability to protect you from harm, and solve any problems or pressing situations that you need to overcome.
Of course it would be really truely amazing and extremely rare for any one guru, spiritual path or system of yoga to always have all of the above. But the more of the above it has, the more perfect and desirable is that system of God-realization. However some of the above requirements are more important than others. Any obvious omissions I would consider as being like a red warning flag indicating that it could be a cult or following who's leader has hidden motives.
My own personal recommendations: Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivikananda and the Kriya Yoga gurus, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, Paramhansa Yogananda were some of the greatest gurus in history in regards to the above mentioned values and ideals. Unfortunately all these gurus have long since passed on.
Today I have been most fortunate (I'm truely grateful, honored, etc.) to have on the evening of Friday, September 8th, 2006, and within a short walking distance from my apartment in Costa Mesa and right next door to where I work, spoken personally with Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath, a living Himalyan Master from the great Nath liniage of yogis who in so many ways is turning out to be (like the great gurus and masters I've just mentioned) one of greatest masters of all time (and space!)
Celibacy & Transmutation of Sexual Energy
Just as humankind has learned to master and control many natural forces in the world, a yogi (or yogini) is a very special (and unfortunately rare) individual who's inclination is to control and master the inner forces of nature, such as thoughts, emotions, cravings, and desires, especially the biological force of sexual energy. The yogi or yogini manages to successfully master his or her emotions and sexual energy not by force, but through purification of brain and body cells and then by absorption of vital prana. The transmutation of sex into inner peace, bliss, joy and love is the wonderful end result. One of the greatest mysteries of life is sex, sexual desire, and sexual energy. However, when sexual energy is lost in the process of reproductive activity, the spiritual life suffers.
Yogiraj (who's face often mysteriously resembles Sri Yukteswar's) is firmly entrenched in the heart of some of the most historical, original and ancient teachings from Ancient India's Nath yogic traditon centered mainly in the awesome livestyle and values of Mahavatar Babaji's Kriya Yoga. He has carefully distilled this yogic system down to a "cut to the chase, no nonsense, lighting path" format that householders of the western lifestyle can easily benefit from and become one with the Infinite Beloved much sooner than later!
Just the fact that Yogiraj has actually met and seen the great Mahavatar Babaji (the same "Babaji" as the one in Autobiography of a Yogi) and in a similar manner made contact with the late Sri Yukteswar, makes Yogiraj quite a fascinating subject all in itself. Born on May 10th, 1944, Yogiraj Siddhanath has the same birthday as Sri Yukteswar also born on May 10th, but in1855. Yogiraj Siddhanath is descended from the family of Ikshavaku Rama of the Solar Dynasty: a Siddha by birth.
Yogiraj is dedicated to helping the sincere seeker find God through direct transmission of his awesome "still mind" awareness. Inspiring, awesome, loving, kind, humble yet powerfully forthright, jovial, peaceful and always uplifting, I would have a very hard time holding back my overwhelming enthusiasm for one who seems best qualified to meet at least most of my high standards of what an ideal Guru and spiritual path should be like! For more information about this path, go here: http://HAMSA-YOGA.ORG
Many miracles and an amazing series of coincidences have occured in my life that not only have brought me to the feet of my Guru in this lifetime, but also have proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yogiraj is my own personal Guru and preceptor of the highest truths that the Infinite has to offer. I am truely grateful and full of wonder.
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