All Yogic Approaches are Initiatory


Part 10 of “How Do You Qualify Yoga?

…I return to a more controversial qualification presented by Georg Feuerstein, in his perennial work, “The Lost Teachings of Yoga“.

Truly the name of this article can also be tilted “Do you need a Guru?”  According to my teacher, Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati, “[A] Guru is not considered to be any person, though the force of guru may operate through a person. Teachers may be respected, but are not objects of worship. “Gu” means “darkness” and “ru” means “light.” Guru is the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance.”

However, even my teacher has a Guru.

Georg is adamant, in the aforementioned work–and many others–self-taught, and even incorrect teachings have benefit, the subtle nuances of Yoga tradition are missed without a Guru to elucidate them.

How do I feel about this?  My answer probably will be cryptic–I avoid offering advice.

I know, the old adage, “when the student is ready, the teacher will come”, sounds patronizing–especially, to someone who considers himself  to be an earnest seeker.  The challenge is, especially if you listen to Georg’s audiobook, are we earnest seekers?

The Path, as described by Swami Rama in, The Architect and the Path, ” …Is narrower than the needle’s eye and as sharp as a razor’s edge.”  Furthermore, he explains, a half-hearted seeker will find that their efforts may not bear fruit.  He is assertive in his conclusion, “If your dearest one stands in the way of Self-realization, tread over him, forsake him, go beyond. If your beloved stands in the way of Self-realization, cast her aside. Your trusted friend is Truth and Truth alone.”  These strong words are the rationale behind the celibate, renunciate lifestyle of the Swami.

So, before instead of answering the question, “do you need a Guru?”  I offer, “are you a sincere seeker?”

A wise friend of mine said, “do you have a spiritual path or a hobby?”

I have vacillated on my committment; but, I am striving for complete adherence and surrender.  This adherence is not coming from the fear of punishment, or the hope of reward, from an external source.  It is intrinsic.  The deeper I go, the more I realize that I am looking for something inside of me.  The closer I get to it, the more I understand the need to associate with those who have tread this path.

My teacher is treading this path.  I listen to his advice because I feel the truth resonating in it; not, because I am following blindly.  I see the practices working in my life; but, only, when I am committed to them.

4 thoughts on “All Yogic Approaches are Initiatory

  1. Love the distinction between true seeker and hobbiest. I have vascilaret between both. Beautifully written article. Your path and inspiratiin to move beyond hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

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