Beyond guru disciple duality
Ramesh S. Balsekar
The problem of seeking can only be
dissolved through the realisation that both the seeker and the guru are
only a part of the impersonal functioning of totality
It is a tradition in India that the sadguru having apperceived and
experienced the Unicity that is the supreme subjectivity, and having
merged with that Unicity, is one with it, and must, therefore, in a
relative sense, be worshipped as Unicity.
Nisargadatta Maharaj (my guru) told his visitors repeatedly that the
seeker regards himself as a separate entity as the doer of his actions,
and the guru as another individual with similar separate existence.
Maharaj used to say that so long as this attitude prevailed, whatever
one did to achieve liberation could only tighten the knot of bondage.
This is because we have always been what-we-areóthe substance and never
the shadow that we think we are, with independent doership.
The problem of seeking can only be dissolved when there is the
realisation that the apparent individual seeker seeking another apparent
individual as a guru is only a part of the impersonal functioning of
Totality. The sadguru within has done it all: bringing the teacher and
the disciple together as one event, which had to happen according to the
Both guru and disciple are objective expressions of the same singular
Subjectivity. And yet, so long as the body-mind organism exists, a
feeling of intense, intimate relationship continues to exist in a
dreamlike manner between the guru and the disciple. Having turned the
disciple into his own likeness, the guru no longer considers himself as
distinct from the disciple. From the point of view of the disciple, the
relationship continues till the end of life.
In the absence of the guruís grace, all the knowledge in the Vedas will
be fruitless. The sun of the guruís grace dispels the darkness of
intellectual seeking and brings about the fulfilment of the seeking. The
grace of the guru happens when the disciple surrenders everything he
has, including his sense of personal doership, at the guruís feet. In
this grace of the guru merges the triad of the giver, the receiver and
that which is givenóthe final fulfilment of the efforts which had until
then remained unfulfilled.
The guru brings about an apparent duality in his relationship with the
disciple without in any way losing his basic sense of Unity.