Search for a Guru

The Search for a Guru presents teachings from the non-dual tradition, in the form of a story about an aspirant’s search.

The outer events and difficulties form the background to a revealing account of the ‘inner pilgrimage’.

The Search for a Guru illustrates the traditional attitude of the spiritual aspirant, and stages in the growth of self-awareness.

Here is a short extract:

The avalanches were still falling; the sun was setting. A cold wind began to blow fiercely. Prakasha lifted his head, and seemed to hear voices, singing in faint but distinct tones:

Dark clouds veil the all-beholding sun,
But the eagle rises above them
And delights in its splendour for ever, for ever!
Flowers fade, youth decays,
The eyes grow dim and the mind gloomy,
But the Witness, the eternal Witness,
Is ever fresh, ever green,
Ever merged in the delight of His own Nature.

The soul of a devotee is often subject to such experiences. These are the last throes of the dying avidya [delusion] in his antahkarana [inner being]; they are mighty assaults. The God-less, the Guru-less, are waylaid here, and, robbed of all their virtue, are thrown back into the turmoil and the encircling darkness. But those, beloved of their Gurus, who have faith in the promise of the Lord: “My devotee does not perish,” “Those who do not forget me, I do not forget them”—they are safe, they recover their normal consciousness easily. Raga [desire] and dvesha [aversion] are two magicians who produce the world in order to keep the soul in their snare, but they are defeated by one who has said, even once, with full faith and sincerity: “Thou art mine, and I am thine.”

Prakasha got up and said to Manmathi: “Take away my loshta, and also my rosary. I can count my mantram on my fingers. Take away this robe also. I want to keep nothing. I want to be a true renunciate. Perhaps my Love is waiting to see me divested of the last shred of possessions. O Manmathi, I will not shirk. No, no, I will not shirk.”

Manmathi laughed heartily, and said: “O Prakasha, you are still a simple boy. What do you want to give up? It is the sense of giving up that has to be renounced. Physical renunciation is only the preliminary to the real inner renunciation, the detachment of the Witness Self from identification with the rising and falling vrittis. Come, this is a holy spot, we cannot quarrel here.” Together, they walked towards Mana village

Sincere enquirers will find The Search for a Guru helpful if we reflect carefully on how the principles it illustrates apply to our own circumstances the depth of our desire for inner illumination.