The mind of your spirit will always be beyond your grasp, until you learn to identify with the ‘dreamer’ within yourself. Dream Sutra chronicles the experiences of many who were helped, healed, guided and communicated with, in their dream state.
The unifying thread among these people was a common Guru – someone who could travel out-of-body at will, heal people and even provide insights into their future.
Even close to 30 years after his death, this Mahaguru still communicates and guides his devotees and disciples via their dreams. A fact they are accustomed to but are still in awe of.
Using first-hand accounts, Dream Sutra weaves a narrative with anecdotes and provides an explanation to less understood spiritual phenomena.
Allows you to analyse various types of dreams and realise the reality of your subtle body.
Experientially validate out-of-body, inter dimensional travel.
Ponder on whether destiny can be altered in the dream state and if dreams hold clues to the future?
Guide you on dealing with dreams of death and the deceased.
Explore the possibility of exhausting karmas in the dream state.
Who is a Guru?
Although commonly used across the globe to denote 'teacher', the word 'guru' implies far more than just that.
In the spiritual context, a guru is the dispeller of avidya (ignorance) and unveiler of maya (perceived reality). Avidya suggests the lack of true knowledge or knowledge as it should be, not necessarily as is normally perceived. Maya is the perception of a false and delusionary reality, since our biological senses limit our assessment of the absolute reality to an approximate five percent!
A guru also concentrates on concepts like life, death, and the afterlife. He looks at you not as what you are, but as you will and ought to be. He changes the conditioning of several lifetimes and helps exhaust your samskars (conditioning of previous lifetimes). He teaches the theory and practice of karma, and the concept of being karma mukt (free of all karma–good and bad).
There is an imminent need, especially in the present times, for every being to realise that at the core (jivaatma) they are the consciousness supreme. The guidance by a siddh guru is singularly directed towards the fulfilment of this need. Whether he appears as healer, sage, prophet or guide, his role is to catalyse the unmasking of the divinity within us by displacing our ignorance with light.
A guru leads his disciple upwards on the ladder of evolution, to the disciple's maximum capacity, by using a combination of spiritual theory and practice.
Who is Not Necessarily a Spiritual Guru?
A person well-versed in spiritual texts like the Bible, Koran, Gita and other scriptures, is not necessarily a guru.
A person who has long, grey hair, sports a glorious beard, has a disarming smile, wears saffron robes and acts the part, may not be a guru.
A demagogue who gives discourses on spiritual subjects and wins over people's hearts with his oration, is more an orator than a guru.
A person who can perform arduous asanas and can sit in meditation for several hours, cannot necessarily be called a guru.
The concept of a guru is far more exalted and profound, because he is a role model in almost every aspect of a disciple's life. He takes on the disciple's karmic debt and leads him out of it, to whatever extent possible, not just in one life, but possibly over future lives as well. It is imperative for the guru to ensure the disciple's spiritual transformation. This responsibility is far greater than that of the guru playing the role of a mother or performing the duty of a father.
In principle, a guru is not a person but a concept that embodies infinite wisdom and universal knowledge. Thus, in a guru-disciple relationship, the disciple emulates not the person he refers to as his guru, but his gunas (qualities). There are several examples in history where a guru has inspired disciples without being physically present.
The inspiration of the guru, which may start during this lifetime, may even continue after the guru's demise. I am someone who is continuously inspired by Gurudev's words and philosophy. As are many of his other disciples, who live their lives as though they are being continuously watched and guided by him, like Krishanmohanji from Durgapur.
Many pretenders to the title of 'guru' seek not the responsibility, but, like bees to honey, are lured by material and social gains. They love the grandeur of sitting at podiums, the euphoria of being worshipped, and the attention and significance they receive. People like these tarnish the ancient and sacred institution of Guruism.
The following quote by Swami Rama is an effort to caution people from being exploited by gurus unqualified for the title. Although he seems to have stretched himself to an extreme view, harsher than warranted, I have included his perspective for it represents a distinct viewpoint.
"Guru is not the goal. Anyone who establishes himself as a guru to be worshipped is not a guru. Guru is like a boat for crossing the river. It is important to have a good boat and it is very dangerous to have a boat that is leaking. The boat brings you across the river. When the river is crossed, the boat is no longer necessary. You don't hang onto the boat after completing the journey, and you certainly don't worship the boat."
The Need for a Guru
Before I wrote this book, I asked myself a relevant question, "With all the technology, information and spiritual content being so easily available in every language, do people still need a guru?"
Thinking about my life without Gurudev made me realise that my life would have been an empty shell. A gold-plated shell perhaps, but empty it would still be. He gave meaning to my life and more significantly, he gave meaning to my impending death.
Many of the youngsters I mentor realise that the value of life is all about the quality of death. Not the method of dying per se, but the quality of life after death and the status of the spirit thereafter. What they have achieved in terms of self-reflection and realisation, is far beyond success in the physical realm.
I now consider myself one of the wealthiest men on earth and hope my disciples either do, or will one day consider themselves likewise. I have seen them evolve, being a link in their evolutionary process, just as Gurudev was a link in the nurturing of many great souls whom he introduced to themselves.
In his early years, before the power of the Mahaguru awakened in him, Gurudev had a spiritual advisor by the name of Sitaramji of Dasua, whom he often consulted. Sitaramji of Dasua had a guru called Sitaramji of Banaras. Eventually, Gurudev had a mentor he addressed as Buddhe Baba. His identity is shrouded in mystery. He was thought to be a manifestation of Shiv and visualised as a man in a white turban and grey beard. Few have seen him in form. Renu (Gurudev's daughter) and Puranji (one of Gurudev's senior disciples who saw him in his dreams) are two of the few. On deeper contemplation, I conjecture that he called his own jivaatma that. He would sometimes respond to intensely profound questions saying that he would consult with Buddhe Baba before giving an answer. Gurudev referred to Buddhe Baba as an omnipresent part of his life and ours.
Adi Shankaracharya, despite being one of the greatest spiritual whiz kids in history and a master of philosophy, was aware he needed a guru to evolve. Since he was born enlightened, he knew who his guru would be, but had to search for him and woo him for diksha (initiation). Get it he did, and then went on to become the saviour of Hinduism and one of the greatest philosophers known to mankind.
Similarly, without Ramakrishna Paramahansa, there would be no Vivekananda and without Totapuri, Ramakrishna would be nothing more than a sadhu (ascetic) in a trance.
Yogananda Parmahansa, the author of The Autobiography of a Yogi, was the spiritual creation of his guru, Yukteshwar Giri, who in turn was the creation of his guru, Lahiri Mahasaya, who in turn was the creation of his guru, Mahaavatar Babaji.
Spiritual gurus have been pivots in the lives of most spiritual greats. Ram, who is worshipped as a god in India, though brilliant even in his early years, needed the counsel and guidance of Guru Vashisht to evolve, lead a life of non-duality and serve as an iconic king. His rule is still considered exemplary and the phrase, 'Ram Rajya' or the 'Rule of Ram' was coined after him.
Krishna, admired and worshipped by millions, needed to go to Guru Sandipani Muni for fine-tuning.
The Buddha had many gurus who allied in various ways to create the infrastructure needed for his final emancipation.
There was a spiritually volcanic period of sorts, between the 8th and 3rd century BC, called the Axial Age. It was a period when a number of sages, prophets, teachers and gurus like Confucius, Lao-Tse, Buddha, Zarathustra, Mahavir, Elijah, Isaiah and Jeremiah, to name a few, had a profound influence on future philosophies and religions.
History clearly reveals that almost no spiritual evolution has ever been possible without the teachings of a guru.
Do I still think there is relevance in having a guru? The answer is yes. Provided he is relevant to your destiny. You have to be born lucky to get connected to a guru and a siddh guru at that. Many people who are in search of a guru and do not find one relevant to their nature, fast on Thursdays as a form of sacrifice and reverence to the planet of Guru (Jupiter). Often, the process involves a hit-and-miss until the right person is found. Fasting on Thursdays is a method of channelising the process of getting a guru using the power of intent rather than looking for one through media reports. Some people who came to the sthan by word of mouth, reference or recommendation, had been fasting for several months or years before they arrived.
It is said that the guru finds his disciple and not the other way around. However, this may not apply to devotees and admirers. Furthermore, destiny is another key factor at play. Unless destined, neither would a guru be a guru, nor a disciple, a disciple!
A Guru and His Gunas
Spiritually, the level of consciousness, be it of a guru, disciple, devotee, follower or admirer, determines the depth of qualifications needed for the role being performed and the path being followed.
Consciousness has three gunas and the amalgam of these gunas defines the qualities of a guru:
(1) Tamasic: The quality of inertia, imbalance, violence, negativity and decadence. These qualities are generally associated with lower levels of consciousness.
Tamasic gurus offer bali (sacrifices) and instigate or even teach their disciples negative tantra vidya (black magic), including casting spells and spiritually harming people by blocking their good luck and fortune. Since the services of tamasic gurus can be bought, they teach their disciples to do the same, considering it an opportunity to make money. If the disciple is loyal and dedicated, he will imbibe these qualities, become tamasic in nature and emulate his guru.
Tantra vidya is a double-edged sword. While some practitioners use it to harm people, others use it to cure diseases and solve issues with the help of spirits. Indian villages are dotted with practitioners who jhaad phook (dust away) diseases by using lemons, coconuts and other such materials by placing them at road crossings, (which inherently collect energy due to frictional losses of people's aura crossing each other). Such paraphernalia hold the negative energy of a diseased person that gets transferred to a spiritually weak person passing by.
(2) Rajasic: The quality of dynamism, ambition, passion, egoism, individualism, outward projection and perpetual greed. The rajasic qualities of grit and perseverance and being able to rise socially by endorsing oneself can be effective tools to use for personal gains. The art of manipulating, impressing and benefiting from others is also considered rajasic. Rajasic people are achievers and highly motivated, self-disciplined, and have the ability to ward off negative energies.
Rajasic gurus teach their disciples rajasic qualities such as the art of warfare and self-protection, reading of scriptures and epics, politics and kingship, governance and management, philanthropy and recitation of mantras of rajasic deities (like Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, for example), yoga, rituals, ornamental style of worship, and where required, the technique of performing havan (petitioning celestial powers using the medium of fire) and animal sacrifice.
Gurus with such qualities are more demonstrative and are easily prone to pomp and show. Expecting to be treated with respect, they are happy to receive favours, live life king-size and get wealthy by way of donations (including being weighed in gold in some outrageous cases). Some of these alleged gurus build palatial ashrams where one may even have to pay for the air one breathes, in a manner of speaking. Often, these nouveau riche spiritualists run out of their positive karmic balance and either suffer bad luck in this life or write a cheque of sorrow to themselves, encashable in the future.
(3) Sattvic: The quality of minimalism and contentment, balance and harmony, giving and sharing, caring and benefiting others. Such people are non-controversial and prefer being back-benchers, away from the limelight. They do not indulge in conflict and for them, acceptance is a virtue. Theirs is a path of non-violence and hence, they do not advocate wars, physical or spiritual.
Sattvic gurus teach their disciples to unlearn almost everything, and practice detachment or vairagya (dispassion) as one of the key learnings. They explain the concept of maya and teach ways to live beyond it. Controlling the senses and going beyond the mind and intellect is the mission of the sattvic traveller. The objective however, is mukti (a lower form of spiritual freedom) or moksh (a higher form of spiritual freedom).
Golden Principle: It is not about 'getting what you want' but 'wanting what you get'.