Chapter 5

How to Receive From the Guru

Chapter 7

How can we be most receptive to the Guru's teaching?

All right, so now you have a Guru. You've come across somebody who is ready to teach you and who says he has gone the path — he knows something - and he is willing to teach you. But you still can't learn unless you have the proper attitude to receive his teaching. A Guru will not force anything into you. He will wait until you ask for it, until you become ready.

This is where the devotion, the Bhakti, comes in. Unless you have faith you can't receive what he has to give you. Devotion means you put the entire faith in him. That faith becomes your connecting link. Once that trust is established, even if the Guru refuses to teach you, you will learn from him because the power of faith is that much. By your own faith you will be able to understand what he has in his mind; he need not even tell you. Without his even opening his mouth you can understand him, because you have established the true communication.

The real teaching, or imparting of the true knowledge, is not normally done with words. We should always remember that. A Guru many give hours and hours of lectures, but it will be just nothing compared with one minute of silent imparting. Words have their limitations, but in silence - by speaking through silence - in the proper communication, in feeling, you receive much more.

It is impossible to put everything in words. In fact, the true feelings should not even be expressed because you will limit them with your words. I see couples, mainly in the West, saying, "Honey, I love you; Honey I love you." They waste their words and their energy. If a man tells you "I love you" a hundred times a day, please know for certain he is not loving you. He himself is doubtful about it and that's why he's telling you again and again. If love is truly there, why should he have to tell you? You could feel it. Love is not in words. It is something beyond words. The very look, the very closeness, his every action will be filled with that. So it is a matter of feeling, not hearing.

The relationship between Guru and disciple is the same way, without words they can communicate. But that needs the proper relationship, the proper devotion. Why does the child understand the mother? Because she loves him so much and he reciprocates. Even if the mother is far away, she can easily feel when her baby is hungry. Even though she is working in the office and the baby is at home, a true mother can exactly say, "Oh, my baby is hungry now. I have to go feed him." The baby need not telephone — the feeling comes in the heart.

I have seen this with my own eyes out in the Indian countryside with the peasants. The mother will be working in the fields and the child will be sleeping in a small hammock under the branch of a tree a half mile away. The mother can't even hear the cry of the baby. All of a sudden she will drop everything - "Oh, my baby is hungry; I must go feed him." If you go with her you can actually see the baby crying there. Out of curiosity I even asked one mother, "How do you feel that? Do you hear the baby crying?" "No, Swami. I get a feeling, there is a kind of sensation in my breast that the baby is waiting for the milk." There are no words; you can't put it into any test tube.

In the same way, true devotion creates that feeling. The Guru knows what the disciple needs and the disciple knows what the Guru wants to communicate - all without words.

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