Saturday, April 06, 2019

The Man before God-man

Spiritual teachers are human beings before they are gods or god-men.

Their journey from birth to becoming revered teachers should be of great interest to anyone interested in their teachings.  A spiritual seeker has to frequently answer this question: “How come you became interested in all this?  Didn’t you want to be rich, have a family, or have a pleasant life?”  In case of spiritual teachers, however, we are not very curious.  We perhaps assume that they were somehow born different and were chosen by a “higher power” to become spiritual teachers.

If they were indeed born different, then an account of their early lives must have enough incidents to arouse interest.  And if their journey was somehow directed by their early lives towards spirituality, then we must examine those factors and make sense of their later lives.

There is universal agreement among psychologists that what we experience during infancy, childhood and young adulthood has a great bearing on our adult lives.  The way our parents related to us, how we approached education and socializing, our friends and relatives, the cultural norms in our home and in our community, all shape our attitudes, philosophy and values later in life.

If we consider spiritual teachers to be subject to the same processes of psychological development as any other human being (which I believe we should), then their early lives have a great deal to tell us.  It might be that we are able to understand their teachings with greater insight.  We might be able to see where they are “coming from”.  We might be able to make sense of their apparent strangeness.

Social psychologists often consider religious belief as a provider of emotional and communal strength.  In modern times, while religion is increasingly seen as pedantic, conservative and mythological, people still need a way to pacify themselves and feel at peace.  As the force of religious teachings decreases or becomes more distant, spiritual teachers and their teachings often provide a more intimate and individual belief system that can comfort an individual.  It should be interesting to dig deep into the circumstances that led the spiritual teachers to develop an individual and superficially unique philosophy.

A spiritual teacher usually has uncommon charisma or a novel way of expressing spiritual beliefs.  Usually both.  An examination of their lives might uncover at what age and how that charisma or novelty became apparent.  It therefore might demystify the origins of the teacher’s spirituality.

A demystification obviously has the danger of diminishing reverence towards a belief or an individual.  But I consider the heightened understanding and insight to be far more important than reverence.  Of course, devotees will disagree.  But such is the nature of devotion, and one should accept the risk of one's writings being trashed by the acolytes.

In many cases, only scant detail might be available about the spiritual teacher’s early life.  But still, something is better than nothing.


Anonymous said...

1. Spirituality(Jnana)is not a skill like yoga therefore cannot be taught or copied. Anyone who claims to be a spiritual teacher is therefore a fraud.
2. What drives people to a Baba or Guru is basically a fear of the Unknown and people somehow need to believe there is a guy out there who knows something of the Unknown who can help them deal with that fear. The skill/power of the Baba/Guru is basically all about manipulating what is known and unknown. To make sure that the Unknown remains unknown and fascinating/surreal...not some mundane known thing. Once the Baba/Guru teaches that skill he would cease to be a Baba/Guru.
3. So called Gurus who run big ashrams and have people flocking to them must have all displayed Narcissistic Disorder symptoms as kids. While some people are put off with overt narcissism, there are many who are actually deeply attracted by it. And a lot of that is mistaken as spiritual seeking/teaching.

Anonymous said...

There is spirituality. Energies attract, same in spirituality. Everything is a deep intention. There is unknown to known. Layers of unknown shed when the belief is there. Death can occour if spirituality is misused.

Anonymous said...

Any baba or guru is a human.

Truth is no baba will ever teach you spirituality. Any baba who preaches about spirituality is half learned gimmick business man.

Spirituality never comes to any common man unless chossen among many. Spirituality is a education which is inherited by their own family and is acquired by lot of self discipline and focous. Spirituality is nothing but pure science and an education. Why do some one becomes is their interest either controlling mankind or helping mankind these are only two motives of any baba. How do they become supreme powerfull. We all have heared about spirits, there are good and bad spirits, so these spiritual healers with their powers attract them and these are used to disrupt or heal mankind. Two sides to every coin.

I have encountered spirits in life. They can be anywhere. They can come in any form or shape. I still remember an inccident of my life. There was nobody on road near a signal. Suddenly i saw a woman in the right mirror, when i looked back nobody was there and every signal i was stopping i could see that woman, another incident i was speaking to a friend who was dead few years ago but and I came to know about it later, Strange things happen. Another incident, we use to go for hunting back those days and we tried killing a boar but we could not few days later my close cousin died. I still cant get over those things thats when I approached a saint and he told me I was under a curse.