What does it mean to become your own guru? Firstly, it means that you are able to find out what your spiritual state is. Secondly, it means that you have the ability to bring yourself back into balance after having determined that you are not in a balanced state.
How do we find out what our spiritual state is? We do so through what is called vibratory awareness in Sahaja Yoga, an awareness of the state of our energy centres, also called chakras. This awareness manifests through our hands and feet, as well as directly in our body through sensations of tingling, heat or coolness, but only once we have experienced self-realisation. Coolness indicates that a particular energy centre is in a good condition, whereas heat implies that it is not in an ideal state, and that we need to change our behaviour and cleanse this energy centre to bring it back into balance. Each finger corresponds to an energy centre, and so we are able to decode these vibrations quite clearly.
In addition to vibratory awareness, another very helpful approach is to use introspection to find out where our mind is going and why it is doing so. This introspective approach is very clearly manifested in many Russian writers such as Tolstoy.
Having found out what is wrong with us on a deeper level, how do we correct ourselves? This can be done by giving vibrations to the affected energy centres ourselves, or asking someone else do so. Cool vibrations start flowing through one’s hands as a result of self-realisation and these can be used as part of the cleansing process. Sahaja Yoga provides a number of very simple techniques to cleanse our energy centres and to bring ourselves back into a balanced state.
Probably the most powerful means of correcting ourselves, which Sahaja Yoga provides, is mental silence, i.e. the state of meditation. In this state one is able to go beyond any thoughts, worries, fears, or planning and experience the presence in all its beauty. This extract from a poem by William Blake expresses this very well.
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
The guru principle is expressed within us in the form of what is known as the Void, or bhavasagara, and is situated in the area of the stomach. There have been many great prophets who have embodied the guru principle: Mohammed Sahib, Guru Nanak, Moses, Abraham, Socrates, Confucius, Lao Tse, Sai Nath of Shirdi, Raja Janaka and Zarathustra.
It is no coincidence that the Void is situated in the same area as the Nabhi Chakra, which is the centre of good conduct within us. We cannot be masters of ourselves if we do not follow the principles of good conduct first.
The following is an extract from a talk by the founder of Sahaja Yoga:
As you know that the principle of Guru resides in the Void. This is the principle which gives you balance, which gives you the gravity. The gravity that we have in the Mother Earth is expressed through your Guru principle. The first point of gravity is that you should have a personality, a character and a temperament that people would see that you are a personality who doesn’t get dissolved into worldly things, a personality which doesn’t get ruined by the skirmishes of life. Is the personality of a Guru which sits down deep into his – into his being and is not easily disturbed or dissolved by any solvent what-so-ever. This is the first principle of the Guru, is the gravity. As I told you it is something which cannot be dissolved into anything. It settles very deep down into your personality. So it doesn’t float in the water.
Now you see, in the countries which are developed very much we think that we have a very great power of individual attainment. That individually we are absolutely free, we can do whatever we like and that’s why individual freedom becomes the goal of all democratic countries, neglecting the collective. Of course, individual is important, and it has to become all right to nourish the collective. But, if the individual does not have the gravity, then they float on the surface and anything can impress them. That’s why we find today people get impressed by fashions. By fashions, which by no logical reason are good for your health, for your wisdom.
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of Sahaja Yoga, 31 July 1988