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Guru-yoga 12.07.2022

Guru, Lama, Sifu, and Sensei in the East are not just people from whom you can learn something. For example, in Buddhism, Lama is the personification of the highest mystical experience. The Nathas consider Guru and Ishtadevata as one entity.

In traditional texts, we will see that many types of dhyana are performed on the Guru. In Gheranda Samhita, sthula dhyana, which is one of the higher angas of yogic sadhana, is Guru dhyana, other forms of this dhyana is sukshma (subtle), jyotir (in the form of Light). The same applies to dharanas on five elements, as they are associated with tattvas: Sadashiva, Ishvara, etc.

Similarly, different types of samadhi are all based on the connection of emptiness and form, micro and macrocosm, and this is all is Guru-yoga. This means all practices are not some soulless techniques on points of light, squares and circles, tingling, incomprehensible bijas, all this has a wider and more practical meaning associated with your Guru.

Therefore, when someone lives next to the Guru, then usually Guru, seeing the presence of a serious relationship between the student and the Teacher, combines Guru-yoga with what may outwardly seem to be an independent technique, not connected with Guru in any way. Therefore, secrets in practice, if there are any, are in the context of their effectiveness for a particular situation. What may work for one may be devastating for another. And any secret is about the efficiency specifically for you in the first place. That is why a live Guru is so important. What is the use of someone giving you some very secret technique if the technique does not work for you? Therefore, mysticism lies rather in the personal attitude and personal attention of Guru to you, when Guru sees your sincerity.

Among the Nathas, upasana and the ritual part have a lot of nuances. There are tantric pujas as well as yogic ones. For example, in yogic, mantras during puja are read on manasika level (mentally). 

As far as sadhaka is realized in "karma-kanda", he is advanced in jyana-kanda and yoga. Yoga practice is the same ritual, only introverted. All external rituals are built in accordance with macrocosmic processes, yogic practices reflect the processes of the macrocosm. For one who knows all these aspects, it really does not matter what kind of yoga sadhana is practiced - mantra yoga or hatha yoga. Because for him this is really a conscious practice, he is devoted to his Guru, and Guru corrects his sadhana. In Natha Sampradaya, respect for the Guru and parampara plays a big role, because the correctness of the sadhana depends on this. There is great esoteric meaning in Guru-yoga.

Honoring the Guru means honoring your own Brahmanda and yourself since you yourself are Brahmanda. In general, the extraverted vision and the vision into oneself are interconnected, Brahmanda is not limited either by the body of the Guru, or by yours, or even by the body of our planet, therefore Guru-yoga or work with one’s energy structure in a sense is the starting point for gaining experience of Adrishya-brahmanda (of the invisible universe) since all pujas are limited to the place where they are performed by different gross (sthula) elements. But if the puja or yoga practices lead to their true result, then you step over the threshold of the external vision of the practice, thanks to the mystical experience of a non-corporeal nature.

Many traditions and Gurus consider their practices to be better and others' practices to be less effective; for example, Tantrika Kaulas believe that the 5M Puja is more extreme, and Vaidika followers, on the contrary, that extremely pure rites are the most effective. Some focus on the worship of the Deities, others on the Guru, and some – on tapas; and everyone claims that their approach is the most correct. But all these are various upayas (tricks), the whole point is where they should lead to.

Therefore, Gorakshanath’s tradition doesn’t deny any of these methods, and the worship of Guru and Guru-puja (nadi or shambhavi-puja) are important because without Guru there can be no methods at all. 

Another important note is that what you project onto Guru or Deity is what you will receive for yourself in greater quantities. If you see the universe in Gorakshanath, then you will discover it in yourself. Gorakshanath is depicted as Brahmanda, his name means: "Go" - the Universe, "Raksha" - the patron. But he is not only a form of tapasvin, in Gorakshanath there are all Gods and all sadhanas, including Kaula sadhana, he is also a teacher of tantra.

Author: Yogi Matsyendranath Maharaj

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