The Grace of the Guru

November Project: Question #19 This post comes from an ongoing email conversation.

I am a bit puzzled by some of the stories that we hear in India, those of Guru's Grace. For example, the presence of Ramana Maharishi, in all accounts, have been described as that which radiated peace, and percolated to the people who came around him. Sure, their problems may or may not have gotten solved when they came to him, but they did get the peace, the diminishing of agitation.

Also, those who were interested in enlightenment and came full of questions sometimes found themselves not interested in those questions. I do understand that this peace too may seem to come and go, even as a master's presence could perhaps uncover peace more and more.

It is certainly not my place to speak on the teachings of others, as I am not really interested in those things. The only teaching I have is the moment by moment functioning of this organism. I will never really know if there is anything other than that.

I know of the guru's grace, although I have not heard it called by that name. It is a dangerous thing to play with...

What usually happens is this: a seeker goes to see the guru, and in the 'grace' of that guru he or she has a momentary realization, if we can call it that. But much like the effects of a drug, it does not last. However, the memory of that beauty, that freedom or liberation, stays with them, and they hope for it to continue.

But at this point, what is the seeker to do? They went to the guru, felt something, but now it is gone. So what will they do?

What would you do? Would you chase the memory, hoping for it to be as grand as you remember?

The real trouble is in the chasing. One remembers the grace, and the search begins by running after the memories of the thing, which is not what is experienced in front of the guru.

What one feels with the guru, in that moment, is not a memory, but what one hopes to achieve afterward is merely the past. It is the memory of something once living.

You must see where you are standing in each and every moment. And you do not need anyone else to give this to you.

Tokyo Daibutsu Dark