Much importance has always been given to a live guru in the spiritual traditions of India. Sadhguru explains about the significance of this and how one can make use of a living master.

Full Transcript:

Questioner: Would you explain the importance of a living master opposed to a master who is no longer in his body and the difference really?

Sadhguru: Do I have to really explain the difference between the dead and the living? It's a big difference, isn't it? What would you like to be right now - living or dead? Living, isn't it? So the values of living I don’t have to sing. It’s very significant to be living, isn't it? Hmm? Whether you are master or no master it is very significant to be living, isn't it? So that significance continues in everything. Those who (have?) left their bodies can be a great inspiration, but you cannot work with them. There may be a certain span of time when they may be willing to work, or they may be capable of working for a certain span of time, that is, if they have set themselves up like that, if they have certain level of mastery upon themselves, there may be some who will work for a certain period of time, otherwise their energies are conducive for your sadhana, but they are not a guidance. They are a good ambience, they are a good atmosphere, they’re good soil for you to grow, but still they are not a guidance.

When you sit here you are not mostly receptivity; you are mostly your own mind, isn't it? Hmm? Am I right? Yes? When you’re mostly your own mind, you need guidance and guidance and guidance and guidance. If you are all receptivity you don’t even need a master, I’m telling you, because grace is all over. You don’t need a master, you don’t need a temple, you don’t need a meditation, you don’t need anything if you’re all receptivity. That’s a rare being. Right now you’re largely mind, moments of receptivity may be here and there, isn't it? When you are largely mind you will do best with the living, not with the dead. If you’re all receptivity, you do well with the dead and even without the dead you would do great because grace is not in one place in the existence.

There is no place in the existence where there’s no grace. Maybe a few places are more conducive, that’s different, but there is no place in the existence where there is no grace. It is just that, is it churning up intensely enough in a particular place for you to be receptive? Because your receptivity is at a certain level of insensitivity. Now you see, you sit here you think this is just a garden. If you go into the temple you will become like this. Hmm? But some people go into Dhyanalinga Temple and they look around, nothing is happening, just chit, chit, chit, water drops are falling; ‘Nothing happening. What's happening here?’ Then we dunk them in cold water here. (Pointing to Theerthakund) Then they go, sit there and they’ll begin to - something happening. There are some, even if you dunk them three times in the cold water nothing happens, they go sit there and still look up and down. You take them there to Bhairavi, suddenly they are up. These are different types of energies. It is not that here it's any less; even here it is but it is not in the same level of intensity that you can perceive. Wherever you are it is there. You know there used to be boards, I don't know if they’re still there, I’ve not come and checked. First when I came – when we came and opened the Triangular Block which was the only thing – actually we had only one hut and the first thing we built in the Triangular Block is one room and we built the toilet block. Then I found people had toilet problems. You know what's a toilet problem?

It once happened; Shankaran Pillai went to the doctor and said, ‘Doctor, I have some serious toilet problems.’ Then doctor asked, ‘What is the problem? You are not able to urinate, you’re not able to pee?’ ‘No doctor perfect, every day 6 o’clock in the morning like clockwork it happens.’ ‘So you are not able… your bowels are not moving; what's happening?’ ‘No doctor it's perfect, every day at 7 o’clock in the morning like clockwork, always on the dot.’ Then doctor thought about it, ‘Then what is the toilet problem you have?’ He said, ‘But doctor, I always get up at 8 o’clock!’

So people had such toilet problems; not that it was not happening, it was happening… it was happening little messy. So I asked them to put up a board that, ‘Divine is here also.’ Inside every toilet when you close the door, when you sit down it says, ‘Divine is here also.’ So that you shit with some sanctity. Shit can be a spiritual process. After all the whole spiritual process is to cleanse yourself. It is one of the most… the best clean-up jobs you can do in a day. Yes?

So Grace is there also, I am saying; it's not any less in the toilet, but you may not be able to feel it in the toilet because you want to finish your job and go out of that place. Temple is more conducive; not just in atmosphere even in terms of energy, it is made conducive so that you can feel it. Right now there is life energy everywhere, but you’re not able to take it in. You have to make food in a certain way and consume it then only you are able to take it in. A goat comes and grazes this grass and he is nourished. You cannot eat this grass and be nourished; you need a different kind of thing. There are many insect forms, there are many other microorganisms where for them 90% of their life energy happens because of sunlight and air - no water, no food. Only 10% of their energy happens because of water and whatever food they consume because they are micro. If you are micro, how much would you consume? Micro… micro, isn't it?

So even in you if you become very receptive you will notice… you will see on a particular day if you remain very ecstatic through the day you will see the volume of food that you eat will just come down because your receptivity is better. How you receive the sunlight, air and water – easily 60% of your life energies can be generated from sunlight, air and water. Only 40% from the food that you eat. Most human beings in the world can eat 25 to 30% of what they’re eating right now and live perfectly well, maintain the same weight - not lose weight, maintain the same weight, live perfectly well, become much more healthy, much more agile, much more active and much more energetic with just 25 to 30% of the food that they are eating. You can experiment and it happens; when you’re in a Bhava Spandana Program you’re not even eating 20-25% of the food that you normally eat, because we don't give you time to eat and people are much more energetic than usual. People come to Samyama, if they become meditative they barely eat and they’re still fine.

So your receptivity has to be enhanced. If your receptivity is enhanced - dead, living, even the non-existents will help you, but when you are so full of mind you must be with the living, otherwise you will deceive yourself, you will receive all kinds of messages, the kind of messages that you like. If your guru sends you a note from heaven, ‘I love you,’ don’t believe it, it's your mind. Yes? It’s your mind, he doesn’t do such things. It’s economical to receive love letters from heaven because it doesn’t cost any paper. You know, it's ecologically very sensitive issue? Paper. So it's a very eco-friendly love affair.

It happened. A boy went to college. First day, he looked like this, on his left side there was a beautiful girl. So, on a little piece of paper he wrote, ‘I love you, do you?’ And passed the note to her. She wrote, ‘No!’ And passed it back. He looked at it, then he wiped out the ‘No’ and gave it to the girl who was behind. She looked at it and she said, ‘Yes!’ And sent it back. The moral of the story is save paper and save nature.

So, ecologically it's good, spiritually not good. So when you are so much mind you need constant… you need another mind to fix you. If you were not mind, you were all receptivity, then the dead and even the non-existent would help; even a rock would help you, I’m telling you. Anything - just a blade of grass could be your guru. Yes. But that is if you are mindless. When you’re so full of mind, no - you need another mind, cleverer than your mind, constantly fixing you.