When progressing on the spiritual path: “How-does-it-feel ?” Well first it might be acknowledged that the one that is found to be the appropriate Guru for oneself may often seem very extraordinary even in ways that are common enough, such as in being articulate, charismatic, and so on. But strictly speaking, he/she may not see so, at least of first. The wonderful essence of the Guru is “not of this world” as might be familiar as biblical phrase. But he/she may not seem so at least of first. The Guru’s role may not include being especially informative in many way, entertaining, fascinating, and exhibiting characteristics of that sort. The Guru’s role is to be the Truth, and guide you to the same.
In a somewhat similar way, analogous clarifications likewise apply to the spiritual aspirant. We can expect to experience a growing Peace, and the same Peace would be apparent in the Guru. Happiness likewise blossom in oneself and in one’s vision of the Guru. Early on, we may or may not be faced with all the Guru’s Bliss, or come to find out superlative abilities in meditative Samadhi, and other “yogic” arts. But perhaps not, at least of first. Humility that under girds gratitude for “God’s Grace” is more conducive to spiritual progress that would any hankering for entertainment, special attention, “yogic” skills, ir any such “reward”, at least of first. What is more important, what is essential is that the Guru points us to the True Self, Atman; to Absolute Reality, Brahman, both being the same, all this being what we are.
How we “feel” in Body, or even in Mind, at least of first is no so relevant as our faith in The Guru’s instruction, once inexplicably convinced of the Guru’s authenticity. For the Body to feel good, to function well is fine, but is not ours to demand. For the Mind to feel good, to function well is fine, but is not ours to demand. Identification with these and in our experience in the World is ultimately Illusion, so it is not is these places that spiritual progress is first to be found. Growing Freedom yes, but “tangible proof” may not be forthcoming.
So then what might be the significance of initially great Bliss apparent in oneself and in the Guru ? Any characteristic that is perceivable in oneself or in the Guru, any such that partakes of Body, Mind, or World, all these are fundamentally prone to mistaken perception and illusion. Body, Mind, and World are illusion and all patterns seen there are illusory, and “lawfully” determined by Karma. Even the Guru role bestowed upon a small percentage of Enlightened Sages is a “destiny” much akin to Karma. So what is this Karma ? A loose approximate hint here could be offered as follows.
In that “rewards” and “abilities” involve Body, Mind, and World, such are symbolic, but like less desirable Karma, these too are not of the nature of added-on rewards or punishments, not even “learning experiences”. Closer to a more useful understanding begins with noting the word “karma” originally means “action” (and “reaction”). We can imagine that even the waking-dream Illusion reveals certain patterns and “structure”, rules and “laws” as such terms evolve in the progressing theories of Science. A “bad” act and its karmic “retribution” more validly constitute one 2-ply unit, each in themselves. Every “reaction” is from the first part of the “action” – not as a consequence so much as by being part of the same unit of dream structure. I this sense we “levy” our own good and bad Karma in that the dream “reaction” is included as part of the dream-structure unit, right from the start. Without taking the above or any similar rationale too seriously, the take-away point is the following.
All Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi advised Detachment from the ups and downs of everyday life for such is only Karma in the sense discussed above. Relax and live through it, keeping the focus on Self-Inquiry. Then: “don’t worry, be happy” like the Meher Baba phrase inspired reggae lyric. In the above sense of being inherent in our mundane life choices, Karma is unavoidable, and yet only a paper tiger, or tinsel reward. Meditate and self-liberate ! Focus on Self-Inquiry and not on the small ups and downs of Body, Mind, and World. Furthermore, do not compare, do not envy, have no part in self-pity. Mundane life comes to an end but Liberation is Eternal, and I fact is a sure thing, and already accomplished fact. Do not delay, but forsake anxiety and Attachment to results.
Similarly do not compare oneself to another, nor to the Guru. Like the Guru’s special destiny, so too is the abundant Bliss often evident in the case of the Guru, that too is good Karma, out of his/her hands, and certainly yours. Be grateful for the Guru and God’s Grace, and don’t worry, be happy. Do not necessarily expect to match the Guru in Bliss and ability. Sri Ramana specifically clarified this point, for such is Karma. Complete your spiritual practice and let others, even the Guru, take care of theirs. Never be discouraged only because your illusory Karma disappoints at the moment. Devote oneself to the Gugu’s Teaching and experience all the Freedom you already are.