It will not come as news to those whose inner gaze is turned toward the growth of consciousness… In less than two months, the passing of two major figures of spirituality, Swami Premananda and Sathya Sai Baba is, to say the least, significant. Whether one has been sensitive to their aura of influence, whether one has placed faith in the controversies surrounding their persons, a seemingly inevitable phenomenon in our world, their entering into samadhi should not leave us indifferent. None can touch the hearts of thousands or even millions, who does not exude something powerful.
My intention here is not to discuss the possible meaning of the withdrawal in a short time of two Masters of spirituality of such widespread influence, nor to engage in any polemic about them. My thoughts are focused on the nature of their teaching, and what emanated from them and captivated so many of us.
When speaking of teachings, we are generally referring to writings – published books that serve as a basis for reflection and which may even create a school of thought or a movement.
As far as Sathya Sai Baba and Swami Premananda are concerned, this is not the case. While they have been much written about, neither of them leaves behind, to my knowledge, any major writings of their own. Surely they have left us with beautiful words of wisdom and great precepts which serve as beacons along our path. However, it is apparent that their legacy was not about great mystical or esoteric revelations. They left no new gospels for mankind in search of something “different”.
The few writings they leave us are far from being revelations; rather they are pointers to help us recognize the Divinity within us, in others, and in all things. While significant, these teachings are not, however, out of the ordinary.
Was it the wonders they performed that attracted so many followers? While they certainly contributed to this, these miracles are far from explaining everything. Our world is capable of producing miraculous phenomena, whether genuine or false. Human nature becomes accustomed to them, comes even to expect them, and quickly grows tired of them.
No… the true essence of their teaching transpired through their radiance, through their way of being, far beyond any words they uttered. A mere look, a silence, the implication of a moral upbraiding coming as a benediction was sufficient for the message to come across. Therein lies mastery, in being able to express what must be said without using any words… A strange observation for someone like me whose purpose is to write! Just being and allowing oneself to radiate is the mystery to penetrate.
Of course, words, written or spoken, nevertheless serve a purpose. We need them in order to move forward.
It seems that to no longer require them to “say” indicates that we have explored their language to its utmost limits.
Of course, it is said that Christ spoke to us and taught us life’s mysteries. This is true; yet He also left behind no writings in his own hand, nothing that could become set or fixed.
I often find myself hearing discussions or serendipitously gathering opinions on one book or another that has just been published. It is not unusual to hear “Oh… there’s nothing new in this book. No new revelations. It really doesn’t teach us anything more than the usual.
It is at this point that, thank goodness, I have learned to keep quiet. I don’t get into the discussion because it is useless. I simply notice that a great many of those who are “on the path” have still not understood that accumulating “revelations” and sensational pseudo-information, swelling one’s grey matter with new data containing esoteric overtones is pointless.
If those who might be in a position to bring authentic new elements do not do so, might not the reason be that our world has not yet taken in and applied what has already been taught?
In a way, everything we need to become better beings, men and women worthy of this name and truly searching for our inner selves has already been said and written. Everything!
The only thing that may still vary is the way of expressing it, the way of repeating that we should calm down to finally become able to hear the message. The art of teaching is the art of patient repetition, until we silently take in the message.
As for us, if we could try to calm this appetite for the new and sensational which characterizes our society, things might work better. This kind of nervous quest causes such commotion within us!
When a true spiritual Master gives his blessing or offers himself during a “darshan”, it is his silence which he is first proposing as nourishment. Can we savor it? That is the question.
Many who received Christ’s blessing two thousand years ago said amongst themselves: Is that him, this rabbi everyone is talking about? How disappointing… I didn’t feel anything…”
I fear that in some circumstances of our lives, we often resemble them, always wishing for more, without ever taking anything in fully.
Daniel Meurois, May 2011