Worship is a common phenomenon in the spiritual world. When you observe this phenomenon, which endless numbers of disciples go through, you wonder if it is a result of the weakness of the disciples that are looking for authority to follow or the weakness of the teachers/masters that are in need of power and control. Or maybe both. After all life is a tango.
As children we look at our parents as our saviors. Our parents are our protectors, our teachers, and our providers. We are fully dependant on them. They are our source of safety and love. If we don’t get the basic safety, nourishment and love from our parents as children it can affect us enormously throughout our adulthood. As we grow up to become adults ourselves, sooner or later we discover that the parents we looked up to during childhood are people like ourselves with needs, confusion and often with no answer to our grown up questions of what it is all about and other wonders. As a result the inner child that remains within us seeks someone else to look up to for guidance and acknowledgement. No matter how much money we have, what power we gained, and how high our status in society is we often feel very fragile and lost in the realm of existence. It is often easier to worship a live guru as you instantly are gaining a new mom or dad. Someone whose approval and acknowledgment you reach for at any time. Their acknowledgment may make you feel loved again as a child but will surely move you away from becoming a master yourself. Reaching for acknowledgment and approval turns us into slaves, and the teacher that feeds this need is an abuser.
You will never find gurus among gurus. Gurus will be worshiped only by weak people, never by masters. It is one thing to appreciate or have an immense gratitude to a great teacher you meet on your path, it is another thing to get lost in blind worship.
Since the beginning of human kind there were always spiritual leaders in the form of teachers, shamans, medicine men, wizards, master and gurus who transmitted the universal wisdom from generation to the generation. The essence of this knowledge has to do with deciphering the codes of what we are beyond our evolutionary role as humans. Imagine this as breaking the code of the higher self’s DNA.
Teachers come and go but the teaching is always there, available to those who are willing to rise above the human programming. Spirituality is the human alchemy of turning man into go(l)d.
In Zen, the moon is a metaphor for the Teaching. The master points his finger to the moon and shows his student the direction of the light. As the student stares at the moon, her eyes, from time to time shift to the master’s pointing finger, confusing the finger with the moon. In other words, students often confuse the teaching with the one who conveys it. After a while, when the finger moves away from the moon, the eyes of the student, which were resting mistakenly on the finger, move with it away from the moon, following the teacher instead of the teaching.
This happens when the student confuses the teaching with the teacher.
The obligation of a true teacher is to make her students free, to manifest their essence as masters. A true teacher will force her student to leave once she is ready, avoiding keeping her around forever which would stunt her spiritual growth.
If a teacher creates dependency or admiration towards herself it is a false teaching.
Unfortunately through history among great true masters you can see the false teachers abusing their power to control and manipulate weak and confused disciples on their quest for unconditional love.
Prana Yoga College