Sat Nam Dear Family,
There were many holy men, teachers, supposed teachers, and outright charlatans who came to America a generation or so ago, some were even homegrown. Most were known to us as we were very open and welcomed all. It was most entertaining. I saw swamis in saffron robes and yogis in loincloths; saints in all kinds of dress and sinners with no dress; Lamas of high repute and priests in all forms of morality. I saw a myriad of the world’s offerings of the many kinds of teachers, preachers, and holy men.
Some were humble and some were obnoxious. Some were reverent and some were critical. Some were guests to experience and some were guests to be housed and feed for free until their next journey.
I always wondered, is there a way to know who’s real, who’s not, and where in the middle do most of them lie, what’s their spiritual status? How does one know which one to listen to more? So, guess what, I asked the Master. His answer rings as true today as it did thirty five years ago. His answer was right to the point if not what I expected.
“Hari Jiwan,” he said, “none of that matters. If you have God’s mark on your forehead, you’ll make it, if not, you may still make it but the journey gets much harder and with fewer results.” Well, that was all great and good, but what if I were in the “no mark” category. How do I cover this possibility? I said, “Yea, but we all pick our teacher, after all, I picked you after reading your lectures.” “Calm down,” he said, “you’re O.K.” Well, that made me feel better, but I still wanted to know how to avoid being fooled.
Thankfully, he continued, “There’s no such thing as blind faith. If you’re blind, you’re blind and there cannot be the necessary faith. If some people aren’t blind, they should follow a two step process in selecting a spiritual teacher: investigation and intuition. Investigation should lead to a deep rooted time honored tradition that reveres the source of creation from which many great people have come and taught. When this is established, then, use your intuition to determine if the teacher or teaching is leading you toward merger with this source. There’s no need in discussing techniques, we know of plenty.”
“Wow,” I thought to myself, “It really is that easy.”
M.S.S. Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol