If you are considering following any path, you should look at where it is coming from.
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In Part 1, we came to know a few aspects of approaching a qualified teacher. Let us learn more below.
Looking to the Source
If we want to know the absolute truth, it requires more than just shopping around and trying to find someone who will tell us what we want to hear. It must be deeper than that. It must be prayerful. We must look to scripture, and we must look to saintly people and follow their example. We must also look to the historical origins of the teachings.
If you are considering following any path, you should look at where it is coming from. There are a lot of teachings from the 60’s and 70’s that, if you trace them back, you may discover they sprang from someone’s mental concoction—for example, some guy out in the desert on peyote had a “vision.” And now he has millions of followers, all because he had a far-out experience which everyone thought was “groovy.”
Or maybe you can trace the teachings back 500 or 1000 years. But still, we must ask, “Where did these teachings originate? Did someone just make it up, or alter teachings that may have been originally authoritative?” There are so many paths and teachings out there. Some of them may have started with a genuine source but then through politics, changing social norms, or other reasons, the teachings were gradually changed. But when the truth is altered, the potency is lost, because it is no longer the truth. There may remain some remnants of truth, but a few drops of water will not satisfy a thirsty man.
The Need for a Qualified Teacher
It’s natural that if we want to learn something, we seek out a teacher. We will even pay thousands of dollars to go to a university because we want access to qualified teachers. This principle is true in all aspects of life. If you want to learn something, you must go to somebody who knows what you want to learn.
This is the heart of the parampara system—hearing the truth as it descends via a line of bona fide yoga spiritual teachers. And if you connect to that pipeline, if you connect to parampara, you will gain the wisdom, experience, and compassion to be able to pass the truth on nicely to others.
A Teacher Must Also Have a Teacher
While hearing is essential, a qualified teacher doesn’t only teach with their words, they also teach by example. They themselves had a qualified teacher, who also had a qualified teacher, and so on, all the way back to the Supreme Lord. This is parampara. It’s not that out of nowhere somebody says, “I’m a teacher” and starts their own path. Neither can a teacher be elected or appointed to be a knower of truth.
When we are talking about spiritual truth, we must connect to the source of all truth, and receive it without any filters or blockages. It’s a question of hearing from an authority, going through changes, prayerfulness, meditation, and purification of one’s heart and mind—and thus gaining direct perception and realization of the truth.
It’s critical to have a qualified teacher because they can teach you what they know. This is especially important in spiritual life, we should seek out someone who is self-realized, someone who has achieved the goal of life, and is teaching by their words and example.
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda is a yoga spiritual teacher in the disciplic succession known as the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. This highly respected spiritual lineage extends back over 5,000 years to Lord Sri Krishna Himself.
Because he presents ancient bonafide yoga and Vedic wisdom in a down to earth, scientific, and philosophical manner, rather than dogmatically and fanatically, countless individuals have found genuine spirituality that has real application in their modern lives.
More information about him can be found here: https://sif.yoga/about/jagad-guru