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The Mirror of The Guru
by Sarah Porter
Audio Version of This Blog Post
Sat Chit Ananda Guru Ki Jay.
Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? (From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Recall that the wicked queen struggles to retain her beauty, thinking it is her only source of power. That urge to appear acceptable and to save face is an ego expression that is common, but is one that conceals our true nature as Divine beings. Like the magic mirror on the wall the Mirror of the Guru has no investment – it is just a Mirror. It shows everything, both strengths and weakness. When the wicked queen was told that her step daughter was now fairer than she was, did she ask more questions? No. Instead, she flew into a rage and we all know how that turned out. Unlike the magic mirror, the Mirror of the Guru is always up everywhere – what we need to do is look, be aware, ask questions, and surrender to the Truth (skip the rage…).
When an event starts to go ‘south’ I often hear others say, “What is the universe trying to tell me?” They look for the message. Often, they interpret the failed event as meaning they were not supposed to do it anyway or maybe they are being saved from a disaster.
Recently, my friend’s beloved cat died, then a long-term dear friend died, then her star pupil threw a raging fit at her and finally her only child moved away to go to school. All this happened in a very short time-frame. Her comment, “The universe must be telling something. Maybe it is about letting go; but, is the raging fit part of that and if so in what way?” I am not her therapist or her spiritual leader. I am her friend and she was not asking me; she was musing out loud. I only acknowledged her losses and upset. She will have to connect the dots. She alone will have to attempt to see the root cause of her grief, rage, and hurt.
I have another friend who informed me that she knew both the head of the company and her boss were being unethical. She said, “The universe is telling me it is time to look for a new job.” On the surface it certainly looks that way. Is there more to the lesson?
Neither friend has a Sadguru. They have not gone through the Shaktipat initiation, so their question, “What is the universe telling me?,” had not been transformed into the deeper, mystical [remove ‘and more complex’] process called The Mirror of the Guru.
Kedarji explains, “that by way of the receipt of Shaktipat, one is welcomed into the lineage of Siddha Gurus, our Siddha Nation. The Guru’s Grace is inherent in the Mirror of Guru. The Mirror of the Guru shows us the best and worst of our leanings and tendencies that keep us from living in an uninterrupted state of delight, ecstasy and peace.” While everyone has Kriyas, it is after the receipt of Shaktipat that one enters the Shaktipat Kriya Process that we also refer to as Sadhana. This includes tests of attainment and understanding.
During the first year after I received Shaktipat from Kedarji I began to have many mystical experiences. I understood these experiences as God’s Grace. At the time I realized my ego wanted to claim ‘specialness’ and I found myself attempting to disengage from that tendency. It was an ongoing struggle.
As the year concluded, I enrolled in a month-long spiritual retreat in southern India, sponsored by a different spiritual group but one, I thought, came from the Vedas. In India, I exchanged my US dollars for Indian rupees. I ended up with a large paper bag full of rupees, enough to pay my tuition, food and room for one month. The organization’s taxi cab driver picked me up and we headed out into the interior of India. We drove and drove and at some point, I became anxious that he might be kidnapping me so he could steal all the money. I kept pushing the thought down, but was not very successful. My fear was unfounded. I was dropped off safe and sound at my lodging. It was one of my first big Kriyas. It was a manifestation of not trusting the Divine. My ego expression was one of feeling small and worthless. I compensated by being critical and judgmental.
During the course of the month, I became very irritated with a few of the people sitting in front of me. I had a litany of ‘well-founded’ complaints. How dare they be so inconsiderate and rude! Again, The Mirror of the Guru was showing me my big tendency to be critical and judgmental, but I missed it. I harbored feelings of self-righteousness and superiority that concealed the truth of what the Mirror of the Guru was showing me. I would have that Kriya again and again until Kedarji told me in no uncertain terms to stop being critical and nitpicky. Little by little, I began to notice my tendency. Eventually by using Witness Consciousness I could catch myself and surrender this tendency to my Guru.
In this same retreat we were told to select the Guru or spiritual leader of our choice. This was the most troublesome decision for me. I couldn’t seem to decide so I floundered, choosing Kedarji one day, and Swami Muktananda or Jesus the Christ another day; I chose one embodied spiritual leader from the lineage and then another thinking there was a difference and hoping I was doing it correctly. I tormented myself for my indecision long after the retreat ended. I did not know if the mystical experiences I had were the result of the retreat leaders or my spiritual leaders. The beauty of having a Sadguru is that he has answers to my questions, big and small. It took three years for me to finally decide to ask him about the source of my mystical experiences and he replied:
“If you chose the form of Kedarji and our lineage, then any mystical experiences that followed were due to Kedarji’s Grace and your receipt of Shaktipat from this One. Your confusion and subsequent resistance, both to properly attributing your experiences to the true source of those experiences (your Guru), and your resistance to following a command that is given by Muktananda Baba, Bhagawan Nityananda, Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and so many others of our lineage – to take one Guru only – that confusion was brought up by your Guru’s Shakti – The Mirror of the Guru – as a Kriya, for you to see the obstacles in your being able to fully imbibe the Grace you have received from the living Master.” (Email from Kedarji May 23, 2017)
This understanding helped me see how I always hedged my bets, never fully committing in case I would ‘get it wrong’ and make a fool of myself and suffer humiliation. Reaching for pleasure to avoid pain are ‘two sides of the same coin.’ Kedarji says, you can be right or you can be blessed but not both. Kriyas come in a variety of ways, both large and small, obvious and subtle; but come they do.
I was driving slightly over the center line on a narrow curvy mountain road. Suddenly The Shakti slowed me down. Just as I corrected my place on the road, two large yellow school buses, one after the other, roared past me going the other direction. Both were slightly over the center line. I narrowly avoided getting side swiped. I could have become very upset about the careless bus drivers endangering my life. Instead of reaching for blame, I asked myself: What was that all about? Immediately the answer came, ‘stay in your own lane.’
Muktananda instructs it is never about the other person, it is always about one’s self. Don’t make it about the other person. Later that day I came close to sending out an email that included an invitation to a new member of our healing touch group; but it wasn’t my place to include the new member. I had prayed for help staying in my own lane. Again, Shakti had stopped me. The Mirror of the Guru was about giving up control and doership; giving up praise; giving up needing to be needed; giving up hurrying and rushing. It also reminded me of how these every day occurrences have great meaning.
Another way that The Mirror of the Guru is present for me is in the books I reach for. After contemplating the nature of the books I had been reading, I realized that each one was a Mirror of the Guru showing me a Kriya I was having. All I had to do was look into the Mirror of the Guru to see what was being shown to me.
One particular book stands out as an example. The book is called, This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub. The main character finds a way to return to a previous time in her life and to make different decisions. She does this over and over and over again until she realizes that regardless of her decisions, she is still facing the same problems and how things never turned out the way she wanted them to. Her dilemma was resolved by facing and then surrendering to the truth. After reading this book it led me to see how I would return to an earlier time in my life and attempt to reconstruct events, make different choices, and end up in a completely different life. I was doing this over and over. It became a habit.
The mind loves the places it frequents the most, as Kedarji reminds us. I certainly did love reimagining my life. This attachment had gone on for years. Occasionally I would ask myself, “What is so bad about how my life has turned out?” After all, I had the incredible privilege of crossing paths with not one, but three Sadgurus. The Siddha Lineage stands behind me like a mountain. I realized the futility of attempting to revise my life through fantasy. I could not fool myself any more that I was merely attempting to either entertain myself or sooth myself. That is reaching for pleasure to avoid pain, again. I had karmas to face, and regardless of different decisions, I would still need to face my karmas. By playing out the variations on the theme of ‘having more respect’ I was only trapping myself in the rabbit hole of feeling small and worthless. I was reinforcing my habit of attempting to control outcomes by way of doership and was caught up in the duality of better or worse, good or bad and right or wrong. The movement of energy or Kriya was coming from concealing my Divine nature from myself.
As I was contemplating all that it means for me to have a Guru, and specifically one embodied as Kedarji, I drifted into a vision. I was floating peacefully in warm water. I became aware of beautiful schools of fish swimming by. The colors were astounding. I was mesmerized by all the colors of coral and rich sea life. Suddenly, I realized, with a start, that I was in the water and no longer in Kedarji’s boat! How did that happen? When did it happen? The thought, “It’s a Kriya” drifted in and out. But then, I allowed the lure of the warm water and beauty to pull me back in. This happened several times. I am sinking deeper into the water, when something nudges me from behind. I am being nudged upward, gently and firmly. It is a dolphin pushing me toward Kedarji’s boat. Once my head is above water the dolphin flips me into the boat at Kedarji’s feet.
Oh Kedarji, I plead, please weight me down so I won’t fall into the water again. I don’t want to leave this boat. Kedarji explains that weighting me down won’t work. There is only one thing that will work and that is to surrender all at his feet. “That keeps you in the boat,” he said. The dolphin represented the teachings that bring me to my Kedarji’s feet.
From our May 2023 program Kedarji explained, “As one’s karmic obstacles are burned in Sadhana the world ceases to be separated from you. The boundaries between subtle and gross are destroyed. All animate and inanimate objects are simply different expressions of Chit Shakti.”
Everyone has Kriyas, but the Shaktipat Kriya process is different. The Shaktipat Kriya process, which begins with the receipt of Shaktipat, involves a conscious effort to be aware of one’s thoughts and actions. Swami Muktananda said, “Where is your awareness in this moment? Are they divine movements of Shakti or has the energy of egoism formed?” The Mirror of the Guru is always up. Take a look. Om Guru Om.
Sarah Porter, PhD MS MPH RN CHTP/I is a certified healing touch instructor, teaching in Hawaii and Japan. She has over 15 years of Healing Touch practice and 30 years of practice as a psychiatric mental health nurse and clinical specialist with a holistic perspective. She is the co-author of the book, “Women’s Health and Human Wholeness”, emphasizing the necessity of bringing wholeness back into the health care system. She also serves on the Board of Directors for our school