While expressions of devotion are not expected or encouraged, we also acknowledge that there is a centuries old and continuing tradition of bhakti(devotion) as a genuine path to liberation. In some countries, certain devotional practices and traditions are highly honoured and valued, such as touching the feet of a loved one, respected family members, and especially touching the feet of one’s spiritual master or guru (‘guru’ means ‘remover of darkness or ignorance’).
Traditions like the annual celebration of Guru Purnima can seem alien to those unfamiliar with them, while for others they are a very natural expression of love and respect that have been a heart tradition for millenia. Some even feel that it is impossible to fully awaken to Truth through the master’s teachings, guidance and grace if the seeker has no love or deep respect for who or what the master truly is—the embodiment of the Self.
Some people see these traditional expressions of devotion as outdated, demeaning or taking advantage of the student / disciple, and suggest that they should be actively discouraged or stopped entirely. This is simply not so. While Mooji and the Sangha frequently share that it is not necessary, required or expected to show devotion to him, especially if someone makes a show of it, it does not feel appropriate to categorically turn away or deny devotees from offering such expressions out of their love and respect, which in turn have arisen from their gratitude for their teacher’s guidance and grace.
For many people around the world, such expressions are commonplace and perfectly natural. Mooji himself has a great love and devotion to his own master, Papaji, who in turn showed great love and reverence to his master, Sri Ramana Maharshi. Far from being demeaning, for many people these expressions have and continue to carry a great beauty, humility, power and sacredness.
Perhaps it is useful to note that the word ‘master’ is sometimes misunderstood as the counterpart to ‘slave’. However, the counterpart is actually ‘disciple’, which simply means one who has come to learn from the teacher or master. And in this context ‘master’ means one who has great wisdom and insight, and the capacity to guide others to true and lasting self-discovery.
“The Guru is actually the polar star around which all things revolve.
He is the unmoving One, the core.
To live with your head at the Master’s feet is to live on top of the world.
I discovered this at the feet of my own master, Papaji.
From here I can say with my full heart:
Enter the Guru’s boat,
because it is through the boat of the Guru
that you will sail across the ocean of samsara.
And samsara is really a life of sorrow, of suffering, dream and confusion.
Initially, all beings are in this ocean of samsara
until they awaken to the true Guru within themselves.
The real Guru is actually our own inmost Truth and Self.
But while we remain under the spell of ignorance,
the spell and hypnosis of personal conditioning,
false beliefs and arrogance, we continue sleeping to the Truth.
Therefore, as long as we continue believing we are a personal self only
this profound Truth is hidden from us by the veil of ignorance.
Satsang invites all beings to enter into this beautiful relationship,
which will not end in a relationship but will truly guide you Home
by revealing your completeness as the one true Self.
This is the Guru’s true work:
To guide you back to your original nature
as perfect unity, timeless existence, unborn Awareness.