The Greatest Gift

After King Janak received Kriya Yoga from the great master Ashtabak, the Guru said to his new disciple, “Now you can give me your offering.” The King replied, “I can give you anything. I will offer 10,000 cows and 10,000 horses.” “But tell me, where will I keep them? I am a simple yogi, after all.” his Guru replied.

The King considered for a moment. “Very well – I will give you all treasures of the kingdom.” Again, his Guru rejected his offer, so the King was obliged to reconsider his offering. “Then I will renounce the throne and give you my crown.” “This is not possible either,” Guru Ashtabak replied, “the crown can only be yours – it is your job and your responsibility.” The King was puzzled, and fell silent for a while.

Finally he smiled as he realised what the greatest thing of value was that he could give to his Guru. “I will give you my mind. I will always think of you and remember you.” Knowing that his disciple had finally understood, Ashtabak accepted the King’s offering.

Guruji says that to give Kriya initiation is his duty in life, and he never wavers from that. He does not need to give Kriya to others for his own benefit; he gives his time and energy in this direction for the benefit of others only. Ultimately, it is their choice to recognise what they have been given, and to prove their dedication and discipline: and Kriya Yoga is a scientific meditation technique leading to self-realisation. So whether the people he initiates actually understand that this is his main occupation in life, and whether or not they keep their promise to him to practice twice daily is not in his hands, he says. Whether people come or go, whether they give or only take from him, he stays the same. (Such a rare quality, and one which inspired the last song on Divine Romance “Satisfaction”.)

We can offer our Guru gifts and monetary donations, because we realise that his physical needs are the same as any other human being, and to give Guru Dakshina and Guru Seva on the physical plane are important for spiritual growth too. But more is needed, for as Guruji says, in truth we cannot give our Guru anything. It is not possible. The only thing a disciple can ever really give to Guru is “surrender” – full devotion and dedication in the practice of yoga meditation. Surrender in meditation is not so easy, because it is about finding and worshipping Pure Self within.

I’m aware that when I sit for practice, it takes enormous effort to concentrate and keep harnessing the mind when it drifts here and there. In fact it takes a hundred times more effort than it takes to remove a bank note from my purse and place it in the Guru Dakshina box after Guruji has given his monthly Satsang! So this is why to “give the mind” like King Janak is the greatest gift to Guru and Soul – the greatest gift we can give our Selves. There is no fear in this concept of “surrender to Guru” – in Christianity it is expressed as, “Thy Will be Done” and in Islam as “Insha’Allah”.

On that note I am reminded of the day a few months ago when Andreas came with me to pick up the boxes of Divine Romance from the CD replication warehouse. That evening I took the very first copy to offer to Guruji so that he could listen to it first. (I learned a few years ago that in the Indian tradition, when you give flowers to a Guru, you should not smell them before offering – it is with respect and love that you feel the Guru should enjoy the scent first … same principle!). I read him the dedication as printed on the inner tray because he didn’t have his glasses on, and cannot express in words how moved I was by his acceptance and happiness. My heart nearly burst with joy, and whilst walking home was reminded of the verse in the Bhagavad Gita, “I will accept any gift, a fruit, a flower, a leaf, even water, if it is offered purely, and devoutly, and with love.” (IX: 26) If this project had all been for my own learning alone, and I’d had 500 CDs made for the sake of offering Guruji one with all my love, then it had been worth it every minute and every dollar of the way. Ah, Guruji…

So far I’ve sent copies to over 60 radio stations and over 20 to reviewers. I even sent the CDs with small bars of quality chocolate. (That worked wonders, because when I did my follow up calls everyone remembered receiving my letter straight away!) Well, there have been a few enthusiastic and positive responses and when those come, they certainly warmed my heart and gave me courage! A handful of local independent radio stations were able to tell me they’ve been playing my songs on air, but the majority of stations they can’t tell you who the CD was passed on to or if it’s being played or not. I have two interviews scheduled for mid-December and am waiting on dates from another two. From the reviewers, I’ve had responses from only two of them that they will review it, the rest have not replied. It’s a lot of work writing letters and making phone calls with no guarantee anyone will be interested enough to buy the CD for all the effort. So far I seem to only be giving them away. Still, no one said it was going to be easy, and it’s a start nonetheless. And when I look at what Guruji gives all the time, this is truly nothing.