The Guru-Shishya tradition, or lineage, is a rich vein within the Hindu tradition. It is the tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring. All spiritual traditions contain a mechanism by which students may both learn from and in return be of service to their teacher, master or Guru, and in Hinduism this is the Guru-Shishya relationship.
Within the Hindu tradition, Satgurus (literally knowers of truth) are understood to be the leaders of the religion at any particular time. Although all Satgurus teach the same universal truths, each Satguru has their own particular ‘flavour’ – a distinct perspective, or focus which naturally appeals to and draws forth a certain section of the population.
Those that are particularly inspired by the teachings and example of a Satguru, and who are serious about wishing to learn from and become involved with the Satguru’s mission, may wish to become Shishya’s of the Satguru.
Each Satguru may have their own process for initiating Shishyas, which may be more or less formal. This programme is the first port of call for those wishing to explore the idea of becoming a Shishya of Satguru Sri Ramana Devi. Just as completion of this course does not however guarantee that you will be admitted to the ranks of Sri Ramana’s Shishyas, so also, completion of the course does not commit you to becoming a Shishya – it is an introduction for both parties of the relationship.
There are of course many people who both learn from and help the Satguru, but who are none the less not Shishyas. What makes the Guru-Shishya relationship different is that is creates a formal recognition of this relationship, whereby the Guru accepts responsibility for the spiritual well-being and progress of the new Shishya, and the Shishya commits to live their life along certain ethical principles and in mind of an agreed degree of commitment to serve the mission of the Satguru.
Shishyas of the same Satguru do not necessarily ‘look’ the same. In fact their lives may look completely different to one another. The Guru recognizes and supports the development of the individual Soul of the Shishya. Just as no two Souls are the same, so no two Shishyas have the same mode of service for the Satguru. Some Shishyas may live close to the Guru, and devote much of their waking life directly to the Guru’s mission. Others may lead seemingly normal lives in society, serving the Guru within their everyday life. The closeness of the Shishya to the Guru is defined not by outer appearance but by the degree to which the Shishya helps the Guru. Sri Ramana describes a Shishya as,“Any Individual who wants to carry the message of Oneness out into the world through direct teaching methods.”
This programme will explain what the ‘message of Oneness’ might look like in your life. It will make clear the many different options that exist for fulfilling this aim, and the ethics and codes of behavior that would be expected of you should you wish to pursue it. It will make the clear the different aspects of the Shishya role, and it will give you an experience of what it means to be a Shishya, so that you can know if this is something you want for your life.