Wisdom and Advice from
The Great Tradition of Crazy Wisdom

On choosing or assessing a Spiritual Master

The unconventional criteria required for judging a Spiritual Master.

The Qualities of a Teacher His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks about the qualities of a spiritual teacher and the need for a preliminary period of examination.

the Dalai Lama

Sri Ramakrishna

On Physicians and Spiritual Teachers Sri Ramakrishna presents three kinds of doctors, and connects them with three kinds of spiritual teachers.

On Choosing One's Guru Advice from Swami Sivananda Saraswati Maharaj.

Sri Swami Sivananda

On the "Crazy Wise" Dance of Guru and Devotee

As Avatar Adi Da Samraj has said (and as the greatest Spiritual Realizers throughout history have also indicated), Spiritual Instruction is necessarily a disorienting paradox for the disciple. In the mode of Instructing His devotee, the Master dances Alone in undifferentiated Ecstasy, as there is Only God, Only the non-separate Real, in which He has absolutely no separate identity. And at the same time, the yet unenlightened devotee is only dancing (except in Gracefully illuminated moments) with himself or herself, locked into the mistaken presumption of his or her separateness, living in the resulting illusions of projected mind.

Below are some examples from the traditions of interactions between Master and disciple. These examples illustrate how the Master does not (and must not) take the devotee's conventional and limited perspective too seriously. Equally important, they illustrate how the disciple must realize that it is almost impossible to judge the Master's behavior because of his or her own conventional limits. Some of the stories also give examples of the devotee's understanding that since he or she is interested in great Realization, he or she must be prepared to pass through rigorous trials, and even adopt the unconventional disposition of welcoming them.

Irina Tweedie

"Who Wants Truth as Badly as That?" Irina Tweedie was a British woman who went to live and study in northwest India with a Naqshbandi Sufi teacher. She writes: "It is the task of the Teacher to set the heart aflame with the unquenchable flame of longing, and it is his duty to keep it burning till it is reduced to ashes. For only a heart which has burned itself empty is capable of love."


Tantric Initiation in the Traditions In this excerpt from his book Love of the God-Man, James Steinberg indicates the positive place sexuality must have (and inherently does have) when Truth or Reality Itself is to be Realized.

James Steinberg

Jamgon Kongtrul

"How Can a Buddha Have Faults?" Jamgon Kongtrul Labrang, of the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition.

"I Hit Them Right from the Start" Ch-an Master Lin-chi Hui-chao ("Rinzai" in Japanese), of the Chinese Ch'an tradition.

Ch-an Master Lin-chi Hui-chao

D. T. Suzuki

"You Have It Now, You Have It Now" D. T. Suzuki in Essays in Zen Buddhism.

"I Need a Rebbe Who Will Flay the Living Skin from My Flesh" a story from Zalman Schachter's and Edward Hoffman's "Sparks of Light" on the tradition of Hasidic Judaism.


Karlfried Durckheim

The Master Is Never a Model of Civic Virtue Karlfried Graf Durckheim, Zen Master.

"No Wonder You Have So Few Friends!" Saint Teresa of Avila.

St. Teresa of Avila

Ramana Maharshi

"Tired of Speaking Sweetly " Celebrated Sufi mystic Hafiz's poem about "the Beloved" (God) is even more apt when applied to the Beloved appearing in the human form of the Guru (who is actually in a position to "kick ass").




Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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