How Shriram Sharma Acharya’s Guru Guided Him Through An Astral Body

by Pulkit Mathur, The Spiritual Bee

Enclosed is a wonderful experience from the life of Shriram Sharma Acharya which demonstrates that a guru need not always be present in the physical body to guide a sincere spiritual aspirant.

Shriram Sharma Acharya - Founder of the Gayatri Parivar.

“Today people mistakenly believe that spirituality consists in chanting mantras, or performing rituals, or bribing the idols in temples with offerings of food or gold.
People never put the effort to transform their thoughts, character and attitude in the light of the indwelling Spirit, which is what constitutes genuine spirituality.”
– Shriram Sharma Acharya

At the time this incident took place Shriram Sharma Acharya was about 15 years old. In those days he was in the habit of getting up in the early hours of dawn to chant the Gayatri Mantra.

Here is what unfolded next, as has been described by Shriram Sharma Acharya himself, in his Hindi book Hamari Vasiyat Aur Virasat (Free Download).

This book has an English translation called My Life, Its Legacy and Message (Free Download). The enclosed excerpt has been borrowed from this English translation. It has been modified by me in places to enhance the translation as well as to assist the flow while reading. – Pulkit

It was all of a sudden that God’s grace descended upon me at the age of fifteen as if it was pre-planned and predestined. I got an opportunity to dedicate myself single-pointedly towards the realization of my childhood dreams (of God-realization through Self-realization).

It was the day of Basant Parva – the Hindu festival celebrating the advent of spring. I was engrossed in worship during the small hours of the morning, when suddenly I saw in my room an aura of light. I was amazed and awestruck. I rubbed my eyes to ascertain whether it was a hallucination or some sort of ghost or demon, but it was none of these. The light was real.

“The grace of Divine Souls is granted only for public good, for the growth of righteous attitudes and tendencies in humanity and it is not showered upon anyone who hankers after fame or material prosperity.”
– Shriram Sharma Acharya

From within the aura of light, the astral (subtle) body of a Yogi emerged. It was astral in the sense that his figure was visible although it was hanging in empty space with an envelope of light all around it. I wondered as to who he was.

The Yogi sensed my dilemma and began to speak 1, “I have been connected with you in your past lives. I have been guiding you in several of them. In this life too, now that your childhood has drawn to a close, I have come to impart the necessary instructions. However, it is quite likely that you have no recollection of any of these events of your past births and are therefore frightened and amazed to see me. So see the events of your past lives and remove your doubts”.

As soon as he said this, his grace began to descend and I began to feel drowsy. For the first time in my life, I experienced what is known as yog-nidra (yogic sleep), a stage which is also termed as jagrat-samadhi. Submerging myself in that state of elevated consciousness, I began to see the events of my past lives unravel before my eyes, one by one. It was as if I was not dreaming but watching them occur in reality. Thus many lifetimes passed before my eyes like so many different movies.

However, even after viewing my past births through the grace of that divine personage, a host of questions still lingered in my mind.

I began to think – in this world spiritual aspirants usually wander helter-skelter in search of a Sadguru (true guru) and consider themselves extremely fortunate when they succeed in finding one. Upon discovering such enlightened masters, many individuals usually seek boons for the fulfillment of their worldly desires.

But my case was altogether different. I was not in search of a guru, neither for wish fulfillment, nor for any other purpose. In fact I had already been initiated by Madan Mohan Malviyaji in the Gayatri mantra when I was eight years of age and so the question of selecting another person as a guru had ended right then and there. I had not even imagined meeting another. So this Yogi’s sudden presence in my room continued to puzzle me greatly.

Why had the grace of such an elevated soul suddenly been showered upon me? Was it a hallucination? Or perhaps it was indicative of some terrible calamity to befall me? Such fears and doubts passed through my mind in my first encounter with the great guru.

“A genuine Yogi always devotes one’s life to the public good. He does not perform magical feats to mesmerize and entice the common person.

Such impostors are magicians masquerading as Yogis. Their actions make a mockery of Yoga – the path to God-realization, because there is nothing spiritual in these feats.”
– Shriram Sharma Acharya

However much to my surprise, Gurudev (God-like Guru) did not feel annoyed and could understand my dilemma. The cheerful demeanour on his face indicated that he appreciated my doubts. After all it is common courtesy that if a person suddenly visits somebody’s house, the latter would want to know about the former’s purpose of visit.

So without wasting time, Gurudev began to explain the reason for his visit.

“Your thinking is correct”, he said. “Before spending their time and energy, divine souls always test the person with whom they want to establish a relationship. They do not appear willy nilly before any person who curiously fancies to see them, nor do they go about fulfilling the materialistic desires and worldly wishes of ordinary people. No wise or discerning individual would ever try to establish a deep relationship with someone without considering his/her worthiness and eligibility. Even though many people mistakenly believe that they can benefit by connecting with great and spiritually resplendent personalities, nevertheless they forget that no one likes to waste their energy and capabilities on an undeserving person.”

Gurudev continued: “Through my subtle vision 2 I have been searching for a deserving disciple, who can become a fit instrument to implement my goal of universal welfare. Since I have a subtle body therefore I am constrained in the manner in which I can act in the physical world. For example, I cannot establish day to day contact with the masses, nor can I educate them on spiritual matters, or teach them how to conduct their daily sadhana (practice of spiritual development) and worship. To precipitate such events, I need the help of a person possessing a physical body who can become my instrument of action in the physical realm.

For these are critical times and there are great chances of mankind being grievously harmed and overwhelmed by the forces of darkness. Therefore I want to make you an instrument to help solve the problems bedeviling humanity. You will get my guidance and cooperation and your shortcomings will be removed. It is for this purpose that I have come to you.”

Gurudev further continued: “Till now, you have been engrossed in the ordinary duties of human life and therefore have considered yourself an ordinary person. Hence you were greatly puzzled to see me. But I have come to remind you of your past deeds and make you realize that you are not ordinary, but you are a person of divine birth who has come to fulfill a specific divine mission. However since you would not have believed me, had I just given you a description of your past competence, therefore I have provided you with a detailed vision of your past births.”

After hearing Gurudev’s words, all that had earlier appeared strange vanished from my mind and a feeling of deep intimacy, affinity and gratefulness toward this Devatma (Divine Soul) awakened in my rejuvenated soul. My family, whom I had previously considered as my dearest kith and kin, now began to appear alien before the awakened memories of many lifetimes spent in close association with Gurudev.

“God does not need to be flattered with worship and offerings. Chanting of God’s name is meaningful only when one is engaged in beautifying and developing His Garden, this Universe.”
– Shriram Sharma Acharya

I started regarding Gurudev who was standing before me in the form of a column of light, as the Soul of my soul. I realized that my past and future were linked with him. I had no other aspiration and nothing to claim as my own but to follow rigorously and faithfully the directions of my master. In those moments, I surrendered myself wholly to that divine soul and began to regard him as not just my guide but as the equivalent of Divinity Itself.

That day I learnt one more lesson: that the grace of divine souls is granted only for public good, for the growth of righteous attitudes and tendencies in humanity and it is not showered upon anyone who hankers after fame or material prosperity.

These enlightened souls have no kith or kin, opponent or rival. The all-pervading Spirit, manifested as the Soul of Humanity is their Deity, and they yoke themselves and their disciples in the service of this Divine in humanity. In the light of this insight, I immediately recollected the great master-disciple relationships of Ramakrishna with Vivekananda; Samarth Ramdas with Shivaji; Chanakya with Chandragupta; Gandhi with Vinoba Bhave; and Buddha with Ashoka. These masters and their disciples were the repositories of true spirituality because they selflessly worked to uplift the masses.

Such genuine masters stood in sharp contrast to those fake gurus, who for the sake of accumulating power, fame and wealth; mesmerize ordinary folks by performing magical feats such as producing the scent of flowers, or calling a tiger to their hut. Other charlatans entice people by staying buried underground for days, or living in caves in the extreme cold, or by keeping one arm extended perpetually upright. Those who perform such feats to excite and impress the ordinary minds are never the great God-realized yogis. Such impostors are simply magicians masquerading as yogis. Their actions make a mockery of yoga – the path to God-realization, because there is nothing spiritual in these feats.

A genuine yogi and his true disciples always tread the path propounded by the ancient Rishis, which is to devote one’s life in the service of the public good as was done by Kabir, Chaitanya, Samarth Ramdas, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda, Dayananda and many more. God is never pleased with those who merely chant His name. He does not need to be flattered with worship and offerings. Chanting of God’s name is meaningful only when one is engaged in beautifying and developing His Garden, this Universe.

These thoughts dominated my mind on that auspicious day of Basant Parva, when my Guru appeared in his astral body before me and advised me that the inner efforts for self-growth and self-improvement must go hand-in-hand with acts of public service.

On that day, I wholeheartedly and completely surrendered myself and my soul and silently pledged: “I hereby surrender to you, all that I am, and all that I have. I have not seen God, but you are my God because you are guiding me towards my highest good. I will explicitly mould my life in accordance with the instructions imparted by you”.

Related Notes to the Above Excerpt

Note 1: When Yogis living in their astral body wish to speak, they do not do so in the ordinary way in which we speak using our mouths and tongues. Instead they communicate using the para and pasyanti speech, which works by awakening the intuitive faculties of the listener.

Note 2: God-realized Yogis can analyze the past, present and future of any individual, simply by reading the contents of their mind. The mind of every person, as we have seen in an earlier video, is part of their subtle body or sukshma sharir. Each of our individual minds is collectively contained with the Cosmic Mind, just as fruits are contained within a bowl.

Because the mind of a God-realized Yogi has expanded and become unified with the Cosmic Mind, therefore the contents of each individual mind can easily be accessed by such a Yogi. And thus he/she is able to determine the trajectory of not just an individual but of the whole world. This particular yogic power is known as subtle vision or sukshma drishti.

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Join the Discussion | Share Your Thoughts

  • pranjal

    Very nice article, didi…
    But will you please elaborate a little more about para and pasyanti speech

    • Deepak Pundir

      Indeed… Good experience shared

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