Within our daily life, and indeed throughout all aspects of our spiritual life, we need to hand over control to the Spiritual Guide, where we essentially become a puppet that he controls. He then uses us as a tool or an instrument for helping all living beings. We invite him into us, request him to take over and work through us for the benefit of all living beings. Essentially, we try transform ourselves into an emanation of him. We provide the body, he is the one at the helm, in control.
DJ told me recently that the Sanskrit translation of Avatar is “emanation body of God”. In short, we want to transform ourselves into an Avatar of the Spiritual Guide. Once we have some deep experience of the Spiritual Guide working through us, essentially living and working through us, then on that basis we can develop some qualified divine pride, where we identify with him working through us. Once our divine pride becomes more and more qualified, we come to identify more and more with the guru-deity until eventually we become or we are the guru deity, and our ordinary body and mind are like ‘our’ costume or vehicle or Avatar or emanation body.
The question is how do we do this, how do we first become an Avatar of the SG?
- We have to want to do this. We need the humility to realize that when it is our ordinary mind in charge, it is really our self-cherishing which is in charge and it just makes a mess of things and binds us deeper into samsara. But when it is the spiritual guide who is in charge, our every action functions to lead ourselves and others to enlightenment as swiftly as possible. He is omniscient, has perfect compassion and perfect skilfull means. By allowing him to take over, we put him at the helm or in the controls and these qualities come to animate our life. It will be as if we possess these qualities in our own life, and he will engage in his enlightened actions through us. The really cool thing about that is then we get the karma as if it was us who is engaging in these enlightened actions. This then will swiftly take us to enlightenment. We can also increase our desire to do this by understanding how it is an essential step along the way to a qualified divine pride.
- Dissolve the guru into our heart. We can do this either through a formal practice or just instantly throughout the day. The point is you remember that wherever you imagine a Buddha, a Buddha actually goes. So with our believing and wishing faith, we dissolve the guru into our heart, strongly believing the living SG has entered into us and strongly wishing for him to take over.
- We need to ‘cease’ or ‘make silent’ our ordinary mind. Our ordinary mind and its ramblings are like static noise operating in the background that interfere with the spiritual guide taking over. Either our ordinary mind is in control of the Spiritual Guide’s mind is in control. The one directly competes with the other. They are mutually exclusive. The former has only one intention – to send us into the deepest hell; and the latter only has one intention – to lead ourselves and all beings to the highest enlightenment. They go in completely opposite directions. So on the basis of wanting our SG to take over, we intentionally make silent our ordinary mind to create the space for him to take over.
- We then align our motivation with his, wishing to help all those around us or wishing that he live through us and use us to accomplish his enlightened intention, and we request him to do so. We then hold our ordinary self in silence and allow him to come forth.
We have to gain living expeirence of how this works. Then, it makes sense.
The main point is this: by generating one virtue, the wish for him to take over, we are able to accomplish all virtues. By neglecting this one virtue, our SC mind remains in control and sabotages all of our spiritual activities and our spiritual path and all virtues become nearly impossible. I would go so far as to say that the extent to which we can do this is the extent to which we can lead a virtuous life. The extent to which we neglect to do this is the extent to which we plunge headlong into the lower realms (even if we don’t realize it).
Your turn: Would you like to become an Avatar for your Spiritual Guide? Why or why not?