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Keeping the company of saints

The following was posted on my Zaadz / Gaia blog, on Nov 9th, 2008. Since Zaadz is closintg down, I have reposted it, somewhat edited, here

I was talking (well, messaging, via internet chat) with a good friend on the Path, and she mentioned "keeping the company of saints". More and more I am realising the importance of keeping the company - that is, keeping in one's consciousness the Presence of - realised beings.

Currently I am reading Link to Amazon com Only God: A Biography Of Yogi Ramsuratkumar: Regina Sara Ryan. This tells the life of Yogi Ramsuratkumar, one of the very few authentic Enlightened beings.

And while almost thirty years ago I started out and remain dedicated to the path of Integral Yoga taught by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, more and more I am feeling the need to attune to the lives and Personalities of other Great Realisers (to use Da Free John's very useful term), such as Ramana, Nityanada, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Nisargadatta, Ramdas, and others. In this way I avoid the literalism and religionism that comes about when one follows or relate to only a single Master or Realiser. At the same time I find myself profoundly inspired by the examples they set of their lives, and elevated by the Light that shines through them, and which is evident even in their photographs and biographies.

This is what I call "keeping the company of saints". You don't ahve to be in Their presence, as long as contact is made in some manner.

This can then be a Path to Enlightenment. By attuning to different Realisers, one avoids being attached to particular forms. Because despite the differences in the externals or superficiality of each, and even often differences in Teachings, it is the same Light that shines through each. And that Light - the Light of the Supreme - is what leads one to Liberation. This is why, I believe, so many great Teachers speak of the necessity of a Guru. It could even be said, for the progressive and non-literalist Christian for example, that the historical Jesus is their Guru.

Generally great Realisers lived in the past, whether it be a century ago or twenty centuries ago. But reading about Yogi Ramsuratkumar, who died only a few years ago (in 2001), made me wonder if there are any true or completely Enlightened beings around today. Of Intermediate Zoners there are plenty, but authentic and complete Realisers?

Maybe such beings - being humble and not self-aggrandising, with usually only small followings - generally only become known through biographies published after their death. This is something that is interesting to consider, even though - thanks to the timeless nature of Enlightened Beings and Avatars - it is not necessary to have a phsyically embodied Guru or Gurus to keep the Company of such great beings.

external link SPIRITUAL GUIDES: Pass or Fail?, by the Wanderling

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 20 March 2010 (originally written 9 November 2008)