Authority

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     On which authority do you base your teachings?

    #5557
    My words’ authority comes from myself, from what I am; it is not derived from books or other human beings, but from an experience. At times, my words will coincide with your scriptures, and at other times they will not. What I say will sometimes be in harmony with your beliefs and in others will be diametrically opposed. My descriptions, however, need no evidence to be valid, because I only speak about what happens in the speaker.
     After all, any authority comes from us ourselves. Even if we accept the words of the scriptures as absolute, it is us who award validity to our Bhagavad-Gitas, Vedas, bibles, and Korans.
     Is it not us who extend supremacy to our popes and rabbis?
    How can a verse from a scripture determine if I am satisfied or not? How can someone external authorize whether I am tired or not? Which religious leader can decide if I am in love? We are the sole authority of our internal world.
     Institutionalized religion preaches the supremacy of external authority; in this way, it strips the believers of authority and bestows it on the scriptures and prophets. Accepting an external authority destroys the search, and therefore, any possibility to find, discover, or unveil. Truth cannot be acquired second hand by some external intermediary; it is extremely delicate and will wither when transferred. For one to truly learn, rather than merely accumulate recycled knowledge, it is necessary to do without any external authority. You are authoritative when you speak out of your own experience. You act with authenticity if your actions originate in what you really are.
     Truth does not flow through a mere repeater of words, or a professional declaimer. Millions of preachers, instructors, and scholars are circling the globe, narrating foreign experiences with well-documented ignorance. People can have an excellent memory, but that does not make them into authorities.
     Absolute authority belongs to Truth alone. Only the words of someone who is Truth are truly authoritative. Reality can flow in the words of those who emptied themselves and cascade through a Buddha, a Jesus or a Kabir.
     Muhammad’s preaching is authoritative, not the message of the Muslims. The message of the Baal Shem Tov has authority, not the words of a Jewish preacher. The teachings of Shankara are filled with authority, not those of the pundits. The words of Krishna are bone fide, not those of the Hare Krishna preachers.
     
    Only he who has seen the Truth can talk about it. Light flows through a tattva darshinaha, a “seer of the truth”.
     
    tad viddhi pranipatena
    pariprasnena sevaya
    upadeksyanti te jnanam
    jnaninas tattva-darsinah
     
     
    “Only try to learn the Truth by approaching a spiritual master. Question him submissively, and render service unto him. The self realized souls can impart knowledge because they have seen the Truth.” (Bhagavad Gita, 4.34)
     
    I don’t oppose the acceptance of an enlightened master, because if one does not submit to the authority of Truth, one will submit to that of the mind, and the ego will inevitably take control. Truth is infectious, and can be contracted by proximity to an element infected by it. Is not possible to teach the Truth, but yes to transmit it… the difference is immense; teachings imply words; transmission happens in silence. Teaching is of the mind, transmission is of the heart.
     
    Even if we accept a guru, it is us who grant the authority over our lives. If we forget this, we will convert the guru to a simple external authority. The freedom to decide always comes from you. As it is stated in the Bhagavad Gita:
     
    iti te jnanam akhyatam
    guhyad guhyataram maya
    vimrsyaitad asesena
    yathecchasi tatha kuru
     
    “thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.” (Bhagavad Gita, 18.63)
     
     In fact, by surrendering to a realized being, we don’t accept the authority of a body-mind complex, but of the Truth expressed in that being. The master has ceased to be someone, otherwise, could not be a master. The authority of someone who had realized the authenticity is not foreign to what we are; it cannot be considered external; it does not come from that personality, but from the master’s nearness to the Truth.
     Truth cannot be taught, but it can be revealed. It is not found in books, courses, retreats, conferences, or organizations; neither does it reside in the information accumulated from external experiences. Truth is revealed by recognizing our mental content and consciousness. The revelation of the light of Truth constitutes the recognition of our reality, of our original authenticity.
    It is not possible to order Truth to our house like we order pizza. We cannot make the summit of the Himalaya descend to our valley. If we wish to touch the peak, it is essential to abandon the valley and climb the mountain. Nothing and no one can bring reality to our illusion. We must elevate ourselves by ourselves up to the Truth.
     
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