An extremely short blog, a no brainer, on a question that comes up very often for teachers about the lineage of the practice they are teaching and its importance. Once again the views expressed are my own and others are welcome to have their own understanding.
Some seekers think themselves to be like ‘free’ beings in the wild and see lineage as a bit being forced into their mouth and will do anything to rebel against it…I can empathise with it, being of the hair flying, eyes rolling and nostril flaring type myself, fighting any attempt at being suppressed and brought under control. But lineage is actually very simple.
Lineage is not Tradition.
Imagine taking admission into an educational institution, the first look is at the faculty, the person who heads that establishment, the history of that university, college or school. Lineage does exactly that, tells you about the evolution of the organisation of which that particular teacher or in the case of the spiritual- the Satguru or Guru is a part of, who started it, the philosophy behind it, its relevance and path of growth etc. Tradition, on the other hand, is an unwritten but strongly enforced pattern of behaviour, usually called a custom of that organisation, this, according to me, can be questioned, nay in fact, it is the duty of any self respecting sincere seeker to be alert and with awareness rebel against such patterns that have developed over the ages and possibly was never the intention of the original founder who themselves were probably rebelling against the societal mores of their times.
On a lighter note, a meme that I found hilarious said, “Tradition is peer pressure from dead ancestors.” Bingo!
I have a more personal and esoteric understanding of this term called lineage. When I step into the Ganga for a dip, I am conscious of the source wherein it is flowing from- the Gaumukh; collecting the medicinal properties of the Himalayan herbs growing along its path; charged with the energy of the rishis and the yogis meditating by its banks since ages, the ancient history; for moi it ceases to be just a flowing water body but transforms into a personification of all the above; a living, breathing energy that I form a bond with. The river itself may not care for this adulation, but for me it makes the dip that much more sacred and joyous. Alternatively, not knowing the lineage or not acknowledging it does not take away from the benefit of it.
And the closer you are to the source, the less contaminated the water..duh
Taking the Dip and Being close to the Source
Below is an answer I gave to a student/teacher over a year ago to a question about why one must take empowerment from a Master, who for me is ‘The Source’, luckily the student saved it. In fact one cannot undermine the service that is done to humanity by such masters who, like King Bhageerath brought the Ganga down from the heavens, bring the practice to sincere seekers to benefit from.
As all writers know, words flow at certain times in a certain way and often cannot be duplicated. Reproduced below verbatim.
“In empowerment the Satguru enlivens the practice, providing the high octane fuel (in Yogiraj’s words) to fire up the engine of the practice (the car). Until then the student is in preparation for the race to self realisation.
So it’s vital to receive the empowerment to enter the humboldt current of evolution. Masters come from time to time to fine tune the practice and propel practitioners on the fast track path, Yogiraj is one such master.
It’s important as teachers to understand this and be able to communicate it to students. We are not selling anything, it’s a genuine urge to introduce those we can into a practice of the peaceful breath, Kriya Yoga.
Hence the importance of also being as many times as possible in the presence of the Satguru. Many people think oh I have already learnt the Kriya once and been empowered so why should I pay again and attend the same technique. But with a Satguru like Yogiraj who is very very rare every time you are in his presence the transmissions transform you. I have been attending Kriya basic sessions for over 22 years!”
Only those who bathe in the Ganga with awareness truly realise the gain of taking the dip again and again.
When you realise that the reins of the bit are in your own hands, you are truly liberated and free to set your path and move towards the goal and enjoy every moment of the journey.