The Grace and Space of Gurudakshina
By Guruka Singh Khalsa
When the Siri Singh Sahib first sent us out to open up ashrams in 1970 there was no fixed cost to attend a yoga class. Most of us had seen the sign at Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles that said, "For what a man gives he shall receive, and for what a man receives a gift shall be required of him" and we put a similar sign up over a donations basket outside our classrooms. In those days, in addition to money, many students who had no money gave everything from loaves of home-baked bread to drawings and other works of art and crafts they had created. But everyone gave something from their heart, because as their hearts were opened up by practicing the teachings, and as they themselves became teachers, they understood the simple, profound truth of that simple quote that stood by the donations basket.
For what a man gives he shall receive, and for what a man receives a gift shall be required of him. In my life, there is no one who has given me more than Yogi Bhajan. He opened the way for me to realize my destiny as a teacher and passed on the sacred teachings that are the foundation of my life. He never gave the teachings to us conditionally. He just gave them to us, with their purity and power.
If you take a moment to meditate on that maxim, and then to meditate on the Golden Chain, it becomes crystal clear that as these teachings are passed on from teacher to student (who then becomes a teacher) something very profound is happening. As we give, so we receive. The full cup can hold no more. “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” There's a basic principal of the universe at work here. It is about flow, movement, reciprocation, abundance and making room for more.
Our Gurudakshina is the key to opening that flow on the most subtle and powerful level. It is our way of direct connection to our teacher in the flow of reciprocation within the grace and space of the Golden Chain. That 10% is a key to our own success in our lives as teachers. It is very direct and very personal. It has nothing to do with organizations or religions. It has to do only with teacher and student. It has to do only with the flow of receiving and passing on the teachings. It is a key to how the student becomes a teacher and how the teacher becomes a master. It takes you out of your personal ego and humble yourself to the flow within the Golden Chain. In this way we become unlimited by our own ego and expand into the non-personal flow of the “Teacher.”
It is on that subtle level that we are always connected to him, no matter where we are, and no matter whether or not he is in his physical body. That flow of energy cannot be one way from Master to student. In order for the flow to be constant, it has to be a two-way flow and our Gurudakshina is the flow we send back to him. All this happens through the act of giving our Gurudakshina. That constancy of giving opens up the flow and creates the movement.
It is a key part of our deep connection, though gratitude for the blessing of living as a teacher in this lifetime. Gurudakshina never comes from the wallet. Gurudakshina comes from the heart.
For what a man gives he shall receive, and for what a man receives a gift shall be required of him.
"THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF KUNDALINI YOGA is the law of the soul connected and projected through the mind. If you have faith in your teacher, you shall always be a teacher—you have to learn nothing. The law is that teachers are not trained; teachers are born out of faith, not out of spermatozoa. The energy of teaching is not transferred through physical power, but through the subtle power of the teacher. When you disconnect yourself from the teacher, you fall as a teacher. A teacher is one who links mentally with the teacher. Guru Ram Das is not away from us. When we link mentally with him, he comes to our aid exactly as a physical person would, but with much more grace."