Q: What is a spiritual teacher?
A: None of you have any idea about what a spiritual teacher is. In India, it took five thousand years to come to an understanding of what a spiritual teacher is and now they have lost it too. The relationship between student and Teacher is like the relationship between a chisel and hammer and stone. Do you know what happens when a Teacher and a student meet? Sparks. Don't look for a Teacher. Look for integrity. Look for one who can integrate the totality of the Infinity with the reality in the finite of the self, and still laugh. He knows; he won't tell. He understands; he won’t speak. Because his power is not his own. His power is his own inner prayer, which is calm, quiet, peaceful, and goes with him. Word is God. In the beginning there was the word, the word was with God, the word was Integrity. (Aquarian Times, Winter 2005)
Q: What is the job of the spiritual teacher?
A: My job is not to fall in love with you and sympathize with you or feel good about you. My job is to blast your ego and bring you to a balance of understanding and project you on a path so that you can save your day.
The trouble is that you are blocked. Break the block, face the trouble, find the way, get you out, and get you to move on. That is the job. I cannot be a romantic partner of yours. Neither can I be a paid counselor. My job is very simple: that your life may keep on running better and more successfully, and you have the experience of the birthright of happiness and you should be happy.
Trouble is that ninety-nine percent of you don't listen to me because I happen to be a male and you have no experience with a spiritual teacher. In the West, obedience or surrender does not exist. It's considered a sign of weakness. Actually, it's a sign of strength. You cannot obey if you don't have strength, if you don't have intelligence. My problem is not to gain good will for me. My problem is to gain your good will for yourself. (Aquarian Times, Winter 2005)
Q: How do you teach your students what they need to learn?
A: Poke, provoke, confront, elevate. First I must wake you up. That harshness you face from me, which is sometimes to the point of rudeness, is to wake you up from your spell of arrogance in which you have lost the game to begin with. After that, I get you into a dialogue. Third is to give you a reasonable experience so that you can move out of it and gain your life as it is, and be on your way. The process is not to make you my “clients.” That's not the process here. The process here is that you have the right to happiness and you have the right to success. Therefore, you must work to achieve it. (Aquarian Times, Winter 2005)
Yogi Bhajan spoke at the Master’s Touch Teacher Training course on September 22, 2002. After the lecture, Yogiji answered the following questions:
Q: What does it mean to be a spiritual teacher, to have a spiritual teacher?
A: To have a spirit. A spiritual teacher should have a spirit and live with the spirit. He should teach fearlessly and graciously and nicely and humanly and humbly.
Q: How do you find this spiritual leader?
A: The heart will find it, the head cannot. A spiritual teacher is not a matter of the head. It is a matter of the heart. It has nothing to do with the head. When you find your teacher, you find him/her. That’s it. When you don’t, you don’t.
Q: What do you mean that the relationship of a teacher and student is like a chiseling stone?
A: Chiseling is the ultimate touch. Without chiseling, a stone remains a stone. Nothing comes out of it. A life that is not ready to be chiseled shall have no shape. Don’t I chisel you these days? So, you’ve been through the experience. Master’s Touch is when your teacher touches your central nervous system and gives you the inflow to your own ocean of self where you can find no corner to hide and you become free—free of fear, because your greatest and most typical enemy is your fear. Your fear creates doubt. Your doubt creates bad language, your bad language creates fights, your fights create misery, your misery creates hell, and your hell creates unhappiness. That is the path we normally adopt. But somehow, through very clear consciousness, Master’s Touch is that touch which turns your fear to non-fear, your vengeance against self to non-vengeance, your unawareness to realization, not valuing yourself to honoring yourself, etc.
Q: The first time I met you, you provoked the living creature out of me because you were so straight about everything.
A: I am unfortunately very clear in one thing: that God made you the best He could, would, or should. Do not make doo-doo of yourself. That’s what I believe. My realm is that. No man or woman has the right to act condescendingly or harshly to anyone. No, that’s not your right, neither is it your privilege. You should not do that. Wherever there is the breath of life, be exalted, walk tall, and feel free. Have no fear, no vengeance.
Q: Sir, would you explain your personal experience with touching the Infinite?
A: Do you know what it is? Nothing. You can’t believe in “nothing.” You need something to believe in. That’s a handicap. We are from zero, we live through zero, and we end up zero. You meditate and you reach that stage, and you start experiencing it, and things will start coming to you. It is a backward idea to grab for things, to ask favors, etc. I don’t believe in that. God is the Giver—giver in the sense of creativity of the elements. The elements that belong to you shall come to you.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan