When the student is ready, the teacher appears

By | 10/8/2022

Whether one has the kernel of future development on the inner spiritual path of not, let alone future liberation or self-realization, I have become convinced that the journey towards the final goal simply cannot begin until the “student is ready”. What do I mean by that statement? Manish Chopra

To illustrate through my own story, despite sufficient encouragement, prompting, goading and then insistence from my wife, it took me five long years to want to even give meditation a fair and yet skeptical and reluctant trial. I was so set in my ways and beliefs that an opportunity staring me in my face was blocked from view due to the veil of ignorance.

And yet, I now believe that one comes into contact with this secret ingredient only when fully ripened as that is when the learning will imbue and have maximal value. In practical terms, what I mean is that I had to burn further in my own self-created agony in the crucible of life to arrive at the doorstep of the noble learning that leads to living in alignment with the universal principles of existence. And thus open the door to learning the true art of living. In some ways, this is apt and perhaps even a necessary precondition for one to draw maximal benefit and overcome doubt.

I sincerely believe that my own system had to brim to capacity with the toxicity of how I was living my life on the inside even as I was outwardly and materially quite successful. It was only when I found myself sufficiently answer-less on how to step out of the vicious cycles of cravings and aversions through use of my intellect did I even consider an (what seemed at the time from the outside) unscientific approach.

This is not too dissimilar from how I had eventually stumbled upon chiropractic care to finally alleviate and manage years of chronic back pain which had remained unresolved despite every attempt to treat it with modern approaches to medicine. Much in the same way I was later able to dissect, understand, and accept chiropractic at the level of my scientific understanding, so have I found the art of living through Vipassana meditation practice to be the most sound, logical, and effective approach to living an equanimous and happy life.

Years hence, I smile when I come across scores of other seekers and travelers on the same or similar path narrating their stories of spontaneous and seemingly coincidental occurrences that led them to unlock the door to their inner salvation after years of heedlessness and pursuit of mindless escapes.

My simple-minded explanation for these phenomena is two-fold. First, the futile pursuits that lead to the doorstep of self-discovery is actually a helpful process in both creating the realization that outward happiness doesn’t lead to inner satisfaction and also helps to lower the sense of ego, without which any spiritual pursuit is likely to be unsuccessful. And second, at a more karmic level which is hard to explain with linear logic, there has to be a certain passage of time for the ripening of the inner seed or more simply put, for shedding the karma that is blocking us from the path of salvation. And thus, it is so that only when the student is ready in this manner does the teacher spontaneously appear to impart the learning and make us self-reliant and established on this noble pursuit.

Finally, at a cosmic level, when with all these preconditions being in place, the universe must truly align and welcome the seeker on their path as any effort, howsoever motivated and strong, has to be in coherence with the energy system of nature. Eventually when the horse gets repeatedly drawn to the water, does it only gulf down bucketfuls when its merits are ripened and quench its thirst.

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