“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.34)
तद् विद्धि प्रणिपातेन
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
“I have found that if someone has engaged in criminal activity, be it an individual, an organization, or even an entire government apparatus, they always balk at any calls for transparency. I will give you one example: a stolen election.
“People have a good idea about the funny business since so much of it was carried out in the open. One particular candidate was leading by a significant margin on election night. This was around the same time that elections in previous years were called. In other words, there likely weren’t many ballots left to count.
“Some statisticians ran the numbers. For the other candidate to turn things around, to overcome the deficit with the number of outstanding ballots, would be one in a quadrillion chance. In other words, it was impossible.
“Nevertheless, that is exactly what took place. The cheaters obviously brought in fake ballots. To make sure no one got a good eye on them, they blocked observers from the polling places. It was laughable, in a sense, if the consequences weren’t so serious.
“After the fact, the perpetrators don’t want anyone to see the evidence. They are living a lie, and that is why they refuse to even be questioned about it. If someone raises an objection, they will be fired from their job, de-platformed from the internet, and possibly even face jail-time.
“It is sad to say but I have seen similar things occur in spiritual societies. In a church-like organization, if someone blows the whistle on criminal activity, they are banned from the establishment. They are stripped of their high status within the organization. Shunned for life, the followers get warned to stay away from such a person; the guilty are referred to as ‘offenders.’
“How does this square with spiritual life, in general? If we go up to a genuine spiritual master, can we ask them anything? Is it disrespectful to be too inquisitive? I would rather not follow blindly. If they are unwilling to answer certain questions, it seems to me that they are hiding something.”
As Vedic culture is equivalent with the Absolute Truth, as it descends from Him originally, the people pursuing excellence are advised and encouraged to have all of their doubts settled. Since the human brain has limits in ability to think logically, to comprehend infinite time and space, certainly there are questions that cannot be answered.
For the important issues, though, for the topics that matter to the success in ending the perpetual cycle of birth and death, the spiritual master is always open for questions. They are ready to repeat and reiterate as many times as the disciple needs. They take the role of guru seriously; they are not in it for themselves.
The guru follows the lead of Shri Krishna, who engages in the ideal back-and-forth session with Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita. Not at any time does Krishna prevent Arjuna from putting forward additional inquiries. He does not punish the disciple for going to a forbidden area or for not understanding things properly in the beginning, though Krishna does jokingly refer to Arjuna’s initial attitude as anarya, which means not aligned with the disposition of a wise person.
कुतस् त्वा कश्मलम् इदं
kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ
“The Supreme Person [Bhagavan] said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy.” (Bhagavad-gita, 2.2)
Transcendental knowledge will not self-manifest, though it lies dormant within us. A teacher is necessary. We need someone to show us the way. If there is an instructor, we cannot get to the truth unless there are questions. Even if we are not the ones directly asking, if someone else should highlight some of our concerns, that is as good as receiving the clarification ourselves.
Vedic literature is vast and comprehensive, and the spiritual master so kind and willing to go the extra mile to rescue as many people as possible, that simply through reading enough translated literature and commentary, every doubt a person may have gets resolved.
The enlightenment may not take place immediately. I may require years of repeated hearing and deeper assimilation of the principles before I finally understand, but never am I told to go away. Rather, the true spiritual master makes such an impression that they manage to always stay with us, guiding us in our dedication to the Supreme Lord: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
From him the truth be told,
Standing to opposition bold.
But for serious inquiry meant,
Meaningful such time spent.
That question the same repeated,
Answers until ignorance defeated.
A heavenly gift with knowledge light,
From guru Divinity shining bright.