Guru Qualities

By Sue (Shuchi) Cilley, interviewed by Lori (Priya) Kenney

When I think of Gurudevi, it’s hard to pull out only one or two qualities. It’s like looking at my Christmas tree: it’s all scintillating. It’s a package. It’s the same with Gurudevi. All the capacities, all the skills are there, shining as part of the package.

In the Advaya Taraka Upanishad, a qualified Guru is described as having all these qualities: 

…knowledgeable in the Vedas, a devotee of God, free from jealousy, an expert in yoga, does yoga practices, is always in a pure yogic state.  He is devoted to his own Guru and is a knower of the Self.

Gurudevi has all these qualifications and more.  She’s also a true Shaktipat Guru, appointed and willing to serve as Shiva’s agent of Grace.  She gives the knowingness of Self. 

A master of Shaktipat, Gurudevi has mastery over the Shakti Chakra, Kundalini.  Such a master of Kundalini is incredibly rare.  She gave us all of the Svaroopa® yoga poses designed to open the spinal pathway tail to top, smoothing the way for Kundalini energy to flow. 

And there’s more — she’s an exceptional teacher.  Everything she teaches is from the ancient texts.  She’s not making anything up.  She’s bringing these ancient time-tested teachings to us.  She is absolutely brilliant at explaining the teachings in easy-to-understand ways.  She personalizes them so they are living teachings.  She encourages me to test them for myself in this living laboratory which is the world.

It’s not only the learning; she gives me the experience of what she’s teaching.  I grew up in a college town and had many brilliant teachers.  But they could only give me the contents of the subject.  One was an excellent music teacher, but he could only teach what to do and the technique.  He couldn’t give me the experience of music.  Gurudevi does both.  When she teaches, she gives me not only the words, but the experience they point to.

Because she has walked this path, she’s able to see where I’m coming from.  She moves me along, taking me from where I am to the next step and the next.  She’s always looking for ways, and she’s very creative.  She delivers the lines like a great actor, but it’s not an act.  It’s a reality play.

She never does anything that isn’t related to my upliftment.  She never wavers, she’s never off task.  She has a good sense of humor, she’s approachable, she’s very generous with her time and her teachings.  She’s so alive.

Gurudevi has touched every part of my life.  I can’t imagine starting the day without chanting Sri Guru Gita.  She has given me my Self.  Her mantra is integral to my being.  She’s always taking me beyond what I could ever imagine, again and again and again.  Thank Guru, thank God.  I am so grateful.  I bow at her feet.

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