Written by Sanja Dejanović

In Sanskrit, the Teacher is called Guru, where ‘gu’ means darkness and ‘ru’ means light. A guru leads us out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge. The Sanskrit word for disciple is sishya; it means complete and perfect devotion to the teacher. The student abandons his ego and is ready to endure anything to achieve the goal. A realized Master is also called Brahma Nishtha Srotri Satguru, which means he has perfect control over body, mind, and senses. His path to the realization of God is complete, and he can pass this transcendental knowledge on to others. The Guru knows the teachings and scriptures through his own experience and thus passes them on to the disciple. [2]

There are two types of Teachers. One attains perfection and God-realization by long hard practice under the guidance of his Guru, and the other is born as a Teacher. He is a higher being, incarnated with perfect abilities, and therefore called a divine soul. A Teacher who has reached higher levels of consciousness through continuous effort and practice is called a yogi; the other is called a Mahayogisiddha. Some worship Mahayogisiddha as their deity.

A Teacher will never boast of his miraculous abilities or deeds, nor will he personally consider himself the source of that divine power, even when he possesses siddhis. Every Master affirms that God is the source of all knowledge and power, regardless of whether this refers to the omnipresent God or the personal God in the form of his Divine Teacher. [2]

A student seeks knowledge and realization of his being. Standing on the steps of spiritual evolution, he also possesses the qualities and abilities of his Master but is not yet aware of them because the wave of ignorance covers them. The student’s mind is full of illusions and delusions; therefore, he feels helpless. It is very difficult to be a student. The task of the disciple is more difficult than the task of the Guru because it is not at all easy to surrender one’s small but powerful ego to the Master. [2]

Knowledge is infinite, limitless. It is acquired through practice and personal experience. For a person to acquire knowledge, he needs a teacher in every area of ​​life. And to acquire spiritual knowledge, he needs a spiritual Teacher – Guru. Seeking enlightenment, the student approaches the Teacher like a thirsty person approaching a well with a pitcher. The disciple must have complete confidence in his Master and must be firmly convinced that he will quench his thirst for Self-Realization. [2]

The Teacher is the one who gives; the student receives. Teacher and student are like two candles. The Teacher is a candle whose flame is burning, the student is an unlit candle. For the flame to be transferred to the disciple, he must approach the Master’s flame, which means he must learn and follow his words. [2]

Yoga is not a ritual but a series of exercises to be practiced. When performed with faith, discipline and firm determination, they lead to enlightenment, the realization of God. The exercises and techniques taught by the Guru come from ancient knowledge passed down from Master to disciple over thousands of years. [2]

Considering that I was lucky and blessed to meet different life teachers in this life, but also a Guru in the true sense of the word, I will try to process this topic through this thesis from personal experience and quotes from some literature.

My Master, dear Mohanji, says: “The Guru is within you. Your soul is your Guru. I’m just a signpost on your way. I can show you where to look, but it’s up to you whether you will see and what you will see.” Jesus Christ said: “He who has eyes to see, let him see, and he who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

What I realized is that the Master has different ways of acting. From personal experience, someone who is not familiar with the tradition of yoga, and especially the word Guru, may encounter a conflict within himself. Sometimes that conflict comes from various thoughts, and he needs to realize that they are not his thoughts, but they come from the collective consciousness, or rather to say, the unconscious.

As a seeker of the Truth at its very source, my path was like an integration of everything. The need to study and know everything to the extent that it is intended for me, as much as I am destined for. And in a sea of ​​misinformation, it is essential to receive confirmation that you are on the right path while the crowd tries to convince you that you are not. This way, the Teacher brings you closer to yourself and the Truth. To what extent an individual will realize it, I am sure that it depends primarily on predestination, but certainly, also on the effort invested.

To get an answer or to explain the importance of a Guru on the path of yoga, perhaps I should first explain what yoga means to me and what it means to be a yogi. Not only what the books say but how I understood these terms, the state of a yogi. And I would start with this question because I live my whole life with God or with faith in Him. My whole life, I have strived for something deeper than this fleeting reality in which there is an infinite amount of beauty but also pain. Since I was little, it was not clear to me why there is so much diversity on Earth, why some are dying of hunger while others do not know what to do with their money. While some believe and are joyful, others live in constant fear. 

At some point in my search for Truth, I began to research everything that interested me, to read about it, to listen and watch videos, to meet people similar to me. It doesn’t mean that I consider myself a yogi in the true sense of the word, but yes, I strive for it in my way because even though the top of the mountain is one, the paths to the top can be different. And all the time on that road, it was clear to me that I was looking for an understanding, an absolute understanding of everything that exists, for an understanding of myself. The word INTEGRATION was extremely present to me. More on that later.

I read somewhere that the word YOGA in translation means CONSCIOUSNESS. And I liked that; being a yogi means being aware. Aware of your breathing, movements, the position in which you sit while doing something, your thoughts and other people’s thoughts, your feelings, and emotions. Also, the awareness how to accept everything you feel, how to live, and how to change what does not suit you, realizing along the way everything that lies beyond the limits of what is visible to the physical eye. Once you become Consciousness, Consciousness and you are one.

The Teacher knows you, knows your every thought, every vibration of yours, and therefore can guide you properly when you have doubts. For example, I had many doubts about my purpose and what I am doing on Earth. Although, I have been aware since I was a child of some inner knowledge that people should love each other and get along much better.

Once upon a time, while I was living in the United Arab Emirates, I asked one dear Muslim man acquaintance: “Dear Denise, Islam says there is one God, Jews say there is one God, Christians say there is one God, why are our books different?” “Did God dictate different books to divide the people? I would not say so.”  And then the yarn started to unravel. At that time I was not familiar with the teachings of Buddhism and India, only later, after returning from abroad, did I become interested in them, and from Abu Dhabi, I returned as a Reiki practitioner. 

For example, I immediately recognized Reiki because it was clear to me a long time ago that everything is energy. What would be an easier way to heal a person than with energy, especially since I immediately realized that Reiki is spiritual energy, which helps to heal traumas from the subconscious and unconscious, and addresses the causes of certain conditions and diseases. If the root of a particular illness is removed, it will also disappear with the root. Also, as soon as you get rid of trauma and clean your inner space, you get more space for love and joy. However, sometimes it is not easy to broadcast the same to the environment because many people do not know how to receive it; they look at you as an alien, so if you are too sensitive, you may close yourself off. Then a new opening follows, and so on. Also, Reiki, as a spiritual energy, opens all your internal or, as I like to say, vertical potentials, so you also come to realizations that are not only about the physical and material world. Thus the door to the Teacher opened.

Yoga, especially one part of it, the asanas, I have loved for a long time and practiced some of them. I liked to stretch, especially after some other training and activities. Being interested in that physical aspect of yoga, I began to get to know Yoga in all its meaning, as well as the types of yoga. Applying Reiki daily, I experienced openings, realizations, and insights. Some were big and strong, not to mention multidimensional. When you are alone in all of this, you are your teacher, sometimes you can seem crazy to yourself, and yet, on the other hand, the feeling says that you are not crazy and that all of this can be and is the truth, or at least one part of the way, one step towards the discovery of the Truth.

Somewhere along the way, I heard about my Guru. I went to my first Satsang and meditation and immediately felt the energy he radiated. For a while, I was present with him, receiving messages from him and confirmations. At that time, there weren’t many of us, and he answered everyone’s messages personally. Then there was a moment when I asked myself why I was following some Indian guru when I was born in Serbia and baptized at nineteen, so I decided to return to Orthodoxy. 

I went to services very dedicatedly; I was fasting, received communion, and did everything as recommended. Then, at one point, I realized that I began to judge more than I did before, that I had more fears than before going to church regularly, and that something did not fit with the fundamental teaching of Christ that he passed on to us, so I withdrew from there. And I was alone with myself and God again for a while when one day, I felt an indescribable need, a thirst, so to speak, to see Mohanji again. 

I remember that moment crystal clear. I stood alone in my apartment and said out loud, “I have to see Mohanji.” And for the second time, to my happiness and blessing, the path opened to Him. That was three years ago. That was when I learned about the humanitarian platform ACT Foundation, in which I immediately became active. Through it, I found an abundance of blessings that I had never imagined, primarily in the form of some wonderful people, which led me to write this paper.

Also, at some point during my journey, I heard about Kriya. I felt that notion very strongly, and soon I found out that Mohanji performs initiations into Consciousness Kriya. I then said to myself, if I ever receive that initiation, it will be from Him. That was in 2019.

Now I would like to return to the previously written sentence that the Master knows you and knows your every vibration. Yes, he knows the past, present, and future, feels and knows what is good for you, and he can point it out to you. That’s what he said to me on that occasion in response to one of my questions: “Look at what you can do for the world and let the Universe do it for you.”

And then ACT FOUNDATION kindly opened the door for me. I reflected on the moment I thanked him for everything and said I would like to try Orthodoxy. He told me: “Go. Orthodoxy is beautiful. Whatever happens, be love.” I’m sure he already knew then that it was part of my journey, my integration, and that we would see each other again.

Reading the autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda restored my faith in Christ and confirmed my view of life, God and that everything was right from the start. The frequent mention of Yogi Christ in that book was like a salve for my soul. Of course, that very book was recommended to us by Mohanji at one Satsang. Mohanji told me once personally: “When you pray to Christ, it comes to me.” One Consciousness.” And so there was reconciliation for me. The processes were not naive, do not betray one, do not betray the other. To love Christ and strive to live his teachings, yet to fully love the Yoga tradition. In the end, you realize that every time, i.e., every period on Earth, one or more Christ-like souls try to show you the way back to yourself, to God, no matter in what tradition you were born. The goal is the same and only – Liberation.

I heard from my Teacher that there are four types of yoga: Karma, Bhakti, Jana, and Raja yoga. Each of us is a little bit of everything, and one of these four essences prevails. So it is up to us to feel what the main essence of our being is as we live the necessary experiences.

The following is written in the Yoga Sutras: A Teacher can only understand how thoughts and feelings are born, how they are influenced, how one can change into another, and under what circumstances. What is the cause and what is the effect and how a feeling state can be changed or removed from experience. [1]

It is one thing to know the truth, it is another to be able to say it, and the third is to live the truth with every aspect of your being, to be the embodiment of the truth. [1] For me, the Teacher is equal to Truth. A mirror to which the individual should aspire. It does not mean copying the Teacher but reaching his level of consciousness, becoming one with the Teacher, one with God.

Once upon a time, almost nine years ago, I inwardly received a message about my purpose or assignment here. Reading yogic literature, I came up with the definitions of that term that was handed to me. I was told: “It is yours to learn to live Joy and to teach it to others.” Since then, I have been in prayer, intending to know Joy. And I am living it for most of each day, but there are moments when it slips, meaning more layers need to be removed. And that message came before I met my Guru in physical form. Everything is somehow synchronized, and everything comes together when we let go. One of the definitions of joy that I particularly liked is the following: Joy is like an ethereal light that vibrates and fills the yogi’s body and the surrounding space. [1] 

A couple of years before that, when I was wondering what I should do about Reiki, whether I should work as a therapist or pass Reiki on as a Reiki teacher, I received a message again through a dream, very clearly. As someone who lives by the name Sanya (dream), dreams are a field where I get a handful of insights and confirmations needed at a given moment. In that dream, it was written, Teacher. Just so blue, bold, and underlined. Indeed, time and circumstances have shown that is my path. At that time, I needed to become more familiar with the term GURU. And when he became known to me, when my teacher entered my life, he brought me confirmation that I was on the right path when he told me: “Perfect Reiki and don’t compare with others.” And I am infinitely grateful to him for the necessary encouragement to live and act in a way that is for the benefit of all involved, especially at that time in an environment where people did not understand or accept anything that is not visible to the naked eye, even though it is very tangible.

In the Yoga Sutras, I find another wonderful passage about the term Teacher. He is the Teacher of all Teachers because he is not limited by time. Everyone is a Teacher to the extent that God is manifested in him. Therefore, God is the foundation of the Teacher, He is the One whose presence makes the Teacher so. All true Masters surrender to God with their whole being and worship Him through the created world, teaching all beings about His greatness and devotion to Him. Through their action, consciousness is purified and deified. Therefore, the Masters are the embodiment of the divine active force, acintya, and Shakti, and represent windows through the veils of illusion, through which the students can glimpse the ultimate reality. Of all things in all worlds, there is nothing more valuable than a Teacher, because such a Teacher opens the way for students to transcend the world.

What is more valuable, the world or anything in the world? Of course, the world. What is more valuable, the world or that which completely transcends it? What goes beyond it, of course. And the Teacher in the world represents the presence of That which transcends the world and the path to its achievement, which is easy to walk and which removes all obstacles. The student should be aware of this and take advantage of the blessing of the Teacher’s appearance with his whole being, using the opportunity to remove all obstacles from his consciousness in the purifying holy presence of the Teacher and completely surrender to God without limitations. [1]

In 2019, I was blessed to attend my first retreat with Mohanji. When I saw the announcement, I said to myself: That is I want; I want all seven days, and if this is the place for me to be, please let it manifest. Within two days, I was able to pay myself for the entire retreat. And I had a place there. I truly enjoyed every moment, meeting people who are family in spirit. I also met my yoga instructor, our dear Laza, Dragan Lazovic (LOTOS YOGA BELGRADE). At the time, I didn’t know who it was, but the yarn was unwound when it was supposed to, so I found out. Then I had the opportunity to receive shaktipat, only the second in my life. The experience was something special. It is very difficult to put into words the feeling of unconditional love and absolute acceptance. At that moment, it didn’t matter who I was, where I came from, or what I did or didn’t do before that moment. Nothing mattered because the feeling of absolute acceptance was so overwhelmingly strong that you could almost touch it. Recently, an announcement about a retreat with Mohanji after two years was published again. And, of course, I gave the same intention this time and again, and in just two days, everything fell into place perfectly. That is my Master. He gives you what you need and puts everything else out of the way while respecting free will. Of course, I mentally explained to him that free will is lacking and that he is free to clean everything he can and should, whether I agree with it or not. As it says in the passage above, the student should surrender his ego. Yes, but it’s not easy, and that’s why the student can be aware of it and surrender, at least mentally, until it all descends perfectly into the subconscious and becomes a conscious experience.

And so the way is opened by the Grace of the Teacher when it is for the student’s highest good. Of course, this does not only apply to the retreat but to any moment and decision in our life. There are certain obstacles on the path of yoga. Some are karmic obstacles created by the manifestation of karmic seeds from the causal layer of the body, which causes changes in the mental, astral, pranic, and physical body that hinder the yogi in practice. An example is a karmic illness, death, or misfortune of some other kind, which is the result of the yogi’s previous deeds.

Often, such seeds are transformed by the Grace of the Teacher to enable the student to progress spiritually. Smaller shifts can be transformed by the Teacher without visible consequences, but larger amounts, i.e. more severe cases, can lead to weakness, illness, or even death of the Teacher. When willingly leaving the body, Teachers often decide to work off a large number of their student’s karmic waste through their bodies. Because of such an effect of the disciple’s sinful deeds on the Master, the disciples always refrain from committing sinful deeds, engage only in God and virtue, and work diligently to remove the obstacles created by their past deeds. [1]

For this purpose, my Teacher advised me to feed birds every day. By the way, I have liked doing that since childhood, but it would be on occasions when the road took me to the city and some parks. Now, it is already two years in this earthly time that I have had birds on my windows every day. And I am infinitely grateful for that recommendation, not only because of the cleaning of karmic waste but because it is a real joy to watch them feed. Four species come every day: sparrows, warblers, cuckoos and pigeons, and recently a magpie landed on my window first time. Beauty.

The Teacher is there to tell you, to explain, and to feel which sadhana is the best for you. Sometimes the individual can feel it himself, but sometimes the individual can get confused due to various practices. Then the Teacher can give beneficial advice on what best suits the student’s constitution so that his growth in spirit will be the fastest possible.

A Teacher can bring messages, answers, and encouragement in dreams. It happened more than once, but just recently, there was such a dream. I saw my Guru standing with his palm outstretched towards me. He said, “Don’t be afraid.” I came over, put my palm in His, and then we started on our way. And there, next to us as we walked, seemed to be some wild beasts like lions and tigers. I walked calmly next to Him; there was no fear, and the beasts did not approach us even though they looked at us and growled at us. Sometime later, I was walking alone without fear, and the beasts did not come close either.

And then I got off that road. The feeling was wonderful. I somehow experienced it; anyone can say whatever they want about you, but if you know what you’re doing, and where you’re headed, just keep walking. Also, the Teacher offers his hand to the student, and it is up to the student to accept the hand.

Some time ago, about three years ago, I had a dream in which a male voice said to me: “Chant the Hare Krishna mantra for four days.” I woke up and thought: “Well, it’s a sect.” And then the consciousness started to work and my next thought was: Ok, it’s a collective belief. Let’s Google this mantra to see what it is all about.

I liked what I read. One of my friends is an old Bhakta devotee and told me that I can chant that mantra freely. It was interesting that I already had the Bhagavad Gita with me, but didn’t feel like reading it. It was only after that dream that I took it to read and saw that it wrote about the importance of that mantra for the age of Kali Yuga. Then the idea came to me to hold my first laughter yoga workshop for humanitarian purposes, for New Year’s packages for children from socially disadvantaged families. And while I was wondering where I could do it, I saw a picture in my mind of a Bhakti hub. I didn’t know what that place was; I just went to a laughter yoga workshop there once earlier. A bhakti friend explained that people from Hare Krishna’s consciousness gather there. I was glad to hear that, and I actually held a laughter yoga workshop there, and then they invited me to a get-together a couple of days later. I went and during the talk about Masters I said, “If I can call anyone my Guru here on Earth, it is Mohanji.” A warm female voice behind me said, “I follow Mohanji, too.” That was the first ACT volunteer I found in Belgrade to join me, and to my joy, she is still active in ACT Foundation, and along with acting, through Seva, we also became friends. That is another way the Guru’s divine consciousness works. It brings us together here on Earth in amazing ways, or as I prefer to say, magical ways, so that we can live our purpose to the best of our ability. And that was before the Kriya initiation. Why do I emphasize that it was before the Kriya initiation? Because from the moment I decided to accept initiation, some nebulous information started coming to me about my Guru. I have heard from bhakti devotees that they pray to Narasimha to sew them up but also to lead them to the Master. Once, while sitting in the bhakti hub, I spontaneously looked up and saw the Narasimha picture on the wall. I prayed that if Mohanji were my guru, he would open my path to him and remove all obstacles. I no longer heard anything negative, and people came to me who testified about His mercy.

And so, finally, we come to my integration. I managed to integrate my paths: my love for Orthodoxy, Reiki, Kriya, Yoga, service to the world through the Act Foundation, Bhakti; all through the Teacher along the way. Plus, there is the beneficial Laughter Yoga so that you don’t take everything too seriously and sometimes play nicely like real children. Mohanji himself said precisely that: “Don’t take life too seriously, laugh.” But, of course, he also talks about the importance of discipline, unconditional love, and the fact that spiritual and material life are one and should not be separated. He does not only talk about that; He lives it. Thank Him and thank God for his existence at this moment. And thank God for you who are reading these lines.

The Teacher helps us stop wandering and searching and direct ourselves toward the desired goal by realizing all material obligations, tasks, and experiences needed along the way. He does not bind us with anything, he does not condition us with anything, and he gives us all the support we need. The emptier we are, the fewer doubts we have, and the more we will experience His Grace.

If you were lucky enough to meet such a Master in this life, don’t allow yourself the luxury of missing out on bathing in His consciousness, light, and energy. The Teacher is like the blazing Sun that disperses the gloomy clouds. With Him and beside Him, everything is possible. Finally, I would like to share one more wonderful quote.

According to the yoga tradition, we believe that yoga in its generic sense signifies the philosophies and experiences that the great sages have always followed, not only of the Himalayas but also of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Zen, and Sufism. The word “yoga” refers to those experiences and philosophies that enrich both externally and internally. Swamiji says, “We are all thirsty, but instead of drinking directly, we just chew the grass that floats on the surface of the lake of life. That grass has little water and does not quench our thirst. If we want to extinguish it completely, we must dive deep, deeper than all apparent conventions, to discover the truth of life that lies beneath everything.”

[1] Yoga Sutra – Rishi Patanjali, Commentary: Daniel Turina, 2001.[2] LILA AMRIT – The Divine Life of Sri Mahaprabhuji, Paramhans Swami Madhavananda,

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