Two Tests

Ralph Calabria

This month I am posting early because I’ll soon be leaving for a weekend with Yogiraj Siddhanath.  Yogiraj is a most impressive contemporary yogi in the tradition of Babaji.  Yesterday, Diane pressed me on the question of how do I distinguish an enlightened teacher from an ordinary teacher.  In other words, why did I think that Yogiraj was worth the considerable time, effort and expense to go see.  This question – a very good one – stumped me for a while.

This question is vitally pertinent to every sincere seeker.  There are so many choices in life – and life is too short to waste time following a teacher who cannot encourage and transform you.  I offered, “well, dear, you are getting into epistemology, which is so tricky.  How does one know if anything is true?”

Not satisfied, she pressed me further.  “How do you know?  What are your criteria?”

Finally, the answer came.  I had forgotten what I had decided so long ago that I would not follow anyone who told me that I was a sinner. Do I “sin” or make mistakes? Yes, of course. But there is a vast difference between making mistakes and being a mistake. My true essence is not a mistake. We are created in the image of the Divine, and that creation is not a mistake.


That is my first test.  If the teacher doesn’t pass this criterion, then I say, “No thanks.” Just using this first criterion, most teachers of religion are eliminated from further consideration.

I suggest that this be your first test, too.  Any teacher who insists you that you are a sinner is not worth following.  The enlightened teachers will encourage you to work towards realizing that you are a spark of divinity, struggling to find perfect expression.   Jesus said, “Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods” (John 10:34). He also said, “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matthew 5:48)

This is my second test.  The enlightened teachers will teach and demonstrate Love God, Love neighbor, and Love self – each with their individual unique expressions. If they don’t, keep looking. Jesus said these three principles everyone must do to inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:16 Mark 10:17, Luke 18:18).

I am very excited to spend the weekend with Yogiraj Gurunath, at the New Life Awakening Retreat Program. He is a teacher and Master who has passed both my tests.  I’ll tell you about it in my next blog.

Please comment to let me know what are your feelings and thought about this blog.

8 thoughts on “Two Tests

  1. I enjoy Yogiraj’s YouTube videos. He seems extremely knowledgable, funny, and humble at the same time. To add to your criteria for a Teacher vs a teacher, is that I listen to how they speak about other teachers and philosophies. If they try and make you feel that their way is the only way- then they are out in my book. Yogiraj has always spoken highly of teachers like Swami Vivekenanda and Paramhansa Yogananda, which made him pass my criteria as well.

    I always tell people I’m a teacher with a lower case “t”, but my guru is a Teacher with a capital “T”.

    Thanks for the blog post Ralph!

    Atma Namaste,

  2. Agreed. Being considered a mistake makes for a destructive sense of self and hard to cope with for many people across the globe. Especially when the message comes at an early age. I like the alternative/positive message much better as it works simply due to it being positive. Safe travels my friend!

  3. “But there is a vast difference between making mistakes and *being* a mistake.” I agree 10000000%!

    Also, I know I’m a little late with this reply. Whoops. But I still enjoyed this blog 🙂

    Thanks to Diane for pushing you to articulate it clearly – as any first-house Aquarius sun with a Capricorn rising and first-house mercury in Capricorn would do!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *