My True Teacher

By Eric Paskel

As I sit here and begin to write down on paper what I am “passionate about that is accessible”, I smile knowing, that for most, what proceeds this sentence will only be accessible in theory and not in practice.  Many teachers will only relate to the emptiness that comes from not having this in their lives, even when we serve in this role every day.

A teacher is defined as “a person who teaches or instructs, especially as a profession”. That is the absolute worst, heartless definition the dictionary has ever produced!

For me a teacher means: life, direction, discipline, accountability, intimacy, transparency, and surrender. It means I have someone who loves me unconditionally (even my dogs don’t; they love me because I take care of them), who has no agenda, no motives in being with me, other than to help.

A teacher preaches what he practices and never practices what he preaches. That is to say a teacher lives the way he speaks or at least my teacher does… A great orator has talent.  He can deliver a message that is moving, magical, and these people are easy to find in the world. A great teacher, however, does not have to say a thing and his greatness is felt.  He embodies all wisdom in his actions and these people are nearly impossible to find.

There is simply no relationship I have experienced to date (I am 46 years old) that is in any way comparable to the one I share with A. Parthasarathy aka My Beloved/Swamiji. There are no blessings, crystals given, mantras, mind-reading, fortune telling, none of that… There is no meditation, and there is absolutely nothing in this world I can give him, which in of itself is the most foreign, humbling teaching.  There is no money exchanged. In fact, the only exchange is one way; he gives and gives as I try to take and digest. 

My fatherhood was born out of my ego. My business was born out of my vanity. My teacher/student relationships were born out of my desire to burn away the ego and all its facets.

Einstein said “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.” There are many fine examples in the world to emulate when it comes to our professions or what I call external living.

But who do you know that has maintained the same mood for 87 years!!! Lives completely stress free? Has no desires or motives to gain or lose anything? Loves everyone whether a saint or a sinner? Harbors no fears or resentments? These are the traits of human perfection that are outlined throughout the yoga scriptures.  Many of us lecture about these qualities while never having lived them! I have found someone who lives them. It is just being in his presence that has taught me what little I can live with. It is in the bosom of love that he gives to all creatures that I have found an ounce of salvation.