Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.26

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From that consciousness (ishvara) the ancient-most teachers were taught, since it is not limited by the constraint of time.

Unlimited by time, God is the teacher of all previous teachers.

Unconditioned by time, ishvara is the teacher of even the most ancient teachers.

This sutra stresses the importance of a guru or teacher, even for the ancient teachers. However, it also seems to suggest that the guru is not a ‘god’ , as ishvara is the supreme teacher.

In Zen Buddhism also, lineage is of the utmost importance, to ensure that the teachings of the dharma are accurate and ‘pure’. All monks in Zen buddhism today can trace a clear line of teaching that goes way back.

Devotion to the all-knowing ishvara or supreme consciousness is a form of samadhi (contemplation), obtained (says Sri Swami Satchidananda) through total surrender to the universal consciousness or god).

 

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