During the time of training her young ones to fly, the mother-eagle nudges the eaglets out of the nest. Because they are scared they soon jump back into the nest where it is comfortable and familiar.
Next, the mother-eagle removes the soft layers so that the nest is less comfortable. The thorns are left bare and the eaglets shriek in pain when they jump back into the nest. They do not understand yet the purpose of this perceived cruelty.
The mother-eagle is steadfast in her resolve to teach her eaglets how to fly. She proceeds to push the fledgelings off from the top of the cliff where the nest is built. The eaglets shriek in fear but before they hit the ground, they are caught by one of their parents. This process is repeated until the eaglets start to flap their own wings, and get excited in the new found knowledge and experience that they can fly.
During the training at Ananda Ashram, the student quickly understands that they are there to learn more than a bag of tricks. The toolbox they leave with contains more than just a list of asanas and pranayamas, they leave with knowledge on how to be a better person and live a better life – a Yoga life.
There is a reason why Ammaji is selective of the students she accepts into the inner sactum of Ananda Ashram and the inner circle of the Gitananda family. Anyone she feels who could not take direction to fully appreciate the ancient knowledge of the Rishis, or who are unwilling to commit themselves fully to the challenges of the gurukula – do not enter the front door.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears with wings outstretched, inviting a tender embrace, and a place with the others in a comfortable nest, where guidance and opportunities for spiritual growth awaits them. But when the student is READY, the teacher pushes them out of the nest so that they can fly on their own. A few lost feathers, scrapes and bruises along the way is inevitable, if not required, but if everything goes as it should, the student soars upward on the path of enlightenment.
The teacher, the guru, always knows what the student needs, at any given time, whether it be gentle or not. The intention however, is always that of ‘profound interest’ in one’s conscious evolution.
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