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dsforce2010-07-05 11:45:22 +0000 #1
Namaste to all.

My question relates to the need for a guru. I've mulled this over and over, truly delving into the whys and wherefores of the whole concept of the guru and his/her indispendability for true progress on the spiritual path.

Without going into detail, my contemplation has left me wondering how to distinguish a true guru from a mere teacher. Confusing this issue are two apparent threads of thought. One seems to say that the true, genuine guru is within us, our own deep core of wisdom. Every experience we have and every person we meet act as external gurus, or in other words, they provide us a prompt to look within to find our own wisdom/guru.

The other thread seems to say that we need an actual, physical, live human being (other than ourselves, that is) to guide us. We must form a relationship with him/her in which he/she teaches and we learn.

Now, there's nothing to say that both threads aren't correct, but the do seem, on the face of it, to contradict oneanother.

But my purpose here is not to engage in philisophical debate, but to really decide for myself whether or not I should be seeking an external (other human being, that is), formal teacher/guru to lead me on my path.

If the external guru is indeed necessary, how can I find a bone fide guru?

Mukunda2010-07-05 11:57:26 +0000 #2
There is a separate column for addressing such Q - I recommend you search on Spirits Path column for discussions such as this. However i will respond here for your convenience.

It is my experience and validated by texts such as Vasistha's Yoga translated by Swami Venkatesananda that a guru is needed on the spiritual path. In addition however is a sincere student and study of scripture of your chosen path without all 3 criteria the student can easily be mislead. But let me explain what is meant by this term guru to me. There are several levels of spiritual guides.

The first is a mentor who can help you with practices to develop your craving for Spirit and assist at a lifestyle that will enable you to retain the elevated consciousness that comes from true seeking. They have experiences of being touched by Spirit and their wisdom is clearly helpful in making progress to finding your path and teacher.

The second is a spiritual teacher or guru who is grounded in spirit though not realized. Their life is an example to the student and they can convey to the student their elevated state of consciousness. A transmission is given to the worthy sincere student. They give teachings appropriate to the student's level of spiritual development on a specific path which they have followed guided by their spiritual teacher. They are authorized by their teacher to give these teachings.

There are many false gurus who pretend to be stable but who do not meet these guidelines. So the spiritual student is cautioned to seek diligently yet cautiously. My spiritual teacher used to say, do everything the teacher says to do for one year; if all your doubts are removed then stay. If not move on.

The third is a satguru, this person is rare for they are Self realized and live permanently in the state of realization. They do not give their teachings according to the student but according to their direct experience.

Regardless of who you are attracted to you should pursue their teachings and do the practices they recommend with discipline and confidence that you are being lead by a subtler inner teacher. Without this the naturally arising difficulties of life become overwhelming. With a true spiritual life, all is experienced as a blessings.

namaste mukunda



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