Does one need a guru?


#221

From Alain Danielou

"A guide is essential at every stage of the practice of Yoga. He alone can distinguish real from illusory experience and avert accidents which may happen when the senses are withdrawn from external perception. In several forms of yoga, he is also the giver of initiation and is like the spark which changes the wick and oil into a living flame.

Although from one point of view the true guide is ultimately GOD himself, and from another point of view every man is his own guide, yet except in rare cases, a true guide - incarnated as a distinct human being but connected with the seers of the first ages by an unbroken chain of initiation - is essential for the attainment of knowledge. Only a man who has himself realized identification (samadhi) and witnessed the real nature of the abstract principle, spoken of as the Giver of Happiness (shankara = shiva), and who has thus come to know all things and all modes of knowledge, can be a true guide."

The Scales is a rare case. But previously before I was doing what i’m doing now . . . I had a teacher.

But one must do the things. Teacher suggests.

Adityananda’s description of his guru is what one should be on the look out for if spiritual aims are their desire.

Sounds like the real deal.


#222

[QUOTE=Albert Haust;36139]I don’t see how a person can hold the key to another person’s ability to connect with God, divine love, the light, the oneness, whatever term you use. It is a matter of finding a way to open up to what is available.

Just as Christian fundamentalists have said you better believe in our viewpoint of Jesus or else, gurus have said you better follow me or else.

When it comes to finding a good guru, perhaps any person who tells others that his or her grace is necessary for their spiritual advancement, is a sign that they aren’t a good guru.

I believe it is very narcistic and misleading for one person to tell other people that he or she holds the key to their spiritual welfare.

Now that I no longer follow a guru my spiritual practice has been much more successful.

Even if there are gurus who are good even though they say other people need to be dependent upon them, so many people have followed gurus who are false, it is apparent that finding a trustworthy guru isn’t an easy thing to do. How is a person going to figure this out? Once they’ve become psychologically conditioned to believe that a guru is the master he claims to be, it is hard to get them to see differently. Quite often they have to go through years of being misled before they find out the hard way.

Perhaps we might try to be an exception and be free thinking enough so we can see that our spiritual welfare isn’t dependent on another person. Each of us is so preciously divine, it is hard to see how we can be dependent on another person.[/QUOTE]

Namaste,

While it is true that we are just as divine as the guru, it is also true that we are ensnared by our mind. To use your own mind to become free from the mind is like a fire trying put itself out. It is not possible. Nor can another ensnared mind free your mind, for that would be like the blind leading the blind. It is only possible if you are guided by somebody who has already liberated their mind.

There are many great benefits a realised master will bring you. They can give you shaktipat(transmit energy into you and awaken your chakras and Kundalini) They can understand your psychology exactly, maybe even see those invisible karmic forces that you cannot see yourself, which are obstacles in your spiritual path. As they have wisdom, they know exactly how to deal with you.

If you are left to your own devices you are very likely to fall again and again and you are vulnerable to many mysterious forces you know nothing about. A realised master who has already taken the journey can guide you along the path. Now tell me, how wise is it to set out on a long journey in the wilderness without a map and a compass?


#223

Surya Deva:

I don’t believe it is completely true that we need somebody’s help when we have a pattern of mind that is limiting us or causes us to see in a false way. Once we become aware of how our mind can fool us due to inaccurate psychological conditioning, we gain the space to question ourselves.

Ironically, I’ve found that false psychological conditioning can come from a guru. First a person decides to believe that a guru is an infallible spiritual master that can’t be questioned, because how could an enlightened master be wrong about something? Next, a person takes on the belief system that is taught by a guru. To the extent the guru’s belief system is correct that’s okay, but to the extent it isn’t, that’s a problem, until a person can free his
(or her) self from the first erroneous concept, and then the false concepts that followed.

Not that I believe it is wrong to receive advice and input from other people, but I believe it is wrong for them to do so in a manner where people lose self reliance and the ability to think freely.

My kundalini first awakened about 28 years ago. I went through a period of time where I got involved with nondual teachings and a nondual guru, and because his teachings emphasized pure consciousness, I considered kundalini to be a problem, and willed it to stop arising (here’s an example of how false concepts can come from a guru, nondual gurus don’t tend to know about kundalini, even though they claim to be enlightened.).

A number of years later after I was no longer involved with the above guru and nondual teachings, my kundalini came back to life. Because I read that many people have problems with awakened kundalini I was concerned about having them. I didn’t want to seek assistance from a guru, because after years of paying attention to what goes on with them, I found that many of them aren’t the perfected masters they claim to be. Many of their former students, who left them with good reason, now have problems with their kundalini. Some end up in mental hospitals, some commit suicide.

At about the same time I heard that some people have good results after they make contact with their spirit guidance. They make contact with beings they agreed to make contact with before they incarnated, or at a later time were found to be a good match.

So I made contact with my spirit guidance and the results have been very positive (including my kundalini ascension). I found that it is quite different than being with a guru. For one thing, my guidance doesn’t want me to worship it. Also, it doesn’t claim to be the totality of God, just one of many pieces of God that were projected by God (as is true with all of us). It doesn’t claim that grace will come from it, eventhough I feel love, peace, divinity and vastness eminate from it. Rather, it understands it is a matter of my opening my mind and heart to what God, source being, has to offer to all of us, without requiring we go through a guru based intermediary. I and other people I know of have been able to open up to divine love without the assistance of a guru.

My guidance hasn’t given me a bunch of new concepts to believe in. It simply offers perspectives and points out when I’m missing something, just as a wise and loving friend would do. A loving friend would never allow us to become dependent upon he or she. He or she would simply offer help. The perspectives sometimes come in the form of nonphysical experiences that say so much more than a few words.

Regarding shakipat, one doesn’t need to be a perfected master in order to awaken the kundalini of others. One simply needs to have awakened kundalini. One time I was shown this sequence of images:

-I saw a lifesize image of a heavy metal dude. I could see kundalini flowing within him. He said, “I use my kundalini for evil.”
-Next I saw a lifesize demonic image of myself.
-Next I was shown the face of Jesus Christ.

I understood this sequence of images to mean, that if I’m going to go through the kundalini unfoldment process, I better make certain I do so with Christ consciounsess/love in mind, because kundalini, the creative aspect of being, can be used in just about anyway.

Therefore, it isn’t simply a matter of how much energy comes from a person, it is also a matter of how the energy feels. If it doesn’t feel like unconditional love, peace and humility, then it might be best to move on to someplace else. It also important to determine if love comes from a guru, or the vibrations created by the devotional attitudes of the followers within the room where Satsang is held. They might also come from one’s own self, if one is in an open and devotional state of mind. So many gurus have been mistakingly given credit for what doesn’t come from them.


#224

“All are teachers and all are learners; difference is only of degrees” (Alice Bailey) It is quite likely that in the initial struggle on the spiritual journey one may come across someone who thinks he can guide and yet he/she may be still learning.

It is often said that “when you are desperate enough, your guru arrives”. When we commence spiritual journey in this life very often we are resuming our accumulated legacy of previous lives. A part of that legacy is also the guru who in his/her own re-incarnation remains responsible for your learning.

A lot of people do not have patience for such a union with the real guru. Then some trial & error ensues. A lot also depends on our learning experiences and expectations. But perhaps unknowingly we expect something to “come” from our guru. Since spiritual journey is a self-transformation, no external agent (including the guru) can participate in that. A true guru may only provoke you to think and ask right questions and then leave you to find the answers on your own. A guru would also hold a shield of love around you and protect you from wrong practices.

But all this is valid in the initial journey where the inflexible physique, indulgent mind and intellect in over-drive need exercising and restraint. These skills would need some hand holding and supervision. Once you stabilize and settle in the inner domain and deal with subtle impressions, codified thoughts and nothingness, the term of the external/ physical guru expires. By then you have also established a soul connection and that soul or Ishvara (or perhaps what Albert refers as “spirit guidance”), who is a teacher of the teachers becomes your guru. Under its watch, a need-based visits of Yoga Masters may happen serendipitously.

But to answer the question of the thread, does one need a guru? Always.


#225

A “qualified” Guru is essential, only they can explain the nuances of agamas, tantras, scripture etc…

But beware, for every true Guru there are 30,000 charlatans :o


#226

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;36076]Namaste,

A guru is definitely necessary on the spiritual path. If there is no grace of the guru then you will not get anywhere. However, having said that, you need to make sure you choose the right guru from the very outset. It is a very large commitment you are making so make sure you do all the research that is possible on your guru, attend his/her discourses and personally meet him a few times before you make that commitment.

Make sure they are who they say they are. Ask for proof of their ability. If the guru cannot display any of their powers to you, the chances are you they are not a realised guru. Ask them at least to transmit consciousness to you and give you an experience. The realised masters can give you a glimpse.[/QUOTE]

Surya what about the inner Guru…?


#227

I believe it is not a matter of researching a guru, or choosing a guru, or asking for some proof that he is ligitimate… it is more if you are truly drawn to a guru by god that the relationship begins. People who are nit picking or making a shopping list for all the things they want in a guru will most likely struggle and fall again. If a guru were to show me miracles or to give me proof in this way, i would not follow him… A True guru is very humble and has no need to proove to the devotee anything… they come and go as they please. A true guru doesnt need to recruit devotees. They dont care if you dont believe in them. He wants to know if you are sincerely searching for god alone, and not his gifts or miracles.
There is an old saying “He who sais, knows not… he who knows, sais not”

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;36076]Namaste,

A guru is definitely necessary on the spiritual path. If there is no grace of the guru then you will not get anywhere. However, having said that, you need to make sure you choose the right guru from the very outset. It is a very large commitment you are making so make sure you do all the research that is possible on your guru, attend his/her discourses and personally meet him a few times before you make that commitment.

Make sure they are who they say they are. Ask for proof of their ability. If the guru cannot display any of their powers to you, the chances are you they are not a realised guru. Ask them at least to transmit consciousness to you and give you an experience. The realised masters can give you a glimpse.[/QUOTE]


#228

I feel sorry for all the many that cant find a guru due to location and/or culture, so then what?
I focus on the inner Guru but many don’t realise we have one. But I have found this site to be informative on many areas. So that helps to some extent.
Its strange that when you read posts that are from a guru or the words are operating through a Guru, you can detect them in a second.

The clues are there when they are written.


#229

Why do you feel sorry? Who sais the guru has to be in the physical body?

[QUOTE=kareng;40651]I feel sorry for all the many that cant find a guru due to location and/or culture, so then what?
I focus on the inner Guru but many don’t realise we have one. But I have found this site to be informative on many areas. So that helps to some extent.
Its strange that when you read posts that are from a guru or the words are operating through a Guru, you can detect them in a second.

The clues are there when they are written.[/QUOTE]


#230

…Im simply commenting that some people cant find a Guru, a physical one, and I feel sorry if they are influenced to get one and cant

Then I said there is the inner Guru and some people dont realise that

Then I said that reading posts when written by someone in touch with their physical or inner Guru have a certain stamp on them that is detectable.

I don’t follow your question ?


#231

my point is why do you feel sorry for them if they cant find a guru at all, even if they are searching for one? doesnt god know whats best for each individual soul, isnt everything perfect where its at, and doesnt god place us where we are meant to be for our highest growth? i was just pointing out also there is the non physical variety of guru which people can access through there teachings.


#232

So we agree there is an inner Guru to access.

As to my feeling sorry for those who cant find a physical guru, I mean that the written word, influences, there are posts that express the need to find a physical Guru. For some people reading this it puts stress on them…I dont think everything is perfect where its at, for everyone, [B]not in their minds[/B] at the time. And we might believe that ‘god’ places us where we are meant to be for our highest potential, but that is making the assumption that all people know that…they dont…they are just following advice, written by us all…
Go and find a Guru.

I hope Ive been a bit clearer;)


#233

As to my feeling sorry for those who cant find a physical guru, I mean that the written word, influences, there are posts that express the need to find a physical Guru.–
oK i was unaware of these posts… yes i agree, if they yearn for that guru disciple relationship in the physcial form and have no access it would be tough. It is always so nice to be around a master, can be freaky as hell too.

For some people reading this it puts stress on them…I dont think everything is perfect where its at, for everyone, not in their minds at the time. - Yes in there minds, this world can be a terrible show, it seems unjust and no fun at all at times. From what i have realized through my own meditations and experiences is that for me all is meant to be. And from what i have heard and read from true masters say the same thing. Sure it is good to have compassion for all beings, as we are all in this together… If you are thinking from the individuals perspective who are immersed in maya it is very sad… If you look at it from a masters perspective, it is exactly what they need to go through…and a master knows that in the end… what suffers? the little self.

And we might believe that ‘god’ places us where we are meant to be for our highest potential, but that is making the assumption that all people know that…they dont…they are just following advice, written by us all…

  • yep your right, however truth is the truth… and they are still where they are meant to be for there highest good. Why else would it happen.

Go and find a Guru. - pranams


#234

omguruom …Namaste


#235

This thread can be related http://www.yogaforums.com/forums/f20/slokas-on-guru-6739.html#post40693


#236

[QUOTE=omguruom;40650]I believe it is not a matter of researching a guru, or choosing a guru, or asking for some proof that he is ligitimate… it is more if you are truly drawn to a guru by god that the relationship begins. People who are nit picking or making a shopping list for all the things they want in a guru will most likely struggle and fall again. If a guru were to show me miracles or to give me proof in this way, i would not follow him… A True guru is very humble and has no need to proove to the devotee anything… they come and go as they please. A true guru doesnt need to recruit devotees. They dont care if you dont believe in them. He wants to know if you are sincerely searching for god alone, and not his gifts or miracles.
There is an old saying “He who sais, knows not… he who knows, sais not”[/QUOTE]

Personally, I think that sounds like propoganda from a false guru to get away with not showing any evidence of their guruship. When Swami Vivekananda approached his guru Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa, he asked for proof right at the outset, “I don’t care for your religion or philosophy, if god exists, show me god” and Ramakrishna answered in delight, “Certainly, come to me and I will show you god”

A true guru will be able to show you experience.

Anybody can take a course in Yoga and Vedanta and then go around teaching Yoga and Vedanta and claiming to be a guru. No, they are gurus, they are teachers. Like any other teacher.


#237

[QUOTE=kareng;39183]Surya what about the inner Guru…?[/QUOTE]

The inner guru requires the outer guru to be made manifest.


#238

When the inner guru takes over there are several pre-requisites. The pupil by then has come to work on such subtle state of things that the training could be imparted only in the inner domain. Then, the pupil has also moved across pratyahara, so the subjective perception needs to be highly objective. This happens only when the pupil learns to medidate on such an image that is not of any material object. The inner guru is the only such image free of any guna. A true external guru senses these advanced learning needs and willingly and loving retires. It is rather painful for the pupil to accept this retirement.

There are possibly a few missing pieces in the Vivekananda-Ramakrishna Paramhansa incident. It is unlikely that Swami Vivekananda asked to show God to challenge Paramhansji, his future mentor. It must have been an humble request made earnestly and honestly. Likewise, Paramhansji must have instantly known Swamiji, who he was in the past several lives and what was to become of him. In the version of the story that I have read, a vision of god was simulated for Vivekananda by his guru to last only a nono-second. That was enough for that great yogi to resume his spiritual sadhana to achieve a CONSCIOUS enlightenment through years of hard work later.

Such stories mean different things to different people depending on one’s degree of experience.


#239

The story is recounted by Jay Lakhini, the foremost academic authority on Hinduism in the UK and a very popular speaker on Hinduism in schools, colleges and universities in the UK. He is part of the Ramakrishna trust and teaches Hinduism largely from the perspective of Swami Vivekananda. Most of his talks are about Swami Vivekananda.

It was not a humble request by Swami Vivekananda. In fact, Vivekananda was anything but humble in his college years. He had a strong scientific mindset, demanded evidence and proof for all assertions. He was a brilliant student and brilliant at sport as well. He had very strong atheist leanings and was dissatisfied with all religions. He was known to have very intense debates on god and religion with his peers at the ashram, which upset many of them and they would go complain to Ramakrishna. He initially took Ramakrishna to be a mad man. However, Ramakrishna recognised Vivekananda to be a great soul who had done great spiritual practice in his past lives, so he accepted him as his greatest student and told everybody Vivekananda was his true successor. He praised Vivekananda on his scientific mindset and encouraged others to think just like he does. Although Vivekananda was convinced Ramakrishna was crazy, he was drawn to him and kept on meeting up with him. Then, one day Ramakrishna gave him a direct experience and this changed Vivekananda greatly.

I sometimes see a reflection of myself in Swami Vivekananda. Atheist, scientific, demanding proof for all assertions and gradually moving into spirituality.


#240

Situation dictates. i think if one feels pulled in the direction of a guru, then that is what they need. if they have a very independent streak, then perhaps not.

i do know this, what we do of spiritual significance, must come from a genuine yearning within ourselves, be that to seek a guru in the form of a human being, or find our own inner teacher.

its different for everyone, im sure you know that,. for me. shucks, everyone has been a teacher for me and everyone still is. for me, i find that if i am willing to look close enough there is a lesson in every moment. so The One is my Guru.

But that works for me. If you mean, what they term enlightenment or realization, sure no guru is ALWAYS needed. What do you add to drop of clear water?

That just made me think, what exactly are the goals of the individuals?

its all the other spiritual jazz thats so darn hard hahahah.

hey, i hope that helped.