Does one need a guru?


It is possible to come to one’s awakening without the help of a master or a guru, but the reality is that it is a very rare phenomenon. It requires a very particular type of individual who is capable of investigating into existence as deeply as possible, where all of one’s energies are channeled into the work without wavering for even a moment. Not only is it a rare disciple who comes awakened by oneself, but authentic masters are as rare as authentic disciples. Everybody without exception is capable of coming to one’s Buddhahood, it is just that very few ever come to their realization simply because one’s attention has not been channeled in the right direction. The expansion of consciousness is a scientific phenomenon, and it requires a scientific attitude to investigate into what works and what does not, what is a hindrance for one’s expansion and what is a stepping stone. That it is impossible to come to one’s enlightenment without a master is simply the dogmatism of all of the spiritual traditions, simply because those traditions depend upon the existence of the master-disciple relationship for their very being. Otherwise, without disciples, the tradition will simply disappear. There have been many lineages which have come and gone simply because the master was incapable of finding the right disciple to transmit the teaching. If it were not possible to come to one’s enlightenment entirely on one’s own, then something like yoga or meditation would not even exist. Because the first masters were entirely their own. When you are entering into any new territory, there is nobody there before you to guide, the whole work is entirely in darkness. But they had their own intelligence, their own body, their own mind, and that was all that was needed. And that is all that is needed. Your system is already well equipped, it is just a matter of knowing the mechanics of this system and how to access it to come to a direct perception of one’s original nature. But, if done entirely by oneself, it may require so much work that it is only very rarely that one comes to one’s awakening entirely by oneself. In the East, they have been called pratyekabuddha’s. Pratyekabuddha literally means a “lone Buddha”, one who has come to one’s enlightenment without the help of a master or a guru. Gautama Buddha himself did not come to his awakening under the guidance of any master, on the contrary he rejected all of the traditions of his time. And it took him twelve years of thorough inquiry before he has discovered the Way. But once a man has discovered it, then traveling along the path may becomes tremendously accelerated through the help of one who has already come to the space, one does not need to rediscover it again and again. Once one has ignited one’s own flame, only then does the possibility arise of transmitting the light to trigger one’s own. That is why, under a man like Gautama Buddha, thousands of disciples had come to their awakening. Perhaps there has never been as many who have realized themselves under a single human being as Gautama Buddha. In modern science, they are aware of something called harmonic resonance. If an object is vibrating at a certain frequency, and you bring another object which is in sympathy with it close enough, now that object also starts vibrating at the same frequency. All that is needed is enough receptivity, and in fact if many are in the presence of it, it is possible to create a kind of chain reaction. That is why in the East, they have tried to create ashrams, sanghas, and monestaries, because once many are all channeling their energies in the same direction, the whole atmosphere becomes supportive for it, the whole environment becomes like an organism in itself. Now, what took twelve years of enormous work for Gautama, can only take perhaps six years with the help of the right master if you are receptive enough. Because the whole process is just about identifying what are the obstacles which are preventing you from coming to more awareness. It is not a question of finding out where to go. Once you have dissolved those obstacles, then the Way itself like a diamond reflecting in all directions without even your doing. No effort at all is needed for this, but enormous effort is needed to understand what are the various aspects of your own being which are preventing you. And in fact, all of them are entirely self-created. Because one has been living out of unconsciousness, because one was living without clear and open eyes, one has unknowingly created so many sources of suffering for oneself. That is why, entirely by oneself, one may simply be groping in the dark without end. A lamp is needed to guide the way, and that can either be out of your own inner resources, or through the consciousness of a master. If out of your own resources, then nothing else is needed except life itself. And life has already, and is still, supplying one with countless opportunities to heighten one’s understanding and come to insight into oneself. It is just that, because one had been living with eyes closed, that one had missed it. Otherwise, the whole existence would have become the master.

In either case, what is needed is for you to invest every particle of your being into the work of coming to the discovery of your true nature.


Very well said.

Sometimes, reflex thinking compels one to think of a guru as a person, which may or may not be the case. Sage Patanjali not only expands the idea of a guru to include anything and everything from which one learns in the process of “unlearning”. He also describes a journey from gross to the subtle worlds and a consequent hand over by external gurus to the internal one, the pure consciousness itself.

Those self-made masters and the Buddha seem to have followed the inner guru until the threshold of non-duality is finally crossed. When one comes riding on a large spiritual legacy, the tutelage of the inner guru commences right away and no externalized guru is needed.

Thus guru, the principle, is always needed, though guru, the visible teacher, may not be.


[QUOTE=Mukunda;2282]Also on a different subject in class tonight one of my student’s asked me if you could work on yourself and follow the yogic path to become self-realized, but without a guru. I explained the yogic tradition and remarked that I doubt it, but would ask you. I also talked about Raman Maharshi. And explained how some people are born with having done most of the work in another lifetime.

But I do believe one need’s a guru. What do you think? Suggestions what i should tell her, please?[/QUOTE]
I like to believe that to be on the path toward the ultimate height of “humaness”, you need to have the inherent desire and once on the path, it is about submitting, through belief and faith. I also believe that everyone’s being wants to be on this path and the world we live in is generally a deterrent.

Once on the path I believe that the higher self will seek out the things necessary for the self to reach the ultimate height. A guru may be one of these things as well as anything else, such as reading something to give one a new understanding, one that is truly something toward the ultimate height. I truly believe that the book is within each one of us and once “completely read,” “oneness” will be ones.

Also, from reading about different gurus and talking to people with gurus, sometimes I am concerned by the dogma and traditions, not out of lack of respect but out of the fact that I believe that the ultimate knowledge should be everyone’s and have the ability to be universally understood. No language should be required, just inherent knowledge gradually uncovered or equivalently, all inherent ailments gradually extinguished.

I pose the question, does anybody know anyone who is truly enlightened? What makes you think that they are truly enlightened (qualities exhibited? miracles? creating change in the world?)?


I pose the question, does anybody know anyone who is truly enlightened? What makes you think that they are truly enlightened (qualities exhibited? miracles? creating change in the world?)?

My guru was and is enlightened. He is no more physically, but his presence is evidenced by help arriving for the spiritual pursuit of many of us. Enlightened was his steady state projecting from the kindness in his deep eyes, a perpetual reassuring smile, ease with which he would explain life’s challenges in words so simple yet profound, a total absence of “I” or any scent of ‘holier than thou’, his carrying himself through the material obligations of a family and high-responsibility job, his effortless walking the talk, the utterly uncommon simplicity in his demeanor, his loving and caring discourses and the totality of absorption in his guru.

My ability to measure the degree of his enlightenment (if there is such a thing) is too small; yet in his presence one sensed many things that cannot be articulated. His writings leave behind a wealth of spiritual knowledge that he rescued from the complexity of the arcane scriptures and elucidated for us with his experience. I don’t know about miracles, especially of the extreme kind, but looking back at my own spiritual progress I see nothing less than a miracle in terms of the seemingly impossible changes. Thanks to my enlightened guru.


Do you need a Guru? Do you know anyone enlightened? Two very good questions and well commented on phylisophically. In my personal application I feel the answer is “Guru ohm” universal God. I have always treated life as my Guru but just in the last couple days I am realizing that if I am to accomplish, I need to enlist the Guru within me. I am still foggy on the word “enlightened” but I know people that you just know “power, love, awakening” walk with them and they are spiritually beautiful people.


I think that having a guru would definately help, but is not totally necessary.


Yes i believe for Yoga one needs Guru. Because Yoga has to be done in the perfect way otherwise this can bring injuries for you.


[QUOTE=ClareActman;46679]I think that having a guru would definately help, but is not totally necessary.[/QUOTE]

May be you are right but i am total disagree with you.


I hope you guys aware of Ramdev Baba. He one of the greatest Gurus of Yoga. You can find him


I do not need Guru
did you forget? I am the Brahma



One should be clear about the matter, that the outward so called “guru” is none other than a reflection of your innermost nature. It has very little to do with gathering or assisting disciples. A master does not mean a master of somebody or some particular subject, it simply means one who has come to know oneself, through and through. One may not even have a single disciple, yet one still remains the matser. A disciple also may not have a master, but anybody who is initiating an effort, a discipline to come to know oneself, is a disciple. The word guru means, the “dispeller of darkness”, one who has dispelled the darkness of one’s unconsciousness and now lives in the lotus field of consciousness. And unless you ignite your own flame, it is going to be impossible to assist others in coming to discover their own.


Amirmourand, do you have any knowledge of the inner Guru please?


Kundalini awakening depending on interpretation is the guru, in turn making the person a guru like what Amirmourand said.


And how did the guide learn the track? Someone at some point had to step forward into the fear of the unknown and conquer it. Checking hubris by means of a guru is understandable. Yet, society is filled with fear centric thinking as well. How do you believe in yourself when you’re constantly told you can’t do it alone.


Honestly i think if someone can reach a point of self-actualization on their own then that should be encouraged. Not to say a guru isn’t helpful but if someone can carve their own path and end up with the same result then power to them.


There’s a lot of stigma around the word “guru”. Gurus have helped hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people reach new heights in their spiritual or yogic journey, but like every position of power, there have been those who have abused the influence they had on vulnerable people. I think it’s incredibly helpful to have a guru in some instances, or for those who prefer a different word, a mentor. Is it a must? I don’t think so. What is a must, in my opinion, is having a role model. You should always have someone you look up to. I think this is true in any regard, but especially on your spiritual journey. Furthermore, many people simply don’t have the opportunity to work with a guru, but the benefits that many people take from having a guru can be supplemented by simply having a spiritual community to support your journey.


The definition of guru in general is just limited to a man (probably with long white beard, monk like dress etc). In reality one should work on what he or she is seeking for and you get guide or guru in any form (man or thing).