Does one need a guru?


#121

[QUOTE=Mukunda;2330]Baba Free John said ?dead gurus don?t kick ass? and one frequently needs that.[/QUOTE]

May be “Baba ji” would be interested in signing up for the ‘Eternity Process’ a technique taught at the Art of Living Foundation of Sri Ravi Shankar. He’ll know how a dead guru can kick his ass, provided he had a guru in his past life.

sorry.


#122

from an interview with Stefan Engstr?m:

[B]In your eyes, what is the most important quality of a yoga teacher?[/B]
That would depend on what kind of yoga teacher… I would look for a yoga teacher that empowers the students, and who doesn’t allow him self to become a cult - because that happens so much nowadays. Teachers become like famous rock stars. The good teacher can stay in the background when he is not needed and make people feel that [I]they [/I]understand the things. The students have to believe in their own powers, feel better about them selves, become stronger, so that they can take responsibility. Maybe a person like that can stop creating a cult, can have courage enough not to just look for success but to promote the students to increase their consciousness.
Always, when the students like what you teach, they want to make a guru out of you. The good teacher will show them that this is not good for them. They need to not make yoga into a club but to keep on going deeper in their own research. He will make them understand that [I]they [/I]have the knowledge inside, and that [I]they[/I] have to awaken that knowledge, so that they, themselves, will take responsibility for all the feelings that will come: love, hate and everything. In order to mature into people who take responsibility. So, in a way, the teacher should take responsibility for showing the students to take responsibility, and empower the student. Because finally there is no freedom without responsibility.


#123

a yoga teacher is not by definition the same as a guru.
a teacher can be a guru or "just " a teacher. a guru can be your own mother or your child.

A guru can show some one the way to the light.
If there was no need for a guru than i think enlightened beings where no longer among us. If we believe there is no need for guru it would imply they stay here for no reason. i do not think God is making mistakes.
When it is necessary for our arse to be kicked i am sure guru will find a way to do just so

I ones saw Ramana Maharshi and he said to me in a vision; help is always there, sadgurum is inside, and i saw endless rows of yogi’s in meditation.
I believe Ramana is still helping people from where he is in Maha samadhi. I do not consider him as my (personal) guru, because i saw him. I believe he is part of guru. Guru is One.
I saw this after contemplating and meditating for a long time and realy was praying for help to connect with my Inner teacher; so i can overcome my ignorance. I did not accomplish this though, but it was given to me from some place and someone who is far ahead of me and found a way to give it. I feel blessed.
I asked Mukunda about sadgurum and he explained "it is an enlightened being who is helping others to become likewise ( short)

I believe if you need a guru, guru will know. if you meet your guru you will know, no mistakes about that.

Namaste, i offer you my blessings
Louise


#124

Gurus appear to us in everyday life. If we can open ourselves, then we can find enlightenment all around us, even in the guy ahead of you in line at the store, buying beer. Sometimes a guru may be an actual teacher, lama, monk, etc. But most times, gurus are found in everyday life, more gurus than you can imagine. I have had countless gurus and, although I did have a formal guru for a time (and I did learn a LOT from him, but different things than what I thought I was learning, lol), the most important lessons in life were learned from everyday people.

So do you need a guru? I think it’s impossible to live this life without your having a guru. It’s like asking if you need oxygen. You can’t be alive and [I]not[/I] need oxygen, but you don’t exactly have to search for it. It’s a natural part of life.


#125

[QUOTE=Janet Carpenter;5104]Semi-random thoughts on gurus:

So many of my teachers during a time of crisis and growth in my life told me to “look within” I thought if another person told me that, I would have to say “Yahhhhhh !” and “Not you, too !” That is one way to do it. Contact the guru within. It is hard, however; it requires stepping backwards out onto the bank, away from the swift-running waters of our cultural norms and diversions.

One needs to have or to create a reason to take this path, and one needs a nature and circumstance that allows one to perservere in it. Otherwise, one does not maintain the watchful rigor of tuning into inner arcana (“higher wisdom” sounds too haughty here). With the sincere practice of meditation and yoga, one can make this “tuning in” a second-nature habit

A guru is an external guide for those in the majority who swim in the waters of cultural norms and diversions.

A guru once was a wild, exotic thing in the USA. In the sixties and seventies, gurus were popularized by people who did drugs (!), said “peace brother,” and generally seemed in a world apart from the one I inhabited. Does anybody else remember Gurus having the reputation of being cultish and kinda like pashas in wild rumors that they got to have sex with the pretty young girls, and whatever they said, people followed, believed, and did without question? Did this really even happen, or was this just rumor and innuendo?

For a long time in my yoga practice I gave gurus a wide, wide berth.

There is another reason why, as well.

As a young girl, I was educated in a strict, ultraconservative religious dogma. From the age of five until fourteen we daily learned lessons, memorized texts, and attended services. This was the same school that my maternal grandmother attended, so it was a socio-cultural religious experience. From about the age of nine onward I began having dreams and visions that called these teachings into question. It took many years to overcome the fear, instilled by these dogmatic teachings, of punishment from God. I struggled long and hard to tease apart what pieces of information to keep and to use and which to leave behind. Anyone who has experienced the rigors of pulling away from this kind of dogma will not be a wholehearted candidate for a guru who tells them what to say, think and do.

I found Maharishi’s teachings to be useful in part (I still practice TM) but overly strict taken whole cloth, ruling even the kind of music during the time of day one listens to. Not that that is a bad thing, I am just too free-spirited to honestly conform to that. Even the meditation community leaders in Fairfield, Iowa, that I knew, didn’t keep the rigorous meditation schedule they externally purported to maintain.

Too much rule, regulation, external dictation breeds hypocrisy ! I don’t know how to get around that, really. How much is too much and for whom?

Ammachi and Ravi Shankar also had an agenda, a business aspect of their tours and teaching schedules that didn’t always blend well with their spiritual messages and images. I adore Amma and consider her hugs some of the most precious experiences of my and my children’s lives. I use and treasure Ravi Shankar’s breathwork as an important benchmark in the development of my practice. I do not think of them as capable of bad things- - helping children in poverty stricken areas of India, and creating ashrams in Canada are truly impeccable motives. It’s just that, whenever a guru is external to you, it creates potential conflicts and complications that you need to be prepared to see (not go into denial about) and work through with your inner guru. Often gurus are followed by millions of people. How is it possible to access them when you need them?

your inner guru, however, is comfortingly close, 24/7. Eventually, it gets more and more worth it, to brave the inner chaos, to train yourself to recognize the still, small voice within, and more possible to see gurus in chickadees and sidewalk clowns, to understand your truth is always available within, and then anything, ANYTHING at all, even a breeze, can trigger a valuable message for you. [/QUOTE]

I have been struggling with my mentor who I have trouble even calling guru. This must be so because everything I hear comes right back to going within.
I thank you for this post.
Thu chi leh


#126

[quote=ebonykawai;13050]Gurus appear to us in everyday life. If we can open ourselves, then we can find enlightenment all around us, even in the guy ahead of you in line at the store, buying beer. Sometimes a guru may be an actual teacher, lama, monk, etc. But most times, gurus are found in everyday life, more gurus than you can imagine. I have had countless gurus and, although I did have a formal guru for a time (and I did learn a LOT from him, but different things than what I thought I was learning, lol), the most important lessons in life were learned from everyday people.

So do you need a guru? I think it’s impossible to live this life without your having a guru. It’s like asking if you need oxygen. You can’t be alive and [I]not[/I] need oxygen, but you don’t exactly have to search for it. It’s a natural part of life.[/quote]

Namaste,
I think to compare guru with oxygen you come to conclude an idea that is not true. It is not a proper argument to proof you need a guru. (is my opinion)
Oxygen can change. Guru never changes.Besides there are also lifeforms that do not need oxygen.
Wise man say that this world is an illusion.
If you say the creation is the same as guru i think it is not so.

All this world may dissappear and Guru will still be the same.
Louise


#127

It is my belief that the guru always changes and evolves, as our needs change and evolve, as we as humans change and evolve. Nothing is static, nothing stays the same. That is dukkha.

[I]your inner guru, however, is comfortingly close, 24/7. Eventually, it gets more and more worth it, to brave the inner chaos, to train yourself to recognize the still, small voice within, and more possible to [B]see gurus in chickadees and sidewalk clowns[/B], to understand your truth is always available within, and then anything, ANYTHING at all, even a breeze, can trigger a valuable message for you. [/I]

Exactly. Excellent post.


#128

[quote=ebonykawai;13067]It is my belief that the guru always changes and evolves, as our needs change and evolve, as we as humans change and evolve. Nothing is static, nothing stays the same. That is dukkha.

[I]your inner guru, however, is comfortingly close, 24/7. [/I]
Exactly. Excellent post.[/quote]

Namaste ebonykaway,
In the seen world you are right that things change all the time.
I think it would have been better if we had first agreed upon the definition of Guru. I am afraid we talk from different perspectives here.
Buddha said that all life is dukha.
So dukha is an idea from buddism that has a different point of view on guru.
Buddisme says not this and not this, all is empty and Hinduism says all this and all this, God is all. We are immersed in His form.

So you see that I talk in the light of Patanjali Yoga sutra’s

we can not understand that Guru never changes and i can not proof it either. Guru is the pure Consiousness and it has nothing to do with what WE think we need.
To me Guru is the same as God, the Divine shining through all creation and sometimes i get a glimpse of.

The lucid mind and the Transcendental Self are absolutely distinct. The Self remains seperate from the mind always. It is not under the influence of primordial forces of life. Without distinguishing this difference worldly experience happen. The Self exits for its own sake and remains seperate.

But if we believe our own thoughts we are always right. The Self then appears to assume the form of thought’s vacillations.

There is but One Guru. Inner guru, outer guru, god, Divine is all the same to me. all are 24/7 always

sadgurum tam namaami
To that sadgurum i bow with reverence
louise


#129

With the risk of getting the creeps in those people who have had enough of christian dogma for a life, I say, Amen ! :slight_smile:

But joke aside, I agree with Louise.

Only that I call the Self, Christ, the Word, what comes from God.
Your explanation is great because it emphasizes that the Self is really, one, and why the name Self is right because it is the very core, Self, of all things created, including us, it is not our ego. In fact, I am able only to speak of It as an ignorant, because it is so sacred, full, and alive expereince (when it happens, not now) that I would not dare to talk about it. All of you know the feeling that some expereinces are just so … intimate that you dare not to talk about it, because they become … spoiled somehow ?

Angelus Silesius says:

If the Christ would be born in Bethleem, a thousand times
and not in thyself, than you are lost forever. (or something similar … look it up here)

PS. Now I know that one of my reasons to exist here on this earth is to unite some of the things what have been parted, in my life, in the circles I visit. The wisdom of the christian faith is just as deep, and contains the same truth as any other tradition, and even complements them, fullfills them, and just because our culture has been built on the external forms of this tradition, we must do everything in our power to deepen and redeem it, by the power of our understanding. Yoga means also, to unite. We all know there are many things wrong. We have to deal with them.


#130

I have not read all the threads here. 13 pages! The original question Mukunda poses was if we thought a guru is a necessity. This is a difficult question. I prefer the word teacher to guru. There are so many negative connotations with the word “guru” due to the inappropriate actions of a few.

I do think a “teacher” is a necessity. But that teacher, in my opinion, is a teacher. And responsible for their own actions. The quote, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say!” doesn’t hold. The teacher should be a role model. A difficult position for so many.

I do have trouble with “blind obedience” that so many individuals exhibit when involved with a guru. So often these individuals surrender their own power to the guru. When I spent time at two ashrams, one in the US and one in India I was amazed at how many individuals would say things like, “I have been offered a great job, one that I’ve wanted for years, great salary, perfect for me. I must ask the guru for permission to accept it.” or even better… “We (husband and wife) really would like to have a baby, we are going to the guru today to ask for permission to have a child.” Why are these people asking permission to live their lives, to make decisions on their own, to be whole on their own?

To truly believe, to have faith, to lead a spiritual life, we do not need to surrender our personal power to someone who calls himself or herself a guru. I believe that a good teacher encourages us to be strong, independent, resilient, compassionate, etc.

A good teacher. Yes, he or she is important. To surrender to a guru… no.


#131

[quote=cathy;13136] I prefer the word teacher to guru. There are so many negative connotations with the word “guru” due to the inappropriate actions of a few. ]

Dear Cathy,
You can call things different but that does not change them. There are also many positive experiences with a guru.
What can seem to be inappropriate to you can be helpfull to some one else. You should not judge a book by it cover.

Quote: [ I do think a “teacher” is a necessity. But that teacher, in my opinion, is a teacher. And responsible for their own actions. The quote, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say!” doesn’t hold. The teacher should be a role model. A difficult position for so many. ]

Every body is responsible for their own actions.

quote [ I do have trouble with “blind obedience” that so many individuals exhibit when involved with a guru. So often these individuals surrender their own power to the guru.]

You think you have a free will? Obedience to guru is not blind obedience, it is surrendering with eyes fully open.
Tell me if you eat a sandwich how you deside what to use for energy and what not to keep inside your body. Where is your power and free will there?

quote[ To truly believe, to have faith, to lead a spiritual life, we do not need to surrender our personal power to someone who calls himself or herself a guru.]

we do not have personal power. a guru can be helpfull to practice if you want to learn to surrender. You can trust guru

quote [I believe that a good teacher encourages us to be strong, independent, resilient, compassionate, etc. ]
i think a guru teaches us how to connect to God consiousness

quote [A good teacher. Yes, he or she is important. To surrender to a guru… no.[/quote]

I see, you want to learn but you will never surrender. Learning is only a little part of posssibilities. There are some things that can not be known by the mind. But at this point in life you may not want that.

sadgurum tam namaami
louise


#132

Namaste Neil ,
God is being revealed all the time
Could God not be revealed without a guru?
No because God IS Guru
It is all and the same

I kiss mu guru’s feet
with love and light
louise


#133

Spiritual mentors helps us to come out of our deep sorrows and shows the path of success in our lives. Once more at http://www.succcess.org/2008/09/01/the-belief-tree-why-success-is-binary/#comments i found the story of success in life.


#134

Namaste genelawson

Congratulations for finding the story of succes
Do we have to believe we can make it a succes?
Isn’t life perfect as it is?
live a happy life
with love from Louise


#135

As far as I know, a guru is higly revered in all types of yoga.

Some yoga practices are quite subtle and can be ONLY learned through personal instruction by a qualified teacher.

A guru will have experienced himself the effects of yoga practices and will know what you are going through, with a subtle sensitivity to the your nervous and physical systems.

The guru principle is sanctified in yoga.

It all depends of your


#136

Thank you.:slight_smile:


#137

can anybody describe guru? what is guru? who should be guru? there is any suitable age,to make a guru?


#138

Hi!
I’m new here and i dont if this is the right place to ask this question but there it goes:
It is said that you will find a guru when yo are ready…in the mean while, is it o.k to learn yoga asanas and meditation from websites?

I mean you definetly have to be carefull but if you use your own intellect to find those that seem to give you real help i guess the internet could be a kind of guru…
the type that never gives you the real truth but guides you towards it by forcing you to use your intellect to then be able to find it within you…

What do you people think??


#139

I think face-to-face interation with a person who hopes the best for you and expects you to be your best – and has the experience to know what that will look like – will never be adequately replaced by books or even amazing online communities.
It could be that I have not given a good description of what a guru is . . .
While I expect that individuals can do some good stuff even in relative isolation, nothing beats the perspective of a well informed Other to let you know when you’re selling yourself short or overreaching.


#140

[QUOTE=JustinTime;11937]To my way of thinking any ego-shedding will/can only happen at the point of death, by which time any need for a guru, or anything else for that matter, would/will have become irrelevant.[/QUOTE]

How right you are sir, the body itself is ego & you have realised this without reading any book or after learning from any guru, I guess.

Someone told me our karma is our guru, now I understand what he meant by this. :slight_smile: