Does one need a guru?


Hm, while Sivananda has some nice teachings, I would personally not take him as a modern, credible source when trying to figure our how to realize your own freedom. I do not say he is not a master of himself, but seemed to me to still have his points of view and beliefs/principles about the traditional side of things. To him it must be very important, the guru-disciple role, and to him it must have done a great deal of importance in bringing him where he was/is. That is why even after his enlightenment, he still beliefs very much in it.

But there are two kinds of masters, generally speaking.

  1. Those who are raised and conditioned into a certain community, teaching, tradition or the like and find their freedom through these teachings eventually. What I often observe is that these masters, even after attaining their enlightenment, are still bound somewhat by their previous beliefs and way of life. Maybe because they have known no other way of reaching or seeing freedom than through the teachings of their guru and their community in which they spend 24/7 of their lives often. Sivananda and his lineage (I have met a few of them and listened and observed them carefully and with great presence of awareness in their satsangs and my conversations with them) are one of these kind of masters.

  2. Then there are those who are often wanderers at first. They have had no specific guru. Some of them did not have any human guru at all, some of them have had many different guru’s but never found it there. Think of people like Eckhart Tolle, Jiddu Krishnamurti (although he had teachers forcing him almost into his enlightenment, his enlightenment and what he taught afterwards seems to me to be completely free from whatever they have said to him.), Osho, Candice O’Denver, among others. When they become masters of themselves, some of them too develop a certain teaching, or not one teaching but just speak about their realizations. I personally find a lot more freedom in these people since their words and ideas seem not to be based on personal beliefs so much anymore as those belonging to group 1. They often just state what the world needs right now, without being limited by beleifs and tradition.

When applying this to the guru thread, you see that whenever we quote masters from the first group, they almost always prefer or worship the guru-student relationship, while when quoting those from the second group, they are about showing you who you are right here right now through self-discovery without additional ideas. They often do not advice a guru specifically nor think it is of utter importance.

I guess it is whatever you prefer most personally. It is no secret that I see much more benefit in the second group. Especially considering the state of the world today. The first group feels to me a bit dragged on from the past. It could have been great to sit under a tree for 20 years with a guru having nothing else to do but get food and sleep in the time of the buddha and patanjali. But now in this chaotic world, I think it is time for something more modern, approachable, something which has also proven to work for many thousands of people and which may be able to reach much more people globally. I think this is what we need on a general scale. Not discarding the individuals who still feel like retreating from life into an ashram, which is great if you want to. But globally speaking, I think we need something more accessible.

What do you think?


Dear Friend Bentinho,

I think we need both. Imagine a restaurant where you can order just one dish, that would be boring. So, I think our global spiritual restaurant should cater for all tastes.


Good answer!

I think we need both too. As I said, not discarding the individual who feels like retreating to a certain traditional methodology.

Maybe I just feel some subconscious pressure that this world is on the brink of destruction and that it needs a global approach of some sort.


This world is on the brink of destruction … so what. We are not of this world.


Perhaps one impediment to accept a guru is one’s pride, and inability to realize the need for help.

Second is when one develops a relationship with one’s guardian angel, and takes him/her (angels are genderless, but we just can’t call an angel “it”.) as God. Christianity especially suffers from this, based on the judean tradition about one God. So when one expereinces something spiritual, one takes that as an expereince of God, while it might be an angel, a devil, another human beings astrality and so on. So many experience bliss and peace and they think they achieved the ultimate, while they are just slaves of a higher form of illusion. The possibility for such errors is huge. The avearge person is protected from these, but from one who follows a spiritual discipline this protection is withdrawn … because that’s what he/she is asking for.

A guru is a must. There is the saying: repetition is the father of knowledge. The guru is there to provide sure ground. He will say the same things for years … and what is funny, the disciple will comprehend it more and more, and new depths will be revealed in time to these apparently simple teachings.

A guru must not necessarily be a human being, though. Or rather, I’d say, must not be necessarily present on the physical plane. In fact there are many spiritual teachers among the dead, we just need to become able to listen. The spiritual world is saturated with wisdom, we just need to receive it. But because of this abundance, a guide is necessary. Otherwise, what happens to the disciple is similar to what happens when we die. When a person dies, who did not cultivate any interest towards spirituality, the experience is similar to drowning. After death, we can only relate and benefit to those spiritual powers whom we met, get used to, learned about during the physical life. This is not necessarily the information in our heads based on some theology, although that too helps a little. It is rather like those moments of awe of our lives, when some experience touches us deeply, when we get a glimpse into the eternity of the spirit.

To accept the need for help, to become humble, is not in contradiction with human dignity, or freedom. Real dignity cannot be threatened, and real freedom can’t be taken away. Until we fear for our dignity, or freedom, it is clear we do not posess them yet !
Humility is realising the limits and origin of our ego, and accepting them. Than, we realize that the selfishness of the ego, bursts up form the very core of our being, and it directs our actions both conscious and subconscious. And until we are unable to look into this place, this abyss, we will never develop the strenght to turn our eyes into another direction. Because of this, any initiation, enlightment, goes through the death of ego, through death, and it is a trying expereince. Without this death of the old man, the new Man cannot be born, the spirit Self cannot be realized.
What better way to realize this Self, is than to say: Everything I think and know I am, dies, is ended, falls, is terminated … and through this dispair, sadness, of nothingness, loneliness and hoplessness, you will realize: I still exist ! I AM ! The son of man needs to die, so the son of God can be resurrected in us.

Yoga is not that different … (pratyahara, dhyana, samadhi … because what are before these are just preparations) but what once was a secret initiation, through the Deed of Christ, the Cosmic Self, became the Way of many. At least, if correctly comprehended.

It really does not suffice to say, through Jesus I am saved. That is meaningless, and just talking. Rather, a real christian, like the real yogi, dies, so he/she receives eternal life. The yogi performed his death in seclusion, in his innermost being, the christian performed his death on the bloody floor of the roman Colisseum. The yogi saved himself but through his/her example, the christain saved many.

Today, too, those are the real yogis and christians, who can bring the sacrifice of their ego to the altar of Spirit. They know that they are not fools, but they trade the passing, the decaying, for Life. The very nature of Life is that it lives … and never dies.


Yes I am of this world, and I will utilize all of my skills to the best of my ability to be a good vessel of wisdom and love, thus bringing forth action that will ‘help’ the world.

Even if the world would explode, consciousness would not even shake an inch, I know that from experience and so your sentence is very true. Yet that does not mean I am not of this world nor wish to carry responsibility for it. For I do.

After all, the only way we can or have come to fully understand and experience that we are not of this world, is through being a part of this world.


I was just teasing, to show how truth can be misused and misunderstood. We know each other better to have these stickfights.


I was just teasing, to show how truth can be misused and misunderstood. We know each other better to have these stickfights.

You only say that because I have a bigger stick! :stuck_out_tongue:


So, back to the original conclusion of the ‘world on the brink of destruction’ phrase – what would a global approach look like? And would it work?
If it were a ‘global approach’, does that necessitate some sort of political power backing it, goading or cajoling folks into it? If not, then I suggest there are several global approaches going on already, some more successful than others.
Or does a ‘global approach’ require that there are no others to compete with it? And if so, how do you ensure that it protects freedom of conscience?
Or does it have to protect freedom of conscience?
Maybe this is a new thread. I accept the assistance of a moderator.


Dear Bentinho,

As we dance with Shiva we realise that the world we perceive through our five senses are always on the brink of destruction. :slight_smile:

This reminds me of what my teacher once said to me: “No evolution can happen without total destruction.”


Hey Techne & Pandara, I will start a new thread about that, you are right it is off-topic.

This one should be about the guru’s :slight_smile:


You definitely have a bigger one, tonight. :slight_smile:


Thank you, Bentinho. I was just just about to start a new thread myself when I saw that you did.


I will always have the bigger stick mate! I got a big tree in my garden full of big sticks, so don’t try anything foolish. :wink:

You are welcome.

So, to get back on topic, I have a question for everyone:

Does one need a guru?:wink:


Depends on if the guru needs or wants you.


[quote=Bentinho Massaro;20855]

Does one need a guru?;)[/quote]

Show me just one person who is not in error, used, manipulated and bound … and I’ll show you one who does not need a guru, (master, teacher, saviour, fate, expereince … pick whatever fits your table)

But naturally while one does not realize one needs help, one will refuse it, and rightly so. Human will emerges from the holy of holies of the soul, and must not be bent by someone else’s will. It is also true that certain trainings exist what end up in such a powerful will in their precticants than it carries itself out bending other peoples will to it’s own aim, and we may rightfully fear such influences. Think of Rasputin, just to give an example.


Gurus? Smurus… the best teacher is within as the last post suggests.

Sure there are great mentors but remember yu are the one with all the knowledge and awareness (although somewhat hidden at present) seek it out listen to life and she will show you the way.

Never pay a guru, it is never enough:eek:


Guess in these hard times it is harder to save a few bucks to be spent on exotic charlatans, I give you that.


"Never pay a guru, it is never enough"
Or, never accept a guru who expects payment, tit-for-tat.

A reporter once followed Mother Teresa as she ministered to an injured and impoverished person in the streets of Calcutta. The sister cleaned a wound of putrid material and maggots. The reporter commented, “I wouldn’t do that for a thousand dollars.” Teresa replied, "Neither would I."
Maybe some of the mystery regarding whether one needs a guru is that there are few enough worth the name out there and we’re discouraged – we take the time to wonder if we can get by without because we don’t really want the examples we’ve seen.


Its like asking if you want to remain confused the whole life?

If you want clarity in your thinking, then you need a guru. Many people have different opinions and different Gurus will have different ideologies too. Whom to follow? If you identify somebody as a Guru, you will have blind faith in him (if you don’t have it, you just have named him as your Guru but actually not made him your Guru). And if you have faith in somebody, your life becomes very simple & tension-free as you now know the path. You follow the knowledge provided by him that eliminates the confusion & doubt from your mind.