Today we have gurus everywhere – the imported Indian word is one of the coolest modern terms. Financial gurus, marketing gurus, management gurus… even the world of business is full of all guru types.
May supposition is that we live in a special time then people are learning faster than ever. Everyone loves to learn from somebody. Fantastic!
The only problem is that even if we have a charismatic Guru personality giving wonderful lectures, we cannot learn anything. We can only learn on our own. Making our own experiences. Making our own mistakes. We can be inspired by a guru, but unless and until we try something out, we will never learn.
I have a feeling that now the new time is coming when we can start realising that we can become our own Gurus. In fact, we have all the knowledge and understanding already built-in within us. We have to discover it. And become aware of it.
By now I have met only few people who are able to be their own gurus and not to just follow some genuine or false teaching.But at the same time I see that the situation is slowly changing. We are growing, collectively. And hopefully soon we can all become our own Gurus, or own masters.
And then the whole life on the Earth will significantly change. On its own.
Absolutely true a person should be his own guru and with mistakes people learn .Mistake is like a god’s gift if you learn from it and curse if you dont learn
What if we reverse this question and ask, Can one be one’s own disciple?
Most of us were not good students in school, because we did not give our minds to our teachers. Instead we listened for mistakes, leaped to our own conclusions, and try in every way to show we knew more than our teachers-except for one or two that we really connected with. We didn’t realize that it is the responsibility of the student to “surrender” his ego, and open his mind so that knowledge could flow from teacher to student. With a guru that surrender is absolute, then absolute knowledge flows.
If we don’t know how to be a student, then we cannot be our own guru. How can we learn to be students of the highest knowledge by reading books and making our own interpretation? Few people are that discriminating. How can we trust our own experience of spirituality without some guidance from someone who has been there before?
But once we do learn how to be a student, then we have the ability to be our own guru. In fact, even if we have a guru, a guru wants to raise us up to his/her own level. The result is we become our own guru. But no guru can accomplish this unless students can surrender or be gently tricked into surrender. So it all starts with the purity of intention of the student.
“How can we trust our own experience of spirituality without some guidance from someone who has been there before?” – that is very true, we frist need an enlightened guru to show usthe way. However to learn is only possible with the own desire and experience.
Being a good studet is very important, but here is the problem that some people are eternal student and never really learn. “professional seekers” – are you familiar with that type? 🙂
Yes, very familiar. I find the professional seekers you describe are sincere people, but they are more satisfied by being part of a group of like minded people than in the knowledge that is available. It is understandable. We all do the best we can at the moment, whether we are conscious of this fact or not.
In the case of spiritual knowledge, “we can only learn through our own desire and experience” because we already possess the knowledge within. We don’t understand that easily on our own. The guru opens our eyes–or clears away the fog. The path is an illusion. Seeking is an illusion. If love for the guru is an illusion at least it is a sweet one. It can be said that love for the guru comes before love for God, because the guru brings us to God.
Without a guru that love must be for the self. It’s more abstract. Less satisfying for most people.
Terry, thank you. I can see your point very well. For me the most importatn thing about the Guru is that it should be a divine personality. And they are rare 🙂
At some point we need a Guru. When i was seeking, I was looking for an ultimate experience, something very divine and practical at the same time. I was indeed seeking a Guru, because it was clear to me, thatI could never come to this on my own.
But I would not take anybody, I was too cautious, somehow since my childhood I had a strong feeling against everything fake.
The clear-cut ultimate experince, which is constant and not just one-time enlightening, something I can live with and be a modern normal person.That was the aim of my seeking. And i found it!
And then…there is always a question either you can learn ot not. I have seen people who, ahving the best possible Guru, since years/decades are not able to change, to grow…just stuck. No idea why. And I ahve seen people reaching incredible hights of the spiritual development!…
And then…at some point we do become our own Gurus. Because that is the law of the human evolution. Don’t you find?
By being a perfect, dedicated doubtless student first to the real Guru who is God Her(Him)self.. the principles to self correction are automatically manifested!
Being one’s one Guru is a good ambition but is not a feat that has been achieved by many yet as most of us all still are not perfect students at the first place 😦
Thanks Axinia and terry for beautiful input.
From Indian literature what I have learn is that, guru is definitely essential on the path of spirituality but on the part of student it is very difficult to find a real guru from illusion unless en lighted soul. most importantly that realization also should be given by guru. so both the things are not seems to be in hand s of student. He can remain just true seeker. It is the guru who find best student and give realization and experiences throughout, he may walk along with, on the way of spirituality even without knowledge of student and student don’t know when he will get what experience on the same path. It is the only trust built within which guides and take you to your destination. on that way one can consider one self as self guru.I totally agree for input of discovery within as a true seeker it may come from intuitions. how and why I don’t know that needs to be discover as i don’t believe karma system. It don’t mean that I should not do good karma rather considering as a realized person i should work continuously on same aspect desirelessly and that’s why path of spirituality is very difficult as I feel. sticking with one guru or philosophy and still no growth, for that also same reason as guru has not selected you for total enlightenment, one can think another way ,I have not lift up myself to that level. Guru will have patience till I reach that level. Anther very important point is that the philosophy I have selected consciously it should be tested on ones and collective life’s requirements and gain . which is very difficult. true seeker can only distinguish within and requires conscious self responsibility. It is very true one has to walk along way of spirituality alone with one’s own responsibility as everything is uncertain before self realization. here I mean It not only mere word , It’s an true experience. when, How, where I will get it is always uncertain. It’s my own trust and patience within guides me path along that way only one can be self guru. wish you all a very happy “Gurupornima” It is not co incident. As I already write In this “all marketing world”one should be very cautious. and that’s why we find every where “Guru’s” BUT They can not guide on path of spirituality . they can guide on materialism. even can create more illusion !!! and that’s why also one should be our own guru. work within , explore and understand world around. Self realization…..
I think you both may be overreacting to the notion of false gurus. Everything can be faked very easily today. Everything from new reports to identity papers to organic foods. Of course we should expect phony gurus, but they are not that difficult to spot and it is easy to move on once you spot them unless you are very weak.
And I don’t share the criterion that no guru can accept money. It’s just the sadhu’s bowl–only a little bigger because there are the guru wants to feed more followers. If the attitude is indifference to money, then I would be happy to give some so that the knowledge can be spread more quickly.
To me the signs of a false guru revolve around a lack of indifference–anger, greed, sensuality. When these show up, the disciple has a choice. To excuse them based on other evidence or to keep looking.
The trouble is Westerners romanticize gurus. They expect them to be faultless because they confuse enlightenment with divinity. Gurus don’t have only one personality. They don’t all glow. They are human and complex and sometimes their behavior is difficult to interpret, especially if the disciple is stuck in that rigid romanticized light.
To my way of thinking a more dangerous kind of guru is the one who does have that aura of peace and love but has no way to teach. They may have achieved higher states of consciousness, but that doesn’t mean they can transfer that experience to others.
I will probably upset someone with this, but that is how I always thought of Krishnamurti. He was groomed as a boy to be the spiritual leader of the 20th Century by well-meaning people who expected a worldwide spiritual revolution. You can listen to his lectures and they make perfect sense in spiritual terms, but in the end you have only an intellectual understanding of spirituality.
There have been similar teachers from East and West who are brilliant inspirers and explainers of transcendence and their followers stay for years content that as long as their intellectual understanding grows, enlightenment is around the corner. Spirituality is not a mood. It is not faith. It is personal experience of universal truth.
It was explained to me that there are three ways to gain this experience. Through good works (probably over many lifetimes. From a guru. By the Grace of God. Those three allow for having a guru, being your own guru, or being divinely lucky.
A guru must be a charismatic, this is normal, otherwise people will not be attracted towards the person.
Krishnamurti was devinetly one, a true intellectual and not divine…one of many of such kind.
I like you expalnation of Spirituality, Terry: “Spirituality is not a mood. It is not faith. It is personal experience of universal truth” – that’s so true! intrestingly, many people cannot even explain what spirituality is.
@ Terry,For my understanding, to a conman man,it is very difficult to understand right n wrong. Still Guru and spirituality remain as great Illusion. as u say they may be a week otherwise we would not have seen pared of Guru’s and their followers without real transformations.
by grace of god having a good Guru,and divinely lucky ? both the things are not in hand of disciples. By doing good work( probably life time? even after death?) only in hand but no guarantee. so How one attract and remain true seeker. I need still more options from unknown. as you say .” meerabai, Janabai, Tukaram,chokha mela even gynaeshwarji , Lord Jesus….would not have suffered from pain and inhuman suffering and still continue their faith till death where they were not divinely lucky?or they have not got good guru? Still why they suffer? I always feel answer of true spirituality lies in different aspect. It can not be measure by routine materialistic measurements, even beyond human consciousness and awareness. we can’t measure it.that’s why again it remain as great illusion. what is right n what is wrong ? what is true spirituality ? who is a true guru ? it is very difficult to answer in time log. It may prove after many time log of a given person. and that time nothing will our hand except history. When I say consciously and responsibly, it has that meaning , not only materialism and gain from it.
There are lot of great Guru’s,Saints, and even transformer’s like Jejus,Budha’s,Paingaber … Why still there are lot of suffering? What their follower’s are doing? why they have not enlighten?
That’s why I say answer is different…..
mahesh, I guess the enlightenment requires not only a great guru but also a great desciple. WE SHOULD BE READY TO PERCEPT/ ABSORB/LEARN. Are we? How many of us?
Even having such a fantastic Guru like Shri Mataji who granted the mankind the easiest and fastest way to enlightenment, who does it with such an amazing motherly love and care, who made it so simple for us to achieve – and yet how many can really LIVE that?
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I cannot thank you enough for the blog post.