DO YOU NEED A GURU ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH?
I gave a talk just before I left India on my book Meditation and Martini. I recounted my own journey into meditation and spirituality over the last 25 years. One of the questions that came from the floor was whether it is necessary to find a guru on the spiritual path. It’s a topic that I address in my book because it is something that most spiritual seekers will consider.
Though it’s not mandatory, a guru who has walked the path and knows the pitfalls can help point you in the right direction. They can remove some of the guesswork that goes into finding a clear direction to proceed or they can give you a spiritual practice to work on. In a sense the guru is like a boat that carries you across the sea from one place to another. There are some dangers however in this relationship because, by it’s nature, there is a huge imbalance of power. One can lose sight of the purpose of a guru, which is to shed light, and then the relationship becomes one of guru worship rather than anything else. The point maybe completely missed. At the same time, it is important for the seeker to acknowledge the role of the guru and be grateful and humble for their guidance.
A true guru wants nothing nor needs nothing for you. They simply give out of their love for humanity. If ever you are considering a guru then be guided by your own inner wisdom and at all times retain your own independent thought. If there is a requirement to do something which feels contrary to your own inner judgement then trust your own guidance. A true guru has no need for your money, your allegiance, your support, nor your flesh. Their job is simply to give and guide. Nothing more.
And know that when you have arrived at a place where your spiritual practice has become established and integrated (by the way, you will know when that happens), then do not fear dropping the practice, stopping the mantra and even letting go of the guru. That does not mean that you lack gratitude or respect. It just means that you are ready to walk the final climb alone. When the great mountains are scaled, like Mt Everest, ultimately the climbers have to go solo in single file. Don’t be trapped like the bird in the cage with an open door which is too scared to fly out.
I hope this clarifies things for those of you who have become confused or disillusioned about the guru.
Back in Australia now!
In Health and Wellness