Author Topic: The Need for a Guru - 1  (Read 1391 times)


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The Need for a Guru - 1
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:37:14 AM »
The following is an abridged version of Swami Sadasivananda's
article on Practical Sadhana, that is appearing in 2008 and 2009 issues of Mountain Path.

Question:  I now understand that the need for abhyasa and vichara.
But a larger question has now arisen which is the need for a guru
to guide my efforts towards attainment.  Is a guru necessary, what
does a guru really do, and where can I find one whom I can whole
heartedly believe and trust?

The heart and soul of Sanatana Dharma, or the eternal religion, found its origination and essence in the oral transmission of its Truths.  Since abiding nature of this dharma is Eternal, the foundation for those who today seek to cultivate these Truths must rely primarily
on the oral tradition thorugh the guru-disciple relationship, or through satsangh, which will lead one towards that relationship.

The tradition that were a Truth of old, remain Truth of today.  The primary difficulty universally faced by all who seek to cultivate the
inner Life of the Spirit is the question of authenticity.

The primary choice to make in the beginning of spiritual pursuit is whether to seek the outward guidance of guru, or find the path to the Eternal through prompting of the inner intuitive voice of the Self.

The question of whether or not to trust the voice of the conscience depends solely on the quality of sattva [purity of vision and habits]
of the intellect. 

The essential quality of intellect, in regard to the need for a guru rests primarily upon a clear vision and understanding of exactly what a guru does.  Therefore, Bhagavan Ramana, who left no stone unturned in the ongoing guidance of all who came before Him, gave practical clarification on this essential aspect of spiritual life to one of His
close disciple, Arthur Osborne, who summarized Bhagavan's teaching in his collected essays.

"The guru is the Spirit of Guidance.  Ultimately, this is to be focussed within oneself?  Whatever awakens it is acting as guru.  'The purpose of the outer guru', the Maharshi said, 'is to turn you inwards to the inner guru.'   And yet in this regard there is no easy formula, no guarantee against error, for just as the aspirant may be misled by the false outer guru reflecting undesirable qualities in himself, so he may dignify various inner urges with the same name 'guru'.  Constant vigilance and intelligent purity are necessary."  [ Be Still, It is the Wind that sings.  Arthur Osborne, 2000, p.62.]

(Source: as indicated above)

Arunachala Siva.