Explain to me a bit about the spiritual tradition of gurus and disciples - 1

From: "jagbir singh" <adishakti_org@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:11 pm
Subject: Explain to me a bit about the spiritual tradition of gurus and disciples - 1

Dear All,

i received an email that read:

"Dear Jagbir,

Please could you explain to me a bit about the spiritual tradition
of gurus and disciples; and how this all works in SY? Do all people
need gurus for teaching and help; from my own experiences I think
that they probably do? What I mean is, people really need a teacher
for guidance along the path, someone very advanced and experienced
to tell and ask about specific problems and personal situations and
difficulties, a yoga master. Especially people from the Western
cultures and from restrictive religious backgrounds need help
understanding the Eastern concepts of spirituality, and need
personal guidance at times."

i am more than willing to answer such intellectually nourishing and
spiritually penetrating questions that will benefit so many over the
years. But i must explain that my method of answering and making
others understand is unconventional since it takes time to grasp and
absorb spiritual issues. At all times i have to keep in mind that
answers should also reflect the Divine Message, each answer another
piece that fits the Divine Puzzle. It will take many answers from
dedicated realized souls to complete the task. The Divine Message
and Satya Yuga 3-21-2013 are powerful spiritual landmarks that many
will recognize more easily in future if the pieces are today put in
place by those who have them.

By unconventional i also mean keeping quiet and allowing others to
answer, since they have answered without me questioning them. This
method always provides better and unbiased facts, provided they are
double-checked for accuracy. The extra knowledge is most welcome.

For Part 1 of the answer i have picked Ajit Adhopia's "Hindu Guru".
Please enjoy his excellent explanation about the spiritual tradition
of gurus and disciples.



Hindu Guru

In order to reach the zenith of any human endeavor or field of
knowledge, one must have a teacher, guide or a mentor. If you want
to be topnotch athlete, you would certainly need a capable coach to
train you and help you achieve your goal. Similarly, one who chooses
to tread a spiritual path seeking God realization needs a master or
a guide referred to as a Guru in Hinduism.

The word 'guru' literally means the 'weighted one' i.e. the one who
is heavily loaded with spiritual knowledge or divine wisdom. It also
means the one who leads his disciples from the darkness of ignorance
to spiritual enlightenment by imparting divine knowledge. A guru is
the one who guides his or her disciple to become a Jivamukta i.e. a
liberated soul that achieves salvation in his or her lifetime
through God-realization. In the modern world, however, the word Guru
has acquired a distorted, secular meaning- an expert or a highly
knowledgeable person in any field.

This important Hindu concept of Guru dates back to the ancient Vedic
times when seers revealed their spiritual insights, and sages taught
their wisdom to a few select disciples called Shishyas. These
teachings were usually transmitted in privacy and were esoteric, not
meant for general public.

In ancient India, the guru served another purpose. Having attained
God-realization, he would set an example for his disciples by living
himself a life of simplicity, selfless-service and discipline. He
not only imparted moral values and spiritual knowledge to his
disciples, he himself practiced simple living and high thinking. A
guru commanded the disciples' highest reverence by his actions.
Therefore, a disciple would never question a guru's word. Such a
Guru is known as Sadguru or a true (competent) Guru.

In fact, Hinduism ascends Sadguru to divinity. "Guru represents all
three aspects of God as creator, sustainer and regenerator. He is
the supreme being to whom I bow." This concept spawned many sects
and movements in Hinduism. This is also the foundation of Sikhism.

With the advent of the secular education in India, gurus have been
replaced by school teachers and college professors, but the
traditional bond between guru and his disciple (teacher and student)
survived. In modern India, teachers are still accorded the highest
respect, both by students and their parents. Teaching has always
been considered a noble profession. Many years ago, when visiting
New Delhi, I bumped into my English teacher of grade 5, a gray
haired Sikh gentleman. I was so gripped by the ecstasy of joy that I
fell at his feet. He pulled me up by the arm to embrace me, and the
tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. It created quite a melodramatic
scene in the marketplace, but my embarrassment was worth the joy I
had experienced in this encounter.

Despite the changes in the educational system, modern India still
has a large population of self-proclaimed gurus, but only a few are
Sadgurus following the traditional system. Many of them were highly
successful professionals before renouncing the material world in
order to follow the spiritual path to God-realization. Their
writings and public discourses on mass media have attracted
thousands of followers, Hindus and non-Hindus, around the world.
They motivate their followers not to join the Western rat-race of
consumerism, and encourage them to keep their traditional values.

India is also infested with bogus gurus catering to the needs of
fake devotees who, instead of God realization, are looking for
miraculous solutions to their personal problems related to health,
marriage, infertility, unemployment, romance and business failures
etc. Many of these saffron-clad charlatans are in fact astrologers,
bards, preachers, yoga instructors, faith healers and devotional
singers disguised as gurus to earn their living. They prescribe
sacred mantras, charms and rituals to 'solve' their devotees'
personal problems. They have amassed enormous wealth, and live
luxuriously in major urban centers. Many of them visit Canada
regularly every summer when the weather in India gets too hot for
them. I have rarely seen any guru visiting Canada during the winter.
They are sponsored by their 'devotees' or temples who pay them a fee
for their performance.

Many egocentric gurus visit Canada for fame, in order to enhance
their image in India as foreign-returned gurus so that they can
become more marketable. Since there are not many Hindus in Canada
seeking God-realization, these gurus, if they are genuine, should
stay in India and serve the poor by emulating Christian

—Ajit Adhopia
December 16, 2001





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