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Choosing your Guru ?

In India there is a long tradition and many generations of so-called gurus. The word guru seems to have been adopted everywhere. Today we have "marketing", "network", "web" and all other sorts of "gurus". What about "spiritual gurus"? Are they relevant?

Old Hindu text Advayataraka Upanishad (14Ð18), defines Guru as "dispeller (gu) of darkness (ru)". It is widely accepted for centuries that Guru means one who "gives light" or "leads to light" by eradicating the darkness of ignorance.

In principle, everyone, at nearly any stage of his/her development, needs a teacher. However, a good (non-misleading) teacher who doesn't limit the learning potential of his/her students can be quite difficult to find.

In brief, the most serious problems with so-called "gurus" can be expressed as follows:

1. Gurus are supposed to "show us the way to The Light". However, for at least several hundred years no guru seemed to be able to reach it. No guru today seems to speak from his/her own experience of being accepted and admitted by The Light. Can you guess what is the most likely outcome if "a blind person leads another blind person" ?

2. When explicitly asked about The Light, many gurus quote the statement of one of their ancestors:

"before enlightenment: chop the wood and carry water,
after enlightenment:    chop the wood and carry water."

By repeating and promoting such arrogant and ignorant statements about The Light gurus totally DEGRADE the process of Enlightenment. Isn't it obvious that statements like the one above imply that there is no point whatsoever in seeking Enlightenment and The Light? By discouraging individuals from seeking The Light "gurus" in fact reinforce darkness and ignorance by keeping people confused and misinformed for centuries, if not for millenia.

The motive for promoting "chopping wood" statements seems simple to notice: can you imagine what would happen if correctly instructed and inspired people begun to reach and communicate with The Light before their gurus do? Precisely the same motive is a basis for creating/reinforcing every belief system and religion on Earth without exception... Amazingly, this tradition continues... Can you guess WHY?

The Light is no less than the essence of the Universe, simply because it is a source and a carrier of all imaginable information. Hence, whoever chooses to disregard The Light - is bound to miss everything...

A genuine Conscious contact with The Light actually changes our lives irreversibly, simply because Understanding cannot be "undone". Enlightened person may seem to chop wood and carry water as everyone else, but he/she does it for very different reasons... Unfortunately no one can stop narrow-minded people who never reached The Light from making misleading statements about Enlightenment...

3. Virtually all gurus demand and expect a total "surrender" from their followers. As a brutal violation of The Freedom of Choice and The Freedom of Thought, such a demand is an act against development of Consciousness and The Purpose of the Universe.

© Tom Chalko 2002, All rights reserved