Updated: Jun 17
Is there even a need to figure out whether the Guru is real or not? What exactly are you trying to figure out by analyzing the genuinity of a Guru? What are you truly doubting? Guru’s inability or your own ability? Are you shopping for Gurus or looking for your own reflection?
Let's forget about the "real scenario" for a minute and here let me give you the types of #Gurus that we have today.
Note: This article is meant for "thought-provoking", but if by the end it has provoked your ego, then you better look within as it is the high time. I meant to catch some of you! There is nothing wrong in “being of service” in any way possible until it is not solidifying or crafting the Ego and is not hiding, wrapping the Vasanas. The journey of life is about "revealing" all #Vasanas (Chitta-Vritti) and not "concealing" them within the politically adopted #Peace, #Bliss and #Love.
There are 5 types/categories of Spiritual Teachers/Gurus.
1. Self-Realized Gurus– These are the ones who have completed their Journey.
2. Enlightened/Awakened/Oneness Experienced Gurus – These are the ones who once had a #Oneness/Enlightenment or #Mystical experience, but have not completed their journey. Yet, they strongly believe that they have and they want to teach the whole world. Tedious path, full of hidden trenches is what they are walking in reality. They are not done yet.
3. Lineage Carriers/Holders Gurus – These are the smartest, brightest students in the group present around another Guru. And once their Gurus is old, they are asked to hold the Torch and spread the light of wisdom, the way they were taught and they experienced it. Sometimes such Gurus might confuse their state to be the same as their Self-Realized Guru due to a mental understanding of the teachings and constant repetition. Many Self-Realized Gurus never wanted a #Religion or #Lineage on their name, they did not ask “anyone” to play the Guru on behalf of them, but still, some students closer to such Gurus will pick up (craft) that message anyways and become self-declared lineage/torch holders. A lot of dirty politics goes on, on the name of holding a lineage. Many scandals are uncovered from time to time. Though there are some serious and "real" lineage holders too. But it may be very hard to find those real ones.
4. Advanced Seekers Gurus – These are the #Seekers who are on their journey, but since they have learned so much that they decided to share and help along the way. It also helps them practice what they teach & preach and they do not hide the fact that their own journey is not over yet. There is no harm in doing so.
5. Charlatans – These type of Gurus just love the lifestyle, status, perks of the above 4 categories/types, so they decide to make hay while the sun shines. By listening to the teachings, by living around them, or their habits, lifestyle or almost anything, it is not possible for a common man, a fairly new seeker to figure out who is more real or #SelfRealized guru and who is not. #Charlatans also may not get caught ever, or until it is very late in the process. Now let's come back to the "real scenario".
What is your definition of a real Guru?
Is there truly a “need” to figure out whether the Guru is real or not? What exactly are you trying to figure out by analyzing the #genuinity of a Guru? In other words, what are you truly doubting? Guru’s inability or your own ability? Think seriously for some time and note down the answers to these questions. These will help you in the future.
Just ask yourself, that by trying to figure out the genuineness of the Guru, are you trying to figure out the validity of your own seeking, purpose of your own seeking, the reasons for your own seeking, or what exactly are you seeking, or your own ability, capability to attain that which you seek? Does #GuruShopping translate to "looking within" for you?
Usually, it is said that the depth of your own seeking is perfectly matched with the depth of the Guru’s Realization. This is always true in a way, yet it is not true always. Many remain unrealized, fast-asleep around the Self-Realized Guru, and many are Self-Realized without even having any living Guru in present life. Then how does that matter around whom you are during your Spiritual Journey? Ananda wasn’t Self-Realized despite living with #Shakyamuni #Buddha the whole time. Because you can only take however much empty you are. Your Self-Realization depends upon your own capability. It depends upon how clear-focused, intense and one-pointed you are.
Guru shopping, Guru analysis is like trying to decide that when you will be “thirsty” would it be better/best to be near the Fountain of Life (Deep water Well) or River or Glacier fed Gorge or an Ocean or a Vending Machine? To figure out the answer to this, you really need to know your thirst, isn’t it? You need to know what you can and cannot drink? You need to know what you want to drink? You need to know how much you can drink? You also need to know if you are not pretending to be "thirsty" and in fact not running from life. In other words, whether your "thirst" is real or not? Let's understand each type of Guru in little more detail, because that may help you "explore within yourself" and might help you understand as to what exactly you are trying to do.
Self-Realized Gurus are like Deep Water Well – You may be around one, but you may not know. You may know, but you don’t know how to fetch the water/#Shakti out, you can't even imagine the depth. You may get caught up in their human-persona. You may not know how to receive. You can only receive however much is the size of your bucket/cup, however much you have emptied yourself. They hold the power/Shakti beyond your wildest imagination and yet they may choose not to teach your mind through intellectual or pleasing words, or heart through calm, peaceful energy of love at all times, they just interact at the level of the #Consciousness that you are, that too if absolutely needed.
They have seen beyond the beyond and have died in the process, not just for themselves but for you too. Ponder!
Supreme Consciousness is all that exists, nothing else, not even you or them. Ponder!
There are no words or description for defining, characterising Self-Realized Gurus. Meeting such Gurus is not that important, but yes, being helped by them only happens through a "secret key" that "you" hold within.
Enlightened/Awakened/Oneness Experienced Gurus are like Rivers – Flowing, merging all the way into the Ocean, and back into the flow, into their ever-moving existence, continuous journey. Creating their own invisible dams at times, and trying to break them. Since they have experienced the merger, oneness with the Ocean, they believe they know “the end” now and can teach others. I would say this is such a wrong time to be a Guru and go around in the world teaching others because one is near the end and have chosen to stay “near”. One may believe that now its almost over, but this “almost” could be several lifetimes long.
This is the most dangerous time to wrap & hide the last remaining Ego/I-Thought into the Spiritual garb, not to be found for decades or even lifetimes. Hence instead of teaching others, one must finish the journey first.
Now just see how these Gurus are and what do you have within yourself that you end up with such gurus.
Lineage Carriers/Holders Gurus are like Glacier fed Gorge – Which dries up in Winters, due to frozen glaciers. In other words, they need a Glacier, a Living or Dead Guru and his/her teachings for their existence. Without lineage, these Gurus wouldn’t have even existed. Such Gurus may not be that conscious about their own #Spiritual Journey, as they think “spreading the teachings” of their Guru is their #Dharma/#Duty, that’s what their Spiritual Journey is all about and that’s what they are born to do. These Gurus can definitely teach you process, methodologies and a whole lot as their Guru taught them and many people find such things truly helpful. There is a value in such teachings. Though they may be ancient, or may not be easily understood/adopted in the life of a seeker of the modern era. Still such ancient teachings or the teachings by Self-Realized ones are truly eternal on their own.
The maximum disciple-ship, followers belong to the Lineage Carrier/Holder Gurus, even the self-declared ones. Though some such Gurus just enjoy the perks that come with the Lineage Holding and are least bothered about teachings or seeker’s (your) journey.
Look within and see what attracts you towards such lineage holder Gurus.
Advanced Seeker Gurus are like Ocean – You can be deeply satisfied, #gratified at the mere sight of the presence of a huge body of water, the #Ocean, but you can’t drink even a drop of it when you are thirsty. In other words, they can add value, definitely teach you a lot, unless they are not pretending to be #Enlightened or Self-Realized. Yet, they cannot give you Shakti that you might need to progress on your path. They can give you a sense of #brotherhood/#sisterhood, a community/#sangha and can definitely teach you & turn you into a better version of yourself, but may not be able to lead you all the way to "the end". They can give you the environment and help you grow. But it's up to you 'what' exactly you want to grow up as and how high you want to grow.
Since they are still walking their own spiritual journey, their entire understanding is temporary, and will eventually change once they finish their journey. So, don't treat their words as 'final'.
Charlatan Gurus are like Vending Machines - You know what I mean. You can not only have water there to quench your thirst, but you can have soda, soft drinks, energy drinks, vitamin water, ice tea, cold coffee and what not. And yes, many of you are "thirsty" just for those things and hence you meet such a Guru. In other words, if you are looking for power, money, Shakti, siddhis, job, child, marriage, relationship, love, lover, winning over someone/something and all such things then yes you will end up worshipping a #Charlatan all your life or maybe many lifetimes.
Now, comparing the types of Gurus with some water-body is actually an absurd idea, but then what other easier way there is to help you understand that it is not about the Guru that you #seek, it's about that "inherent desire to seek" and "that which you seek".
Trust the Universe that in any given moment in time, you always end up with the right one, whether it is a Guru or a life-partner :-). Jay Shivay,