Don’t shop for a Guru on television
By: Dr. Dinesh Sharma
@ Life Before Lives Therapy Clinic
In this consumer oriented television culture where we have the option of choosing cars, shampoos, soaps and noodles at will, the gurus are aggressively campaigning to be picked up like any other utility product. Thanks to the television channel revolution we no more need to scale tough Himalayan heights to find a yogi or guru. They are easily available in the comfort of our soft bed through a gentle push on the remote control.
First we need to understand that what really Guru means. The literal meaning of this Sanskrit word is ‘bigger’, ‘larger’ or ‘heavier’. Guru translates as more ‘weight’ or ‘substance’. In popular perception Guru represents teacher, preceptor or a person who helps us understand and resolve the challenging intricacies of life and lead us on the path of self-realization and finally liberation.
In the journey of life mother becomes our first guru since she brings us up, helps to identify things and people and teaches us to communicate. Father becomes our other guru as he educates us about moral values, social conduct and provides us protection and sustenance. We also learn a lot from our elder siblings and friends. Later in school several teachers and books become many of our gurus.
When we become financially secure and socially independent we start looking for the sources from where we can learn, get experience and wisdom to grow in different dimensions. Such sources can be books, intellectual people or senior family members. This is also the time when the idea of finding a Guru may hit us.
Here most important exercise is to question our own self do we really need a guru or we are suffering from GAC (guru absence complex). These are two different things. It may happen that when we find big portraits of smiling saffron clad rich handsome faces displayed as Gurus ( people display their gurus like newly acquired expensive cars) in the homes of our friends or relatives, we develop a sort of guru absence insecurity. We may also feel like ‘possessing’ a guru to display with pride when people visit our home. In such case the importance and role of the guru will not be more than an expensive coffee table book, which we will never read or understand.
These days a big number of people go ‘Guru Shopping’ for some well defined obvious interests. Apart from other routine desires, top on their list is sickness, failure in business and marriage and career of grown up kids. Guru marketing has also polished the saffron corporations and smarted skills to cater to specific needs of their prospective devotee clientele. In this business of mutual worldly interests the true purpose of the divine and pure Guru tradition has suffered a serious setback.
The need of a guru is felt when someone starts a spiritual sojourn. For majority of the sadhakas this path of self-exploration is new and
completely unknown. Not many people have the knowledge and experience of stumbling blocks in ethereal voyage. The search for finding the right kind of spiritual guide has never been easy. It’s always the divine grace which comes to succor when we desperately seek. It may sound mysterious but the method of connecting with the spiritual guide is very simple. When we truly seek for help to advance on the spiritual path, the divinity definitely arranges the meeting. If one has not been able to meet his spiritual guide yet the chances are that one’s resolve has many holes in it.
It’s very important to know that a veritable Guru never tries to possess, hold and bind you to his clan or sect. He will guide you to liberate from many bonding including his own. The real Guru will always shy away from the tag of Guru and would prefer to be known as a spiritual guide. The genuine Guru will always help to connect you with the Maha Guru, which dwells in the cave of your own heart. A bona fide Guru never tries to impress you with miracles, promises of making you rich, curing your diseases, helping you earn more money and materializing instant suitable matches for your kids.
If your own concerns are such, you need a smart fixer and not a Guru.