The word Guru, in Hinduism, means a spiritual teacher. It is considered that God is the original Guru (Sat Guru) and all other forms of Guru represent this one original Guru (as mentioned in the Guru Gita).

Prostrations to the great lineage of Gurus, who radiate outward from Lord Shiva as the divine energy of the Shakti, like a beautiful thread of silver, allowing this great tradition to continue enriching the Hearts of many.

– Mike Yap

The ancient scriptures repeat over and over again “Realization of God is possible only through a Guru.” Therefore, the Guru is more necessary than a friend, a son, a husband, or a wife, more necessary than wealth, machines, factories, art, or music. The Guru gives a new birth to man, he gives him the experience of knowledge, he shows him sadhana and makes him a lover of God.

There are certain beings on this planet who have attained the capacity to live at very high states of consciousness. To sit or be in their presence can assist in our own awakening.

This takes a certain level of surrender. It is not so much about surrendering to the guru, as it is surrendering to God-Consciousness, through the guru. When another human embodies a higher degree of Consciousness than you do, by surrendering you can purify yourself in their presence.

It is common for people to have resistance to gurus. The resistance that comes is from ego defences that want to guard the individualism, one’s separateness. You can choose to stay separate or surrender. You have free will and the choice is always yours.


The word guru means “heavy” or “deep,” therefore a guru is a person who is heavy in knowledge.

Another translation is that “Gu” means darkness and “Ru” means remover. The one who removes darkness.

External Guru

GuruThe main purpose of the guru is to teach. In the popular mind there are many stereotyped images of what a guru looks like or how he acts. Usually long hair, beards, flowing robes and lots of bowing followers come to mind, but if we keep the idea of a spiritual teacher in mind we will not be confused.

The Guru should not think that he or she is a Guru. But, the disciple should think of himself or herself as a disciple. It is the disciple that makes the Guru. When you see something beautiful in someone and when you want to learn from that person, then he or she becomes your teacher. The person should not come and say, “Hey, I am your teacher; learn from me.” No genuine teacher will ever say that. If asked the question, “Are you my teacher?” they would say, “Well, I don’t know. You should know that. If you are learning something from me, maybe I am your teacher then. If you are not learning anything, then I am not your teacher.”

As the flower gives its fragrance naturally, so the Guru gives diksha–by sight or hearing or touch or teaching or mantra or even without any of these, just because he is the Guru. The flower does not make an effort to give its fragrance, it does not say “Come and smell me.” It is there. Whoever comes near it will enjoy the scent.

– Anandamayi Ma

As long as the disciple wants to learn, it’s fine. If the disciple feels, “I am not really satisfied with this teaching; I would like to go to someone else,” then, fine; go. There is no bond. A teacher, a Guru, is there not to bind the disciple, but to free the disciple.

Fly like a bee from flower to flower, gathering sweet nectar from all, but still always seeking that one flower (teacher) that seems to offer an inexhaustible wellspring of nectar and thus merits a prolonged stay.

– Abhinavagupta

Such Gurus do not advise the wrongful renunciation of property and the wealth of this world, but instead make us renounce our limited individuality. They do not make us dry and empty within by telling us to renounce the things of this world, which are created by God. They act as a mirror, reflecting the God that is already within us.

Perhaps this is what we are here to do for those we care about—to hold a reflection of their divinity up before them until they are ready to embrace it as their own.

– Jeff Brown

The most common external Guru is the initiating Guru (diksha Guru).

Internal Guru

You are ignorant of your Guru within. The external Guru’s duty is to show your own Guru within. He or she just removes that ignorance so that you can see your own Guru within. The Guru is simply one who reflects your original condition, a mirror of your inner Guru.  That way, you won’t need to depend on the external Guru.

In reality, the Guru is not the person. The Guru is the omnipresent consciousness which pervades everything and which guides the entire universe constantly. But because the Guru is within you, and you have never seen it, you want to see it with a reflection. It is there where the external Guru, or the teaching, comes in. Actually, the Guru is the teaching. The teacher may not always be present, but the teaching will always be there. The teaching is the Guru. With the help of the teaching, you will realize your own Guru within. And that Guru constantly guides you in all your efforts in life.

It is important to note that it is not the Guru who makes the disciple, but the disciple who makes the Guru.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

– Buddhist Proverb

Guru Worship

Within Hinduism a Guru is given great respect, even to the point of offering worship (Guru puja). One full-moon each year (during July/August) is even called the Guru Purnima and is dedicated to the worship of guru.

Tonight during the full moon, the power of Grace shines brightly. Seekers from across the world unite their Hearts to bow deeply to the great lineage of teachers.

– Mike Yap

To have a guru who acts as the master is an essential part of spiritual growth and so to feel respect for and to want to honor one’s guru is natural and healthy. However, there is a tendency within Hinduism for the development of guru “cults” where the worship of guru supersedes the worship of God.

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