Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Guru

What is the image that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Guru”?

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For foreigners, it could be an Indian spiritual leader clad in saffron or an expert on something. For Indians, it could be a teacher (spiritual or otherwise) or an expert or someone named “Guru” or a slang especially for Kannadigas who use it to address anyone and everyone as in “yen guru?” means “What guru?”

Here I refer to the teacher. There is a saying which translates as “A person who teaches even a single letter is a guru”. I agree with this.

On the flip side, it has often made for very interesting & entertaining observations at some spiritual meets in which the Guru also participates. The disciples get worked up into such a blind frenzy about the Guru! Whatever the guru does is praised irrespective of whether it is praiseworthy or not. I guess many people religiously follow our scriptures which say that teacher is God and accord the status of God to these very human spiritual gurus. 

The best part is that those Gurus seem to relish and thrive on this status accorded to them. They also build up their own tight little circle of very obedient disciples or sevaks around them into which only a privileged few are allowed. There is also plenty of gimmickry and buildup of hype. To top it all, if they happen to teach any techniques for spiritual development, they will charge exorbitant fees citing commitment of students as a reason to charge such high fees.

Does a true guru really care for such adulation, flashy lifestyle and vulgar opulence? Wouldn't he or she be more concerned about the students learning, assimilating and putting to good use the knowledge imparted?

And when will people learn to use their discerning powers to separate the grain from the chaff?

What’s your take on this?


For A-Z Challenge 2015

14 comments:

  1. Good question. It has always irked me too how some of the so-called 'gurus' are worshiped to the moon and back and treated like rock stars... I believe the true guru doesn't want or care for such adoration because he lives for teaching and inspiring and gives without expecting something in return.
    My link: http://www.devikafernando.com/blog/blogging-from-a-to-z-challenge-letter-g-good-enough

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    1. Thank you for dropping by Devika, and your comment. My respect for these kind of gurus is limited to just what they teach and nothing beyond that. I have actually seen in one of the spiritual meets, people distributing and eating the leftover food from the teacher's plate saying that it is "prasad" from him! Gosh! This kind of behavior from the students is what puts me off. Is there a need for such sycophancy?

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  2. The true ones are never in the limelight anywhere. Now, becoming a Guru is the fastest way to make bucks and gain power and if you have a politician's support...nothing like that!

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    1. I agree Janu. Just come up with some authentic sounding mumbo-jumbo and you are already qualified.

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  3. The real guru, in the right sense of the word, believes in spreading knowledge rather than hoarding money! The ones who go for money are the ones who have jumped to this field just for the sake of making money and earning fame.

    God is a Gamer

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  4. A guru can be the true light to his students. They can direct them to heights.

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  5. You inadvertently left out the word "trust" in the definition of Guru.. "a teacher or guide that you trust".. In a way you are right.. That part of the definition is missing in the real world now... with corrupt and veiled crooks donning the mantle of a "guru" these days, where does the word trust fit in ? All they are interested is in money and political power.. IMHO, it is only a weak mind that seeks the support of so called spiritual (or other) gurus, and they in turn ensure that the weakness is exploited to the maximum..

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    1. Oops. That's right! So I did. Thanks for pointing it out.:) Not sure whether it is always the weak mind which seeks the support of a spiritual or other gurus. I have seen perfectly strong minds doing the things I described. More to do with blind faith or sycophancy than weak minds. And ever so often these gurus have some really dark & unpalatable secrets hidden away carefully which comes out at their time of death or when some disgruntled disciple stumbles up on it and spills the beans And those secrets often would be worse than the secrets any average man or woman would have :)

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  6. A Guru is supposed to be a blessing, I think. If that is not the case then they shouldn't be called a Guru.
    They would be more likened to a politician. Full of false hopes and scheming to get what they want which is always more power.

    Bushman
    2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador
    @jwb81074

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    1. True words Jeff. Fully agree with you.

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  7. I believe a true Guru trains his disciple to survive independent of him. otherwise, his teachings are a waste. Incidentally, I watched the film, "Dharam Sankat" yesterday and it revolves around one such "Guru" who commands over his disciples while people go into a frenzy over his words. Good post Prathima :)

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    1. Thank you Sundari. You have hit the nail on the head about a true Guru. I am marking this movie to watch. :)

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