What is the purport of a guru?

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What is the purport of a guru?

Post by Oleg »

Dear Hari!
I will permit myself to ask "not good" questions. Please forgive me in advance.
Due to my idea, a bona-fide spiritual master has a spiritual vision. In other words, a bona-fide spiritual master could see inner essence of a man who approaches guru. Due to spiritual vision the guru can not be cheated, because he could see inner essence of a man. Besides bona-fide guru always could help his disciple in solving inner problems. Bona-fide guru can feel inner condition of his disciples even being far away.
How correct my ideas of a bona-fide spiritual master?
What is the purport of a guru who does not possess spiritual vision?
With respect to all, Oleg.
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Post by Hari »

No question can ever be 'not good.' All questions are valuable to those who ask it. The problem is whether the question is relevant to anyone else!

You use the word 'bona-fide' many times in your question. You seem to place great emphasis on this. I know what you were told it means, but I question whether the term has much value at this time or even relates to the other aspects of your doubt.

If you refer to my discussion in another place about the term guru and how I think it should mean a teacher, you will understand my answer better.

The most effective spiritual teachers have a clear spiritual vision. Very few people can see the inner essence of people and those who can are very aware and psychic. Some spiritual teachers are also sensitive and aware and they are powerful. However, they sometimes create agitation in those who come to them since their answers often include topics not brought up by the question but refer to things within the one who asks. Although those who question might assume the teacher should know what is within them, when the teacher actually addresses these points, they can become quite disturbed. I personally find this amusing, yet it is a part of life.

A person with a clear vision, regardless of whether they are a teacher of the subject or not, is hard to cheat, but anyone can be cheated if the cheater is more clever than the cheated is expecting to be cheated. In other words, if someone wishes to cheat another they can do so, but not necessarily in ways which are harmful to the one being cheated although it might cause the cheated person difficulty.

A sensitive person, including those who are spiritual teachers, can assist others to solve their spiritual problems by giving them the tools by which they can come to their own experiences, realizations and conclusions. No one can resolve another's inner problem unless the other works to have the problem resolved. We can only assist others as far as they are able to accept that assistance. Distance is no obstacle.

A teacher who does not have psychic sensitivity may be a good teacher and may give valuable information that anyone can use to advance. Insisting on the combination of educative capacity and psychic capacity narrows down the field of available teachers to a small number. After all, there are good teachers and there are agood psychics. One could combine the services of each and get a very good result, or, if one is lucky and has access to a person with both capacities, one can shorten the duration of the investigative process.

Naturally a teacher who is etherically sensitive has the potential to assist others in ways that are unique and powerful.
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Post by kami »

I have such (bad?) 'experience', that guru is someone from another side of invisible wall :013 and if someone is guru, I prefer to catch big distance to him, because I feel confused.. if I also remember that guru has a pure vision I feel only worse :lol: I try to evade personal talking with gurus and if I must - I want to run away :lol: I accept guru in lectures which I can read slowly and at peace, and on the photos :wink:

so, thank you, Hari, for "Spirituality Without Demands or Expectations" :018
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Post by kamalamala »

Exept very few who realy have mistical experiance of the other reality realy know wath they are saying and why.Who dont just reapeat a scriptures and pushing that or this sampradayas or churchis,I think mainly Gurus in present time is the ones who just cheat and exploit
people and that all .At least most of them is so,it is my opinion.
And most of them doing harm for the people more then benefit.
They are incerting fear in there harths more then love.
See all the sects bbased on fear,where is love ?

Hari by the way even in the time of Iscom had real mistical experiance .
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Re: What is the purport of a guru?

Post by GPandit »

I can't imagine why anyone would even want to put him/herself out there as a guru. Let me rephrase that--unless someone really had the "goods", it seems beyond egotistical to even attempt such a thing. I see it all the time in my line of work--it's amazing how many people call themselves "master", "grand-master", etc.--many of them (not all) use those titles to cover up the poverty of their internal development. Forget about those paper gurus and work on yourself, just my two cents.
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Word of defence

Post by Nanda-grama »

I want to say the word of defence for poor ISKCON's gurus. I think all people have etherically sensitivness and psychic abilitis, only not all people are conscious it. And if a man finds himself in the situation when he must to have the spiritual vision and he is busy of it all time, he begins to see. Even if he sees nothing but has some sincerity, Krishna speaks through him. He could not notice that hited the right nail on the head for one who very waited the answer from him. I had this experience that other gurus and simply devoters helped me very much because my guru who had the spiritual vision was practically inaccessible for intercourse. :)
I think all is well with gurus, but this system is bad when people give back their personal power to the guru, depend on him and think that there isn't another way to God.
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Re: What is the purport of a guru?

Post by rasa108 »

Nanda-grama - I hear what you are saying and surely Krsna can speak through a "Guru", in fact He can speak through anyone via the Supersoul, so in one sense everyone can be a guru if Krsna so wishes to choose that person to send us a message. The question for me is whether there is sufficient qualification for someone to take the official position in a society of devotees....that for me is the crux of the matter.

Srila Prabhupada is famously quoted as saying that a qualified disciple is one who simply repeats verbatim the words of his spiritual master - is that a sufficient qualification for him to take disciples and be called a spiritual master? One would think so....then the next question for me would be - are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada repeating his words verbatim and following his instructions without deviation?

I don't subscribe to any GBC/Guru bashing or ritvik groups....I am an individual thinker, free from fixed ideas formed by an institution and it's governing body - I read Srila Prabhupada's books, lectures, letters and conversations and form my own conclusions about where we stand spiritually, both as individuals and as a whole.

I am initiated by a current spritual master in ISKCON and I view him as the message carrier of Srila Prabhupada's words and instructions (that can be the vehicle for our liberation)....for me a spiritual master or teacher carries this message, verbatim, to his disciple as a connection to a pure personality that is capable of taking us back to Godhead.

I have come to this realisation by witnessing and observing behaviour and events (including Hari's unfortunate experience) over the past 24yrs within our politically based institution (I never thought I would even think that) called ISKCON.

I think spiritually sound solutions need to be taken seriously if we are to be spared the fate of other religious institutions (if indeed we are not already there) - Krsna has revealed these solutions through his pure representative, it's our choice whether to stand up, absorb that pure teaching and stay strong into the future.

"What is the purport of a Guru?" The Oxford dictionary definition of the word purport is "the meaning or substance of something" - I presume the question relates to this meaning....what is the substance or meaning of a "Guru" who has no spiritual vision? I think the answer is contained in the question.

I hope I have not caused any offenses or my writing is deemed irrelevant....I write in the hope that maybe these words have ignited some deep and free thinking on the matter.
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Re: What is the purport of a guru?

Post by harsi »

rasa108 wrote:"What is the purport of a Guru?" The Oxford dictionary definition of the word purport is "the meaning or substance of something" - I presume the question relates to this meaning....what is the substance or meaning of a "Guru" who has no spiritual vision? I think the answer is contained in the question. ..I write in the hope that maybe these words have ignited some deep and free thinking on the matter.
“I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.”
“This gives the definition of the guru. Everyone is in the darkness of ignorance. Therefore everyone needs to be enlightened with transcendental knowledge. One who enlightens his disciple and saves him from rotting in the darkness of ignorance in this material world is a true guru.” (SB 6.15.16)

Dear rasa108. You may well know this quotes from the books of Srila Prabhupada. And I can somehow fully agree with them in my own way which seems to be somehow different from the way you may understand them as I was able to understand by reading through the lines of what you have written. In my opinion the role of a disciple or pupil of a spiritual discipline is of someone who does something like I was reading in this interesting article. Where someone writes: "In all these fifty years, I’ve spent a great deal of my time meditating on Master and trying to understand more and more deeply what he did and said. It’s been the focal point of my entire life. Everything I’ve done has been an outgrowth of what Master gave us. I haven’t created anything new. However, the role of a disciple is not just to talk about the guru, nor to be a record player repeating the words of the guru without really understanding their meaning. We must try to understand them more deeply, to enlarge on that understanding, and to show their relevance in our lives." (...) You definitally have "ignited some deep and free thinking on the matter" in my case so I wrote you something I can also fully agree to namely: "to enlarge on that understanding, (concepts, knowledge, ideas or whatever we may have convincingly grasped from the mouth or writing of our beloved and revered 'guru') and to show their relevance in our lives." Maybe even further develop and expand thus adding something new in due course of time since our awareness and ability to grow is never ending.
Last edited by harsi on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the purport of a guru?

Post by rasa108 »

Thanks for your reply Harsi....firstly I wasn't actually defining the meaning of Guru, only the word purport - but as you have quoted very well the meaning of Guru, it can also add to the discussion.

Yes we definitely need to understand deeply the words of the spiritual master, and we also need to repeat them without changing anything. Actually, even if we don't fully understand....the potency of the qualified spiritual master's words (that Krsna has spoken through him) are potent....as the Hare Krsna mantra is potent, even if one who hears or even chants the words but doesn't have a full understanding of the meaning.

You make about a point about the relevance of the spiritual master's words in our lives and it's a good point and one that we all need to think very carefully about.
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