#4679 - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4679 - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - Editor: Jerry KatzThe Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
Jody noted the following article on Guruphiliac:
The Authentic Guru-Disciple Tradition in Hinduism A Discussion by Dr. Madhu P. GodsayHere's an excerpt:
This lack of a business-type relationship between the student and guru is essential. The student should never put his trust and devotion in a teacher who requests anything, either money, possessions, or anything physical. Once the student has found such a desire-less, non-self-serving teacher, only then can the student have confidence in the teachers capability and show respect for his knowledge. This relationship must remain pure for the entire duration of the relationship.
It is very important that this relationship remains pure. The student should be seeking nothing else but knowledge, and the guru should be taking nothing from the student. The students surrender to a guru should be based on the secure knowledge that he or she is not being taken advantage of or exploited by the guru.
Whats more, its important to understand that the students trust and devotion are not supposed to be based on blind faith or an expectation of miracles from the guru. Trust in the guru is supposed to be verifiable. In other words, there must be clear proof that the teacher actually possesses spiritual knowledge and is capable of imparting it. Without veracity, a person posing as a guru can say or do anything.
There are various famous pairs of guru-shishya in Hindu scriptures. In the Upanishads, one finds many philosophical dialogues between teachers and students. For instance, in the Mundakopanishad, the creator teaches his son Atharva, and Atharva teaches his disciple Angiva, and so on and so forth. Another famous scriptural pair is Lord Krishna and his disciple Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. In modern India, various saints such as Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Dayananad, etc., have imparted knowledge to hundreds of their disciples.
In India, Hindu children learn that their mothers and fathers are their first gurus. Then other gurus follow throughout their lives, including a spiritual guru. The highest guru is the one who teaches and gives the experience of tat twam asi, meaning, You are Bhrahman (God). Guru Dattatreya was once asked by King Yadhu the secret of his happiness and the name of his guru. He said atman (self) is my guru, yet I learned wisdom from nature.
Gurus can be roughly divided into two main classes:
- Bhakti (devotion) tradition, which is related to loving a form of god.
- Gyan (knowledge) tradition, which is related to impersonal devotion.
The bhakti form of the guru-shishya relationship generally incorporates:
- Devotion to the guru as a divine figure.
- The belief that such a guru will eventually impart moksha, peace, or divine power to theshishya.
- The belief that the shishya, with strong devotion and preparedness, will gain the merit.
The danger in the bhakti tradition lies in the choice of a guru. There is real danger that ignorance and blind faith can mislead a shishya from what he or she is really seeking. In the gyan-based relationship, there is less danger of deceit, because the student does not worship the guru as God.
Some learned and God-realized people, like J. Krishnamurti and Lahiri Mahasaya, refused to allow their followers to organize any kind of organization or sampraday around them. Their relationship was strictly based on the exchange of knowledge. The gurus only goal is to help theshishya accomplish his or her spiritual advancement via his or her own ability to look within from a healthy, unattached perspective.
In the annals of guru-shishya tradition there are various types of sampradayas (organizations). There are the demonic typeslike the Bernie-Maddox-type, which prey on peoples innocence, beliefs, and gullibility. This is what we witnessed with the Barsana Dham episode, and its fake gurus, who were clearly only interested in exploiting people.
However, despite the people with ulterior motives acting as gurus, having wrong intentions, and no true knowledge to impart, the tradition of the teacher-student relationship in spiritual advancement has endured over thousands of yearsand will continue to endure long into the future. With so many calling themselves guru today, it is more important today than ever before for every student seeking a guru to hold that guru up to the standards that have endured through the ages: true knowledge, right motivation, and pure intentions
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Peace, Peace, Peace.
~ ~ ~
Read the full article here: