Guiding Light: Why do we need a Guru?

Guiding Light: Why do we need a Guru?

AiR Atman in RaviUpdated: Sunday, February 27, 2022, 09:20 AM IST
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Why does a seeker need a Guru? Just as we need a master or a mentor for us to become an expert in any field, or to master a subject, we need a Guru who can mentor us on our spiritual path towards Enlightenment.

A Guru is a spiritual teacher – a spiritual coach. The word ‘Guru’ comes from the words – ‘Gu’ which means darkness, and ‘Ru’ which means light. Guru is one who takes us from darkness to light. He is a manifestation of God on Earth. His voice is the voice of God. A Guru guides us and takes us inward, forward, upward and Godward. He holds our hand and takes us ahead on our spiritual journey.

Not many people pursue a spiritual life. We are so preoccupied with this material world that we don’t even realize the importance of spirituality. But when a Guru comes into our life, he can transform it. However, a seeker too must be ready and sincere in his quest for the truth. It is said that when a disciple is ready, the Guru will appear.

Through the spiritual inspiration and leadership of our spiritual master, we can attain a life of bliss and peace, of joy and happiness. A Guru not only shows us how to live a life of fulfilment but also leads us to Enlightenment, to Liberation from all suffering and pain.

Attaining Liberation without the guidance of a spiritual master, a Guru, is impossible. At the same time, we need a true Guru, one who himself has been coached by another Guru, a spiritual master, who too has evolved on the spiritual path. A Guru’s wisdom, experience, and knowledge are therefore not just the decades of his own life, but the collective knowledge and wisdom of his Guru and several other masters before him. This forms a repository of wisdom and knowledge collected over many centuries, and it is through this that a Guru helps his disciples walk on the spiritual path. Needless to say, we must be discerning and as seekers, look for a true master who seeks to mentor and guide. A true Guru wants nothing, no reward, no money. All that he seeks to do is to impart spiritual knowledge.

Just as there is a GPS, a Global Positioning System that guides us to where we want to go, a designated location or destination, in spirituality, we also need a GPS – a Guru’s Powerful Signal to help us reach our spiritual destination. A Guru will not only inspire us on our journey but nudge us, prod us in the right direction and warn us if we are going wrong. And of course, a Guru leads by example.

In today’s world, we are lost in superstitions and rituals, we are caught in the myth. We don’t know who is God, where is God, what is God. We pray but we don’t know what we say. This is because we lack the guidance of a spiritual master, a mentor, a Guru. The guidance of a Guru is critical in this modern world for those who want to discover their true self and transcend the body, mind and ego. By finding somebody who can lead us on the spiritual path, we can evolve, grow and overcome the trials and tribulations of this world. The goal of life is to understand the truth, to seek Enlightenment and we cannot do this without the help of a Guru.

(The author is a spiritual leader and the founder of AiR Institute of Realization and AiR Center of Enlightenment)

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