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Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition Sanatana Dharma


Perennial Wisdom 

Sanatana Dharma

Religion And Spirituality...

Religion Or Dharma

The Eternal View Of Hinduism

Idolatary And Dogmatism

Religion And Spirituality..

Religious And Spiritual Practices

Civilization And Social Issues

Hinduism And Sanatana Dharma

Hinduism And Other Religions



Major Sections
Books By David Frawley

Awaken Bharata

From The River Of Heaven How I Became A Hindu
The Myth Of Aryan Invasion Of India

Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition, Sanatana Dharma

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Are Gurus Necessary?

Seeing the exploitation brought on by some so-called gurus (many of whom have been outside any real tradition), there has been a tendency to want to reject gurus altogether. Some people have thought that the New Age they see dawning today will allow people to teach themselves or follow inner guides and that gurus are a thing of the past.

However, if we examine the matter deeply we see that teachers are as important in the spiritual field as in other domains of life. We have many different teachers during the education we receive in life and attend many schools. If teachers are not necessary, why don't we just leave our babes out in the woods, to teach themselves? Are teachers dispensable in other walks of life? Can a person learn the piano, or learn modern physics without a teacher? If teachers can be dispensed with in other fields of life, then perhaps they are dispensable in the spiritual realm, but not otherwise.

Inner guides can be important sources of wisdom and inspiration but they do not eliminate the necessity for living teachers. The mind can easily invent an inner guide according to its desire or prejudice. Such an inner guide cannot question us or challenge our preconceptions the way a living teacher can.

If we are honest we see that we all have spiritual teachers, that we all benefit from some sort of external guidance be it in the form of books, talks or one-to-one dialogue. Some of us may require prolonged personal contact with a teacher. For others a short contact may be enough (if it is accompanied by a long term practice of the teaching). What we don't need is personality cults of gurus, whereby we turn the teacher not into a guide of our practice but some external hero figure on whom we develop an emotional dependency.

The real role of a guru is to help us understand ourselves. The real teacher is merely an instrument along the path of Self-knowledge and does not make him or herself important as a separate entity. To respect and benefit from spiritual teachers does not mean to become dependent upon them, to imitate them, but to strive to discover truth for ourselves.


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