What is a Guru? Do You Need One?

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A Guru is a spiritual master, instructor, and teacher who guide their pupils and bring closer to enlightenment.

In this article, we will discuss what is a Guru and why you need one to bring enlightenment and peace to your life.

What is a Guru?

A Guru is a trusted spiritual master in yoga, and the first ever Guru in yoga was Paramahansa Yogananda. He was the first yogi who traveled to the west and started teaching yoga and spirituality there.

Guru is a Sanskrit word divided into two parts. Gu means darkness, and Ru means remover or dispeller. Therefore, the literal meaning of Guru is remover of darkness. Therefore, yogis consider Gurus as a spiritual leader, teacher, counselor, and who will guide them towards the light.

Some might also consider their guru as a God, father, or mother; because he is the one who removes hardships in your way and is always ready to help you. Guru is a sign of peace and happiness for grieving hearts.

Modern yoga gurus usually do not carry the religious affiliation, but still embodies much of the spiritual aspects of yoga.

The yoga instructor and their student have the bond of a Guru and Disciple. An old story illustrates this relationship between a guru and their disciple. Sage Kapil was in a deep meditation one day where he saw his Guru and God walking toward him.

He felt like bowing down but had no idea whom he should bow down to and show his love and respect. Then he bowed down to his Guru and then God. He gives credit to the Guru for finding and experiencing the divinity of God.

Do you need a Guru?

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The question “do you need a Guru?”can be a thought provoking question. Because we all need a guru, a mentor, a guide in our lives to help us during our darkest times when we see no light at the end of a tunnel or don’t even know if the tunnel ends or not. So, yes, we all need someone like that in our life.

Some people argue that you do not need someone else to bring you out of the darkness but yourself. According to them, you know yourself better than anyone. Therefore, you need to bring a change or revolution in your life and not depend on someone else for your peace and happiness.

Transmitting ancient wisdom

More importantly, in yoga, Gurus have passed down their teaching of yoga to their students. They transferred ancient teachings, knowledge, and spirituality to their disciples lineage. Having a Guru comes with several perks in a person’s traditional and spiritual life. They create a sense of inspiration and development and guide you in your spiritual journey.

If you have a guru who knows you personally, you will find them supporting and challenging you to help you grow in unique ways. They have more knowledge and experience to guide you through the darkness.

Reasons for having a Guru in one’s life

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Since Gurus are responsible for helping their disciples get through tough times, they often take on the role of a mentor or parent figure. Here are some of the benefits of getting a guru.

  • For mental and emotional balance

Gurus help you maintain a mental and emotional balance in your life. This mental support will help you make decisions regarding emotional intelligence.

  • For Decision making

Sometimes making a decision can be very overwhelming either because you’re too drained or can’t think clearly. A Guru helps you make better decisions process and makes it easy for you to understand.

  • To achieve your goals

Your Guru keeps reminding you that you can achieve your goals, motivating you to do great things. So, you try harder and move faster to reach your targets. When someone has your back in life, you can be more motivated to reach for the stars.

  • To believe in yourself

One of the most important lessons that a Guru teaches their disciples is to believe in their own abilities. You should believe in yourself and work hard to achieve the goals you set out for yourself.

  • For motivational support

Your Guru will always motivate you to achieving your fullest potential. Their words of knowledge and wisdom always exist to help you feel more at ease with yourself.

  • For counseling and mentorship

If you fail at something, your Guru will counsel you and go through what went wrong. But most importantly, they also teach you how to become a better person and learn from that mistake. how you cannot make that mistake again.

  • For sharing personal experiences

You can share personal experiences with your Guru and ask for their wisdom. Their years of experience and wisdom can allow them to open up to you and help you find the meaning in your personal experiences.

  • For companionship

Your Guru can also help you get rid of loneliness by providing their companionship. Since you can’t tell your friends and family everything, you need someone to trust. Therefore, you need a smart Guru in your life to help with their companionship.

  • For creative ideas

Lack of creativity can stand in someone’s way to success. If you are struggling to think creatively, you might even be struggling at work. Your Guru opens your mind and helps you think more creatively.

  • For making a transition

Making big changes in your life usually call for the wisdom of someone who can help. Transitioning phases are crucial in one’s life, as your Guru helps you identify a problem before it may arise when you’re transitioning. This can help you grow faster.

Benefits of having a Guru

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Humans have a subconscious, conscious, and unconscious minds. As an individual’s mind starts learning actively, he needs the presence of someone who can guide and help them learn more. That person is usually your Guru.

There are various benefits of having a Guru in one’s life. You start learning more when you consciously acknowledge the presence of your Guru.

Sometimes you face situations where you feel stuck in the middle of nowhere, often you don’t even realize that you are stuck but a Guru can help you get out of that situation and move forward in your life, which makes the presence of a Guru important to your success.

1.     Liberation and inner freedom

A Guru helps you wake up from the illusion and look at the real world and what it has for you. He also makes you realize the truth and secrets behind the universe, which can help feel free and liberated.

2.      Knowledge

A guru is often much older than their disciples and have seen many shades of the world. Therefore, through the years that they have gathered their knowledge and experience, they can answer questions that you might have on your mind. People learn from them, their actions, and their lessons.

3.      Wisdom

A Guru teaches wisdom to their disciples, keeping them safe from the dangers of the world. Their wisdom also allows individuals learn more about themselves and see the world in a different light.

4.      A journey from darkness to light

A Guru is a mentor who guides and shows you a path towards enlightenment. Their clarity allows them to see both the world around them and the unseen world within themselves.

Guru Purnima is a sacred moment where one acknowledges how blessed and fortunate they are. Being lucky enough to have this mentorship and discipleship can be a great blessing.

5.      Sense of contentment and fulfillment

The Sense of contentment and fulfillment comes in life when one recognizes science and spirituality. The Guru shows you how to open your mind and live in the present. When you realize what is good and bad for you in the moment, the Guru uses their intuition to help you decide which path you should take and which one you should avoid.

Importance for Guru in life

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If you want to master yoga, you will need a compassionate teacher who is also proficient in yoga. Since they have a better understanding of that art, then their skills and expertise will also help you master that art.

Guru holds significant importance in an individual’s life. When you find the request and purpose of life from your Guru, you say “Jai Gurudev,” which is a respectful way to show your compassion for their guidance.

A Guru lives a simple and sorted life, which allows them to be wise as they remove all distractions from their life. Therefore, Gurus watch out for their disciples and take them out of the chaos and mess of their lives.

When you’re facing trouble in your life, your mind will usually have a difficult time processing it. Gurus can also help you find that balance in your life.

And if you have a compelling desire in your life to achieve something, then your Guru is there to help. He shows unconditional love and support and makes you believe you can accomplish what you have thought of. Gurus don’t just offer spiritual support but they can also help with day-to-day tasks.

Role of a Guru

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Similar to how a child cannot come into the world without a mother and father, art is incomplete without an artist. So, a disciple cannot reach their destination without a Guru. Your guru makes sure you stay in the right direction, and will do the task you want to complete.

Then one should not doubt that a Guru who is a knowledgeable and skilled soul will fail to achieve that.

Types of Gurus

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A guru can help you eliminate the layers of ignorance that are standing in your way to guidance. Do you remember your first Gurus? They taught you how to walk, talk, and eat. Yes, your parents are your first Gurus. You can even find Gurus on the internet now.

The types of gurus you have had in your life can include:

1.      Teacher

A Teacher is a kind of Guru who shares their limited experience level and discusses enlightenment and higher states of consciousness without experiencing them. They are good at teaching you many beneficial techniques and provide you with a cognitive understanding of things.

2.      Masters

You can learn from a master, either dead or alive, but in case of death, there will be a lack of personal contact and mentorship. Therefore, when you have questions in your mind, you will likely have to ask someone else.

Some living masters choose not to offer their services and guidance to people. You can still be in their presence and benefit from them though. You can meet them to collect their blessings, grace, or Darshan, which increases confidence in yourself and brings positivity to your life.

3.      Enlightened Masters

The enlightened masters are very rare, and only a few are alive, blessing humanity with their presence. They are awake to discover the truth and they are not like other human beings.

Due to their unconditional love and support, they have decided to move past their troubles and suffering, and enlighten the world with their knowledge and counseling.

Proper devotion to the Guru

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Devotion to a Guru is often the root cause of someone’s accomplishment in life. According to scriptural quotations and personal experiences of humans, Guru is like Buddha to his disciples. They are pure from all kinds of faults and only possess good and virtuous qualities.

Blessings and peace follow devotion in life. An individual can feel the devotion of their Guru in their heart through their blessings, enlightenment, and path to success. This devotion allows us to be like our Guru and help people move past their hardships and bring them to light from the darkness.

The blessings we feel from being devoted to Guru make us humble. We feel pain when someone else is in pain. And we try our best to remove their pain and hardships and make things easier for them.

Why do we need a Guru?

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We cannot complete a normal school course without depending on a teacher. If your goal is to attain and understand intellectual perspectives and want to experience the path of enlightenment, then you need a Guru in your life.

Without a Guru, it is impossible to understand the Dharma book and the message that it contains.

Relevant Questions

Why do we need a Guru in our life?

You might consider this, especially since the scripture is available to everyone with translation. So if you already have it, why do we need a Guru to guide us on the path to enlightenment so we can achieve liberation?

The books might be enough to generate your path to enlightenment and guidance. However, the exact meaning of these teachings is complicated, and it can be difficult to decipher what they mean.

These books and their scripture have hidden meanings. Therefore, you need the help of someone who knows it and has experience teaching and guiding these spiritual disciples. So, you need a Guru to understand these books and their hidden message.

What is a disciple? Describe the types of disciples.

A disciple is a devoted student of the Guru. They seek knowledge, skills, and stay in presence of the Guru to learn more.

The types of disciples include:

Types of disciples

  • The one who wants to be independent and not ask for help and try to master any art in their life. The results of this approach would not be productive or beneficial.
  • The second one is that those who seek mentorship and discipleship of a Guru in their life and follow the steps guided by his Guru are more prone to succeed.

What is proper devotion to a Guru?

A devoted good friend or a devoted Guru both can help you succeed. Devotion is very similar to gas in a car. Similar to how a car is useless without gas, life is incomplete without a Guru to devote yourself too.

Conclusion

We have discussed the reasons why we need a Guru in our life. The answer is simple. We need a Guru in our life to become enlightened, and we need blessings from a Guru to understand different teachings clearly. The teachings in the book need an expert to explain to a non-specialist and help them find their path of devotion to the Guru and rightfulness.

Sources:

https://toistudent.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/omg/why-do-we-need-a-guru/15867.htmlhttps://www.ananda.org/blog/but-why-do-i-need-a-guru/