[Advaita-l] Guru: branching from "Love Molecule"
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad at gmail.com
Sun Dec 11 17:54:05 CST 2005
It is easy to see the importance of using great caution in choosing a
guru. After all the foremost purpose of having a guru is to be given
the right direction, and being sent in the wrong direction wouldn't be
But there is a fine point to note here:
A guru is to be chosen carefully because usually one almost COMPLETELY
surrenders to the guru, thereafter taking the guru's words as amrit.
This increases the risk of following the wrong path if the guru utters
But i believe that vedAnta is for intellectual beings, and much of the
slander of "fake gurus" can be detected quite easily by the average
Having said this, in modern philosophy (logic), we have the concept of
the "Ad Hominem" fallacy. This amounts to:
1. A makes claim B;
2. there is something objectionable about A,
3. therefore claim B is false.
This line of argument is wrong.
Interestingly, the opposite of this is also a logical fallacy: to
accept blindly as true every word of a person of authority. (read even
a traditionally established guru other than the vedAs themselves,
which are the axioms)
Ultimately, all statements and arguments must be evaluated against the
axioms, which in our case are Sruti. Some people have these axioms
embedded in their mental existence, others have to strive for this
So although we must be cautious of "new age gurus" since their chances
of being "fake" are higher, it is not necessary to not hear them at
For example, I doubt very many of us on this list claim (or are
considered) to be truly enlightened. And yet, some on this list are a
great inspiration for many of us.
The point I am making is:
to transcend the physical limits of the preacher/guru and to
concentrate on the preachings/teachings. After all, the vedas are the
ultimate guru, the guru of all gurus.
In other words, why not mend the discriminatory sieve of the intellect
using vedAntic (original) texts, and filter what we hear through this
sieve, absorbing only the words that are conducive to our "climbing
the spiritual ladder"?
One does not attain enlightenment either by condemning fake gurus or
acknowledging authentic ones. Let us bother about the validity of
their statements rather than their own "validity". don't we learn that
only actions are good or bad, not the doer?
It may sound harsh, but isn't a guru only a tool? (this reminds me of
viSvakarmA pooja) even a broken screw-driver can be of some use at
some point in time, although it is not a "good" screw driver. And even
a good screw driver may not fit every screw that exists! The key is
knowing when and how to use it.
I hope this post is not too much like the "banana-peel-religion,
banana-sprituality" example that we all condemn:-) if it is, my
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad AT gmail.com
Mobile: +91 98 400 76411
Home: +91 11 2431 4486
Room #1024, Cauvery Hostel
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Chennai - 600 036
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