[Advaita-l] Swami Nithyananda

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 22 10:55:48 CDT 2010

> "A person who acquires Yoga siddhis is not necessarily a good guru."
> Who is a good Guru? I would like to know how you certify a Guru as Good,
> bad and neutral - both Yogic and otherwise.

Dear Sri Anbu Sivam,


Why do you ask me for more than what I said? I am not an authority
to certify who is a good Guru, nor do I intend to set myself up as one.
Others have posted more details of the traditional marks to identify
good Gurus and I can do no better than point to these traditional
identifiers. However, I can, along with most people on this earth,
easily spot a fake! I just wrote what was my own thumb-rule on
things that arouse my suspicion about people who achieve sudden
fame and who market themselves very savvily, using up-to-date
technologies and media.

If this doesn't work for you, fine, but please feel free to share your
own ideas of who can be qualified to be a Guru or otherwise.

Also, when I talked of a Guru having a time-tested paramparA behind
them, all I meant was that this is a minimum requirement for anyone
who appears in public in saffron robes. Please note that I was only
talking of saffron robes, because that is a time-honored, cultural
indication of a sannyAsin. And there are time-honored, cultural
expectations of behavior from a sannyAsin so long as the said
sannyAsin continues to interact with others in society. I was not
talking of institutions at all, no matter how ancient or modern. To
me, it is immaterial whether a given sannyAsin is a pIThAdhipati or
not. In fact, the pIThAdhipati status can often be a distraction to
most human beings who may be inclined to sannyAsa. Only some
institutions have managed to consistently get around this problem.
Of course, there is no guarantee that some individual sannyAsin will
not betray the stringent requirements of his inherited paramparA.

And of course, there is also the rare and occasional exception of
someone who does not come from a recognized paramparA being a
good Guru as traditionally described. There is no problem there too,
because such a rare and occasional exception easily stands out as
the authentic article.



ps. When I wrote my first email that you responded to, I did not have
anybody specific in mind. I did not even intend to say anything specific
about this Swami Nityananda, because I don't care to delve into the
details of the current scandal. My comments were meant in a highly
generic sense, because like it or not, human life in society is governed
by generic codes of conduct.
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