[Advaita-l] requirement for guru

Dr. Sanjay Verma sanjay1297 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 29 02:02:16 CST 2005

I don't have the citation handy with me, but I also have read explicitly that a Guru is indubitably NECESSARY for the sadhaka in the Advaita tradition. The notion of searching outside oneself perhaps needs to be further clarified. If by self, one means "Self" or Atman, then nothing exists outside oneself and so searching outside is illogical. However, on can take that stance only if one lives in Atma-consciousness and has spiritually matured above the plane of dualities and polar opposites. If one has attained that degree of enlightenment, then the search of a within or without is meaningless. If by self one means the embodied soul, then numerous examples in scripture clearly teach the necessity a guru for the sadhaka until enlightenment is attained.
In addition to the salient examples below, consider Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, who received his spiritual training by the sage Vasishta (their spiritual dialogue entailed in the Yoga Vasishta). Consider also that almost all the narratives in the Upanishads are dialogues between guru and disciple. To date I have not come across even one example in the Advaita tradition of an enlightened being who did not have a guru outside of his/her embodied self.
Furthermore, in the BG, Sri Krishna says to Arjuna that this yoga (which He is teaching Arjuna) had been taught by him to Surya, and by Surya to Manu, etc. Commentaries on this verse have emphasized that Sri Krishna describes the lineage of gurus to underscore the necessity of a guru in the spiritual path, even for an avatar like Sri Krishna.
Recently, I've come across some books that advocate this supposed 'direct path' (idependent of a guru) of liberation. I can obtain the specific author and title if anyone is interested. It's my understanding that this interpretation is one surmised by Western indologists and does not have any explicit scriptural sanction in Advaita.
Om Shanti,

ramesh badisa <badisa66 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> But it would be misdirection to say that this Guru and God is to be searched outside one's Self.

Namaste. Can you please give some references for the above statement from upanishads, or Gita etc scriptures? On the other hand, one needs to clarify why sri Shankara had a spiritual guru? Why Lord Krishna and Balaram had a spritual guru? Why Lord Ram had a spritual guru?

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