[Advaita-l] Question? - Is Guru necessary?

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sun Jan 31 15:24:28 CST 2016

Namaste Sri Sadanandaji,

I would like to say from personal experience that a guru makes a very
discernible and meaningful difference in the understanding of shAstra.

It is the difference between learning swimming by reading a manual versus
having a live swimming instructor next to you, teaching.

The reason is that shAstra, when approached by an untrained mind, appears
to contain several contradictions - both within the shAstra itself and
versus everyday experiential reality.

Sometimes vedAs extol karma, sometimes bhakti, sometimes jnAna, sometimes
dvaita, sometimes vishishtAdvaita, sometimes advaita - which is correct?
Even when it does talk about advaita, how can one reconcile the jagat
mithyAtvam that the vedA teaches, with the very vivid, personal (and
sometimes painful) experience of reality? How can we believe the vedA when
it says we are Brahman, when everyday reality repeatedly seems to remind us
of the powerlessness of the individual?

It's when we are faced with these multiple questions such as these and
others, that having a Guru is invaluable - I would even say necessary.
Someone who can help interpret vedAs in accordance with a time honoured
sampradAya, someone who can lend personal credence to the message of the
vedA by the way he carries himself,  and someone who speaks with conviction
when he says "tat tvam asi" to the sishyA.

Having such a guru is a blessing indeed.

How can one go about in search for such a guru? I would say by having
strong desire to have such a guru, by unwavering shraddhA and bhakti in
Iswara and shAstra, by regular performance of nitya karmA without seeking
material benefit and by development of sadhana chatushtaya sampatti to the
maximum extent of our ability.

Just my 2 cents worth.

On 29 Jan 2016 03:40, "kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> PraNAms to all
> Shree Subbuji just posted - How one can get under the grace of a Guru?
> Here is a question I want to pose it to all.
> Q. 1: Do we really need a guru?
> Shastras says so - therefore we need one. Or Do we really need to have one
> understand Shastras?
> We do not have old gurukula system of education. We have now Missions and
> Missionaries. We have now internet and on-line discussion, talks on yu-tube
> or all other means to understand the shaastras.
> All we need to know is Brahma Satyam, Jangan mithyaa and jeevo brahma eva
> na aparaH. This can be learned by listening to many teachings available on
> line.
> I understand that we need to have shraddha - Does Shraddha comes with
> 'Guru or in the very teaching itself (shastra)
> Q2. Do we need a live guru or on-line guru? I find many claim that
> Bhagavan Ramana Mahasrhi is our guru; but he is not there in Physical form
> to teach. His teachings are available - so are other on-line teachers too.
> Claim: We need a teacher who himself is self realized? Well, since there
> are no litmus to evaluate a particular teacher is self-realized or not we
> cannot go by that rule as long as we have the faith in the shaastras and
> understand clearly the explanation.
> I would like hear from eveyone those who are looking for a guru and those
> who found their gurus and those who do not think they do not need one (as
> JK - says - even though his follower want to follow!)
> Q. We have many who do not have gurus as we know - starting with Bhagavan
> Ramana Maharshi himself. That he had Guru in the last life is only
> justification for the axiom that one needs a guru, since we do not
> Bhagavan's last janma to make a claim
> The sadhana chatushtaya sampaathi does not necessorily for subtle inquiry
> does not demand a guru - it says Shraddha - Is Shraddha in the teachings
> available in may ways now - not sufficient.
> What do you think? I am posting this to both groups to see the responses.
> Hari Om!
> Sada
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