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

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 31 23:59:01 CST 2016

Venkatraghavanji - PraNAms

Yes to all the list. You have made it crystal clear why we need a teacher.  

If you do not mind I am going to all pointers together and post it in the facebook lists that I am involved for whatever that is worth. 

Hari Om!

On Mon, 2/1/16, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Question? - Is Guru necessary?
 To: "kuntimaddi sadananda" <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
 Cc: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>, "yahoogroups" <advaitin at yahoogroups.com>
 Date: Monday, February 1, 2016, 12:06 AM
 Namaste Sri
 Sadananda ji,
 In short, one can do all those things you
 outlined, but it is better to have personal contact.
 There are definite benefits if the guru and
 sishya have personal contact:
 1)  so the guru can assess the sishyA's
 calibre and appropriately tailor the message. 
 2) Also, as the classes progress, the guru can
 assess the student's progress or lack thereof and speed
 up /slow down / modify the teaching as needed.
 3) the sishyA can ask questions at the right
 4) there is a regular routine / pattern to the
 study with physical classes which can aid studies. 
 5) no vidyA is complete without guru dakshiNA,
 and the student has more opportunity / feels obliged to show
 respect to the guru by means of dakshiNA when there is
 personal contact. While the guru may not need or even desire
 it, it is the student's duty to pay guru dakshiNA to the
 guru in whatever form possible (service/money/kind). The
 idea is not to let any vidyA turn into a parasitic
 While there are benefits, but by no means does
 it rule out listening to online talks as an option if
 personal contact is not possible for whatever reason. 
 For someone who is able to overcome the
 disadvantages of a remote medium, has reasonable self
 awareness (used in the sense of awareness of one's
 strengths / weaknesses and progress), is self motivated and
 regular in study, online / electronic listening to classes
 is acceptable, according to me. 
 Should a guru be alive? It would certainly
 help. At least there is a possibility of personal contact in
 the future.
 On 1 Feb 2016 01:42,
 "kuntimaddi sadananda" <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
 Venkatraghavanji - PraNAms
 Yes we need a guru. My question is also one can listen to a
 sampradaya teacher on line now a days - and get
 clarification of the issues you have raised. Supposed I
 listen on line to Swami Paramarthanandaji talks - the
 questions you have raised will be answered. Now a days many
 on line talks are available to an earnest seeker.
 Do I need to have a personal contact with the guru?
 Can I be just a elkalavya shiya and gain the knowledge?
 Should contact with the guru required on personal basis? 
 Should be alive in Physical form?
 Hari Om!
 On Sun, 1/31/16, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
  Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Question? - Is Guru necessary?
  To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
 <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>,
 "kuntimaddi sadananda" <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
  Cc: "yahoogroups" <advaitin at yahoogroups.com>
  Date: Sunday, January 31, 2016, 4:24 PM
  Namaste Sri
  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
  next to you, teaching.
  The reason is that shAstra, when approached by
  an untrained mind, appears to contain several
  - 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?
  when it does talk about advaita, how can one reconcile
  jagat mithyAtvam that the vedA teaches, with the very
  personal (and sometimes painful) experience of reality?
  can we believe the vedA when it says we are Brahman,
  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
  invaluable - I would even say necessary. Someone who
  help interpret vedAs in accordance with a time honoured
  sampradAya, someone who can lend personal credence to
  message of the vedA by the way he carries himself, 
  someone who speaks with conviction when he says
  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,
  unwavering shraddhA and bhakti in Iswara and shAstra,
  regular performance of nitya karmA without seeking
  benefit and by development of sadhana chatushtaya
  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>
  to all
  Shree Subbuji just posted - How one can get under the
  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
  need to have one understand Shastras?
  We do not have old gurukula system of education. We have
  Missions and Missionaries. We have now internet and
  discussion, talks on yu-tube or all other means to
  understand the shaastras.
  All we need to know is Brahma Satyam, Jangan mithyaa
  jeevo brahma eva na aparaH. This can be learned by
  to many teachings available on line.
  I understand that we need to have shraddha - Does
  comes with 'Guru or in the very teaching itself
  Q2. Do we need a live guru or on-line guru? I find many
  claim that Bhagavan Ramana Mahasrhi is our guru; but he
  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?
  since there are no litmus to evaluate a particular
  is self-realized or not we cannot go by that rule as long
  we have the faith in the shaastras and understand
  the explanation.
  I would like hear from eveyone those who are looking for
  guru and those who found their gurus and those who do
  think they do not need one (as JK - says - even though
  follower want to follow!)
  Q. We have many who do not have gurus as we know -
  with Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi himself. That he had Guru
  the last life is only justification for the axiom that
  needs a guru, since we do not Bhagavan's last janma
  make a claim
  The sadhana chatushtaya sampaathi does not necessorily
  subtle inquiry does not demand a guru - it says Shraddha
  Is Shraddha in the teachings available in may ways now -
  What do you think? I am posting this to both groups to
  the responses.
  Hari Om!
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