Sri M Answers | On the importance of a Guru

From Sri M’s Hello Joy Alukkas Radio interview by Salin Mankuzhy, broadcast on 27 June 2016 from 8:30 am to 9:30 am IST.
Q: All religions show the way to spirituality. If so, what is the importance of a Guru? The search for a Guru is a trend nowadays. The number of Gurus is also increasing every day. Is this an indicator of an increasing spiritual purity in human beings? How do we identify a real Guru?

Sri M: Yes, all religions show the way. As far as number of Gurus increasing, it is just supply /demand (laughter). 
In order to assess the increased spiritual purity, we have to first consider how the Guru is. We cannot say we don’t know. If there is a duplicate out there, there has to be an original somewhere. Only out of an original, can a duplicate be made. To differentiate between a duplicate and an original can be difficult.

There are some criteria for this. First, when you go to a Guru or a Sheik or a Murshid in Sufi parlance – don’t immediately fall at his feet and say, “Yes, this is my Guru”. Such attitude is dangerous in the present times. Who knows, one may be saying so on account of the Gurus’ good looks (laughter).

In order to differentiate, do follow and observe the Guru for a time, live with him for a period of time – this is the old method. When you live with him, you will observe how he is behaving in all conditions and circumstances. Don’t jump to conclusions by just seeing his behaviour on the stage, sitting there and smiling is easy. However, we don’t know how he behaves, say with his cook or driver at home. In public, we may see him as calm and collected. What we may fail to know is how he is within, in actuality.

If he is truly developed spiritually, he will be a picture of equanimity always – then there won’t be a problem. To understand all this, we have to be with the Guru for some days. During this time, we will also get to know if he wants to give us something or whether he is actually interested in your chequebook. Is he saying one story to people and living another story within? Only after ascertaining this, should one decide.

Also, there’s one more thing: a particular Guru may be suitable for me but may not be suitable for someone else. Hence, I am against mass spiritual teaching. Prescribing the same formula to all and hoping that all will reach the goal – this is not going to work, as all are different individually. So, there are some such criteria to consider before selecting a Guru.

Join the Conversation

  1. A person is not a true Guru.

    True guru is inside in each and everyone.

    It is said, Guru is pra brahama, he is everywhere. If that is a person how he can be everywhere.

    So my friends, real guru is inside, search hard you will bound to find.

    One line for myself, I have been to almost all the gurus and sects etc, searched more than 25 years so I know at least 2 cents.

  2. Sandeep.v.gujar says:

    I don’t have any I know the who is my guru.situation makes a person is like guru.


    In beginning, Mass spiritual teaching may be necessary.. After that following a guru is different to each individual…..

  4. nagalakshmi says:

    Masterji, is it possible for a disciple to get guidance from guru in a distant mode ?

  5. Kapila on who is a true Sadhu:
    The wise say that intense attachment to the objects of the world is the cause of bondage for the soul. The same attachment, if directed towards holy men, opens the gate of liberation. A holy man is one who is patient in all circumstances, who is full of fellow-feeling, who is the friend of all, who looks upon none as enemy, who is overflowing with peace, who has virtue alone as his ornament, and who has a deep-rooted love for Me (the Lord), characterised by a sense of inseparable intimacy. He works solely for My sake and abandons all dependence on relatives and clansmen (preferring to depend solely on Me). He always hears and speaks of My sanctifying deeds and excellences. His mind being fully given over to Me, no affliction ever affects or troubles him. Such persons who are without attachment to anything except Me, are real Sadhus. It is desirable to seek their company because they are veritable destroyers of worldly attachments. (3.25.20-24) (Srimad Bhagavatam – trains by Sw. Tapasyananda)

  6. Yes! Thank you questioner and Thank you Sri M for this. I confess that when I found a guru appealing, i attempted pulling people close to me along with me. Be it in good faith, it is causing immense guilt and pain within me even after many years. There seems to be no prayashchitta except living in that davanala.

  7. Yes, I fuuly agree with Sri Sri M. But with due respect I want to say that the people who get to stay with the Guru is very very less. From my experience the people who surround him do not let other people to get near him. May be it is a feeling of possesiveness which one has for a loved one. Ninetynine percent of the crowd gets to see Him only when he is on stage.
    Staying with the Guru is possible only initially when the number of deciples is very less.
    With lots of love and regards,

  8. Interesting.