Sunday, 9 November 2008

Yogis Discuss Gurus and devotees

Dear Ashankah,

There is so much to think about here, and you are absolutely right. Now my
mind goes to two different places, being a devotee, (which I was for years)
and being a guru, and I have seen it from both ends. It is as difficult to
find a good devotee as it is to find a good guru, and I do have to add, that
most devotees want SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. They want to give NO SEVA
WHATSOEVER, but only receive the wonderful power of the anointing, while the
guru (myself) is giving all, not only the precious Gifts of the Holy Grace
of God, but the financial aspect of paying for everything that delivers
those Gifts - as everything I am doing on the internet costs money and I pay
for it all out of my pocket and glad I have it to give. I give out of love.

Here is the problem: The way that I got so powerful is through GIVING. If
I had wanted a FREE RIDE and only to RECEIVE and not donate, not give
anything to God for God's Infinite Bounty, God's hand would have closed down
to me at some point. God gives, as through this guru, but the aspirant must
learn to give back. Is that not a law of the Universe? How will the guru
teach the aspirant that he grows not only by receiving but by GIVING? This
is not materialism at all (I am not contradicting you but exploring all the
nuances of giving and receiving as I do hate materialism as well) but how
does one show their devotee that one cannot be an infant all their life,
drinking helplessly at the breast, but one must grow up, walk, and begin to
give service to the Cause and Mission? How does one teach that to a

I will have to write you on this later as I do not have the time now, but
overall let us discuss this: What is a good or bad guru in general, what is
a good or bad devotee in general, giving examples. Materialism is bad, but
wanting all from the guru and giving nothing is bad. What is the proper
relationship? What should the guru expect from devotees and what should
devotees expect from the guru?

In this evil world which is a rat race, dog eat dog, 'what's in it for me,'
there are gurus who want fame and fortune, and there are devotees who want
to join ashrams for the sex (Osho's and Da Free John's) and there are
devotees who are lukewarm and want to have a good time, and there are
devotees who have problems and when things go bad at the ashram (often with
evil, sex crazed and materialistic gurus) they become mentally ill and spend
years on groups like 'Getting out of Sidha Yoga' (not a real name) and they
develop severe depression and hatred for ALL gurus and attack ALL gurus as I
saw when I went there. In a world such as this there are bad gurus, very
bad, and there are bad devotees, total zeros and not sincere at all, lazy,
soft, given to comfort, who do not understand that the power that I have

There is so much to say and we will continue next time, if you wish, I would
appreciate an answer to this, and I will have much more to say even if you
wait until my next letter.

Infinite love,


Dear Rasa yogi,

It was nice going through your detailed message talking of your various
Hope you have rightly guessed that I can talk on the thought of 'what's
wrong with many
gurus?' I will certainly throw some light on that.

In the beginning let's touch up the meaning of the word 'Guru'. The Sanskrit
word 'Guru'
is the combination of two words 'Gu' and 'Ru'. 'Gu' means 'darkness' and 'Ru'
means 'the
act of removal'. Thus a Guru is one who removes darkness (ignorance) from
the minds of
his disciples. Keeping aside the literal meaning, in simple words a guru is
a teacher.

As long as one learns something from somebody, directly or indirectly, the
learner builds
up a Guru-student relationship with that other person.

Interesting part is a student can learn from a teacher even if the teacher
has not taught
anything to that student and even if that teacher doesn't even know the
student. Many a
times a teacher's influence, action, existence or past existence is enough
to show
millions the path to their spiritual goals.

The reason I am mentioning this is to highlight the fact that even if a guru
doesn't have
too much knowledge or power to pass on to his student the student can still
gain a great
deal as long as the guru doesn't have any negative aspects.

While there are quite many negative aspects of gurus such as jealousy,
complex, ego, etc. the worst is 'money mindedness'.

If we asked ten people the reason of their breaking away from their gurus,
trust me, nine
if not all ten will have the same reason, 'money'.

In today's age most gurus are institutionalizing and commercializing the
practices of
spirituality by emotionally extorting financial support from disciples.

Many people visit church every week or other places of worship regularly,
not out of
their love for god but rather out of the fear of assumed evil that might
befall them if
they didn't spend that time for god. Similarly, many disciples spend fortune
on their
gurus, not because they have a lot of wealth to burn or they don't have
anything else to
spend on, but because they do not want to disappoint their gurus.

These guru have huge list of expenses such as ashram rent, journals and
books publication, audio-video materials, guru's travel costs, retreat
expenses and so
on. And just a handful of disciples have to bear all these expenses by
cutting corners
from their domestic household expenses. Once a disciple starts paying such
the guru's expectation from him goes on increasing and it becomes like
gambling for the
disciple. At some point the disciple thinks that as it is he has spent so
much on his
guru then might at least not lose him by refusing further help and he goes
on squeezing
his pockets until it comes to the situation where he starts depriving his
family and
himself of their needs.

The Guru-disciple concept had started in the East. The Gurus lived extremely
lives. Their students were children of Kings or ordinary people. But neither
the gurus
took any wealth from the kings nor did they treat kings' children and other
differently. Kings could donate a palace for ashram but gurus stuck to their
huts and
all students had to live poorly and work to manage their meals. Those gurus
were real
teachers who carried out their job of passing on knowledge and skills to
their students.

In today's modern times a very few gurus have such qualities. Things do not
exactly the same. In present days we cannot expect gurus to be in jungles
and live
austere lives. But, that's not the point. A guru's spiritual knowledge
cannot be
measured by his simplicity of looks or living. It's measured by the sum
total of his
students' learning and comfort feeling that they gain from the guru.

A real guru has no 'wants'; he just has a few 'needs'. We, as kids, learnt
in schools
the basic needs of a human being are food, clothing and shelter. A guru just
simple food, clothing and shelter to keep his body alive so that students
can benefit
from them. He doesn't have any 'wants' because he has the knowledge that
'there is no
ends to wants and that desire is the root cause of all evils'.

One day a student was done with lessons from his guru and was leaving for
the day. He
asked his guru, 'Guruji, what time do you want me to come tomorrow?'
'I don't want you to come', replied the guru.
The student was shocked at the reply and was dumbstruck. After a short
silence the guru
continued, "You don't have to come to me if you think that 'I Want' you to
come. Please
come to me if 'you want' to come and if you believe that you would gain
something good by
coming to me".

Such are real gurus, in whose dictionary there is no word called 'Want' for

As long as there is 'material value' in any 'want' that is materialism and
spiritualism. Whether a guru expects money from his disciples for buying a
laptop or
golden statue of a god, it amounts to the same thing. A chain that binds is
ultimately a
chain, whether of iron or gold. Many gurus have exploited their disciples a
lot in the
names of god and spirituality.

A question is often raised, "How would it be possible to spread spiritual
awareness far
and wide without dealing with money?" The answer is, "Yes, it's a valid
question but
there is a different way to handle that". Like most other institutions even
institutions should have separate sections for 'teaching' and
'administration'. On the
teaching front a guru's sole job is to teach and students' only business is
to learn. On
the administration front students and others are most welcome to make any
amount of
donation, as they feel comfortable.

Most of present day's gurus are themselves teachers and administrators.
Their minds are
more on the income and expenses of the institution and less on spreading the
They hold high positions in the institutions; they teach 'I am
Sat-Chit-Anand' and they
sign as 'Spiritual Director' of the institution. In their practical lives
they are
attached to even their 'titles' and 'position' but they teach others the
lessons of

Do not ask 'what's wrong with many gurus' but ask, 'is there anything right
with such
gurus?' or most importantly 'are they gurus in the first place?'

Anyway, there's no point thinking about that. When a spiritual aspirant
learns to
differentiate a real guru from fake gurus he has reached a major milestone
of his
journey. Some people reach this milestone from their own experience and some
others by
the experience of others.

We should always try for the best. But still if unfavorable incidences
happen in our
lives (such as experiencing materialistic gurus or anything else) we should
just know
that that was an important chapter in our lives and it happened with us
because it had to
happen for our good, whether we understand it or not.

Let's be focused on our spiritual goals and our higher Self will guide us

Om peace,

Latest book: (Coming soon, "Secrets of Yoga and Christianity'):\

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