Gurus got a lot of bad rap lately. As they should if any manipulation or abuse involved. But let us look at the real meaning of this concept and word. Guru : गुरु, is a Sanskrit term that translates as a spiritual teacher, in a wider sense also a guide or expert. The deeper meaning of Guru is "one who dispels darkness of ignorance". "Gu" means "darkness of ignorance" and "Ru" means "one who removes". You see, a guru is not just a guy with grey beard, living in a remote cave in Himalayas. I was taught to think about guru or teacher as a teaching or enlightenment principle rather than a single person. So a guru can be anybody and any situation from whom and which we can learn how to become wiser, more skilled and more compassionate in our actions.
There is a lot of talk about the ‘inner’ guru or teacher, how that’s the real one and we don’t need anyone outside of ourselves. While there is some truth to that, this statement often becomes an excuse to do whatever we please and mistaken the inner teacher with our self-obsessed ego mind.
I believe strongly that in order to be a teacher you need to be a student too. I believe that an actual teacher in a form outside of us is a blessing and a necessity which can help us experience our true essence and lead us to the Teacher within. I certainly would not be able to do what I’m doing without my teachers. We all have learned things from someone, being able to say thank you and physically or mentally bow down to our mentors, teachers & guardian angels is actually something that will give us more grounding and authenticity in who we are. I like this quote from the last Jivamukti Focus of the Month written by my dear friend Yogeswari (btw. we're teaching an immersion together June 29-July 1 in Munich !!!) :
"In Western society, there has been an increasing trend towards individualization and single-handedly taking credit for everything we accomplish. We have forgotten the people who have opened doors for us, and we take any sacrifices our parents have made for us for granted. We have replaced gratitude with entitlement, and we no longer know the secrets of what holds an ecosystem, a community or a family together. We are all suffering in varying degrees from the disease of disconnect."
Sometimes teachers say uncomfortable truths, make us cry through their teachings, and push a few buttons in order to awaken us. They can also show us how we don’t want to act like which is an incredibly important teaching. Mostly they simply shine light onto our darkness and inspire us to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Real teachers are both friends and mentors if we let them be that to us.
There is a responsibility for a healthy respectful relationship between a teacher and student on both sides. My relationship with my teachers has been a pillar of stability through many different stages of my life over the past 18 years.
Their tireless work in service to God and the one world we share as well as their generosity and joyfulness is what made me choose them as my teachers. Without gratitude and respect for our teachers we’d lose an important lesson in humility, forgiveness and compassion. For ourselves and others in our vulnerability and imperfection of being human.