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Gurus and Spiritual Masters

An assessment and incomplete listing

The Guru

A beautiful image of the Guru principle, from external link Writing Rivers and Streams blog - Honoring our teachers. I'm not necessarly a devotee of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi or a Krishnaite, but I love this image for its cosmic naunaces and artistic and emotionally evocative tone; it embodies everything that the true guru, the Sad Guru or truly Realized being, as a universal or transcendent principle, represents.

On the authentic guru...

"...(T)he greatest Master is much less a Teacher than a Presence pouring the divine consciousness and its constituting light and power and purity and bliss into all who are receptive around him."
Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga p.67 (complete quote)

On those who are not quite of that level of Realization...

"So long as it's not exclusive, that is, so long as the man or woman (whoever they are), the guru, doesn't come and say, "I alone am the Truth" (meaning the others don't know, I alone know), so long as they're not like that, it's quite all right. And when they're enlightened enough to tell you, "Yes, I've caught hold of one little bit, I am giving it to you, but all other little bits are good" ... But even if you put all the bits together, you are still far from the Truth."
The Mother (Mirra Alfassa) - see Mother's Agenda - February 14, 1968
"Many people have the Great Vehicle Root Nature, but there are also many people who lie. Having cultivated without success, such people claim to have the way. Though they have not certified the fruit, they claim to be certified sages."
Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch to Hui-K'o, the to-be Second Patriarch - from external link Bodhidharma and Hui-K'o - Fact, Fiction, Legend

And while still on this topic


From the blurb:

A provocative social experiment-turned-documentary, "Kumare" follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life -- and wondering if and when to reveal his true self. Will his followers accept his final teaching? Can this illusion reveal a greater spiritual truth? Winner of South by Southwest's Audience Award, "Kumare" is an insightful look at faith and belief.

See also the Huffington Post: Kumaré: The Time I Became A Guru

Should be compulsory viewing for anyone interested in gurus, thinking of following a guru, or who is following one. Both powerfully touching, and also the most fascinating expose of human experience, belief, self-delusion, and self-discovery. Those who naively follow a guru (especially an abusive one, or even a well-meaning but deluded one with some experiences) may be threatened and offended, and those who are atheists will have their opinions confirmed, but those with gnosis and heart will really appreciate the extraordinary turn the documentary takes as the social experiement in fake guredom unfolds. MAK 12 July 2012

Note on current pages on Gurus and Spiritual Masters:

These pages contain material originally written many years ago. Some of this, and some of the assesments I made at the time, no longer reflect my current understanding. So the relevant sections have to be rewritten or deleted. However, currently I am busy with other projects, so an update, if any, will have to wait. Eventually I would like the whole Kheper site to be a collaborative project by like-minded gnostics and spiritual (r)evolutionareies

Many of these pages are no doubt very biased or opinionated, I am only writing about things as I see and understand them, or as i understood them at the time of writing them. Others are more neutral. See this disclaimer. As the topic is revised, I will be modifying and toning down the more arrogant and presumptious statements; my concern is to provide a non-polemical coverage that takes into consideration all perspectives, while at the same time upholding the truth in as much as it can be partially understood, and not making excuses for self-deluded and abusive gurus.

I should point out that I no longer use the word "Enlightenment", although it appears on many of these pages. The reason I don't is because it has been so abused by self-deluded so-called gurus, many of which indeed may have power, but lack gnosis. Universal, authentically Enlightened and avataric gurus are here referred to as Realized beings (or will be, when the pages are all revised)

The Meaning of the Word Guru
Brief Introduction to Key Indian Esoteric Societies - short overview by Robert Searle
Types of Gurus (needs revision, as my ideas are constantly changing on this matter!)
The Popular Guru movement in the West
The Guru Test - version 1.0 - does your guru pass?
Listing of Gurus (greatly incomplete)
Gurus and Masters glossary (needs updating)
Links to other lists of Eastern and Western Gurus and Masters
Books relevant to the subject of Gurus and Spiritual Teachers (very incomplete)

See also (related topics): | Eastern Philosophy | Intermediate Zone | Mysticism | New Age | Nonduality | religions

Child nodes (subtopics): Abusive Guru | Intermediate Zone Guru | The True Guru

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 15 September 1999, last modified 12 July 2012