Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can I have more than one Guru? -- II

Now about the advantages of having more than one Guru and whether it is absolutely necessary to have more than one guru.

It is not absolutely necessary to have more than one Guru.

You may be among the fortunate few who have found the right Guru and is happy in practicing the path shown by him. That means you are satisfied with your path and are not seeking any more. The progress in the path would be swift and smooth for such people.

But this does not happen to most of us. We are not satisfied by the path shown by one Guru. We seek further. It does not mean that you are showing disrespect to your Guru. Far from it. It is only that the you have the urge to seek and explore further.

We have all read stories of Saints and Sadhus who were directed by their Guru to go to another Guru for further studies. Let us see why it is many times necessary to have more than one Guru.

1. All Gurus teach the path by which they have achieved salvation. They specialize in one particular path. But it is possible that the path may not be in conformity with your leanings. One may also like to learn about other paths. The book "Choosing a path" by Swami Rama gives a bird's eye view of all the paths. But every path has many sampradhayas. So you have to seek a Guru whose sampradhaya suits your vasanas. As Sri Ramakrishna said "There are as many ways as there are men."

2. The Guru is supposed to identify the attitude/inclination/vasana of the disciple and direct him accordingly. Swami Sivananda directed Swami Chinmayananda to go to Tapovan Maharaj. But this requires intensive inter action between the Guru and the disciple. This rarely happens now. Most of us are followers or devotees of a particular Guru. We can not call ourselves disciples in the real sense of the term. If your Guru is able to identify your attitude and direct you to the path with which you are satisfied, then you are one of the few fortunate ones.

I will quote some examples.

1. You may have a liking for a particular God/Goddess whom you consider your Ishta Devata. But the Guru you are with may be specialised in the upasana of another Deity. There are some organizations which give Deeksha in a particular Mantra because it is their standard procedure. But people who have Ishta Devata who is different from that of the Mantra face problems.

2. The path shown by Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi is one of pure Advaita. Atma Vicharam. But it is not suitable for every one. People who are basically Bhakthas who are initiated into Advaita mantra have problems.

In fact if we examine our beliefs most of us would find that we have adapted ideas from different sources. Gurus, books, newspapers, TV and Internet forums.

Jai MAA !!!

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