Letters of Encouragement: Does Everyone Need a Guru?
Someone wrote saying he did not feel the need for a guru.
You should understand what the guru really is, for it is definitely a law of the spiritual path that to find God—indeed, to get very far at all on the spiritual path—one needs a guru. A true guru is not a man, merely, but an egoless channel for the Divine. His human body and personality are the most superficial things about him. To see him as he really is is to see a blazing light shining through the narrow “window” of his humanity.
You say you are offended by the thought of devotion to a guru, but devotion to the guru as a man is not really what is asked of the devotee. (Though if one is thirsty, I should think a cup of water would not be scorned with the excuse that one is looking for a lake.) Our own guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, himself said that it is God alone who is the true guru, acting through the agency of souls that are awake in Him.
To seek God, on the other hand, without at least wanting Him would be self-contradictory. To want Him is to feel devotion to Him. To feel devotion to Him is to love Him in all His manifestations, ignorant as well as wise. Inevitably, then, the true devotee feels special love for those great souls who manifest Him most purely.
What one should look to is God’s impersonal presence manifested in the guru, and not merely to the guru himself as a human being. Yogananda himself taught us this kind of devotion, and always discouraged too personal an affection for him.
Do you need a guru? No, you don’t need a guru, if you don’t want God. But if you really want God and you want to work on finding Him, then you do need a guru.
May God and our Gurus bless you.
In divine friendship,
From Letters to Truthseekers, Crystal Clarity Publishers (Currently out of print).
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