Part 2: Who is the Spiritual Master- What does ‘Guru’ mean?
What does ‘Guru’ mean?
The word ‘Guru’ has become part of mainstream culture. We have fashion ‘Gurus’ telling us what to wear this summer. There are football ‘Gurus’ who provide interesting match analysis. We even have phone companies who call their technical support teams ‘Guru’. But in truth the Guru is simply one who removes ignorance.
In order to advance in anything in life we need knowledge. Whether it is academic education, music and arts or whether we are learning about our general well being, we need somebody who has a wealth of experience to show us the way forward. In all situations the teacher is given an elevated status and the student humbly looks to gather the wisdom being offered.
Are all Gurus the same?
In life one may come across many Gurus or teachers who are able to guide one to a more successful and prosperous life. There may even be those who are able to teach profound philosophy and techniques. On the spiritual path these are known as Siksha Gurus, or instructors. There is also the Disksha Guru, one who has the qualification and authority to initiate the earnest disciple into a particular tradition. Whereas one may have many Siksha Gurus, one can only have one Diksha Guru. This is because an initiation means an exclusive commitment to that specific path, through that particular Guru.
But there is one kind of Guru who is in an altogether different category and that is the Satguru. The Satguru is one who has realised the highest Truth of life and therefore personifies it. He lives entirely for the welfare of humanity and is able to transform and awaken the supreme reality in any surrendered disciple. Whereas a teacher is limited to words and explanations, a Satguru is able to deliver direct transcendent experience. He knows the Dharma (purpose) of every soul that comes to him, and is therefore able to cause one to reach their true potential. Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda is one such Satguru who has transformed the lives of thousands throughout the world.
Does a Guru have to be living?
Not all Gurus however are in the body. If we understand that the true enlightened Guru is not human and is one with the universal consciousness, then it naturally follows that death would not be a barrier to the Guru delivering guidance. His presence is beyond time and space. As a result there are many who devote themselves to a Guru who is no longer in the body. They follow his teaching and techniques, as well look within for His guidance.
Life itself can be seen as the great teacher. The circumstances we face, the challenges and opportunities presented to us, can all provide powerful lessons that change our perspective. In the Bhagavatham, there is the story of Lord Dattatreya who declares he has had 24 gurus including a moth, an ant and a prostitute all of whom gave him profound insights.
Meet the Master Online
Paramahamsa Vishwananda is giving the personal blessings online now, via His new online darshans. This event used to take place around the world in person but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not possible. Therefore, Paramahamsa Vishwananda is entering the homes of 1000’s of people across the world by His online Darshans taking place via Zoom. Darshan means ‘divine sight’, the experience of seeing and being seen by the Divine. Receiving darshan from a fully realised Spiritual Master who lives in constant union with the Divine is rare, and a special treasure not to be missed. Despite the restrictions, Paramahamsa Vishwananda’s darshans are unique, in that He gives personal eye to eye blessings.