April 2019

What is the difference between a real Guru and a spiritual teacher?

What is the difference between a real Guru and a spiritual teacher?
Nukunu:

In ancient times a highly developed culture evolved in the East. Here the teachings of Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta and many other spiritual paths started to appear. In this high culture they made a distinction between “Guru” and “Sat Guru”. These words are from the Sanskrit language; a language that is sometimes considered a dying language because it is no longer used in daily life. But it is still used in both Buddhist and Vedic traditions. Many of the ancient scriptures are written in this language and in Sanskrit we can find so many subtle spiritual terms. But here in the West we don’t have the words for Guru and Sat Guru. Why is it so? Because it is only in the last hundred years that Gurus have been appearing in the West. One of the most famous was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who started to teach here in the sixties and made meditation popular in many parts of the world. Maharishi was a disciple of Guru Dev – Swami Brahmananda Saraswati – who was a great Sat Guru of his time.

The word Guru means “teacher”. Sat Guru is something else; it is “an awakened Guru”. There are countless Gurus but very, very few are Sat Gurus. So what is the difference between the two?

A Guru is a teacher, it is someone who has a “teaching” and spiritual techniques. From a Guru you can learn a lot about being a good person and a lot about spirituality. At the feet of the Guru you become a “believer”. A Sat Guru “knows” who he is. He is one who has “awakened”; he is an enlightened being. The difference between a Guru and a Sat Guru is like knowing the word “salt” and knowing the taste of salt.

In the West the meaning of the term “Guru” has been confused with that of “Sat Guru”. This happened when the Guru business grew and became a great business; when the hippies came back from India and began to teach meditation, yoga and mantras. What they where teaching was techniques, belief systems and faith. But it was not based on “real knowing”, because truth is “non conceptual” and must be grounded in experience. Also many self-made Indian Gurus came to the West. They were speaking English with an interesting Indian accent, had an exotic appearance and knew how to say all the right words and how to use spiritual concepts. They bought a ticket to USA, called themselves a Guru and started to teach. These Gurus spoke like a Sat Guru, because they had studied and had the theoretical knowledge. Soon they were considered enlightened since nobody knew the difference between a Guru and an enlightened teacher (a Sat Guru).

Not long time ago there was a program on the Danish TV about creating a “Guru”. The film makers found a young Indian man in New Work. They dressed him in white and asked him to learn all the right words that Sat Gurus use. In a short time he had got many disciples. He used to sit on a podium with his long hair and beard, high above all his followers who had to sit on the floor. This became a great business and more people came. One day, during a teaching in California when he had gathered a crowd of people who believed that he was a true awakened Sat Guru, he confessed, that he was not an enlightened teacher and that the whole thing was an experiment by the film makers. There were many different reactions from the disciples. Some said “thank you”, because they felt that he had taught them a lesson. Others got very angry and disappointed. This is what can happen if an unrealised person pretends to teach a highly awakened understanding in a “Coca Cola culture”. In the last decades many have been on this “Guru trip” – saying the right words but not being able to transmit the truth like a Sat Guru does.

A non-enlightened Guru can speak and teach with the right words. This is called “conceptual enlightenment”. A real Guru – a Sat Guru – transmits “existential enlightenment”; the real truth. This transmission is not something a Sat Guru does! It is something that happens in a certain moment. You may have to sit for years with different Sat Gurus, until the day you suddenly understand that “what they are” is the same as “what you are”. Therefore, I call the Sat-Guru the last projection. Awakening is a resonance effect that can happen in the presence of someone who knows who he really is.

A spiritual teacher can teach you words, but the presence of a Sat Guru can transform you. When you are ready it will come into your life!

Archive


July 2020
Why are so few people waking up?
Read more...
June 2020
Is meditation just about closing our eyes and trying to achieve a blissful state?
Read more...
April 2020
Could you say something about the feeling of “oneness”?
Read more...
December 2019
Is there any free will, Nukunu?
Read more...
September 2019
When you are awakened, how is it to experience that you are not the body?
Read more...
July 2019
What is witnessing?
Read more...
May 2019
When I read the literature of the Mystics they write again and again that “everything is God”. Can you explain this?
Read more...
April 2019
What is the difference between a real Guru and a spiritual teacher?
Read more...
March 2019
How is it to grow old when you have awakened?
Read more...
January 2019
Can you talk about Maya? I don't really know what it means.
Read more...
October 2018
Can you say what the name “God” means to you?
Read more...
September 2018
Could you say something about God, Nukunu?
Read more...
June 2018
Why are so few people interested in awakening and enlightenment?
Read more...
March 2018
What is the Ego, Nukunu?
Read more...
February 2018
How do I stop fighting my mind?
Read more...
January 2018
What is the difference between “Truth” in Buddhism, “Brahman” in Advaita Vedanta and “God” in the traditions that use this concept?
Read more...
october 2017
Can you talk about what we experience upon awakening?
Read more...
September 2017
Some people are talking about stages of enlightenment. Is this the right way of looking at it?
Read more...
July 2017
People meditate in order to become enlightened. Is this enough? Or do we need something more?
Read more...
May 2017
I often hear you say “we live in a very low culture”. What do you mean?
Read more...
April 2017
Read more...
March 2017
How can I know if there is more to life than I can see right now?
Read more...
January 2017
Could you comment on the Buddhist saying: “What you find here you will find there”?
Read more...
December 2016
I have seen all your videos on YouTube! What shall I do to be free? I have so many questions.
Read more...
September 2016
What is the most important thing in life Nukunu?
Read more...
June 2016
So many people are lonely; it is beginning to become a major problem in society. Can you talk about it?
Read more...
April 2016
What is an easy way to know oneself Nukunu?
Read more...
March 2016
Beloved Nukunu, when you live the everyday life and you are not the doer, are you the witness of what is unfolding? Could you write a little about how to be the witness in daily life?
Read more...
February 2016
Could you talk about effortlessness?
Read more...
January 2016
What is compassion? What is forgivingness?
Read more...
December 2015
What is happiness?
Read more...
November 2015
What does it take to wake up?
Read more...
October 2015
How is it to live in this clarity? I think I do but I am not sure?
Read more...
August 2015
What is the paradise all religions talk about?
Read more...