What is the role of a Guru?

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Guru / Wisdom For Seekers


This is a must watch talk for a true Seeker! 'A Guru is not a person, a Guru is a presence'. A Guru is not a friend, philosopher or guide. Sadhguru shares that a Guru is an energetic presence, not a persona. A Guru will come when you are ready, because it is an energy which is seeking whoever is open.


Duration: 10 min


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5 min read

What is the role of a Guru?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

A Guru is a Presence, Not a Person.

If you are willing, I will be available to you in more ways than you can logically understand, because a guru is not a person. You may meet him, you may greet him, you may even mingle with him, but the personality, or the persona of the guru is not the important aspect. The persona for me is structured in such a way that largely, if you’re reasonably unprejudiced, a persona which is acceptable to most people in the world – that is a carefully crafted persona. That is not important – that is only a knock on the door. But if you open the door, if your doors are open, then I’m available to you in more ways than you can logically understand – because this is a presence, this is an energetic possibility.

As I have repeatedly said, I have initiated more people who I have not met, than those that I’ve met. When they are open, it is possible. This whole tradition, talking about a guru will be available to you when you are willing, when your doors are open – you’ve heard this in many different ways, a guru will come when you’re ready. It does not mean he has to come as a person. It simply means when you are open, when you are ready, this energy, this presence which is always seeking to penetrate and make a life blossom – like sunlight, is always seeking how to touch every leaf, every flower, every life, and make it blossom – just like that it is seeking, because this is not of an individual, this is not of a person – this is the nature of grace. You just have to work towards your openness.

You can be at home, you can be wherever, but the important thing is, to work towards the steps of how to keep yourself open for a period of time. If you achieve this, we can initiate you wherever you are. Once you create this openness, I am not just with you, I shall be in you. This is not an empty promise, nor is this a bombastic statement. I want you to understand – that dimension that you refer to as “guru”, is not about me as a person – it is a possibility. It is a great privilege, and the benevolence of creation that in some way, you become the instrument of that possibility. Being an instrument of that possibility means that in some way you have kept your persona away, that you don’t stand in the way.

This is all you have to do for yourself to be like a guru, that you have kept your personality away, you know how to get out of your own way. If this one thing happens, you also become that possibility. It is my wish and my blessing that you must know this. Allow me to go through you in such a way that who you are, will become an infinite possibility. This is what receiving a guru means. May this become a living reality in this life.

A Guru is not a friend, philosopher or guide.

A guru is not here to interpret scriptures, but to take you to another dimension of life. People think a guru is their philosopher or a guide, or these days – a friend. Well, he’s willing to be all that, but that’s not the purpose for which you go to a guru. If darkness has to become light, something has to burn. That’s the only way in the physical world – light happens, something has to burn. So, guru is not someone who gives you theories and philosophies, not someone who has scriptural knowledge and going to interpret scriptures for you, nor a friend, or a guide, who holds the torch for you. He’s the torch, he’s burning. If you wish to know what it is, you should burn too.

A Guru offers a solution, not a solace

You do not go to a guru for solace – he is not a tranquilizer, he is there to awaken you. It’s wonderful out here at Isha Yoga Center. The monsoon, or the first few showers of monsoon have started. Very cool breeze, everything fresh and green. It looks like all life has come awake. It’s my wish and my blessing you should come awake in the fullest possible way. That’s the purpose, that is the destination that life becomes so awake that it’s beyond life and death.

A Guru is a doorway, not a destination

What a guru means is, one who is willing to become your doorway, not a destination. A guru is not your destination, he is your doorway. Please walk through this, and may you find ultimate well-being for yourself, and may you offer this to every other life upon this planet. May your unique inner nature fully blossom to bring fragrance and beauty to the world.

Guru’s grace is not designed to fulfill your plans, but life’s plan for you. When I say life’s plan for you, your plans are all cooked in your head, not connected to the life that you are. So, the business of a guru is to fulfill you as a life, not to fulfill your desires, not to fulfill your kinks, not to fulfill your fancies. Your guru’s desire is to fulfill the life that you are.

A Guru is a live roadmap

Inner dimensions are uncharted terrain. It is sensible to take directions. A guru is just a live roadmap. If you traverse uncharted terrain, and if you don’t have a road map, to find something that’s right next to you, you may take a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is the reality with most spiritual seekers, that to find something that’s within themselves, they take a lifetime. It shouldn’t take that much time, if only they’re willing to take directions.

Well, I see when I trek in the mountains in Himalayas, particularly in Nepal and Tibet, which I’m doing every year, the Sherpa, an illiterate Sherpa out there, whatever he says I do, because he knows that terrain best. Someone who has already traversed the terrain, it’s best to take instructions, it’s best to listen, because otherwise simple things will become unnecessarily complicated. May you know the peaks of your inner nature.


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