The Role of a Guru

Sadhguru answers a seeker’s question on the role a Guru plays in a seeker’s life.

Questioner: Sadhguru, what is the role you are going to play as a Guru in our lives?

Sadhguru: As the word Guru suggests – gu means darkness, ru means dispeller – dispelling darkness. How to dispel darkness? You cannot kick the darkness out of a place because darkness is not an existence by itself. Darkness is absence of light. We value light for the clarity that it brings us. If you were an owl, darkness would bring clarity to you; light would be disturbing and blinding; this is also true for many other creatures in the wild.

No matter in what stage of life you are, what aspect of life you are addressing, the most important thing is to have clarity about it. You want to be able to see it the way it is. Whatever it may be – whether it is a simple physical thing or mystical dimensions of life – you can deal with them sensibly only if you have the ability to see them the way it is. Seeing everything the way it is, is clarity.

If someone tells you, “You are not the body; you are not the mind; you gathered this body from the planet,” your mind agrees with it, but experientially, it is not true for you. You still feel, “This is me – that is you.” What you need is experiential clarity. When there is pain, disease, or whatever kind of physical suffering, you may wish you were not the body. But it is not what you wish, it is not your reactions to situations that you face or suffer; it is not what you see in moments of compulsion; it is what you see in moments of utter clarity that really matters if you want to move ahead in life.

If I were a moral teacher, I would try to change you. Because I am a Guru, I do not try to change you.

Suppose you are in a dark room and you are not able to see anything – suddenly, you feel alone. If the lights go on, you feel the world is with you again. Everything is the same, but just because you can see clearly, the world has changed in your experience. This is my work – to make you see everything the way it is. If you see it clearly, everything will change. We do not have to change anything because the existential cannot be changed. You can change psychological situations; you can change physiological situations; you can change social situations, but you cannot change the existential. If you see it the way it is, everything about you will change.

If I were a moral teacher, I would try to change you. Because I am a Guru, I do not try to change you. I do not ask you to be good; I do not ask you to be peaceful; I do not ask you to be nice to others, because I do not intend to change you like that. That would be just a pretention which would build up over a period of time and implode at some point.

My intention and my work are to bring clarity. If you see things clearly, if you know that the whole universe is one – not because someone says so, but because you see so – everything will change. If you see existence the way it is, not the way you think it is, everything about you and your relationship with existence will change.

If you allow me, I will even decide what you should eat for breakfast – not as an imposition but as a natural choice.

Essentially, the work of a Guru is not to bring morality to you but to bring spirituality to you. The difference is just this: one is an imposition, another is a natural blossoming. This is about seeing to it that this human nature reaches its ultimate possibility. If human beings blossom into their ultimate nature, they are naturally the very source of creation, because that is the seed. You did not create yourself; the source of creation is functioning within you.

If you plant a seed, it becomes a plant. When it is a plant, you cannot believe it was a seed, but if you wait and it flowers, once again a seed will come. In between, there are many processes. We are not against the sprout, the shoot, the leaves, and the flowers – it is just that we do not want you to be caught up in it. To understand the nature of the seed means you can create life the way you want it.

Creating life the way you want it does not mean building a particular kind of home, building a particular kind of career, having this much money, dressing this or that way, even though we have nothing against all that. Making this life the way you want it means that this life will function at its best if it is kept the way the Creator intended you to be. If you go back to your original nature – we call it the seed – if you are conscious of the seed nature within you, you can become a sprout; you can become a plant; you can become a tree; you can become whatever you want, but it will not entangle you.

So what role will I play as a Guru? I have a strong sense of aesthetics. Because of that, only if you strive to keep yourself open, depending upon how much openness you create, that much of an active role I will play. If you allow me, I will even decide what you should eat for breakfast – not as an imposition but as a natural choice. It can even find expression in the most mundane things. That does not mean I will come and choose for you between idli and dosa.

When you are walking on the street, whether you step into a pit or on the road or on the pavement is essentially determined by the sunlight, not by you. In that sense, a Guru can influence every aspect if you are willing. If you want me to only influence your spiritual life, this is fine with me too. Some people see sunlight only once a year, when they go on a vacation. Some people wake up early every morning, just to welcome the sun. That is your choice.

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5 years 11 months ago

Namaskaram, my sincere thought to every seeker, that we don't know how many gurus have passed by, let us not miss this gigantic guru in this kaliyug. I bow down

7 years 2 months ago

Bless me Sadhguru !

5 years 2 months ago

"You don’t go to a Guru for solace. He is not a tranquilizer – he is there to awaken you." - Sadhguru, I bow down

7 years 2 months ago

Just bless me to be more and more open to enable your presence and grace to enter and stay with me eternally, Sadhguru...How do you work on me??? How do I ever express that and you have been able to comprehend even that here so wonderfully and subtly...I dont feel the need today for seeking anything other than your grace...that's the amount of work you have done on me...Not sure what I can do in return for what you have offered to me in this life!!! Just be with me Sadhguru and help me to kill myself more and more so I become more and more available for your work on me now and always...I seek nothing else...My Master...Namaskarams...

7 years 2 months ago

wish to meet my guru

7 years 2 months ago

/ Now it clarifies a lot of things...The confusion is over between living life with our own ability and clarity as you had told and living life with Guru. /

7 years 2 months ago

great article, sadhguru! your words create such spiritual awakening that over a matter of few hours, I get clarity over the most complex situations in my life. and then I feel as to why I made the situation so complex in the first place. we are blessed to have you as our guide.

7 years 2 months ago

When i read this article,iam unable to control the tears flooding down.Such is the impact of Sadhguru.Till now i havent attended a formal class of Sadhguru,but the amount of influence,Sadhguru has in my life is unmeasurable.I have registered for a forthcoming program with Sadhguru in CBE and im sure that this is going to be a life transforming event in my life.Nothing,but Sadhguru's grace is all i seek each and every moment in my life.THANK YOU SADHGURU.Pranam Sadhguru.

7 years 2 months ago

Namaskaram Sadhguru... I surrender my life .... you are already influencing every aspect of my life. I dont want to have a life of my own. You have changed me volte-face...from what I what I am. Everyday not a moment goes without your thought and internal guidance to me... but i am a dullhead....i need to be banged and banged and broken into pieces.... Only you can do that. Here I am. READY for that. Pranam Sadhguru.

7 years 2 months ago

shat shat naman, sadhguru!

7 years 2 months ago

Thanks Sanjeev,I liked what you said about internal guru becoming active. Beautiful!

7 years 2 months ago

Definitely the clouds are parting and the sunlight now shows things clearly. Thank you Sadguru for being with me always and every day so that I never feel alone. Please keep showering your grace and lighting my path so that the next and the next step after that becomes clearer and clearer. Thank you,thank you,thank you.

7 years 1 month ago

Dear Sullivan,

Sadhguru has spoken at various avenues on the importance of food (particularly raw vegetarian food) on the spiritual path.

I also remember a video where he says that in earlier days, what food is consumed was decided based on the specific weekday and time in order to aid the spiritual process.

Sadhguru is probably talking about transmitting this knowledge to accelerate one's spiritual growth.

7 years 2 months ago

this is extremely wonderful!! :) pranam Sadhguru

7 years 1 month ago

Dispeller of darkness
The enigma that You are
Boundless compassion
And such mysterious ways
All focussed (24/7) to just one end

To make this world a better place !
That ordinary mortals may flower
Touched by divinity's gaze
And in going , leave not with tears of despair
But in real freedoms embrace

7 years 2 months ago

Pranam Sadhguru, this is just wonderful. You are going to be my sun light till the final journey of my life.

7 years ago

Honey Bee( The Seeker) seeks the fully blossomed Flower(The Guru) to drink the nectar of spirituality , to enlighten itself on the path of Self realization and the BLISS thereafter. To be in the right place, at the right time, to be informed, to get to the Presence and be Blessed and be enlightened shall arrive naturally depending on how ardent, persistent, persuasive the Seeker is.
All the buds do not blossom, all the flowers does not bear fruit, all the fruit does not ripe, all that ripens may not be plucked, all that plucked may not be eaten. Many get the opportunity to know the Guru, some interact in close proximity, few realize Him, all the realized may follow His guidance, few remain persistent, still fewer achieve the SELF recognition, Blessed are they who attain Salvation, the Stature of oneness.
A baby step taken by SEEKER makes the GURU take two steps towards the seeker, such is the Bliss endowed in SADHGURU. Whether far or near, ever known or unknown, the communication starts when the seeker starts seeking.
Let the Honey Bee drink the Nectar and make many buds to bloom, many flowers to bear fruits and many fruits to be ripened.

With humble obeisance to my GURU. Rajiv Raman

7 years 2 months ago

I apologize first of all to ask this questions. But it does mean a lot to me and many would agree with me too.
" If you allow me, I will even decide what you should eat for breakfast – not as an imposition but as a natural choice". Did any one understand what he meant by the above statement. Will he influence us by his teaching or practices?

Some thing may not related to the above questions, I heard that after one goes through Shambavi initiations, its seems Sadhguru can keep track of each one of us and influence us through some means. Is that true? Does he come in visions or dreams and teach us that way too? I have read many Gurus do have that power. It would be of great help if any Isha teachers too clarify this?

Pranams Sadhguru.

6 years 6 months ago

live road map... and guide...

7 years 2 months ago

Guru is only one and it is internal, Since Sadhguru is master of master, If we allow him means if we remember him in every aspect of our life that includes eating also, Sadhguru will ensure our connection with our internal guru, and result will be perfect life including choosing the perfect ingredients for the breakfast.

5 years 11 months ago

Thanks Sadhguru for waking me up...need to do more Sadhanas

7 years 2 months ago

Once your internal guru becomes active, your reverence for physical guru is obvious. At the same time if your intuition want to tell you something, it may get confusing due to involvement of mind. Than your internal guru may appear in the form of your physical guru to give indication/guidance for future course of action.