Addressing a group of students and faculty at the IIT campus in Chennai, India, Sadhguru answers a question on whether a guide is essential for ones spiritual growth.
Comparing the spiritual journey to traversing uncharted terrain, Sadhguru explains that you can definitely go without a guide, but that it's sensible to take the help of someone who's already walked the path. "We have taken the help of people around us in many aspects of our life, the spiritual path is no different."
Questioner: Good evening sir, I had a question. From what I understood about self-enhancing that you spoke about, I felt that there might be a need of a guide, so is there such a necessity, and if yes, how important is the role of a guide?
Sadhguru: See, when I talk about the inner dimension, it is not a difficult place to get, but it is an uncharted terrain, it's not a place where you have traveled. So if you're traveling in a space that you're not used to, it is definitely sensible to walk with a guide. ‘Can I not do it myself?’ You can; not that you cannot, you definitely can, it is just that to find that block which is right next to this hall you may go around the world and come back and may find it. If you talk to somebody who has walked the campus, he will say, ‘It's right here,’ isn't it? If you don’t ask and you want to find it yourself, you may go around the world three times and still miss it; for that sake you need a guide. It is… it is… always this question is coming up as if… did you learn ABC with somebody’s guidance? Hmm? Did you learn how to write ‘A’ with somebody’s guidance? Yes. ‘B’ also? Yes. When that is the case, I don’t see what is the problem. It is a huge problem everywhere, ‘Can’t I do it myself?’ Well, did you even learn ‘A’ by yourself? You learned with somebody’s help, isn't it?
What is your problem when it comes to exploring an inner dimension of such great significance to you, is it not important that you go with somebody who has already walked the path? Is it not much simpler and sensible? If there is no guide anywhere, of course you have to do it yourself, but it may take a lifetime. If I give you… You're an engineer right now, but still if I open my watch and put it into… mix it up and give it to you, the next three, four years of your engineering you may be still fixing this watch. Yes, I'm telling you, if we don’t give you a manual, nothing, I will just take away this watch into pieces and give it to you, you may spend three years just to put it back. A watch is not a new thing on this planet, isn't it? It is not a new thing in this world but still you may take three years to put it together. So if you had a guide book, how to put it together, you may do it in ten minutes, isn't it? So that’s why a guide definitely needed I would say, otherwise it'll take unnecessarily length of time. Impractical lengths of time it will take, which is not necessary, because life is after all a brief amount of time.