Sadhguru explains the meaning of the word "Guru", and speaks of how the extent of a Guru's role in a seeker's life is in the seeker's own hands.
Bharathi Maa (Reading a question):Sadhguru, what is the role you're going to play in our life as a Guru? (Laughter/Applause)
Sadhguru: (Laughs) So what is the role I’m going to play? (Clears throat) As the…(Clears throat - -I’m sorry) 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 just absence of light. When we say light, we value light because it brings clarity to us. If there was no light, you cannot see clearly. Where there is light, you can see clearly. So what you actually value is not light, it is the clarity that it brings. If you were an owl - I said only if you were (Laughter)- if you were an owl then darkness would bring clarity to you, light would be very disturbing and blinds you, which is true for many creatures in the wild. For them, darkness brings clarity(Volunteer accidently drops a steel tumbler outside the hall)(Laughter) Tell them they’re steel tumblers, they cannot break it even if they try. (Laughter/Applause)
So essentially it doesn’t matter in what stage of life you are, what aspect of life you are addressing, the most important thing is that you want clarity about it. You want to be able to see it the way it is. Whatever it may be -whether it’s a simple physical thing like a tumbler, which somebody is not able to see or mystical dimensions of life -you can deal with them properly… you can deal with them sensibly only if you have ability to see it the way it is. Seeing things the way they are, seeing everything the way it is, is clarity. If you very clearly see, what is the nature of your existence… Right now, somebody is telling you – you are not the body, you are not the mind, you gathered this body. Your mind is agreeing with it, but still, this is me, that’s you. Experientially it’s not true.
So if clarity comes into this experientially, if clarity is brought into you, sitting here long hours of meditation, ‘Oh I wish I was not the body.’ (Laughter)When pain comes, when disease comes, when physical suffering comes, you definitely wish you were not that. It is not about what you wish, it is not about your reactions to situations that you face or suffer,it is not at moments of compulsion what you see,it is in moments of utter clarity, what you see is what really matters with life;if one wants to move ahead. If you look at your experience of life, suppose you're in a dark room, you're not able to see anything. Suddenly you're alone. If it lights up, you feel the world is with you. Nothing has changed. Everything is the same way as it is. Just because you can see clearly, the world has changed in your experience.
So this is my work; to see everything the way it is. If you see it clearly, everything will change. We don’t have to change anything because you cannot change anything. 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 was a moral teacher, I would try to change you. Because I am a Guru, I do not try to change you. I’m not asking you to be good, I’m not asking you to be peaceful, I am not asking you to be nice to somebody, because I don’t intend to change you like that because that will be just a pretention which will build up over a period of time and explode on somebody else. My intention and my work is to bring clarity. If you see things clearly, knowing that the whole universe is one, the way it is -not because somebody says so, because you see so -everything will change. If you see the reality of the existence the way it is, not the way you think it is right now, everything about you and your relationship with the existence will change.
The work of a Guru is essentially, 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 -to see that this human nature reaches its ultimate possibility. If this human being blossoms into his ultimate nature, he is naturally the very source of creation because that is the seed. You didn’t create yourself; the source of creation is functioning within you. If a…if you plant a seed, it becomes a plant. When it is a plant, you cannot believe it was a seed but when it flowers, if you wait, once again the seed will come. In between there are so many processes; we are not against that. Every… the shoot, you know the sprout, the shoot, the leaves, the flowers, we are not against this;it is just that we don’t 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 way, dressing that way. That you can do. We have nothing against it. Making this life the way you want it means that this life should be -it will function at its best only if it’s kept the way the Creator intended you to be. If you go back to your original nature - we are right now calling it the seed -if you are here, being 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 as a Guru, what role will I play? I’m… I have very 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 your breakfast -not just for these seven days.(Laughter/applause)Not as an imposition,but as a natural choice. I’m saying, in the most mundane things also it can find expression. ‘So you're going to come… and between idli and dosa you will choose for me?’ Not like that. (Laughter)You're walking on the street, whether you step into a pit or on the road or on the pavement is determined not by you but by the sunlight, isn’t it? In that sense yes, every aspect -if you are willing. If you want to have your own life, it’s up to you. You want me only to influence your spiritual life only, I’m fine. Some people see sunlight only when they go on a vacation,once a year.(Laughter) Some people, every day in the morning, they wake up early in the morning just to welcome the sun. That’s your choice; I’ll leave that to you. (Applause)