What is Guru? According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, Guru means religious teacher or spiritual guide.
Literally, the word Guru is made of two components, Gu and Ru:
* Gu is the spiritual ignorance that most of us are in
* Ru is the radiance of spiritual knowledge, the great bright light that dispels spiritual ignorance
What is ‘spiritual ignorance’?
The core and ultimate spiritual ignorance is the belief that I am an individual person, apart from the world, and separate from the One. All further ignorance are offspring, descendants of this core spiritual ignorance.
When we look at the deeper meaning of Guru, we can see Guru as that which dispels spiritual ignorance, as that which eliminates the ignorance of clinging to a separate-I. Guru is the remover of darkness, that which brings light.
Is the true Guru, the true dispeller of spiritual ignorance, someone who can be found in the outside world, in manifest form? Or, can the true Guru, who is the light of Truth that dispels spiritual falsehood, be found within?
Here is what the Masters say, starting with this mystic outpouring from the heart of Kabir:
When you meet the true Guru, He will awaken your heart; He will tell you the secret of love and detachment, and then you will know indeed that He transcends this universe.
He is the Ultimate Rest unbounded: He has spread His form of love throughout all the world. From that ray which is Truth, streams of new forms are perpetually springing: and He pervades those forms.
There the Unstruck Music eddies around the Infinite One; There in the midst the Throne of the Unheld is shining, whereon the great Being sits — Millions of suns are shamed by the radiance of a single hair of His body.
On the harp of the road what true melodies are being sounded! and its notes pierce the heart: There the Eternal Fountain is playing its endless life-streams of birth and death.~ Kabir
Complete clarity from Ramana Maharshi:
God, Guru and Self are same. Guru is God in human form and , simultaneously he is also the Self in the heart of each devotee. Guru’s power acts in two different ways. The external Guru in human form gives instructions and by his power enables the devotee to keep his attention on the Self ; the inner Guru pulls the devotee’s mind back to its source, absorbs it in the Self and finally destroys it.~ Ramana Maharshi
About Guru and Grace from Swami Ramdas:
Guru-kripa (Guru’s grace) is always on you. Become aware of it, and you are free. Awareness comes through ceaseless remembrance of what you are in reality, namely, that you are the immortal Spirit filled with absolute peace and bliss. Really, to stand apart from the mind and watch its activities is a blissful exercise. The Guru’s heart is ever soft and, by constant meditation, the chela (disciple) grows into the likeness of his Master and possesses the same purity and softness of heart as those of the Guru. Forget not that the Guru is within you — know that you are not different from Him.”~ Swami Ramdas
This profound revelation from Ram Dass (author of the classic book, Be Here Now):
You begin to see that everything in your universe becomes your teacher.~ Ram Dass
When you truly open your heart in your spiritual journey, everything in the universe, like perfect mirrors, shine the light of truth for you to see, the seeing of which dispels another aspect of the spiritual ignorance in you.
When you experience life this way, the Real Guru is everywhere.
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