Chakra Discussions

Realist gurus should avoid superguru syndrome

by Subhadra-mayi dasi

Posted December 26, 2003

I'm surprised! I have not seen this sort of defence for a guru's unavailability ("Is your guru maharaja a superperson?") Sure, guru isn't superguru, and can't make us Krishna conscious for us; we have to do that. But one thing he or she can do is guide us, nudge us along.

As Alice Ahola writes, guru has many other things to do, besides dealing with disciples' difficulties. Fair enough, but there is a very simple solution for this problem. One who takes on the responsibility of guiding disciples should make an inventory of time available, be very realistic as to how many disciples he or she can guide, and stick to that.

It seems ridiculous that disciples should have to search around for good guidance because guru is too busy with other things. If a guru is initiating thousands of disciples, whose needs are fulfilled -- those of the disciples? No, because there are too many of them to guide. The guru's own needs, maybe? I find it interesting that a busy guru doesn't have time, and thus suggests disciples approach others for help and guidance.

A guru/disciple relationship should be a "give-and-take" deal. The guru should give such good guidance that, out of gratitude, the disciple may do something in return. Nowadays, the load is fully on the shoulders of the disciple: "How much service can you perform for me; how much dakshina can you give? The more you give, the better disciple you are." No one can convince me that this is of benefit to the disciple.

On the other hand, what is guru? It's anyone or anything that helps you to distinguish between reality and illusion. It's a big world out there; take your eyes off that "one magic person" and trust yourself a bit more. You may become that independent, thoughtful person that Prabhupada was talking about.