Who is a Guru? - Revisited.

On this Guru Purnima, I just thought of writing something on this divine relation between Guru and Disciple. This article may be treated as sequel of my earlier article on this topic -


To start with and throughout this article, please keep this in mind that I never claimed myself to be a Guru. At best, I can be a Teacher, although I have serious doubts over my ability even as a Teacher. Also, I don’t even claim myself as a spiritual person. I remain a completely materialist person. Just because I am wearing a Mala of Osho Discipleship, please don’t make an opinion that I am a spiritual person. Anyone can wear that Mala or Sannyas Robes.

I had to give this above disclaimer as people are continuing to address me as a Guru, even when they are talking for the first time. As I stated in the above article, we have to make a distinction between Teacher and Guru. At best I can be an Astrology Teacher with very limited abilities and I am nowhere near being a Guru to anyone.

But today, I would like to talk about this trend where people are ready to address anyone as Guru. One thing is sure that they are not aware that who is a Guru? Else they won’t have acted in such a way. Also, I would like to talk about the events which generally take place after people start addressing someone as Guru.

Let’s cover these topics under following points -

Guru Vs Teacher – As I said before in quoted article, the main reason why we end up in treating every other person as our Guru is because we are brought-up with this kind of thinking that whoever teaches us anything is our Guru. It leaves no difference between Teacher and Guru, but there is a huge difference. These days we hear words like Yoga Guru, Cooking Guru, Stocks Guru and what not. For God's sake, we need to make a distinction between Teacher and a Guru. Now, I am not belittling the importance of Teachers here. So, these two analogies may be able to help you with the distinction between Teacher & Guru and also the respective importance of both. 

  • Teacher is like an oil lamp which you have in darkness of night. Very important in that darkness but when Sun rises in the morning, you don't need oil lamp anymore. That Sun is Guru. 
  • A Teacher gives you theories, philosophies and all the information of the world. But Guru comes and destroys all the theories, philosophies and information through his wisdom. 
  • All I mean to say that you can have many teachers but you can have only one Guru. So, the people you are calling Yoga Guru, Cooking Guru & Stocks Guru are actually your teachers of those areas of life, but you are far away from getting your Guru. So, here is my response to all people who consider me as a Guru that at most, I can be your Astrology Teacher (though I doubt if I am even that) but certainly not your Guru

Process of Finding a Guru – Now, how we find a Guru? We find Guru while going through different Teachers only. When you go through different Teachers, understand their theories/philosophies etc and suddenly one day you find a Teacher whose Philosophies, Logics and Reasoning resonate with you, then you found your Guru. It is like you always wanted to listen all that which this person is telling you today. There is an invisible thread which is connecting you with this person. Now, no matter how much you try to avoid this person, you can’t avoid. His words reverberate inside you day-in and day-out, then you have found your Guru. So, we can say that all Gurus are Teachers but all Teachers are not Gurus.

Faith – Now, the most important thing is faith in Guru. When you are searching your Guru through different Teachers then faith is not required because you are still searching. You can analyse, doubt, question or even disagree with your Teacher but when you consider someone as Guru then there is no room for any doubt or question. If you are still questioning him then it shows that you haven’t made the choice as yet. Accepting someone as Guru is like totally leaving yourself in his hands. Now, even if he says during the day-time that it is night, then you should doubt your own eye-sight rather than your Guru. You should feel that Guru is right, my eyes are unable to see that it is night. Such Faith is needed to accept someone as Guru. So, take as much time as you want and question as much as you like to before you accept someone as Guru but after accepting, there is no room for any doubt or question. After that, you don’t even exist. Only Guru exist. That’s why, I doubted and questioned Osho as much as I wanted for four years but once I took discipleship, there is no doubt or question.

A Real Guru  – But how to know that person you want to accept as Guru is real or fake? Well, become a real disciple and you will find the real Guru automatically. Also, understand that a real Guru is never a people pleaser. He is someone who is hurting your ego day and night as he wants to bring a change in you. Accept that you need a positive change in your evolution, that’s why you started the search for Guru. A real Guru would never want 1000s of people to follow him; neither has he wanted to be famous or popular. He would like to deal with minimum number of people, so that he could help them.

And for keeping himself available for those minimum number of people, he won’t mind being controversial too because that controversy will make other people run-away from him. But we don't want a Guru who is controversial. We want someone who is popular.

A Real Guru will always be controversial because he wants to bring some change in you, society and world. Change itself is controversy as it is about going against the set tradition. It is about challenging the on-going scenarios. That's why all the real Gurus and enlightened beings were controversial in their times. It is very easy to sit in Buddha Temple now and worship his idol whole day but it was impossible to sit before Buddha for even a moment as he will start telling you to do this and do that. Every enlightened being or real Guru was controversial and disliked in his time. It is only after 100 years people started worshiping him as worshiping an idol looked easier than changing self.

Guru as an examiner – Then comes the second and most important role of a Guru. It is of an examiner. He is not only giving you some disciplines, teachings or techniques etc but a real Guru will also examine and test you as to how much you have learnt? And He is always testing you, day and night just to make sure that you are really learning what he has taught you. He can give you a meditation technique and then next day He can create a situation which is totally against that meditation technique. He would create all this confusion, just to see if you are impacted by the situation or you are still ready to follow what He taught you. So, if you are with your Guru then understand that you can be tested in any moment.

This is where the real test of faith, surrender and devotion lies. There are thousands of stories in Zen Buddhism where Zen Masters have even hit their disciples with punches, sticks, batons or threw them out of window etc. What is needed in these moments is complete trust in the master that even if Guru is hitting me then it is for my own benefit. If you go through Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, you will find many meditation techniques in which shock or any sudden event is used to attain enlightenment because when you are shocked due to some sudden event then you are totally conscious in that particular moment. So, this trust is necessary that even if my Guru is suddenly throwing me out of the window on the ground then it is also for my benefit.

Final Word – And this is where we are heavily lacking, in keeping this complete trust. We like a person as Guru only till the time He is saying things which are as per our mindset. The moment He says something which is beyond our comprehension then we don’t like him. If this is the case then understand that you are not searching a Guru. You are searching a person who can satisfy your Ego. This is how fake Gurus develop their business. They know that majority of people want to listen some specific things which satisfy their Ego. So, these fake Gurus just repeat those very words which you want to listen and obviously their followings would grow and business will flourish. They are not Gurus. They are just people pleasers.

But this is also fault of people that they only want to hear nice things and the moment something harsh comes up, they are ready to move on from this person to next person who is ready to say nicer things. So, rather than complaining about if Real Gurus are there in this world, we should reflect back if we are ready for any Real Guru? Because Real Guru will completely change you from your basic foundation and roots. Are we ready for that change?

Again, I never claim to be any Guru but this is one incident which will help you understand this situation. Now, after 7 years in this profession, I am used to the situation where a “few people” address me as Guru ji or they say that I am there Guru on the day they first talk to me or read my articles. And then when they read some of my controversial views, especially on Astrology and Marriage, then the same “few people” would send me the message – “if you write or speak like this then people will unfollow you”.

This is hilarious. First of all, I never claimed that I am your Guru but if YOU have decided that I am your Guru then at least have some respect towards your own decision. And when did I say in my articles or videos to “Follow Me”. In this day and age, where astrologers don’t even reply to one question unless and until you like their page/channel or share their videos, please let me know where I said in any video or in any article that please follow/subscribe to me? If I wanted people to follow me and have a great number of followers then I would have done the same thing which majority of astrologers are doing from times immemorial; i.e. giving people dreams in the name of marriage or relationship. I won’t have had guts to say that astrology and marriage have no connection with each other, if I wanted many people to follow me. Just imagine, what a huge astrology market is India in matters of marriage consultations? And while sitting in India, I am saying that astrology and marriage have no connection with each other. And those “few people” think that I will be worried about the number of followers!!!

When I am not even asking you to subscribe then where is the question of this “threat” that you will unfollow my page or channel? I never requested anyone to follow. You started following because you found that the stuff I am sharing is useful. It was your decision. And then what happened to your decision a few days back when you said that you have found Guru in me?

I am not saying that everyone is like that but I am only saying that such incidents just show that just like I am not ready to be anyone’s Guru, majority of people are also not ready to be even a disciple. It is because at least I am disciple to my Guru Osho with whom I agree on every point. I accept all his teachings, regardless of the fact that how harsh Osho is!! I also accept that if I could evolve in last 7 years then it was just because of Osho’s teaching. I can’t imagine myself talking to my Guru in this kind of language.

Conclusion – You will find many Gurus complaining that Disciples are not real and then you will also find that Disciples complaining that Gurus are not real. As I see, if a Guru focuses on himself to improve & become a Real Guru and if a Disciple focuses on himself to improve & become a Real Disciple, then this issue will be resolved.

Hope this helps. Thanks,


Swami Premanand Bharti


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2021-08-04 11:32:02

Thank you. I appreciate your time and writings. I found your article to be very useful and helpful. Have a nice day.