Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Real Guru

The guru you are looking for is inside of you.
This is the central teaching of Sri Kumaré. He is the subject of a recent documentary that I watched a few weeks ago. He is also a complete fraud, sort of.

Kumaré's real name is Vikram Gandhi, a filmmaker who grew up in New Jersey in a devout Hindu family, but who had long struggled with faith. Skeptical of the sincerity of the gurus stoking America's infatuation with Indian spirituality, especially yoga, Gandhi set off with a camera to find out "if these spiritual leaders were for real or just full of it." He found only the latter, which inspired a new direction for his project. Gandhi himself would become a guru, the ultimate proof that "spiritual leaders are just illusions."

And so Kumaré is born, along with a collection of non-sensical sayings, symbols, yoga poses, and meditations. Devoted disciples soon follow. On the surface, it seems like an exercise in humiliation and mockery. As the experiment progresses, however, it becomes clear that Gandhi-Kumaré has actual truth to teach.
The guru you are looking for is inside of you.
"Do not listen to the preachers and prophets because they tell you that you should. Do not follow a teacher because you are afraid to be on your own. If you believe the message to be true in your heart, then listen to the messenger. If not, reject him, whomever or whatever he may be. Trust yourself. Trust your heart. She will not fail you. Believe in your own goodness, in your own loveliness. For that is what you are. Love and goodness brought to life. Turn your eyes inward, and you will see it is true."

God dwells within each of us. Some may be more aware of this reality than others, but that is not a sign of superior knowledge, just the randomness of grace. And while we can and should learn from such people, there is only one true teacher. Whatever the title, whether ordained or self-appointed, everyone else is a mere messenger.

God dwells within each of us. We already possess all the wisdom we will ever need. The messenger is simply there to remind us of that wisdom and to urge us to use it. Lust or pride may drive some to seek more power. Laziness or insecurity may prompt us to give it to them. But none of that changes the basic truth.

God dwells within each of us. Or "the guru you are looking for is inside of you."

And here is where we get to laugh at the divine joke. God chose the skeptic, the fraud, the phony guru to be their truest messenger, to remind us that we are all kumaré.