<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

The Guru or Teacher

Spirit vs. nature, consciousness, karma, the three gunas, it can all seem very strange to those of us who did not grow up with these concepts. Another common source of confusion is the distinction between the terms yogi and guru . A yogi is anyone who practices Yoga. A guru is a teacher, someone advanced in Yoga and capable of leading others on the path. A true guru is typically revered in the East, and in English they are often referred to as prophets, or saints.

Many believe that a guru is essential to the practice of Yoga. The practice of Yoga can be difficult, and the principles can be confusing. Some argue that only through initiation by a guru can an individual truly and correctly use mantras such as Om. Otherwise, the would-be student of Yoga will not know the correct frequency or nature of the mantra. Perhaps most important, though, is the spiritual consciousness provided by the guru. As described by Yogananda:

…If I entered the hermitage in a worried or indifferent frame of mind, my attitude imperceptibly changed. A healing calm descended at the mere sight of my guru. Each day with him was a new experience in joy, peace, and wisdom. Never did I find him deluded or emotionally intoxicated with greed, anger, or human attachment. (pg. 137; Yogananda, 1946)

Another aspect involved in the importance of a guru is his or her lineage. In Western culture we are very individualistic, so it is common for each new teacher or leader to try establishing a new beginning. In the collectivist cultures of the East, however, they pay more attention to the earlier teachers of current teachers. Establishing this lineage is very important, not to suggest that one line of Yoga is better than another, but to connect the past to the present and, presumably, the present to the future. Recent research in the field of positive psychology has suggested that such a balanced time perspective, emphasizing the past, present, and future, is an important facet of psychological well-being (Boniwell, 2005; Boniwell&Zimbardo, 2003).

Discussion Question: In Eastern cultures they talk about gurus, in Western cultures we often hear about mentors. Do the words “guru” and “mentor” mean the same thing to you? Have you ever been inspired by someone you thought of as a guru or mentor?

Pathways to personal growth: schools of yoga

There are many schools of Yoga, and the styles depend somewhat on which translations and which authors you happen to read. In her discourse accompanying the translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras , Bailey refers to four types of Yoga that developed as humanity developed (1927). In chronological order they are Hatha-Yoga , Laya-Yoga , Bhakti-Yoga , and Raja-Yoga (also known as Kriya-Yoga , see Yogananda [1946]). Feuerstein (2003) adds three more to what he describes as the seven major branches of the tree of Hindu Yoga: Jnana-Yoga , Karma-Yoga , and Mantra-Yoga .

The purpose of each of these schools of Yoga, in their own way, is to guide the individual toward the fulfillment of their life. This fulfillment is not necessarily enlightenment , or what we in the West may think of as heaven, but may instead be preparation for steadily improving lives over subsequent reincarnations. In accordance with the concept of karma, if we do our best to live this life as a good and faithful person, then in our future lives we will benefit from the seeds of good karma we have planted in this life. As humans we can achieve enlightenment in this life, but we are not doomed to eternal damnation if we don’t quite make it. So, Yoga offers us a hopeful guide toward being a good person, and teaches ways in which to continue our personal growth.

Questions & Answers

what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
kkk nice
Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
Kim
y=10×
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
is it 3×y ?
Joan Reply
J, combine like terms 7x-4y
Bridget Reply
im not good at math so would this help me
Rachael Reply
how did I we'll learn this
Noor Reply
f(x)= 2|x+5| find f(-6)
Prince Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Personality theory in a cultural context' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask