Is guru and teacher the same ?
The term Guru means one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. Gu means one who is beyond gunas (attributes). Ru implies one who is beyond rupas (forms). This refers only to God. That is why the Guru is hailed as Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva. Only God is the true Guru. All others are merely teachers, like the teachers of different subjects in a college. Guru is the one who reveals the guri (target) to the disciple. Guri here refers to Aathmik Principle.
Divine Discourse 20 July 1997
How does a guru lead the disciple?
The true Guru is one who has understood his own Self. Emperor Bali promised to give Vamana—-Vishnu who had come in the form of a short Brahmin lad–whatever he wanted. Bali’s Guru Shukracharya, warned Bali against honouring his promise on the ground that it would prove disastrous, for him. But Bali stood by his promise despite his preceptor’s warning and intervention. Bali esteemed God as greater than his preceptor. He declared that there could be no greater sin than breaking one’s promise. A Guru who advises his disciple to go back on his plighted word is no Guru at all. In the Mahabharatha, Dhronacharya, the teacher in archery for Arjuna, turned away Ekalavya from being his disciple because he had agreed to teach no one else all the arts he had taught to Arjuna. Ekalavya, however, learnt more than what Arjuna had been taught, by merely worshipping an image of Dhronacharya. When Dhronacharya came to know about this from Arjuna, he demanded from Ekalvya his right thumb as Guru Dhakshina (offerings to one’s preceptor) so as to incapacitate Ekalavya from making use of his proficiency in archery. Ekalavya readily offered his thumb out of his devotion to Dhronacharya, whom he regarded as his preceptor. This conduct on the part of Dhronacharya in response to a demand from Arjuna, who was envious of Ekalavya’s superiority in archery was unworthy of a true Guru. Gurus who are governed by selfish considerations or narrow loyalty cause great harm to the cause of spiritual enlightenment. They are worldly teachers, not spiritual preceptors.
Divine Discourse 20 July 1997
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