Ask Parvati 38: Finding Centre in the Busy Day – Part 5: The Gift of the Guru

BY Parvati



We don’t think twice about going to a doctor when we have aches and pains, or consulting a lawyer or an accountant when we need financial or legal advice. We need specialists to help with specific areas of our lives and support our overall well-being.


A spiritual teacher, or guru, is someone who knows the ways of the spiritual path and can lead us to wholeness. Just as we would like to have the most educated and experienced medical doctor take care of our physical health, so too, it is best to find the most evolved being to guide us on our spiritual path. There are many people who claim to be realized beings and are ever willing to hang up a shingle as a self-proclaimed guru. From my experience, those who make claims of being realized are most definitely not.


Having a spiritual teacher to me is the most profound relationship one can have, almost deeper than marriage. A master highlights our strengths and weaknesses and gives us tools to grow into the fullness of who we are. Just as with a doctor, we must do our own healing work, but we are guided by an expert in the field.


Some spiritual teachers would say that we are born with an illness in our mind, that of ignorance. The guru leads the student from a place of suffering to freedom. The Sanskrit word “guru” is made up of two shorter words, “gu” meaning darkness and “ru” meaning light. The guru literally leads us from darkness of ignorance to the light of enlightenment.


Today, consider that you too may benefit from guidance on your spiritual path. There is nothing wrong with going at it alone. But if there are experts around, why not get the best consultant you can have? Perhaps it is in your cards to find a realized master to guide your way. Perhaps not. I certainly am not attached to what you choose. It is your life. My only wish is that you free yourself from painful thoughts and actions and be the best you that you can be.


Today, consider the possibility of your life being about self-realization and benefitting from a realized master.