Simple: How not to get suckered in by a false guru

We all know there’s a healthy history of false gurus, or fallen gurus, along the yogic path.

The docu-something Kumare looked at this. There’s been the whole John Friend issue. People slap the “cult” word on most anything different, including Ashtanga.

As I was traveling for work yesterday and reading old Namarupas on the plane and I read through a piece, titled “Guru” by H.H. Sri Swami Sivananda. As in Sivananda Yoga. And, as in Sri Swami Visnhu-Devananda’s guru.

It is in the Issue 11, Volume 04, from April 2010. It is all about the importance of having a guru — a topic close to many Ashtanga practitioners — and is well worth the read. You know where to find it.

Under the topic of how to choose your guru comes the following, which struck me as a very simple, and very good, litmus test for whether you have happened upon someone who shouldn’t be your guru (or probably anyone else’s):

He who is able to clear your doubts, he who does not disturb your beliefs but helps you on from where you are, he in whose very presence you feel spiritually elevated — he is your Guru.

It was especially the middle of that sentence, the part about not disturbing beliefs, that caught my attention. If a “guru” is throwing everything out of whack — telling you not to see family and friends, saying what you know or have been doing is all wrong — you might want to pause.

And reconsider the path you are on.

Posted by Steve