Spiritual Enlightenment

For Spiritual Enlightenment Can a Guru or Teacher Help?

Summary:  On the path to spiritual enlightenment what can another person do to assist you?  Is there anything of value that they can provide to help you attain enlightenment?  This article goes into these important questions regarding the role of teachers and gurus in your spiritual evolution.

In general you will seldom find recommendations on Mastery of Meditation to go seek out Gurus or Teachers to help you on your spiritual journey.  This is primarily for  the following two reasons.  First, Spiritual Enlightenmentthe path to Enlightenment requires you to walk alone, if not for most of the journey, then certainly for the last few miles for sure.  Second, the True Guru is within and if you tune in to this higher aspect of yourself you will get all the guidance you need.  The article How to Find Your True Guru goes into this idea in some more detail.

So what can another do for you?  Is there any value to a good external teacher or guide?  Let’s go into these questions below.



In Kundalini Yoga and other schools of Kundalini Tantra there is the concept of Shaktipat.  Shaktipat is the act of elevating another’s level of consciousness by the use of one’s own awakened Kundalini.  The enlightened Guru, pleased with the devotion of his disciple raises his disciple’s Kundalini and thus awakens him to the True Nature of the One Reality.  This though is just a glimpse, a temporary shift in awareness, and personally, I am an advocate of teaching a man to fish rather than tossing some salmon his way.  Shaktipat can be a useful instrument for introducing another to the magnificence of samadhi (enlightened state), but beyond that, in my view, it is not worth roaming the spiritual landscape for.

The three valuable blessings though, that I do feel a teacher can provide are the following: Inspiration, Protection and Guidance.  These are exactly the three items that we pray for at the start of any Kundalini Yoga class.  We request these three blessings from our inner Guru, but these can also come in some form, from the grace of an outer Guru.  Let’s discuss each of them in some detail…

For Spiritual Enlightenment 3 Things Another Can Do for You:

  1. Inspiration:  An external guru or teacher can certainly inspire you to go further on the path to spiritual enlightenment.  They can inspire you to deepen your practice and raise the level of you devotion and dedication.  This is one of the more common comments I receive, where others feel inspired from visiting Mastery of Mediation and thus boost their daily sadhana (spiritual practice).  This inspiration can come in the form of books, pictures, movies, talks and now of course blogs as well :-).
  2. Guidance:  A wise man once said that all good art is that which points to infinity.  That is perhaps also the sign of a good teacher.  He is one that is constantly pointing you towards infinity.  Not allowing you to wander too far off the path and reminding you, when necessary, of the right direction to go in.  The walking you have to do yourself, but the navigation, a good teacher can certainly help with.
  3. Protection:  Finally a good teacher can prevent you from the pitfalls of spiritual practice.  Some spiritual paths are shorter, but a little more dangerous.  Especially for such paths, a teacher can be a valuable guide to point out the danger zones and help you recover if you do happen to fall into one.  Practices like Kundalini Yoga, advanced Chakra Yoga or Kriya Yoga are examples where a teacher can be a most useful shield against premature Kundalini awakenings and other spiritual complications.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive:

As I mentioned, before every class we pray with a focused mind for the three blessings just described above.  We ask for protection, guidance and inspiration from our inner Guru and then we begin our Yoga and Meditation practice.  These starting prayers help ensure that the process of enlightenment, whether it be described as Kundalini Rising or as the annihilation of the ego, goes smoothly. 

One last important point I would like to re-enforce.  At the end of class we always bow and I always remind the students that they are never bowing to me, but are in fact bowing to their inner master, inner guru.  That is the True Teacher you need to build your connection with, as he knows best how to inspire, guide and protect you.

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  1. Gaurav Sharma
    Gaurav Sharma says:

    For any material accomplishment we need a master of that field who can coach us..Spirituality being so subtle & profound definitely needs a true master to act as guide, protector & nurturer on the path..Sufi school of Spirituality which personally excites me is very uananimous on Guru being inevitable for enlightenment.

  2. Greg Lunger
    Greg Lunger says:

    A True Guru, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna or mine Paramahansa Yogananda has Mastery over Delusion, and have gained full realization of being a God-Being.

    Having Mastered this, they teach All souls how to realize there True Identity as a God-Being.

    A True Guru is always with you, helping you realize your own True Nature as a God-Being.

    A True Guru, a Fully God Realized Soul can help us in ways we can not fathom with our human consciousness.

    A True Guru Knows All Souls as God-Beings, and lives to help All Souls Realize this Truth.

    They are ones Eternal Best Friend’s.

    If you want to be a Master Carpenter, you would want to hang out with one.

    Blessing’s of Peace…Love…Joy…And Infinite Abundance !!!****** =)

  3. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey Mike,

    Great thoughts. Gurus can certainly become obstacles to one’s enlightenment.

    Thanks for sharing your insights and adding to the discussion.


  4. Mike at GuruGone
    Mike at GuruGone says:

    A guru doesn’t help in my opinion. Hurts quite a bit. A guru is like a finger pointing the way to the moon. DONT look at the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory. (bruce lee). But, seriously – that is how I see it. The guru, not through any intent of his/her own is set up in the mind of the follower as something more than what he is – a finger. Followers, being human follow the owner of the finger – not focus on where the finger points. Followers want saviors, not fingers.

  5. Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul
    Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul says:

    I have had fantastic spiritual teachers in the past, and have a wonderful teacher now. It’s tremendously reassuring to have some guidance available. I don’t talk to my teacher very often, but if I need perspective or understanding, or just need to take a step back and see the forest when I’ve been staring at trees, it is an invaluable resource to have a teacher.

    I’m a very independent person, and I feel that all the answers truly lie within each of us, and are different for each of us. But we can all use a little direction sometimes! The path to enlightenment can be rigorous, our lower self can do much to distract us. A teacher can inspire us to take the next step.

    I recommend having a teacher – not a “guru” to be devoted to in the classical sense – just someone who can offer guidance and understanding when our own perspective becomes clouded.


  6. Rod
    Rod says:

    Recently I stopped bowing and feeling grateful after my meditation sessions, thinking that there wasn’t time for any ritual, and nothing good has come of it. Humility and gratitude are definitely required and need to be shown in the right way. Mind your P’s and Q’s now…

  7. Karthik
    Karthik says:

    Hi Anmol,

    Just yesterday I was praying fervently for guidance towards my research and other goals, protection or a strong mind to take on external effects and for being open to inspiration for new ideas. I was also wondering on the usefulness of a guru for guidance in my meditation and life. This post is really reassuring and addresses exactly the questions I had.


  8. shobha
    shobha says:

    Very often we are the knower,but not the doers. Inspiration, guidence and protection is definately needed to bring us back to practicing/ walking the path. Thanks for keeping us on track.God bless you.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  9. […] Tristan Loo, Synergy Institute Priscilla Palmer, Personal Development Demands Success Dave Chesser, Formosa Neijia Galba Bright, Tune Up Your EQ Black Belt Mama Erin Pavlina, Spiritual Wisdom for Conscious People Anmol Mehta, Mastery of Meditation, Kundalini Yoga and Zen (…and anyone else I’ve crudely neglected to mention…) […]

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