The double meaning of the word 'guru'

Guru It is a word that wakes up enough suspicion in the West. But it is a figure that kidnaps our autonomy? Does that mean exactly? Naren Herrero explains it to us.

Meaning Word guru

Yoga and the spiritual philosophy of the India are involved on a daily basis in the West for a few decades; the sufficient, however, to make its terminology based on the ancient and sacred Sanskrit language go brewing in our vocabulary (almost) naturally. Between terms now as common as Karma, nirvana o Mandala stands Guru, a word which awakens some itching between the Yogis Western, since the idea of the spiritual evolution under the instructions of another person is considered a great loss of autonomy.

In India, on the other hand, the concept of Guru It is very normal. The idea of someone who knows the way (or part of it) to happiness to teach us is not seen as a sign of submission or oppression, but rather as a great opportunity and a great luck. This relationship guru-disciple is natural in the India, where traditionally the parents trusted the education of their children at the hands of a spiritual Sage.

In this regard, many believe that Western individualism offers 'freedom', but actually most of the people also blindly follows the precepts of other humans (called athletes, designers or gurus of new technologies) as if it were divine commands. This doesn't mean that the dominant concept about spiritual gurus is the scammers, megalomaniac or, in the best of cases, delirious. Without denying the existence of the latter, the presence of a true spiritual teacher is considered essential for the fast and safe advancement of any person in the spiritual path and yogic.

Although the word Guru (whose Sanskrit accent is flat) is usually translated simply as "master", its original etymological meaning is "that has weight". In other words, a guru is a person who possesses a key, important role, as it is conceived in the yogic tradition.

If, in general, the words tend to be volatile elements, when it speaks of spiritual philosophy they always have at least two meanings: one literal and other symbolic. Both ways have their raison d ' être and its usefulness. The literal meaning usually provides us with 'objective' information (linguistic, historical, etymological), while the symbolism of the word reveals more esoteric issues, i.e. information hiding at first instance.

What says the tradition

In this regard, the teachings of the spiritual traditions of the India most are esoteric in origin, since they were not designed for public disclosure, but that they were transmitted orally through the initiation of a qualified instructor. Today, with the rise of yoga in the West and the universality of information, anyone who wants it (West or East) may have access to the once secret philosophy of the India. In this way, probably all have heard that Guru is "which removes the darkness" (the own Joaquín Sabina, with his usual air of decadent, plays with the meaning in the song Princess).

As for the reliable sacred sources, the Advaya-Tāraka Upanishad It defines the guru in this way (translated based on the version of Georg Feuerstein):

"The syllable Gu [means] darkness. The syllable ru [it means] the destructor of that darkness. Due to the ability to destroy the darkness, he is called guru". (v. 16)

Similarly, the Guru Gitaattributed to the Sage Vyāsa, explains:

"The syllable Gu It is dark and it is said that the syllable ru It is the light. "There is no doubt that the guru is certainly the Supreme knowledge dispelling [darkness of] ignorance".

Therefore, etymologically speaking, Guru is someone "with weight" and relevance as a teacher. At second reading, Guru is who, dispelling the darkness, shows us the way. It is the same as saying that, with your wisdom and experience, eliminates our ignorance which blinds us and not let us see our true essence spiritual.

In the West, where we know everything and we are so reluctant to a third us show the road, many are relieved to hear the, often misunderstood, phrase: "The true guru is inside you". I have good news! This maxim is completely truthful. Thus the Scriptures of yoga and the teachings of all genuine spiritual master certified it.

Which does not mean, of course, that one will be exempted of having an outer guru; unless you consider that by itself is able to be your own guide and sink of darkness.

Who is

Naren Herrero It is journalist, writer and workshop leader specializing in the India, its philosophy and spirituality. The visited blogger is son of neighbor.

Its next workshop, entitled "Basic concepts of the philosophy of yoga", will be on 28 September (18:00 h) in Barcelona Hara garden space.

The workshop seeks to highlight some of the fundamentals of thought traditional yogic, intending to understand how these ancient ideas are universal and can be experienced in our daily lives. More info here.

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By • 16 Sep, 2013 • section: Signatures