Everyone Wants to Be A Guru or Teacher:

 
Among those in the west who have really succeeded in Yoga, often they are from Satyananda schools, which are one of few that provide an integral view of the system.
 
It is rare to find such people or those from medical (allopathic or TCM etc) backgrounds or with a background in philosophy itself, which places them in a much better position to understand the classics and also do independent research, a part of what we may call “swadhyaya” in yoga. I’ve always found those rooted in any medical system or philosophy, have a better chance at being able to succeed in ayurveda and yoga, and study the traditional disciples and texts in-depth, rather than the plethora of ignorant bored-housewife masses with nothing to their name except “I want to appear as spiritual” – the modern pop-currency that includes pilates, veganism, paleo diets, teaching yoga or being a hipster! They simply ruin it with their narcissism for everyone else that really wishes to learn! They’e the types that pick up a book or two on yoga or ayurveda and feel they have it all sussed and are ready to argue their opinions based on one author, over the traditional and commonly accepted views, which include classical texts and traditions they don’t bother to study in their almost Biblical (monotonous) myopia! 
 
Such people who have a real background however, rooted in these sciences or traditions go on to become great teachers. They have paved the way and laid their foundations first, whether in traditional or western systems, not simply come in as narcissistic philosophers, basing their knowledge on a few books by pop Gurus, teachers or New Age authors that have flaws in their own training and education themselves when it comes to traditional texts and disciplines and often seek to obscure this fault and try and use the excuse of “a handful of families” or a “Siddha” origin for their non-shastric teachings and lack of education in systems, which, like Baptist preachers, they use to bewilder the masses. The same is with Vedic sciences.
 
The Vedic sciences are that – sciences. They are not simple, as people try and make them as they don’t want to study their depth. But, consider the scope of what a pilot has to study over a flight-attendant or an oncologist or even GP, over say a massage therapist!
 
Yet, today, the people wishing to do Ayurveda have the “flight-attendant” or “massage therapist” mentality, so to speak, so wish to remain ignorant of anything vaster, due to an inferiority complex. Thus, they malign real Ayurveda, as also surgery, use of chemicals, meats etc. to appear “superior”. This whole New-Age fad has to stop!
 
Again, it’s all much like how Christians stole the Jewish system, pasteurised it and superficialised it as they couldn’t understand the depth and scope and with their new limited system, invented Satan and Jesus to malign the Jews and make themselves look like the “real deal”. History is simply repeating with vedic sciences.
 
If these Gurus today were scrutinized as per traditional systems they claim with their knowledge, they’d fail! As they rely on hearsay. As an example, Swami Sivananda claimed to be a traditional Guru adhering to the ancient Brahmanical systems – but fell into the trap of espousing the British Aryan Invasion Theory, of which those he claimed to have studied, and real traditionalists such as Swami Dayananda, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and even Yogananda, all rejected as a theory as they’d studied the shastras and tradition and found no basis to this imported system of western fantasy of an “Aryan Invasion”!
 
The reality is that most Gurus aren’t taught much apart from yoga kriyas or practices. They’re ignorant of texts and even Ayurveda, which they try and learn from books and repeat They make many claims and often borrow from the ideas of others – some even use their siddhis or supernatural powers gained, but our texts clearly state that even the ashtasiddhi or eight mystical powers, that include insight into one’s mind etc. can even be gained by use of mantras, narcotics or even psychic possession by numerous classes of Devas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Nagas etc. or even employing beings as yakshas and dakinis, which many in the classical Yoga path used – and were NOT seen as “enlightened”.
On this note, Sri Krishna here in the Bhagavad Gita states that both tapas (austerities) and dhana (charities) performed in the mode of rajas or passion are those which are performed for material gains, such as respect, honour, reward or to be revered by others etc. (XVII.18, 21). Here, relating to charity, one does so as one expects something in return – not in the mode of sattvas or purity, where one doesn’t ask for anything. Texts such as the tantras however, and even the yajnas of the Vedas and even certain Vedic mantras are full of ways to attain wealth, a spouse, cure diseases and gain supernatural powers! It doesn’t make one enlightened, but rather, causes bondage.
 
We know from the classics that many asuras themselves performed great tapas or austerities to Shiva and Brahma as other demigods for materialistic boons from yogic siddhis (supernatural powers), to invincibility (as Hiranyakshipu) or taking over the anti-material and material worlds (as Mahabali, Ravana), whereas those in the mode of sattvas such as Parashurama and others did so for more pious purposes of helping mankind. Today, we see Gurus building statues, erecting large temples and such as these monumental asuras classically also did. Many as Ravana acquired great vehicles such as the Pushpaka and appropriated much from others as well.
 

Today however, people run after these people as being above even the Devas in their naivety. “Guruji told me something he couldn’t have possibly known!” – but Guruji, like Ravana, Mahabali and Indra the lord of heaven, who all had rajas in their nature, preaches some Vedic philosophy, but also allows a large ashram to grow sound him and a large corporation in his name, for his own glory, which he says is a “Divine mission”, which all you plebes pay for! Again, even the higher Devas in the swargalokas have powers beyond human comprehension – some as Mahabali and others were asuras said to have taken over earth, astral realms and swargas that make your modern Gurus look like idiot children when compared to them in both Vedic knowledge, yoga tapas and siddhis – but were never seen as “realised”! So, my question to humanity today is, where is your viveka? Why do you make your Guru infallible, when even greater examples in higher yugas and average yogis possess the powers they do (most don’t, they fake it and perform rituals to gain power to hypnotise the masses and wealth – which most siddhas do)?

More recently, the Hindu great writer Rajiv Malhotra has criticised those such as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of the Isha Foundation, while at the same time, has had kind things to say about the controversial Guru Swami Nithyananda. While initially I found this strange, I noticed the difference in the two personalities. First of all, when addressing astrology, both south Indian Gurus have different ways of assessing it – Swami Nithyananda doesn’t slander nor mock the Vedic origin, whereas Sadhguru still buys into the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) and Aryan-Dravidian Divide as Rajiv Malhotra points out. In his book “Simply Nirvana”Swami Nithyananda also calls Rishis as “scientists of the inner world“. Unlike Sadhguru, he doesn’t make weird claims of Arya-Dravida divide and such and appears to at least be more educated in the classical shastras or sacred texts.

Now, let me state here that I am not in favour of Gurudom in any shape, size and form and take no form of favouritism towards Nithyananda at all. But, I can start to understand Malhotra’s leaning more towards Nithyananda than Sadhguru, though the latter has made some great statements and also has great teachings. Still, relative to what I said earlier about true Gurus who have yogadrishti (yogic insight) or shastravidya (knowledge of the texts) – either way, they’d be able to discern, via a true lineage even at least, as even Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Yogananda and others did, that things such as the Aryan Invasion and divisions between races are simply outdated western hyperbole!

I’m often amazed at how far Gurudom has one to allow people to waste their lives doing a certain set of kriyas, like a good Christian and not seek out wisdom beyond it. One may fake, but the reality is that if one is born with real yogic samskaras, one will seek out wisdom beyond the box at an early age and continue this. One isn’t stuck in a mid-life crisis where one feels they can now start “studying and learning”. If you were born with it, that would have started in childhood and the viveka would be so powerful as to see through all of the nonsense. For most however, they are happy remaining slaves to stupidity and ignorance, but that isn’t what yoga is about – it is about learning the purna or integral systems. Sadly, even for so-called “advanced” people, I am shocked they even taught anything about yoga, as they don’t even know basic terminology, practices and facts of Yoga 101! And surely, I’m not the only one confronted with these ignorant idiots on a daily basis that need to drop their attitude and start learning a little beyond what their social constructs, as a result of their past (negative) karmas, has taught them!

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