If I am Already God, Why Do I need a Guru?

Via Sam Geppi
on Feb 7, 2011
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This is a very common question bandied about these days. It is hard for our mind to juggle the irony of this. One the one hand we are told in Eastern teachings, “All is God” (including us). Yet on the other hand we are told, you “Need a Guru (teacher)”. So the mind asks, “If All is God (including me), why do I need a Guru?”. This is especially so in the West, where we are very skeptical of spiritual teachers.

A good analogy for this proclamation is of a seed and a tree and their relationship to each other. Every tree started as a seed, but every seed does not become a tree. The tree is the *potential* hidden in every seed. But there is a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of grace needed before the seed grows to it potential – just like us.

The limited self proclaiming itself to be God (so why get a guru?, etc.) is like the seed proclaiming itself to already be the tree. Yes, we have everything in us *potentially* for the seed of God consciousness to grow to a mighty tree. But it takes a lot of work (on your part) and luck and grace (from the universe, guru or whatever).

What is a Guru?

The word literally means “dispeller of darkness” and as such it is the embodiment of something bigger than you (the smaller self/seed). It shows your connection to the divine intelligence, which is keeping everything in order here. It is something or someone that connects you to a state of perfection and harmony you lack in your current state. This sense of lack is the case for all seekers, otherwise there would be no question to begin with.

A spiritual master / guru has already become the tree. They are no longer striving for Self-realization or longing for all of the things we long for. They have understood the nature of the world and CHOOSE to stay here amongst us, in this difficulty, to serve us and the God potential they see. Other things can also be a guru, like nature, or art, but an embodied teacher will be the easiest to recognize because they are already living the same kind of life we are, just at a much higher level.

To many (especially those of us who have spent time with these beings), this is the most beautiful thing we have ever seen and could ever imagine – because the energy that flows from a Sat Guru (Teacher of the highest truth) has none of the irony, selfishness, struggle and difficulties we typically find in our other connections.

Their energy is pure. They want nothing from us, ever. Their life is an offering of truth, light and love to anyone who wants it. They all give methods and techniques, not just words because (back to the seed analogy) they know there is a certain amount of work that we need to do, (the “I” in us) but our efforts alone can NOT make it happen. Only God’s grace makes that seed grow. The guru tells us to do our practices, with the awareness that the universe is always looking out for us and will manage the rest.

At first, we do not believe. But a great Satguru is the embodiment of divine wisdom itself and knows everything about us – what we want, what we love, what we fear and exactly how to crack open that seed casing of our heart that is keeping the tree of God hidden and buried in the soil (Tamas).  These Sat gurus know our mind better than we do because they ARE ONE with the divine mind. They are not separate from it.

It is not much different than the way we are able to read the motives of children. We have been through what they are going through and understand. But a being like this is not a concept to admire from afar. They are an experience, like love or anything else. If you write the word “honey” on a piece of paper, then lick it, there will be no sweetness. The sweetness of a Satguru can only be experienced. In the presence of these teachers, you know that they know your mind. You feel the purity of this love and it is beautiful beyond measure. But until we actually spend time in their presence, many confusing ideas arise.

Soul Farmers

Our individual efforts (spiritual practices) are just to prepare the soil and create the right environment for God’s grace to flow and crack that seed casing open. Because the farmer can do everything right – weed the garden, till the soil, plant at the right time – and the seed still may not sprout. We have no idea how that happens or how to make it happen. We can only prepare our mind and heart for “Realization” and when its time, it happens.

A Satguru is an embodiment of the universal wisdom – ONE with it and they feel our sincere intentions and are here to help us if we want it. if we do not, that is OK too. They will not interfere. They are really like Soul farmers, reconnecting us to the cycles of cosmic love that keeps this creation going – whether we know it or not.

But actually. we already have MANY gurus, but who are they? Politicians? Businessmen?

Who are your examples, because you are learning from someone, from something?

The quality of your teachers shows the quality of your soul’s development and the taste of the fruit your life is producing. Because remember, you are already God. it is true. Your intention is producing your higher Self. But is a Self worthy of all you truly are?


About Sam Geppi

Sam Geppi is a Vedic astrologer, and teacher. He is the author of "The Ascendant-108 Planets of Vedic Astrology." You can learn more about the universe and why astrology makes sense by checking out his Free Astrology Class CD, his Facebook and his Membership Website.


21 Responses to “If I am Already God, Why Do I need a Guru?”

  1. Wende says:

    I like what you said about the qualitiy of your Teachers/Guru is a reflection of your soul develpment.
    Beautifully stated. Anotherwords the principles and examples set by those you look up to says alot about what you
    are striving for in your current lifetime.

  2. Ellen says:

    Outstanding piece. I wish the universe would make you my guru!

  3. barefootlotuss says:

    Thank you for this sweet explanation. . a nice reminder for me of my experience with this phenomenon. . .Jai Ma. . it's neat to see you posting, and that I got to see you in San Ramon with Amma. The world is a small oyster.

  4. This is beautiful. I have yet to meet a Sat Guru in the flesh and recognized them as such – but know many people who have had the opportunity to spend great lengths of time with an enlightened being, and I have spent countless hours reading about their light. Until then, I will cultivate only the richest soil for my seed to awaken. Thank you!

  5. Robert says:

    Very well expressed. Really like the seed and tree analogy…

  6. Steve says:

    My walk from potential to realization is underway. I have many guides but no one master. I know. Divine energy is ever flowing. I just need to be ready for the window to the light.

  7. Indrani says:

    Jai Ma!! Beautifully expressed. Gratitude overflows towards those Great Divine Ones who show us the way. Thank you.

  8. Kali Ma Das says:

    I love how you described the feeling of being in the presence of. Thank you for this piece. The answer to the question in your title is "Well, you don't need a Guru if you prefer a leaky faucet of grace to Niagra Falls. As for the rest of us – Woo-Hoo!" Jai Ma!

  9. Pamela says:

    A lovely description and easy to follow. Thank you

  10. matthew says:

    Sounds like the guru invokes a feeling of being loved, nurtured, and inspired. So the question I'm left with is: what's the difference between a guru and a good friend?

  11. TamingAuthor says:

    Another great writer joins Elephant. Love the way you gently and subtly correct a common misconception.

  12. samgeppi says:

    Thanks folks. Glad you liked the article.

    Matthew, Well it is interesting that God as the "Divine Friend" is in many scriptures. Most notably in the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna is Arjuna's friend and Arjuna does not know that his friend is also the Supreme Lord.. an Avatar. So the image is sublime of God as the Divine friend, the one we trust and tell our troubles to and who we know is always there is rich. But obviously this is different than just a "good friend".. in human terms, as those relationships are conditional, our friends are not these deep teachers that reveal the mystery of the cosmos to us, etc.

    TamingAuthor, thanks for such kind words.

  13. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sam Geppi, sheba remy kharbanda. sheba remy kharbanda said: RT @sadasiva Who's your guru? http://bit.ly/dX5Ytz […]

  14. Ben_Ralston says:

    Hi Jessica,
    I write for Elephant Journal and I posted a piece about a spiritual teacher named Tony Samara. Maybe your soil is cultivated enough already 🙂

  15. trapsas1 says:

    Obviously Sam, you are pure of heart, but I think the peril here is falling in with a guru that does not have your best intentions in mind. (in fact I wrote about such a situation here on Elephant Journal: http://tinyurl.com/4rlnc89). I believe that in this lifetime we must achieve our own direct connection with G*d, and while books and people may guide us along the way, ultimately this is a task that we must accomplish by ourselves.

    Courtesy of a recommend from Bob Weisenberg, I've been reading a fascinating book called American Veda. While talking about the many great teachers who brought Vedic philiosophy to the US, there is also a chapter on gurus who may have misused their power. One such discredited teacher by the name of Desai gave the following telling recommendation "Trust the guru within you first, before you trust the outer guru."

    Peace, Tom

  16. samgeppi says:

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for your reply.

    You speak as if acknowledging an outer guru automatically subverts the "inner guru". Not the case.. You also contradict yourself. After saying there is no need for outer gurus, you cite your own from the fascinating book you read and other people. So we are all learning from others and teaching others. You are no different.

    You also cite the whole "false guru" thing.. Yes of course.. people who are looking for saviors and to subvert personal responsibility make themselves victims. But everyone has not become so cynical as to close down around the whole issue because there are false teachers. By the way, their "false disciples" are equally implicit in that "mutual deception".

    No authentic teacher demands anything from anyone, nor do they play into "our" childish fantasies. It is plain to see the difference between the two. They (and I) agree with your belief that, "in this lifetime we must achieve our own direct connection with G*d,…"

    Best wishes,

  17. jody says:

    "Your intention is producing your higher Self."

    Intention produces the Atman? This is as ridiculous as your folk theories about the "Sat Guru."

    Remember people: everyone poops. Anyone claiming to be a guru is just as human as any of the rest of us. Nondual realization does not render one above another, it shows the plain truth that we have all always been the Atman at all times, whether we come to see it directly or not.

    The only thing that makes a guru special is the *belief* carried by his/her devotees that s/he is special. That, and the efforts of the marketing/PR departments of any of the big-time commercial gurus to make them *seem* special as a way to get you to join their cults.

  18. trapsas1 says:

    No contradiction intended, Sam. The gurus who impress me the most are the ones who actively teach but do not seek followers—or who teach their followers to become self-sufficient and effectively leave the flock. One such teacher would be Yogani, who was mentioned in “American Veda”. He has authored several highly-regarded books on meditation and yoga and has extensive writings on the Web.

    In Yogani’s words, from the book “Advanced Yoga Practices—Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living, Volume 2”: “I think that, regardless of the means of providing spiritual support to others, the ultimate goal has to be developing self-sufficiency in the practitioner. By definition, there can be no enlightenment without self-sufficiency—abiding in the Self (Big “S”). No one else can give that to us, though many think it works that way. It does not. We each have to claim it (surrender to it) for ourselves, via one means or another.”

    Yogani goes on to recommend “self-directed practice” and “written teachings” as they “greatly reduce the inherent hazards that are in live guru/disciple relationships”. Perhaps I should have used the following pithier quote in my initial comment:

    "The Guru is in you." ~Yogani

  19. samgeppi says:

    I agree Tom.

    I understand your view a little better now, with your last post.

    My intention for writing the article is to address the very things you seemed to assail in your first comment. The because "the guru is within" (concept), "it is all up to us" and "gurus make us weak", "want to exploit us".

    When actually both these things exist simultaneously. We must be responsible for ourselves AND should look for guides a long the way – those who have walked the path we want to walk – and in fact we all are being taught.

    If we want to learn to do anything – the same process is there. If we want to learn to play violin, we get a teacher who teaches us methods and how to best apply OUR efforts toward the goal. But that doesn't mean in getting a teacher we are saying "the teacher us going to do it for me".

  20. samgeppi says:

    Great Jennifer.