Is Guru Necessary? Six Reasons Why Guru is Essential in the Life of a Yogi

is Guru necessary

Guru is the Supreme guide            photo by Akshay Kumari

Over the years many people have asked me, “Haven’t you learnt enough from Guru? Isn’t it time you come ‘home’ and live according to your own Guru Awareness? Is it really necessary to be with Guru?” In an age of self-reliance, the Guru-disciple tradition appears foreign and incomprehensible.

Following are six reasons why Guru is essential for an aspiring yogi and seeker of Truth.

Mind cannot reveal the Free Being

Guru Awareness is who we truly are. It is our original state of knowing, before the overlay of education and built-up personality. It is the state of eternal peace, purity, and freedom.

The problem arises when we wake up in the morning and think we are a human body and mind. The Free Being, the Guru Awareness, is lost to the sight of the individual knower, experience, and doer called me, the human being. The human nervous system with senses and mind is hard-wired to register gross forms, thoughts, feelings, subtle sensations, intuitions and the like. It has no capacity to grasp the formless, ever-present reality of who I am, which cannot be limited to any set of words or ideas. For that, another faculty of awareness is needed: the faculty of Guru Consciousness.

Guru Consciousness is the Awareness that wakes us from deep sleep at the scent of danger. It is what makes the newborn baby seek out the milk from its mother. Such knowing is more immediate than any mental pondering. It is the inherent, all-permeating Intelligence. It reaches further and faster than any intellectual knowing, for it is the space from where the waking state, with all its known forms and phenomena, appears.

It takes an aware being and seer of Truth to unearth this deeper knowing, to sift it from the ordinary understanding of the mind, and to bring forth its radiance in a man.

Guru is the Supreme Guide

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. If somebody has trodden the path before you, seek out their company to guide you past the common pitfalls and distractions. Guru sees who you are, and awakens you to your original nature of purity and freedom. He exposes and weeds out unnecessary baggage and misinterpretations, redirecting the awareness to its true abode.

Learning through personal experiences alone delays realization unduly. Never underestimate the experience and insightfulness of an enlightened Master.

Guru’s presence is an instant exposure to the Pure Being

Anyone who has been in the company of an enlightened Being knows the mind-blowing effect of Guru’s presence. Guru is seated in Pure Beingness, rather than in personality. Meeting Guru is a homecoming, where one finally is seen for who one is, and one comes to recognize one’s own nature as ever-present Reality.

Once attuned to Guru, his presence is an instant exposure to Space, dissolving all sense of duality. No amount of practice, or saadhana (the path of liberation), can surpass the immediate free-ride to liberation that Guru provides.

Awareness cannot be learned, it is unfolded

Modern man is preoccupied with the accumulation of information and techniques. Realization is not something you can learn, understand, and simply do. It is what you ARE. To bank upon the mathematics of mere practice to achieve your goal does not apply to the realm of realization. Although it is tempting to assume that through study and practice one has grasped the truth of existence, Guru exposes the trap of thinking that you have ‘got it’.

Guru provides an indication of the difference between a learned, sattwic (highly ethical and compassionate) mind and Freedom Pure. He reveals the Guru Consciousness hidden in the mind. Just as the butter is churned from milk, it is the constant interplay of practice and exposure to Guru that churns Highest Awareness from ordinary human understanding.

Guru revitalizes the chintamani (prized jewel) of Pure Intelligence.

Having touched upon deeper revelations and direct insight into the Being, the mechanism of a human mind is to try and grab it, and to immortalize it in fragrant words of truth. The moment direct insight is transcribed into thinking, the insight itself is lost and only the memory prevails.

Guru pinpoints where the purity of Being is usurped by the staleness of intellectual recollection. He thereby acts as the windshield wiper of a cobwebbing mind.

It takes Guru to make the ever-present chintamani (prized jewel) of Pure Intelligence shine at every step.


Guru is the ultimate friend      photo by Devindra

Guru is the ultimate true friend

The path of enlightenment is unique, confusing, and lonesome at times. Guru knows you and sees you as that Guru Consciousness, moment to moment. No grudges, no complaints, no personal past fetter the immediate connection. Whatever the situation, whatever the obstacle, Guru reaches you as your own Being. He lifts you and guides you, step by step – not from a space of tutorship, but from the space of Oneness.

The Guru relationship is one of unconditional love; no sense of fault, guilt, doubt, indeptment exists there. Guru – as your own true nature – is closer than your own mind. Guru is the ultimate true friend, always ready to receive You.




Meditator, yoga and founder of illumayog and Meditative Awareness Blog. Shuchita offers online courses in meditation as well as Illuma-Yoga and meditation workshops.

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6 Responses

  1. Sundaram says:

    Nicely written! I’m impressed with your ability to work the thought and present it in a clear way of points. Jay ho!

  2. Kaanti Prakaash says:

    This is a very clear expression of the value and necessity of Guru. Knowledge is not invented; it is awakened, and can only be by an agency of reflection. Guru is the Pure Mirror that reflects the truth in every being. Guru sees Guru. Intellect sees only intellect. Guru initially must be known externally in order to awaken the Guru within. Then there is no within and without. Guru is in everyone because it is one Guru, one Awareness. But in the play of the life, human beings appear to be knowledgeable, but separate, so the knowledgeable power appears to be divided as all sentient beings. Guru is the one who awakens and unfolds, as you well said, the awareness power that there is no separation. All human beings exist in Guru, and Guru exists in all human beings. It is one reality. Lots of love to you, and thanks for this blog!

  3. Shuchita Shuchita says:

    Thanks for your beautiful and elaborating comments. Always glad to hear other people’s reflection on the topic.

  4. Shivnath says:

    “Guru – as your own true nature – is closer than your own mind. Guru is the ultimate true friend, always ready to receive You.”
    Beautifully said, and so TRUE!

  5. Elizabeth Edmunds says:

    I have only just started to follow your excellent and insightful descriptions of the need for Guru. Thanks so much for putting them together and making them available.

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