The real Guru embodies the divine virtues of:
- Vidya – Wisdom or Clarity
- Dharma – Righteous Behaviour
- Vinamrata – Humility
- Nushkanabhaav – Selflessness
- Karuna – Compassion
- Tyaag – Self-sacrifice
- Bhakti – Love
Let’s reflect on what these divine qualities are in more detail:
1. Vidya, wisdom or clarity is the right or correct knowledge about the true nature of life and the Universe. It is a capability to see the difference between the real (permanent) and not real (impermanent). Vidya should not be confused with the intellectual knowledge gained through the process of learning however. It is the deeper awareness or distinguishing power developed through deep meditation and intuition.
2. Dharma, righteous conduct, is honourable, ethical, conscientious action performed from the higher awareness, from pure perception of the reality without distortions. Compromises on virtuous, noble and right behaviour take place only from living with fragmented consciousness in illusion (maya). When the ego dissolves, desires lose their power and the craving-aversion chain reaction gets broken, honouring all life and true devotion to humanity start. The true Guru is free from the bonds of ignorance and confusion and therefore is capable of living an exemplary life.
3. Vinamrata, humility, is the ability to remain humble about oneself regardless of the prestige and powers possessed. The real Guru is modest about his/her achievements and personal traits. There is nothing to prove to anyone.
4. Nushkanabhaav, selflessness, is about being able to focus on the task at hand without seeking reward. It is not only a question of monetary profit but also about not seeking the energetic benefit from others. The real Guru is self-realised, that means also self-reliable in emotional and energetic sense. The true power and strength comes from peacefulness and quietness within. The hard, conflicted ego is dissolved or surrendered to the higher purpose of the universal soul.
5. Karuna, compassion, is the tender-heartedness and sympathy towards the suffering of another person, the ability to understand the world as the other person experiences it. However this does not mean suffering together with the afflicted person or losing one’s own balance and harmony in the face of another’s torment. The real Guru is not affected by pain, but realises what the other goes through. He/she has the willingness to help those who are in misery by remaining available for them and patiently showing the way towards freedom and happiness.
6. Tyaag, self-sacrifice, is the ability to forsake one’s own small wants for the greater good of life as a whole. The true Guru realised that we are all connected at the soul level, all beings are one life creation. Enlightened person could move on to ever blissful state of freedom from death and birth, however choses to stay present in normal life to still guide others towards the liberation from miseries. To shine the light and lift other beings up too.
7. Bhakti, love. There are different kinds of energies that we can emanate. Some can be negative and low in frequency like hatred, violence, greed, malice etc. The others are positive and high in frequency like love, compassion, gratefulness, goodwill etc. The negative ones serve the purpose of disorganisation, destruction and decay. They are weakening and retarding. The positive ones are constructive, healing and sustaining. The true Guru works through the energy of love. Driven by the genuine willingness to help other souls to attain ultimate happiness and freedom.
It is a great fortune and sign of a very good karma to anyone who has the opportunity to meet the real Guru in one’s lifetime. The presence of the powerful energy of the true enlightened master itself ensures the forward spiritual progression of an aspiring seeker.
According to the Vedic teachings, we are living in kali yuga, the era of darkness. Nowadays it is not easy and not the right attitude to expect our teachers to be perfect or fully enlightened beings. We also need to remember that the above-mentioned qualities are interrelated. The person who is driven by love will also be more compassionate, selfless and act in an ethical manner. Those who seek wisdom, clarity and correct knowledge in life will generally act in a more conscientious, humble and righteous way. Trying to develop and sincerely holding strong to any one of the above qualities will eventually develop the other virtues as well.
Nowadays it is very common that the yoga teacher and the disciples are actually going together on the journey of self-development. The instructor being more knowledgeable and experienced most certainly has valuable things to share with the students and in the process of doing so he/she can develop more compassion, selflessness and humility.
Being truly dedicated to good work for humanity – in any field – is always of great help for the people receiving it and most certainly it takes spiritually forward those offering such service.