<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

The Guru or Teacher

Spirit vs. nature, consciousness, karma, the three gunas, it can all seem very strange to those of us who did not grow up with these concepts. Another common source of confusion is the distinction between the terms yogi and guru . A yogi is anyone who practices Yoga. A guru is a teacher, someone advanced in Yoga and capable of leading others on the path. A true guru is typically revered in the East, and in English they are often referred to as prophets, or saints.

Many believe that a guru is essential to the practice of Yoga. The practice of Yoga can be difficult, and the principles can be confusing. Some argue that only through initiation by a guru can an individual truly and correctly use mantras such as Om. Otherwise, the would-be student of Yoga will not know the correct frequency or nature of the mantra. Perhaps most important, though, is the spiritual consciousness provided by the guru. As described by Yogananda:

…If I entered the hermitage in a worried or indifferent frame of mind, my attitude imperceptibly changed. A healing calm descended at the mere sight of my guru. Each day with him was a new experience in joy, peace, and wisdom. Never did I find him deluded or emotionally intoxicated with greed, anger, or human attachment. (pg. 137; Yogananda, 1946)

Another aspect involved in the importance of a guru is his or her lineage. In Western culture we are very individualistic, so it is common for each new teacher or leader to try establishing a new beginning. In the collectivist cultures of the East, however, they pay more attention to the earlier teachers of current teachers. Establishing this lineage is very important, not to suggest that one line of Yoga is better than another, but to connect the past to the present and, presumably, the present to the future. Recent research in the field of positive psychology has suggested that such a balanced time perspective, emphasizing the past, present, and future, is an important facet of psychological well-being (Boniwell, 2005; Boniwell&Zimbardo, 2003).

Discussion Question: In Eastern cultures they talk about gurus, in Western cultures we often hear about mentors. Do the words “guru” and “mentor” mean the same thing to you? Have you ever been inspired by someone you thought of as a guru or mentor?

Pathways to personal growth: schools of yoga

There are many schools of Yoga, and the styles depend somewhat on which translations and which authors you happen to read. In her discourse accompanying the translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras , Bailey refers to four types of Yoga that developed as humanity developed (1927). In chronological order they are Hatha-Yoga , Laya-Yoga , Bhakti-Yoga , and Raja-Yoga (also known as Kriya-Yoga , see Yogananda [1946]). Feuerstein (2003) adds three more to what he describes as the seven major branches of the tree of Hindu Yoga: Jnana-Yoga , Karma-Yoga , and Mantra-Yoga .

The purpose of each of these schools of Yoga, in their own way, is to guide the individual toward the fulfillment of their life. This fulfillment is not necessarily enlightenment , or what we in the West may think of as heaven, but may instead be preparation for steadily improving lives over subsequent reincarnations. In accordance with the concept of karma, if we do our best to live this life as a good and faithful person, then in our future lives we will benefit from the seeds of good karma we have planted in this life. As humans we can achieve enlightenment in this life, but we are not doomed to eternal damnation if we don’t quite make it. So, Yoga offers us a hopeful guide toward being a good person, and teaches ways in which to continue our personal growth.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Personality theory in a cultural context' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask