There are a few gurus still around. To define the term for you, although you probably don’t need a definition if you lived through the 60s, a guru is a spiritual leader who assists the aspiring follower to find enlightenment. This picture is of Babaji, a guru living in the Himalayas that assists all souls in finding enlightenment. He does not die, but watches and waits for souls who need his help. An explanation of Babaji can be found in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Enlightenment is a synonym for Nirvana which is defined as:
A transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Hinduism and Buddhism.
I didn’t have the luxury of finding a physical in-person guru until 1984 and then didn’t accept that he was my guru until 2014. I have found several through my spiritual reading and listening to chants. They’re awesome human beings, both who’ve left this Earth and those still here. Vasishta in Vasishta’s Yoga is one as is Deepak Chopra who is very much still with us and an amazing man with an incredible depth of humanity and knowledge. Krishna Das is one, he of the golden voice I never tire of chanting with. And he’s going to be in Portland, ME in June!!!!!!!!!! And SO AM I.
Then there’s Paramahansa Yogananda, those book Autobiography of a Yogi I’ve read at least 3 times as well as his translation of The Bhagavad Gita, the most accessible and understandable translation of the scripture I’ve seen.
I’m going to include Robert Thibodeau, the owner of Mayflower Bookshop in Berkley, MI. (You can listen to his spiritual talks and music performances on YouTube) I started going to his bookshop in 1984 looking for various texts on subjects I’m interested in and as I was working on my senior essay project that I needed to complete in order to graduate from university entitled “The Shadow of the Goddess”. He is the most talented magician I have ever known. Four years ago I had a life reading from Robert using astrology and his incredible insight into the mind stream continuum. I have both his books on astrology. One was published years ago and then Robert took the premise of that book and expanded it to this marvelous discussion of every astrological art you would need.
As we were going through this reading, at first I was listening and responding as anyone would. About 15 minutes into the reading, I was getting what he was saying internally, as if I were saying it. Before he spoke and when he spoke, what he said was a part of me. It was an experience I’ll never forget and what I learned in that reading has colored my whole life since then.
He recommended reading for me for that winter which was going to be long and hard, both because my husband was dying and because it was just a normal winter in Maine. And also because I needed not to be out in the world but inside myself actualizing my spirit. He said I had gone far in my spiritual growth, but then I stopped. He said to continue but to incorporate teachings in other doctrines besides Vedanta. And I have. And I have never learned this much in my years on this Earth as I have i the last 3.5 years since my last reading.
It’s time I called him again – time for a spiritual check up – time to delve into reality with Robert as my guru. Sat Chit Ananda