Inner Guru – Outer Guru

From the teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati

For spiritual experience, a living guru is essential. It is through the living guru that spiritual potential can be exploded.

The guru is within everyone. It is easy to say that everyone has an inner guru, but one can't feel him or hear him, one can't link oneself with him. One can't even be sure whether he is the inner guru or one's own mind. The mind can also mislead. So in order to manifest the inner guru, an outer guru, an external living guru, is needed.

Many people do not accept the need for and the value of the external guru, but a detonator, an external guru, is needed to whom one's emotions flow, who is able to create an impression in one's mind, to whom one's devotion goes. He becomes the detonator and through him this inner guru becomes visible and manifests.

Everyone needs a guru. Without the guru, life is incomplete. In order to experience fulfillment, the heart or the spirit has to have another base, which is the base of guru and disciple. This relationship completely transcends the physical, emotional and mental planes. It is nothing like the love that one has felt for anyone else. Guru and disciple do not consider physical or emotional factors; they only consider that which is deep and transcendental.

Towards jnana

The external guru has to be capable of helping the aspirant to light the inner lamp. Just as subtle microbes can only be seen through a microscope, not with the naked eye, the inner eye has to be opened. If the inner eye is opened, one can see the glory of one's inner light.

There are so many emotional difficulties in life. Even if one is emotionally and intellectually full, even financially full, still one is incomplete unless the inner awareness is handled and grasped. A person may have a beautiful body, good health, a brilliant, obedient, lovable husband or wife, eminence, fame and a lot of money in the bank, but if he has not known the glory of guru and his role in life, these things are not going to make him complete.

Every flower has honey, but if a person wants honey on his toast, he will not take it from a flower, but from a jar of honey that the bees have collected from the flower. In the same way, everyone has a guru inside, but they cannot use him, or hear him. They know he is there, but they cannot feel him. His language is not their language. The language of that guru is beyond language.

To understand the language of the inner guru, first one has to find an outer guru. The external guru speaks one's ideas and he can be understood. When one is in communication with this guru, one can awaken that inner guru. The external guru is the detonator of the internal guru. The inner guru is to be exploded with the help of the outer guru. The invisible guru within is known as the sadguru. The sadguru is the highest force in everybody. He is the light of the divine within one. The inner guru should be approached by means of the outer guru. When one has realized the inner guru, one approaches the higher God or Divine Being. This is the approach that has to be made.

Do not be confused by idealism. Practise reality. There are only a few people in this world who don't need an external guru, because they are evolved souls. Even the divine incarnations who came down upon this earth had a guru. Even the strongest saints and seers had gurus. Even great people who had a lot of wisdom and power had a guru. But when there is a lot of egoism, a person says he does not want a guru. Then his egoism is his guru.

To be free from ego, therefore, it is safer to have a guru. Practise devotion to him, practise faith in him, practise innocence. Become a child before him. One will then grow and be able to hear the voice of the inner guru. When the voice of the inner guru can be heard, then follow him. When the inner guru is the guide, there is no doubt – one is so sure!

Many people say that they have heard the inner guru, and ask me if they were right. I tell them that was not their inner guru but their mind. A person who has developed and awakened his inner guru has no doubt at all, because the inner guru is an authority. When he wakes up, one has knowledge, jnana.