Sadhguru is a true spiritual guru


Swami Sivananda at the lectern

Sadguru (Sanskrit: सद्-गुरु sadguru m.) real, true (spiritual) teacher; a good (sat) teacher (guru), a spiritual master, "truth teacher", a master who has achieved self-realization (sometimes Satguru written). The following hymn from Swami Sivananda's book "Yoga in Daily Life" is dedicated to the Sadguru. Below you will find a text about the Sadguru - a section from the book "Jnana Yoga" by SwamiSivananda.

Sukadev on Sadguru

Transcription of a lecture video (2014) by Sukadev about Sadguru

Sadguru is a guru, a teacher who has realized Sat, the highest Reality. There are different gurus, different teachers. There is the Upaguru. The Upaguru is the one who also teaches, but who has not yet reached full realization. For example, suppose you are in the Yoga Vidya tradition, we would say that SwamiSivananda is the Sadguru, Swami Sivananda is the one who has realized the highest truth and who has this strong aura and who guides all students and aspirants to this day tune in to him.

Then you may have an Upaguru, someone who has been on the way for a long time, in the same tradition, who teaches you practical things, who guides you on the way. Upaguru is the less perfect teacher who is seriously on the way but has not reached perfection. Similarly, there is also the Siksha Guru and the Diksha Guru. The Diksha Guru is the teacher who gives you initiation. The Siksha Guru is the one who teaches you certain skills.

You can find a lot about it on the Yoga Vidya pages under the keyword "Guru". Just go to, enter “Guru” and then you will find the different types of Gurus, you will also find an extensive discussion or treatise: “Do you need a Guru? Who Needs a Guru? What is a guru good for? What dangers might there be in blindly trusting a guru? "

But this is now about the Sadguru. Sadguru is the guru who has realized the highest truth. Sadguru is the one who has realized the highest oneness. Sadguru, the guru in whose tradition you are studying. In one tradition, one keeps referring to the previous master until one comes to someone who is absolutely certain that he has realized the highest truth - that is then the Sadguru. The teachers in between are simple gurus. Sadguru is the teacher who has realized the highest truth.

Sadguru hymn (Stotra)

Buddha statue in Borobudur
  • 1. I bow in awe of the highest Guru, who took the form of the Lord Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Rama and Sri Shankara in times of upheaval and days of need in order to destroy rejected people and create justice on earth.
  • 2. I greet the spotless Brahman who hid like the oil in the kernel, like the butter in milk, but now reveals itself in those who meditate steadily and tense, after having passed their minds through tapas, celibacy, righteous life and so on have further purified.
  • 3. I throw myself on my face before the teacher of the world, who pushes aside the veil of ignorance when Jivas meditate with pure disposition on Him, in whom love and grace are embodied.
  • 4. I silently adore the non-dual, pure self-illuminating, eternal, all-fulfilled imperishable Brahman, which keeps my body, mind, prana and indriyas (sense organs), the light, the source of this world, the silent witnesses of all my spiritual ones States and changes.
  • 5. Heil, Heil to this Sat-Chit-AnandaAtman, which is unchangeable, unchangeable, all-pervading like the ether, without limbs, without body, prana (breath), senses and understanding, which is expressed with the syllable Om.
  • 6. Honor and glory to this indelible, infinite and immortal ONE BEING, which exists behind all these names and figures and is known by many names, such as Atman, Brahman, Chaitanya, Purusha, Paramatman, Swarupa, Kutastha, Purushottam and so on.
  • 7. I wish victory to Brahman, who is the source, womb, support, root of this world and of my body, which is always awake, even when all the spirits of the night rest in deep sleep in the origin of ignorance (Mula Ajnana), the intellect (Buddhi), The sun and all things in this world illuminate, but do not need any other light because it shines out of itself.
  • 8. I bow in devotion to formless and attributeless (Nirakara-Nirguna) Brahman, which is like steam, but takes on Sakara, Saguna-form like ice as a result of the pious meditation of his bhaktas (pious mystics).

Hari OM Tat Sat

Copyright Divine Life Society

The Sadguru - Swami Sivananda in his book "Jnana Yoga"

Excerpt from the book "Jnana Yoga" by Swami Sivananda (Ed .: Divine Life Society, 2007), pp. 1-10

A jivanmukta, a sadguru, is a blessing to the world. He is a torchbearer of wisdom and divine light. He is a spiritual lighthouse that shines on those who float in the ocean of ignorance. Glory to the wise! Glory to the sadgurus!

A Jivanmukta, a liberated sage, is the true guru, the true spiritual teacher. He is the sadguru. He is identical to Brahman, the Supreme Self. He is Brahmavid, knowing the Brahman. He is extremely humble. He appears like a perfectly normal person. He does not talk about being a Sadguru, a connoisseur of Brahman. He will never say, 'I am an enlightened sage. I am an avatar. Many people will acquire Mukti through me. I have many siddhis. ‘He is completely desireless. He doesn't care about money or name and fame. He doesn't need a cult or an ashram. He works for the cohesion of humanity and uplifts people. His words are: 'I have neither followers nor disciples, neither possessions nor ashrams. "He is not attached to people or objects. He will never allow a cult or found an ashram. He is completely free from me and mine. He does not allow his followers to tell others about his siddhis and that he is a great mahatma. He doesn't want to be in the public spotlight, he lives in secret. As soon as he becomes known in a place, he leaves it as quickly as possible.

Whoever proclaims: 'I am a Mahatma, I am a realized soul, I am a Sadguru', whose students trumpet that their teacher is a Sadguru with many Siddhis and he shows these Siddhis on display, know that this man is an empty vessel is that only makes a stir. The Sruti emphasize: 'Whoever says' I know Brahman' does not know Brahman. Whoever says: 'I do not know Brahman' knows Brahman. '

The world is teeming with pseudogurus. Beware of such people. They take advantage of the innocent and gullible and lead them into the abyss. They lead people astray - the blind lead the blind. Siddhis keep people away from God and the knowledge of God. Do not be impressed by a person's siddhis.

When someone's presence lifts you up, when you experience them as simple, humble, undemanding, tolerant, kind, desireless, selfless, compassionate, benevolent and wise, then accept them as your guru. It is very difficult to see the sadguru's glory even if you live with him for long years. It's deep like the ocean. His glory is indescribable, his knowledge unspeakable, his state of mind incomprehensible.

It is your duty to serve your guru. You take care of his body, he takes care of your soul.

Possession of siddhis is not evidence of the sublime of a wise man or that he has known the self. Sadgurus do not display miracles or siddhis. Sometimes they may show some to convince the aspirant that there are extraordinary powers and to encourage and inspire trust to flow into his heart. A sadguru is endowed with an endless number of siddhis. He has Aishvarya, the omnipotence of God. Anyone who flaunts siddhis to gain name and fame, to satisfy selfish goals with it and to make money with it, is a charlatan. This man will lose his siddhis after a while. There are many examples of this. The devotees ruin their guru's name when they talk about his powers. Spiritual teachers should always warn their students not to do this. People do not trust teachers who are touted. People may be impressed by such masters at first, but soon they lose faith, go back, break all ties and begin to criticize these masters. The public is also intelligent and wise. How long can someone hide something? The truth always comes out. The crow with the peacock feathers will soon be exposed.

May this world be rich in sages who call intuition and divine wisdom to guide humanity. May the land be free from pseudogurus! May you all shine as Jivanmuktas! May you all serve the wise with trust and devotion and experience their blessings!

Guru and Adhikari

Knowing yourself directly is a path to liberation. Those who are endowed with the four faculties - Viveka, Vairagya, Shatsampat and Mumukshutva - can know the Self. These qualifications are attained through caste duty, through tapas, through selfless service, by favoring one's Ishtadevata, and by serving the guru. Only those who serve their Guru and practice Upasana can grasp the depth of the teaching of the Vedanta.

The Svetasvatara Upanishad writes: 'Whoever feels the highest love for God and the same love as for God for the Guru, in this Mahatma the truth taught here will shine.' (Svetasvatara Upanishad VI.23)

A true Sadguru is completely free from passion, anger, selfishness, greed, hatred and egocentricity. He is beyond worldly allure. He is able to drive away the ignorance of the people. He can remove any doubt. It teaches in an easily understandable way how to control the mind and senses. His teachings are very impressive. Even a proud man bows his head before him. He leads the students to the gate of Moksha. He can remove the obstacles and pitfalls on the way. He is well-read in the Vedas. He is free from offense. He is an ocean of grace. He is everyone's friend.

The student sits at the feet of a teacher who has acquired knowledge of the self, is well-read in the scriptures, and is able to grasp the truth. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna teaches: 'Know the truth by surrendering to the Guru, question him, serve him. He will pass on his acquired knowledge about the self to you. ‘(Bhagavad Gita IV.34).

From the Upadeshasahasri of ShriShankara we learn: 'Vedanta should be taught to one who has a calm mind, who is in control of the senses, who is free from passions, who is endowed with virtues, who is devoted and who craves for freedom' (Upadeshasahasri 324-16-72).

The Guru will only impart the spiritual teachings to the aspirant who thirsts for liberation, who lives according to the directions of the Shastras, who has control of his passions and senses, who has a calm mind and the six virtues, compassion, cosmic love, patience, Humility, steadfastness, and forbearance. Initiation into the mysteries of Brahman is only fruitful when the disciple's mind is free of desires and ripe for jnana.

The desire to gain knowledge of the self arises only in the person who is desireless, who has a pure spirit and who is tired of worldly life. Only such a person is ready to hear, meditate and attain BrahmaJnana. Ignorance is the fetter and cause of karma. Both are erased through knowledge of the self and the aspirant attains immortality and eternal bliss. Those who are endowed with discernment, dispassion and the six virtues manifest a strong desire for liberation. Dispassion is the fruit of discrimination. Aspirants who have not renounced the world cannot achieve the goal because they do not have a burning desire for complete liberation. Trust, devotion, self-control, punctuality of mind, purity of heart, dispassion, desire for liberation and meditation are the immediate factors for liberation. Those who are endowed with these qualities attain immortality and knowledge.

The aspirant should be steadfast like BergMeru, free like the ether, tender like jasmine, wide like the sky, patient like the earth, forgiving like parents, shining like the sun, fearless like the lion, generous like Ranti Deva.

Guru and Initiation

Shiva lived with Pattinathar for a while, but Pattinathar was unable to recognize Him. Shiva left a little note: 'Even the broken needles will not follow you beyond death' and disappeared. This opened Pattinathar's eyes and let him experience the Guru's influence.

Krishna lived and served with Ekanath as Shri Kandia for a while, and yet Ekanath did not recognize God in Him. Thus, it is difficult for the aspirant to recognize his true Master when he meets him. Out of compassion, the Master reveals himself to the aspirant in one way or another.

God's help reaches the aspirant in hidden ways. See how God helped the bhaktas in the following examples.

Initiation does not mean whispering a mantra in someone else's ear. If Rama's thoughts are directed entirely to Krishna, then Rama has already been initiated by Krishna. When an aspirant studies the works of a wise man, accepts his teachings, and sets out on the path of truth, the wise man is already his guru. Masters can initiate aspirants in a variety of ways, such as letters or thoughts. The mode of initiation need not be the same for every aspirant. Depending on the aspirant's longing, God sends him the master who suits his character.

Strong attachment to wealth and women makes some aspirants want renunciation. The history of the Brahmin Avanti and the life of Vilvamangal impressively describe this statement.

Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita X.10: 'dadami buddhiyogam tam yena mam upayanti te - I will give them the wisdom yoga through which they come to Me.'

Initiation, inspiration and the attainment of knowledge depend on the personal effort and the seriousness of the aspirant. The grace of God will reach him in due time, when perseverance and persistent pursuit of knowledge have come to an end. Some, like YogiMilarepa, have to persistently serve their master, others receive initiation through a flash of light. It depends on the spiritual sadhana and progress of the aspirant. Yogi Milarepa struggled while serving his guru. He had to be superhuman in courage and bravery before he was initiated. From time immemorial, the Wise and Rishis have examined their disciples before taking them under their care. You intuitively feel whether a student was ready for initiation. The neophytes were entrusted with tending cows, gathering firewood and washing the Guru's clothes. Activities that are considered to be lower ministries in the eyes of today's sadhakas. For sadhakas like Svetaketu, Indra, Satyakama and others, every act was yoga or worship of the guru. Nothing was down for them. They selflessly dedicated everything to their Master. Therefore, they quickly attained cittasuddhi, studied and understood the Vedas, and finally acquired knowledge of the Supreme Self.

Gautama selected 400 lean and sick cows and told Satyakama Jabala, his disciple, to look after them and not come back until there were a thousand cows. Satyakama lived in the forest for a long time. A few days before his return to the Guru's ashram, the gods Vayu, Agni and Surya taught him the knowledge of Brahman and Gautama was surprised to see the splendor of Brahman in Satyakama's face.

Ashtavakra initiated King Janaka in an instant. The devas initiated khatvanga in a muhurtha. Some initiate their students simply by staring. Shri Shankara inspired Totaka through Sankalpa. So it depends on the ability, knowledge and clarity of the sadhaka to receive the divine grace that lifts him up to the heights of supreme bliss.

The aspirant should be vigilant and accept spiritual instruction wherever it comes. Everyone who leads him out of ignorance is his teacher. But the one who drives the sadhaka's spiritual progress and shows a personal interest in his progress is the true sadguru. Dattatreya received knowledge even from indifferent beings. The aspirant must prove himself worthy of the Master's grace. Divine grace comes as soon as there is a real thirst in the aspirant and he is ready to receive it. A sage or saint like Shri Shankara or Madhusudhan Saraswati can initiate a sadhaka in any path for which the aspirant is able.The guru observes the aspirant, his preferences, his character and his receptivity and then decides on the appropriate path. If his heart is not yet purified, Teacher will ordain selfless service for a few years. Then the guru will find out which particular path the disciple is suitable for and initiate it.

If a bhakta saint is approached by an aspirant who wants to go the path of jnanas, send him to a suitable guru for initiation, for the bhakta does not have the Vedantic knowledge of oneness. A jnani can initiate the bhakti path because he has already experienced the fruits of saguna worship in the present or in a previous life. It is extremely difficult to see the yoga through which the guru achieved his perfection. He will reveal this to the aspirant himself. No sadhaka would dare to ask the guru this question, it is simply inappropriate.

Except for advanced sadhakas, the guru gives initiation after the aspirant has served him patiently for a long time. Guru and disciple should know each other very well. The student should be thoroughly familiar with his guru's ideals and principles, and the guru must be able to expose imperfections in the student. The guru should be allowed to explore the aspirant's inner being in depth. He should reveal his weaknesses and inadequacies to his guru. He should face the acid test of his guru in every respect so that he can have full confidence in his disciple. In serving the guru, the disciple should come into close contact with the guru in order to absorb his good qualities. He should never try to find a flaw in the guru's thought, word, or deed. If the student has a strong tendency to debug, he cannot accept anything from the teacher and his progress will stall. First of all, the student has to reveal his weaknesses and difficulties, only then can the guru purposefully eliminate the pitfalls and pitfalls.

Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Mahesvara in human form. The outer shell shouldn't make you think he's a normal person. If you serve your guru with trust and devotion, initiation and realization will come to you in no time.

In the absence of the sadguru, experienced aspirants who have long tread the spiritual path, who have overcome wishing, who have long served the teacher and who are sannyasins can assist the neophyte. They are Upa Gurus (sub-Gurus). Those who cannot find a realized guru should follow the teachings of realized saints such as Shri Shankara and Dattatreya. He adores a photo of the chosen one with trust and devotion and gradually the aspirant is animated. The guru may appear to him in a dream and initiate him at the right time.

The serious Sadhaka receives help in mysterious ways. Circumstances work out for the good and he attains peace, bliss and immortality. If the disciple follows the instructions of his guru, he will become like him after a while. The disciple who defies the guidance of his guru and acts of his own accord is not a disciple. A student is someone who follows the instructions of his guru and passes on his teachings to souls who are on the spiritual path throughout their life. Glory to these sadhakas and the awakened saints and sages!

May the blessings of all BrahmaVidyaGurus, Bhagavatas and Yogis reach you! May you experience the bliss of immortality in this life!

See also


  • Swami Sivananda, The Power of Thought (2012)
  • Swami Sivananda, Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism (2008)
  • Swami Sivananda, Jnana Yoga, Ed .: Divine Life Society, 2007
  • Swami Sivananda, Inspirational Stories (2005)
  • Swami Sivananda, Japa Yoga (2003)
  • Swami Sivananda, Divine Knowledge (2001)
  • Swami Sivananda, autobiography by Swami Sivananda (1999)
  • Swami Sivananda, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. Explanatory text and commentary by Swami Sivananda (1998)
  • Swami Sivananda, Thoughts on Contemplation (1996)
  • Swami Sivananda, Hatha Yoga. The Safe Path to Good Health, Long Life, and Awakening of the Higher Forces (1964)
  • Swami Sivananda, Sadhana - A textbook on techniques for spiritual perfection
  • Swami Sivananda: Festivals and Lent Days in Hinduism, Yoga Vidya Verlag
  • The yoga wisdom of Patanjali for people of today
  • Yoga stories retold by Sukadev Bretz

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