Is The Guru Enlightened ?

18 Questions

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Is The Guru Enlightened ?

This is an effort to allow you to decide if a guru is really an enlightened man. This assessment will identify the Guru to be one of the follwing types:1. An Enlightened Man2. An Avatara Purusha or Saint3. An Unenlightened Fellow Seeker4. A Fake GuruLife of many well-known saints and gurus have been analysed while preparing this assessment. Also some scriptural references have been used along with the words of well-known enlightened masters about the behaviour of an enlightened man. As there is an increasing flourish of Gurus in market, this is an effort to analyse the Guru's objectively. The result of this assessment is only an indication and cannot be used as a final authority. When in doubt ask the men who are well-versed in scriptures.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Does the Guru claim to be an Avatar(or Prophet) or claims to be at the highest spiritual enlightenment state ?
    • A. 

      Yes, he can be seen stating it in large public gatherings ( or through discourses, books, videos etc)

    • B. 

      Never answers it directly. Brushes off the question (like saying "Is that important ?")

    • C. 

      Has accepted that he is an Avatar to certain devotees secretively. But publicly never comments on the question

    • D. 

      Clearly says, He is not an Avatara

    • E. 

      Has never answered the question but is well-known among devotees that he is not an avatar

  • 2. 
    Does the Guru openly admit that he is enlightened ?
    • A. 

      Claims he is enlightened openly and always speaks from a point of view that he is enlightened (towards his close devotees and to those who come to him for first time)

    • B. 

      Admits he is enlightened, but only to people who know him. Through his devotees, everyone(the world) realizes that he may be enlightened.

    • C. 

      Has never claimed it and doesn't object if others call him so

    • D. 

      Has never claimed it and doesn't behave as if he is enlightened

    • E. 

      Claims upfront that he is not enlightened and asks devotees to follow him at their own risk

  • 3. 
    What is his opinion on Casteism ? (If he doesn't follow would he have no trouble with intercaste marriage i.e. when uppercaste man marries a lower caste man)
    • A. 

      Casteism has a divine purpose. Every man who belongs to a tradition where casteism is practiced should follow it in accordance to the scriptures. A caste is decided by birth and even in modern world one must try to follow it to whatever extent possible in accordance to sciptures. Objects intercaste marriage as it is against scriptures

    • B. 

      Doesn't object to casteism, but he himself doesn't follow its rules. Doesn't mind people around him following casteism as long as it doesn't bother anyone

    • C. 

      Casteism had a purpose in past, but today it has become difficult to follow. It doesn't matter if you don't follow. He himself doesn't follow casteism. May object inter-caste marriage citing differences in traditions of family

    • D. 

      He may or may not follow casteism but opines that casteism is based on qualities and traits and it is never decided by birth. Approves intercaste marriage if both partners have mutual understanding

    • E. 

      Casteism is definitely wrong, a man-made division which cannot be approved in past or present

    • F. 

      His public opinion is not known. Within ashram no practices of casteism is seen, but most people who come to him follow casteism.

    • G. 

      Guru and his followers belong to a tradition where Casteism doesn't exist hence he never comments on it

    • H. 

      Guru and his followers belong to a tradition where Casteism doesn't exist, but he mentions that the Casteism in Vedic tradition is wrong

  • 4. 
    Is the Guru famous and does he(or devotees close to him) use all modern means of communication(like TV, Video, Internet, Books, pamphlet) to reach the masses more effectively ? In short does he or his disciples do publicity of events related to Guru or his ashram 
    • A. 

      He is famous and uses lots publicity via modern means to take his message to the world

    • B. 

      He is famous but never uses any modern means of communication

    • C. 

      He is not famous, and still never uses any modern means to reach people

    • D. 

      He is not famous, but uses modern means to reach maximum number of people

    • E. 

      No publicity at all, his existence is hidden from external world

    • F. 

      Irrespective of fame, a bare minimum publicity can be made via paper ads or few pamphlets, but the Guru himself doesn't pursue publicity and likes to work with small group

  • 5. 
    How much property the Guru holds and how does he handle his Ashram(or his organization)
    • A. 

      Some property exists and he maintains it religiously, although not taking major expansion steps. Tries to keep the tradition alive, probably is a successor of previous Guru

    • B. 

      Large scale expansion of ashram(existing or new) has happened under him but not a single controversy/untoward incident can be found as long as He is in direct control of the Ashram. He doesn't set up ashrams, but people set up on their own and come to Him for approval or ask the Guru to send over someone to guide them. Guru doesn't interfere much and just asks to follow certain rules. He may send one of his disciples to setup the ashram

    • C. 

      Huge property exists, he maintains it religiously and also brings in revolutionary steps to grow. Is a successor of previous Guru

    • D. 

      No property exists, or whatever little exists is under an Ashram with which he shows no interest and only interferes when something is seriously about to go wrong

    • E. 

      Large scale expansion of a new organization with branches mushrooming in multiple places. He is a major force in expansion and His charisma is bringing new ashrams everywhere. He himself conducts sessions or discussions on where to open new ashrams etc so as to reach maximum number of people. He is very involved in decisions of the Ashram.

    • F. 

      Some property exists and is mostly managed by his close devotees, he himself is not very keen in expanding it with new branches

    • G. 

      No property exists as he is an householder

  • 6. 
    Is the Guru conscious about security around him(like not allowing pointed objects, not allowing cameras, who is near him etc.) and is he choosy when it comes to forming the inner circle devotees who take care of Him ?
    • A. 

      Tight security check is there in most places and very particular about who should serve him and when.

    • B. 

      Not much security but he chooses his inner circle of devotees. Guru is often seen alone or with just with one devotee around

    • C. 

      Not much security, but the Guru cannot be spotted being alone. There will always be atleast a single devotee with him.

    • D. 

      Not much security at all and there is no real inner circle who go everywhere the Guru goes. Guru is often seen alone or with just one devotee around

    • E. 

      Tight security checks but not very choosy about inner circle, just trust worthy devotees.

  • 7. 
    Can a common man approach Him easily and would the inner circle allow it ?
    • A. 

      Yes he is approachable for common man, there is no real inner circle of devotees who interefere and not many devotees swarm him either. Generally is silent and answers to anyone.

    • B. 

      Yes he is approachable for common man. Even though large following exists for Guru, on days when he is alone or is not busy, he is easily approachable

    • C. 

      Cannot be easily approached by a common man, need permission from his inner cirlce or from the Guru himself, even though Guru is not busy and is alone

    • D. 

      Guru is available to common man only during programs or courses. Other times it is not encouraged to meet him

    • E. 

      Common man cannot find him easily as he is wandering but responds to genuine doubts

    • F. 

      Hides away from public glare and meets only few seekers who come to him. But doesn't shoo away genuine people from his presence

    • G. 

      Hides away from public glare but responds to most seekers who come to him

  • 8. 
    Does he live with all comforts(good house, car, travel by flight etc)? Is he particular about following scriptures ?
    • A. 

      Lives a simple life and doesn't bother himself with shastras or scriptural injunctions

    • B. 

      Lives a simple life (may be just basic necesssity) following all the scriptures

    • C. 

      He himself is said to be simple, but the ashram seems to be a very well-built place with all modern facilities. He doesn't seem to adhere to scriptures very strictly

    • D. 

      Lives a luxurious life, but follows all scriptural injunctions strictlly

    • E. 

      Lives with luxury and uses modern gadgets. Also doesn't bother much about sciptural injunctions and often says after enlightenment these things really dont affect him

  • 9. 
    How is the Guru's behaviour towards miracles ?
    • A. 

      Openly showcases miracles in large public

    • B. 

      Miracles happen around him, but he doesn't take credit for it

    • C. 

      No miracles happen around him, he himself states I dont do miracles for anyone

    • D. 

      Says transforming humans is the only miracle he does

    • E. 

      Miracles happen and only seen by few devotees. Even claims to his close devotees that he did it. His miracles are never witnessed by a non-believer

    • F. 

      No real miracles seem to have happened, although he claims Guru's can perform miracles in a public gathering where even non-believers exist

    • G. 

      No miracles seem to have happened and doesn't feel the need to explain any miracles

  • 10. 
    Where does the Guru sleep ? Can he be seen sleeping or taking rest by a common man ?
    • A. 

      Don't know his sleeping locations as he is a wandering man with no ashram or fixed resting place

    • B. 

      In a place inaccessible to others and only very few are allowed there. No way a common man can see him taking rest.

    • C. 

      Sleeps at a place where anyone can find him. Devotees may not allow access but he himself doesn't seem very particular about restricting access

    • D. 

      A place where no one can see him. His devotees generally dont entertain visitors

    • E. 

      He can be seen taking rest and is particular his devotees don't restrict access to him when a common man comes with an urgent problem

    • F. 

      I don't know where he sleeps, but he does have a ashram or a place where he stays

  • 11. 
    Does he charge fees for anything ?
    • A. 

      No fees for most things. Food, discourses, etc are free. No formal courses to attend in ashram. Some poojas if it exists in ashram, might be charged nominally

    • B. 

      No fees for discourse or food, but there are some courses or poojas etc which are monetized

    • C. 

      Some discourses are free. Many advanced courses have high fees and few lower level courses are free. Food is free. There exist some shops (like rudraksha photos, discourse cds etc)where items are charged at market price. Some social services run by ashram are free like Hospitals, Meals etc. Seems to be very practical in money matters.

    • D. 

      Most things are charged, except prasad and general darshan

    • E. 

      He doesn't run any ashram or organization, nor does he take any formal classes etc. Runs some informal discussions at the most

    • F. 

      He has some formal courses to attend but doesn't have any ashram. Not interested in creating an ashram as well.

    • G. 

      He has some formal courses to attend but doesn't have any ashram, but would like to establish it

  • 12. 
    Are there monks or resident teachers in ashram without permission from their families ?
    • A. 

      No consent from parents is sought, if the disciple is a major(i.e. adult) only his consent is considered and He is asked to take care of His separation from family. No family consent is necessary and within 5 years one can become a sanyasi in that Guru's order. If not a monkhood, he is easily accepted as a resident teacher in ashram without consent from his family.

    • B. 

      Rigorous training and hierarchy exists within the Ashram. Even though family consent may not be available, but enough time say 8-10 years is given before accepting the disciple as a monk

    • C. 

      Monkhood is given by Guru only after considering all his family duties like spouse, parents, children etc. A new disciple is enquired about his family whereabouts. An consent is asked from family or family is given enough support. Atleast the family is informed about their child/spouse's decision.

    • D. 

      Very difficult to get monkhood. Only men with extreme renunictaion tendency is give monkhood. Also the Guru gives monkhood only if he himself belongs to a traditional sanyasi parampara. Concept of resident teachers/citizens in ashrams doesn't exist, some close devotees may stay in ashram but they have to look after their own family too.

    • E. 

      Never gives monkhood to anybody. Rarely gives diksha or initiation

  • 13. 
    Does the Guru give mantras ?
    • A. 

      Yes, the Guru recommends everyone to chant a mantra which contains a modification of his own name in it

    • B. 

      Rarely gives any mantras to anyone. Also prefers to have orthodox Vedic followers to be given these mantras. Vedic mantras like Gayathri mantra is recommended only to Brahmins.

    • C. 

      Asks everyone to chant Vedic mantras like Gayathri mantras, sukthas etc i.e. irrespective of their caste, creed, sex and nationality

    • D. 

      Gives various mantras to everyone who comes to him and also explains dos and donts for it.

    • E. 

      Give some mantra to a man when he feels the man can be helped out of a situation by chanting a particluar mantra

    • F. 

      Never gives any mantra to anyone, at the same time doesn't assert mantras are ineffective

    • G. 

      Never gives mantras because they are not very helpful towards enlightenment

    • H. 

      Suggests common mantras mentioned in scriptures for everybody(like Rama nama etc) but not those mantras which are prohibited from chanting for everybody (like Veda mantras). For advanced mantras requiring certain prescribed rules he may teach it himself or under personal guidance or direct to someone else who has attained spiritual benefit by practising that mantra religiously

    • I. 

      Gives a commonly known mantra which he himself used in the past to attain enlightenment, but doesn't chant it religiously anymore. Is very particular people should follow certain dos and donts(if he himself had followed them in his past)

    • J. 

      Gives out a mantra which he is chanting religiously everyday

    • K. 

      Gives some secret mantra to certain devotees alongwith certain rules. He doesn't disclose if he has chanted it in past. A formal program/course may be conducted before the diksha or initiation event.

    • L. 

      Give away many mantras for different problems. Also asks for donation or charges for a sitting

  • 14. 
    What is the Guru's general opinion on destiny of a man?
    • A. 

      Enlightenement is possible in this birth itself, with rigorous practice. There is no such thing as destiny which cannot be changed. Some diseases can be rectified by proper asanas or positive thinking etc.

    • B. 

      Enlightenment is possible only by grace(of Guru or God), But grace is always available. One has to work through his karma and destiny. It can take multiple births to attain enlightenment but practice is a must and a quest is a must.

    • C. 

      Enlightenment is possible only by effort, practice and a quest. It can take multiple births.

    • D. 

      Enlightenment is possible by effort.But a Guru can give it to anyone provided the disciple is fit for it.

  • 15. 
    Does the Guru build temples(or churches or any other place of worship) ?
    • A. 

      Never has built any temple and has no such intentions. Although has visited many temples in past non-enlightened period. But generally doesn't visit temples anymore unless the devotees ask him to.

    • B. 

      Has built one or more grand temples. Generally very ornate temples with huge idols. Rituals etc. happen in a grand scale often. Everyday rituals often are not done by professional qualified pandits but by ashram inmates themselves. Even when done by qualified pandits, many traditional practices seem to be slackened.

    • C. 

      Very few or almost no new temples are conceived by him. May take up renovation of old existing dilapidated temples. Also tries to re-establish any broken tradition in the upkeep of temple

    • D. 

      In the process of building a temple and asks for donations almost everywhere he goes

    • E. 

      Has no financial means to build a worship place, but would like to build new places of worship

    • F. 

      Doesn't build temples on his own. But does take his devotees on tour of different temples

    • G. 

      Belongs to a tradition which doesn't build Vedic-temples. But doesn't mind people/followers visiting such Vedic temples

    • H. 

      Belongs to a tradition which doesn't build temples, and often derides idol worship

  • 16. 
    What is his ideology on Idol worship ?
    • A. 

      Always derides idol worship as against the Formless God's wish

    • B. 

      He doesn't indulge in Idol worship much, but allows others if they have some affinity towards it

    • C. 

      Intense Idol worshipper with many long-drawn ritualistic poojas in which he is involved. Infact he seems to converse with idols.

    • D. 

      Does cursory idol worship like bowing etc. Doesn't perform any long-drawn ritual or pooja himself. Often discolses the deities have conversed with him. Also creates places of Idol worship for others

    • E. 

      Builds temples with giant or ornate idols. Himself rarely does any long-drawn ritual worship of idols

    • F. 

      Believes in Idol worship and does it mildly. Doesn't indulge in worship of His Guru as well. Focussed on the philosophical side more.

    • G. 

      Beleives in Idol worship and does it mildly. Strong worshipper of his Guru as God. Follows his Gurus dictum to the last

  • 17. 
    How does the Guru treat menstruation women and does he allow women to officiate Vedic fire sacrifices or yaga
    • A. 

      Menstruation women are strictly not allowed in temples or rituals. No women can offciate a vedic fire ritual ever.

    • B. 

      Guru doesn't belong to Vedic tradition(non-Hindu or Sanatana dharma) and hence allows foreigners some leniency but advices Indian women to follow their traditional customs of staying away during menstruation . Never allows women to do yagas

    • C. 

      Has no trouble in allowing menstruation women in temples/rituals happening within his ashram. Similarly can allow women to officiate in some fire rituals as they are equal to men

    • D. 

      Asks women to fight against injustice and encourages them to visit any temple of choice even during menstruation saying all these are man made taboos

    • E. 

      Don't know his opinion on this subject

  • 18. 
    Does he explain modern science in terms of spirituality or vice versa (topics like black hole, time travel, evolution, quantum physics) ?
    • A. 

      Yes, and he discloses secrets which science itself is yet to prove conclusively or yet to find. His talks are a revelation in scientific understanding.

    • B. 

      Never, he generally stays away from lofty science concepts

    • C. 

      Rarely but he uses only proved and accepted science. The discussions are quite obvious and there is nothing new to learn about science itself from these discussions.

    • D. 

      Clearly says the science is divorced from Spirit and refuses to talk about science

    • E. 

      Don't know