People look to gurus as a way to get self acceptance. If they
can get acceptance from the guru, then of course they must be ok.
The more powerful and magical and mystical the guru is, the more
valuable his/her acceptance is. Therefore, the tendency is to
elevate the guru to superhuman mythical Godman status.
Any self-respecting guru would understand this and make every
effort to show his students that s/he poops on the same pot as they
do. People need to understand that Self realization doesn't
automatically render one a saint. People need to see examples
of realization in everyday life. When a bigtime guru stands as
the example of realization, people acquire all kinds of incorrect
expectations about realization, effectively hindering their own self
discovery as it has become templated by their bigtime guru's image.
It's not the guru's fault if s/he gets elevated by his/her
students, but it's always his/her fault if s/he gets comfortable
– Jody Radzik
There's more of Jody's perspective on
this on his blog /
From a discussion in the GuruRatings
People come to cherish the notion of purity in a guru. When it comes
out that the guru wasn't so pure, they go into a tailspin trying to
preserve their cherished notions. The reason is because they have
acquired these notions as a component of their own identity, whether
it be in a postive or negative association. It isn't the guru they
are protecting, it's their own definition of their illusory sense of
self that they go to battle for. What they are really defending is
their *projection* of their guru.
I'd like to [see more] about the extent to which the guru is a
bundle of projections propelled and maintained by the devotee. And
these projections are as dear to the devotee as his very own
Yes. Even more than that, they *become* the self-image of the
devotee, and therefore part of the problem if the devotee is trying
to break free of identification with the individual sense of self.
That is what's wrong with the whole guru phenomenon. It's not
so much that the gurus are quacks, although there are a lot of those
out there. It's much more that the gurus contribute to the
ongoing state of ignorance of their devotees by themselves being
ignorant of the psychological dynamic that invariably occurs around
Yes, from what I've noticed time after time from the folks who have
come through New York City, it can go both ways: sometimes the guru
is ignorant of the dynamics, and sometimes the guru is needily
enabling, in order to have their own needs served.
Sometimes they contribute to this phenomenon while being ignorant of
the psychological dynamics, and sometimes they do it in spite of
knowing the dynamics, because they put their own needs before those
of the students.