Two Businesses: Gold & Gurus


Dear Darren,

You’ve asked me a few times about guru and at least once asked if I am a guru. I sidestepped the question a bit because my direct answer to such a question is not very relevant. Suppose, for example, I answered your question ”Yes, I am a guru.” So what? Would the answer mean you should accept me as your guru? No. That is a matter for you to decide, not me, nor anyone else.

The better question for you to ask is ”What is a guru?” That is a question I can easily answer. Then, after knowing what a guru is, you can search for a guru, when your knowledge is firm that you know what to look for and you feel an urgent need for the spiritual guidance that only a spiritual guru can give.

If you want to buy gold, you have to know what gold is. Only then will there be any profit in searching for it.

If someone offers to sell you gold and you ask him ”Is it really gold?”, of course he will say ”Yes.” whether it is or not. There is not much value in such a question and answer. You must know the qualities of gold yourself and how to test for them. Alternatively you can rely on a trusted independent authority on the matter. The same is true for all questions in the matter of spiritual life. In addition, one must be willing to pay the price that is required to get what one wants, whether it be gold or spiritual life.

Many people browse the gold shops but are not serious buyers. The same is true in the marketplace of gurus: many browsers, few persons with a serious interest or the commitment to pay the price needed for the genuine article. As there is more fools gold than real gold there are also many cheaters posing as gurus who are only too happy to advertise themselves as gurus. One must be aware of such imposters and know how to discern the real from the fake.

I hope this is of some help to you.


Swami B.K. Giri