Most of the people say, we need a guru in the path of spirituality to drive us in the way that we attain the abode of the supreme being. I would like to know

Can't the supreme being drive the devotee to moksha by himself? Can the Lord be one's own Guru?

  • 1
    how is your Guru different from God? Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshvara Guru Saakshat Parabrahma Tasmai Sree Guruve Namah. The truth is this, when the devotee's yearning for God is great, then God Himself sends the Guru to that person. The Guru is verily God Himself come to teach you. The Guru is no different from God and God is no different from the Guru. Can't the supreme being drive the devotee to moksha by himself? I think you meant to ask "Is it necessary to have a physical Guru to teach us?" in that case yes God can definitely guide you from within but that is hardr for devotee
    – Sai
    Nov 23, 2014 at 5:39
  • Harder in the sense?
    – user12458
    Nov 23, 2014 at 6:11
  • 1
    Well isnt it much easier to listen and surrender to a living person such as yourself rather than to an abstract undetectable entity inside yourself? The Guru is there to help you make that inner connection. Without the Guru its hard to do it by yourself but definitely not impossible
    – Sai
    Nov 23, 2014 at 6:29
  • 1
    @Sai You could have full understanding of who you are and who Vishnu is, but then still decide not to surrender to him. You're human after all, and you have flaws and passions that might lead you astray. You might understand that the way to get Moksha is to seek refuge in Vishnu's lotus feet, and yet you might choose not to actually seek refuge in his lotus feet. Nov 23, 2014 at 18:42
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    @Sai After all, in Visistadvaita, Saranagati is not the sole means to get Moksha. So you might understand that surrendering to Vishnu would get you Moksha, but you might still choose to try to get Moksha some other way, like following the principles of Bhakti Yoga laid out in the Bhagavad Gita. By the way, I hope you understand the difference between Saranagati and Bhakti. Bhakti Yoga mean trying to attain Moksha through selfless devotion, but Saranagati means giving up such efforts and surrendering because you realize you're not able to even follow the detailed principles of Bhakti Yoga. Nov 23, 2014 at 18:47

6 Answers 6


Yes, you can assume anything or anyone as your Guru and how much faith and devotion you have to that anything or anyone will make all the difference.

Guru is for helping you and guiding you but ultimately it's you whose efforts will matter the most. Nature constantly pushes you and presents before you situations which are basically aimed at moving you in the right direction but not everybody will recognizes that, one who is really wise will only understand.

That's why it's said that pain is the hand of nature sculpting man to greatness.

You can even walk the spiritual path all alone but if you have a Guru your journey becomes easier. If you believe in past life and if actions in your past life were oriented towards spirituality then in this life you will automatically go on the same path, it's the karma which will drive you.

And of course if you have the unshakable faith in Supreme being, you will automatically attain moksha, but it requires tremendous faith, like a crazy person.

  • You should cite sources. Nov 24, 2014 at 17:17
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    I don't have any sources. Whatever I have said is based on what I have heard while growing up in a traditional brahmin community and what I have understood basically till now by listening to some of the Gurus and Scholars and my numerous grand parents. It's upto you to agree or disagree, you can think of my answer as my opinion which of course I wanted to put forward as comment but as you can see I do not have enough reputation points to post a comment so I ended up writing an answer. Nov 24, 2014 at 19:00
  • OK, then do you want me to convert your answer into a comment? Nov 24, 2014 at 20:09
  • Yes,you can if that helps in any way. Nov 24, 2014 at 20:13

God is the only Guru but as humans we need the guidance initially of a human guru. A person who thinks he can go it alone either has tremendous faith or a tremendous ego - and most of the time it's a tremendous ego. After being on the path for a while, your mind will become your guru.

Even Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had human gurus. It is said sometimes that he didn't need gurus, but he had them to set the example.

As indicated in some prior answers to some of your prior questions, I have given you specific scriptural verses that support this need for the human guru.

  • I think human guru might not be needed for the one who follows Bhakti yoga? Many Nayanars don't have a human Guru (almost all).
    – user12458
    Nov 26, 2014 at 13:29
  • @JavaTechnical So you wanna imitate someone (so what if He is an avatar Himself)!? This is a western approach to "enlightenment" and education and learning...
    – Hindu
    Nov 26, 2014 at 17:17
  • Sri Chaitanya had a guru...Ramanuja had a guru... Nov 27, 2014 at 13:38
  • @Hindu You are right. Nayanars may be the incarnations of Lord Shiva himself so might be the reason they don't have a guru.
    – user12458
    Nov 27, 2014 at 13:42

Why do we need a guru?

We need a guru so that we can receive spiritual knowledge and enlightenment. This is the recommended process of receiving spiritual knowledge. Lord Krishna talks about this in Gita and several other scriptures say the same thing.

This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost. Bhagavad Gita 4.2

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth. Bhagavad Gita 4.34

Can Lord be our Guru? He is the original Guru and all other gurus are His representatives. Lord Krishna, Rama, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and various acaryas all accepted a guru. Our guru and the Lord, both of them can instruct and inspire us at various times. Lord Krishna says in the Gita 10 and 11:

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

So by the mercy of Guru we get Krishna who will help us further in our spiritual journey.


I am going to attempt answering this in a different way. (This is not a reflection on the original poster of question, so do not take it like I am addressing someone personally).

What if someone says "we don't need a Guru. we cannot be sure of their qualifications. There are no standards for who should be guru" and so on? Well, someone did ask me exactly this.

The general feeling among people is that spirituality is some open-ended hippie project, that needs to be experienced and each one settles in to their own smoke-filled tent. Many people think that they can do what they want and get what they want. And when their effort fails to meet their expectation, strangely, they start blaming the very same things that might have helped them. The scriptures and the acharyas.

No one can become a doctor, a lawyer, a farmer or a lawyer without someone else teaching them. Such material things need years of study and practice. Strangely, people think they don’t need a teacher for spiritual science, which is much more complex and subtler than any discipline that material science has grown.

This is not a logical speculation without basis. Sri Krishna is very direct in this regard.


tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.

Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12 also pretty much says that the way towards parabrahman is through a guru only.

parīkṣya lokānkarmacitānbrāhmaṇo nirvedamāyānnāstyakṛtaḥ kṛtena | tadvijñānārthaṃ sa gurumevābhigacchetsamitpāṇiḥ śrotriyaṃ brahmaniṣṭham || 12 ||

So, to tide over the material world’s strife and realize the parabrahman, we need a Guru who can guide us, correct us at every step and lead us by his own example. And he needs to be someone who has received that mercy from his Guru. That is how the sampradaya system works. And all of this starts from the Lord himself. He is the first Guru, as he himself says in Bhagavad Gita 14.4, “aham bija-pradah pita”, that he is the seed giving father for everything in this material nature.

Now, can someone consider God to his/her guru? This is a very dangerous ground. The answer is yes and no. We do not have the level of purity to access the Lord’s mercy and attention by our own endeavors. There are very few empowered beings that might act directly in that regard, and it is very rare for us to get in touch with them long enough to be put on a fast track towards realization. For the 99.999999% of us jivas caught up in samsara, accessing the platform of realization and moksha is going to be possible only by accepting a bonafide Guru from the proper sampradayas.


Can the Lord be one's own Guru?

Imagine yourself being a "thing" that ONLY re-acts to stimuli. That reaction could be due to different "Laws" governing your Physical, Psychological, Emotional, Hormonal and Spiritual, realms.

Then, what would you be like? Nothing, but like a bouncing-bumping molecule, roaming around in space, that WAS ONCE, IN PAST, "acted" upon by someone "alive", and is now ONLY REACTING to its environment based on some fixed laws...

Now what probability one such molecule has, to come out of a large box, full of randomly moving molecules, through a small orifice in it? It would be hopelessly low, due to its short mean free path (i.e the path over which it doesn't "re-act" and thus moves a in straight line).

In the chaotic Kaliyuga, Sansaar is quite the similar box, with one small way out, called Moksha. With the prevalent, NIL, less, or weak self-control i.e "Chitta Vritti Nirodh", a significant number of people have developed, the same "bumping-bouncing" characteristic of a molecules, in their nature.

They can now ONLY respond their animal Instincts. The Divine Intuition, or so called Wisdom, has now ceased to exist in Humans. Even the smallest "acts of god" now hold the potential to bring a fearsome beast out of a "descent-looking", "peace-talking", "Democracy-loving" person.

EVERYBODY... literally EVERYBODY knows whats "right". EVERYONE is looking for ways to 'lose their-"Self"'. Though unknowingly, but EVERYONE has a vague idea of Moksha, our TRUE STATE. AND STILL, we all REPEAT THE SAME mistakes again and again.


But that's all fine. It was all meant to happen. This is the final stage of Yuga-cycle, that corresponds to the final stage of Human life i.e Old age, when every thing material, including our own body, comes in conflict with each other, and consequently hurts (unless we take shelter of Sannyas Ashram).

Now the question is, can we change ourselves, on our own?

Apparently, its like asking "Can we pull a carriage while sitting on it". So we need kind of a spiritual psychiatrist to cure our "sickness". Our options for the "psychiatrist" are as follows:

  1. A Religion, with STRICT, UNQUESTIONED "rules" of so many "DO's & DON'Ts".

That means...

"Don't do this!...Don't do that!", OR "That's Satanic...That brings hell fire on you!" or "Thats a sure ticket to Heaven, i.e a place of Eternal pleasure..."

It's all to ensure the isolated confinement of the bumpy "molecules" in their own "conflict-free-Zones". In simple terms, it NEVER actually transforms a person from inside, rather just conflict-prevention mechanism (as like Democracy). Hinduism is NOT a Religion.

  1. An idea of a "Supreme" Being as in the "Baptized-Hinduism".

That "being" is...

"Aahha!" SO FULL of OPULENCES and "Aahha!" he LOVES his devotees SO MUCH, that he (even unfairly) favors them all the time. His devotees, who act like His estranged "WIVES", are like royalties of the world. They are all well protect from their own PAST KARMA...like a cute, innocent new-born, wrapped in a warm, cozy PINK blanket. They are the SWEET "Aahha!-Hindus".

So its ALL about creating a kind of delusion, like a "fairy-tale" for the "immature kids" is to stop "crying" and just "sleep". It makes the bumpy "molecules" to "forget moving" at all, so that the "Aahha!-Peace" can be ensured.

Good-Job, but this ALSO NEVER actually transforms a person from inside.

Now the last is...

  1. A Enlightened (human) Guru. (Indeed a RARE breed.)

What he does is as trivial as...

Opening a knot...or Removing a block...And a SPONTANEOUS flow of positive change and transformation starts in his blessed disciple. And with proper tools of Scriptures, he can grow a healthy crop of wisdom, on his previously barren mind.

How can a Guru does such "magic"?

It's the reason WHY we say...

Guroor Brahma...Guroor Vishnu...Guroor Devo Maheshvara

Imagine a scenario of Clouds over Earth, and its Raining!

  • Lord Shiva is the Lord of Tamasik-Prakriti. Tamas, like Gravity, (on earth) is Avyakta absolute. Not just gravity, but its also the molecular forces between molecule. Its the driving force of EVERYTHING! Its the 'WHY?' among questions, and the PAST in Tenses.

  • Lord Vishnu is the Lord of Rajasik-Prakriti. Rajas is like Surface Tension in the water that's pouring down. It the TRANSFORMATION of the Avyakta water molecules, into Vyakta clods and droplets. Its the Self-Consciousness or Ahankaar. Its the PRESENT in Tenses, and SO it's also the 'Existence' itself. Its the one 'IDEA' in the mind of a seeker, that reaches its 'Conclusion'.

  • Lord Brahma is the Lord of Sattavik-Prakriti. Sattva here, is the Water, the material Vyakta Absolute. Its the "Purity". It is the innocent curiosity, and the FUTURE in Tenses. Notice that its the Consciousness of Rajas (Vishnu), that transforms the Avyakta Tamas (Shiva), into the Vyakta Sattav (Brahma). No wonder that Lord Brahma came out of Lord Vishnu.

Whole world is following the same pattern,

Avyakta ==> Vyakta ==> Avyakta

Where the start and end BOTH is Maheshvar Shiva, and the transformations is due to Shri Hari.


"Guroor Brahma" => Guru realizes the RAW, Vyakta potential of his disciple.

"Guroor Vishnu" => Guru nurtures the found qualities into the disciple's Identity.

"Guroor Devo-Maheshvara" => Guru acts like an ocean, an endless reservoir that absorbs, or fulfill for any imbalance, whatsoever, that may arise in his disciple.

Remember ones First Guru is his/her Mother.

At last, you see your Lord can be either Brahma, Vishnu, or Mahesh, but a (human) Guru is ALL IN ONE! Choice is yours.

NOTE: I seldom provide references in my posts, because looking up to a book every time you "think!", is a again NOT a Hindu trait. Vedas were in souls of ancient sages, they have not mugged it up either. Reading Vedas should be a journey of Mind to soul, rather than of memory from one synapse to the other.

Mind you, that there is a difference between Vedas and books of other religion. "Vedas" are NOT "Holy" as in "Holy Bible" or "Holy Quran", but they can for sure bring THE HOLY out of you.

  • Holy in the sense?
    – user12458
    Nov 28, 2014 at 4:12
  • ...as in "Holy Bible" or "Holy Quran"
    – Hindu
    Nov 28, 2014 at 4:22

actually after gaining shelter of a sadguru (true spiritual master, who removes illusions and provides ultimate faith in god) there's only need to constantly be able to understand god by gurudev's teachings in a right way, god resides in the teachings then.

service to gurudev becomes service to god, taking darshan as per gurudev's guidance becomes more divine in experience then.

this is why it's said if in case, you simultaneously see god and pious_gurudev both of them are standing, devotees must touch feet of gurudev.

कबीर दास : वह कवि जो धर्म, जाती और भाषा से परे था, वह शिष्य जो गुरु का मान करना सिखा गया! (https://www.google.com/amp/s/hindi.thebetterindia.com/2621/guru-gobind-dou-khade-sant-kabeer/amp/)

gurudev brahma gurudev vishnu gurudev maheshwara, gurudev sakshaat parabrahm, tasmay shree guruvey namah”

example from present kaliyuga:

once, **goswami tulsidasji got a spiritual message **that his wish regarding darshan of his istadev : (sita,ram, lakshmanji and hanumanji) was about to be fulfilled soon at chitrakoot.

missing once to recognize impersonated ramchandraji (who already met tulsidasji multiple times earlier in his lifetime, gave darshan now too disguised), feeling empty,- he thus, prayed to sri hanumanji who always remains in service of sri ramchandraji.

sri hanumanji wanted that tulsidasji is fulfilled by darshan this time without a miss while tulsidasji was still searching again all day, but wasn't able to recognize sri ramchandraji due to lord being meeting as a disguised personality.

जब हनुमान जी ने करवाए तुलसीदास को श्री राम के दर्शन (https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.punjabkesari.in/dharm/news/when-hanuman-ji-did-the-tulsidas-darshan-of-shri-ram-956155%3famp)

tulsidasji after getting appropriate guidance from sri hanumanji regarding a boy (ramchandraji) about be visiting, so this time without a miss, goswamiji was able to serve directly lord sri ramchandraji - he was satisfied at heart to have met his istadev.

moral: divine guidance is very important, to achieve god's mercy and realization, even for saints.

forms with beautiful mudras, yogic poses of gods will always be present on earth, but gurudev’s guidance can sow ultimate divinity in heart- so that darshan becomes unique, selfless divine experience, fulfilling mundane needs as well.

  • is this just copied from somewhere? why all in CAPITAL letters?
    – max bench
    May 24, 2020 at 10:18
  • No. Links taken from net. Wrote on notes app, then pasted 😂 May 24, 2020 at 10:40

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