Misunderstanding of the Guru/Disciple Relationship PDF Print E-mail

Failure to understand the true nature of a bonafide guru unfortunately leads to a misunderstanding about the nature of the relationship between a guru and his students or disciples.

Unfortunately, due to ignorance resulting from a Eurocentric educational system, religious bigotry, or both, many people in the West have formed the misguided view that a guru/disciple relationship is inherently bad, and have misinterpret reverence for the guru as “cultism.” Regrettably some have even equated the guru/disciple relationship or system with belonging to a “cult”; that a guru is by definition a “cult leader”, and, if someone is a disciple of a guru, then by definition they are a “mindless, ignorant, or even robotic cult follower”.

Such misguided and bigoted critics are aware of the prejudice against the guru/disciple system prevalent in the West and know that all one needs to do to damage someone’s reputation is to label them a “cult leader” or a “cult follower.” Such persons know that to prove someone is a “cult leader” all they have to do is simply show that they have disciples; and to prove someone is a “cult follower”, all that is required is to simply provide evidence that they are a disciple of a guru.

Unfortunately, such a jaundiced and offensive attitude is common in many western countries. This prejudice is rooted in the modern Eurocentric culture, tradition, and worldview. After all, under such a world view why should “superior” Westerners respect or give serious consideration to the merits of a “strange” Eastern culture? It’s much easier for such prejudiced people to arrogantly dismiss it as “evil”, and something which should be denounced. As a result of such ignorance many people think that adherents of such a guru/disciple system should be shunned, denounced or converted or “saved.” And that further, adherents of the guru/disciple system should be treated as untrustworthy, and even as “evil” pariahs who should not be accepted as equal citizens in our increasingly integrated world community.