Breaking Trail
Breaking Trail
Feb 26, 2022
#36: Who is a True Guru?
Play • 1 hr 7 min

Did you ever try to learn tennis simply by reading a book? Or tried figure out physics simply through your own speculations? The need for a teacher is obvious in any field, and spiritual life is no different. In fact, it’s an absolute necessity; “The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to understand the science of the solution, one must approach a spiritual master who is in the disciplic succession.”

But to many of us, the word ‘Guru’ or ‘Spiritual master’ may be associated with exploitation, mystic tricks, and dominating over others. For good reason, because there are so many cheaters that misuse the position of being a teacher.

So how can we make sure we are not in the position of being the ones that are being cheated? In today’s episode we take a closer look at how we can actually know who is a true guru, a bona-fide spiritual master. And the signs & symptoms of a person you should stay far away from.


  • (1:56) Many people misunderstand what a true guru is—for a good reason, since many of the so-called gurus simply want to exploit others
  • (10:05) The perfect example of the relationship between student and teacher is there in the Bhagavad-gita, when Arjuna says to his spiritual teacher, Krishna; “Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I'm asking you to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple and a soul surrendered on to you Please instruct me.”
  • (20:19) The perplexities of life come automatically, without our wanting them. To get out from this predicament, one must approach a spiritual master who is in the disciplic succession.
  • (34:14) The 3 ways to check whether or not someone is a true spiritual master
  • (43:58) “A guru is someone who is so filled with bhakti, or love for the Supreme, and therefore love and compassion for all living beings, who he understands are part and parcel of the Supreme, that he sees himself as a servant of everyone and dedicates his life to helping everyone to find true happiness.”
  • (48:45) The story of how Balakhilya found and came to accept his spiritual teacher

Recorded on February 21, 2022. Read episode transcript on

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