Can One Change Gurus?
We have many teachers in the
different fields of learning we may take up. We don't have only one
grade school teacher, nor only one science teacher. Being exposed to
a variety of teachers allows us a wider horizon of learning and we
cease to identify the teaching with a person.
Yet it is possible to have a
special close relationship with a particular teacher, like that of
an apprentice, which we cannot have with many different teachers. We
can and should have many different teachers, but we may also have a
primary teacher whose teaching serves as the central focus for our
practice, just as an artist or a doctor may have a primary mentor or
tutor. In the spiritual life we should be connected to a greater
teacher and teaching which expresses the realization of the Absolute
Truth and provides a model for it. Such a Self-realized guru or
Sadguru may be central to our practice, though they may not be a
person who is still alive or whom we may contact intimately.
It is also important to
maintain connection with the same basic tradition and approach. If
we mix teachers of different traditions, and jumble different
practices it can cause confusion. If we first ground ourselves in an
enlightenment tradition then we can maintain a continuity of
teachers and practices within it. The
important thing is to be serious about our practice not merely to
run after external personalities. If we lose faith in our teacher
after they leave the physical plane it only indicates that we did
not connect to them at a deep level.