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In the oriental tradition guru is considered essential for spiritual life. Even the great Advaitic sage Maharshi Ramana said that guru was needed and when queried that he had none said that he must have had at some stage in life. He did add that for a very few God appeared to guide from within. But they were exceptions rather than the rule. Moreover he said that should a disciple meet the Sadguru ( True or enlightened sage) he would ferried across the ocean of sansara ( world) as the deer cannot escape once it is in the jaws of the tiger. Ramakrishna Paramhansa said the frog makes a lot of noise but no sooner it is caught by a cobra it falls silent immediately. The snake symbolises the guru and frog the disciple.

Two things are very clear from what i have said till now and they are that a guru is indispensable and that getting a God realised soul as a guru is a unique privilege. Kabir a medieval poet saint of India said that Sadguru was different from those who whispered mantra in the ear. Now choosing a right kind of guru was considered as important for we know of the parable of blind leading the blind. A clear distinction was made between a Teacher and a Guru. Only a person having a divine commission could take on the mantle of guru.

It was also said that all were a medium of the first guru and hence guru was synonymous with god. Unconditional devotion was expected from the disciple and he was to follow the directions given by the guru in letter and spirit and follow his instructions. He was supposed to take you to the guru residing within and his task would then be over. Genuine gurus sent away their disciples after initiation or some preliminary preparation because in a shade of a big tree growth of another is difficult. We have numerous examples and to quote some , Ramdas sent away yogi Ram Suratkumar and Baba Neem karoli sent his well known western disciple Ramdass to several gurus.

J Krishnmuri has radically different views on this and many of the points raised are very valid. As he does not want anyone to be interpreter of his views they could be directly assessed.