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Article CXIX: Gurus in Vedanta

Spiritual aspirants often seek out enlightened gurus for ideal guidance. However, one can achieve great spiritual growth without ever meeting an enlightened being. Divine teachings are accessible through scripture, and the words of enlightened beings are available through their writings and talks. A Vedantic adage explains that when the student is ready, the guru will appear. Before this formal guru is established, one can learn from exploring great works and aspiring to follow the spiritual practices described. A wealth of knowledge is available, and the Gita is an excellent starting point. Vedanta describes three steps to spiritual growth, i.e. sravanam (receiving), mananam (contemplating), and nidhidhyasanam (absorbing). Reading and listening can provide sravanam. Thinking and discussing can provide mananam. And practicing through daily life can provide nidhidhyasanam. As one grows spiritually, each step along the path to enlightenment allows for greater bliss and peace in every day.

Gita Full Text:

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II -- Translated by Swami Chinmayananda

23. Weapons cleave It not, fire burns It not, water moistens It not, wind dries It not.
24. This Self cannot be cut, nor burnt, nor moistened, nor dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable immovable and ancient.
25. This (Self) is said to be Unmanifest, Unthinkable and Unchangeable. Therefore, knowing This to be such, you should not grieve.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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