Guru

Question: In spite of your emphatic denial of the need of a guru, are you not yourself a guru? What is the difference?

Krishnamurti: Sir, what do you mean by a guru? Why do you need a guru? Whether you make me one or not, I am not making myself a guru to you. That is why a follower is a curse. The follower is the destroyer, the follower is the exploiter. (Laughter.) Do not laugh it away, think about it very earnestly and see the consequence of it. Let us examine this question. Now, what do you mean by a guru? You generally mean, do you not?, one who will lead you to reality. Your guru is not the man of whom you can ask the direction to the station. You would not call the professor a guru, the man who teaches you the piano. Obviously, you mean by the guru one who will lead you to truth, give you a mode of conduct, one who will provide the key or open the door, give you nourishment, sustenance and encouragement - that is, one who will gratify you profoundly. You already know the superficial gratifications, and you want a deeper gratification, a deeper satisfaction, so you turn to someone who will assist you; you seek a guru because you yourself are confused, and you want direction, you want to be told how to act and what to do. So, all these things are involved in this; but by a guru we mean primarily one who will help us to unravel life's problems - not the technical problems, but the more subtle, the hidden, psychological problems. Now, has truth an abiding place? Has truth a fixed point? Has truth an abode, or is truth a dynamic, living thing, and therefore without a resting place? Truth is in constant movement; but if you say it is a fixed point, then you will have to find a guru who will lead you to it, and the guru becomes necessary as a pointer. That means that both you and the guru must know that truth is there, in a fixed place, like the station. Then you can ask the way, then you can approach the fixed point; and in order to achieve that, you need a guru who will direct and lead you to that fixed thing. But is truth a fixed thing? And if it is fixed, is it true? Also, if you want truth and you go to a guru, you must know what truth is, must you not? When you go to a guru you do not say, `I want to discover reality', on the contrary, you say, `Help me to realize truth'. Therefore, you already have an idea of what it is, you already know its content, its beauty, its loveliness, its fragrance. Do you know what it is? How can a confused man know clarity? He can only know confusion, or think of clarity as the opposite of what is.

Poona India 6th Public Talk 3rd October, 1948