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Is a Guru Necessary?

by Sangharakshita

In this excellent lecture Sangharakshita first establishes what a guru is not. He then explains what kind of relationship a disciple has with a guru or spiritual teacher, and draws a distinction between Eastern and Western attitudes towards spiritual teachers.

Talk given in 1970.

This talk is part of the series Aspects of the Higher Evolution of the Individual.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. A matter-of-fact approach; a guru is not the head of a religious group (10:23) 
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2. Responses to criticism: the Buddha and the angry monk (6:17) 
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3. A guru is not an ecclesiastical superior (2:01) 
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4. A guru is not a teacher (4:17) 
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5. A guru is not a father substitute (12:10) 
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6. A guru is not a problem-solver: a distinction between 'problems' and 'difficulties' (9:26) 
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7. A possible misunderstanding; 'horizontal' and 'vertical' communication (12:60) 
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8. The guru continues to evolve (2:23) 
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9. The necessity of personal relationships; how to choose a guru: (11:29) 
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10. Eastern attitudes to the guru (8:31) 
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11. Gurus in the West (5:55) 
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12. The Middle Way: “Let any reasonable man come to me” (5:57) 


Total running time: 1:31:49

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