a question for the traditionalists among us

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann reimann at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed May 10 00:58:37 UTC 2000

Concerning Steve Brown's question:

>>i am curious about the methodology of finding a guru in classical
>>hinduism...How does one look?  when does one know he/she has found their

And Chris Beetle's response:
>The following is one verse from Padma Purana:
>sat-karma-nipuno vipro, mantra-tantra visaradah,
>avaisnava guru na syad, vaisnavah sva paco guruh
>A brahmana (priest or intellectual) with all brahminical qualities and
>abilities is not qualified to be a guru unless he is a devotee of Lord
>Vishnu (the Supreme Lord).  While a devotee of Lord Vishnu, even if born in
>the lowest class, is qualified to act as guru.

This verse, of course, is not about how to find a Hindu spiritual guru in
general.  It is, rather, a sectarain VaiSNava statement.  The Padma Purana
is a VaiSNava Purana, and a very sectarian one at that: it fiercely
condemns non VaiSNava Hindus of several traditions.

It all depends on what Steve Brown is looking for, a guru within a specific
sectarian branch of Hinduism, or a more open spiritual teacher that accepts
different branches of Hinduism.


Luis Gonzalez-Reimann
University of California, Berkeley

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