All Gurus Should be Questioned

There is a tradition in India that the motives of gurus should never be questioned because, as Swami Omkarananda put it, the “guru is the grace bestowing power of God.”  However, I contend that the opposite is true: all gurus should be questioned.

Whether they embody the grace-bestowing power of God, gurus remain human and humans remain fallible. I have seen many gurus make horrible errors of judgment. True gurus can answer to all questioning because their actions are justified and rooted in virtue and realization. However, there are many false gurus whose actions are unjustified, cruel, and manipulative. It is the questioning that separates the true from the false. For this reason, all gurus should be questioned.

A person who claims to be wise or realized but refuses to allow anyone to question their motives or words is a fraud. The wise welcome questioning and can respond effectively to it in ways that reveal their realization.  This is not impudent questioning, of course, but questioning out of sincere respect and love as well as a sincere consideration for the truth.

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