Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 03 Feb 2005


How to distinguish between Sadguru and Guru?

In the word Sadguru, the prefix ‘Sat’ means ‘truth’. A Sadguru always preaches the truth. The truth is always harsh and is not liked by several people. Therefore a Sadguru will have a very few disciples. A Sadguru says that the path with thorns will lead to the Lord. People do not like this. He also says that the path with flowers leads to hell. People will not be happy with this preaching. A Guru preaches that which several people like. The Guru says that the nature of the goal will be the nature of the path. Since the Lord is full of bliss, the path also must be full of flowers and must give happiness. Since hell gives you a lot of pain, the path with thorns, which also gives a lot of pain, must lead to the hell. This argument is very attractive. Several people will like this and will become the followers of the Guru. Several people will praise him and give him a lot of Guru Dakshina [donation] because his argument is pleasant.

But a Sadguru says that the path with thorns alone will lead to the Lord because in this path you have to cut the bonds with your family and your hard-earned money. Sacrifice gives a lot of pain and sacrifice alone will lead to the Lord. The path with flowers strengthens your bonds with your family and money and gives you a lot of happiness. However this path leads to hell. Several people do not like this argument and so only one or two persons, who can realize the truth, will become His disciples. A Sadguru will never worry about the number of the disciples and about the quantity of Guru Dakshina. Even if a single disciple is available, He is happy. The majority always goes to hell. Only one in millions like Shankara, Vivekananda, and Meera can reach the Lord. Diamonds are always in minority. Gravel stones are in majority. Therefore a Sadguru will only be one among thousands of Gurus, and a true disciple will only be one among millions of disciples.

When you pray, you praise the Lord as a poet praises a king. The foolish king may feel flattered and give some gift to the poet. But the omniscient Lord can never be fooled by such praise. When you sing songs and chant the name of the Lord or express feelings of devotion by shedding tears and meditation, you are getting happiness and peace immediately. You achieve the fruit of your actions. The Lord will not give another fruit for the same actions. When you are pained and lose your peace by cutting your family bonds and by sacrificing your work and wealth to the Lord, then only will the Lord give the real gift to you. When you work in a field for the owner, doing the work pains you. The owner will pay money for your work. Without doing the work, if you simply chant the name of the owner or sing songs in praise of the owner, a wise owner will never give you any payment. You have already derived bliss and peace by eating the sweet in your hand. Why should I pay you when you are eating the sweet? When you sacrifice the sweet to Me, I shall pay you.

A Sadguru only teaches sacrifice, which is the path full of thorns leading to the Lord. The the Veda says that sacrifice alone can bring the grace of the Lord (Dhanene Tyagenaike). If you ask for payment in return for your prayers and devotion, the Lord will pay you only from your own pocket. He will bring the results of good deeds from your future life cycles and present them to you. But when you sacrifice the sweet to the Lord in spite of your hunger and your heart ache, the Lord rewards you from His pocket. Therefore the true path leading to the Lord can be identified by a loss of peace, mental worry, pain etc. The path to hell is identified by peace, happiness, benefit etc. Sadguru leads you to the Lord and Guru leads you to hell.

Another difference between the Guru and Sadguru is that the Guru may replace your present ignorance by another type of ignorance. But the Sadguru replaces all types of ignorance by the true knowledge. ‘Sat’ means the infinite special knowledge, which is the Brahman itself (Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma).