Don’t ask for a real Guru; be a real disciple

Acharya Prashant
4 min readDec 3, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Acharya Prashant (AP): So, you have asked about the qualities of a real Guru. The question must be turned inwards. One can never really know the qualities of a Guru, for there are no fixed qualities. Far more important is to ask the qualities of a real disciple.

If one is a real disciple; one meets only the real Guru. If the disciple hood is pure within then one does not stay for long with a false Guru.

So, what then is real disciple hood?

Paying complete attention, and in that complete attention, there is neither acceptance nor rejection. You are just with what the Guru in form of a person is saying. You are just with that, without passing a judgment on it, without rejecting it, without even taking it as the Truth. When in spite of your so-called indifference towards acceptance and rejection, the words of that person still penetrate your heart, then you know he is the right one.

So, it is a tricky business trying to figure out the qualities of a Guru; because, the Guru can show himself or herself in a thousand ways, at different points, in different situations. Sometimes, talking a lot about peace; sometimes talking a lot about conflict as well; sometimes even prodding you to go to war.

Now, if we have certain benchmarks regarding the conduct and the ways of the Guru, then we will be confused because the Guru will not conform to or abide by our standards. So far better is to have an inner compass regarding one’s own position as a listener.

When you are really listening sharply, then the false receives only two treatments:

Either it would drop, or

You would be able to see the Truth even in the false.

Both of these are good for you.

So, a person might be sitting in front of you and saying something which is not of much worth. You would either be able to casually just ignore it or you will be able to go to the root of it and see Truth even in the false. But, none of that has anything or much to do with the Guru. That has a lot to do with your own awakened sense of knowing.

Acharya Prashant