How to Find an Advaita Guru?

Published: Jan 6, 2024 | Revised: Jan 10, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Advaita Vedanta Guru

One of the questions that arises for a person who’s interested in Advaita Vedanta is how to find the right teacher or Guru.

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Certainly today you’ll easily find many Advaita teachers “offering their services,” notably in the Neo-Advaita community, and as many who claim to have seen “the Truth” and decree being spiritually enlightened, spiritually liberated, that is, being a Jnani (an awakened one).

Just type in “advaita satsangs” followed by a city or country name in any Internet Search Engine, and you will have big troubles coming to the end of the list. There are also many specialized Advaita Satsang websites that list the calendars of the most popular Advaita Vedanta teachers; to find the latter, just type “advaita satsang website calendar” in your favorite Search Engine.

Additionally, you may encounter “Guru reviews” or “Guru rating services,” which, to be honest, is of course totally ridiculous. Is the reviewer or rater a Jnani? And how can you review a Jnani, that is, someone who “isn’t really there,” and so on, and so on.

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In fact, as we’ve already underlined in our post about the Role of the Advaita Guru, it’s virtually impossible to know beforehand who’s an authentic Advaita Guru.

How, as a “spiritual seeker,” as one “who doesn’t know yet,” can you judge that? Hence, in view of this, it’s actually rather a trial-and-error game of hopping from one Guru to the other, until you have found the one of whom you think or “feel” that he or she is “the real deal,” as it were.

Nevertheless, I think it’s important to have a “good feeling” with someone you choose, because if you don’t “like” the teacher, it will almost certainly not really help you to make progress on the spiritual path. That said, the Advaita teacher or “Guru” you like may not at all be an actual Jnani or may not be the right teacher for you. Additionally, a certain teacher may only be of (necessary) service on just a portion of your path.

It’s sometimes also said that it isn’t you who finds the Guru, but the Guru who finds you. That is, when you’re “ready,” the right Guru will come on your path. If this is true or not I don’t know, but it’s maybe something to consider.

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Speaking or at least understanding each other’s language may also be of importance, especially because there’s a lot of talking going on in Advaita Satsang sessions, and it’s often — certainly in the beginning of the journey — a rather rational i.e. intellectual endeavor in which it makes sense to really understand what’s being said, asked, and answered. This is not really a hard “must-be,” but initially it might be preferable, depending a bit on the type of person you are.

Anyway, I think it’s good to first read as much as you can about Advaita Vedanta, and as much as you can of the Advaita Guru you may what to attend. That can help you beforehand to avoid scams or simply wasting your time.
Mind also that you may not need a living teacher. There have been many Advaita teachers in past years that have a great legacy in writings, recordings, and video material, and that may simply “do the job” for you.

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