After spending about a week in the “Yoga Capital of the World” in Rishikesh, India I have noticed a very strong presence of “gurus”, “astrologers”, “healers”, “medicine men” and many other related professions here specifically to cater to the thousands of tourists, both Indian and foreign who come here as seekers for spiritual growth and the attainment of a greater self understanding. These “spiritual leaders” offer answers that so many of us seek when we decide to seek answers to some of the deepest questions we hold. Whether we want to know what career path to take, what type of partner is ideal for us, or even just where to go next in a journey through India these “gurus” offer a direct, concrete answer……for a small fee of course.
I am no expert on ancient texts, I don’t know how to read palms, and I certainly can’t read peoples minds but something I have started to understand as truth is that all the answers to life’s questions can be found inside. Your intuition knows better than anyone you come in contact with. I believe that anyone who calls themselves a guru and freely gives you answers without first asking you to look inside is simply preying on a universal human desire for personal economic gain. Instead of looking outside to find answers to questions that are so important I really believe that you are better off meditating on your question and seeing what arises from within. Although there are certainly very spiritually advanced people among us who can help us along our path, your primary guide should always be your higher self, your intuition, your heart.
Whether your heart pulls you to a monastery in Tibet to pray and meditate for months or whether your intuition tells you to take that perfect job at a big bank making thousands of dollars is really your own truth and no one else can tell you otherwise. We all have our own personal paths of growth and no one person’s path is the same as another’s. Not only is it important to realize this in order to pursue the experiences which will be most enriching to you in this lifetime, but it has a powerful side effect of dissolving your judgment of others as you begin to accept the nature of choice and the beauty of the diversity of our existences as human beings. You begin to realize that the life path of another is perfect for them and has no bearing on your own choices. This has a circular effect in that it actually frees you to make your own choices without judging yourself or comparing your own actions to those of people around you.
We all have a beautiful gift to offer to the world. It may be through art or it may be through our ability in business. It may be through direct action we take in our community but it can also simply be through the example we set for others as we follow our personal truth in life and move with a constant awareness and joyous energy to have the gift of life. Every person we come in contact with has something to teach us and influence us in our path, but it is a dangerous gamble to put your own path in the hands of another. Listen to your heart, move with determination and grace and when you get to the top of the stairs only to realize that there is a whole new set, look up with gratitude and joy that you have the opportunity to continue to grow and to continue to make progress upwards in this infinite climb of evolution.