By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Every Yoga instructor certification course is run a little different from the other. How many certification programs teach interns about finding the teacher within each of us? Many do, but some do not. In fact, some Yoga teacher certification programs do teach, “Guru worship.”

The principles of Guru worship do not blend well with Christian, Jewish, or Moslem cultures. Within these religions, and the societies they influence, worshipping another human is forbidden. This is why the Guru is not revered to such a high status outside of India.

Swami Mukerji once stated, “You grow by absorption and assimilation. In order to quicken your progress, you need abstract, as well as concrete ideals. The secret of all rapid and startling spiritual development is man-worship. By man-worship, I mean devotion to, reverence, intense and all-absorbing passion, for the perfect individual man of realization – a Mahapurusha.

Christ, Buddha, and Vivekananda, were all such-type men. You must constantly, and thoughtfully, meditate upon the lives and writings of saints and heroes. The formative influence and valuable powers of study and meditation, upon lofty ideas and ideals, are incalculable.”

I do not want to take Swami Mukerji’s words out of context, but people have historically been cynical. In societies, with different cultural backgrounds, from India, the Guru is a teacher, but not to be worshipped.

In another statement: “My worship for my master is the worship of a dog. I do not seek to understand his nature. It ever startles with its newness and profound depth’. So spoke Vivekananda of Ram Krishna.” This was also written by Swami Mukerji. Similar words have been written or spoken, by Yogis, for thousands of years. So, this has been traditional thought with regard to devotion to one’s Guru.

However, this level of trust and devotion toward another human being is rare. In the 20th century, more than one “man of peace” was assassinated. As of this writing, Benazir Bhutto was also assassinated, and it seems she was slain for being a “woman of peace.” Therefore, mistrust is an inherent human quality, which brings about emotional turmoil, violence, and much worse.

When Yogic philosophy grew to become globally known, there were some anticipated modifications. Yoga is, and always will be, a work in progress. Yogic philosophy does not resist change, or stand fixed and inflexible. With that said, there are many positive changes happening now and in the near future.

To teach a Yoga instructor about the Guru within is healthy. This is a form of union, awareness, and self-realization. Yoga teachers must be trained and encouraged to think for themselves.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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