Teacher or Guru? Know The Difference

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As is my custom, I was sitting with my morning beverage today going through my morning pre-game ritual, as outlined in the post Exercise – Envision – Read – Meditate – Pray – Empower .

(Yes, I do consider every day to be a present in the game of life)

I was thinking about what messages I have received that would benefit you, the reader of this Blog Post.

Then, as if on cue, I was drawn to a conversation that I recently had with one of my great friends, Phil McGarvey, who had enlightened me to the wisdom contained in the teachings of Eastern philosophy. After all, I thought, wasn’t it three wise men – FROM THE EAST – who were sent to the stable in Bethlehem a couple of millennia ago. Phil and I had shared mind on the fun we would have at a dinner party with Ghandi and Rumi and modern day greats such as Jim Rohn and Neal Donald Wash. Throw in a few atheists such as Ann Rynd and the discussions might never end…

So, this Blog Post is a piece that keeps coming into and out of my life as I continue my journey.

Each time I read it I get new perspective.

Each time I read it, it adds nuances and dimensions to the relationships I have had and the relationships I am building.

I honor Sandeep Nath from the bottom of my heart as the original source for me of these in-sights and share it with you, dear reader,  here for your own interpretation, reflection and growth.

Funny how it always seems to work that way. Co-incidence? I don’t think so 🙂


A teacher takes responsibility of your growth. A Guru makes you responsible for your growth.

A teacher gives you things you do not have and require. A Guru takes away things you have and do not require.

A teacher answers your questions. A Guru questions your answers.

A teacher helps you get out of the maze. A Guru destroys the maze.

A teacher requires obedience and discipline from the pupil. A Guru requires trust and humility from the pupil.

A teacher clothes you and prepares you for the outer journey. A Guru strips you naked and prepares you for the inner journey.

A teacher is a guide on the path. A Guru is a pointer to the way.

A teacher sends you on the road to success. A Guru sends you on the road to freedom.

A teacher explains the world and its nature to you. A Guru explains yourself and your nature to you.

A teacher makes you understand how to move about in the world. A Guru shows you where you stand in relation to the world.

A teacher gives you knowledge and boosts your ego. A Guru takes away your knowledge and punctures your ego.

A teacher instructs you. A Guru constructs you.

A teacher sharpens your mind. A Guru opens your mind.

A teacher shows you the way to prosperity. A Guru shows the way to serenity.

A teacher reaches your mind. A Guru touches your soul.

A teacher gives you knowledge. A Guru makes you wise.

A teacher gives you maturity. A Guru returns you to innocence.

A teacher instructs you on how to solve problems. A Guru shows you how to resolve issues.

A teacher is a systematic thinker. A Guru is a lateral thinker.

A teacher will punish you with a stick. A Guru will punish you with compassion.

A teacher is to pupil what a father is to so.n A Guru is to pupil what mother is to her child.

One can always find a teacher. But a Guru has to find and accept you.

A teacher leads you by the hand. A Guru leads you by example.

When a teacher finishes with you, you graduate. When a Guru finishes with you, you celebrate.

When the course is over you are thankful to the teacher. When the discourse is over you are grateful to the Guru.

:-)  ============================================== :-)

But don’t just take it from me…

You can tell Infinite Intelligence – Sandeep Nath, Phil McGarvey and Rumi sent you!


For myself, I hope that today’s post has, in some way, encouraged you – Dear Reader – to consider what it is that you are intended to receive from your teachers AND your gurus.  Both have their place, and it is a wise person who understands the difference.

See you on our next blog

Oh, and by the way,

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Published: April 4, 2014, 17:34 | 6 Comments on Teacher or Guru? Know The Difference
Category: Mind Freedom

6 responses to “Teacher or Guru? Know The Difference”

  1. Hillary says:

    I love this post! Though if I had to point out one thing, it would be this; I slightly disagree with the mother-child father-son analogy. I’ve seen some fathers who are more compassionate than some mothers. 🙂

    • freedomwithpeter says:

      Hillary, I see your point about the some fathers having more compassion than mothers. I used to love a saying that “it takes a sperm to be a father, it takes a man to be a dad”. I guess it is also as true that “it takes an egg to be a mother, it takes a special love to be a mom”. The important thing to me is that we cheapen terms at our peril, and that many of the self-appointed ‘guru’s that inhabit the internet space are no such thing when judged by the standards outlined in the piece…

      Thank You, Thank YOU, THANK YOU…

  2. I love your posts they are great and always thought provoking. Question is, with a teacher you may never see them again, a guru you probably follow for ever more? Thanks for sharing.

    • freedomwithpeter says:

      Good point, Andy. How many of my High School teachers and University professors have I seen since graduation? A: None – though I am always thrilled when my mother bumps into my second grade teacher from time to time. All I ever really needed to know about relationships I was taught in Kindergarden. My thoughts on the “following of a guru”. As I understand it – the guru’s blessing comes from having helped in the creation of your independence – not a dependence. Does that make sense?

  3. Beth Hewitt says:

    Hey Peter,

    Really love this post.

    I was thinking when I read the guru constructs you, that I actually believe that a guru probably does more deconstructing.

    I would argue in the nicest possible way that a guru wants you to reconstruct yourself.

    Love the list though, it’s awesome. Great share.


    • freedomwithpeter says:

      I love that concept, Beth. I agree with your point, in that from my perspective, the guru is a guide and mentor who is there for the process of de-construction (i.e. acquiring self-understanding) as well as the re-construction (i.e. your creation of a better you)

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