POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES LIVING The ancient Sanskrit word “guru” comes from two root words “gu” (darkness) and “ru” (removal of such). The classical Hindu text called the Guru Gita refers to the meaning of the word “guru” as being the one who leads us from the darkness of ignorance to the true light of pure consciousness. How easy it is for our limited ego-mind to project a wish for such liberation upon a human being who is not fully realized, and as such, cannot support our spiritual journey through its perils and promises. Because of our projections, we end up disappointed, feeling misled, coming to believe that the word “guru” refers to one who abuses power or behaves scandalously. A Satguru, however (“sat” in Sanskrit meaning true), refers to a fully awakened master. The Guru Gita says that a true guru is one who is neither bound by his senses nor limited by form, as “gu” refers to “beyond the qualities” and “ru” to “devoid of form”. Anyone who truly seeks true guidance on the spiritual path must be sure that the person in whom they place their trust in is indeed a fully awakened master. Sacred texts say that those who are fully realized are those who love all beings equally and see all beings equally. The vast majority of us easily fall short of those very crucial qualifications. They are indeed very rare. Though I would love to see fully realized masters fill up every football stadium across the globe, those beings are not drawn to the limelight for its own sake, but quietly live their lives in humble service to humanity wherever they may be and in whatever way they may best serve. Crowds may draw, but that is not their motive. We must ask ourselves, if a realized master were to shine his or her full, radiant light, would we find it too bright? The light of a realized master is not one that eclipses our shadow, but that sheds light onto the totality of who we are, including our darker, uncomfortable and painful places. Can you imagine being invited to a football stadium not for a shiny, entertaining pastime, but to be in the light of truth so that we may integrate our shadow? Ticket sales would be abysmal. We want to believe in our charming, sugar-coated superstars so that our pain, for a moment, seems to fall away. I hold in the light of my heart that imperfect teachers who are the subject of scandals may believe in their own inner beauty and human potential, which clearly they have forgotten. The teachers may have bought into the sparkle of fool’s gold while conveniently forgetting to notice the mud with which it came. It is easy to get stuck judging the shape and size of the window dressing, forgetting that what is essential is the wisdom that comes through the window. Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator. Having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, Parvati developed her own yoga teaching style called YEMTM Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her current shows, “YIN: Yoga In the Nightclub” and “Natamba” bring forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream. Her book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie” is a road map to a revolutionary life makeover for sincere spiritual seekers. For more information on Parvati, please visit www.parvati.tv.