Hunter wrote:In theravada Buddhism are there Guru's or spiritual guides like there are in Hinduism or is Gautama Buddha the only teacher of this age. What I mean by Guru here is a person who has attained the supreme and is now teaching to students. This is seen in Hinduism, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. I just want to know if the Buddha talked about the imporance of a Guru or if he is the only teacher needed in this age.
I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Self-awakened, he was staying at Uruvela on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the Goatherd's Banyan Tree. Then, while he was alone and in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in his awareness:
"One suffers if dwelling without reverence or deference.
Now on what priest or contemplative can I dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him?"
"What if I were to dwell in dependence on this very Dhamma to which I have fully awakened, honoring and respecting it?"
Then, having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in the Blessed One's awareness — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One.
Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he saluted the Blessed One with his hands before his heart and said to him:
"So it is, Blessed One! So it is, One-Well-Gone!
Those who were Arahants, Rightly Self-awakened Ones in the past — they, too, dwelled in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it. Those who will be Arahants, Rightly Self-awakened Ones in the future — they, too, will dwell in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it.
And let the Blessed One, who is at present the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One, dwell in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it."
future Buddhas, & he who is the Buddha now,
removing the sorrow of many
— all have dwelt, will dwell, he dwells,
revering the true Dhamma.
This, for Buddhas, is a natural law.
Therefore one who desires his own good,
aspiring for greatness,
should respect the true Dhamma,
recollecting the Buddhas' Teaching.
"He who sees Dhamma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dhamma.
Truly seeing Dhamma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dhamma."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tml#parisa
Although you can learn a great deal about Dhamma on your own, your understanding will grow by leaps and bounds once you find a good teacher — someone whom you trust and respect, who keeps to the precepts, and who understands the Dhamma and can communicate it clearly.
Other aids to progress in understanding the Dhamma are these: deepening your understanding of the precepts; studying the suttas; getting to know monks or nuns (the Sangha) and becoming acquainted with their traditions; developing a keen, discerning ear that can recognize which of today's popular spiritual teachings actually ring true to what the Buddha taught; and learning meditation.
How you proceed is entirely up to you, but the bottom line is this: learn what the Buddha taught and put it into practice in your life as best you can.
Hunter wrote:I just want to know if the Buddha talked about the imporance of a Guru or if he is the only teacher needed in this age.
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