Ānandamayī Mā as Guru

Lisa Lassell Hallstrom

in Mother of Bliss

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195116489
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199851621 | DOI:
Ānandamayī Mā as Guru

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In Sanskrit, “guru” is identified with a well-respected person or a teacher. Ānandamayī Mā articulated much about how having a guru or a spiritual master and guide was essential in pursuing the spiritual path; however she never referred to herself as such. She encouraged people to look for a true guru, take initiation, and comply with the guru's orders. Mā was not considered a guru by her community as she did not provide diksha or spiritual initiation. This chapter looks into how Mā's informal conversations and encounters with her devotees show how she served as a guru to her disciples or devotees. It investigates how, despite the many instances that her devotees have said resembled a transformative process, the community insists that Mā is not a guru but rather an epitome of how her devotees should be in following the path to God.

Keywords: God; guru; spiritual master; guide; dīkshā; disciple; spiritual initiation

Chapter.  17290 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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