Attunement and Obedience to the Guru


As chelas, I know we are to be in constant attunement with & obedience to the Guru, so he can mold us God-ward. Yet I also read from Yogananda, “There is no law of God preventing you from being what you want to be and accomplishing what you want to accomplish.” It seems confusing; when I am in obedience-mode, then I feel paralyzed to take initiative in my life — when I take initiative, I feel like I don’t need Guru’s (or anyone’s) go-ahead. Personally I prefer the latter. Any thoughts?

—Rush, USA


Hi Rush,

Our habits and ingrained tendencies, which we have created through many lives, prevent us from becoming the best that we can be. This is why we need a guru.

Yogananda gave us a great affirmation: “I will reason, I will will, I will act, but guide Thou my reason, will and activity, to the right path in everything”.

You are making a false dichotomy, between initiative and obedience. They go together on the spiritual path. When we do one without the other, we become either passive, or ego driven. Obedience to the guru is actively tuning in and dynamcially acting on what we percieve.

It takes time to recognize the way the guru guides you personally. You will make mistakes, but gradually you will refine your ability to recognize how the guru is guiding you individually. A helpful book to assist you is Intuition for Starters, by Swami Kriyananda.