Do I Need a Guru in Order to Practice Meditation?


I have practiced meditation for one and half years but recently my life was ruined with some problems and I am suffering from stomach pain and doctors cannot find the problem and I am experiencing strange dreams. I studied in one book that Guru is compulsory for practicing meditation. I have no Guru suggest me.

—Sudheer Babu mamillapalli, India


Dear Sudheer Babu,

I am sorry to hear of your difficulties, but I am glad that you are practicing meditation. As Lahiri Mahasaya said, “Solve all problems through meditation.” And no, you do not need a guru in order to practice meditation. However, a guru is certainly a great help — not only for more-successful meditation, but for more success in dealing with life’s challenges.

Since you have written to Ananda with your question, that suggests a connection with Paramhansa Yogananda. Therefore I suggest that you start praying to him for help on all levels. I do not know whether he is your guru, but he has promised that if anyone treats him as such and makes a strong spiritual effort, yet it turns out that he is not the person’s guru, he will lead the person to his other true guru.

All best wishes for many improvements in your life situation, and for finding your true guru.