Let’s start with the current sad state of affairs. Our modern day So called Gurus They have millions upon millions of dollars. They collect money. The unwitting disciple spends a lot of money and it all goes to their personal pocket book – but you can’t label it as their personal account. It gets siphoned into an organization and then in many cases they get a tax free status or …. you know the story
Some people consider their organization a success based on the amount of money they collect and the size of temples they make. Does it sound familiar? I being a very stupid and a naive person, I can only see success based on my personal experience of Samadhi and success of giving Samadhi. I am not main stream. And I only seek people who want God. The amount of wealth or size of temple does not grab my attention. In fact I run in opposite direction
Before you start thinking every Tom Dick and Harry can give Samadhi read up on Samadhi elsewhere. In my blog. A short recap. The body becomes lifeless. Heart and breathing is gone. There is an inner completeness and merger into God. It is indeed very very rare.
Let’s take Red Cross. They do Noble work. But more than 80 % of the money you donate goes to supporting the organization ! Only 20 cents of the money ( from a dollar ) goes to the intended cause. Life is complex. Or we have made it complex. And the Government is forced to increase the complexity because of many unsavory crooked people
So there are 2 types of Gurus. One is the Guru who is a sanyasi. I have described the life of a Sanyasi in detail elsewhere. But in the modern day there are sanyasi , they don’t travel, but live a very simple life. I have talked about the tirthji tradition. It goes back thousands of years. In the modern 200 years we can trace it as follows
Gangadhar tirthji ➡️ Narayan tirthji ➡️ Yogendra vigyani ➡️ Vishnutirthji ➡️ Shivohum tirthji ➡️. There are more than one subdivisions
Now after Shivohum tirthji there are a few other people in the lineage. One is Mangaltirthji Maharaj who lives between Gujarat and Virginia USA. And the other is Gajananda Maharaj who is in Andhra Pradesh
Now they have maintained the true tradition of Sanyasi. They don’t ask for money. They don’t amass wealth. They live a very very simple life. No exotic travel. They don’t own a car or a house. Nothing. But somehow survive. They may have a ashram. But there are no luxuries in their. They don’t even have beds for those who want to go meditate. Just a simple mattress. You cook your own food. You even bring your own flour etc.
The second type are the Guru who are householders. Lahiri mahasaya, Yukteshwar were all householders. They have a family. They work. Or have a pension etc. You would never know their high status. They may Or may not have modest wealth. Usually average wealth. Disciple may give them money – to help take care of modest needs (similar to modest funds given to sanyasi). They never ask for money. They do not have a set price.
Even when you go their house, they treat you you like a guest. But again the focus is meditation. If you want to progress you skip meals. Even if you are there for a week. Eating very little is very good for meditation.
Why is that? Do you see the difference between scam artists and the life of a true Guru? Usually a Guru will help a few disciples at a time Not in a large group. Each one is individually awakened. Taken into samadhi or dharana. It is quite concrete. The experience. Even with that if you don’t have purity you may not understand what happened or what you received
A Guru. A true Guru has no interest in the joys of the world. He is only interested in awakening the disciple. They will cloak themselves so you can’t recognize them. It is only if they Grace you, will they show their greatness. Now the sanyasi type Guru do not make any effort to hide Themselves. They have an address But even so Shakti will not permit you to recognize them so easily.
Generally a householder or someone who is living in the world must find a householder Guru. And a sanyasi like disciple should find a sanyasi Guru. This distinction has been lost in recent times and a Sanyasi guru accepts a householder disciple
Let’s take SRF. They accept donations. No limit but they have a wonderful organization. Silent. But a giant. They have a place where people can go meditate. It is well preserved Even if you want to learn their techniques you only pay a few dollars for printing and shipping. Anyone can visit and there is no charge. They have many priceless books but they are not sold for making profit. Yogaynanda himself was a sanyasi but did not Amass wealth. He had an organization that barely survived
Vivekananda when he was there started Ramkrishna mission. Again they do substantial charity work. They don’t have drives to raise money. People just give.
Other organization that followed Neem Karoli Baba are very commercialized. That’s why Neem Karoli Baba did not leave a disciple. Siddhi Ma has departed. She was a Sanyasini They have a glorious temple in Taos The Neem Karoli Baba temples in India are very commercial All Other things including the chanting is a paid service. You decide if that is right for you. My view is very limited since I am not exposed to other things. My understanding of the world is limited
In a place that had a true Guru the real emphasis is on meditation. A simple life. They don’t have glitter. They won’t have much money. Just enough to support the cause. They may do charity. Charity work helps clean the soul. It is needed However true progress is established only in meditation.
Simplicity by itself is not a sign of spirituality. The emphasis is on going into meditation. Learning the secrets of yoga in your own meditation is needed. If you doubt your experience it may not be a true experience. But verify your experience with someone higher.
I have written a lot. Mostly it is directed for a specific need of people wandering to find a Guru. Help them find one.
Like I said repeatedly, true Guru are very rare. They are not in the media or in the news. They don’t have an organization although they will belong to a lineage Who is the luckiest person? It is not the person of wealth. It is not Bill Gates or Bezos or Steve Jobs or a prime minister or a king or Hollywood actor The luckiest person is he who has found a Guru and recognized the Guru without a doubt. He has found “home”.
I perhaps did not answer the question. How much money should a Guru have? Well , are you looking for an organization or experience of Samadhi? Do you seek God or fun ( where there are fun events, a Pseudo sense of peace because you left your job and possibly wife for a weekend on a retreat of meditation)