The 24th day of July is an important day for disciples everywhere, especially in India. On this auspicious day, disciples in the country will celebrate Guru Purnima and express gratitude to their gurus who are alive and also those who have attained nirvana and left their body.

An often-askec question is: “Does a guru who is no longer in his physical body help his disciples on their spiritual journey and evolvement in consciousness?” There is always a big debate on this subject—and the answer to this question is both yes and no. Even after his departure from this world, a guru-is always available to a disciple, provided he is a genuine disciple and the guru is a real guru. A disciple who has full faith benefits the most.

Basically, it all depends on the receptivity and understanding of the disciple and his love and devotion to the mentor, If the disciple is a student just interested in collecting informative knowledge and enhancing his ego, he will not be able to make any headway—and in the process will not be able to receive much help from the teacher.

His ego will function as a barrier between him and his guru. It is only when the disciple is able to surrender his ego that he become receptive to the inner treasures of enlightenment a guru has to offer.

Guru is originally an eastern phenomenon. Osho explains: ‘There is no word in English to translate the word guru because the relationship between guru and disciple is basically eastern. No such relationship has ever existed in western culture and tradition, so no one in the West can understand what a true guru is. At the most they can understand what a teacher is.”

A guru becomes a guru only after he has attained self-realization and enlightenment. Before that he may just be a teacher but not a guru. The guru makes the disciple what he himself is.

A guru transforms his disciple with his presence. The guru’s presence makes works even in silence. And when the guru disappears physically, he becomes even more available because, then there is no physical barrier— his ‘un-embodied’ consciousness becomes available to the disciple in his meditation.

In one of his discourses, Osho assured his disciples: “So remember, when I am gone, you are not going to lose anything. Perhaps you may gain
something of which you are absolutely unaware. Right now I am available to you only embodied, imprisoned in a certain shape and form. When I am gone, where can I go? I will be here in the winds, in the ocean; and if you have loved me, if you have trusted me, you will feel me in a thousand and one ways. In your silent moments, you will suddenly feel my presence. Once I am unembodied, my consciousness is universal. Right now you have to come to me.”