Spirituality becomes due to its complexity and the problems of the practical implementation very quickly a wandering path. The transmission of the knowledge necessary for the path was in the past done by teachers with various educational backgrounds and selfrealisations.
In Asia, the initiation or diksha by a Guru was the standard. Written down teachings existed only occasional and then often only in Sanskrit and sometimes only in local languages, while the average citizen could not read or write. In the distant past the transfer of knowledge took place verbally or on palm leaves or scrolls.
There was a personal relationship between the Guru and the disciple, who directed him and supervised his progress.
In addition, a symbolic transmission took place as in the Puranas and a transmission within a tantric twilight language or secret key in the background. The goal was not only the maintenance of an elite, but also the protection against abuse. Since the last century, this knowledge has been spreading faster and betraying or betraying Western religious scholars and seekers. Since the last century this knowledge has spread more quickly by transcription or treason to western religion scholars and seekers.
Teachers and gurus - why and what for ?
"There are two doves sitting on the roof, Jesus passes, and the one dove says, Guckediguru."
Many people continue to search for a spiritual leader who guides them and solves their problems or makes the sadhana at least simpler for them. Against the guidance of a competent master is not much to say. People who reject any masters only because of their mastership place their small ego and personality too much in the foreground and demonstrate at least unconsciously their small black path, conditioned by physical boundness, selfishness and lack of introspection (Svadhyaya : self-study and self-analysis).
But in reality this leadership is an illusion, because even the few real masters can not simply use the divine power or change the individual karma at will, which must be seen in a higher and larger overall context (Adi-Dharma of Parabrahman).
Gurus are for many seekers and followers an authority and a symbolic figure of the desired perfection. The great "sad gurus" are often assumed to have the highest self-realization (Param-atma-jnana, Sat-Purusha and Sadashiva; Adibuddha).
They were however often appointed as successors of the deceased master by will or by vote, or they simply titled themselfes so. In many cases, they have the position of a father (Babaji) or a mother (Mataji) for their pupils, which smoothes and ties simple minds within the trailers. However, there are also some true masters and enlightened among the gurus.
In addition to the gurus, there are also spiritual teachers who teach a specific teaching system and sometimes provide information and advice on spiritual questions without a complete personal attachment of the seekers. This also includes some initiates, who have founded a spiritual school, whereby particular care is required, since the knowledge is often limited or also faulty, and sometimes the money plays a role. Here there is little or no personal attachment, or at least no self-abandonment and spiritual fusion with the 'master'.
Scools and doctrines
Most Gurus have established or continued a spiritual organization. they are often committed to a tradition such as Shivaism and Vishnuism (Krishna), the White Brotherhood or a Buddhist linage. They spread specific exercises and a certain spiritual doctrine, which, however, is often only rudimentary or reveals the universal path from a distorted viewpoint.
A problem are also certain sects in which the spiritual knowledge about the Sadhana does not really exist or has been worldly adapted.
Many gurus speak double-tounged since they must conceal the whole truth about God and the highest Dharma, and especially about their often inadequate techniques and teachings.
Most of today's schools are an example of mutual seperatism, which, in addition to the state of souls before the incarnation, is one of the reasons for the decay of spirituality. The path is actually a step path with ethical discipline as a prerequisite for the diksha.
The student should not believe the gurus give you such exercises that the disciples will be enlightened very quickly. Also is the belief in the comprehensive protection, that many students believe in, an illusion: This happens is only when the disciple is irreplaceable, or if divine providence also agrees, and that is the problem for the true masters. The master can often give help from the light. Whether he acts is another question, because many masters are "masters of wisdom" and act in the frame of the divine plan..
The protection of the disciples to a certain extent was once tradition until the beginning of the last century. To do this, masters must use the power of the divine providence, whose kindness and grace are questionable and contradict the created reality.
Here the ONEs, who are little known in esotericism, and often questioned, with their higher "cosmic initiations" the biggest obstacles, who prohibit the application of power, but unjustly not the black masters of abuse their part of power, since justice does not matter.
Sri Aurobindo once said: "In my early days I still worked for the human, now I only work for the Divine" ... and "I can not be your guru."
A Guru rarely changes the karma in practice, but he often disgusts the students inevitably
away if they get problems with negative forces or circumstances. The supreme Divine does not allow to change his world plan, which is imperfect from our point of view, but it wants things to be as they are - inclusive the negativities. Our reality is just our personal karma and part of the world karma and ultimately part of a higher divine dharma or cyclic world-plan, which is tuned to the Ones.
At first a student of the hierarchies must learn to serve and to give up his EgoI, to "love" God and to achieve humility: He is to become a devoted tool of "God" and not a powerful deva or even asura.
At that understand most schools have a something different view of the divine, because they are bound to certain aspects of the highest providence (Krishna, Shiva, Sadashiva, Vishnu, Ishvara) or to a certain logos in the Parabrahman.
The divine only wastes his power within the framework of the world plan, and it is not at all interested in individual enlightenment, but in the fact that the pupils serve it and are of use. Hence the doctrine of the Hierarchies is kept so secret.
In Hinduism, the initiation by a Guru was common. In Vajrayana - Buddhism it was the same. In contrast to the hierarchies strives buddhism for a broad development of mature souls, but it is not included in the above hierarchies, whereby the mention of Buddhism often leads to unfriendly behaviors in the hierarchies.The siririan One and the planetary One want that the masters control the mature souls and prevent that the disciples go their own path (as in Buddhism or Taoism or on the Samtan Path).
The aim is to prevent the emergence of new hierarchies in addition to existing ones and any decentralization of the power.
Moreover is the general enlightenment first provided for later earth ages and only for the vanishing small remnant of the surviving souls, previously mostly only during the work of individual avatars and masters. Very few masters thus reach the step 21 of the universal path, and therefore there are almost no Satgurus.
For the seeker is the above knowledge rather confusing and possibly discouraging, and so the Samtan path of personal self-realization has found such a spread. However only a few searchers are enough talented to find their way alone. The average disciple needs competent guidance.
Teachers, gurus and scools
Examples of modern gurus, teachers and schools are:
- The various scools of Kriya-Yoga like the SRF of Yogananda
- Radhasoami (Fivefolded name; Naam - Meditation)
- The Kundalini-Yoga-Scools (i. Yogi Bhajan etc.)
- The Eckankar-Organisation
- The various sufi - masters(Dikhr, names of god, etc.)
- Mata Amritanandamayi from Kerala ("OM-MA"-breath-meditation; Om-Namaha-Shivaya etc.)
- Bhagwan " Kalki" and Amma(Livinginjoy).
- The late Sri Chinmoy from Bengalen (left the Aurobindo-Ashram)
- Sivananda-Yoga-Vedanta - leaning at Shivananda
- Ji Kwang Dae Poep Sa Nim (buddhistische Mandala-Meditation)
- Suma Ching Hai (Taiwan)
The third requirement is obedience to the Master. This is no servile attention to the commands of some supposed hidden Teacher, or Master, functioning mysteriously behind the scenes, as so many  schools of esotericism claim. It is much simpler than that.
The real Master, claiming our attention and subsequent obedience, is the Master in the Heart, the soul, the indwelling Christ. This Master first makes His presence felt through the "still small voice" of conscience, prompting us to higher and more unselfish living, and sounding a quick note of warning when there is deviation from the strict path of rectitude.
Later this comes to be known as the Voice of the Silence, that word that comes from the "Word incarnate," which is ourselves. Each of us is a Word made flesh. Later still, we call it the awakened intuition. The student of meditation learns to distinguish accurately between these three.
This requirement, therefore, calls for that implicit obedience which the aspirant renders promptly to the highest impulse which he can register at all times and at any cost. When this obedience is forthcoming it calls forth from the soul a downpouring of light and knowledge, and Christ points this out in the words: "If any man shall do his will, he shall know..." (John 7, 17).
(Extract from A.A.Bailey : From intellect to intuition, pg. 96)