Here a new problem arises: the quest for a guru, which has now almost become a fad. And simultaneously another question, essential for Western students: Can a book replace the guru, the master? Not completely, of course. Still, the right book, read and understood correctly, can be more successful than running after a yoga master in India without understanding him, not realizing in our enthusiasm that he is not our guru; that he is a teacher, but not a guru. Not every teacher is a guru, and, strangely enough, not every guru is a teacher. He who uncritically trusts the first best yoga teacher--and they are as plentiful sand at the seashore--may find that he has wasted his time and efforts with a gym teacher who knows no more (or even less) about the real goal of yoga than do his students. Unfortunately, this type of teacher is the most loquacious and most prolific. That is why most modern yoga books are superficial despite the beautiful Indian names of their authors. Most of these yogis did not go beyond the first two chapters of our text, and thus have not reached anything really decisive. The real yoga only begins where such yogis (and their books) end. No one has as yet reached any stage of enlightenment through physical exercises.


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