It became a prevalent attitude in Indian Societies at present that ‘true yogis don’t charge fee’ and people endeavour to learn it all for free! But before going blindly with this kind of thought process, lets consider an ancient aspect called the Guru Dakshina. In reality Spirituality is Free, but what you’re doing is actually helping the tradition to go on! When we look at people at other professions, are good at making money for their living; and people openly accept that as their right.
And some of the so called spiritual gurus take the word ‘Free’ as an advantage and try to be like parasites and feed off on their followers in the form of massive donations later on. But in reality, true spiritual teachers face adversity when they’re to charge fee for what they teach. Especially when they establish an institution and hire People with greater abilities as tutors, a student of spiritually might think why they charge fee? Why not free? Yet they pay hundreds of thousands for their children’s school that teaches conditioned education which is actually free and they can be home-schooled.
We’re living in a society where people spend a thousand blindly for a cinema ticket and thinks twice before spending it for their spiritual growth. This kind of attitude of people made them to be lacking in character. We’re not talking about people who can’t afford to get what they deserve. We’re talking about people who’re lacking, even though they can!
In ancient time, there were emperors across the world who’re wise and spiritual, and they treated people with spiritual nature with great respect that they don’t have to worry to make a living. And when a yogi attains a highest form of enlightenment, he needs nothing and he need not to tell what he knew to others, she or he simply lives their life in their own terms. But those who wish to mingle with society and educate it, dedicate their time to teach knowledge instead of putting it on some external profession.
So the type of Gurudakshina can be different according to various mindsets. Fee is mostly nothing but the Presence of mind and dedication of oneself to the practice. That’s what the Teacher desires. If a true teacher comes, will you not be present? And if you are wealthy enough to pay, will you not pay the fees?
-Viswanath Venkat Dasari