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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Is it necessary for spiritual teachers to have beard on their faces?

    I have observed that many spiritual preachers or teachers invariably have beard on their faces. It is not only in India but in outside countries also. Many religious leaders also keep it. This may be a tradition or trend. My question is whether it is necessary to have that. Is it a sign that the person could be a mythological expert and can give an impressive lecture on those subjects for long hours. Even in the pictures of great saints of the worlds and such personalities beard seems to be an unavoidable part. I am not against or for keeping a beard because it is entirely a personal matter but I was intrigued to see this relationship between a spiritual teacher and his beard. Members can give their views on this.
  • #710211
    I never think so. A person who has no worldly desires may appear not concentrating on their physical appearances. They may not be daily shaving and not getting well dressed like an executive in a corporate company. So beard my grow and the person may not be in the mood of maintaining it. That is why we may be seeing many spiritual Gurus with a beard.
    Lord Krishna is the Spiritual Garu. He made teachings to Arjuna and made him ready to war. He explained well all spirituality to Arjuna in the form of Bhagavadgita. But we never Krishna anywhere with a beard. Like that, I know a Guru in Hyderabad who dresses well and shaves his beard daily. But he teaches many of his disciples all Godly issues and always asks them to live a peaceful life.

    always confident

  • #710213
    This is the nice question raised by the author. For example during the past 15 days being Mahalaya Pitru paksh even I have not done the shaving to my face and grown up the beard. That does not mean I turned to spirituality. But invariably the spiritual leaders would forgo every enjoyment of their life and wanted to be simple and thoughtful. If they look trim and good looking their mind may take diversions to the family life and that would be great setback to their spirituality. A person who has left away everything in the life has to lead the natural way of looking with big beard and we naturally give respect to those who has big beard out of our experience also. There may be exceptions and we cannot argue the same in exceptional cases. But it is the fact that those who want to teach and preach others would try to look and old and striking with their beard.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #710232
    A bearded man is an original man. In fact, a man should have a beard. Just imagine why women don't have beard. It is God's creation. By shaving our beard, we are going against God and nature. The spiritual Gurus follow God and His purpose of creation of beard.
    No life without Sun

  • #710244
    Not all spiritual Gurus or spiritual leaders keep flowing beard. These are either due to the necessities or following the tradition of the order to which they belong.

    hankaracharya tradition or some other tradition order of followers do not sport bear, but maintain a clean shaven head and face.

    There are two justifications for these. As hair (head or beard) adds to the attractiveness of people, those who want to make themselves objects of attraction, but want people to come to them for their wisdom, right path of life etc. Similarly they also will be concentrating on the path of spirituality and Dharma and righteousness. In other cases these people will be so busy and involved in their activities of teaching and following religious and spiritual pursuits they may not waste their precious time on such matters as shaving, applying cosmetics etc.

    Aadi Sankaracharya himself best explained about this in his work -famously known as " Bhaja Govindam".
    In that he says " Jatilo mundee lunchita keash, kaashaayambara bahukruta veshah ; pasyannapichana pasyati moodaha..." Some people grow long and matted hair in locks, some have their heads clean shaven, some simply pluck out and remove their hair; some wear ochre coloured clothes, everyone wears different ways. After all, al these kind of styles are necessitated for the need of stomach i.e sustenance.

    So we need not bother much about these things, but focus and follow their good teachings, good works and good way of living. Even we ordinary mortals also resort to such variety in every layer of life.

  • #710261
    This is a very interesting topic, I was myself curious about this fact and was going to raise a thread on this very specific topic. Why do philosphers, saints and other such men of great learning not cut their hairs. I mean look at them long hairs overflowing beards make them look like wizards from a storybook. I guess I might be over genwralizing this stuff but yea most wise men do have beards not nevessary long beards but they have that Gandalf type appearance. I guess it might be because it lends them social credibility. Folks tend to stick to archetypes and these men know what are an archetype must look or behave like. Hence they appear so to us making them so mirally charismatic and appealing. Ofcourse there's psychology behind this too. More hairs means more experience, more wrinkles means he/she has been through things soft and commanding voice means the person knows what he is doing and is absolutley confident of it. Perg0haos all of these reasons make such people so commanding and alluring. Let's hear more opinions from other members as well on this topic.

  • #710282
    On a lighter note I can say that a spiritual teacher doesn't have to go to office as he is self employed, so he can have the luxury of having a beard.

    Since this discussion is about beard so it refers only to male teachers and not the female. There are female spiritual teachers too.

    Now those who are a teacher in spirituality have transcended the limitations of human body and mind and having a beard or shabby look doesn't bother them as they are in a different realm. This is true for real ones and not the fakes and imposters.

    People are in a habit of judging and they have a predefined definition of guru or teacher and also an image in their mind. So, if they they see a person with beard and long clothes they are almost satisfied that the person is a spiritual teacher and if that person does some trick they become his devotee immediately. This way all the inposters work. They play with the psych of humans.

    So, beard is not a matter of discussion, it's our preconceived notions and judgements that should be discussed.

    Live before you leave.

  • #710303
    Many of them keep beards and that is making this inference about them. But I have seen many modern spiritual teachers who do not have it. In earlier times that is in ancient times the teachers who used to teach the students in the Ashrams in the jungles usually kept it so may be this tradition culminated from there only.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

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