As I have discussed with a few of you, I have been contemplating deeply and for a long time the questions of what is a guru and who is a guru. In the context of this contemplation, I read to enhance my background and understanding, deepen my contemplation, and give myself food for thought or additional exploration. Here are some books that I have in my library about gurus or those who have been labeled gurus (in no particular order). Some are written with loving devotion by disciples. Some question or comment on the interrelationship between the status of guru and the sometimes all too human foibles of the guru and his disciples. Some are of the guru’s own experience of practice and his relationship with his own guru.
Be Love Now, Ram Dass, HarperOne (New York, NY 2010)
Miracle of Love — Stories About Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass, E.P. Dutton (New York, NY 1979)
Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Self-Realization Fellowship (13th Ed., reprinted 2001)
The Golden Guru — The Strange Journey of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, James S. Gordon, The Stephen Green Press (Lexington, Mass. 1987)
My Guru and His Disciple, Christoper Isherwood, Penguin Books (New York, NY 1981)
Ramakrishna and His Disciples, Christopher Isherwood, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY 1970)
Great Swan — Meetings with Ramakrishna, Lex Hixon, Shambhala Dragon Editions (Boston, Mass. 1992)
Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa, SYDA Foundation (South Fallsburg, NY 1996)
The Buddha from Brooklyn — A Tale of Spiritual Seduction, Martha Sherrill, Vintage Books (New York, NY 2001)
Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, Stephen Cope, Bantam (New York, NY 1999)
At the Eleventh Hour — The Biography of Swami Rama, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Himalayan Institute Press (Honesdale, Pa. 2001)
Play of Consciousness, Swami Muktananda Paramahansa, SYDA Foundation (Oakland Ca. 1974)
The Great Oom — the Improbable Birth of Yoga in America, Robert Love, Viking Press (New York, NY 2010)
ps Jess–Yes, the widget for Library Thing is coming for the website. I just need to add more books, so that it is a decent start at a representation of at least the yoga-related portion of my library.