It means dark (gu) to light (ru)... spiritual illumination.
When we tune in to teach a Kundalini Yoga class, we chant this mantra 3x:
"I bow to the divine teacher within, who takes me from dark to light."
The GURU is within.
That is the level of self-awareness and sovereignty we must acknowledge, affirm and cultivate.
Yogi Bhajan (who is credited with bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West) is currently being outed as an abuser and a fraud.
The organisation established to uphold his legacy - 3HO - is also coming under scrutiny for suppressing the truth.
Yet another male GURU is being exposed as having abused his power and preyed upon women.
I can't think of too many/any male teachers of spirituality or tantra, whose reputation remains intact.
It's really no different to all the politicians, media elites and corporate big-wigs who have also been exposed by the #metoo movement.
What does this teach us?
Well, yes, most obviously, we ALL need to clear up the toxic masculinity we imbibed with our mother's milk.
This is not an excuse to hate men. It's an opportunity to wake up. And own our shadows.
Toxic masculinity does not exist in a vacuum. It's held in place by a shadow femininity to match it.
We need to look at the way we romance our devotion. And give our power away.
The way we over-ride our own knowing, instincts and intuition because we don't want to take full responsibility.
How we project God onto ordinary mortals, aching for them to save us and then spit hate at them when their obvious humanity is laid bare.
In all my 17 years of teaching I've come up against the desire to abnegate responsibility again and again.
Students want to be told what to do and how. They want a truth to hold onto. The one and only truth. The gospel.
And I could often see the discomfort or turning away, when I wouldn't give it or offer options, rather than a dictat. The strong preference for a leader, who may not actually have known more or had any greater access to the Divine, yet was willing to stand up and say "THIS way!".
Which, I guess, is partly how/why autocratic plonkers such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson get elected.
The age of being told what to do or needing another to mediate Divinity for us is over!
Your truth, your awakening is between you and Mother-Father God.
Trust yourself, come to know and love yourself this much.
That you can stand boldly and humbly in your truth and not need to be rescued, enlightened or validated by anything or anyone outside yourself.
With love and a hunger for truth and integrity to prevail!