The Guru Disciple relationship has been misunderstood and promoted by those who are hypocrites to the point where it has lost meaning. Not only has it lost meaning but it has become something that is viewed with grave suspicion.
Here in the U.S. the Guru Disciple relationship is little understood and those still of an hopeful mind view it as a Quasi Mystical / Religious Relationship as has been promoted here since around 1900 by books & publications of the traveling show men from India.
Here in the U.S. we have been exploited, we have been lied to repeatedly, and once the Indian Guru collects his Dakshina he does not even so much as remember you until it is time for the next initiation, which is also tied to more Dakshina. They may not even remember you then.
To make matters worse some of these Indian hard liner personality types give you the business about the sacredness of this and that and come equipped with all kinds of personal mythology acting like the thin line of morality in the sand. Even within their own circles.
Later they propose to offer further initiations via Skype for huge amounts of money, saving you the trip to California, airfare and accommodations.
A couple I have communicated with have wildly radical bad tempers on top of it all.
How nice, wow what a great sacred relationship. Act like a complete shit head and expect to have your ass kissed!!!??? Really? I don't think so!
This is not only in the United States but World Wide.
Without becoming offensive by naming names, around 1900 the Traveling Gurus started showing up here in the U.S. one of the most effective who might as well have patented the process of lying to westerners in exchange for their hopes, aspirations and cash, even wrote a book and had it professionally edited to appeal to the audience.
I have personally discussed these matters with certain Monks who actually have been involved with the publications.
Did you know according to some of these that your Guru can be as follows:
#1. Someone you never met.
#2. A picture of a dead person hanging on a wall.
#3. A person who even if he is alive does not so much as give you the time of day.
What kind of non-sense is this?
If you read the publications they describe a mystical, loving, wonderful relationship between a superhuman Guru who is the very picture of saintly modesty and wisdom that hides their super-normal abilities, they describe the abilities by way of romantic stories and say do not partake. All the while baiting and setting the hook, after all who would not like to live out this type of fantasy life?
All it takes is the price of admission:
Cash to be sure but with the worst of these kinds your Hopes, Your Aspirations, Your Dreams and they will shamelessly prey upon you just like the nice people who call from India posing as Microsoft telling you they are aware of a problem with your PC please grant them access to fix it.
When you catch them in this they become very indignant and upset when it is they who are perpetrating a crime mostly against the elderly, it is enough to make one believe there is something drastically wrong with the moral compass of India.
At best it seems highly pointed to situational ethics.
Of course I am not saying all people from India just pointing out relevant examples.
The model of the Guru and Disciple has already been broken, the supposed sacredness of the supposed bond exploited.
As far as I am concerned a new model, one based on openness, honesty and a fair exchange in receipt for learning is far preferable.
After all lets be serious that has been what is going on all along, the only difference is the dishonesty of marketing of certain sources which keeps them receiving far more than they could by playing it straight.
I have witnessed saintly acting Indian Monks acting like complete idiots yelling at each other until they noticed I had been there all along, then the act dropped into to place. Placid faces, pious gentle manners, nodding heads etc...
I have been witness to traveling Guru's complaining bitterly when coming to the United States because the turn out for their coming was only 30 people, then they go on to talk about how wonderfully spiritual Russia is where hundreds turn out to see them and they receive so much money that it becomes a burden to transfer it to India and that they actually made so much they had to pay taxes.
It is really old and tiresome.
So yes I get it how AYP came into place, the others sewed the field and made it a fertile ground to happen in when the internet took off.
For all of this however we of the West do owe Hoary India gratitude and thanks, people like to call Africa the cradle of Humanity.
I think of India as the cradle of civilization and true spirituality so even though these terrible people have come to our shores exploited us for over 100 years it is we who have gained.
Yes gained because you see the power of what they shared no matter how flawed the personality of the individual often parroting it.
No matter the lack of that individuals true realization beyond what was to eat next, the power of the spirituality of India, via the practice of the principles and the techniques, comes through in the one who will practice and especially in the one who is ripe.
The ripe are like good dry wood, they will catch fire swiftly or like an apple and will drop easily from the tree. Often these are people picking up in this life where they left off before.
The one giving is not so much important as is what is given and the one receiving. What is most important is that the one giving really cares and takes the time to personally instruct and make sure the one paying to receive is getting much more than their monies worth, that they are given the tools correctly so they can really benefit from the practice.
The one learning is the dimension of spiritual transmission and makes all the difference by their participation in practice.
The practice is not for anyone else but for themselves and when the time is right they to may become a link in the chain of transmission, the real transmission has nothing to do with your supposed elders, your lineage, nor any of the other deceptive trappings.
The real transmission comes from the heart of the one who is so grateful for all of the beauty that has been added to their existence as a by product of practicing the spiritual techniques of India. In this heart they feel that if they do not pay it forward they will cry inwardly and ache maybe even burst for their fellow earnest seekers who are struggling.
Authority? There is no higher Authority than the desire to pay it forward that only comes from extreme gratitude.