A spiritual teacher and a spiritual master possess different qualities, though they are both focused on a common goal of attaining mastery in the ancient tradition of spirituality. A spiritual teacher, on the other hand, is a term that is often used interchangeably with a spiritual master. However, there are some significant differences between the two roles.
While a spiritual teacher can provide instructions and guidance, a spiritual master is one who has already achieved a state of advanced spiritual access to a higher vibration or even enlightenment through their practices.
I will use further in the article the 7th chakra scale of vibration as a reference model.
Understand the Hierarchy of Spiritual Levels: Spiritual Teacher vs Spiritual Master
In order to become a spiritual master, one must go through different levels of spiritual practice and understanding.
These levels usually consist of three main stages:
the disciple stage, where a person is still learning the fundamentals;
the seeker stage, where they explore and delve into their own beliefs and practices,
A Spiritual Master (Photo by Benjamin Balázs)
While a spiritual teacher is still experienced and knowledgeable in spiritual practices, they have not gone through the same levels of mastery yet. They usually lead group classes or individual sessions to help guide others in their own quest for enlightenment but are not as adept at providing advice or insight on a higher level, as a master would be. While a spiritual teacher may be knowledgeable about spiritual principles such as meditation, mindfulness and yoga, they do not have the authority to answer questions or offer advice on deeper metaphysical and spiritual concepts.
In contrast, a spiritual master has gone through the process of personal development and is thus better prepared to handle complex queries. They are more experienced in navigating certain aspects of spirituality and are well-equipped to provide guidance that goes beyond being an instructor. The highest level of spiritual attainment is the spiritual master level, which requires the person to have achieved self-realization and enlightenment or close to it, so that they can then serve as a guide for others in their quest.
A spiritual master is someone who has experienced personal enlightenment from the practice of meditation, yoga, or other similar spiritual practices. They are usually considered to be more advanced in their spiritual journey than those who fall into the category of a spiritual teacher. Spiritual masters have gained a deep personal understanding of the spirit, and they strive to help others achieve their own enlightenment by guiding them along their spiritual path. Spiritual teachers, although still knowledgeable in spiritual matters, have not achieved the same level of enlightenment as spiritual masters. While they also provide guidance to their students, they may not possess the same insight or wisdom that spiritual masters have. Finding a teacher or master who resonates with you is an important part of your own path to enlightenment.
While a spiritual teacher needs some books or guidance from a spiritual master, a spiritual master is “The book” himself!
Know the Differing Scopes of Responsibility and Authority
The scope of a spiritual teacher's responsibility and authority is typically limited, while that of a master will usually be more encompassing.
A spiritual teacher guides those they are teaching by providing the basics of a path towards personal growth and helps them in their journey. A spiritual master, on the other hand, has a greater scope of knowledge and goes much deeper into philosophical and higher vibration matters which can provide guidance to one's own spiritual practice, inspiring them to further depths of understanding. A master often has completed their spiritual journey, seeking out inner knowledge and mastering techniques to provide insight and guidance to others. They typically offer a more individualized approach as they need to understand the personal circumstances of each student in order to provide an appropriate framework for them, based on the individual’s own requirements.
A spiritual leader
Spiritual teachers use their teachings in such a way that they are universally applicable to all students, but can’t reach a detail level. They offer a more general set of techniques and strategies, generally not working one-on-one with individual students, and can’t manually customize advice to each student. Spiritual teachers provide guidance to those seeking inner knowledge while helping them foster connections with the divine by sharing what they know.
This less personalized approach enables them to promote spiritual growth among multiple people but up only to a point, whereas a master focuses on providing direct guidance to every student during their individualized journey. On the other hand, this can limit the number of students a spiritual master can guide due to lack of time.
Practice makes the difference in everyday life
Becoming a spiritual master is more than just learning and understanding the teachings of wisdom - it’s about actually applying that knowledge in everyday life. To become a spiritual teacher or even a master, it is important to practice what you preach and practically apply your own spiritual understanding in order to help lead others on their journey toward spiritual ascension. It is key to start applying these principles in day-to-day life so you can begin the process of becoming an expert. Another point concerning practice that makes a spiritual master stand out from a spiritual teacher is the level of experience, knowledge, understanding, and practice of their teachings. A spiritual teacher can share basic principles and concepts associated with spirituality, while a spiritual master has deeply absorbed these practices into their second nature. To become an experienced spiritual leader it's important to have actual tangible experience when it comes to spiritual development.
A Spiritual Master seeks to bring peace in all aspects of life; they should be able to understand the ramifications of challenging times and offer guidance on how best to let go and heal spiritually. Aside from having a deep understanding of spiritual doctrines, they should also be grounded in day-to-day reality, so they provide practical advice as well as wisdom.
I noticed personally that many spiritual teachers tend to lose contact with reality and many times don’t know how to apply in real life what they preach, risking isolating themselves and their students in an “ivory tower” separate from the real world.
The distinction of a master requires an earnest and sincere path toward spiritual growth and practice. Along the way, a student of spirituality should strive to walk the talk - living in accordance with their beliefs and gaining wisdom from the life experiences they have gone through. This journey is rigorous, often requiring spiritual seekers to challenge their assumptions about reality and examine their attachments to materialistic pursuits.
The true spiritual master is one who ultimately has gone beyond analyzing and engaging themselves - they are enlightened beings or close to it, fully embodying their higher soul, who share their teachings for others to benefit from on their own paths of transformation.
You can learn more by reading other posts in this spiritual site that are coming from a very different and fresh angle than spiritual mainstream, and based on a very long and personal experience and hands-on research, and not from books.
You might also consider a service like Psychic Readings in the Services section of this site from the ones listed here and get a spiritual diagnostic, or attend my spiritual School of Body and Soul Ascension Mastery so to raise your body and soul awareness, and reach into higher dimensions.