In our lives, we come under the influence of many teachers. Our earliest teachers are our parents. Then we go to school. Different teachers educate us on different subjects. The books we read also serve to teach us.
Men, no longer in this world, reach out and influence millions through their words. And yet, among all these teachers, no one can really fulfill the role of a spiritual guru or master unless he indeed is one.
Even divine incarnations and avatars such as Ram and Krishn needed spiritual guidance, and had gurus to train them in the art of self realization.
The word “GURU” can be split into “GU”, which means darkness and “RU”, which means one that drives away or dispels.
A guru, therefore, is the dispeller of darkness, a teacher who trains us to slash through the veil of Maya and bathe in eternal light. A guru is a person who has experienced god and knows what it takes to reach to him.
He knows about the path to be taken and the pitfalls to avoid. He has done the penance and hard work and can train seekers, thereby saving them a lot of time, time that can be measured not in years, but in lifecycles. Yes! That is the value of a true guru.
He can fulfill the pining of eager souls and escort them to self realization. He has the power to quench the thirst of true seekers, men and women who are attracted to the spiritual path but don’t quite know how to go about traversing it.
A guru and his disciples share a unique bond; the guru is everything for his disciples. He is their mother, father, friend, philosopher, and guide. He is present when we err, he heals us physically too. A bond between a spiritual guru and disciple goes beyond one lifetime and continues even when the disciple rises spiritually and may even become a spiritual beacon himself. A guru is very different from a preacher.
He does not just preach, he actually tells you how. The guru, with his spiritual senses awakened, sees what we, the spiritually blind cannot, and he can teach us how to open our spiritual gates to let in the divine. The guru, in his physical form (sagun sakaar), acts as a bridge between the seeker and the formless Supreme Being (nirgun nirvikaar).
A spiritually evolved guru helps us discover ourselves. A true guru is not in the business of acquiring multiple disciples and charging fees in return for the promise of enlightenment. He is free of pride and ego and can guide disciples in the process of conquering the all-pervasive ego.
A guru may be a renunciate or a man with a family, but in any scenario he will easily inspire in you a love for god.
The hallmark of a guru is that he never indulges in “I”. A guru does not take credit for his work; instead he will humbly credit the masters that came before him. If a person appears to introduce new concepts, he is most likely not a guru. Gurus may sometimes exhibit the classic symptoms associated with the feeling of ecstasy – laughing, crying, goosebumps, dancing, exhilaration, and paleness.
And make no mistake enlightened gurus that are verily god’s representatives on Earth can travel astrally, communicate through thoughts, and heal from a distance. A guru is a giver and all that he has can be yours if you have the ability to absorb and retain.