Guru Sutra: Know Your Guru

Chandresh Bhardwaj

A Guru will hold your hand and teach you to walk.

Our entire lives are built on the solid foundation created by those who guide and help steer us in the right direction. As children we have the adults in our lives to guide us, teach us, and mould us into the adults we eventually become. As adults we seek the guidance of “experts” be it the CPA who manages our accounts, the doctor who manages our health, or the attorney who handles our legal issues. But who provides us with the guidance and nurturing necessary in our life’s journey? The answer is found in a Guru, who transforms our being from darkness to light. The word “Guru” is derived from the Sanskrit language and has a deep spiritual meaning. It has two syllables: Gu and Ru. Gu denotes the spiritual darkness that most of mankind is in. Ru represents the radiance of spiritual knowledge that eradicates spiritual ignorance. Hence, Guru signifies the streak of light in our dark lives.

Don’t confuse Adhyatam Guru (Spiritual Guru) with a teacher. There are many names for a teacher such as professor, mentor, leader etc. But there’s no synonym for a Guru because the aura and grandness of a Guru are unique. A teacher teaches you and gives you knowledge from books or his experience of the world, while a Guru helps you to see the knowledge that’s within you. He takes off the layers of ignorance and negligence, until you encounter the light within you.

There’s an ancient saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Just as your mother never fed you more than you could digest, in the same way, the Divine Mother will not give you something which you have not become capable of absorbing. When you are ready to surrender and leave behind the ego self, the Guru appears. The Guru will hold your hand and teach you to walk. When you are ready, he will let you walk on your own to make you stronger. If he leaves you midway, then he is not the Guru, and if you suspect his actions, then you are far from being the right student.

Often, even after finding their Guru, disciples tend to detour from the path. Why does this happen? To understand the reasons, and to help you stay on the right path, a few things need to be taken into consideration. I call them “Guru sutras.” These sutras are meant to nurture the relationship between the Guru and disciple.

Sutra of one Guru

There is one Sun, one Moon in our universe. We have one father and one mother. Then how can we have multiple Gurus? Just like other materialistic things, today we like to window shop for Gurus too. The next time you feel that you need more than one Guru, try this simple exercise. Wait for the moment you fall sick. Then see at least ten doctors and take medicine from each doctor. You will get your answer.

When you are ready to surrender and leave behind the ego self, the Guru appears.

Sutra of blind faith:

It is very simple but probably the toughest test. Don’t see what the Guru does, witness what he says. Trust his words. If you suspect his actions, you will be far off the road to truth. The Guru’s actions might not make any sense to you. That’s why he’s called the Guru. Surrender to him and he will take care of everything.

Sutra of non-competition:

There is a famous adage: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Let’s modify it a little bit: “If the grass is greener on the other side, then you should probably water yours more often.” Apply this rule whenever you catch yourself competing against other devotees of your Guru. The Guru’s happiness lies in the fact that you are totally dedicated to your spiritual path, and not in how well you are competing with the other students. The road to the Guru’s heart is very narrow. Either your ego or your love can exist. There’s no space for both.

Sutra of enlightenment:

Many seekers go to the Guru for enlightenment. One must know that the Guru will not transfer or ignite enlightenment just like that. His aim is not to make the journey so easy that you are reduced to a mindless person. Rather, he will show you the path that you must walk on. He will protect you from hurdles and keep you moving forward. But if you are looking for a shortcut to enlightenment, then the Guru is not the right source. Osho rightfully said, “The Guru is one who pulls you towards himself just to throw you back into your own being. He functions as a mediator; via the Guru, you arrive at your own self. Because you cannot go directly, he helps you via himself. But his whole effort is to make you yourself.”

These few sutras will help to understand the Guru-Disciple relationship. When you see a tree, you recognize it by the fruits or flowers on it. If you like the fruit, you automatically like the tree too. In the same way, a Guru is recognized by his disciples.

Remember that when you meet your Guru, there won’t be any grand musical orchestra playing in the background, but there will be an unmatched aura vibrating from him, and a welcoming smile on his face. Seize that moment to transcend your journey of life.

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