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In Search of a Guru The True Spirit of a Guru

So many times I have been asked this question. Who is Guru, or teacher as we say in english? When this question comes up, I like to talk about the two questions I have asked myself before I met my Guruji.Do I really need a Guru? And how do I know he or she is the real one? The one meant for me.

Being an Indian brought up in India, I was very well versed with the different shlokas on the importance of Guru. But then what do we really mean by 'Guru'. Guru, as the word is divided in two parts. 'Gu' means deep darkness and ' Ru' means to remove. So a Guru is the one who removes the darkness in you.Now again which darkness are we talking about here.

It is the darkness of ingnorance or ' Agyaan' or lack of knowledge. The next obvious question is ignorance about what? This ignorance can be of anything. As a child comes into this world, it is ignorant about everything, right from eating, drinking, walking, and talking. Who gives that child the knowledge of how to survive in this world. It is the mother and then the father.So the Guru parampara starts there at the very beginning of our existence, with the parents.

In fact according to Mahabharata, the epic Indian mythological text, Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna, gained the knowledge of warfare while in his mother's womb. It has also been proven scientifically that a child imbibes a lot of things even while in the foetal state.Theoretically we are never without a Guru right from the time of conception.

Then as we enter school and college our teachers there impart further knowledge to us. In fact according to the ancient Indian text called 'Dattacharitra' based on the life of Lord Dattatrey, who is the incarnation of all the trinities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, he made a total of 24 Gurus. They were all from the nature around us, including a python, a dove, and even a bangle. What it means is a Guru can be anyone who teaches you something, whether knowingly or unknowingly. So look around you and you will find so many things to learn.Then what does this spiritual Guru do and why do we need him.

A spiritual Guru is the one who essentially puts you on the path to attain the ultimate goal and that is to attain the God. He helps you become one with God and remove the ' aham' or the ego from within you. But remember, he only shows you the path, guides you along it. The ultimate effort has to be put in by you.No one and I mean no body other than yourself can walk this path for you.

Those who claim to make you one with God by a mere touch of hand or a photograph are nothing but cheating you. Even in the ancient Indian text there is mention of 'Tapa' which means burning your body and soul by practicing a strict pious routine to purify yourself and every disciple followed it. The great rishis, like Vishwamitra and Vasishtha, were so powerful that even the Gods feared their piety. Why couldn't they give their disciples the moksha just by blessing them? Because this is your individual journey. No body, not even your parents can do it for you. So a 'Guru' is essentially the catalyst between you and God.

He can facilitate the process but without your effort and God's blessing cannot achieve it for you.This is essentially for the western and some Indian seekers who wish to find a Guru. Please, do not try to substitute your Guru for a Shrink. A guru is the one who will show you the path but ultimately you have to walk on it and face the travails.

He may protect you to an extent but he can't make the difficulties in your life disappear completely. There is no magic wand. Do not search for a Guru only because it is fashionable or your friend says so. There will be people who claim to have found the real Guru who is the ultimate incarnation of God. Do not get duped by such con-artists. Your ultimate goal is and should always be God.

Let nobody deviate you from that.There is this scale of 'K' I personally follow and found useful whenever I visited some sect or spiritual meeting in my quest for God and Guru. Believe me I have visited quite a few of them. There are five 'Kakara' or five things starting with 'K' in Sanskrit that the Guru should be devoid of.

It is Kanak or Gold, which essentially means money, the next is Kanta, or women, Krishi, or land as in property, Kirti, meaning fame, he shouldn't run after fame, Krodh, meaning anger, he should have control over his anger. And most importantly you need to feel that bond with him.There is just no strict measurement of how a true Guru should be.

Just as India is a great country with a rich tradition of 'Guru Parampara" or lineage, it is indeed sad that there are so many so called Godmen and women duping people by calling themselves Gods reincarnate.A Guru is essentially for you to attain God and he need not be famous and have rich pupils. He can be someone anonymous who can show you the correct path.

The first and foremost Guru is your mother and then the father. So first start by respecting your parents for they are the epitome of God on this earth for you. The next important thing is to be a good human being who loves everyone around him.

Very difficult indeed as there will be people whom we don't like. But we can at least try to be civil with everyone, and even if we can't help someone, it is important that we don't harm them at least. We can just start by praying to God, whomever we believe in and he will bring the right Guru for you. If not, God is your Guru himself.But if you meet someone for whom you feel from the bottom of your heart, and get strong feeling to make him your Guru, go ahead and test him.

Nothing wrong with that. Just as a Guru tests his disciple before imparting knowledge, why can't a pupil test his teacher for his worthiness. Believe me, this is coming from a person who has attended and been to a lot of sects in the search of a Guru.Everybody is interested in bringing in new members, especially educated and rich people. They want you to leave your parents too if they are not receptive of the Guru. This goes against the basic principle of Guru tradition which starts with Mother, Father and then the Spiritual Guru.

So a person who does not score on the scale of the 'K's above and asks you to leave your parents is a definite no-no.The most important thing every Guru asks for is 'surrender'. But surrender what? It is not your money or conscious or your morals. It is the surrender of your 'aham' or ego. The act makes you selfless which actually means you become a better human being capable of loving one and all.

Devoid of vices and desires. Once you do that you become one with God. You do not have to keep your sensible and conscious side aside for it.

In fact all this should make sense to you.If you find someone who you thinks fits these loosely scripted guidelines, you have met your Guru then. Till such time keep your search for the ultimate Divine. He will show you the way.

Dr. Prreeti.


Author Info: Dr. Prreeti is a post-graduate medical doctor. She learnt astrology under the guidance of her Guru Divyashree Bahuleyanand Swami and is practicing it for some years now. To consult her please visit her site http://www.

By: Dr. Prreeti

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