Who is a Guru?
A Guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance, ignorance of God or ignorance of the Self. For the spiritual aspirant, the Guru is a boon. An illumined soul alone can enlighten another soul. A Guru is an embodiment of God, manifesting himself in the form of an individual to guide the aspirant. Grace of God takes the form of Guru; to see the Guru is to see God. The Guru knows the weaknesses and defects of the aspirants. He cleanses your inner being. Association with the Guru is an armour which protects the aspirant against all temptations and unfavourable forces and the latter is safe from being led astray. Guru inspires devotion in others and his presence purifies all.
It is very difficult to write about the greatness of a Guru. A Guru is a combination of father, mother and friend, in fact, more than that. Guru is God; a word from him is a word from God. He need not teach anything, just his presence or company is elevating and inspiring, and the very company itself is self-illumination. Living in his company is spiritual education. The relationship between a Guru and disciple is the most divine relationship on this earth. Guru is a living God; God appears here before us in flesh and blood and move with us in this very life. This relationship is not for this life, it is related to endless birth. Being ignorant, the disciple does not know that, but the Guru, the Knower of all Hearts, knows it. This relation is eternal and everlasting. This relationship between Master and disciple is very sacred, deep, beautiful, inseparable and endless, it is really impossible to express in any human language; only feeling understands feeling. Only few fortunate devotees, who are loyal and sincere to him, can understand him.
Obedience to the Guru is a precious virtue as this helps to root out the ego in the disciple. One should have total implicit obedience and faith in the Guru. The Guru only knows the spiritual needs of his disciple and he teaches according to the disciple’s temperament and evolution and what he instructs you is indeed for your highest good. If Guru and God appear together we should bow to Guru first and then to God for Guru is the one who can take us to the Kingdom of God. Do not consider the Guru to be only a man; he is the embodiment of God’s power. The Master is Divine Power. He stays with you, no matter where his physical body is. He does not live far away from you. Know that God and Guru exist everywhere – before you, behind you, above you and below you. Have intense pure love for the Guru and serve the Guru humbly, lovingly and willingly without selfish motive; when you serve the Master you serve the whole world. Service must be done to Guru without expectation of name, fame and power. If a person has a clean and pure heart, he will know spontaneously what the Guru wants without having to ask him.
A disciple must completely surrender body, mind and soul to the Guru; the readiness to surrender all; only then is spiritual progress possible. There is nothing greater than Guru and there is no highest philosophy than surrender oneself at the feet of the Guru.