This article is shared by SP Sharma
I felt a necessity to approach a Guru (spiritual teacher) during the days of July 13 and 14, 1977, when I was in God intoxication (Please see my article: Death – a great spiritual teacher, indeed!). Because I couldn’t find one, I just accepted a celestial Guru, Brihaspati (Jupiter, teacher of all heavenly gods, in Hinduism) and held Him in my mind with great reverence. Thereafter I never bothered to seek a Guru as I continued to progress well on the devotion path after completing the knowledge path.
Here I will just try to explain the necessity of a Guru. After birth the child’s first teacher is the mother and it is she who introduces him to the father. The child, particularly a son, does not realize the real importance of a father easily. It is only when he begins to deal with others in the world that he may need the guidance of a father.
In education a child comes across the teachers who provide guidance in various subjects. Those teachers of different subjects and of different levels play an important role in education. Each teacher has limitations in the knowledge of a particular subject and he can only help the student in reaching that level. After post-graduation in a particular subject, one may go for a Ph.D., for which a guide is selected under whose guidance one takes up a new aspect for one’s research. It may be noted that not all Ph.D. holders are geniuses and, in turn, a genius is not the ultimate.
The same is applicable to spirituality. The objective of spirituality is to attain those qualities that lead one finally to the love of humanity, and make one self-sufficient in all aspects of life. The body is a medium or embodiment of expressing love in all one’s dealings. Among devotees the one who has intellect combined with devotion is considered the one who has completed the course that leads him to eternal bliss. His personal mission is considered over and he remains in the world for spreading love among mankind.
In Hinduism emphasis is given to go to such a spiritual guide, or Guru, who has already achieved what one aspires. Not any Guru will serve the purpose and usually it is difficult to find one suiting one’s own nature completely, and under whose guidance one can progress and find ultimate truth in a unique way. Here, the role of the Guru is just to guide the disciple, since he doesn’t supply the ultimate truth readily.
Now, coming to my point, in April 2002, I went to a friend’s house for some purpose and there I met his wife. I knew she was following a Guru (spiritual teacher) and though I had heard her Guru’s discourse once, I never felt the necessity of becoming his disciple. She also reminded me of life’s mission and to complete it with the help of a Guru. However, by then I had already mentally reached the feelings of tender love towards God in child form (Please see my article The spectrum of the love of God).
This level of devotion, i.e. God in child form, I considered was due to inheritance from my parents who were themselves devotees. I remember my father singing the glory of his personal God on footpaths, the railway station, the fair, etc. for 2-3 years, when I was about 10 years old. Mother after finishing homework would read a scripture throughout the afternoon instead of indulging in petty matters with neighboring ladies. After the death of my parents I came across an old lady who bestowed on me the grace of God in child form (Please see – Dreams coming true – Part III).
Next, after meeting the friend’s wife, I happened to mention to my wife laughingly the conversation that took place between the friend’s wife and me. Surprisingly, my wife also supported the view to have a Guru, otherwise there is no further progress in spirituality.
Then I happened to meet a colleague in the office, who was following a faith. Being curious I asked him for a book that could give me a comprehensive idea of that sect. In the book provided by him, at one place, it was emphasized that there should be a living Guru in this very life too. Devotion to a Guru of past ages won’t help.
At this point, I became a little restless. I searched my inner self and found that I still was lacking some aspects of perfect devotion. It was during the last week of June 2002 that I happened to attend a discourse of a touring lady disciple of a Guru. During her discourse I realized what I lacked (paramour love to God, See Paramour Love – enjoying the eternal relationship with God). I met her personally on July 4 and declared that I would like to surrender to the Guru. She just advised me not to use mind and intellect in devotion. (Love is blind too!)
I surrendered with full obeisance and faith to the Guru in the following month at the place where in ancient times the Lady – most revered by God himself, was born and remained. I met him in privacy for exactly 60 seconds, and came out most happily.
I got some instructions most of which I was more or less following already. His emphasis was on chanting the prayers and poems in connection with the divine playfulness of the so-called pair of God in male child form and the Lady Supreme, a giver of divine pleasure to God.
In fact, before reading about the necessity of having a living Guru in the book borrowed from my colleague, I thought God is there and he has been guiding me in devotion. There is no necessity of having a Guru, was my view. And when I came across the Guru I felt as if I had gotten a real soul mate.
What a deep relationship exists between a Guru and his true disciple! (Beware, there are many fake Gurus, and disciples too!). I cried for half an hour in the office toilet when I learned on the phone the news about my Guru in November 2004. A heart pacemaker was to be fitted to Him at the age of 82 that day. I could not tell the news to my colleagues, due to my sobbing-like condition for 2-3 hours.
In substance, one has to be eligible first and then one will come across a spiritual guide automatically. Rather, it is said that the Guru finds the eligible disciples.
In fact, I had no wish at all to have a Guru as I felt that in spirituality God himself is guiding invisibly. Actually, our mind gives a false impression of completeness till it comes across a higher self.
In November 2002 I met him again just for 60 seconds in privacy. After nearly 3 years I am planning again to go, to have just a glimpse of him. I wonder if He remembers me even!
In the case of God also, whether he loves me or not is not my concern. I should see how much I love Him myself. Time and again, saints have declared that, certainly, the time comes in the life of a devotee, when He makes to believe that He never forgets the devotee.
Now, we have the right to say that Love and God are synonymous. First show your love to a particular One and then spread the love beyond the walls of caste, creed, religions, etc. The mind enjoys love with God internally and the heart sprinkles it outside.
The search for perfect knowledge is rewarded by a gift of love.
SP Sharma, India