The Role of The Guru
By: Sri Swami Sivananda- Divine Life Society
Ajnana-Timirandhasya Jnananjana-Shalakaya ( salakaya) ; Chakshurunmilitam Yena Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah.
Prostrations to that Guru who, by the collyrium-rod of Knowledge, opens the eyes of those who are rendered blind by the darkness of ignorance.
The Guru is God Himself manifesting in a personal form to guide the aspirant. Grace of God takes the form of Guru. To see the Guru is to see God. The Guru is united with God. He/She inspires devotion in others. His/her presence purifies all.
The Guru is verily a link between the individual and the Immortal. He is a being who has raised himself from THIS into THAT, and thus has a free and unhampered access to both the realms. He stands, as it were, upon the threshold of immortality; and bending down, he raises the struggling individuals with his one hand, and with the other lifts them up into the empyrean of everlasting joy and infinite Truth-Consciousness.
Mere study of books cannot make one a Guru. One who has studied the Vedas and who has direct knowledge of Atman through Anubhava, experience, can only be a Guru. A Jivanmukta or a liberated one is the real Guru or spiritual preceptor. He is the Satguru. He is identical with Brahman or the Supreme Self. He is a Knower of Brahman.
Possession of Siddhis is not the test to declare the greatness of a sage or to prove he has attained Self-realization. Satgurus do not exhibit any miracles or Siddhis.
A Satguru is endowed with countless Siddhis. He possesses all divine Aisvarya, all the wealth of the Lord.
The Satguru is Brahman Himself. He is an ocean of bliss, knowledge and mercy. He is the captain of our soul. He is the fountain of joy. He removes all our troubles, sorrows and obstacles. He shows us the right divine path. He tears our veil of ignorance. He makes us immortal and divine. He transmutes our lower, diabolical nature. He gives us the rope of knowledge and saves us when we are drowning in this ocean of Samsara.
Do not consider him to be only a human being. Guru is God. A word from him is a word from God. He need not teach anything. Even his presence or company is elevating, inspiring and stirring. The very company itself is self-illumination. Living in his company is spiritual education.
Man can learn only from a man, and hence God teaches through a human body. In our Guru, we have our human ideal of perfection. He is the pattern from which we wish to mould ourselves. our mind will readily be convinced that such a great soul is fit to be worshipped and revered.
Guru is the Moksha-Dvara. He is the gateway to the transcendental Truth-Consciousness. But, it is the aspirant that has to enter through it. The Guru is a help, but the actual task of practical Sadhana falls on the aspirant himself.