If we find peace in the presence of a Mahatma, if we are inspired by his speeches, if he is able to clear our doubts, if he is free from greed, anger and lust, if he is selfless, loving and I-less, we can take him as our Guru. He who is able to clear our doubts, he who is sympathetic in our Sadhana, he who does not disturb our beliefs but helps us on from where we are.
We shall not use our reason too much in the selection of our Guru. We will fail if we do so. If we are not able to find out a Guru, we should follow the teachings contained in the books written by realized saints like Sri Sankara, Dattatreya and others. We shall keep a photo of such a realised Guru, if available, and worship the same with faith and devotion. Gradually we will get inspiration, and the Guru may appear in a dream and initiate and inspire us at the proper time.

For a sincere Sadhaka, help comes in a mysterious manner. So long as there is a world, there are Gurus and Vedas to guide the struggling souls in the path of Self-realisation. The number of realised souls may be less in the Iron Age when compared with the Satya Yuga, but they are always present to help the aspirants. Let each one of us take the path according to our capacity, temperament and understanding. Our Satguru will meet us along that path.

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