In Hinduism, the 'Guru' is a most sacred bond that a spiritual seeker has with an Enlightened One. A question that every seeker is likely to ask - ''Who is a Guru?'' There are many interpretations to this. In a simple way, I find this to be based on my experience - a Guru is the One who helps you navigate from untruth to Truth, from darkness to Light, and from mortality to Immortality.
The toughest part of a spiritual aspirant's life is not the constant mockery and disbelief that one faces from loved ones or friends - it is the ability to hold on with steadfast faith that the Guru appears when the disciple is ready.
This simple truth is absent from the lives of most spiritual seekers. Of course, the easiest thing to do is to google on the Internet, find a suitable Guru, sign up for different meditation and pranayama packages, pay up hefty amounts for these holistic packages and come back thrilled or unhappy after the experience.
Dear friend, do you actually believe that this is all there is to the spiritual path - that you can just sign up, go shopping from one Guru to the other, play a game of musical chairs only to find that by the end of the game, you are fed up and you feel cheated? The worst part is then you are totally confused about the Path itself.
In one of the old Charlie Chaplin flicks, there is a scene where he keeps looking backward while walking and topples down. That is exactly what happens to seekers who go shopping for Gurus, signing up for differently priced meditation and yoga packages. These 'seekers' crumble and fall apart faster than cookies dunked in milk. The problem is not with the Guru, the problem stems from their limited understanding of a Guru's purpose in their life.
Also remember this: A 'Guru' who asks you to fight others, take up violence, to hurt any one is a FRAUD. A 'Guru' who makes any attempt to touch you physically and in a sexually oriented way is a FRAUD and NOTHING justifies it. These are not 'Gurus' - understand this!
If only the spiritual world was so easy and simple to figure out for all of us....alas, it is a razor's edge that few can walk on, without slipping down.
The simple truth is this - The Guru Finds YOU.
This may sound laughable at first reading but it is the Truth of the Spiritual World. It destroys all egocentric notions of ''I'' - which is why many have missed it earlier and no one may have pointed it out to you before.
You don't need to Google to find your Guru.
Then, what do you need to do?
I have an answer that you will probably hate me for: Wait.
If your for attaining progress on the spiritual path is sincere and steadfast, your Guru will find you. Study the lives of the spiritual Masters - it will prepare you for the tough life that a seeker can expect on the path. You will also get an intuitive idea of how a true Guru reaches out to a disciple.
Don't shop for Gurus. Your Guru will find you. Have faith and wait.
And when your Guru finds you, keep these beautiful words of wisdom of shared by the medieval monk Fra Giovanni close to your heart:
'There is nothing I can give you which you do not have, but there is much that while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven. No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take peace.
....Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, the angel's hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys too, be not content with them as joys. They too conceal their divine gifts.' (Source: Eknath Eashwaran's book 'Discover Your Hidden Spiritual Resources.)
Have faith. Your Guru will find you at the right time, just as Swami Vivekananda was found by Sri Ramakrishna, Mother Mirra was found by Sri Aurobindo, Sri M was found by his Guru Maheshwaranath Babaji and so many many others. When that happens, you won't need to search on Google, Facebook or Twitter. You will know it with the divine awareness that suddenly embraces and brings to life every cell in your body.
Till the Guru appears, here are 3 things you can do:
1. Keep chanting or meditating on the name and form every morning in a way that brings you joy. [Do READ: Meditation - Signs of Progress]
2. You can also begin your day by visualizing the AUM in Devanagari script, in colors of gold or electric blue, a highly recommended spiritual practice revealed to Sri M by the great Yogi, Sri Maheshwaranath Babaji.
3. Serve humanity with love - start your day with love, spend your day with love and end your day with love - as my Guru tells us to do.
Step into your Light, your Divine Power - the Guru will find You.