Should one have just one personal Guru? Swami Shivanandaji answered: “Drink deeply from one man alone.It is useless to wander from one to another out of curiosity……Do not have the ever changing mind of a prostitute “. Gurudev Chinmayanandaji used to say that one should not dig in multiple places for water, listen to all but your alter of love should be one. Swami Vivekananda said , “From one doctor you get a prescription. From two doctors you get a consultation. From three doctors you get your own cremation.”
Should the Guru be an erudite scholar of texts? A textual teacher can teach the diction, grammar and the etymology of words in a scripture, but cannot elevate the mind. Transformation in a student is possible only due the tapas done by a teacher, else his words lack power and are seeds on barren land.An erudite teacher may show off learning by voluminous academic research known as ‘Shastra Vasana’, but the confused students flounder in a forest of words. Brahma Gyan (knowledge of the Supreme Reality) needs to be conveyed with precision and clarity.A true teacher descends to the student’s level, discourses in his language and addresses his concerns. Purity, selflessness and no desire for gain or fame is the hallmark of a true teacher and he alone can enlighten the mind.Religion is not a transaction. The magnetic aura of the teacher alone can bring about a magical transformation in the life and values of a student. When your heart is longing to receive guidance, the lord appoints your teacher. The student recognises the guru as he falls in love with him and his teaching . Swami Vivekanandaji instructed the student to “serve him with childlike confidence and simplicity .” This purity of surrender compels divine transference of knowledge.
Prarthana Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi.