The word ‘Guru’ forms a market vocabulary today. There is a ‘ Style Guru’, a ‘Diet Guru’, ‘ Management Guru’ as well as a ‘Sales Guru’! A general term for ‘teacher’ , this word has found adaptability across cultures and continents. ‘Guru’ has deeper and more sacred meanings. Let us first discuss the word just as ‘teacher’.  The question generally asked is, “ I am educated, intelligent and capable, why do I need a Guru.? I can read the scriptures on my own and understand.”  Don’t we need a guru for dance, music , science, arts, or games?” Great masters in any field have had to perfect their skills under teachers.  Saints like Swami Vivekananda, Chinmayananda or Shivananda, even avatars like Shri Krishna and Shri Ramachandra had to learn from gurus. But sadly, we feel that we will lose personal importance and self respect. Youthful arrogance rebels against any teaching ,with a “I know it all “ attitude, refusing any guidance as they confuse it with a loss of freedom. How strange is it then that they readily allow a doctor to transplant their heart, or a dentist to pull out a tooth! A spiritual guru is a specialist in the  super subtle science of the secrets of the human mind and spirit!

If we at all accept to be guided, then the next question that pops up is, “How does one choose a Guru?” Also, “Where do we look for the right one?” Simple, you don’t. When the time is ripe for the true seeker, the lord helps mysteriously by making the suitable guru and student gravitate towards each other. Swami Shivanandaji said, “ If you find peace in the presence of a great soul; if you are inspired by his speech; if he is able to clear your doubts; if he is free from greed , lust and anger,…….selfless, loving, take him as your Guru.”

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi