Why does a seeker need a spiritual master, a mentor or a Guru? Don’t we all value a teacher who taught us English? Don’t we value a mathematics coach who taught us how to make A+B=C into an equation that we can decipher? How can we undermine the value of a teacher – a master, a mentor?
A Guru is a spiritual teacher – a spiritual coach. The word ‘GURU’ is constituted of two words – ‘Gu’ which means darkness, and ‘Ru’ which refers to light. Guru is the one who takes us from darkness to light. He is a manifestation of God on Earth. His voice is God’s voice. The Guru is the one who shows us the path, and then holds our hand and walks with us – helping, guiding, and leading us onward, forward, inward, upward, and most importantly, Godward. It is a person who gives us moral teachings and shows a true seeker a way to self-realization. Such is the role of a spiritual Guru.
Very few people pursue a spiritual life. We are so busy in this material world that we don’t even realize the importance of spiritual evolution. But a Guru comes into our life and transforms it. Through the spiritual leadership of our master, we attain a life of bliss and peace often known as ‘Enlightenment’. He is a master who not only shows us how to live a life of achievement and fulfillment but also he leads us to enlightenment, to liberation from suffering and pain.
The seekers on the path of liberation cannot achieve liberation without the guidance of a spiritual master – a Guru. Not just any Guru from the street but a Guru who himself, has been coached by another Guru, a spiritual master who has been well-versed in not just religion but has personally evolved on the spiritual path. The Guru’s wisdom, experience, and knowledge are therefore not just six to eight decades of his own life, but also the combined knowledge and wisdom of his Guru and several other predecessors. All these together form an ocean of wisdom and knowledge collected over many centuries, and through this, a Guru helps his disciples to walk on the spiritual path. There are many spiritual teachers that would advocate and advertise themselves to be masters but we, as seekers must learn to look for a genuine master who seeks nothing but to impart spiritual knowledge.
It is that selfless soul who wants to help people realize the truth. Yes! It is so difficult for a seeker to find a true spiritual master but without a spiritual master, a seeker would be lost. Imagine, somebody, trying to fly a plane without being taught how to be a pilot! Imagine somebody trying to drive a car without getting a license. We are sure to crash! Such is the fate of a seeker without a spiritual master – spiritual doom!
In today’s world, we are so much entangled by religious superstitions and rituals that we don’t know who is God, where is God, what is God. We pray but we don’t know what we say. This is because we lack the guidance of a spiritual master, a mentor also known as Guru.
The spiritual path is not a new science. It is something that has evolved over centuries. Thousands of years ago, the rishis and the saints from India, China, Egypt, and across the world, realized certain principles of life, certain universal laws and then created philosophy and theology that has given a basic foundation to the world.
A Guru is absolutely necessary in this modern world for those who want to discover their spirit and who want to leave behind the ego, mind, and body. By finding somebody who can lead them on the spiritual path, they can evolve, grow and transcend the trials and tribulations of this world.
The goal of life is to understand the truth, to seek spiritual enlightenment and we cannot do this without the help of a Guru.