According to the scriptures, being born as a human among the eight million species on earth is the biggest blessing one can ask for. And, only when someone is doubly blessed, does he or she get a Guru in life.
Once, a gentleman, overwhelmed with tears of gratitude, told Gurudev, ‘You are a roof to my life, protecting me from the sun and rain.’ Gurudev replied, ‘Not a roof, but an umbrella. I will be with you everywhere you go!’* Only a Guru can say such a reassuring statement. A Guru’s love and care is unconditional. The secure feeling that ‘someone is always there for me’, no matter what I do, where I am, is the best blessing that one can have in life.
It is said that a Guru does not accept or reject anyone. It is the student, or the disciple, who accepts (a Guru) as his/ her Guru. When we acknowledge the presence of Guru tattva (Guru principle), we are guided at every moment in our lives.
There are four benefits of having a Guru. They are:
The presence of a Guru is essential for any leaning to happen. By reading a lot of books, one can only gather information. But real wisdom is bestowed upon us only by the Guru principle; by acknowledging the Guru in one’s life. Whatever knowledge we gain is from the Guru tattva. When you consciously acknowledge the Guru, you learn more.
The Guru brings strength to emotions and sharpness to intellect. The Guru’s presence continues through one’s life as learning continues throughout one’s life.
There is an ancient saying in India, that says, ‘Guru bina gathi nahi’, which means ‘there can be no progress in life without a Guru’.
Events, situations, concepts, can make one feel stuck. Sometimes, one doesn’t even realize that he or she is stuck. It is the Guru’s presence that makes them realize that they are stuck and helps them come out of it. Many times, Guru’s presence also protects one from getting stuck in the first place.
Having a Guru helps you have a flow in life and progress towards the ultimate goal.
To acquire anything in life, we need guidance. We need someone to help to achieve what we want. A Guru guides you to get your desires fulfilled.
But, sometimes we are not sure of what we want or our desires become endless. Then, the Guru tattva gives us what is good for us, and not necessarily all that we want.
The Guru makes sure you do not remain in the elusive world. He says, “Come on, wake up and look at the ultimate reality of this universe, that is freedom and liberation.”
All of us come to this planet with a conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious mind. With self-effort, we can gain wisdom and all learning happens in realm of the conscious mind.
At the level of the sub-conscious mind, one cannot put any effort; we need some higher power to influence that. To make the conscious mind a super conscious mind, we need help. And so, nature has blessed us with the Guru Parampara – or the tradition of masters (Gurus), who have helped the human society from millenniums to achieve the inner freedom. A Guru guides us by hand towards the light that one is.
*Excerpt from page 112 of Gurudev on Plateau of the Peak book, by Bhanumathi Narasimhan.