Before we get to answer this question, let us define success.
What is it to be successful differs from person to person. For some, it might be to have a big bank balance, for some it might mean to be in a powerful position, and for some others, fame.
Whatever it might be, we see that there are many politicians, businessmen, artists, etc., who would have reached heights in their own fields, but might not necessarily have a spiritual master in their lives.
Now, seeing the other side of this, one might have a big bank balance or might be very famous. But, if they aren’t happy, if they get tensed, upset and angry for small things, is such a person successful? Someone who is tensed, worried, feeling insecure, can’t sleep, can’t even eat properly because of cholesterol, diabetes or stress, would you call him a successful person?
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who is one of the most revered global spiritual leaders (or “one of the great spiritual leaders of the world”), says, “Often, people spend half of their health to gain their wealth. Then they spend half their wealth, to gain back their health (which does not come back). This is not a sign of success. To me, a sign of success is confidence. Even if you lose everything, if you have confidence, then you can recreate everything again, and that is success.” He says, “Success is an attitude, it is not a phenomenon.”
A spiritual master uplifts your spirit leaps and bounds, such that you will never let anything pull your spirits down, at any point in time.
There is an ancient saying – “Guru bina gathi nahi” which means, there is no progress in life without a Guru. In the ancient times, a person without a Guru was called ‘anaatha’, which also means an orphan. Having a spiritual master is synonymous to having a definite progress in life. Life gets filled with zeal and enthusiasm and becomes more fulfilling. An unshakable attitude with an undying smile is a definite side effect of having a spiritual master.
Gurudev often says that once a person has come to a spiritual master, knowledge flourishes, sorrow diminishes, joy wells up without any reason, lack diminishes; abundance dawns and all talents manifest. This has been the experience of many who are on the spiritual path with a master. With all these definite things that can help achieve success in life, can happen easily by having a spiritual master in one’s life, who would not wish to have one?
Also, the unknown factor for success, what we call one’s ‘luck’ is enhanced by spirituality. Many times, the techniques and tools taught by a spiritual master automatically enhance intelligence, intuition and luck. Intuition is the right thought at the right time, and is an important component for being successful.
When nothing whatsoever can shake you – that is what a spiritual master can do to you. That true success is what you can reap.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “The sign of success is overwhelming joy, confidence, compassion, generosity, and a smile that none can snatch away. Whatever happens in life, if you can keep these, then you have really found success.”