This is a very common question bandied about these days. It is hard for our mind to juggle the irony of this. One the one hand we are told in Eastern teachings, “All is God” (including us). Yet on the other hand we are told, you “Need a Guru (teacher)”. So the mind asks, “If All is God (including me), why do I need a Guru?”. This is especially so in the West, where we are very skeptical of spiritual teachers.
A good analogy for this proclamation is of a seed and a tree and their relationship to each other. Every tree started as a seed, but every seed does not become a tree. The tree is the *potential* hidden in every seed. But there is a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of grace needed before the seed grows to it potential – just like us.
The limited self proclaiming itself to be God (so why get a guru?, etc.) is like the seed proclaiming itself to already be the tree. Yes, we have everything in us *potentially* for the seed of God consciousness to grow to a mighty tree. But it takes a lot of work (on your part) and luck and grace (from the universe, guru or whatever).
What is a Guru?
The word literally means “dispeller of darkness” and as such it is the embodiment of something bigger than you (the smaller self/seed). It shows your connection to the divine intelligence, which is keeping everything in order here. It is something or someone that connects you to a state of perfection and harmony you lack in your current state. This sense of lack is the case for all seekers, otherwise there would be no question to begin with.
A spiritual master / guru has already become the tree. They are no longer striving for Self-realization or longing for all of the things we long for. They have understood the nature of the world and CHOOSE to stay here amongst us, in this difficulty, to serve us and the God potential they see. Other things can also be a guru, like nature, or art, but an embodied teacher will be the easiest to recognize because they are already living the same kind of life we are, just at a much higher level.
To many (especially those of us who have spent time with these beings), this is the most beautiful thing we have ever seen and could ever imagine – because the energy that flows from a Sat Guru (Teacher of the highest truth) has none of the irony, selfishness, struggle and difficulties we typically find in our other connections.
Their energy is pure. They want nothing from us, ever. Their life is an offering of truth, light and love to anyone who wants it. They all give methods and techniques, not just words because (back to the seed analogy) they know there is a certain amount of work that we need to do, (the “I” in us) but our efforts alone can NOT make it happen. Only God’s grace makes that seed grow. The guru tells us to do our practices, with the awareness that the universe is always looking out for us and will manage the rest.
At first, we do not believe. But a great Satguru is the embodiment of divine wisdom itself and knows everything about us – what we want, what we love, what we fear and exactly how to crack open that seed casing of our heart that is keeping the tree of God hidden and buried in the soil (Tamas). These Sat gurus know our mind better than we do because they ARE ONE with the divine mind. They are not separate from it.
It is not much different than the way we are able to read the motives of children. We have been through what they are going through and understand. But a being like this is not a concept to admire from afar. They are an experience, like love or anything else. If you write the word “honey” on a piece of paper, then lick it, there will be no sweetness. The sweetness of a Satguru can only be experienced. In the presence of these teachers, you know that they know your mind. You feel the purity of this love and it is beautiful beyond measure. But until we actually spend time in their presence, many confusing ideas arise.
Our individual efforts (spiritual practices) are just to prepare the soil and create the right environment for God’s grace to flow and crack that seed casing open. Because the farmer can do everything right – weed the garden, till the soil, plant at the right time – and the seed still may not sprout. We have no idea how that happens or how to make it happen. We can only prepare our mind and heart for “Realization” and when its time, it happens.
A Satguru is an embodiment of the universal wisdom – ONE with it and they feel our sincere intentions and are here to help us if we want it. if we do not, that is OK too. They will not interfere. They are really like Soul farmers, reconnecting us to the cycles of cosmic love that keeps this creation going – whether we know it or not.
But actually. we already have MANY gurus, but who are they? Politicians? Businessmen?
Who are your examples, because you are learning from someone, from something?
The quality of your teachers shows the quality of your soul’s development and the taste of the fruit your life is producing. Because remember, you are already God. it is true. Your intention is producing your higher Self. But is a Self worthy of all you truly are?