Significance of a Guru
All the Enlightened Sages teach the same thing, turn inward and learn how to lead the life in the world like rain drops on a lotus leaf, play your part in the world diligently because every one has been brought here into this world for a purpose, fulfill that purpose as best as you can. But the devotee finds it easier and more suitable to follow the teachings of a specific style of teaching, a specific Peaceful Being who is the One Reality manifesting in human form due to extreme Kindness, Mercifulness and Love for the devotees. The guidance and practical advice of some of those Great Ones in their own words are presented here to follow in day to day life.
The following Talk with Sri Ramana Maharshi by a devotee, clearly explains what the significance of God, Guru (in the Highest sense of the word), and the SELF is. All the Gurus and major Religions only teach what’s good for us. But each offers the Truth in a unique style and manner to suit the mental framework of the devotees and the languages they will understand. Suppose I get lost while going for a walk, and I ask for help from a good samaritan passing by, what good is it if he talks to me in a language or signs I don’t understand ?! It is as simple as that.
When we want help that cannot be offered by any human being, we seek help from a Higher Power, SELF, Source, Spirit, God, Scriptures, Nature OR whomever or whichever we believe in. But just as we cannot see the all-powerful electricity directly, but can only see its brilliance and power through a lamp or fan etc., so also we cannot see and realize the Real, Blissful, All-Pervading Being directly, but only through the Enlightened Beings, Sages, Gurus or Mahatmas. In rare cases, however, where a ripe soul is fully equipped, then they are found to attain the Highest Tranquility by deep enquiry or just some little thought-provoking incident that totally transforms them into a different being. Numerous examples of such events can be found especially in India.
Even though typically it is advised to follow the teaching of One Master and stick to it, I found help and solace from several Great Sages and Scriptures in many ways. I learnt a lot about basically everything which I am trying to practise . But I will not give up this knowledge I received for a zillion bucks. Because I am learning that without peace of mind, nothing else is worth having.
Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi
10th June, 1936
Note: M stands for Maharshi and D for Devotee.
D.: What is Guru’s Grace? How does it work?
M.: Guru is the Self.
D.: How does it lead to realisation?
M.: Isvaro gururatmeti … (God is the same as Guru and Self …). A person begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God’s Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The Guru is both exterior and interior. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness. That is Grace.
Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.