Condensed from conversations with Guruji, ShrRishPrabhakar
Question: Should everyone have a Guru?
Ans: Those who find at least one person as their Guru are fortunate. Dattatreya himself had many Gurus. We learn from the discoveries of great scientists. They enrich our lives with knowledge and technologies. You are also a Rishi if you observe and discover laws unknown to you before.
When you discover something important and share it with the world they remember you as the discoverer of that law. Just like Newton’s laws of motion. There are laws of motion discovered by Newton or Archimedes’ principle of Specific gravity. We would be arrogant if we say; we do not have a Guru.
Then there are Gurus who teach you about life and not about nature. They teach by example – ‘How to lead a life of freedom and the secret of Silence’. Most Gurus in India are held to be so because they teach you about silence. For me, my most important Guru was the one who taught me how to share all of myself without fear.
I learnt how keeping money makes you a target for all problems. I trust that money is only a means of exchange for certain goods. When you share your love, money is no more a means of exchange. Money gets shared not traded. Then money itself becomes spiritual.
Most people are poor because they do not know how to share their love and share themselves wholly. Most of the great reformers like Jesus lived a life of love. Who can refuse Christ as a model? He is a Guru loved by all.
Q: But we don’t have Christs around to be our model?
Ans: Yes. They are not easy to come by. To find such a great spirit is not easy for common men who doubt everyone. Certainly we require living Gurus who take you by the hand to your bliss. Certainly there are loving people, who may not be famous and make it to the headlines. They may be simple people who have found love. They do sincere service.They take care of others who are thrown into unfortunate circumstances. They may not open hospitals and be Nobel laureates. To find such a one who has found love is our fortune indeed.
Once you appreciate one who has found love, you will appreciate his company. You will appreciate their wisdom. You will find the company of those who love him or her and your life turns a new leaf. Oh! You have found your Guru.
Q: There are so many people claiming to be self-styled Gurus. They don’t even acknowledge their Guru and claim that they are self-enlightened etc. How do you distinguish a real Guru from a fake one?
Ans: You cannot find your Guru from posters in a town. Usually, they are fakes. You have to be touched in the heart. A person inspired by a Guru is the best person to take you there. The disciple is a good marker.
See whether the disciple adores only his Guru or is open to adoring, loving people anywhere.
If a disciple has been brainwashed into believing that his Guru is the only Guru, then too that Guru is suspect.
A Guru who does not welcome other Gurus who have found love, and treat them with great respect, is also a fake. If a Guru has a war of pamphlets and posters then that person is definitely a fake Guru. It is one thing to inform of his presence and another to have a poster war or a war of advertisements.
Many so called Gurus do not listen to anybody else and claim that they are unquestionable, and then they are definitely fakes. Most of present day Gurus walk with their head high and do not even go to a market place just to be with people. They feel that they are movie stars who lose their value by mixing with the masses. I have seen a movie star by name Rajkumar, who did the opposite and has become a worshipful saint to his fans and has attained a status of a God.
See whether the Guru goes out to meet the humanity he claims to love or he takes police guards to protect him. Does he eat with others or has his special meals only. Do not impose your food on him but see whether he is willing to eat with others and serve them food.
Most importantly, see whether his actions and words match. And, can you ask him a question when you find that the word and action do not match for you?
Many of today’s famous teachers are afraid and require a large entourage to protect their name. They are never found alone in a gathering without the entourage. They cannot stand on their own feet. They require the support of their sycophants.
Q: What about Gurus who claim to be Avatars? How should we treat them? Can I take the liberty to ask you about Satya Sai Baba?
Ans: People like Satya Sai Baba are not only Gurus but they are Siddhas on earth.
Many miracles happen around them. They cannot be understood by any normal intellect. They don’t require your admiration or support.
If you degrade them without being able to do what they are able to do, then you are a fake. To judge someone you must be able to do better than them. We cannot sit in judgment over Gandhian methods unless you are able to demonstrate ‘How people can be conquered with Love’, better than Gandhi.
How can we sit in Judgment of a Rama or Krishna? Can we do what they did? They become Jagadgurus whose words become eternal guidelines. You cannot meet them, or be with them on the street like ordinary people. If you tune with them they will walk with you on the street unseen by others. Such is my Satya Sai Baba, who leads me and presents himself when I call him with love in my heart.
They are living Gods. Do not use your intellect. They will blow your logic to pieces by presenting a miracle. Can you enter fire for twenty minutes without a shirt like Sri Ganapathi Sacchidananda Swamiji?
They are here to show the miracle of God and grace to you and the world. You can see them as Gods or Devils. It does not matter to them. If you think they are Gods, you will be blessed. If you approach them as devils, they will destroy the devil in you.
Normally, Gurus help you to start appreciating Siddhas. Your approach will bless you with unbelievable bliss as it happens to me with Satya Sai Baba and Sri Ganapathi Sacchidananda Swamiji.
I feel their blessings all the time and I am just a tool in their hands doing my work in bliss.