With the exception of very few who have gained higher spiritual tendencies in prior lives, Self-realization is not possible for anyone without the blessings of a guru. Think of the guru as the manifestation of God in this world. Take even the most insignificant word of the guru as an order and obey it. That is the real service to the guru. There is no greater austerity. The guru's blessings flow automatically to any obedient disciple. That is the real service to the guru.
As we discard a limited mind and a life of limitation to step into the grandness of vastness, we realize infinity itself to be the Guru and all that we do as grace. As we traverse through consciousness that is the Guru, we become the Guru and each thought of ours is perfect in the now, as scriptures. Consciousness is the Guru, the wisdom.
Children, we can grow spiritually only if we see the guru as the manifestation of God. We should not accept anyone as guru before we are fully convinced personally that he is authentic and truthful. Once we choose someone as guru, we should surrender completely to him. Only then will spiritual development be possible. Devotion to the guru means total surrender to him.
Remember, you are the true guru of yourself. You are therefore always with Guru - your soul. However, at various stages you meet mentors. Mentors are like lighthouse who supports navigation in a journey called life. But, it is the innocence, vision, and purity of yourself (Guru within) determines the degree of success you can achieve.
Although he reputedly hated the label of 'guru', Peter Drucker was, by any standards, the greatest management guru the world has yet seen. In 1996, the McKinsey Quarterly journal described him as the 'the one guru to whom other gurus kowtow' and Robert Heller described him as 'the greatest man in the history of management', praise indeed for a man who described himself as 'just an old journalist'.
Devotion is the essence of the path, and if we have in mind nothing but the guru and feel nothing but fervent devotion, whatever occurs is perceived as his blessing. If we simply practice with this constantly present devotion, this is prayer itself. When all thoughts are imbued with devotion to the guru, there is a natural confidence that this will take care of whatever may happen. All forms are the guru, all sounds are prayer, and all gross and subtle thoughts arise as devotion. Everything is spontaneously liberated in the absolute nature, like knots untied in the sky.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
How can one be compassionate if you belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures, and so on, attached to a conclusion? When you accept your guru, you have come to a conclusion, or when you strongly believe in god or in a saviour, this or that, can there be compassion? You may do social work, help the poor out of pity, out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and compassion?
The Wayshower is a compelling, multi-layered and complex spiritual journey about a guilt-ridden man searching to understand his connection to his guru J-R. Followers of the real-life guru, John-Roger, as well as a segment of new-thought seekers, will resonate with the messages and life lessons shared throughout.
On those who try to make me their guru or master, my approach is to start destroying that from the first moment we meet. It probably seems naive and idealistic, but I rely on basic, old-fashioned qualities in keeping my interactions clean: integrity, chivalry, honesty. In my experience, it's not that difficult to eliminate the guru paradigm and stereotype, if one really wants to. Finally, it comes down to simply not accepting a role or the associated temptations offered.
It is dangerous for a spiritual master to accept almost any aspirant. Although it is an aspect of mercy, it is dangerous. The danger also depends on the spiritual potency of the particular guru. Without sufficient potency, a few offensive or faithless disciples can lead to the guru's fall.
Bhakti Tirtha Swami
I think people are always looking for gurus. It's the easiest thing in the world to become a guru. It's quite terrifying. I once saw something fascinating here in New York. It must have been in the early seventies--guru time. A man used to go and sit in Central Park, wearing elaborate golden robes. He never once opened his mouth, he just sat. He'd appear at lunchtime. People appeared from everywhere, because he was obviously a holy man, and this went on for months. They just sat around him in reverent silence. Eventually he got fed up with it and left. Yes. It's as easy as that.
So I think the Guru can be a delusion. But everything can be deluding. The thing central about the Guru in the West is that he represents an alien principle of the spirit, namely, that you don't follow your own path; you follow a given path. And that's totaly contrary to the Western Spirit! Our spirituality is of the individual quest, individual realization- authenticity in your life out of your own center. So you must take the message of the East, assimilate it to your own dimension and to your own thrust of life, and not get pulled off track.
How will you get God's grace? When you discipline yourself. How will you know how to discipline? By observing others that had walked the path successfully to the goal of perfection. Who are these men who had walked to the goal? It is these that are known as Gurus. So you need their help, their personal example, their encouragement and their grace. Thus, we have come round to the answer that a Guru is necessary as well as his grace. Everything is necessary-\-\ Atma Kripa, Guru Kripa and Isvara Kripa.
Women come to me and would never tell a male guru the things that they tell me. to me and would never besiege the male guru with some of the things that I hear. And that is because mother is mother and that is the phenomenal thing, it's the most irreplaceable thing in the world because whether we're an earthly mother or a spiritual mother, a divine mother, and everyone is divine by the way, we all have the power of divinity, the power of full consciousness, whether we are awakened to the potential of it all is a different matter.
Children, we are told to make an offering at the temple or at the feet of the guru, not because the Lord or guru is in need of wealth or anything else. Real offering is the act of surrendering the mind and the intellect. How can it be done? We cannot offer our minds as they are, but only the things to which our minds are attached. Today our minds are greatly attached to money and other worldly things. By placing such thoughts at the feet of the Lord, we are offering Him our heart. This is the principle behind giving charities.
If spirituality means seeking ['Self'-Realization], why do I need a Guru?' Let's say, all that you're seeking is to go to Kedarnath right now. Somebody is driving; the roads are laid out. If you came alone and there were no proper directions, definitely you would have wished, "I wish there was a map to tell me how to get there." On one level, a Guru is just a map. He's a live map. If you can read the map, you know the way, you can go. A Guru can also be your bus driver. You sit here and doze and he will take you to Kedarnath; but to sit in this bus and doze off, or to sit in this bus joyfully, you need to trust the bus driver. If every moment, with every curve in this road, you go on thinking, "Will this man kill me? Will this man go off the road? What intention does he have for my life?" then you will only go mad sitting here. We're talking about trust, not because a Guru needs your trust, it's just that if there's no trust you will drive yourself mad. This is not just for sitting on a bus or going on a spiritual journey. To live on this planet, you need trust. Right now, you trust unconsciously. You're sitting on this bus, which is just a bundle of nuts and bolts and pieces of metal. Look at the way you're going through the mountains. Unknowingly, you trust this vehicle so much. Isn't it so? You have placed your life in the hands of this mechanical mess, which is just nuts and bolts, rubbers and wires, this and that. You have placed your life in it, but you trust the bus consciously. The same trust, if it arises consciously, would do miracles to you. When we say trust, we're not talking about anything new to life. To be here, to take every breath in and out, you need trust, isn't it? Your trust is unconscious. I am only asking you to bring a little consciousness to your trust. It's not something new. Life is trust, otherwise nobody can exist here.