Do you know the difference between the light of the sun versus the moon’s? The sun’s presence annihilates any darkness whereas the moon dissipates it without eliminating it completely. The moon is soothing while the sun, seething. Like the moon, a guru allows you to exist the way you are, accepting you the way you are, ever exuding gentle rays of the full light of love, care, wisdom and guidance.
The guru-disciple relationship is like no other for it’s free of the usual give-and-take exchanges. It’s one of the most intimate and purest relationships because there are no secrets and there’s no hidden agenda. It’s a bond, a covenant, capable of rapid, profound, and irreversible transformation.
In the present day and age though, while the sanctity of this relationship is as intact as it ever was, there is no dearth of examples where both the guru and the disciple abuse each other’s trust and sentiments. In my vocation, I regularly meet seekers who have been prey to fake gurus. There are also fake disciples though — these get initiated but never really follow the teachings in their entirety.
That said, there are many who do follow ardently and practice sincerely yet their doubts and negative tendencies remain. They don’t experience any transformation. Why? What are they doing wrong? When a seeker is sincere, when they practice to the T but still fail to walk the spiritual path, the fault is often not with the seeker but with the guru. The most common mistake you can make is to accept someone as your guru just because he or she can expound on some scriptures.
Your master must make sense to you, he must practice what he preaches, his teachings must be acceptable to you. Don’t feel the pressure to agree when you don’t. Never take someone as your guru who curbs your questions or makes you feel stupid. In the presence of a genuine master, you feel important, loved and peaceful. Everything feels alright, life feels worthwhile. This is how you know that you are in the close vicinity of a real master.
You don’t have to go in search of a guru. When you tread the path with sincerity and honesty, Nature is left with no option but to manifest a genuine master in your life. If you feel guilty, angry, resentful or restless in a master’s presence, it can only mean one of two things: a. the guru is fake, or, b. you are not ready for him.
Above all, make absolutely no attempt to deliberately feel reverence for any master. Surrender or acceptance can’t be forced; either you feel it or you don’t, or maybe you feel it intermittently. Either way, it’s fine. If adoration doesn’t come from within, give yourself time or get yourself a new guru. Faith need not be blind.
On a sunny Sunday, at the conclusion of a discourse, many members of the audience approached the master to clear their doubts or just to greet him. “Thank you, Master,” one of them said, “I had my doubts at first but now, I stand convinced you are even smarter than Einstein.” The preacher beamed with pride and thanked him for the greatest compliment.
Over the next few days, as he reflected on the remark, he felt increasingly baffled. What did the man actually mean? he thought. He went through his notes to see what he’d said that was so profound someone deemed him smarter than Einstein. When no answer came forth, he decided it was best to ask the seeker.
The next Sunday he saw the same person in the audience. He asked him if he remembered his last week’s comment. “Absolutely, I do,” he said.
“Exactly what did you mean that I am smarter than Einstein?”
“Well, Reverend,” the man replied, “they say, Einstein was so smart that only ten people in the entire world could understand him. But Sir, no one can understand you.”
If your master is too cryptic, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Truth is always simple, lies are complicated. If you examine the lives of the greatest sages, the realized ones, you’ll discover that they preached in a way so even a child could understand. Such simplicity only comes from experience, from genuineness.
When they don’t make sense to you, chances are, they are not talking sense at all. It doesn’t mean you have to agree or disagree with the master, but, at least, their words should be within the purview of your comprehension.
Once you find a master who walks the talk, whose presence pierces your heart, whose teachings transform you, whose words make you feel divine, don’t let go of him because he, with each unfolding moment, will elevate you even higher. You then experience your own greatness, beauty and magnificence in every thought of yours. The pristine you then shines softly like the full moon amid the night of emotions; both co-existing and complementing each other.