Who is the Guru or
What is the role of a Guru or enlightened Spiritual Guide? This is one of the most important
questions on our spiritual journey.
The Hindu scriptures describe that there are are only three eternal existences, yet
the role of the Spiritual Guide is so great he is described
as a fourth existence.
By far and away, the simplest definition of the
true Saint is the one who knows God.
two meanings. One meaning is theoretical spiritual knowledge and the other is
practical experience of God. The one who has both of these is the true knower of God and a true Saint.
The Vedas use two terms to describe this:
- Shrotriya -- complete scriptural knowledge
- Brahmnishtha-- practical divine knowledge (God-realization)
Because of his scriptural understanding, the Saint is able to teach us the philosophy of
what is God, what is the soul, what is maya, what is the mind, what is the intellect, what
is detachment, what is attachment, what is devotion and what is our Divine goal.
When we have problems with our spiritual practice, on the base of his understanding, the true spiritual guide
resolves these issues for us. Following these valuable instructions settles our doubts and improves our spiritual practice.
But the main qualification of a true Saint is his practical experience of the Divine.
In fact, the word "Guru"
means the one who dispels the darkness of material ignorance ('gu'), and
the one who introduces the light of God's love in a disciple's heart ('ru').
If you ask a person,
"Can you give me a million dollars?" He might say, "Sure, no problem." Although he may be a brilliant
economist, in reality, he only has two dollars in his pocket. No matter how much he reassures you
of his wealth, the most he can give is two dollars. How could he give you more? Likewise, if you want God's divine bliss,
it will come from the one who has already has it in his possession.
Here are some guidelines for recognizing a true Saint who
has this inner Divine quality. It is a fact that uncountable souls have received this kind of
divine association, evolved spiritually, and attained their ultimate aim of true happiness. The association
of a such a divine guide is an essential part of our spiritual journey.