Think well before selecting a spiritual preceptor or Guru!
Beware of pseudo gurus!
Who is a true preceptor?
Practical spirituality is like walking on the ‘knife edge’. We have today many people who are experts in rendering sermons read from the scriptures of the world but unfortunately, they don’t have actual ‘hands on’ experience in practical spirituality. In fact, those who offer free sermons everywhere are like the inert guide post which just shows the direction to various places. The traveler has to choose the path he has to travel. Hence there are many copy cats in spirituality who know how to talk or write or sing but they had no experience with almighty so far. What is the use of listening to such crazy people? In Sai Sat Charita, the differences between pseudo and real sad guru have been elaborated in detail.
Who can be classified as the real preceptor? The real Guru considers every one as his own equals. He never differentiates some as low and some as high. For him, all are like his own children. Hence he inculcates the precious knowledge to one and all. At the same time, the real guru has to ascertain the qualification of the disciples who seek his guidance in spiritual matters. It is said that there is no difference between the preceptor and his disciples. The only difference is that the disciple is immersed in ignorance unable to distinguish between the real and unreal. The disciple’s innate knowledge is veiled by a superficial ignorance. The real guru just removes the veil and shows the disciple that he is one with the supreme and there is no difference at all between him and god or guru. The idea is that the real guru is none but god who comes in the form of Guru. There is an apt stanza in the scriptures which proclaim that the Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, and Guru is Maheswara ! The guru is veritable Brahman and I bow to the feet of such Guru!
Today, we find in this world many cheats who pose themselves as preceptors of high order and they just collect money from their disciples for building their ‘Ashrams”. Founding ashrams for the sake of amazing wealth and fame goes against the concept of Guru. Hence one has to be wary to choose a true preceptor, who will not be interested in gathering disciples or charging money etc. He will be engaged in his own spiritual disciplines. It is rare to find such one amid the pseudo gurus. Hence if one is unable to distinguish between real and false preceptor, he may seek the guru within who is none other than his own self! If you seek answers from your inner self and wait patiently, you are sure to receive the instructions silently in your own conscious. You can rely upon such guidance with one hundred percent faith!
From ancient days, India, then known as Bharat, was repository for many “Gurukuls”. In this system, parents send their wards to ‘gurukul’ to learn the fundamental knowledge of all things, and they learn special trades which will sustain their livelihood. Here, the gurukul is residential and all students irrespective of their social status, stay together as disciples of the great gurus and learn many things worthy. Thus the prince and farmer’s son cohabit and work equally and serve the gurukul by doing even menial tasks like cleaning, collecting fuel, bringing flowers for worship, fetching water and other things required for running the gurukul. The teacher, the guru and his wife considered all the students as their own children and treated them alike. They were fed there and taken care of completely for ten years or so until they are ready to face the world and society. At the end of the period, each one offered to the guru, fees in the form of grains, vegetables, fruits, coconuts, cloths and other valuables as per their capacity. The king offered much of the resources to the gurukul, since it is where the future citizens are trained in secular, spiritual and other trades. Even warfare is taught in the gurukul for the princes and other wards of warriors. It was in such a serene atmosphere even Rama and Krishna studied under their illustrious preceptors Vasishta and Sandipani. In fact, Sri Krishna has restored the son of the preceptor who was drowned in the sea. He ventured into the sea bottom and searched for the son of preceptor who drowned under the ocean in mysterious circumstances. The devotion of Krishna brought forth life in the son of his preceptor. Today, there is abundance of yoga classes advertised everywhere in the net. One should be selective to enroll in such online classes. Though yogasan is good for health and longevity, one should seek the experts in the field. Do not spend your precious time and money on dupes and cheats who lure everyone by advertising heaven in return!