The Spiritual Teacher, Master and Guru -
The relationship between the spiritual teacher and the student is sacred in its timelessness and divine in its potential. The inner and outer development that naturally follows has been sought by seekers throughout the ages. Sri Chinmoy outlines his awareness of the role of a genuine spiritual Master, or Guru.
A Guru -
Sri Chinmoy writes -
"The term 'Guru' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'he who illumines'. The one who offers illumination is called a Guru. One who spends many, many years perfecting his spiritual disciplines and meditative techniques is called a spiritual teacher, Guru or spiritual Master.
According to my realisataion I wish to say that there is only one real Guru, and that is God, the Supreme. And who is God? God is your own highest, most illumined, most perfect part. Your best qualities are from God. No human being can be the real Master. The real Master, the real spiritual teacher, the real Guru, is not a human at all. The real Guru is the Absolute Supreme.
Here on earth we value time. If we find someone who can help us on our journey towards illumination, we take his or her help, and then we may then call that teacher, Guru. For everything we need a teacher; with the help of a teacher we can learn faster, and learn correctly.
In the spiritual life also, a teacher is necessary. The spiritual teacher expedites our journey, increasing our thirst for truth, light and happiness. When we have a teacher, a spiritual Master we can make the fastest progress because they offer us their own inner strength, their awareness, protection, love, concern and compassion."
When God creates
A spiritual Master,
He gives the Master
His own outstretched arms
"You know that God exists, and you want to reach God through your meditation. Someone has to take you to the consciousness of God, which is deep within you. Someone has to show you how to enter into your own divinity through meditation. A genuine teacher shall guide you and constantly give you encouragement, inspiration and aspiration so that you can progress according to your soul's highest inner cry. A genuine spiritual Master knows the way and is bound to help you reach your goal by gradually bringing forward your own spiritual awareness."
What is God-realisation -
"A genuine spiritual Master is he who has attained God-Realisation. People sometimes think that a God-realised person is totally different from an ordinary person and behaves in a very unusual way. But I wish to say that a realised person need not and should not behave abnormally. What has he realised? He has realised the ultimate Truth in God. And who is God? God is someone or something absolutely normal. When someone realises the Highest, it means he has inner Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure; it does not mean that his outer appearance or outer features will be any different. It does not mean that he will become abnormal in some way. No, he is normal. Even after a spiritual Master has realised the Highest, he still eats, talks and breathes just as others do.
Spiritual Masters feel that there are many sincere seekers who are crying to find a spiritual teacher, crying for the spiritual life, for spiritual wisdom, for spiritual perfection, but who do not know where or how to find it. So the Masters go from place to place and offer their light with the idea of serving the divinity in humanity.
A spiritual Master is like the eldest child in the family, and the seekers are like his younger spiritual brothers and sisters. Spiritual Masters tell and show their younger brothers and sisters where their Father, the Absolute Guru is.
In the spiritual life the teacher and the student develop a realtionship founded upon mutual faith and trust. The student feels that the teacher has the capacity to illumine him. The teacher feels that the student is sincere and aspiring. He offers and the student receives from him.
The most important thing a spiritual Master does is to make the seeker consciously aware of something vast and infinite within him, to know what the inner goal is, and that is God.
All real spiritual Masters teach meditation in silence. A genuine Master does not have to explain outwardly how to meditate or give you a specific form of meditation. He can simply meditate on you and his silent gaze will teach you how to meditate."
Choosing a Guru -
"When you choose a Guru the mind has to stop. It is the aspiring heart that has to choose, for the heart means oneness. The Master that gives you the greatest joy is the one who you will be drawn to. It is a matter of one's inner feeling and inner affinity. Not only is the Master the direct spokesperson of your own inner teacher, he or she is also the bearer of all of the blessings and wisdom of all the great spiritual Masters.
There is no seeker on earth who will remain without a teacher if he or she is genuinely seeking. If their aspiration is intense, if their inner cry is mounting, then God shall answer their cry. For it is God who will bring a spiritual Master to the sincere seeker.
Once your Guru has found you, you become a tiny drop entering a vast tranquil ocean. You will feel that you have discovered an eternal and ancient friend, who lovingly welcomes you".
Signals a new path,
Illumining and fulfilling