The Guru

In a world today where the masses are looking for respite from the mental strain and stress of their daily grind, they are wont to be vulnerable to that enticing figure clad in pristine white or saffron who holds the promise of panacea for all. Unfortunately in their quest for a guru, there are many who fall prey to unscrupulous and greedy businessmen in the garb of ‘holy men’ who are just out to take advantage of those looking for succor to fill their coffers.
For every true guru in the real sense, unfortunately there are many thousands who are not. They are the ones who are well coiffed at all times, like to preen in form of TV cameras, and have a well-oiled PR machinery in the background directing their moves to add to their flocks of ‘devotees’. A simple question, a guru who is spiritual in the real sense and is only interested in his/her quest for spiritual enlightenment is not one who will give in to every man-made luxury, including super luxury cars and gun-toting body guards. Nor will they have diktats that ensure people sit at a specific distance away from them, lest their pristine robes get soiled by the touch of a common devotee.
The real gurus are the ones who force you to think for your self, they teach you life’s lessons on humility, humanity, self reliance, and set you on the true course to spiritual realization. These gurus are hidden, only appearing to a few chosen ones (I have yet to figure out why only a chosen few, but right now very selfishly I shall not really pursue that line of thought having found my spiritual mentor). They are not necessarily in flowing robes, nor do they necessarily wear the so-called embellishments that have become synonymous with God men.
These people could be regular guys like you and me. They have no qualms in being their real selves, and they have no qualms taking on the suffering of others in order to help the tide over tough times. I’m lucky, I’ve found me a guru in the true sense, who is regular yet ascended from the daily humdrum of life. His philosophy is to tell you hometruths that may hurt in the form of a riddle, a lesson. He teaches you the cause and effect principle of life. He effectively teaches you to fish for yourself rather than doling out a fish to you everyday thereby making you strong by liberating your mind and though processes, you actions, and your entire being rather than making you dependent and weak.
One of the most important lessons a true guru will teach is humility. He will not let you jump the queue or give you special importance basis how rich you are in money terms, you need to be rich in spiritual terms for him to accord you a special place and that has to be earned. Nothing is ‘not noticed’, there are valuable lesson in passing phrases, and things said seemingly in jest. Among the very first time that I was invited to meet my guru I carried what I thought was the perfect gift that he would really like along with two packets of eclairs. The gift was wrapped and I felt sure he would be proud that I’d thought of it. Can you imagine my dismay when without a second glance, without even opening it, he just picked it up and gave it to another person who was there to meet with him. I was disheartened to say the least, angry too, if I am honest as I felt, he atleast owed it to me to see what was inside. However, in hindsight, I learnt two things — one, don’t get attached to material things, there are loftier goals to strive for, and two, he was a guru who was more than worthy of being a guru.
Jai Gurudev!