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Why do we need a Guru?

  1. One has to enquire with someone else while looking for an address in an unknown city. Similarly, only a Guru can give us God’s address, hence we need a Guru.

  2. If we are unable to swim, then we need a boat to get us to the other side of the river. Similarly, to get across the ocean of life, we need a boat in the form of a Guru, thus we need a Guru.

  3. A disciple can progress spiritually through his own efforts. But his path to self-realisation or towards perfection becomes easy when he follows the teachings and is under the guidance of an able Guru. If a steamer reaches its destination in 4 hours, then a tiny boat tied to it also reaches the destination in 4 hours. But, if the tiny boat is separated from the steamer, it would take 12 hours to reach the same destination. Similarly, if we make efforts towards spiritual progress without taking appropriate guidance then we would require a long time to progress due to our personality defects and the mistakes we commit. However, under the guidance of an appropriate Guru we are able to cover the distance of 12 hours within just 4 hours. Hence, according to the Sanskrit proverb ‘Mahajano yena gataha sa panthaha’ (one should follow the path taken by great souls/people}, one should accept and get the guidance of a Guru.

  4. Only the Guru can guide us towards the Path leading to God.

  • When we visit a friend in a new town, if we do not know the address we have to enquire with someone who knows where our friend lives. Once we have the address we can easily find our friend’s place. Similarly, only the Guru can give us the address of our ‘true self’ i.e. our soul.

  • If we get lost in a desert and we do not have a guide with us, then we will wander and get exhausted. Without food and water we would not survive for long. Similarly, if we do not get a Guru to guide us along our path, then, due to our personality defects and the mistakes we commit, we would be stuck in a maze of 84 lakh (840,000) different types of births (yoni).

  • When we cannot get in touch with a friend over the phone, then the operator helps us. Similarly, if we are unable to connect to God, the Guru removes the obstacles and connects us to God. What are the obstacles? The veil of Māyā – the great illusion, which includes attachment to parents, siblings, wife, wealth, etc. The Guru releases us from these attachments and shows us Divinity or God.

A curious person: Why do I need an agent in the form of a Guru in the relationship between me and the Supreme God?

P.P. Mahārāj: We need a guide even for mundane worldly enquires such as, ‘where does this road lead to?’ We need a teacher to guide us in our academic pursuits. We need someone to show us the light and give us direction. The same principle applies when one is getting introduced to the Supreme God!

Ātmaprabha (An excerpt from the spiritual teachings of Brahmibhoot Gajanan Mahārāj, Nasik, Page 57)

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