How to find a Spiritual Guru? – Guru Purnima special

Guru disciple communication

Many times in our lives, we find ourselves stuck and unable to progress further. In such times, we seek a spiritual Guru or a guide to clear the confusion and show us the way. Guru’s guidance is much more effective than knowledge gained from other resources like books. Let’s understand all the crucial aspects of finding a spiritual Guru or a Master.

Who is a Spiritual Guru or a Spiritual Master?

Anyone who teaches us some skill or knowledge is called a Guru. However, one who guides us to Self-realization and God-realization is called a Spiritual Guru or a Master. In simpler terms, a Spiritual Guru is a guide or mentor in your life’s journey. He helps you experience your true Self and innate qualities, such as peace, joy, love, and greatness. He enables you to fulfill your worldly duties sincerely and alongside experiencing the Source or Divine or God.

I will use the term ‘Guru’ for ‘Spiritual Guru’ here for convenience.

Why do I need a Guru?

Please pause, think about this, and find your own answer. I am listing down some of the reasons why one needs a Guru.

  1. You need to realize the present stage of your growth to progress and evolve spiritually. And post assessment, you must decide the course of your journey. These steps become very easy when you have a realized master as your Guru and guide. One who has reached a point can guide you too to get there. This is true in every sphere of life, especially in the context of spiritual progress.
  2. You may face subtle challenges on the path of your spiritual progress. And you may need help understanding and resolving them. Guru helps significantly in such a scenario. This saves your time and effort being consumed in an otherwise lone struggle.
  3. A True Guru can see through your inner Self and clear Karmic blocks, if any. However, for an ordinary seeker, it’s challenging to identify the internal blocks and clear them by himself.
  4. In Guru, you find a mentor, a support, and a friend. You can share your successes and learnings, especially spiritual ones, with him. And you benefit tremendously from his wise input.
  5. A profound spiritual bond gets created between a Guru and a disciple. And the disciple can seek help from his Guru for all his spiritual needs. Guru guides also on how to manage worldly responsibilities well.
  6. The Guru-initiated (Deeksha) mantra carries extraordinary, subtle powers passed through generations of realized Masters. Its regular chanting has a magical and profound effect on the seeker’s spiritual progress. Reciting the mantra has this effect only if one gets initiated by a Guru.
  7. It is believed that God started the Guru-disciple tradition. And it’s a divine gift from Him to all genuine seekers. The Invisible God has arranged for a visible Guru to make a seeker’s path easy and straightforward. This Guru-disciple system is divinely blessed. And hence, it has produced so many realized Masters over the ages across all faiths. So, by associating with a realized Guru, you receive divine grace also.

How can I discern a True Guru from a fake one? 

During current times, many people claim to be Gurus. And they might have a mass following as well. However, we must be very cautious and observe before deciding who should be our Guru.

Our scriptures and true saints have given us the attributes that must be present in a True Guru (Sat Guru). And only after observing keenly and ensuring their presence should we finalize who should be our Guru. These are the primary attributes that a True Guru possesses.

  • Self-realized and God-realized
  • Self-mastery: Control over mind, senses, and organs
  • No interest toward your money
  • No inclination toward persons of the opposite gender
  • Free from any addiction
  • No desire to increase the followers’ or disciples’ count
  • Disinterest towards material comfort and pleasure
  • An earnest desire to serve one and all
  • Impartial and unbiased toward all
  • Very simple and innocent though wise and knowledgeable
  • Kind and Compassionate

You may use the above checklist to determine whether the person is a True Guru. It’s highly recommended not to hurry to become a Guru’s disciple. You must spend some time with him and observe well. Observe his responses to various situations and his interactions with different people.

Let me share a real-life story. A seeker found someone very knowledgeable with high self-confidence and influencing capability. He thought he had found a Guru. And this prospective Guru also had some occult powers through which he could hypnotize others. He could give such a fluent talk on any spiritual topic that many considered him to be a Master. The seeker accepted him as a Guru. There was no formal procedure of initiation, though. When the seeker happened to stay with the Guru for few days, he got to observe Guru’s behavior closely. There was a big discrepancy between his preachings and his actions. For instance, he was biased toward affluent people. He would spend hours with female associates alone. He had a lot of worldly ambitions as well. Moreover, the seeker’s own spiritual progress was not happening. Thus he realized that he had got a fake Guru. So, he dissociated himself from him. By God’s grace, he found a True Guru after a while and got initiated.

It’s very common to encounter fake Gurus. That’s why you must do some spiritual practices to ensure your safety.

How or Where to Find a True Guru?

It’s said and experienced by many that the disciple doesn’t find the Guru; in fact, the Guru finds his disciple. However, you must be ‘ready’ for the Guru to accept you as his disciple. At times there are some inner blocks that may delay the Guru-disciple meeting. You may not have an intense yearning, or some past karma may come on the way. Whatever the case may be, you need not worry. There are various ways to clear your way. Let me share one such method that I used myself. It’s pretty simple, though it demands sincerity on your part.

  1. Have a firm determination and a strong desire to have a True Guru in your life.
  2. Communicate this wish to a deity of your choice (Isht Dev or Devi) or to whomever you consider God, the Divine Source, or the Universe.
  3. An effective communication method is to chant the following mantra 108 times daily, preferably using rosary beads (mala). “Om Shri Gurave Namah” (Devanagri script: “ॐ श्री गुरवे नमः”).

If you find it challenging to do this daily, you may do it every Thursday, the day dedicated to Guru.

You may choose Lord Shiva to communicate your wish. He is considered Aadi Guru (the First Guru) in Indian tradition. You may chant their name or mantra 108 times if your favorite deity is someone else. I used to chant one mala of Lord Ram’s name daily until I found my Guru, or rather, he found me:)

Chanting these mantras or holy divine names will get you closer to your Guru and God. Additionally, you will experience innumerable benefits in all areas of your life. I want you to experience and explore these, so I am not mentioning them here.

Alternatively, you may pray for the Divine Guidance in your life. And your Guru will appear when you are fully ready.

Please keep patience in your search. You must trust that your intense yearning and a sincere effort will earn you God’s grace. And by the grace of the Divine, your seeking of a True Guru will bear fruits timely.

Do I need to prepare myself before I meet my Guru? Are there any prerequisites for becoming a good disciple?

Yes, of course. You must develop humility, willingness to surrender (letting go of ego), faith, selfless devotion, sincerity toward your duties, and an intense thirst for experiencing God (Truth).

You must imbibe humility and go on developing it. The ego is the biggest block in one’s spiritual progress. Invoking a Guru in your life implies inviting and allowing someone to puncture your ego. One may not bow down before anyone, but one’s Guru. So, having a Guru is essential for getting rid of ego. And interestingly, this is the most crucial prerequisite and preparation as well:)

How to be assured that I have found the True Guru (Sat Guru)?

Well, your conscience or your inner Self is the best judge. Your gut feeling and inner experience will tell you whether the person you assess as a true Guru is so or not. Trust me. You will always be right if you listen to your inner voice and act accordingly. Please don’t allow it to be subdued or influenced by others’ suggestions or feedback. Listen to YOUR INNER VOICE alone, and you will never get deceived. Pay full attention to the clues the Universe provides you. Don’t ignore any such clues because of being under some influence.

When you get close to a True Guru, your inner Self will experience profound peace. Mind and senses will cool down. There will be joy within you. Listening to his words will make you feel happy and peaceful. Looking at him will create a sense of happiness within you.

How to handle the waiting period till I meet my Guru?

You will agree it’s better not to have a Guru than an unfit Guru. God is your Guru till you meet your Guru in person. You may consider your Inner Self as your Guru.

It’s crucial to realize that one’s spiritual journey is not limited to a single lifetime. Instead, it continues for multiple births. So, even if you don’t meet your Guru in the present lifetime, it’s worth preparing for this upcoming extraordinary event.

Until you meet your True Guru, you may progress spiritually by doing self-study of holy scriptures like the Bhagwat Gita, the Ramayana, or any other text you feel connected to.

Use meditation to connect to your inner Self and receive insights.

What if I have found the Guru?

You start experiencing Guru’s grace once you have found your Guru and have been initiated with a Guru Mantra. However, to continually receive grace, you must continue the spiritual practice he recommended throughout your life. So, follow his instructions quite religiously.

Consider yourself very fortunate and blessed when your Guru corrects, criticizes, or scolds you. Look, we need Guru to expedite our spiritual progress. So, we must welcome all inputs from him for our improvement.

Do note that the Guru-essence and the God-essence are one and the same. And it’s omnipresent. You need to acknowledge and experience this.

I wish you All the Best for your spiritual quest and progress!

Note: Although Guru is not necessarily male, I have used ‘He’ only for convenience.

Please watch this video for a better understanding.

Leave a Reply