By Mahanidhi Swami
When one becomes serious about spiritual progress in life he/she may seek a Guru to learn how to attain spiritual perfection. But who is my guru, what to look for, and how to choose which one among the thousands of divine preceptors gracing the planet?
From whom should one accept mantra–diksa? Let’s examine the shastras to determine the qualities of the Guru. The Kramadipika states that mantras should be taken from an uttama-mahabhagavata devotee of Krishna who knows the shastras and the Vaisnava siddhanta.
The Bhaktavali says that a qualified guru should be pure in his dealings and saintly in character. He should be free from anger, pride and all material desires. He must be learned in Vedic shastras, speak sweetly, possess a handsome appearance, be full of compassion and do good to others. He should be peaceful, worship Radha and Krishna, be fully engaged in Their service and attached to chanting harinama.
The Visnusmrti says that a spiritual master who demands fame, wealth, and comforts from the disciples is not worthy to be calledguru. The spiritual preceptor should have the twenty-six qualities of a devotee, be free from material desires, absorbed in pure devotional service of Krishna, and capable of destroying the disciple’s doubts by speaking with full logic and reason.
The Tattvasagar states that mantra–diksas hould never be taken from a person who is idle, greedy, or attached to sense gratification.
In the following entry, based on all our research about Guru tattva, we present a summary of what qualities to look for in choosing a spiritual master.
Firstly, you should select a Guru who is fixed in brahman (brahma-nistham). He is a realized soul who dispels ignorance. He is simple, honest, humble, serene, free from false ego, and ever united with God. Lust, anger, greed, envy, arrogance and infatuation (the six enemies of conditioned souls) have been totally converted into love, compassion, benevolence, auspiciousness, selfless action, and forgiveness. You should see in your savior that he is the embodiment of all the great virtues.
Sri Guru knows and lives the spirit of the shastras. He follows and respects the masters of the past, and though upholding the tradition, gives new meaning to it. He is the light showing the way and he lives in the highest plane of Krishna consciousness.
Sri Guru is one with the desire of Lord Sri Krishna and he acts accordingly. He strictly follows the exemplary path ofpure bhakti dharma. He is the compassionate father and benevolent mother of his disciples. He shows his love to all including plants, animals, and inanimate objects.
Sri Guru lives to serve Sri Hari, Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas and the whole planet! He teaches and practices what he preaches. He lives and loves for the sake of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. His words are wisdom. Sri Guru is child-like and always happy, for he is fixed in remembering the lotus feet of his Guru and Radha and Krishna.
Dualities do not affect Sri Guru. Heat and cold, pleasure and pain, loss and gain are one and the same. Controlled in body, mind, and speech, Sri Guru delights independent of any object. He has no prejudices, nor does he divert His mind from the Divine to judge others. Saving people from illusion, suffering and sin, he lovingly guides, befriends, and protects them.
The benevolent Guru blesses all by offering them the treasure of Krishna bhakti. Pure love of God emanates from every pore of his body. Within himself Sri Guru enjoys a constant festival of bliss relishing his eternal seva to Radha-Krishna in the divine realm of Vrindavana. And he gives this bliss and perfection to all who seek.
(Excerpt from book Gayatri Mahima Madhuri by Mahanidhi Swami)
Sri Guru Charana Padma ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!