Choosing a Guru

The Guru who gives you boundless joy is your Master. Suppose four persons are walking down the street and you see all four of them. One will immediately attract your attention and you won’t know why. The others are there, but your soul has an inner affinity with one in particular. Similarly, you may go to a spiritual Master and when you look at him, you may feel that he is someone you knew before. You may feel that something is telling you from within, “I know this man.” You may feel a tremendous familiarity, even in his outer gestures. You may feel, “This is someone who was very close to me, but now I have forgotten him.” That is the connection between your soul and the soul of that particular Master. Everybody has a soul. If you immediately get an inner response from a Master’s soul, then you can rest assured that you are meant for his path. If you get the utmost thrill in your inner being when you see him, then he is the right person.

It has happened in a few cases that a person has heard someone casually mention a Master’s name. God knows what music, what magic, is in a Master’s name; but the seeker has come to the Master because he has heard the name. The very name of the Master draws some people to him. The Master doesn’t have to say a word to you. His very presence will inundate you with boundless joy and delight. Everything is done in silence. He talks because he has to convince the outer mind, the superficial, intellectual mind. But this talking cannot bring realisation. It is your meditation, it is your inner feeling of oneness with the Master’s soul, that will enable you to realise the Highest.

Whoever is destined to be my disciple will eventually become my disciple. Whoever is not destined for me can come to me for six months but he may see nothing in me and feel nothing in me. I can’t blame him, because I am not meant for him. So if you do not see anything in me or if you do not feel that this path is meant for you, please do not be disappointed. There are many other paths for you to choose from.

Those who are my disciples see something in me and that is why they stay with me. They are doing the right thing for themselves. If you do not discover what you want here you should look somewhere else. I am not rejecting you; far from it. But I feel that you are wasting your precious time. What you need is inner guidance and outer assurance; you need somebody to guide you and constantly give you encouragement, inspiration and aspiration so that you can march along according to your soul’s highest inner cry. Keep up your inner intense cry for a teacher. Then tomorrow or a few days later, you will find him. You should not miss any opportunity to go and see spiritual Masters when they give talks or hold meditations. Whoever gives you the most inner joy and satisfaction is your teacher.

In selecting a Guru, there is one thing you can try. Write down the names of all the Masters that you have come across or heard of or found out about in books you have read. There will be about six or seven names. Then, take the name of the first spiritual Master on the list and, as you repeat his name, place your right hand on your heart. Try to feel the sound in your heart as you repeat the name seven times. Go down the list, and as you repeat the name of each Master, try to feel your heartbeat. If you feel joy, delight or ecstasy, instantly give the Master a grade. You have to feel what kind of joy you are getting from repeating his name, and then rate it on a scale.

If you get no response, no joy, no inspiration when you repeat the name of a particular Master, then you are in a perfect position to give him zero out of a hundred. If you get a tremendous response from the name of a Master on the list, if you are thrilled all over, if his very name sends an enormous palpitation from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head, you are bound to give him ninety-five or even a hundred. Then you know without a doubt that this one is your Master. He is meant for you and you are meant for him. If he is not near you, but in India or elsewhere, then you have to go there or, if it is meant to happen, circumstances will bring your Master here. If you are destined to be the disciple of a particular Master, God will, without fail, either take you to him or bring him to you.

No matter who your teacher is, I want you to realise God. That will give me the greatest joy. It is not who takes you, but where you go that is important: whether you stay in ignorance or enter into the sea of Light. When I see an aspirant swimming in the sea of Light, that gives me the greatest joy. Who brought him is not what pleases me; only the fact that he is there, in the sea of Light.