Question: Could you please explain what an authentic Guru is?

Sri Chinmoy: The real Guru is the Inner Pilot, the Supreme. An authentic Guru will tell you categorically that he is not the Guru. The human Guru is only the representative of the Inner Pilot, and only for those who have implicit faith in his realisation. An authentic Guru will inspire all seekers, no matter which path they follow. His realisation undoubtedly is for the entire world, but it is for his own spiritual children that he is one hundred per cent responsible. There are many authentic Gurus at different levels and with different standards. It is through self-giving and self-offering that each one fulfils the Message of the Beyond according to his own capacity. An authentic Guru will never say that he will be able to give illumination or God-realisation to any seeker overnight, or instantaneously, or in a few short weeks, no matter how sincere, how devoted or how surrendered the seeker is.

An authentic Guru says that when the heart's aspiration, the soul's light and the life's dedication become one, the seeker realises God. Slow and steady wins the race: this is the theory, the realisation and the proclamation of an authentic Guru. At God's choice Hour, an authentic Guru shows his young brothers and sisters the Face of God.

An authentic Guru will never say that money-power will enable a seeker to realise God. If a seeker uses money-power divinely with his dedication-power, it will help him in God-realisation. But if a seeker feels that by offering money to a spiritual Master he will be able to realise God or even to expedite his realisation, then I wish to say that that particular seeker has reached the zenith of stupidity. Money-power is undoubtedly a power of great significance. When it is properly used it adds to one's heart-power. But he who wants to realise God will discover that heart-power is more than enough. No human power, no earthly power is necessary to see God face to face, but heart-power is of paramount importance. This heart-power is the power of dedicated service, the power of oneness with the universe, the power of constant and conscious surrender to the Will of the Inner Pilot.

An authentic Guru will always say that just as none of his disciples are indispensable, so too he is not indispensable. Only God, the Inner Pilot, is indispensable; and this Inner Pilot is in everyone. This Inner Pilot is the real Boatman who carries the seeker in His Golden Boat to the Golden Shores of the ever-transcending Beyond.

An authentic Guru will always say that he is a mere instrument of the Inner Pilot. He will get his guidance from the Inner Pilot of his disciples. He is only the messenger who carries his disciples' ignorance to the Supreme Pilot and brings down infinite Compassion and Blessings from the Supreme Pilot to his disciples. He carries both his disciples' ignorance and their aspiration to the Supreme, and he brings down from the Supreme Light, Delight, Perfection and more, infinitely more.

An authentic Guru is at once the real brother of mankind and the eternal son of Heaven. On the strength of his oneness with humanity, an authentic Guru cries day in and day out for humanity's liberation. At the same time, on the strength of his oneness with the Supreme Pilot, he smiles constantly with Him on the transcendental Throne of Reality, Divinity and Immortality.

An authentic Guru is humanity's best gift to Divinity and Divinity's best gift to humanity. Humanity's gift Divinity accepts with deepest concern and pride. Divinity's gift humanity accepts with deepest gratitude and pride.

Sri Chinmoy, Promised Light from the Beyond, AUM Publications, New York, 1973