Part I — The Guru

1. The Guru

The Guru sees in his disciple the very image of God; so he is all sacrifice to the disciple. The disciple sees and feels in his Guru the only shelter of his limitations; so he is all love for his Guru.

The Guru's love for his disciple is his strength. The disciple's surrender towards his Guru is the disciple's strength.

The Guru is at once the source of the disciple's achievements and a most faithful servant of the disciple's love.

The Guru has only one compassionate weapon: forgiveness. The disciple has three naked swords: limitation, weakness and ignorance. Nevertheless, the Guru wins with great ease.

To achieve realisation by oneself alone is like crossing the ocean in a raft. But to achieve realisation through the grace of a Guru is like crossing the ocean in a swift and strong boat, which ferries you safely across the sea of ignorance to the Golden Shore.

O disciple, do you know the most foolish customer on earth? He is your Guru and your Guru alone. He buys your ignorance and gives you knowledge; he buys your impotence and gives you power. Can you ever imagine a more foolish bargain? Now learn the name of your Guru's foolishness: compassion and nothing else.

2. Your real teacher

He who inspires you
 Is your real teacher.

He who loves you
 Is your real teacher.

He who forces you
 Is your real teacher.

He who perfects you
 Is your real teacher.

He who treasures you
 Is your real teacher.

3.

The human teacher shows you
 How to read.
The teacher divine sleeplessly
 Reads for you.
The one leads your mind
 To wisdom's portal,
The other opens your soul
 To the sky-vast Blue.

4. The role of the Guru

A real spiritual Master is one who has attained God-realisation. Everyone is one with God, but the real spiritual Master has established his conscious oneness with God. At any moment he can enter into a higher consciousness and bring down messages from God to those disciples who have faith in him. The Master, if he is genuine, represents God on earth for those seekers who have real aspiration and faith in him. He has been authorised or commissioned by God to help them. The real Teacher, the real Guru, is God Himself. But on earth He will often operate in and through a spiritual Master. The Master energises the seeker with inspiration and, in the course of time, through the infinite Grace of the Supreme, offers the seeker illumination.

You make a mistake when you take the Master as only a person, as the human body. You have to feel that the real Master is inside the physical. Why have my disciples come to me? It is because their real Master, the Supreme, is inside me. The Supreme is also inside them, but in them He is still sleeping whereas in me He is fully awake. The Master and the disciple are like two friends who have the same capacity, but one is sleeping and needs help in getting up before he can manifest his capacity. The Guru is somebody who will come and touch his brother's feet and caress his head and say, "Please get up. It is time for us to work for our Father."

When a Master accepts someone as a disciple, he accepts that person as part of himself. If the disciple is imperfect, then the Master also remains imperfect. In the disciple's perfection lies the Master's perfection. I always say that I have no individuality, no personality. It is my disciples' achievements that will take me either to Heaven or to hell. I have the capacity to remain all the time in Heaven, but they can easily drag me to hell at every moment because I have accepted them as my own.

A real spiritual Master tries to bring to the fore the inner divinity of the disciple from deep within the disciple's heart. He knocks at the disciple's heart-door and awakens the divine child in him, which we call the soul. He tells the soul, "You will look after the other members of the family — the physical, the mind and the vital — and take care of them. They are making mistakes constantly. Now give them new life, new meaning, new purpose."

It is the spiritual Master's job to make his disciples feel that without love, without truth and light, life is meaningless and fruitless. The most important thing a spiritual Master does for his spiritual children is to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself.

The highest transcendental Truth is within our hearts, but unfortunately we have not yet discovered it. So I ask my disciples to go deep within and meditate on the heart, which houses the soul. Eventually they learn how to contact the soul and start listening to its dictates. At that time they have begun to make real progress toward discovering their highest and deepest Self.

If one is already developed, that is to say, if one has been practising the spiritual life in previous incarnations and is in a position to listen to the dictates of his own inner being, it is not absolutely necessary for him to have a spiritual Master. In that case he has only to go deep within and practise the spiritual life most sincerely. Since he doesn't want a Master's help, he has to depend entirely on himself and on the boundless Grace of God. But we have to know that the spiritual path is very arduous; only on rare occasions have people realised God without the help of a spiritual Master. Most spiritual Masters themselves took help from someone for a day or a month or a year or ten years before they realised God.

As we need teachers for our outer knowledge — to illumine our outer being — so also we need a spiritual Master to help and guide us in our inner life, especially in the beginning. Otherwise, our progress will be very slow and uncertain, and we may become terribly confused. We will get high, elevating experiences, but we will not give them adequate significance. Doubt may eclipse our mind and we will say, "I am just an ordinary person, so how can I have this kind of experience? Perhaps I am deluding myself." Or we will tell our friends, and they will say, "It is all mental hallucination. Forget about the spiritual life." But if there is someone who knows what the Reality is, he will say, "Don't act like a fool. The experiences which you have had are absolutely real." The Master will encourage and inspire the seeker and give him the proper explanations of his experiences. Again, if the seeker is doing something wrong in his meditation, the Master will be in a position to correct him.

Why does one go to the university when one can study at home? It is because he feels that he will get expert instruction from people who know the subject well. Now you know that there have been a few — very, very few — real men of knowledge who did not go to any university. Yes, there are exceptions. Every rule admits of exceptions. God is in everybody, and if a seeker feels that he does not need human help, he is most welcome to try his capacity alone. But if someone is wise and wants to run toward his Goal, instead of stumbling or merely walking, then certainly the help of a Guru can be considerable.

Let us say that I am in London. I know that New York exists and that I have to go back there. What do I need to get me there? An airplane and a pilot. In spite of the fact that I know that New York exists, I cannot get there alone. Similarly, you know that God exists. You want to reach God, but someone has to take you there. As the airplane takes me to New York, someone has to carry you to the Consciousness of God which is deep within you. Someone has to show you how to enter into your own divinity, which is God.

A spiritual Master comes to you with a boat. He says, "Come! If you want to go to the Golden Shore, I will take you. Moreover, once you get into my boat, you can sing in the boat, you can dance, you can even sleep; but I will bring you safely to the Goal."

For millennia we have been swimming in the sea of ignorance. When we become awakened, we want to swim across that sea into the ocean of Light and Delight. If we know that there is a boatman, and that there is a boat which can safely carry us to our goal, then naturally we will try to get help from him. A genuine spiritual Master knows the way and is bound to help us reach the goal. Like a boatman, he will carry us to the other shore.

If anybody helps you in the outer world — a lawyer or a doctor, for example — he will charge you something. But when the Guru takes you to your goal, he will not take anything for himself. You don't have to give even an iota of your wealth to the Guru because he has his own infinite wealth. Eventually you will see that it is all the same wealth. His goal, your goal, everybody's goal is the same: Infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. The spiritual Master says, "You are hungry. I have an infinite supply of the divine food that you want, so I don't have to take any of yours."

In human life, if people see that someone has taken help, then they may say, "Oh, he could not do it alone." But a person who is really hungry for God will say, "No matter who offers the food, I am hungry and I want to eat immediately. This is the food that I have been crying for all my life and he is supplying me with it. As long as he is feeding true Divinity to me, let me eat."

If you feel that by accepting a Master you are avoiding your own responsibilities, you are making a mistake. For at that time you are separating yourself from your Master. Those who are my very devoted disciples do not feel that they are strangers. They feel their oneness with me. They feel that I have more capacity than they do, so they identify their little capacity with my greater capacity. When they enter into my capacity, they feel that it is their own capacity that they are entering into, for inside me they see all love and concern.

It is only by feeling your oneness with your Master that you can make real progress. If you feel that you are a stranger or an intruder in your Master's heart, or even if you think that you are just a guest, then you will never succeed in your spiritual life. How long can you stay at your friend's place as a guest? A few days or a month, and then you will have to go away. Even if you feel that you are coming as a friend, still you may go away. But if you feel that his house is your house, then you are safe, eternally safe.

When the disciple and the Master find themselves safe in one another's heart, the hour of initiation is fast approaching. When the Master initiates someone, he gives that person a portion of his life-breath. At the time of initiation, the Guru makes a solemn promise to the individual seeker and to the Supreme that he will do his best to help the seeker in his spiritual life, that he will offer his heart and soul to take the disciple into the highest region of the Beyond. The Master says to the Supreme, "Unless and until I have brought this child to You, I shall not leave him; my game shall not be over." And to the disciple he says, "From now on, you can count on me; you can think of me as your own."

At the time of initiation, the Master actually takes on the disciple's teeming imperfections, both from the present incarnation and from past incarnations. Of course, there are real and sincere spiritual Masters as well as false Masters. Here I am speaking about the true Masters. Some Masters who are very sincere only initiate one disciple a month. After they initiate the disciple they fall sick and suffer terribly, because they have actually taken on the disciple's imperfections. Again, there are some spiritual Masters who are able to initiate many disciples without suffering, because they have the capacity to throw the imperfections they take on into the Universal Consciousness. But again, there are some false Masters who initiate fifty, sixty or a hundred disciples at a time, or who initiate by proxy. But this kind of mass initiation is an absurd deception.

The Guru can initiate the disciple in various ways. He can perform the initiation in India's traditional way, while the disciple is meditating. He can also initiate while the disciple is sleeping or when the disciple is in his normal consciousness, but calm and quiet. The Guru can initiate the disciple through the eyes alone. He will look at the disciple, and immediately the person will be initiated — but nobody will know. A Master can also perform a physical initiation, which is to press the head or the heart or any part of the body of the disciple. At this time, he tries to make the physical consciousness feel that initiation has taken place. But along with this physical action, the Guru will initiate the disciple in a psychic way. At that time the Guru sees and feels the soul of the disciple and acts upon the soul. Initiation can also be done by occult processes or in a dream. If there is no spiritual Master available at the time, God Himself can take a very luminous human form in your dream or during your meditation and can initiate you Himself. But this is very rare. Most of the time initiation is done by a Master.

My disciples do not need to ask me to initiate them outwardly, because I know what is best for them; that is to say, I know whether or not the outer initiation will expedite their inner progress. Very often I initiate my disciples through my third eye, which I feel is the most convincing and effective way. Many have observed my eyes when I am in my highest consciousness. At that time my ordinary eyes, my human eyes, become totally one with my third eye. These two ordinary eyes then receive infinite Light from the third eye, and this Light from my divinely radiating eyes enters into the aspirant's eyes. Immediately the Light enters into the aspirant's whole body and percolates there from head to foot. Then I see the Light, my own Light, the Light of the Supreme, glowing in the disciple's ignorance, and that ignorance offers its gratitude. It says, "Now that I have become yours, now that you have made me yours, I shall be yours forever." At that time I become responsible for illumining the disciple's ignorance, and the disciple becomes responsible for helping me manifest the Supreme on earth.

Just because I have initiated you does not mean that you can go out and initiate somebody else. It is not as if I have told you a Truth and now you can tell it to somebody else. Very often I hear that a Master has initiated someone, and then the disciple goes on initiating somebody else, and then that person goes on to still another person — like family descendants. But this kind of initiation has no value. True initiation always has to be done by a God-realised Master; it cannot be done by proxy. If a Master has the spiritual power to initiate a disciple directly on the occult plane, that is all right. But if he says he can initiate someone through a disciple who is still a beginner, that kind of initiation is absurd. When you see people in the United States who say they have been asked to initiate others by their spiritual Master in India, then rest assured that this is no initiation at all: It is only deception. Initiation has to be done directly by the Master, either on the physical plane or in the inner planes.

When the Guru initiates a disciple, he accepts the disciple unreservedly and unconditionally. Even if the disciple goes away after initiation, finding fault with the Guru, the Guru will act in and through that disciple forever. The disciple may even go to some other Guru, but the Guru who has initiated him will always help that particular seeker in the inner world. And if the new Guru is noble enough, then he will allow the original Guru to act in and through the disciple. Although the physical connection with the original Guru is cut off, and physically the Guru is not seeing the disciple, spiritually he is bound to help him because he has made a promise to the Supreme.

Even if the disciple does not go to any other Guru but simply falls from the path of Truth, still his original Guru has to keep his promise. The disciple may drop from the spiritual path for one incarnation, two incarnations or even many incarnations, but his Guru — whether he be in the body or in the higher regions — will constantly watch over the disciple and wait for the opportunity to help him actively when he again turns to the spiritual path. The Guru is truly detached, but just because he made a promise to the disciple and to the Supreme in the disciple, the Guru waits indefinitely for an opportunity to take the disciple to the Goal.

Some of my disciples who at one time followed my path most sincerely have also left me most sincerely. But if they are my disciples in the inner world, if I had already accepted them and they were my real disciples, then I wish to say that I have not forgotten them. They may take one, two, five or six incarnations to come back to the life of aspiration, but no matter how long they take, I shall help them in their march towards God-realisation.

Because of the promise I made to the disciple's soul and to God, I am more responsible for each disciple than the disciple himself. But again, who allows me to take that responsibility? The disciple! I am at the mercy of my disciples. Right now God is a vague idea for them, so today they may accept me and tomorrow they may leave me. On the outer plane the disciple may leave me; but as long as the Supreme wants me to concentrate on that person and send His Light to that person, I have to do it. After leaving our path, the disciple may not follow any path or he may go to some other path. But once I accept someone, unless and until the Supreme tells me that that person is in other hands, I am responsible for him.

I tell my students, "I am ready to take all your problems, provided you are ready to feel that you are for me and me alone. If your allegiance is scattered here and there, in this group and that group, and if you come to meditate at our Centre once in a blue moon, then even if you say that I am your Master, you have made me powerless to do anything for you. If you really give me your total existence, inner and outer, only then can I do something for you. It is on the strength of my absolute oneness with you and your total acceptance of me that I can take your problems."

When a Master of a very high order tells you that you have an eternal relationship with him, he is speaking on the strength of his absolute oneness with the Supreme and with your soul. He knows that you will always be under his inner guidance. And when you realise the Highest, you will see that the supreme Consciousness which you have realised is the same as the Consciousness that the Master represented on earth. A real spiritual Master embodies the infinite Consciousness of the Supreme and represents that Consciousness on earth.

When the Master speaks of an eternal relationship, this relationship is one of mutual acceptance. The Master does not say, "Whether you are aware of it or not, I shall keep my eternal connection with you and we shall be eternally one." No, if the Master really has the capacity to establish this eternal relationship with the disciple, then he also has the capacity to make the disciple feel that he has done it. The Master offers this message to the seeker's soul, and the seeker feels that his inner connection with his Master will last forever. Then with his utmost sweetness, concern, compassion, gratitude and pride, the Master accepts the disciple wholeheartedly and permanently. And the disciple will also have the same feeling for the Master; he will feel that the Master is not a separate entity but is his very own. He will feel that the very highest, which he calls the Master, is his own most illumined part. When he has that kind of feeling, that kind of realisation, then the eternal relationship between the Master and the disciple can dawn.

The eternal relationship between the Master and the disciple is significant only in the case of a realised Master. If the Master is not fully realised, then he is only fooling the disciple. There are many Masters who have not realised God but simply say, "Oh, we have an eternal connection. I will take care of you even after I leave the body." When this type of Master leaves the body, the disciple may cry to his Master constantly, but he will get no response. Even when he is on the physical plane, this type of Master can be of no use. He only makes false promises.

The main purpose of initiation is to bring the soul to the fore. If there is no initiation, the purification of the body, vital, mind and heart can never be complete. If there is no initiation, then the highest Goal can never be realised. Those who are close to me have felt the actual flowering of their initiation the moment they have wholeheartedly dedicated to the Supreme in me their entire life — body, vital, mind, heart and soul. This flowering of the initiation is really more than initiation. It is the revelation of the disciples' own inner divinity. At that moment they feel that they and their Guru have totally become one. They feel that their Guru has no existence without them, and that they have no existence without their Guru. The Guru and the disciple mutually fulfil each other and feel that this fulfilment is coming directly from the Supreme. And the greatest secret the disciple learns from the Guru is this: that only by fulfilling the Supreme first can he fulfil the rest of the world.

How can the Guru fulfil the Supreme? The Guru plays his part by taking the ignorance, imperfection, obscurity, impurity and unwillingness from the disciple and carrying them faithfully and devotedly to the Supreme. The disciple fulfils the Supreme by constantly staying in the Guru's boat and in the inmost recesses of the Guru's heart, and by feeling that he exists only for the fulfilment of his Master. Him to fulfil, him to manifest: this is the only meaning, the only purpose, the only significance of the disciple's life.

5.

The Guru is not the body. The Guru is the revelation and manifestation of a divine Power upon earth.

6.

To meet God without an intermediary
May not be impossible,
But it is surely the loftiest
Mountain-climbing task.

7.

Did you receive any help in learning the alphabet? Did you require a teacher to help you master your musical instrument? Were you given instruction to enable you to obtain your degree? If you needed a helper to do these things, do you not also require a teacher who can guide you to the knowledge of the Divine, the wisdom of the Infinite? That teacher is your Guru and no one else.

8.

The Guru and the disciple must test each other sweetly, seriously and perfectly before their mutual acceptance. Otherwise, if they are wrong in their selection, the Guru will have to dance with failure and the disciple with perdition.

9.

What does the acceptance of a disciple by a Guru mean? It means that the Guru will gladly live in the world of golden sacrifice.

10.

The supreme initiation is when the Master says to the disciple, "Take what I have," and the disciple says to the Master, "Take me as I am."

Part II — Choosing a Guru

1. Choosing a Guru

A great teacher inspires
 The seeker.

A great teacher aspires
 In and through the seeker.

A great teacher knows
That he is the journey's soul
 Of the seeker
And also his journey's goal.

There are three kinds of spiritual teachers. One will say, "I will do everything for you, my child. There is nothing for you to do. You may sleep, you may drink, you may enjoy vital life, you may do anything. You just remain in your own world and I will give you realisation and liberation. You don't have to do anything." You should remain thousands of miles away from that kind of spiritual Master.

The second type of teacher will say, "I have told you what the Truth is. I have tried to inspire you. I have played my part; now you have to work hard to reach your goal. Now you have to discover your own inner divinity." This kind of teacher does not solve any of the disciple's problems. This spiritual teacher is weak, even if he is sincere.

Then there is the third kind of teacher. On the strength of his absolute oneness with the highest Supreme, he says to the disciple, "My child, let us walk together. You shall aspire, and I shall bring down infinite Grace and Compassion from the Supreme. I have my own salvation, but I will walk with you and guide you. Let us work together." He is the real spiritual teacher.

How can an aspirant know if a Master professing to be realised is actually realised? A God-realised spiritual Master is not someone with wings and a halo to identify him. He is normal, except that in his inner life he has abundant Peace, Light and Bliss. So if you come to a spiritual Master expecting something other than boundless Peace, Light, Bliss and Power, then you will be disappointed. But again, you must know if you are fit to judge. If I know nothing about medical science, how am I going to judge a great doctor? Only another doctor will know how to judge him properly.

In the spiritual life, a real seeker who has sincere aspiration and dedication has already achieved a little bit of inner Light. Because of his aspiration, God has endowed him with an iota of Light, and with that Light he is bound to see and feel something in a true spiritual Master. If one is really advanced in the spiritual life and is making fast progress in his inner journey, then his aspiration will be the best judge as to whether a spiritual Master is genuine or not. The best judge is one's sincere aspiration.

An unrealised Master can fool you for a day or for a month or for a few years, but he cannot fool you forever. If your own sincere aspiration is one hundred percent pure and you want nothing but God, then God will not keep you with an insincere, unrealised Master indefinitely. It is impossible!

Very often people come and try to judge whether the Master is perfect or not. Here they can easily make a mistake. If the Master is genuine — that is to say, if the Master has realised God — then what may appear to them to be weaknesses in the Master will not hinder them in their self-realisation.

Again, so-called human weaknesses are one thing; but if the Master indulges in lower vital life, sex life, then that Master is very bad and you have to leave him. If you don't feel purity in the Master, if you don't see in him the perfection of the lower vital life, the emotional life, then you must give a wide berth to him. Otherwise, how will you ever get from him the perfection of your own vital life?

Some Masters do have their own realisation, true realisation, and still some of their disciples leave them. But do you think that a Master is not realised just because people have left him? No, it is the aspirant's own imperfections and limitations that take them away from their Master. Some people come up to a certain point and then their vital or ego comes forward and they don't want to go any farther.

After accepting the spiritual life for two years, six years, even ten years, some people become tired. If one becomes tired of walking on the spiritual path and leaves the path, it is not necessarily the Supreme's Plan. So don't try to judge a Master just because many are leaving him. Many will leave, but many others will come.

Even if a Master is genuine, he may not be meant for you. How do you know when you have found your own Master? It is like this. There may be many people around you, but when you see a particular person, immediately you get some joy. That means that your soul has some connection with that particular person. Ten persons may be right in front of you and for nine of them you may have no feeling. But one person's face or very presence gives you joy. In that case you have to know that this person has some inner connection with you.

If you have an inner connection with a genuine Master, it most likely has existed for many incarnations. So the moment you see that particular Master, you will get boundless, overwhelming joy. Your whole being will be surcharged with inner joy and light. You will feel that your life has at last found its source in the Master. You will feel that you are a leaf and the Master is the tree. The spiritual Master who gives you immediate joy, spontaneous joy, boundless joy, is your Master. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you may find your own Master the first time you see a spiritual Master. On the other hand, you may have to go to quite a few spiritual Masters.

When you find a Master whose very presence give you immediate inspiration, joy, peace and delight, then you have to ask yourself the last and absolutely most important question: "If this Master does not give me realisation, liberation or anything that I want, am I still in a position to give him my love, my devotion, my surrender, my life?" If the answer is, "Yes, I don't want anything from him except to be allowed to serve him and give him what I have and what I am," then you will know for sure that he is your Master. He is absolutely your Master.

There is a saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." But it happens many times, hundreds of times, that the Master has come and the disciple is also ready, but there is a veil of ignorance in front of the disciple. He is not seeing the light, although the light is right in front of him. If your own teacher stands in front of you and blesses you twenty times, even then you may not recognise him. The teacher recognises you, but he cannot tell you, "You are my student," for you will misunderstand. You will think, for example, "I have millions of dollars. That is why he is telling me I am his disciple. He is asking me to be his disciple just so that he can grab my money or this or that from me."

In this world, when we discover something for ourselves, then only do we feel that it is true. When somebody else discovers something and tells it to us, then we disbelieve, we doubt. If the realisation comes from within you that I am your Master, then you feel that it is your own discovery; but if I tell you, then you feel that you have every right to doubt me. I have seen quite a few sincere seekers who were destined to be my disciple and sooner or later did become my disciples; but something was preventing them from accepting me at the time. My telling them would not have expedited their recognition of me. On the contrary, this would only have delayed them further. So I remained silent in order that when the time was ripe they could have the satisfaction of their own discovery.

In the spiritual life, there are some teachers who can instruct you for a couple of years and there are some who can teach you right from the kindergarten level to the highest university courses. They have the capacity to take you up to the highest height. Even if a teacher is sincere, if he doesn't have the capacity to take you to the highest, naturally you will leave him when you have gone as far as he can take you. Again, there are so-called Masters who do not have the capacity to teach at all, but who will try to keep you as long as they can, just to exploit you. But it is you who have to know whether the teacher is able to help you. Your inner being will tell you whether you are making satisfactory progress or not. The moment you feel that you are not making any progress whatsoever in spite of your sincerity, then don't waste your time. You have every right to leave a teacher whenever you want to.

But what sometimes happens is that the teacher has true, genuine knowledge, but the student does not want to learn the truth in the way that the teacher wants to teach — or rather, in the way the Divine wants the teacher to teach. Very often, unfortunately, it happens that when a spiritual teacher tells the truth or unveils the truth, he is misunderstood by the doubtful mind of the aspirant. The aspirant asks a question, but his mental doubt does not allow him to accept the answer. Then, no matter how true, how significant and how sublime the answer may be, it is useless to the seeker.

Some seekers change their teacher almost every month. Today this teacher, tomorrow that teacher, the day after, somebody else. They are extremely restless and they will never attain illumination.

A teacher is like a boat. If you are in one boat, you are safe. But if you keep one leg in one boat and another leg in another boat, then you will just fall into the sea of ignorance. If you are securely seated in my boat or in someone else's boat, then the boatman is capable of taking you to the other shore. Then, once you reach your destination, you will see that all the boats arrived by different routes. The goal is one, but the paths are many. You cannot constantly change paths and hope to make the same speed. The seeker has to be wise, careful and discriminating.

Rome is one place, but there are many roads to reach that place, and each traveller will take a different road. Each Master is right in his own way. But once you choose a Master you have to stick to his path with total dedication and surrender. For you can only travel on one road at a time.

One Master teaches this, another Master teaches something else and a third Master teaches something completely different. You may feel it is like different subjects in school: history, geography, philosophy and so on. But I wish to say that in the spiritual life there is only one subject: God-realisation. For that one subject, the most profound subject, you should follow one particular path. If it is the path of devotion, wonderful. If it is the path of knowledge, wonderful. If it is the path of selfless service, wonderful. Again, you can combine all these into one. When you realise God, all paths become one; the three major paths of devotion, knowledge and selfless service inevitably merge into one.

We cannot say that our path is by far the best for everyone. Let us not be such fools. We can only say that our path is the path of love, devotion and surrender. If others want to accept it, well and good. Our path is the best for us and we are staying on this path because it is the path that the Supreme wants us to follow. Others also have to find the path that is best for them.

The spiritual path, the journey of the inner life, is a lifelong process. If you are ready to go through such a lengthy discipline, then only will you get your true Master. When you are studying you have to be serious in order to pass your examinations. Similarly, you have to be extremely serious and sincere in your spiritual life. So first please go deep within and feel whether you want a spiritual Master to guide you for the rest of your life and whether you can listen to him totally, wholeheartedly and unconditionally. If your feel that you can follow a Master faithfully and devotedly and give your life to his path, then the Master is bound to come to you. If you feel that you do not and cannot exist without the spiritual life, then you can rest assured that you are ready for the spiritual life. If you feel that you cannot stay on earth without inner peace, without inner joy, without the living guidance of God through a spiritual Master — if you have come to that stage — then you are bound to get a spiritual Master very soon.

There is no seeker on earth who will remain without a teacher if he is desperately in need of one. If his aspiration is intense, if his inner cry is constantly mounting, how can God remain asleep? It is God who has kindled the flame of aspiration in that particular seeker, and it is God who will bring a spiritual Master to him or place him at the feet of a spiritual Master.

2.

There is a great difference between knowing the teacher and knowing his teachings. His teachings show the world what he has, but what he is, is another name for Eternity's Vision.

3.

A seeker's struggling mind needs the right path.
A seeker's searching heart needs the right teacher.
A seeker's aspiring soul needs the right God.

4.

Do not kill yourself worrying
 About false teachers.
Your sincerity-shield will protect you
And also definitely help you
 Find a real teacher.