Who is Sadguru?
Generally everyone knows about teacher/Lecturer, who educates the pupils. He teaches the knowledge of the subjects like English, Science, Social, Maths, etc., but it is far away from the knowledge of God. He teaches about the activities in this realistic world, viz., the style of living and how to behave in the society. He teaches us how to make our self a perfect human being to live in the society.
Whereas Guru gives us Gyan (knowledge) about God, and about spirituality. He teaches us the process to attain God or Almighty by his devine speech or advices. Guru teaches us not only how to live the life in this world but also the life after death. A person who has healthy body, wealth, fame, good family and abundant knowledge of Scripters, epics, vedas and Upanishads and he himself a great writer of scripters but he has not surrendered himself at the feet of a Guru, then he has achieved nothing.
Sri Ramchandra Maharaj, founder of Sahaj Marg, who himself is a Sadguru has explained about the qualities, work, etc., of a Real Guru in brief are as follows:
Guru inspires devotion in his disciples. He is a link between the individual and the God. He lifts them up into the realm of everlasting joy and infinite Truth-consciousness. Yogic practices and sadhanas based on knowledge acquired through books, are mostly misleading and even harmful to spiritual advancement. The help of a Guru or Master is therefore essential and indispensable for those engaged in spiritual pursuit.
There have been cases, however, where sages have attained by mere self-effort, surrendering themselves direct to God. But such examples are very rare. It is possible only by persons specially gifted with extra-ordinary genius.
Guru is the only power that can extricate the ordinary people like us from the intricacies of the path. It is therefore essential that the guide we select must be one of the highest calibre and worthy of the task of tearing off the intricacies at a glance with the aid of the extraordinary power at his command. It can only be one who has himself attained perfection or complete negation of self. Hence we must connect ourselves with such a great power by feelings of love and attraction.
Unfortunately, today the selection of the proper Guru (Master) is much neglected, although every religious minded Hindu believes that it is incumbent upon him to have a Guru in order to satisfy his craving for spiritual benefit.
Generally people select any one for the purpose without any regard to his capabilities or worth. They are induced to do so mostly by persuasion or miracles displayed by those so called Gurus to attract the ignorant masses. They teach and preach on the basis of their knowledge of the shastras and other holy books. They have established orders and ashrams where they enjoy a kingly position among their followers. They go out and address large audiences telling them what to do and what not to do and explaining to them problems concerning Maya, Jiva and Brahma.
People flock to them in thousands to hear their sermons admiring their ideas and extensive knowledge and regard them as great Mahatmas or saints. But after hearing the speeches and having darshan of the so called Religious Guru for a moment or for few minutes, there would be no connection between the Guru and the people (Bhaktas). Thereafter the so-called Guru did not even remember them. As such how one can expect help for his spiritual elevation from the said Guru when there is no uninterrupted physical or mental connection between them.
It must be well borne in mind that it is not learning or knowledge that makes a man perfect but it is only realisation in the right sense that makes a true yogi or saint. Knowledge therefore, is no criterion of a Mahatma or Yogi. Similarly the real test of a Mahatma or Guru is not his miracles or his extraordinary ways and means but only his practical attainment on the path of realisation. Mahatma or Sadguru is a most insignificant being or rather a neglected figure beyond all feelings of greatness, pride or egoism, dwelling permanently in a state of complete self-negation.
What we stand in need of from a Guru is the true impulse to effect the awakening of the soul and his direct support in the course of our further march on the path of realisation. Such a man(Guru) we have to seek for, if we aim at success. It is, therefore, evident that while judging a man for our spiritual guide we must take into account not his learning or miracles but his practical achievements in the field of realisation. If Guru is not free from the bondages of samskaras, maya or ahamkar, it is not possible for him to free us from the bondages.
It is therefore absolutely necessary to select a person as our Guru, who must be totally free from all feelings of pride or greatness. He must have his access up to the farthest possible limit and must have the power of Yogic transmission. Such a man we must seek for as our guide if we want complete success.
It is better to remain without a Guru all the life than to submit to the guidance of an unworthy Guru.