Published on December 11th, 2017 | by Harmonist staff0
How to Find Your Guru
Q&A with Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja
Question: Maharaja, being a neophyte devotee, I was wondering what questions must be answered in one’s mind or heart to know who your guru is?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: First is sravana-dasa you are to attend the lectures and hear the advice and instructions of so many perspective gurus, and after that is finished, you can come to a conclusion by the suggestion of your inner spiritual conscience. Whose instructions and impressions do you find to satisfy the innermost demand of your heart? Then, you are to select there. You are to decide that such deep, such spacious, such sweet, instructive waves are coming from a particular place and that they will be wholesome for you. In general, you are to seek in the sastra left by the mahajanas what is the qualification of a guru and what is the qualification of a disciple. With the proper mood and guided by the sastra, you will approach the guru whose position is unquestionable.
You are to consult the sastra, which contains the opinions of unquestionable spiritual masters. You are to approach them personally, one by one, all the possible instructors, and then you are to decide on whom your inner approval and accepting tendency selects to be your eternal guide, the person who appeals most to the deepest sentiments of your heart and satisfies the deepest earnestness of your heart. Then, you are to accept your guide.
Suppose you want to visit a place such as Africa. There are so many guides, and you are to make acquaintance with them and then decide who will be the safest guide to take you and show you that place.
I am suggesting some necessary advice for you from my own experience, but ultimately you will be the judge in the selection of your guide. In consultation with the sastra and the sadhu, and then with your personal approach, you are to select whose association touches you deepest. You are to decide finally. The selection must come from you and in this way. That will be safe.
Question: Maharaja, is it possible to spend too much time looking for a guru?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: As long as you are not satisfied, as you do not feel maximum satisfaction, you should not surrender anywhere and everywhere. You should take some time. At the same time, you must be earnest, and you must try as soon as it is possible because human life is not a permanent thing; it is vulnerable, and at any time we may lose it.
You must be earnest but at the same time you must tackle all possible sources and satisfy yourself. You must come in direct touch with them, personally, or even through their writings. In any way, you are to examine them to have a taste of their instructions, and then you are to select that which suits you best, which you can trust best, and feel, “I must throw myself here, whatever my future fate is.”
With this idea, you are to throw yourself down at the feet of such a great mahajana. But before throwing yourself finally, surrendering yourself finally, you will try your best to be sure. The most undesirable disaster is to leave one’s guru. It is the greatest curse in one’s life if one has to be separated from his selected guru, so we shall try our best that we may not have to meet such disaster. Always you will pray to the Lord, to the transcendental, “Please help me to select my guide, please send me my guide.” That will be your prayerful mood to the upper, all-omniscient Almighty: “Please send me my guide, please show me my guide.”
Of course, it is not possible for the disciple to know the guru, but with this sort of prayerful mood, you will examine as much as possible. I also did such; I wandered and wandered here and there and tried to test as much as possible within my jurisdiction, but I was dissatisfied. Then finally, when I was satisfied fully, I threw myself there. For more than five or six years, I ran hither and thither to different directions searching after a guru. At last after six years, in the seventh year, I came to accept my guru.
As fast as possible it is necessary, but at the same time, it must be considerate, not injudicious or insincere. Sincere, judicious searching with earnestness; this is what you are to do. Just as with marriage according to Hindu law: once married, no separation is possible. Selected for life; no divorce system here.