Guru is given a prominent position in Indian culture. After mother and father guru is given the next position considering him as god. The word guru has its roots from sanskrit language, where 'gu' means darkness and 'ru' means removal. The word guru means the one who illuminates our wisdom and removes ignorance that is obstructing the overall development of his disciple. The word guru has another meaning, gu means not limited by attributes and ru means not affected by appearance. So guru is the one who is free from all kinds of prejudice and treats all his disciples equally. Sadguru doesn't show any difference between disciple and himself. He is a form of boundless and selfless love.

In the words of the great Kabir, when you meet the true guru, he will awaken your heart he will tell you the secret of love and detachment, and then you will know indeed that he transcends this universe. The great Ramana Maharshi quotes, "God, who is eminent in his grace takes pity on the loving devotee and manifests himself according to the devotees development. The devotee thinks that he is a man and expects a relationship between two physical bodies. But the Guru who is god or the self incarnate works from within, helps the man to see the error of his ways and guides him on the right path until he realizes the self within."

In Sri Sai Sat-Charitha, Shirdi Baba gave a beautiful discourse in the mosque regarding the necessity of a guru saying that a guru was like a guide who will take us to our destination (self realization). Bhagavan Baba said the path through which one has to travel in life is like passing through jungle where there are wolves, tigers and other wild animals in the form of unending desires, ego, pride and huge mountains and deep ditches in the form of anger, passion, jealousy etc. If we take a guide (guru) with us then there is no difficulty as he will take us straight to our destination (self realization) avoiding wolves, tigers, mountains, ditches.

There are eight types of gurus:
  1. BODHA GURU, who explains the rules and regulations given in the sastras
  2. VEDA GURU, who directs the minds of his disciples towards god.
  3. PREETA GURU, who removes doubts and purifies the mind and heart.
  4. NISHIDDHA GURU, who teaches how to discharge certain duties.
  5. KAAMYA GURU, who teaches the performances of good deeds.
  6. SUCHAKA GURU, who teaches six types of yoga.
  7. VAKSHAKA GURU, who teaches the principles of yoga.
  8. KARANA GURU, who is able to confer to ability to merge into the eternal absolute (Brahman), that is he who can effect the transformation of the human into divinity.
There is nobody in the world greater than a sadguru and blessed is he, who gets a samartha sadguru to guide him. A guru can shower all the boons which the trimurthis can't. But without the grace of guru one cannot receive the greatest boons given by trimurthis.

As Shirdi Baba often said, "Our true guru is god alone, who transcends all gunas. He is beyond all forms. He is the only one who can dispel the darkness of ignorance and light the lamp of supreme wisdom." Swami says, "Gu means gunatheetha and Ru means rupathitha that is a Guru is beyond attributes and form".


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