Author : Swami Chinmayananda Description : The guru and disciple relationship is unavoidable. Every great master has been under the guidance of a teacher. So it is not true when they say that a teacher is not necessary—that we can reach there just through books. But you have to understand very carefully. To say the guru is necessary does not mean that the guru will take the responsibility that you must meet a guru and thereafter the guru will carry you to the goal. The relationship between the teacher and the taught is exactly like the relationship of the gardener and the flowers on the bush. The gardener does not create the flowers from the soil and the manure; the flowers must themselves come from the bush. The poor garde¬ner can only tend its roots, water it, protect it, see that it has the correct amount of sunlight and shade-all these externals, "nursing," he can provide. But no mere gardener can guarantee the blossom; it can come only from the bush itself. Similarly, the teacher's job is to nurture the student the student must be nourished with the right thoughts. The student must be given a conducive and protective environment where he or she need not overstrain just to live. But the blossoming—the real fragrance and beauty of the personality—must come from within. There are some gurus who will say that they will carry you to the goal. Those are all "mule gurus." You can ride on them. But the true gurus only show you the way and encourage you to keep up... As the student advances and the mind becomes quiet and concentrated, its subtler powers come to manifest themselves—they are called siddhis. If you revel in the play of these psychic powers, you may never reach the Highest. Here, too, the guru is needed—to knock you down: "Why are you tarrying here? You may enjoy such fascinations in passing, but don't stay here and play with these toys, for you are still only playing with the mind, and you will never reach the Highest. Go forward!"... You ask, "How does one choose a guru?" It is not question of the disciple selecting the guru. No. He gravitates toward a guru, and he will find exactly the guru he needs for his mental development at this time. So choose whatever guru comes to you. But may you understand that the only guru is He, the Lord, who expresses in many forms.