Children, the goal of human birth is to attain Self-realisation. For this, utmost concentrated effort is required. But what helps us to reach this goal more than anything is the tutelage and grace of the guru.
No matter how many spiritual practices we do or how much spiritual knowledge we gain, if our vasanas [innate tendencies] are to be completely destroyed, the guru’s presence is essential. Sitting in a corner of the forest, a jackal will decide that it will not howl again when it sees a dog, but when it sees the dog, it’s the same story all over again. This is how it is with vasanas. These vasanas, which have come to us through many births, can only be completely removed and destroyed in the presence of a true guru. If one wants to know the ultimate truth, the ego must be destroyed. For this, the guru’s grace is needed. In order to get the guru’s grace, the attitude of selflessness must arise in the disciple.
Once a man went to a guru and begged him to accept him as his disciple. The guru accepted him. Now the man added, “Please bless me by giving me some advice.” The guru said, “Okay, from now on, never ask for anything for yourself. Do you agree to this?” The man agreed.
This is how a disciple should be. When selfish motives completely disappear, one belongs to the world, and everything becomes his own. The ego survives in and through the attitude of “I want” and “this is mine.” But when the attitude of “I” disappears, the whole world becomes one’s own. It is just like the gas from a burst balloon merging into the atmosphere; once the ego is gone, one merges with the totality.
In a true guru-disciple relationship, the guru will have the attitude of a servant—even more than the disciple. The guru will want to save the disciple at any cost. He will watch every action of the disciple, but the disciple will not understand this. The duty of the disciple is to serve his guru unselfishly with an attitude of selflessness. True service means obedience. When the guru notices the disciple’s selfless actions, grace automatically flows to the disciple. It is natural and automatic—like water flowing downward. This grace removes the disciple’s ignorance and raises him to the state of Self-realisation.
The guru is constantly showering his grace on everyone equally, but it is the dharma of a disciple to become a deserving receptacle of this grace. To enter a foreign country, even if one has the right visa, one still needs his passport. Similarly, without the grace of the guru, we will not be able to experience Self-realisation.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi