A true, good guru is quite unlike the popular perception that exists of a guru. A good guru is simple, humble and unpretentious.She or he asks for nothing from the disciple except objectivity and making an informed choice. And a guru need not be in ochre robes or having matted hair. Nor does a guru need to be religious. A good guru is always a great teacher. Someone whose compassion and charisma draws you to that person no doubt, but equally important, the person invokes in you the urge to learn, to unlearn, and to make the journey inward, to find yourself. Your true self.
My experience with my gurus have all been uplifting. I have not found myself gravitating to a single person. Instead I have derived great inspiration, and gained even greater insights, from several gurus – from my barber Ramalingam (who taught me the essence of the Bhagavad Gita) in Bengaluru to my former colleague Deepak Pawar (who awakened me to realize that I was controlled by my ego) to my dear friend Raja Krishnamoorthy (who taught me to appreciate the inscrutability of Life and to learn to go with the flow) to Swami Sathya Sai Baba (who I have never met, but have always experienced, who taught me the way to live in the moment) to a Siddha Master Kavi Rajan (who taught me the Power of Acceptance and Loving What Is) to another dear friend Vijay Easwaran (who taught me the Power of Silence – shuba mouna yoga) to Osho, the Master (again, who I never met, but who taught me to celebrate Life) to Shirdi Sai Baba (who taught me Faith and Patience)! Apart from these notable influencers, I have learnt, and continue to learn, from the countless people that I encounter in Life. The word guru means the dispeller of darkness. Therefore, anyone, who can remove your ignorance, shine light upon you, dispel the darkness, is a guru. So, as I have realized, each person, including your detractors, brings along a teachable point of view, if you are open to the learning. As they say, when the student is ready, the teacher always appears!
This guru purnima day express your gratitude to all those who have taught you in Life. Without their influence on you, you wouldn’t be who you are today. More important, continue to be open to learning – and unlearning. As long as your sails are open and hoisted, as the venerable Ramakrishna Paramahamsa has said, the winds of grace, which are always blowing, will fill them and you will reach where you must and are destined to be.