“To understand transcendental knowledge, one must certainly approach a guru.” (Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12.)
Teachers surround us everywhere, starting from the very day that we are born. Our first teachers are our parents, who prepare us for how to live in this world. As soon as we try to learn something from someone, that person automatically becomes our teacher. This principle is the same within spiritual life. Both guidance and shelter are essential in order to succeed in our spiritual life. Alone, we simply cannot go all that far! There is a saying that, no man is an island. We need others, we need their help, as well as their blessings and mercy.
our spiritual life
Supporting a child’s growth
Srila Prabhupada, the founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, used to say that although a little child has the propensity for walking, the child needs help in the beginning stages. Similarly, Bhakti is situated within the heart of each living entity but at the present moment, our heart is covered with so many material coverings such as lust, anger, etc. Therefore, we need help from someone, a guru, who has overcome these coverings. Somebody who sees and understands us on the level of the soul and who can lovingly guide us towards Krishna.
The choice for a lifetime
Lord Krishna Himself recommends in the Bhagavad-gita: “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.” (BG 4.34). In order to understand spiritual knowledge, we need a guru. The Acaryayan purusho veda states that “One who has a spiritual preceptor can know things as they are”(Chandogya Upanishad 6.14.2.).
The word guru means “one who is heavy with knowledge” or “one who cannot be moved by lighter argument” and “one who is great inwardly and whose inner greatness is revealed in his outer conduct”. To recognise such a guru requires guidance and knowledge. Accepting a guru is the most important choice of our lives because the vows we take are vows for life. The ISKCON Disciple Course provides devotees with the proper guidance and knowledge, facilitating serious introspection on one’s life choices. Ultimately, leading devotees towards a happy and prosperous spiritual life.