The Guru: An Eternal Divine Friend
The guru-disciple relationship is the highest expression of friendship, for it is based on unconditional divine love and wisdom. It is the loftiest and most sacred of all relationships. Christ and his disciples were all one in spirit, as are my master [Swami Sri Yukteswar] and I and those who are in tune with me, because of the common bond of God's divine love.... One who partakes of this relationship is on the way to wisdom and freedom.
When you are moving blindly through the valley of life, stumbling in darkness, you need the help of someone who has eyes. You need a guru.
In your heart cry constantly for God. When you have convinced the Lord of your desire for Him, He will send someone - your guru - to teach you how to know Him. There may be many teachers in one's life, but there is only one guru. Guru is he whom God appoints to lead you out of darkness of ignorance into land of His eternal light.
The Guru: the Speaking Voice of the Silent God
Guru is one who knows God, and who shows the way to Him. To follow a divine manifestation is the sure way to God-realization. One who knows God becomes the speaking voice of the silent God. Attunement with the wisdom-guided will of a true guru teaches one how to guide his will according to God's will. Those who follow the voice of their own ego, ascribing to it a halo of divine guidance, find out too late that no amount of deluded rationalization will relieve one of the karmic responsibility of wrong actions. To be led by an ego-bound will is to stumble into painful delusive entanglements. Do not remain entangled! Be free!
The will of God is to free every soul. Man's part is to cooperate with that purpose by living in harmony with God's laws as defined by a God-realized guru. (p.321, Discourse 19, The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda)
Guru — spiritual teacher. Sanskrit: "one to be honored, teacher," lit. "heavy, weighty."
The Guru Gita aptly describes the guru as "dispeller of darkness" (from gu, "darkness," and ru, "that which dispels"). Though today the word guru is commonly used to refer simply to a teacher or instructor, a true guru is one who is God-illumined. In his attainment of self-mastery, he has realized his identity with the omnipresent Spirit. Such a one is uniquely qualified to lead the seeker on his or her spiritual journey toward enlightenment and liberation.
The Guru's Promise
Those who have come to Self-Realization Fellowship truly seeking inward spiritual help shall receive what they seek from God. Whether they come while I am in the body, or afterward, the power of God through the link of the SRF Gurus shall flow into the devotees just the same, and shall be the cause of their salvation....
All devotees who are regular and faithful in their practice of SRF teachings shall find that their lives become purified and transformed. In their persistence and steadiness, true devotees of this path shall find emancipation. Implicit in the SRF techniques and teachings are the help and blessings of the SRF line of gurus. Devotees who conduct their lives according to SRF principles will be blessed with the hidden and open direction of the SRF line of gurus. The ever-living Babaji has promised to guard and guide the progress of all sincere SRF devotees. Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswarji, who have left their physical forms, and I myself, even after I have left the body—all will ever protect and direct the sincere members of SRF-YSS.
If I don't see you, remember I am working for you in some other place. My seeing you all the time will not necessarily help you. You will receive more by meditating deeply and regularly. I am not here only to help you in this life, but in the beyond also.
Without a guru the average devotee cannot find God. It requires 25% devoted practice of meditation techniques; 25% blessings of the guru; and 50% grace of God. If you remain steadfast in your efforts to the end, He will appear before you.
When I am gone, the teachings will be the guru.... Through the teachings you will be in tune with me and the great Gurus who sent me.
I Shall Never Fail You!
God has sent you to me, and I shall never fail you....Even when I am gone, my help will always be given to devotees all over the world, if they keep in tune. Never think for a moment that when I am physically absent from you all, I am not otherwise with you. I shall be just as deeply concerned for your spiritual welfare when I am no longer in this body as I am now. I shall always be watching over each one of you, and whenever a true devotee thinks of me in the silent depths of his soul, he will know that I am near.