Guru’s dilemma can never be understood by mere disciples. Can he find anyone to transmit his complete knowledge? He seeks high and low for that elusive right disciple. Only a few can match up to the absolutely rigorous regime that he sets out with.
The most revered Gurus are full of profound knowledge and they have worked hard to acquire it. They were themselves disciples before they reached their lofty goal and by sheer dint and perseverance they got enlightened. After they reached their destination they have a choice whether to just give up their mortal coil or continue to work in this world. Some take up the path of staying away from material world and some get instructed to become their Guru’s clones. They take up the task of teaching other seekers and become a Guru. But they have a daunting task ahead of them. How to find the right candidate for transmitting their hard earned knowledge is that task!
You will see from history that only a few sages could find the right candidate for reaching perfection. Look at Saibaba or Ramanna Maharishi, Jesus or Buddha, Shri Krishna or Shri Ram, Kabirdas or Meerabai could never find a replacement for themselves. But when we look at Raidas or Ravidas, Akkalkot Swami or Tapovan Maharaj, we realize that they met someone equally spectacular to transmit their knowledge.
Hence certain Gurus take birth themselves and propagate further their knowledge for mundane disciples. Take the case of my own Guru. Dattatreya took various avatars in the last few centuries. He came in as Narsimha Saraswati, Sripad Vallabha, Akkalkot Swami and Saibaba. I have just named a few here for reference.
Likewise the divine takes a form again and again so that there could be a simple pathway for lay disciples. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was an avatar of Krishna himself. Likewise, there are lesser avatars coming up too. The coterie around the great one also follows but they are enveloped in the darkness of ignorance. By this coterie I mean the ones who assist the divine also. In case of Chaitanya the ones who accompanied him were Nityananda who was an avatar of Adhisesha, Vishakha and Lalitha, the cowherd girls of Vraja and a few others too.
So coming back to the story at hand, it becomes very difficult to transmit knowledge unless and until you have the perfect candidate. Sant Dyneshwar, Himself an avatar of Krishna and a disciple of his elder brother Nivritinath acknowledged that he couldn’t even touch the knowledge of His Guru. The Nath sampradaya has a very great Guru-Shishya parampara.
Though in my few years of existence I tried teaching a few disciples, they couldn’t stand the vagaries of spiritual. One nearly reached the threshold of superstardom but gave into material wants of life. Having found a well paying job and family life with perks, she couldn’t stand up to the demands of spiritual life.
There are others too who couldn’t make it because spiritual life means austerity and frugal living. Hardly anyone loves to leave their affluent lifestyle or demands of material life. Families and luxuries, material worldly commitments and duties, loans and properties, relatives and friends, possessions and fear, food and clothing, housing and transportation are a few impediments in the life of a disciple. They cannot give these things up.
The ways of Guru also contribute towards the giving up of spiritual path. Once Lokenath baba was deep in meditation and found ants crawling all over him. He ignored the creepy crawly feeling but when he got out of meditation, saw that his Guru had spread sugar around his asan or place of meditation. His Guru always put obstacles in the path but Lokenath trusted his Guru. He was able to reach perfection because his Guru tested him very well.
Incidentally on Lokenath’s Guru there is a wonderful story. The Guru didn’t allow himself to reach the lofty goal because he worked hard on his disciple. Once his disciple Lokenath reached realization, Bhagvan Ganguly told his dear disciple to make him reach there in next life. Sacrificing for his disciple and putting him through the rigors of sadhana, the Guru gave up his life. In the next his disciple made him reach the ultimate goal.
To find such disciples is very tough. The disciple should have absolute discipline, single pointed devotion and firm faith in his Guru. He should be truthful and able bodied to be able to do various sadhanas. He should know that once he has met his Guru, there are no attachments with anyone at all. His Guru’s command is for his absolute adherence. Even the most mundane task given by the Guru has to be followed to the T! To consider everything as the ultimate task and succeed in them, should be his goal, however difficult it is.
Above all, to find such a gem is extremely tough. Once the Guru finds him, then he sets about giving him the toughest tests so that he can win the path of liberation and realization. On the other hand to find the perfect Guru is also very tough!
Image Credit: WhatKrsnaSays