Chapter 7

How to Choose a Guru

Chapter 9

I've heard that one must not accept someone as their Guru unless they have tested him. How can you do that?

It is very difficult to understand a Guru just by your intelligence. Beyond that something will tell you - you will get a kind of feeling - "I think he is my Guru." You have to follow how you feel about him. Your heart should tell you, "Yes, so—and—so can guide me on the path."

Or you can use your intelligence and question his students. "How is he? Has he really taught you something?" When you go to a shop to buy fruit, how can you know if it will be really sweet? The shopkeeper knows for certain that it's good. But if you don't want to believe him, you can ask your friends, "Have you tried any of his fruit?" "Oh, yes, I bought some yesterday. It's really very sweet." Then you believe your friend and take some. So ask a few friends. See whether he is really useful to many people, whether there are many people who follow his advice and are benefitted.

Or another way is to see if he practices what he preaches. He may be talking of Yoga and how Yoga is all serenity and keeping a peaceful mind, how you should never get upset over anything. But spy on him for some time and see whether he gets upset over anything. Any swami or yogi will say, "Keep calm always; don't get upset over anything." But you have to see whether he expresses that in his very life. You can even test him. Go to him and say, "I've seen hundreds of rogues like you roaming the world. Get out of here; we don't want you. See how he reacts. But here, you should know that it's very difficult to test a Guru. Sometimes he may even act like he's getting upset over something but he will be just using his anger to teach someone a lesson. So if you want to test him like that, you should be sure of your capacity to understand his reactions.

One thing I would like to say, if you are really interested in finding a Guru, your own keen interest will show you the way. You don't need to worry about it. If you can't decide, say "All right, I will follow your ways for some time, one or two or three months. If nothing happens, that's all. If I get a little taste, then I'll know there's something there and I'll take a little more." It's much better to do that than to just give everything immediately if you're not sure. I have seen many people coming and saying, "Oh, you are my God, you are everything; I give myself totally to you..." Then within a few weeks they are saying, "Oh, I've seen hundreds like him." So it is best neither to take it on too quickly, nor to just drop it and go away very soon. Have the proper distance, see how you feel, and then come close gradually.

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