Chapter 10

Guru as Your Conscience

Chapter 12

Is it true that the disciple and Guru remain faithful to each other throughout eternity? If so, how do I know who my Guru is? And how can I choose a Guru in this life if I have already made a commitment in another?

Hm! Actually there cannot be such an eternal commitment as you are talking about. Commitment can only be with a physical person - not between the Guru and disciple, because what is the Guru after all? The real Guru is the Spirit within you, the awareness. It is your own conscience. The conscience in you, in me, in everybody is the same. It is a part of the Cosmic Consciousness. It is the God in you that is always watching you. It can guide you and tell you whether you are doing right or wrong.

But sometimes we are weak and don't listen to that conscience. So you have an outside Guru who has realized the inner Truth and who follows his conscience every time. That Guru helps you know what is right and what is wrong. Even though you know, sometimes you have doubts as to which inner voice to listen to. Your ego says, "Go ahead and do it." The conscience says, "No, that's not the right thing to do." But you don't know which is the ego and which is the conscience. Until you get that doubt cleared, you can go to a person who always follows his conscience and say, "This is what I feel: one voice says 'do,' one says 'don't.' I don't know what to do." He will compare it with what his conscience says. Whichever one agrees with his thinking is your true conscience. So until you begin to follow your conscience, he helps you.

Even while helping you, he will gradually teach you how to recognize and follow the inner Guru. He will never make you dependent on him. A Guru is there to liberate you, not to make you dependent on him. I said there is not an eternal commitment with the Guru as a physical person, but you are eternally committed to his consciousness which is not different from your own consciousness.

It's something like you want to clean your face but you don't know exactly where the dirt is. What will you do? You will stand in front of a mirror, see the dirt, wash your face and go away. So the Guru acts like that mirror. You go in front of him; he tells you, "There is that mistake; correct it." You correct it and go away. If you keep yourself clean you don't need a mirror after awhile. That should be the way a Guru functions. He will never enslave you.

If anybody ever says, "You are eternally committed to me. You cannot go out or do this or that," then know that he's not a true Guru. No Guru will ever bind you. He will give you your freedom. He will only instruct you. If you are not ready to follow, he will wait. He has no business to curse or condemn you.

In fact no Guru will label himself as a Guru. He feels he is always learning still. You call him a Guru because you see something good in him which you wish to learn, and he behaves like a Guru because you want it that way. A President does not become the President by himself. All the people jointly vote to make him President. Then he has to behave like a Presi dent, at least for the four-year period. It is the same with the Guru. By your own feeling you make him a Guru and give him that duty: "Come on, teach me; do this to me." Then he should do it. But the minute you say, "Well, I don't want to be trained by you any more," he is your Guru no longer.

If you don't feel that communication with one person, if you don't see your face clearly in one mirror, go to another one. That's all. There's nothing wrong in it. If I cannot help you I won't hesitate to say, "Go to somebody else," because I'm interested in your welfare. Like a doctor, if he can't cure you, should he say not to go to somebody else? If I'm a good doctor and I'm interested in your welfare, I should clearly say, "Sorry, I can't diagnose your case," or "I don't have the proper remedy. But my good friend is an expert; go to him." I will even dial that friend and say, "I'm sending so—and—so to you. Please take care of her." Yes, that should be the attitude of a Guru. So don't feel bad in changing.

But that doesn't mean you can keep on changing and benefit from that. Wait until you know the person well before you decide on him as your Guru. And when you do go to him, follow his practices well. Your own conscience should say you have followed it well. If after sincere practice you still don't get any benefit, then you can go to somebody else. But if you don't gain much due to your own lack of practice, you cannot blame the teacher and go to another person. That other person will also give you something similar and there again you won't do well. You will go to a third person. That means you will be digging shallow wells everywhere. You'll never get water anywhere.

When once you begin to dig in one place, keep digging - you will certainly get water. Otherwise you're wasting your time. All the true Gurus are interested in your welfare. And fundamentally all their teachings are the same, though superficially their methods may differ.

The superficial differences don't matter much. It's something like whatever you eat will appease your hunger; it needn't be just bread and butter, or just spagetti, or just any one thing. Any nutritious food will satisfy your hunger if you are really hungry.