658. How does a Guru help his disciple ?
The search for answers to questions like "What is life?" "What am I?" "Where did I come from?" brings us in touch with a religious teacher or a philosophical treatise. True thirst for knowledge about these questions is never quenched unless a true Guru is found. By the time the thirst is satisfied there remains little difference between the Guru and the disciple. The become "One soul in two bodies." Having thus imbibed the philosophy of the Guru the disciple becomes one with the Guru and through him one with the Almighty. This fact was practically demonstrated by Angad who from being a disciple of Guru Nanak became so elevated that the Guru chose him as his successor. Amar Das, a devoted disciple of Guru Angad once again demonstrated the same fact and became third Guru and the same light he passed on in turn to Ram Das and thus blessed Sodhi Ram Das became a Guru from a very poor hawker. The Guru is therefore peerless and unique. "The Guru is the awakened God awakening the sleeping God in the disciple. Through sympathy and deep vision, a true Guru sees the Lord Himself suffering in the physically, mentally and spiritually poor. That is why he feels it his joyous duty to assist them. He tries to feed the hungry God in the destitute, to stir the sleeping God in the ignorant, to love the unconscious God in the enemy, and to rouse the half awake God in the yearning devotee. By a gentle touch of love he arouses instantaneously the almost fully awake God in the advanced seeker. A Guru is, among all men, the best of gives. Like the Lord Himself, his generosity knows no bounds."* The infinite understanding, the infinite love and the all-embracing consciousness of the Guru inspires the disciple and induces in him magnanimity, understanding, compassion and above all loyalty and faithfulness to the Guru and his word. Thus he surrenders his all to the Guru and is cleansed of his ego. He is not buffeted by lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride and his vacillations of consciousness come to an end and he achieves perfect bliss. He attunes his will to that of the Guru and unquestionably follows the Guru's instructions to the best of his ability. This stops diffusion of the mind which can now concentrate more and more on the Guru's word. The veil of confusion and delusion is rent asunder giving place to humility and the power of discrimination. Having thus cleansed himself, the disciple begins to realise his divine origin and purpose of life. *(Swami Paramhansa Yogananda). In all this process the Guru, not only acts as a guide but also as an ideal to be followed. The Guru lives by divine principles and through his life demonstrates the spirit of God and his boundless love for all. At this stage the disciple fully realises the value of the Guru's word and feels:
"The word of the Guru is inner music The word of the Guru is the highest scripture."
Guru Arjan explains this point as follows :
"Dear brother, the medicine of God's name me within all of us But without the Guru, we do not know how to use it. When the perfect Guru administers the medicine with necessary care, All disease is cured once for all." (Gauri Bawan Akhri Guru 5)
659. Whom do the Sikhs call a saint ?
A person pure in word, thought and deed and dedicated to the divine mission of remembering God and making others remember Him and acting in His name, is a saint. He is not fettered by ceremonies, outward signs, taboos and rituals. He loves humanity as a whole and does not believe in differences caused by national or geographical boundaries. He is an ideal man whose heart always yearns for service to God through humanity.
"He repeats the Lord's name and meditates on Him He looks alike on weal and woe and harbours no ill-will He is merciful to all and is free from all weaknesses. He enjoys the food of Lord's praise and lives in the world like a lotus onwater. He imparts the instruction of God's name to friends and foes alike. He listens not to calumny, lives selflessly and considers himself aseverybodys' slave. These are the qualities of a saint who Nanak calls a Sadh or a friend." (Slok Sahskriti Guru 5)