When a disciple first reaches a Guru, he or she has a typical mind, filled with desires and expectations. The disciple is attracted to the inescapable power and immense presence of the Satguru. However, as in the case of all other relationships the disciple may have had in the past, he or she usually tries to make the Master their own and establish authority over the Guru. This would never work because the Guru is beyond the limitations of the body and mind.
It would be difficult to answer the question, “Is the Guru the body or the Self?” Saying, “The Master is the body,” is wrong because the Guru is not the body. Yet, saying, “The Master is not the Body,” is also wrong because all we are capable of seeing is the Guru’s body. That is all that we are familiar with. In reality, the truth is “the Master is the body yet not the body.” Service to the Guru with an attitude of selfless devotion and surrender helps the disciple to receive the Guru’s grace and reach the state of Self Realization.
The foundation of the Guru-disciple relationship is how the disciple patiently and lovingly awaits the Master. The disciple needs to immerse himself in service to the Master with an attitude of unshakable faith and surrender. A disciple should not be impatient. Impatience will never help us delve deep into the mind and meditate. This is the greatness of serving the Master.
God is within everyone, dwelling in the heart. God is talking to us softly and lovingly every moment of our lives, but we don’t have the patience to listen. We don’t lend our ears to God’s voice. That is why we continue to commit mistakes and experience suffering. But whenever we are ready to obey the Lord, and we approach Him with the attitude of a disciple — with humility, devotion, and shraddha — the God within us will assume the role of Guru, and lead us, holding our hand.
Even though Arjuna spent a long time with Lord Krishna, it was when Arjuna assumed the attitude of a disciple that the Lord imparted the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Similarly, when the disciple awakens within, each experience in life — even the whole universe — becomes our Guru. Only when the Inner Guru awakens will the experiences in life become our Guru. Otherwise, whatever experiences we may have, we won’t learn the deeper principle.
When the disciple’s love and respect towards the Guru deepens, the disciple will be able to learn and understand everything from the Master’s mere presence. In this state, the disciple will be able to understand the Guru’s every glance and movement. The disciple will continuously receive spiritual advice and messages from the Master. There, words and conversation are unnecessary. Silence becomes the language. The disciple understands everything through this language. That is the greatness of serving the Guru.