Even if a devotee is physically close to the guru or has heard his teachings, unless that devotee’s heart is open, surrender and humility will not dawn. Only conceit and lies will grow if there is no inner receptivity. Only a true seeker will understand the importance of the guru and awaken the attitude of surrender and thus become receptive to the grace. Only one who has an open heart will watch each and every action of the guru and live every moment fully.
Once there was a seeker of Truth. He walked and walked and finally reached a young man sitting under a banyan tree. Thinking that perhaps the man would know, the seeker asked him the way to Truth. The man replied, “As you walk on, you will see a man sitting under a banyan tree. I will tell you exactly how to identify the banyan tree and the man. The man looks a lot like me. He is your guru. If you depend on him, you will reach the goal.
Hearing this, the seeker continued on his way. He would search for his guru under every banyan tree he came across. After each day’s search, disappointingly, by evening he would find a tree and used to sleep under it. He walked and walked for many years and, one day, found himself back under the same old banyan tree. The banyan tree looked exactly like the banyan tree he was searching for. Under the tree sat the same man he had seen 30 years ago with all the looks of his guru. Oh! My guru is the same man! The seeker was shocked. He thought in his mind, “Whatever was told as my guru’s identifiers, I could see all of them around here under this banyan tree! This old man also looks the same as was told!”
He told the guru, “What a shame! Why did you waste 30 years of my life?”
The guru replied, “I didn’t waste it. I described exactly what the tree and the guru looked like. But you didn’t really look at this tree. You didn’t really look at my face and Me? I’ve been waiting here for you for the past 30 years. I knew you would come back. You have been searching with that one thought of finding your guru wherever you went. You were thinking constantly about what I’ve told you about the looks of your guru. You have now gained the maturity you lacked back then. But when I described, you didn’t pay much attention. You didn’t even try to take a look around. When you couldn’t find your guru, you kept on contemplating my words about the description of your guru and the surroundings and now you were able to decipher and understand. ”
Even if a devotee is physically close to the guru or has heard his teachings, unless that devotee’s heart is open, surrender and humility will not dawn. Only conceit and lies will grow if there is no inner receptivity.
Even when a mosquito sits on the udder of a cow, it will only drink blood. A frog never enjoys the nectar of the lotus; it only eats the mosquitoes in the pond. But the bees come from afar and taste the nectar. Under the lighthouse, there is always darkness. The ladle used to mix halva never becomes sweet. A cowherd may pluck grass for the cow without noticing any medicinal herbs, but an ayurvedic physician can easily spot them. This is because the physician has knowledge of herbs, whereas the cowherd sees only grass. Only a true seeker will understand the importance of the guru and awaken the attitude of surrender and thus become receptive to grace. Only one who has an open heart will watch each and every action of the guru and live every moment fully.