I have particularly like these excerpts on Guru by Swami nityanand, a siddha purusha, divinity in flesh.I am pasting it for all of you.I am currently reading sai charitra,. Both Shirdi sai baba and swami nityananda were divinity in flesh, highly realised siddhas. Always in communion with God.Read swami nityanandas excerpts on Guru and guru kripa yoga:
Gururkripa Yoga is that yoga in which the disciple relies on the Grace of the Guru or Acharya (which is God's Grace) to carry him/her to Liberation. The Shiva Sutras state "Gururupayah;" The Guru is the means. The Guru who has attained Self-realization is the only one who can help the aspirant acquire it. Gurukripa Yoga and Bhakti Yoga are one in the same because they both emphasize the process of drawing God's Grace to you through Selfless Service and complete Devotion/Surrender to the Acharya. In this way, over time, you learn to take complete refuge in God. Crossing the threshold to Liberation requires great strength and trust. But if you think you are simply going to walk across this threshold of your own volition, you are mistaken. You don't need strength and trust in yourself. You only need the strength and trust that comes from taking refuge in God and following God's will, since it is he who carries you across the threshold to Liberation.
For this reason, the Saints of the Gurukripa path all state that all the other forms of yoga (Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Hatha Yoga) are contained in Gurukripa. Gurukripa Yoga is the Yoga of Bhagawan Nityananda. It is the Yoga of Supreme Love. For this reason, Baba referred to it as Raja Yoga, the yoga in which all the other yogas are contained.
Without the Grace of a Siddha, a Guru, you cannot realize God. You may be successful at reducing stress or even attaining states of relative happiness. But without the Guru, these will be fleeting at best. By reading scriptures and attending lectures you may be able to understand and express philosophy, like so many preachers that we encounter day-in and day-out. But you won't have a lasting experience of the philosophy that you are preaching. To become completely absorbed in God, to Liberate yourself from bondage in order to bask in the rays of total freedom from the ignorance of pain and pleasure, you must be guided by a Siddha (perfected being), until you are set on your own path. It is only by the Grace of such a Guru that you can undergo permanent spiritual transformation.
Mundane knowledge is not spiritual knowledge. It is not direct knowledge of God. Although mundane knowledge may help you advance in the activities of daily life, without the transformation brought about by direct contact with and service to the Acharya, these mundane activities will only serve to sink you deeper and deeper into the bondage of sense pleasures and worldly pleasures. And the bondage of this ignorance is simply a rehashing of so many of your past lives. To break the noose of this bondage, you need a Guru, until you are set on your own path.
Even the Devas and Devis (the gods and goddesses), when they take human form, have to undergo transformation by the Grace of a Guru to fulfill the purpose of their birth on this earth. For example, Lord Rama had the sage Vasistha as his Guru. Lord Krishna had Sandipani as his Guru. The Guru is the very reflection of God; nay she IS God.
The Guru appears to be an ordinary man or woman. He appears to behave like you and me. But, on close observation, when you have a direct experience of the Guru's grace, then you realize that the Guru is very different from us and other priests or monks we may meet. The Guru is often referred to as Mother. He is the infinite manifestation of Prem (unconditional love). Prem is not like the love you are familiar with, where needs and wants are bartered back and forth through petty infatuation and desire. Prem has no beginning or end. Prem has no reason for its existence and no motive either. It has no expectation. It is pure Love. The Guru is the embodiment of this Prem. He/she is the infinite manifestation of forgiveness (KShama) and the infinite manifestation of strength (Shakti). He is the destroyer of ignorance, the destroyer of sorrow (dukhaharini), the destroyer of emnity (vairharini), the destroyer of illusion (mayaharini or Shiva's maya) and the destroyer of sin (papanashini). The Guru is the cause of auspicious happenings (mangalkarani) and the giver of salvation (mokshadayani).
A Guru Is One Who Is Liberated
How do you recognize a Guru? Bhagawan Nityananda used to say, "When a person claims to be a Guru or Acharya, you should ask him "Can you show me God with Shanka (conch), Charka (discus) and Gadha (mace)?** Only if he can do that is he a Guru." Now what does this mean? It means only one who is a God-Realized man or woman can be Guru and the Guru alone can make you aware of God. The great Saint Swami Vivekananda once asked his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, "Have you seen God?" To this Ramakrishna replied, "Yes, but even more intensely than how I see you." Unless and until a person experiences God in this way, how can he lead you to God?
[COLOR=black]It is our Ego /I which doesnot allow us to surrender us to any one.A Guru requires total surrender.In future i will write on sai babas description of Gurus.[/COLOR]
Do read Divine life of Shirdi Sai Baba as described in sai charitra and Swami Nityanand.