Is it possible for someone to lead a life of truthfulness without a Guru?

One has to have an enormous amount of will power to live a life of truthfulness without a Guru.

Who is a perfect Guru?

A perfect Guru is one who has seen God and helps you reach Him.

When can I see my Guru, who can bless and show me a way to live? How to come over my sorrows and be blessed?

You will get a Uttama Guru some day. Until you find a Guru to your satisfaction, take Bhagavan Sri Krishna as your Guru. He is verily the Jagadguru (the Universal Master). With Sri Krishna as your Guru, continue to chant the Maha Mantra regularly. If you continue on this path, you will have a new life ahead of you.

I want to know how many Satgurus can one have in his life?

There can be only one Guru for a person.

What is the best offering that I can give to my Guru Maharaj?

The best offering that a child can give to his/her parents is being obedient and loving.

The best offering that a student can give to a teacher is being a performer with character.

The best offering that a citizen can give to his country, is being useful to the country in all ways and means.

The best offering that a doctor can give to his patient is providing the right medicine at the right time

The best offering that a friend can give to his friend is helping him in times of need

The best offering that a couple can give each other is perfect mutual understanding

The best offering that an artist can be given is the recognition of his merit and skill

The best offering that a devotee can give to God is unbounded love for Him

The best offering that a disciple can give to the Guru is realizing that nothing else can equal his grace.

Can you kindly tell me what characteristics should a Sadguru's sincere disciple possess?

A sincere disciple will have an unshakable love for his Master. Apart from this unique quality, he should possess all the other virtues of any disciple.

If a person's life is according to his poorva vasana/destiny, How can a guru help him?

We may have taken thousands of births and committed millions of sins. No matter how colossal that figure maybe, it is unquestionably well within the realm of the finite. Guru’s boundless grace though, is immeasurable, limitless and infinite.

The tapas and grace of the Sadguru can make up for his Karmas and takes him to the path of liberation quicker.

I have heard that there are two types of Gurus - ‘Niyat’ (who makes you understands your True Self) and ‘Aniyat’ (who leads you to prayer and worship). Which kind of Guru should one follow?

Prayers and worship eventually lead one to the Realization of your True Self Hence one should follow both kinds of Gurus, in that order

What is the difference between a mother and a Guru?

Although mother’s love is supreme, it is only human. Guru’s love is divine.

I just love God and my Guru. But some say that one should fear God. I dont get any fear on either. converse with them as I would, to my most lovable friend. Am I doing something wrong? Should I fear them?

There is a beautiful word in English – ‘AWE’. Kindly look up the meaning in the dictionary. That is exactly the feeling that we should develop for God and the Guru.

I want to have a Sadguru - but Who? When? Where? Who should I choose as my Sadguru?

The human life is said to be the greatest gift of God. In this life, getting the quest for God and the need for a Sadguru is indeed even more rare. When your quest is real, the Lord will automatically bless you with a Sadguru at the right moment. Until then, keep chanting the Mahamantra constantly, taking the Almighty as your Guru. You will soon be blessed with a guru.

What happens to a person who in their lifetime has not been graced with the shelter of a Guru (Sadguru) and in their final moments utters Rama Nama or hears Rama Nama? Do they still attain the Divine Abode of Sri Hari?

Yes. The Ajamila Charitra describes just this. So it is true. But it is very difficult.

Can one get salvation only though a Sadguru who is present in physical body?

That is not the only way. But it is one of the easier paths.

Great Mahans speak a lot about surrendering oneself to a perfect Guru; to someone who can accept the surrender and not run away, but stand and protect him. How important is the choice of the right Guru, especially in this Kali Yuga? How does one identify the right Guru?

Let us assume that someone wishes to do a particular task very badly and needs help. His dearest friend who is alongside is not in a position to help him do that task because of various reasons. What would the ideal friend do? Would he not put his friend in touch with someone capable and ready to help him out?

In the same way, if you are really in dire need of a Guru and sincerely long for one, the most lovable Lord Krishna will put you in touch with a Uttama Guru who can quench your thirst. You do not need to identify a guru yourself. If the longing is real, deep inside your heart, the Guru will identify you by himself. This is true for any Yuga.

Which among the following is the easiest way for liberation? Guru Bhakti, Bhagavat Bhakti or building and renovating temples?

"If you get a proper Guru (‘Uttama Guru’), then Guru Bhakti is the easiest way

Here are a few of numerous reasons why such a Guru Bhakti is supreme:

You can see your Guru as you see anyone else.

You can talk to your Guru as you talk to anyone else

The Guru is easily approachable

The Guru can get his ideas clearly across to you

The Guru will battle with you to make you good

God Himself says that its verily God who comes in the form of the Guru to liberate masses.

The Guru never expects anything else from you but for your love

You can visit his place and enjoy bliss and peace

The Guru can visit your place too.

The Guru will never destroy or curse anybody (even God could kill a Kamsa or a Ravana, but the Guru’s compassion is boundless)

Instead of cursing bad people, the Guru will transform them to godliness

The Guru will remove your obstacles in the divine path -- both internal and external.

The Guru is the only person in the world who can do something good to you without any reason

The very sight of your Guru will help you develop your faith in God.

Scriptures say that your Soul, God and the Guru are one and the same.

I read that a Uttama Guru gets all the sins from His devotees the moment He blesses them. Is there anything that a devotee can do on his behalf to reduce Guru's sufferings?

The only act a true devotee can do is to chant Nama to express the gratitude to the Guru for the grace showered on the devotee.

Is it appropriate for a devotee to seek guidance from a Guru about materialistic things? Should a devotee confine my relationship with a Guru to only spiritual aspects? Sometimes I feel guilty for seeking guidance from my Guru in materialistic aspects.

Guru and God are no different. From whom else can you seek guidance if not Him? So don’t feel guilty for it. There is nothing wrong as long as your Guru doesn’t feel otherwise.

Is it true that not a disciple but a Guru finds his true disciple?

A Guru identifies. A disciple understands.

For over a long period of time many Gurus and Sages have come and gone. There have been innumerable disciples for these Gurus. These disciples were, no doubt, devoted their Gurus, but when they move into the world, become hard-hearted, corrupt and materialistic. Why can the Gurus not change at least 10% of their disciples?

The ‘Uttama’ Guru will never try to perform any gimmicks or mesmerism to try to bring about a change in the disciple. That is the work of a magician and not of a Uttama Guru! The Adi Guru, Lord Dakshinamurthi Himself had only four disciples worth mentioning.

Goodness in any person is an attribute and is oriented towards action. This itself will not result in ‘Mukti’ (Liberation). In his great work “Viveka Chudamani”, Adisankara Bhagavatpada has said that Mukti does not result from Dhaana (charity), Sankhya Yoga or through millions of Pranayama. It results solely from Jnana and this is possible only through the grace of the Guru.

Guru's grace is not an act in isolation but a natural result when he is extremely pleased and happy with the disciple. If that happens, the disciple is transformed spontaneously. For the disciple of a Uttama Guru to be good, all his vasanas should be destroyed. This is a silent internal transformation and is done gradually within and not through force. This may not even be noticed by the disciple himself. If the disciple is truly attached to the Uttama Guru, this internal transformation will happen slowly but surely.

What is expected of a sishya after he is given Diksha?

The disciple should practice sincerely what the Guru instructs. That is what is expected of the disciple.

How does the Guru know that a sishya needs Diksha at a particular time?

If a Guru does not know that, he is not a Guru.

What is Diksha?

A formal initiation process is called Dhiksha. It may be done with a Mantra, or by sight, touch or by remembering (‘smarana’).

I am a Ram Bhakta. I have taken initiation from a master. But I am informed that a Vaishnava Bhakta should follow strictly one of the four prescribed ‘Sampradhayas’. Can I now take initiation from another Guru?

There is nothing wrong against taking multiple initiations. But that is not necessary. Though there are so many rules and regulations, God is above all of this. You stick to whatever you are right now and continue your practice. God will take care of you. He knows what best to give you and will do so at the opportune moment.

I love Krishna and everything to do with him. When I listen to some songs, I can visualize myself being there, but when it comes to accepting Guru or Godhead, I become critical and start to question. How do you explain this? Is there anything wrong in my thinking? This makes me wonder if I am sincere or not in my intention or love for Krishna.

There is nothing wrong in your approach. Don’t compel your mind to accept anything. Shower more and more love on Krishna. He will show you a true Guru by Himself.

I wish to know if we can choose the Guru or does God show us one.

Many people believe that only with the help of Guru can one attain God. It is actually the other way round – only with the help of God can one attain a real Guru.

We come from a Madhva family and we have always been considering Raghavendra Swami as our guru. Do we then need to take Diksha from another guru?

If you possess intense Bhakti, your Guru will come by himself (even if he does not physically exist) to you in your dreams and initiate you in your dreams or in your meditation. Otherwise, you can take initiation from a living Guru from the same lineage.

What should I do to get my Guru’s Grace?

Chant, Chant, Chant...

I feel very sorry for having spoken and behaved in a way that hurt my Guru. All our scriptures advocate that one should constantly work for earning the blessings of the Guru. What can I do to make my Guru happy?

Chant the Mahamantra.

How can I know that God or my Guru accepts my affection and blesses me? I used to chant MahaMantra when I keep silence. Nowadays whenever I maintain silence my mind automatically starts chanting the MahaMantra. It repeats by itself even if I don't make an effort to chant. Why is it so?

That is the real symbol that you have received Guru and God’s grace. No other indicator is necessary.

I am so full of faults and impurities – lust greed, jealousy and so on. Sometimes, I am embarrassed to see that my Guru showers so much love and grace on me in spite of all my impurities!

The Guru sees only love. There are many people who are born in orthodox, pious families, take only vegetarian food; abstain from eating even onions, offer the food to the Lord every time they partake of it, perform regular prayers and good deeds, and always live in a divine atmosphere. Even such people are not able to overcome lust, jealousy, greed and so on. If that is the case, then what about the rest? So don't think that your faults and impurities will keep you away from the Guru. He sees only your love and blinds himself to all other aspects.

Pure love has a wonderful magical power - it can soften the rough, convert impure to pure, dirty to clean poor to rich, fool to wise and eventually, man to God.

I am not able to follow all that my Guru is asking me to do. I am able to do some chanting, attend satsang etc. but during other times of the day I want to enjoy life. Will my Guru hate me for being like this? Will things change gradually or will there be some sudden shock and change for the better. I am very confused as I am not able to lead a normal materialistic life nor follow the Guru's prescribed path fully. Please help

The rarest of the rare is getting a Uttama Guru. When you have a Guru, you can peacefully rest. Do not let anything that happens to you or around you demoralize you.

Accept whatever happens as the divine grace of the Guru. Every moment of your life should be taken as His gift. Rest assured that every incident that happens is by His grace and happens for your well-being.

Gurus are here to make you happy and mentally sound. So do not lose heart.

Is the life of one who has surrendered to a Sadguru governed by His grace or by Karma?

If one had surrendered to the right guru, that will be his last birth. In that case, he will have to live through the rest of his karma in this birth itself. The Guru will schedule this appropriately for him and safely lead him to liberation. One important point to note here is that, if one does a complete surrender to a ‘Uttama Guru’, he comes under the influence of a special divine power that will take care of him.

The phenomenon is better experienced than explained.

How do I identify an enlightened person? Nowadays every other godman claims that he is an enlightened guru!

The very fact that they are claiming themselves to be enlightened, exposes that they are not enlightened! So search for the one who does not claim so!