The discovery within oneself, of oneself, and the discovery of oneness is what you undertake in spiritual life. How it happens, when it happens, that only God knows.
You do not know where the end is. You know that you have to walk the path, and in this discovery of oneness and in this discovery of oneself, one has to connect to an inspiration. That inspiration is the guru, the teacher.
In that person you see a reflection or something shining bright. You do not know what it is, but that shining and bright nature makes the person stand out, radiating a different kind of aura.
One is attracted to that aura, to that energy, and many times that attraction becomes the inspiration to initiate the spiritual journey.
This has happened in the lives of saints; they have become inspirations to initiate one into a spiritual journey. Saints both living and dead have become the examples of certain achievements in life, and these people who attract others are known as the gurus, the people who dispel the darkness or the ignorance from one’s life.
Imagine a torch shining its light. The torch is not dispelling its own darkness, it is living in a state of illumination, and wherever its light falls the darkness has been dispelled.
This guru tattwa is also internal, and it is this tattwa, this element, that you have to connect with in order to establish yourself on the spiritual path or in Godconsciousness, in wisdom and in light. The external guru, the one whom you have identified as the guru, becomes the trigger to connect you with the internal guru.
The theory is simple, but to put it into effect is difficult, because everyone’s emotions get in the way.
Gangha darshan, 14–15 December 2006
From the book “On the Wings of the Swan, Volume VII”, pg.50-51, Sw. Niranjanananda Saraswati