A Surprise

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, Satsang at Ganga Darshan 5.12.89

The mere fact that we have accepted somebody as our guru represents our conviction that this person can help us evolve, and that commitment or that conviction is from the level of the spirit. When I see certain things happening on the outside and I say, 'Oh, he's really bad', is that my spirit talking or is that my mind talking? If it is my spirit talking then there was never any connection with that person as a guru, and I could not have accepted that person as my guru. If it is my mind talking, it is because of certain concepts and ideas that I've developed in my life, that guru has to be like this or like that.

I'll tell you of one real example. I had a student in the United States who was a very good person, a very nice elderly lady. She had been to many places and finally she had come to our ashram and she was really enjoying it, having lots of good experiences. She used to ask the swamis and other people, 'Can I make him my guru?' They said, 'Well, that's up to you. How can we say?'

One day some people invited me to go to 'Big Mac', you know, McDonald's. Alright, so we went, in three cars, the whole class and there we started having our food. This lady also came, and from that day onwards she never came back to the ashram. I did not know why, so I asked other people, ' I haven't seen her for the past two or three weeks, what has happened? Is she sick?' They told me, 'She can't accept you as her guru.' I said, 'What do you mean? I never told her that I was her guru or anything like that.'

Then I realized the whole story. She had been asking other people if I could be her guru and before I could say anything, before she said anything to me, I went to 'Big Mac' - and that immediately changed all her ideas. How can a guru go to a restaurant? I said, 'Well, if chat is what she thinks, she's in for a lot of surprises.' If the feeling is from the spirit, then guru is simply an enlightened being no matter how he is externally.