WE have the testimony of history to
show that one cannot have access to spiritual regions by one's own
self. In the Shastras it is mentioned that Narad was refused admittance
into Vishnupuri - The Land of Vishnu - when he by himself attempted to
enter into that kingdom, because
he had not been initiated by any Guru.
Again, Sukh Dev Swami, the son of Ved Vyas, with all his spiritual knowledge and learning, right from his conception in his mother's womb, could not enter the kingdom of Vishnu until he accepted Raj Rishi Janak as his spiritual mentor.
Nowhere do we come across any instance in which an uninitiated jiva by himself may have been allowed to enjoy this privilege.
All born Saints, though very few, come into the world with esoteric knowledge right from their birth but have for form's sake to adopt a Master.
Kabir Sahib, for instance, had to accept Shri Ramananda as his Master. In spite of their completed spiritual background, they had to associate with Saints, as one would do in a refresher course.
Guru Amar Das, tells us that it is God's Law that one cannot even think of Him without being reminded of Him by some Master of Truth.
It is ordained by God Himself that one thinks of Him
only when he meets a Master of Truth (Godman).
No man can come to me except the Father which has sent me draw him;
and I will raise him up at the last day.
The generality of mankind simply cannot
do without a Master Soul. Even Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, the very incarnations
of Vishnu, had to bow down before Maharishi Vashisht and Ingris Rishi,
When such high-souled personages with sway extending as far as the causal region had to accept a Spiritual Guide, we ordinary human beings cannot dispense with this absolutely basic necessity.
Guru Nanak emphatically declares that the importance of Guru can be known from Brahma, Narad, and Ved Vyas:
O Brother! without a Guru, you cannot have absolute Truth (as opposed to
relative knowledge through perception by the senses). You may verify this
by reference to Brahma, Narad, and Vishnu.
Tulsi Sahib says:
Who is greater than Rama and Krishna? They too, had to accept a Master.
Lord of the three regions (physical, astral, and causal), they too,
had to bow before a Master.
Everyone who has made any mark in spirituality
has had the backing of some Master Soul. Raj Rishi Janak got a practical
demonstration in spirituality from Maharishi Ashtavakra. Gorakh Nath received
his initiation from Machinder Nath. Arjuna, the warrior prince of the Pandavas,
learned his lessons in spirituality from Lord Krishna. Swami Vivekananda
sat at the feet of Paramhans Ramakrishna, the Saint of Dakhshineshwar.
Among the Sikhs, Guru Nanak molded Lehna and made Angad out of him (his ang or limb), and the latter, in turn, raised Amar Das to the status of a Guru, and so on.
Maulana Rumi tells us that he got his spiritual impetus from Shamas-i-Tabrez:
A maulvi (school teacher) could not become maulana (leader in theology),
If it were not for the grace of Shamas-i-Tabrez.
O Saqi (Master)! come and look with favor upon the Malauna;
From housetops he cries: he is the slave of Shamas-i-Tabrez.
Many a Mahatma has in his discourses paid homage to his divine preceptor, and though some have not made any such mention, there can be no denying the fact that Light comes from Light, and Life from Life, and that mind and matter-ridden jivas cannot awaken and arise in cosmic awareness unless pulled up by some Master Soul.