Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari Complete Works Vol -1
Talks and Lectures on the System of Sri Ramchandra's Rajayoga
God and the Guru
It has been one of the most difficult things in
religion to fix the roles played in spiritual
evolution and liberation by God and the Guru.
For those who recognize the two as End and means respectively there is hardly any difficulty. The Guru is just the means to God and claims nothing more than a mediating role. He does not identify himself with God nor claim any more kinship with God than that which every other soul has, though he does claim to be able to lead the soul to God. There his work ends. He claims no wages beyond this task of having served His God with zeal. Men may offer all homage to him for his efficiency and skill in the discharge of his holy duty to God. Surely one expects a true Guru to be in closest nearness to God and inseparably linked with Him. It would be a travesty if such a Guru did at any time lead the seeker or led to feel that he is himself God or His delegate or vice-regent. The means should never be made an end, however much the means may be invariably effective and efficient.
However though the Guru had escaped this temptation though it is unfortunately not the present tendency - this cult of identifying the Guru with the Godhead has become rather a vogue. Men have created icons and images or statues which they have begun worshipping with all the paraphernalia and ritual offered to God. Any religion which is true to the goal of God realisation through the help of knowers and leaders of spirituality cannot permit identification of the Guru with God, except when it is realised that God Himself sometimes directly becomes the means also. When no means can lead to God except God himself then God takes on the roles of the Guru and the means. This involves the assumption that no one other than God can be the means to God. It is this principle of identity of end and means which had led to several men to equate God with Gurus and vice versa. It is only in respect of the Ultimate knowledge that this happens not in respect of other ends.
The commandment of the Veda, Let your mother become your God, Let your father be deemed to be thy God, or the final command let thy teacher become thy God were instructions which had only a limited application. On the other hand the mystics had uniformly asserted that Let God become thy Mother, thy Father and thy Teacher or Leader to the Ultimate.
The controversy about the role of the Guru or Acharya thus is very important and the attitude of the seeker or the disciple should be to presume or seek such a personality who is God Himself. No one is competent to lead one to the Ultimate.
it is therefore understandable that all teachers claim to be God themselves. They call themselves or accept to be called Bhagavan God rather than Bhagavatpada, those who have reached the world of God or His feet. But the question is, can there be so many individuals on Earth who are God? If one alone can be God the rest must be not Gods. However this question is of such practical importance that it has become almost headache to philosophers as well as laymen.
The real fact seems to be that one is likely to be followed only if one claims to be God Himself rather than a messenger or servant of God who has been instructed to lead the souls to God only. Though this works pretty well with a large mass of mankind yet sooner or later one is confronted with the fact that the claimants claim is not bonafide or rather unverified or disproved.
God has to be God and man demands that God is more than just a leader to His own state, though this latter function of God is our immediate concern.
It has been most difficult except for the exceptionally faithful to identify a mortal being however ideal with God, the supracosmic creator, sustainer and saviour of the worlds. So apparent is the disparity and so irremediable the gap that is well nigh impossible to say that any human personality even of the status of the avatars is God. A new vision is needed, even as Sri Krishna himself felt the need when he endowed Arjuna with divine vision - divya cakhsus. Even then it would be necessary to reveal the identity of the status of the Ultimate, God and the Descent, not to mention their identity with the inner ruler within each and every individual or oneself.
So the identification sought to be asserted as necessary for personal attainment of vision or not even that is rather putting the cart before the horse. The Guru has to develop in the individual seeker the capacity to have divine vision and then if He be God, make him seen Him as the Guru also. Then alone can we say that the Divine God has himself become the Guru. It must not be made to rest on faith either self-induced or imposed. Evolution of the individual into being with divine vision etc. alone could rightly be the test of this identity. For most it has to be just a chanting formula or unnecessary for higher evolution. To insist that God and Guru should not be distinguished or differentiated is too much of a demand on personal belief since it does not rest on personal experience at all.
As stated above only in the case of the Ultimate Realisation of God does God become the exclusive means (upaya). He does not seek any other help or mediator except His own powers. This is the uniqueness of the Divine Guru. Therefore for attaining the supreme Liberation and Perfection or Reality God is stated to be the only Guru. Therefore has God to be chosen as the Guru. Let God be thy Guru. May He Himself direct and guide thy steps on the path of Sahaj for this is the most natural way to God, suited to spirituality.