Even for such a true disciple and sadhaka, a “realized Guru” is essential to proceed in the path of sadhana. Sri Purandara dasa has forewarned that - salvation can never be attained unless one becomes a slave of Guru.
How to beseech such a Guru? The very first step for the sadhaka is to note, based on his own self mental capability, the tell tale marks of a great Guru and start looking for such a Guru, anywhere around. The company of Saints, good and pious people is a great help in this search. In addition, the Samskaras of the earlier lives of the Sadhaka, the influence of prarabdha karmas, and the samskaras of the present life along with the circumstances and environments of the life have a major impact on this important search. Even transcending all these factors, the blessings of Bhagawan, matters the most. The upanishads proclaim - “the one chosen by the Lord only can achieve”. The sadhaka should pray to God “please shower your kindness and direct me to the Guru, who can guide me appropriately”.
To escape the ocean of earthly life, which is labeled as ‘‘terrible is this ocean of wordly life”, Sadhakas must embark on a great and mighty ship. This ship is called “Sri Sadguru. This ship has the capacity not only to cross the ocean by itself, but also to be afloat on this turbulent waters, sheltering all the deserving and needy people and to take them ashore surely and successfully. Even though small boats and coracles can float on these waters for some time, they will be smashed and blown into pieces when the mighty waves dash against them. The mighty ship, the Sadguru, is definitely “Guru - very heavy”, but it is the one which has crossed the ocean itself, and again come back on to the ocean with sheer Karuna on the seeker, to give shelter and take him ashore ably.
This “Guru”, has two horns - namely Jnana and Vairagya. Guru has the ability of the great Varaha, the great boar - to snug fit the whole universe in between its horns and redeem it from the worldly ocean.
He is also a great doctor - Mahavaidyanatha, who can apply his Jnananjana - the Kajal called Jnana- to our eyes, which have been blinded by the darkness of Ajnana. He is “Sri Guru Bhagavan. he is the very Parabrahma. He takes care of the disciples with the great love and affection of a mother and nurtures them towards fitness for salvation. He protects them like a real father from all great and dubious obstacles for Sadhana. As the adage says one who sanctions salvation just on seeing him and just by his look’’ - Sri Guru enables us to attain salvation only by his divine grace and guidance.
One should surrender at the feet of such a sadguru, praying to him, - I am your disciple, please protect me who has nobody else to take care’’. One should meditate from toes to the head of Sriguru always. Pleased at this, the Sadguru will establish himself in the disciple’s Aagnachakra; casts his divine grace and blesses him. He grasps the disciple’s inner strength moving from Muladhara upwards, pulls him up and places him on his own divine lap, showering his cool and tranquillizing karuna. Assuming his Hamsa Swaroopa - the sadguru hoists the disciple on to the resplendent light in the Sahasrara Chakra, immersing him in Ananda and the divine sound Pranava. This Sadguru is nothing other than Hayagreeva, the source & substratum of all learning. Sadguru is verily the Mahasaraswathi, Medha swaroopa, Dakshinamurthy and the “Hari-Hara status” full of Jnana, Ananda and Light.
This article has been taken from the book A Torchlight in the Path of Salvation, Bhaja Govindam- Pray to Govinda by K V Varadaraja Iyengar