Lord Shiva warns the unsuspecting disciple here while instructing Parvati: There are many gurus in this world whose aim is to relieve the disciple of his wealth. That Guru is indeed rare, I think, who relieves the sorrow and ignorance from the heart of the disciple.
To achieve the status of the Guru is a high responsibility. One who calls himself a Guru becomes responsible for all the sins committed by the disciple. So it is not by any fad that one can become or remain, a Guru.
Lord Shiva says in the Guru Gita, “In the one who is clever, knows to discriminate wisely between the permanent and the transient, one who has realised his true self, who is wise and pure of mind and body—shines when the stature of the Guru is invested upon him.”
While it is possible to find the right Guru only when we purify ourselves enough to be the right disciple with the right quest, the Guru Gita gives us the qualities of a true Guru. Those are the Gurus who have a pure and quiet mind, who are calm, who are good natured and speak only that which needs to be spoken, who are free of desires and anger, who have the right conduct and have mastered their senses.
Teachers are of different types—those that give us the wisdom of the world, physics, chemistry, languages, mathematics, music and much more. The student who wishes to realise his true self should approach and serve the one who is established in the true and surrender his mind to such a Guru after much probe and analysis.
One Guru is established in scriptural texts and all the sciences pertaining to the world outside—medicine, astronomy, astrology, grammar and phonetics, the practicalities of daily living. There are those Gurus who instruct us on the right and wrong things to do according to our age and stature in life. There is another Guru who initiates the disciple into a mantra like the Panchakshari. He is called the Bodhaka Guru. The student begins his spiritual practices with such instructions. He is considered higher than the two types of teachers mentioned earlier.
There is a type of Guru called the Nishiddha Guru. He is the one who imparts knowledge on prohibitive actions such as Moha, Marana, Vashya. These are chants and spells to cause confusion in other people’s lives, death, hypnotising others and making people do wrong by using special mantras to ensure that their enemies fail.
The Vihita Guru or the right one to approach according to the Shastras is the one who shows us the temporariness of this world which is nothing but a collection of problems and obstacles. He shows us the path of Vairagya or dispassion.