The most important thing.
I very recently heard my own Guru say this: if you are looking for guru, sadhu, and spiritual sanga, what you have to seek is very simple…
- Who is the person who is most addicted to hearing about and glorifying Sri Krsna?
- Who is the person who makes you most inspired to hear about and glorify Sri Krsna.
That person is guru, sadhu, and is therefore good sanga.
Take this very seriously and ignore everything else anyone ever tells you about who is or who is not your (or anyone’s) guru.
Guru (and sadhu and good sanga) is
- More advanced than we are,
- Has the realization which we personally desire,
- Is naturally affectionate towards us.
#1 is easy, basically everyone is more advanced than us.
#2 is not as easy, because requires that you know enough about Krsna consciounsess to be able to feel a particular mood or vibe about it, and be able to sense what other persons have a perfection or significant advancement in that particular type of bhava / vibe. For example, if you are really “into the gopis,” it would be stupid to accept someone who is “not into the gopis” as a guru even if they are very advanced in their realizations and are affectionate towards you.
#3. is important, don’t overlook it. There has to be a natural click in the relationship – you just simply have to like the person and s/he simply has to like you.
Ignore anything official that anyone or any institution or any social convention tries to mandate or command you about who is or is not, can or can not be your guru. Period. Ignore any stereotypes about age, gender, nationality, social station or lifestyle. Period! Nor is there any real need for any official ceremony or title to signify that you are disciple and s/he is guru. All you have to do is find the person(s) meeting the three criteria above who are most addicted to Krsna Katha, and thus inspires you the most to krsna katha – and take shelter of them with a passionate fervor. Then you will get from guru the transcendental seed of topmost self-realization (prema-bhakti-bija) and you will get great guidance on how to effectively water and care for the divine growth of that flowering creeper that will soon wrap around the lotus feet of Tamal-like Sri Hari.
Clearly this article is specifically how to find the guru for the topmost goal of life, the “pancama-purushaartha” Divine Love of Godhead. If you need guru for lesser more immediate goals, however, you can also abstract and apply the same principles. Find someone who is in love with that topic, who has the attitude about it that you desire, and who is disposed towards you.