In search of an enlightened one

On the path of truth, consider yourself lucky if you find the right teacher at the right time

Sai R Vaidyanathan

Touch first the feet of the guru
If he and God come before you.
For it was the guru
Who introduced God to you.

This couplet by saint Kabir lays emphasis on the importance that a guru holds for a seeker on the path of the Truth. Just as a lighthouse prevents ships from straying in the ocean, a guru keeps his disciples on the right track till they finally realise Him.

Encounter in the wild

On their way to Draupadi’s ‘swayamvar’ in the Panchal kingdom, the Pandavas encountered Angaraparna, the King of Gandharvas, who was sporting in a river with his wives. After a brief face-off with Pandava prince Arjuna, which Angaraparna lost, he asked the Pandavas why they were roaming about in the woods in the twilight hours without even a priest to guide them. So, Arjuna asked him to suggest who their priest could be.

“Dhoumya, who practises penance in the forest, should be your priest,” Angaraparna replied.

The Pandavas went to Dhoumya’s hermitage and were welcomed with wild fruits and roots. On their request, he consented to being their priest.

Baptism in water

When Jesus was 30 years old, an ascetic called John the Baptist began to preach near the Jordon river. He urged the people to receive baptism in water as a sign of a new life.

A large number of people went to John to be baptised. One day, Jesus approached John. When John baptised Jesus, God declared Jesus to be his son and God’s spirit came down upon him in the shape of a dove. After 40 days of fasting and prayer in a desert, Jesus returned to Galilee to preach.

Change of route

Once, Bhai Jodha told his fellow villager Lehna about Guru Nanak. Lehna felt so inspired by it that on his way to Kangra, he took a diversion to reach Kartarpur to meet Guru Nanak.

After meeting Guru Nanak, Lehna served the master day and night and became his trusted disciple. Later, Guru Nanak blessed Lehna with his ang (hand) and gave him a new name — Angad.

After a few days, Guru Nanak ordained Guru Angad as his successor.

So seek a guru, as well begun is half done.

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