Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae
The Chandogyopanishad lays down that a spiritual aspirant must approach a self- realized Guru in a proper manner. Even when the need to seek a perfect master (Sathpurushas – SathGuru) is accepted, it is no easy matter to recognize whom, among the galaxy of religious personalities, is indeed the perfect one. For, as in all other matters, the fakes who claim realization, which they do not have, are legion.
A typical saint of the Guru – tradition, Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi says,
“Guru is all the Gods,”
and addressing those who wished to be accepted as his chelas, he said,
“It is not the Guru that makes himself your Guru. It is you who must regard him as your Guru, i.e. place faith in him and meditate on him.”
To those who had accepted Him as the object of their contemplation, He said,
“Sai Baba does not mean this body of five and a half feet. He who thinks that Sai Baba is at Shirdi only has not seen Sai Baba at all.”
It may even be said that for most people, the devout study of the life and teaching of a saint is more useful than the immediate presence of a saint. For human nature being what it is, even though a seeker stays with a sage, he comes to focus his attention on the physical frame of the sage than on His state of realization, which is the essence of it all. This is the reason why devotional reading of holy biographies came to enjoin as a form of spiritual endeavour in itself.