During a discussion on spiritual life with a wise man, he told me a beautiful story from Ramayana and later connected the same to Guru Shishya relation.
When Lord Rama was in war with Ravana, Indrajeet attacked them with Sarpa baan. Snakes entangled them and both Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana fell unconscious. Garuda was called upon to save the two brothers. After saving them, on his way back to Vaikuntha, Garuda had some questions in mind about Lord Rama. “Is he really Lord Vishnu as being proclaimed, then how come he could not save himself and had to take my help?”
On way he met Narada Muni. Garuda posed the question to him. “He seems to be suffering from ego”, thought Narada and replied simply to Garuda “Well I have no idea about all that. I spend my time in Hari jaap, so never gave much attention to all this.” And he walks off.
Garuda was now more convinced something is wrong. His ego grew more. He goes to Lord Brahma and asks him the same question. Brahma also scuttles the issue by saying, “Please pardon me. I have four head and all my time goes off in pouring out Vedas”. Garuda decides to visit Kailash to ask Lord Shiva himself.
Half way to Kailash he meets Lord Shiva and poses the same question. Lord Shiva in turn replies to Garuda very calmly, “I can’t tell anything now. Come over to Kailash and I’ll explain everything. This is ‘mid-way’ not the destination.” But Garuda won’t listen to Lord Shiva and insisted him to reply then and there. “If you insist so much then go and visit the crow living there. He can answer to your query”, said Shiva finally while pointing towards a hill top. Shiva reaches Kailash and Parvati asks him why he didn’t correct Garuda. The Lord replied smilingly, “He is full of ego and that needs to be curbed. So I sent him to this crow where he’ll not only get his reply but his ego would also be treated”.
Garuda, who had turned too egoists by now, was not sure if he should meet the crow who he felt was a lowly born creature. But finally he decides to do so. On seeing Garuda the crow gave him a very warm welcome. He was treated by the crow with full respect. Finally Garuda asked the crow if Lord Rama was really Lord Vishnu as being proclaimed by all. The crow very respectfully replied, “Like you even I had same suspicion about him after he was born. So one day I decided to go and see him. I reached the palace in Ayodhya and saw a child there crawling around. He looked like any other baby. He would cry and his mother would come to pick him up. There was nothing special. So finally I gathered that all those proclamations were false and flew away. As I was flying I felt someone following me. I looked back to find the same baby behind me. Where ever I went, the baby was always behind me. Finally I turned around and asked the baby why it is following me. He in turned replied very calmly that it was me who was following him and not the other way round. And next when I looked around, I found the same baby everywhere. He was in everything. Then I realized how foolish I had been to have suspected the Lord. He is everywhere.”
Garuda realised his folly. His ego was all gone. He realized the meaning of what Lord Shiva said when he replied that they were mid-way. His mind was not clear; they carried suspicions about his own Lord.
Similarly we need to be clear about our Guru. If we are in doubt about him, about his spiritual powers, our spiritual journey cannot be completed. We’ll be always in doubt if he really is the great one. We’ll be left mid-way, believing in him yet carrying doubts. One of the most important steps in spiritual journey is to surrender ourselves to the Sad Guru and have full faith in him. Only then we can follow his guidance properly and correctly. If we doubt the Guru, the bonding that is needed to form between a Guru and Shishya will never be formed, thus depriving us to move ahead in the spiritual journey smoothly.