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As a result of the study of books, or in other words, as a result of secular education, one's intelligence may be sharpened and expanded. One can even deliver wonderful discourses on spiritual subjects. But one's spiritual life cannot be taken to have advanced in proportion. The teaching imparted to us by another person might not enter the heart and transform one's nature. This is the reason why learning without intensive culture of the spirit proves barren.
The great one who has the Atmic truth imprinted on the heart is alone to be accepted as the Guru. The individual who can welcome this Truth and is eager to know it, he alone is to be accepted as the Pupil. The seed must have the life principle latent in it. The field must be ploughed and made fit for the sowing. The spiritual harvest will be plentiful if both these conditions are fulfilled. The listener has to possess a clear receptive intellect, or else the philosophical principles that form the basis of Jnana will not be comprehended. The Guru and the Pupil both have to be of this stature. Others who have not such qualifications or authority can only dabble and play about purposelessly in the spiritual field.
There are Gurus with far higher stature and far deeper capabilities than these learned and cultural masters. They are the avatars, the Human Incarnations of God. They confer, by mere willing, the blessing of spiritual strength. They command and by the very force of that command, the lowest of the low rises to the status of One who has attained (Siddhapurusha). Such persons are the Gurus of all gurus. They are the highest manifestations of God in the human form.
Man can visualise God in no other form except the human. God appears
in human form in answer to human prayer, since man can experience only
that vision as real. When he tries to picture God and visualise God in
any other form, he has to contemplate some crooked ugly form and make
great effort to believe that form which is lower than the real one as
He. One ignorant person agreed to mould an idol of Siva and spent many
days preparing it. As a result of his continuous labour, he produced at
the end of the period the image of a monkey! So long as we are humans,
we will be unable to picture, through imagination, any form of God beyond
the human. So, one has to wait for the chance of perceiving the reality
of the Person by oneself reaching a stage above and beyond the human level.