Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 04, Text 34
The coach is often the most important shaper of an athlete’s success; the systematic and sympathetic guidance of a coach is indispensable for an aspiring athlete.
When we start practicing spiritual life, we become spiritual athletes. Like material athletes, we too need a coach. Thespiritual coach, known usually as the guru, is all the more essential on the spiritual path because the journey is mostly internal and so not easily perceivable. The guru, the Bhagavad-gita (4.34) states, is the seer of truth (tattva-darshi); due to having made the journey and linked with Krishna’s supreme vision, the guru can show us clearly what we can barely see.
To ensure that the guru becomes an effective channel of Krishna’s vision, we need to center our relationship with him on the same Gita verse’s three-point guideline, a guideline that can be represented by the acronym HIS (Humbleness, Inquisitiveness, Service-mindedness):
1. Humbleness (pranipatena): As we can’t discern the internal landscape, we need indispensably an attitude of humbleness: “I don’t know the way; you do. Please be my guide”.
2. Inquisitiveness (pariprashnena): This Gita injunctionindicates that it calls not for blind faith in the name of humbleness, but for a development of our capacity for spiritual perception. By this perception, we start seeing for ourselves what the guru is seeing.