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A Pole Vaulter readies with his pole before the jump beyond the high bar.  As he looks at the bar, he deepens his longing for going beyond it.  From here on that longing will be his dearest companion.  The other will be his receptivity.  As he picks his pole and holds it high in the air – high above his head and frame – he starts the run.  At some point, the pole comes down and digs in and the athlete hangs onto it for his dear life.  The pole doubles up in strain.  This strain creates a huge reservoir of energy in that pole – potential energy.  This energy has the potential to safely deliver the vaulter across the high bar he longed to cross at the start of the run up.  If he will go past or not now depends on how much he can receive of the tremendous potential energy that has been created in the pole.  If he can let the entire potential energy of the pole be his own kinetic energy, then he will easily glide past the pole.

But before he goes past the pole, he will have to leave the pole and let it fall away.  No vaulter has ever taken the pole along with him across the bar to the other side.  No one can.  Pole is a tool and it delivers the vaulter across the bar.

Guru is a Pole to every Spiritual vaulter.  As are the methods and the knowledge and all that we use to go beyond our own dimension.

No enlightened person has ever taken his Guru across on the other side.  No enlightened person has ever taken the knowledge or any method there.  You go there alone.

As you fly past the bar, you suddenly realize that when every ounce of potential energy of the pole has now become a part of you, there is no difference or distinction between you and the pole in its most basic sense.  The form may be different, but the energy now has become one.  What was once the energy of the pole, is now you.  When you and Guru have become one, you have realized.  You have flown past the bar.

Being Realized and being a Realized Master – a Guru – are two different things.  When a realized person, in the journey to his realization, also masters the art of handling energies and beings in a way that he can guide others past the bar, then he can be a Guru.  Just like every Gold Medalist in Pole Vaulting cannot be a coach.

But how does one find a Guru – a real Master?  It is like saying – I will find a “Red room” when I don’t even know what Red means (because I am color blind).  I can only know a Red room from a Green one, if I can understand what these two are.  So, one doesn’t look for a Guru.  Instead, the Guru “finds” you.  In any case, I have found some intriguing characteristics in Realized Masters that make logical sense.

One of the things that I find is strongest amongst the real Gurus is that they speak from their own.  They don’t use references or quote others or use other’s knowledge to verbalize their own thoughts.  Nanak never said “My Guru or so and so says… Ek Omkar..”  He simply announced “EK Omkar… “.  It was his own pesonal experience and his articulation was of what he saw at the source of it all.  The experience of the source is articulated by various Gurus in different ways, but they are common in one thing – that they all access the source directly.  There is no “go-between”.

If, therefore, one finds someone calling himself as a Guru – but quoting some scripture or some other “Master”, one can probably be rest assured, that this person has not yet accessed the source directly.

Another intriguing thing, which sort of aligns with the thought above is that Gurus are very reluctant to talk of their own Guru.  Nanak and Buddha had their own Gurus.. but one would be hard pressed to know who they were from their own writings or sayings.  They don’t need to bring in their own Gurus.  Such Masters and their Gurus have become ONE source.  What they are saying is no different from what their Gurus may have witnessed or experienced.  But they have their own articulation.  Another’s articulation is of no important and interest to these Masters.