The significance of taking the guidance of the living Spiritual Master is to acquire Spiritual Knowledge through their grace. The life of a true Master is full of struggles but He is not affected by them. Lord Krishna’s life was a blend of knowledge and action. He strived tirelessly to get rid of evil and revive Dharma or righteousness. In this endeavour, Lord Krishna met with all kinds of difficulties and had to take up different roles; and yet through all this he remained like a lotus, unaffected by the struggles and retaining his positive attributes. Similarly, the true Master does not compromise on spirituality and maintains a pure and noble life. They do not dwell only on theories. They do not just concern themselves with when and where something has happened, for example, when and where Lord Krishna gave Arjuna the Spiritual
Knowledge recorded in the Bhagwad Gita; instead their life is a true example of the ideals that the previous Spiritual Masters showed by their actions. Such a person is worthy of being called a Guru and people can actually learn something from them. It is important that before a person becomes a disciple, they should look for such qualities in the Spiritual Master. They should be certain that the Master is concerned with the knowledge of the soul, not just with historical facts and figures.
One should not care whether Krishna was born in Vrindavan or Mathura – all we should care about is the teaching, the Spiritual Knowledge, the path that Krishna showed during his lifetime. One of the simplest examples which illustrates this is when we eat an orange. When we eat an orange we do not eat all of it. We throw away the peel and eat the pulp, which is the essence of the fruit. So we have to decide whether we are just satisfied with counting the trees in the orange orchard or interested in eating the fruit. The wise will eat the fruit, they do not waste time in counting the trees.
Great Saints and Masters did not preach a complicated philosophy. They taught the way to salvation in a very simple manner. The teaching of the Bhagwad Gita is one but there are innumerable commentaries written on this sacred text. Even now people are far from the Knowledge which Krishna gave to Arjuna in the battlefield because they get entangled in the theories and rituals and not grasp the essence of the teaching. Only a person who is pure in thought and action, who is inherently spiritual, whose only motivation in life is to uplift humanity, whose heart is full of love and who has the true Spiritual Knowledge that they can reveal to the seekers, can be the living Spiritual Master of the time.
Our human body is like a field. A field is where the crop is manifested. For this we take a seed and sow it in the field, we tend to it and soon it grows and manifests into the crop. We can see the wonder of the crop, the manifestation of the crop and the growth of the crop because the seed completely manifests itself in that field. In the same way we can manifest the crop of Spiritual Knowledge within ourselves by tending it through service towards the Spiritual Master, listening to spiritual discourses and meditating upon the Holy Name. Only then can we harvest the crop of eternal bliss.