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Here are 16 examples of the spiritual effects of Hajj on a person:

In ancient India there was a clear distinction between a spiritual master (guru) and an ordinary teacher (adhyapak). A guru commanded more respect in society than a teacher because he selected students on merit and assumed responsibility for their lives for the duration of their stay with him. They lived in his household, receiving knowledge from him directly, mastering the scriptures, while he took care of them, without expecting or insisting any monetary benefit or rewards in return. He taught them as he pleased, provided they stood up to his standards and expectations. A teacher on the other hand, taught the students by charging them money, without taking responsibility for their personal care. A guru, in ancient India, was not an ordinary person. He was an enlightened master, who lived in a forest, while a teacher was a mere professional, who lived amidst people and helped his students excel in their chosen fields of study. At the end of their education, it was customary for the students to reward their gurus with a gift (dakshina), without their asking, while the teacher received remuneration regularly for his services. The teachers were mostly this worldly, while the gurus were other worldly. The teachers taught the way to live in the world and succeed, while the gurus helped their students to transcend themselves and become self-aware. The teachers focused on the knowledge of rituals (karmakanda) while the gurus on the knowledge of the Self (atma-jnanam). As is evident from the Isa Upanishad, in ancient India both the approaches were deemed necessary for the continuation of dharma and education of people. The lower knowledge helped people in their worldly pursuits, while the higher knowledge led them to liberation.

A mythic hero ventures forth on his journey, and comes forth from the hero’s path to greatness.

When you seek a guru, examine your own intentions and try to be honest with yourself. There is nothing wrong with seeking your guru's help to resolve some personal problems in your life. People do it all the time. But it should not be the only reason why one should go to him. A guru is a dispeller of illusions, not their perpetuator. He may help you in resolving some worldly matters, not because he wants you to remain this worldly but because he knows that his involvement is part of the divine plan and it is critical to your life and further progress on the path. If you are not serious about your spiritual life, you will eventually become disappointed with your guru and leave him or go to another master to repeat the same story. We often hear stories about people, who turn against their own gurus and become their bitter enemies and the worst critics. It happens because either the gurus are dishonest or their disciples are deluded.

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Spiritual journey | Hear God Talk

People seek gurus for various reasons, ranging from purely selfish and materialistic to highly spiritual. You should check your motives in seeking a guru and know why you need him in the first place. Is it because you are looking for a mental crutch or to fill a vacuum in your life? A guru is not a substitute for your parents, children or spouse. You should not seek a guru because you are trying to fill some emptiness in your life. You should seek him because you want to be liberated and because you want to escape from the consequences of your actions to find stability in yourself. You do it because you want to be free from all the distracting and disturbing events in your life.

Spiritual Journey| Hear God Talk to You

You should not look for a guru unless you are seeking liberation (moksha) or have a serious aspiration for it. A guru is not a replacement for a shrink or a life coach. You will not go to him because you have problems in your life and you want him to use his powers to resolve them for you. You should not seek his help because you are bored with your life and looking for some excitement. A guru may do all this on his own, but it is not why people should seek a guru. Spiritual practice is a serious endeavor. It demands a certain state of mind and uncompromising discipline. Unless you are serious about it, you should remain confined to worldly activities, pursuing the other three aims: religious duty (dharma), wealth (artha) and worldly pleasures (kama).

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A guru will not be interested in helping you, unless you are ready for the journey and willing to make necessary sacrifices and adjustments in your life for your self-transformation. So seeking the guidance and help of gurus may not be a good idea, if you are not mentally and physically prepared for spiritual life. If material spiritualism is what you are after, you should not blame anyone when you come under the influence of a materialistic spiritual guru who is more interested in your wealth and your status than in your spiritual merit.

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You can either let things happen to you or make things happen. One is the way of the spirit and the other is the way of the world. In spiritual matters, the first one is the recommended option. So choose your guru passively, with faith in God, lighting up the interiors of your heart and mind. Let him come to you through the will of God, according to your deepest aspiration. Often in our eagerness and out of impatience, we try to regulate our lives. It may not always be the best course, since we have many limitations.

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