“Satchidananda” is the common name for all of us and every thing. Satchidananda is your own essential name. And that is the real Guru within. That essence is what you call Satchidananda. It is divided into three parts: Sat, Chid, Ananda. Sat is existence, Chid is knowledge; the Truth revealed. And then by knowing that, the outcome is Ananda or bliss.
For example, wood pulp exists. That is the Sat. Then it expresses as a piece of paper. The existence expresses, so you get the Chid, the knowledge of it. And then when you use it, you have the Ananda. So, existence‑knowledge‑bliss.
The Guru within you is Satchidananda. It directs you continuously. It advises you. Sometimes you listen. Sometimes you don’t and then you get burnt and cry. It will say, “Please next time be careful.” We call that the antar Atma, the inner Self which constantly guides you. It is your conscience. “Be true to your Self,” we say. That is the Self. Listen to that Self.
You don’t even have to look for a Guru outside. If you still want to, that Guru will ultimately tell you, “You have a Guru within. Learn to listen.” Sometimes we hear people saying, “The Guru is giving me knowledge.” Nobody can ever give you anything. If somebody gives you something, somebody else will knock it out. Don’t live on borrowed things. It won’t stay long. A real Guru is one who tells you that you have that person within you. It’s almost like a mirror. When you go in front of a mirror the mirror will tell you, “Hey, you have a face.” Is it not so? The mirror is not giving you a face. The mirror simply reflects what you are, how you are.
The Guru will simply reflect you as you are. Sometimes that’s the reason why people don’t like to go in front of a Guru. Because everything is exposed. “Oh boy, if he sees my ugly heart what could I do?” If that’s what you have, it has to show. And it’s better that it shows, so that you will know. Because you don’t know your own face. You never see your face. You know that you have a face but you don’t see it. To see your face you have to have a mirror.
Like that, you are the Guru. You have not seen it. The external Guru is to point out the Guru within you. Guru is the omnipresent consciousness that pervades everywhere, which guides the entire universe constantly. But because the Guru is within you, and you have never seen it, you want to see it with a reflection. It is there the external Guru or the Teaching comes. With the help of the teacher and teaching, you will realize your own Guru within. And that Guru constantly guides you in all your efforts in life. Realize that Guru.
Don’t allow the monkey mind or the ego within to guide you; it will drag you into the ditch. That’s what you see in the great scripture, Bhagavad Gita. The prince Arjuna was supposed to fight the war, face the world. But he was puzzled. He brought all kinds of arguments. They are all sound arguments. But they were nothing but sound. Having exhausted his arguments, he realized his foolishness and told Krishna, “Sir, I am foolish enough to bring out all my ignorance. It is not in my hands anymore. I give up my arguments. I know the simple way is to let you guide me. You tell me what to do, and I do it. I surrender to you.”
Arjuna stands there as an ego. Ego surrenders ultimately. When you completely give up your ego, you hear the voice within. You hear the Guru within. Then it becomes very easy to face the life, to win the battle. We are constantly facing a battle in life. We cannot do it all by ourselves. Let God do that. As you know, the Father knows best. Leave it to God. Leave it to Beaver. Did I say Beaver? [laughs] No. I meant to say Be-er. Leave it to the Be-er. Let Him handle it, let Him guide you.
This reminds me of a great verse that was sung in a beautiful work called Thiruvasagam by the great Saint Manickavasagar. He addresses the Lord, “Lord, You know what I need. You will give what I need. But when I want to face You, see You, You escape me. If even the devas try to face You, see You, You don’t show yourself to them. But You pulled me out. You made me your instrument. With all that, if there is any want in my mind, I know even that want is created by You. I can’t even want something without Your wanting me to want. So I give myself completely in Your Hands.”
In the next verse he says, “Lord, I remember, a long time back, You took me, my body, my intelligence, my everything, under Your Feet. I know that everything happens because of You. I am only a humble instrument. As such it doesn’t matter to me what You will be doing with this tool. People might say I am doing great achievements. Others may say I’m a rogue, doing nothing good. If some praise me and some blame me, am I responsible for it? No. Why? Because You are the one who is working through me.” That is what.
The Guru means Gu-ru. “Gu” is the darkness. “Ru” is the remover. He removes our darkness of ignorance. Put complete faith in the inner Guru. And follow the Teachings. My Master Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj put it in simple tablet form— because he is a doctor. Even Moses got two tablets with Ten Commandments. Swami Sivanandaji gave us four commandments. He simplified the entire Yoga philosophy in that. What is it? Serve. Love. Meditate. Realize.
Realizing comes automatically. You don’t have to do anything in the name of realization. All we should do is serve with love and meditate on it. Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga—our life should be based on serving others with love. That’s what the entire universe teaches us. We learn this lesson from anything and everything other than human beings. I don’t know why God created human beings. Maybe He wanted to have some fun. He allowed us to make all mischiefs. But look at the entire universe—animals, plants, minerals. They are all there to serve others. They don’t exist for themselves. Their only purpose is to be useful to others. Everything, everything that you see.
That is the book of knowledge, the universal message, that we learn from the cosmos itself. Let our motive be service, service, service. And of course service goes with love. Without love you cannot serve. And when you serve there is no room for ego. That is what the essential teachings of all the religions are. Serve, serve, serve, without looking for any reward. That was the teaching of the Bible. The one and only advice given by God to the first boy he created is, “Adam, do not eat the fruit.” The very same thing is said in the Bhagavad Gita, by Lord Krishna: “You are free to do things, and you are entitled to perform actions. But beware, don’t look for the fruit.” They use the same word! That one sloka is enough. Out of the whole Bible just one piece, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and “Blessed are the pure in heart. They shall see God.” For me that is enough. Apply it. That’s why practice is the most important thing.
That’s why we offer fruit to God. That means the fruit of my life is at Your Feet. Because without You I wouldn’t have performed anything, done anything. That is what is called sacrifice—you sacrifice the result of your actions. Only that makes real service. All other things are business. You do something, you get something in return. Instead of that, life should be motivated this way: “I am here to serve.” Or, in other words, “I am made to serve—I am only a tool.” Then, our heart is always peaceful. There is nothing to disturb our peace. As one of the saints said, “I have eternal peace and bliss. I have no suffering at all. Because all the sufferings are created by ‘me’ wanting to get the reward. Once I give that up, I have no suffering at all. I am always in bliss.”