While describing how a true Spiritual Guide be recognized, Sufi Master Abu Said ibn Abul Khayr said, at least ten characteristics if found in a guide, is proof of his authenticity. The Guru:
1. must have become a Goal, to be able to have a disciple.
2. must have traveled the mystic path himself, to be able to show the way.
3. must have become refined and educated, to be able to be an educator (murabbi).
4. must be generous and devoid of self-importance, so that he can sacrifice wealth on behalf of the disciple.
5. must have no hand in the disciple’s wealth, so that he is not tempted to use it for himself.
6.whenever he can give advice through a sign (parables, metaphors, mithals), he will not use direct expression.
7. whenever he can educate through kindness, he will not use violence and harshness.
8.whatever he orders, he has first accomplished himself.
9.whatever he forbids the disciple, he has abstained for himself.
10.he will not abandon for the world’s sake the disciple whom he accepts for God’s sake.
Then there arises the question of how to find the real guru. Very often people are in doubt, they do not know whether the guru they see is a true or false guru. Frequently a person comes in contact with a false guru in a world where there is so much falsehood. But at the same time a real seeker, one who is not false to himself, will always meet with the truth, with the real, because it is his own real faith, his own sincerity in earnest seeking that will become his torch. The real teacher is within, the lover of reality is one’s own sincere self, and if one is really seeking truth, sooner or later one will certainly find a true teacher.
– Pir O Murshid Inayat Khan
a re-post from my beloved friend Mystic Saint.