Who is Guru? What does he do? Why do we need Guru? These types of person we find frequently in spiritual world.
In my understanding, Guru is easy to define, portray and visualize but Guru is very difficult to understand. When we hear the word 'Guru', a definite picture stands in front of us- having long and thick beard, hair properly knot over head, body covered with saffron robes, string of beads worn around the neck and other paraphernalia. But do these all portray the true nature of Guru? Do this outer appearance and our surface understanding of Guru render it sufficient to make us understand what is Guru actually?
With all the understanding and knowledge I have gathered from various sources, I look beyond the superficial characteristics of Guru and find the uncommon attributes of Guru which are unheard of to most of the people. I heard from the preaching of one sage that Guru, as a person, could be weak in showing a divine path to his disciples but the absolute sacred position of Guru, can never be weak. We cannot get over the ultimate sublime position of Guru. If we truly want to understand Guru at broad level, we have to put down our ego, forget our bias and prejudices and come clean, calm and most importantly resolute. Guru doesn't belong to any caste, creed, religion, tradition or culture and neither there is any bar of age to be considered to understand Guru. Anyone who, regardless of his/her age, inspires us to live life at its fullest, motivates us to accept the challenge, makes us realize our strength and enormous potential, infuses the energy to get over weaknesses, gives hand at the time of distress and draws a path from our current state to ultimate divinity, could be understood and revered as 'Guru'. Even any situation or event that leaves life-long positive impact on our mind and puts us on correct path, is Guru in absolute sense even though it has not donned any form.
There is a famous example before us and that is of Eklavya. Eklavya, due to rejection of Dronacharya to not be his Guru, made an idol of Dronacharya, learned 'Dhanurvidhya' revering the idol earnestly and excelled the Vidhya. This is the power of Guru as s/he makes you great even though s/he is not present. Krishna, being a friend and Guru of Arjuna, stopped the further movement of Sun for some time in Mahabharat to save his beloved Arjuna from dying. Hence Guru never lets his/her devoted disciple die and protects him/her from all the adversities and troubles enveloped around him. It is not that Guru stops sustainable troubles or problems coming to his/her disciples but Guru gives inner strength to overcome them. Guru opens up all the roads towards the achievement of god by us guiding from inside as reaching to god is supreme goal of everyone's life.
It is very important to keep in mind that we never insult our Guru or dishonor our Guru by committing wrong immoral act. Absolute submission to Guru will definitely get us inner peace and confidence. Once accepted with committed heart, mind and soul, Guru resides in us and never lets us down. Gurupurnima is after three days, so let us take pledge to at least attempt to understand Guru and know his/her true nature as only by this, we could make a way to understand and attain divinity.