In order to excel at any subject, we require a teacher. Someone who has mastered the subject over years of practice. When one wants to embark on the spiritual path, one requires a teacher, or a Guru, who has the wisdom and power to take one beyond the limitation of the mind and body. Only a guru can light the candle within us and liberate our soul and dispel the darkness in our lives. We have the power and resources to realize the greatness of God, but we require someone to give us the spark to propel us forward.
Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of Sikhism, lived in a kingdom ruled by a very unrighteous king. Guru Gobind Singh was very well-liked because he would protect the poor and homeless in the kingdom, but the king did not like that. In order to get more information on the guru, the king sent a spy to live amongst the guru and learn more about him. Over time, he began to enjoy being around Guru Gobind Singh. He would listen to the discourses and practice deep meditation. He began to develop a very strong faith in the guru. Guru Gobind Singh had ignited the candle inside of him and showed in the light that existed within him. Eventually, the time came when he had to go back and report to the king. When the king asked him what he learned, the spy began to tell the king all the wonderful things about the guru and how he shows others the path of spirituality. The king was enraged by this deception and had his spy tied up and sent to be tortured. The spy concentrated on his guru's feet and prayed and said "Guru, through my faith I know that you will not let me be tortured." Just as he was about to be struck, he fell unconscious. When he woke up, he saw that his torturers were gone, and he was lying on the ground unscathed. He ran all the way back to the guru's residence to meet him. When he went to the guru's room he saw that the guru had bruises on his feet. His faith in his guru was so strong, that when he focused on his guru's feet, his guru took upon the torture his disciple was to receive onto himself. The disciple could not believe this and began praising his guru, but the guru said, "It was because of your faith. It was so strong that I had to come to protect you."
It is said that the guru is like the ocean and our faith is like a pot to accept water from the ocean. The bigger our faith, the larger our pot, and the more water we can receive. The path of spirituality is so long and narrow that we constantly need to draw energy from our master. The stronger our faith the more energy we will be able to draw. It provides fuel to our soul to keep traveling on the path. And through meditation, we can keep increasing our faith in our master and keep us moving forward.