The teacher is called guru. And a disciple is one who loses himself in the teacher.
He who follows his own desires is not a true disciple. The man, who has doubts in his heart and is dominated by desires, may be intellectually strong and an able debater, but a disciple he is not, for he is a worshipper of himself.
Among the marks of a true disciple are the following:
When a true disciple was asked whether he was a disciple, he answered: “I am trying to be one: so, help me God!” He, who has this humility, avoids one of the dangers on the Path—ostentation and pretension.
Obedience to the teacher
In obeying his teacher the disciple obeys God. The teacher puts the disciple to severe tests. One of them is this: the teacher asks the disciple to be physically afar! The teacher knows that a raw fruit, to ripen, must have both sunshine and shadow: so, a disciple must have the double experience of fellowship and separation. And in “separation,” too, is “union.” Spiritual obedience to the teacher’s will not physical nearness to the teacher, is a mark of true discipleship.
A true disciple becomes less and less argumentative, more and more intuitional. He loses himself in the guru: he sacrifices his self—his desires and self-conceit.
Seva or service
The disciple must serve the teacher. Growing in humility, obedience and service, the disciple will develop intuition, pass to meet his guru on the buddhic plane. Intuition is the power to see on the inner plane. When this power develops, the disciple does not argue: he easily understands his teacher. The disciple learns to feel the wishes of his teacher, though the teacher may speak not a single word. “My own hear my voice,” the voice of the heart.
A true disciple becomes less and less argumentative, more and more intuitional. He loses himself in the guru: he sacrifices his self—his desires and self-conceit. A man of God was asked: and “What is the way to God?” And he said: “When thou hast vanished on the way, then hast thou come to God!” So is the disciple prepared to see the light!