How do you know, When you have found your guru ?
Dear Friend, yours is a frequent but important question.
There is no simple, or pat answer that fits everyone. A useful analogy is how two people fall in love with each other. The varieties of experience in this all too common process are endless. For some it’s instant recognition; for others, they may work or live side by side and awaken to their special relationship only after years of knowing each other.
But as to one’s guru: we might be attracted by his (her) teachings (as being inspired, lofty, or practical and scientific); the techniques he teaches (e.g. kriya yoga), or by the love and joy that he emantes. Or, of course, some combination of all of the above!
Many people esp in this culture (America), don’t feel or know what devotion is and are hesitant, even skeptical, of what it means to have a guru. Of course, that’s a larger question than you are asking. But it’s relevant in the sense that the “knowing” does not always have to include that personal sense or relationship that others might feel. Since Yogananda is no longer in our view (as a human, on this earth), it is less easy to know (what to say be attracted to) his “personality.”
Some gurus remain silent and don’t teach or even speak. Without knowing more about what you DO feel or what DOES inspire and attract you, it is hard to say more. But I do suggest that you take steps in the direction of what you feel DOES inspire or attract you spiritually in a teacher (teaching and technique) and let the relationship unfold in an organic way. When we act sincerely in response to our spiritual ideals and aspirations (and inspirations), we can never go “wrong.”
Of course we have to use our common sense and our inner moral compass (after all, not all spiritual teachers are as high evolved spiritually), but so long as we take responsibility for our choices and actions, and open our hearts to God’s presence and guidance in whatever form He sends to us, then how, really, can we go wrong? If we step through one door, and it doesn’t happen to be the final door, it just means we'll find another door once inside.
The only mistake, in a sense, is not to act upon our inspiration and guidance at all! As Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, “you cannot attain the actionless state (of the soul), without taking action.”