The saints and true teachers are known to be impartial; their blessings fall like the rain. However, the rain, while falling on all, tends to collect in deep pools just as the grace of the saints while showering on all flows rapidly and collects in the deep pools of the aspirants who are devoted. It is not surprising that the aspirants through their devotion draw the grace of the master towards them. Aspirants who give great attention to the ways of the teacher are worthy of the gift of knowledge. Obviously, not the careless one, but the one who honors the gift, and cares for the receiving bowl, receives the gift of the grace of the teacher. Making oneself worthy is the secret of devotion to the master, the way of gaining grace as described in the writings of the saints.
The aspiration to serve with love and behave humbly before the teacher arises naturally in the hearts of students. Therefore, devotion to the spiritual teacher is also natural. To say anything against devotion to the teacher is pointless. And also, the wise will not give devotion to an unworthy teacher and will influence other aspirants to do the same.
The four essential elements a sadhaka (an aspirant of the spiritual path) needs are the following:
(1) satsang (association of saints and hearing spiritual teachings);
(2) sadacara (moral rectitude);
(3) guru seva (dedication to the teacher); and,
(4) dhyan-abhyasa (practice of meditation)…..
In Sant Mat an intense eagerness to acquire these essentials must be present. However, devotion to the teacher is paramount to the other three essentials and is the key to achieving the other three.
— Maharishi Mehi Paramahans Ji Maharaj, “Philosophy of Liberation”