Walking on the path of Guru is not an easy task. However, Supreme Lord Shiva, who is the father of the universe, has in great detail explained all secrets in this path to Mother Parvati.
First question which needs to be addressed is -Who is a Guru? We address everyone who has a beard, who wears saffron clothes, beads and chains as Guru. More importantly we chase people who grow beard and address them as Guru. Such persons unhesitatingly swindle the person who thus follows him or addresses him as a Guru. Very often, people approach that person who has a very great following and address him as Guru.
The main question then arises is- how should we select our Guru?
Therefore, the first step is selection of Guru. We assume that offering service to Guru, washing his clothes etc. is service to Guru (Guru Seva). But real Guru seva lies in identifying the right Guru.
The truth is that you are incapable to select your Guru, because you cannot identify whether the person is knowledgeable or not. How are we to know whether a person has the required knowledge or not? On what basis will you identify a Guru? Is it on the basis of his clothing or identity marks or his following?
Once a first grader asked his teacher if he knew the one table. The teacher recited the entire multiplication table for 1. The student who did not know the multiplication table, asked a passerby if what his teacher was reciting was correct or not. The passerby confirmed that it was correct.
Not satisfied with this, he enquired from another old man if what his teacher was reciting was correct or not. The boy was in a dilemma. He did not know the table himself. He was not able to totally believe others who were emphatically declaring that he was correct.
Yet, based on the confidence asserted by the teacher during reciting, due to the love shown by the teacher towards him and the confirmation issued by the passers by, the boy was gradually influenced and he was attracted towards the teacher.