But human beings sometimes are impatient. When God does not show you the miracle but ordinary men do it, you turn away from God and you go to the ordinary man. This is a disaster.
Therefore Sri Aurobindo says don’t be impatient, don’t be dazzled, don’t demand a miracle. “And this impatience, this ignorance may turn into a great danger and disaster if, in our revolt against the divine leading, we call in another distorting Force more satisfying to our impulses and desires and ask it to guide us and give it the Divine Name. But while it is difficult for man to believe in something unseen within himself, it is easy for him to believe in something which he can image as extraneous to himself.” Now Sri Aurobindo brings us to that argument as to why human beings need human teachers. Although the Divine Teacher is always there within us and therefore we can do without a human teacher. Why it is necessary that we need human teachers? This is because while it is difficult for man to believe in something unseen within himself, it is easy for him to believe in something which he can image as extraneous to himself.
“The spiritual progress of most human beings demands an extraneous support, an object of faith outside us. It needs an external image of God; or it needs a human representative, — Incarnation, Prophet or Guru; or it demands both and receives them. For according to the need of the human soul the Divine manifests himself as deity, as human divine or in simple humanity — using that thick disguise, which so successfully conceals the Godhead, for a means of transmission of his guidance. The Hindu discipline of spirituality provides for this need of the soul by the conceptions of the Ishta Devata, the Avatar and the Guru.” These are only ladders, crutches. When you need a human teacher the Divine comes also to you as a human teacher, he will provide you a human teacher because it is easier for a human being to approach the Divine outwardly instead of inwardly. That is why in India particularly, it is said that if you do not find the Divine Teacher within you find a human teacher and approach him and treat him as the Divine Teacher. Because even if the human teacher is inadequate and has imperfections the Divine Teacher will come to you through him because you want to meet him. The Divine takes the human instrument even if it is defective; he fills the defects and presents himself to you as the perfect Divine. The human teacher himself may be imperfect but because the Divine Teacher uses him as his representative, because you choose him, therefore his defects are blurred, obliterated, cancelled by the Divine when he deals with you. It is also like a doctor. The doctor himself may not be capable but if you go to him and pray to the Divine: “Please act through him” then the doctor will be immediately transfigure into that divinity and will treat you as the Divine will treat you. This is the miracle you might say: how the human person approached as a teacher, becomes for you the Divine himself. That this why in India this discipline has been cultivated for ages, thousands of years. In fact, it is said that everybody even if he has found God within him, he should still go to a human teacher. It is so much embedded in the Indian culture, and there is a seeking for a human teacher, one in whom you can see the Divine.
Or at least you find an ishta devata. This concept of ishta devata is very important. There is God himself, there are many gods and there are a number of human beings. God himself is the Divine, the gods are also divine, and human beings also are divine. In the eye of integrality there is nothing which is not divine, and yet there are limitations. The human beings are very limited, the Gods are not so limited and God is fully unlimited. You may not find a human teacher in whom you may see many–many human defects therefore you may not be able to approach him. Then you approach a deity, a god. India recognises the presence of gods. There are gods and each god has a special quality and each one of us vibrates with this quality or that quality. According to your vibration the god of that particular vibration becomes more favourable to you; he is nearer to you. He is more like you because ultimately you have to become like God himself. So any god who seems to be like you becomes your favourite god: ishta devata. If you are in a hurry for transformation, if you are extremely devoted to transformation you will automatically find Shiva as your favourite deity because he is the impetuous power of transformation. If you are very intolerant of your defects, if you don’t want your defects at all, then you will find Shiva is your very favourite because he does not tolerate any defect. In his presence no defect can be present. To get Shiva with you is the most difficult thing because you should be prepared to throw away all your defects at once. If you want charming smiles of the Divine then Mahalakshmi will always become your favourite. She does not see your defects, she does not want to remove your defects, she only wants to attract you, to uplift you, to fondle you. And if you need to be fondled, Mahalakshmi will become your favourite deity. If you are a patient labourer, a good student, a good worker, Saraswati will become your favourite deity. You will always turn to her. You will like her very much because in your being there is a vibration of Saraswati. So, this idea of favourite deity is not a wrong idea. It is a very effective and powerful and true idea. The Divine has many forms and you can take any form which is appropriate to your nature and climb up the ladder. Only you should agree not to limit yourself to this or that or that… You take the help, you take the ladder and then go beyond, because ultimately it is the Supreme Divine that you have to meet. You may take the human teacher, you may take a god as ishta devata but ultimately you have to find the Lord within yourself. That is the real aim of the Integral Yoga. Even if you have human guru, ultimately you have to discover the Lord himself within you.