Wednesday, July 4, 2012
GURU PURNIMA = 03-07-2012 = Did you worship your Guru(s) this Guru Purnima Day?
The Full moon day in the month of Ashadh – which generally falls in July –is celebrated as Guru Purnima in India.
Guru – means the remover of the darkness of Ignorance – and therefore, by implication, the giver of wisdom.
Generally, not every Teacher is acknowledged as Guru, for this purpose. One who teaches a science or art – is a teacher – but is not the one in respect of whom Guru Purnima Puja is intended.
One who removes the darkness of Ignorance means – one who gives us the wisdom of a permanent kind. One who shows us the path of permanent Joy and lasting wisdom is the Guru.
This Day - was said to be the day on which Krishna Dvaipayana (Vyasa) was born in the Dwapar Yug. He re-wrote all the Vedas in their present form and, went on to write the Greatest Epic of all times, THE MAHABHARAT. He was thus the giver of Bhagavad Gita also to us – through the Maha Bharat. He also wrote the Bhagavat, another extraordinary Book containing the deeds of God in his various incarnations.
VYASA was acknowledged as one of the Greatest teachers of ALL TIME. It is primarily in his honour, that Guru Purnima day is celebrated. However, traditionally, starting from Lord Shiva (and Vishnu), a great lineage of teachers is recognized and this lineage of Gurus is known as GURU PARAMPARA.
Vedantic Knowledge or knowledge of SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT, as it is popularly called these days, comes to the Sadhakas from Great Gurus, who become the Part of Guru Parampara for each sadhaka – and these Great Gurus are worshipped on this day by the Sadhaka.
Such Gurus can be one or more – which is not an issue at all. All of them need to be worshipped on this Guru Purnima Day.
Even if the Sadhaka learns from a Guru’s teachings, in his absence (say, after his death), yet, if the knowledge is spiritual, the Guru has to be worshipped on this day.
As earlier said, the worship starts with Lord Shiva (or Vishnu) – and comes through Vyasa, Adi sankara and so on upto the Sadhaka’s Last Guru.
Sadhakas equate the Guru with the God himself – through the hymn (Guru Brahma, Gurur Vishnuh; Guru Devo Mahaswara; Gurur Saakshaath Parabramha, tasmai sree Gurave Namah” – which means My Guru himself is Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara for me; therefore I worship my Guru.
Every Individual born on earth needs a Guru of the right Kind, whose words he respects, whose actions he adores and in whom he has great faith. A Guru is one who walks the talk. He is a practitioner of all that he teaches. He knows what he is teaching. He has seen and experienced it all himself. It is necessary to go to such Gurus and become their disciples. It is not necessary that a Guru must be knowing ALL OF VEDANTA, YOGA etc –before he teaches. He teaches what he clearly and undoubtedly KNOWS and practices. The rest of it – he will direct the Disciple to another Great Guru. This was how ASHRAMA teaching used to happen in ancient Days. Sage Vasishta himself asked Lord Rama to learn many things from sage Vishwamitra. Not that Vasishta does not know. But, Vishwamitra is the appropriate Guru for the purpose.
Lord Krishna himself was a Great Guru. His Bhagavad Gita is an extraordinary Book containing his teachings on absolutely scientific knowledge of many varieties, relevant to this day and for thousands of years in the future too. For instance, his Guna thraya vibhaga Yoga, his Karma Yoga, his Dhyana yoga – are all marvels of scientific knowledge. All of today’s scientific achievements pale into insignificance before this great knowledge. If one does not study them – one will never know enough about his own BODY-MIND combination itself.
Yet, the same Bhagavad Gita also talks of the most intricate knowledge of the Atman, of the Godliness and Daemonliness in us, and many other extraordinary aspects of life and life-beyond. Lord Krishna is called Yogeswara.
Lord Shiva, curiously, is called Yogeeswara. Of the three Great Gods, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma are not residents of EARTH. They have their own heavens. But, Lord Shiva resides on EARTH, on Kailas in the Himalayas. He is called Adi Guru – and he taught Vedanta and Yoga Sasthra to his concert and to Seven Great Sages.
A question arises – can we see him – if he is on Kailas? If one is a right disciple, certainly Shiva will see him. Many, many Great Gurus are said to be on the Himalayas for thousands of years – but they, their Ashrams and their disciples are invisible to the rest of Mankind. And, In Yoga Sasthra, this is not considered a great achievement at all. Patanjali Yoga Sutras also mention the procedure for the same – as Sutras or Principles.
Lord Krishna’s Bhagavad Gita mentions many aspects of Patanjali Yoga Sutras – long before Patanjali. And, Lord Krishna says clearly that – this knowledge is nothing new from me – it is the most ancient knowledge coming from the ancient Gurus. Lord Krishna also mentions in the Gita, how, as Guru, he himself taught various Great people, in his previous Births.
It was only when Arjuna’s surrender to the Lord was TOTAL and COMPLETE, after his VISHADA YOGA – or, his sadness at having to kill many of his friends, gurus and relatives in the Battle field, that Lord Krishna starts teaching him the Gita.
It is so with every Guru. Only the Disciple who totally surrenders to the Guru and keeps absolute faith in him, receives the Guru’s wisdom. Else, even if one is among the group sitting before him – he does not receive the wisdom. The words are heard – but the wisdom is not received. This too happens, very often.
Bhagawan Buddha has said so - on many occasions. If the question is very deep in you – you receive the answer – merely by sitting before the Guru. If there is no question, there is no answer! – says Buddha.
Adi Sankara also says exactly the same thing. The old disciples sit before the young Guru. The Guru remains silent. And, in that silence, the disciples receive all their answers – says Adi Sankara.
Adi Sankara received his Greatest teaching from Lord Shiva himself, at Varanasi – and eulogizes that incident in his NIRVANA SHATKAM. Readers can see detailed exposition of the same in this Blog elsewhere. The first part of Nirvana Shatkam, coming from Lord Shiva himself, can be termed as extraordinarily REFORMIST, from a mundane view point. But, Shiva was only telling what the Vedas and Upanishads teach. The way, Adi Sankara responds to Shiva’s mocking questions – with absolute humility – is a marvel in itself. Readers are strongly advised to read and digest the same.
Coming back to Guru Purnima – Adi Sankara is a great Guru and his teachings are just as Good as the Upanishads themselves. Every Sadhaka acknowledges him as his Guru – and so do I.
From the Vedantic side (including Upanishads etc) – My Guru is –Swami Paramarthananda (an illustrious disciple of Swami Dayananda) – whose teachings I attend. I also read and listen to other Great Teachers like Swami Guruparananda (a disciple of Swami Paramarthananda).
From the Yoga side – I read (and listen to) Swami Vivekananda and Osho – with great respect.
I have attended practical classes conducted by contemporary Gurus Like – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living, Swami Sukha Bodhananda, Swami Ramdev. These classes have given me great benefit in the practical aspects of Yoga.
As a school going youngster, over 50 years ago, I had attended a 6 month training at my Native town (in a group of about 40 children) – specially conducted by a Sage (from, possibly Ramakrishna Mission or Chinmaya Mission or some other Great Mission), who was almost compelled to do so, and the permission for that, from his Mission HQs was specially obtained by our town elders with great difficulty. That training was extraordinary – at that tender age, specially the one like Savasana and Dhyana prakriya.
On the Day of Guru Purnima, I bow down before all these Great Gurus of mine – and seek their blessings – in my spiritual Journey further.
As a last point – I must mention that – for a school or college going child – every conscientious teacher of any subject – is worthy of REVERENCE. It does not matter that he or she is not teaching Vedanta or Yoga. Every Great teacher is to be respected and worshipped on this Day.
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