As I continue my journey towards my beloved God under the sacred guidance of my Guru I started to feel the pressure from within of wanting to share my experiences with people around me. However I realised that most people had the time to watch MTV and CTV and chat on Facebook and Twitter, go out for late night clubbing and do all sorts of other activities but somehow they got very busy as soon as I started to get into a discourse about God with them. Respecting their business I would then prefer to stay quiet and not discuss anything. And so the internal pressure of wanting to tell someone of my own personal experiences of God kept mounting within me until one day I voiced my concern to my Guru – and like always He had a resolution – a personal blog! I’ve never blogged before but this seemed to be a good way of relieving my internal pressure of wanting to share with other people what I have learnt so far.
They say that it is auspicious to remember God before embarking upon any new task and so I’d like to offer a small prayer to my beloved God Siva/Krishna. I beg my God to bless me that every word that I ever write may come out from the depths of Truth, may educate the reader correctly, may inspire him to remain on the path of righteousness, always moving forward lovingly towards God. I invite my God to be by my side and hold my pen for me every time I dare to write some words about Him. AUM.
Today I felt like talking about “The Guru”. Sounds familiar? Most of us have at least heard the term “Guru” however very few of us really know who is a Guru and an ever lesser number of us actually have a Guru in our lives. In the present times the term Guru has been used very loosely. Almost anyone who is an expert in any field calls himself a Guru in that field or others name him such. Students call their teacher a Guru. There are people who read a few religious books, wear saffron clothes, grow their beard and their hair and then start holding themselves out to be Gurus misleading innocent people with their incomplete fund of knowledge. There are just way too many of these imposters out there. The reality is that a true Guru is one of the rarest individual walking the earth at a given time. Very few individuals qualify the Vedic definition of a Guru.
There are many ways of understanding who a Guru is. Some definitions may be too technical and overwhelming for a novice. However, we can understand the complex Guru in a simple way too. To understand who is a Guru lets first try and understand the difference between a Teacher and an Enlightened Teacher. Anybody who knows a subject and is able to teach it is a Teacher. The subject could be anything – history, geography, math, science or other subjects like religious scriptures, yoga exercises and even techniques of meditation. This person, the teacher, is an ordinary person trying his best to impart his knowledge to others. I would put majority of the people who present discourses on religious scriptures or teach basic or advanced yoga or meditation as being teachers who are willing to share their fund of knowledge with others. One can learn techniques from them but one should not place their entire trust or their lives under the guidance of such teachers because their knowledge bank is very limited.
The second category mentioned above is that of an Enlightened Teacher. Such a person is very rare. Take Buddha for example. Or Swami Vivekananda or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi or my own Guru Sri Visvamitra. Of the above, Buddha was actually an incarnation of Lord Vishnu Himself so a very special individual who attained enlightenment and then preached to others what He has experienced. The other examples cited above are of very great individuals who, with the sheer force of their love for God, were able to subject Themselves to the heat of sadhana until God’s grace descended on Them and They attained Enlightenment. What is “Enlightenment” actually needs further clarification. It’s a huge topic in itself and I would really love to discuss that in my next article in more detail. For the present article lets try and understand “Enlightenment” briefly as a state of living in the blissful realisation of God. Those who live in blissful realisation of God at one point become non-different from God- although possessing a mortal physical body there is a sense of duality – yet these individuals are aware of the unity beyond this duality and have experienced the same. God is the sum total of everything that exists and everything that is beyond existence. He is the Supreme Knowledge Bank- The Knower of that which is and that which is not. The Supreme Controller. When an individual, with his love and devotion and sadhana and with the mercy of God Himself, realises God, then by the grace of God again he starts to open up to the supreme knowledge bank and becomes the knower of the Truth. The past, the present, the future are all known to him. Such a person radiates the love of God and scatters it over the Earth for the less fortunate ones. Anyone who comes in contact with such a person benefits in some form or the other. When such an Enlightened person begins to share His knowledge with others then He is an Enlightened Teacher. The knowledge imparted by such a teacher would be absolute, true and very auspicious to all who imbibe it. Even simply knowing such a person is very auspicious. My dear reader, not everyone can have the opportunity to hear the divine discourses of such a master. Even “happening to know” an Enlightened person is not a matter of chance but an actual arrangement by God Himself. And out of the multitude of people who hear the sermons of such people very few actually “know” that the words are coming out straight from the mouth of God.
It is very difficult for ordinary people to know whether a person is a teacher or an Enlightened Teacher. Yet for those chaste in heart, it is not tough. These Enlightened Masters ring a bell inside pure hearts and the followers know from within that this teacher is a special teacher. Like I said, it is an arrangement by God.
The Buddha, The Maharishi, Swami Brahmanada Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, did not go around boasting of their Enlightened status yet the crowd could “feel” the difference when in Their company. They taught and shared the Truth with millions of individuals. However, they still were on the status of Enlightened Teachers to the multitude and not The Guru.
Then who is The Guru? Who is He? A step above. A step further. When such an Enlightened individual accepts responsibility for the upliftment and evolution of a dedicated follower a Guru and disciple relationship comes into existence. The Enlightened Master, out of love, teaches to the world in general but accepts only a couple of individuals as His disciples. He is a Guru to only a handful of individuals. To put into perspective, imagine the Buddha, The Maharishi accepting responsibility for your life! This does not happen everyday, right? This is the rarest of the rare event. The most auspicious blessing from God because He descends Himself to uplift you to Him! While the Guru appears human to everyone else, between the Guru and the disciple, the later is able to “see” the glimpse of God in Him, experience the care, protection and love of God in Him. On becoming the Guru to an individual, the Enlightened Master is able to reveal his divine self to His disciple and able to freely transfer His Pure Knowledge to him and uplift him to become Enlightened. This relationship is very special, very auspicious, very rare and based purely on love. Only very few people have the karma to witness God walk the earth as a Guru. The lives of such people become immediately positioned for a complete change- for the better.
The Vedas have said that Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Siva, Guru is ParaBrahman. The entire Divinity walks the earth in mortal form to uplift and take with Them the purest souls who have the karma for God. Such is the glory of the Guru. He is non-different from God. No matter how hard a soul tries, he can never realise God, until God Himself, by His own causeless mercy, appears in his life as a Guru and leads the way back to Him. When the dust from the feet of the Guru falls on the forehead of the struggling sadhak, the light of knowledge shines to dispel the darkness of ignorance and Enlightenment dawns.
Next time, my friend, do not use the term “Guru” loosely. Pray to God that He appear in your life as a Guru and keep you away from imposters who try and mimic Him. Pray to God that He hold your hand and take you across this vast, tempestuous ocean of ignorance, misery, grief to there where there is only pure bliss- an ocean of bliss and pure light in which you can float lost in Him. Pray to God for a Guru-only He can grant you one. Everyone must do that.
I thank God for being present in my life in the form of my beloved Guru.