Greatness of the Guru

Wherever a devotee has reached the stage of mental concentration on the object of contemplation and has inculcated the ideal of inward purity in himself, the Almighty God manifests himself as the “Guru” and appears before him in order to bless him with the elixir of life in the form of his teachings. This Guru is a self-luminous phenomenon and a personification of purity symbolizing the effulgence engendered by an endearing look and a kind outlook. Blemishlessness and bodiless consciousness are constituent attributes of a Guru. A face-to- face initiation by the grace of the Guru implies the existence of an abiding faith in Almighty God. The devotee must aim at nothing but the discovery of truth; he must also realize that this form of truth manifests everywhere outside his frame in all its glory. The reality of this trinity of truthful manifestation is something which we see everywhere.This indeed is the state of truth and of the Guru who has descended on the earthly plane to deliver us from bondage and to promote our progress! A shishya or disciple must realize this and keep the Guru close to his heart and dance in ecstasy.

 

The identity

The moment a shishya calls the Guru within himself with devotion, the Guru, on his part, consistent with the laudable qualities in the shishya, virtually runs into him, and puts his merciful arms around him and in response to his many questions says in a mellifluent whispering voice, “Look here! This is my advice!” and likewise the shishya, on his part, sees the Almighty God in the Sadguru as a symbol of truth and stands at his Lotus Feet in service of the great one, with a partially obscured vision by the tears of joy. The tale of all the tears is an echo of the Guru’s kindness and the memory of his grace. So should be the inescapable conclusion; further it should be known that the tears that roll down are an involuntary effusion of bliss. The moment a devotee reaches the stage of maturity or involuntary function, he will see the hand of God and the fullness of His qualities responsible for his success of the spiritual exercise. He will witness the symbolic representation of God in the Guru and with the immediate realization of identity (between the two) filling his heart, finds himself calling vociferously, “Oh, Protector of the Universe!” and variously as, “Mother of the Universe!” and variously as, “Mother of the Universe!” and “Manifest God!” or “Manifest Guru!”. Unable to control the tears that well up, he calls the Guru, “My father, my saviour!”

 

Guru-shishya relationship

The shishya confesses that he did not learn anything before he met the Guru. But how did he meet the Guru? As soon as he silenced the mind that was a chamber of argumentative fanfare and as soon as he started chanting the naama (name) mantra known to be a precious one, the Guru manifested and stood before him prompting the shishya to address him with the salutation of “Merciful one!” and with the light-hearted mind of a boy to offer surrender to him by literally holding his Lotus Feet, he would break himself into an emotional outburst before the blissful figure; “I have caught  hold of the Guru whose appearance is the vanishing point of bodily consciousness! Oh, my Guru! Bless me kindly with the treasure called the supreme bliss! Light the candle of enlightenment within me! I have fallen at the feet of one who transcends all aspects of attachment and have kept the lotus ones in my heart, mentally going round him, intellectually taking the subtle Atman- the lonely phenomenon- into the inner cave, singing a melodious one to the Atman and a concluding (mangala) one to the Parabrahman, thereby wearing an armoury of kindness! Oh! Great father! Countenance of Truth! Of truth and wisdom! Please do away with the spell of my illusion! Cut off the chains of attachment like desire and anger! My father!  You are the ocean of kindness coming to me to dispel my ignorance! Can’t you show me the proverbial tree of enlightenment? Oh, Sadguru! Can’t you show me your captivating form of silence and silent radiation of the ray of knowledge? Oh, my Lord! I have seen your all-pervasive presence everywhere!! You are the kind one who has come to pour the nectar of knowledge into me !”. With these fervent appeals to the Guru with folded hands at the feet of the great one, the Guru – shishya linkage presents a unique image. If we look at the shishya’s frame carefully, he appears as if he has got the Guru’s form he deserved. If we look at the Guru likewise, we see, with the shishya’s reflection on the Guru, as if the shishya himself is standing in the place of the Guru! This indeed is the Guru-shishya relationship and we can say it as the inalienable link between the two. The reason for this mystic connection is monumental. The Guru symbolizes the form of the Paramatman and the shishya symbolises the form of the Jeevatman!

When we consider this ideal linkage, we will come to know very soon that the shishya is deserving of the Guru’s greatness and the Guru, commensurate with the shishya’s qualifications, has a worthy disciple! Wherever the shishya casts his eyes, the omnipresence of the Guru becomes obvious to the focus, to merit the description of “Sarvam Guru mayam jagath” suggesting that the Guru pervades everything in the Universe. If this is what the shishya sees, the Guru himself stands like a titanic figure consistent with the similar description of “sarvam Brahma mayam jagath” suggesting the all-pervasive nature of the Brahman in the Universe. The shishya who has surrendered to the Guru, on the other hand, goes on vibrating the Guru mantra japa with the words “Uru Uru”, “Guru Guru” within himself not being quite aware of the inner articulation! In the yogic experience, from the involuntary repetition, of a rare cosmetic fragrance, a macro-cosmic blissful form that pervades everything and is present everywhere in all its fullness, traceable to the first manifestation of divinity, to the omnipotent form, second to none, to the repository of thapas and to the Nada Brahman, overtakes him and he sees the Omkara form made up of A-kara, U-kara and Ma-kara in the generative sack of A-kara, E-kara and U-kara and finds a joyful state of cessation of all mental exercise – a joyful one that is appurtenant to the Omkara form. It is this circumstance of adventitious advantage that is called a state of dissolution of mind. This is the state of true yogi.

A shishya who has achieved the state of mental dissolution reaches the stage of absolute maturity of the mind. Endowed with these attributes, he sports an outlook of equality and oneness with all, besides surrender and service to the Guru, in order to have bliss and happiness at the apex of a shanti yoga (combination for tranquillity) called the “jeevan’s emancipation” from bondage. Then just as we think of a Sadguru, he will be an exalted shishya! He will not do anything to transcend the will of the Guru. At the same time he will be carefully watching with a smile on his face, the Sadguru ever prepared to follow with love the instructions from his silver tongue, bringing contentment to himself. The Guru seva will be uppermost in his mind.

He witnesses the form of the Guru, the ocean of kindness and embodiment of love, not only within himself but also without. While he renders puja to the visible Guru outside, he offers mental worship to the great one within the heart. The garland of flowers he offers is the symbolic garland of detachment. Guru dhyana leads him to Guru seva. ”Sadguru Swami!” he prays to the Guru, “Champion of the humble shishya! One who has with all kindness come down to give a helping hand to me! With your blessing, let me have the benefit of meditating on you to some extent, for, the moment I turn towards you, how soon you come down as Guru Bhagavan to put me on a higher pedestal! How fortunate I am!” and with such emotional impact as tears of joy spring and flow down, he forgets himself only to come under a trance in which the inner voice seems to take over in self-expression and whatever the vicissitudes of the mental condition and the involuntary circumambulation offered to the Guru, he stays in contemplation of the Guru, even after losing physical balance!

 

Sadguru’s guidance                  

In the sanyasa yoga, symbolic of the spiritual progress by a process of withdrawal to the centre of the self, this indeed is to be called the yoga of an exalted individual.With this Bhavasamadhi (laying stress on the mental and intellectual discipline) as the goal, every man must aspire to reach a stage of exaltation and seek guidance and protection of an exalted Guru.

We must go in search of a sat-sang, and understand the righteous path of the sat-sang, brush aside the life of the ignorant ones and aim at higher aspects of living; we have got this human birth so that we may attain salvation without loss of time or waste of life. This birth itself should be looked upon as the best. So the dictates of commonsense should tell us that on this righteous path we can succeed only by knowing the cause and effect factors of creation as otherwise we cannot afford to fall into a well of birth and death and struggle till eternity. And with this realization, one should be on a constant search for the right Guru, find one and establish  communion with him. In this illusory world, the spell of illusion is such that one cannot get caught in it and suffer. But one has to hold on to this world and endeavour to reach the great proximity of the Guru. Where is that Sadguru in whose vicinity one hears the rapturous reverberations of Omkara? If this is left to the will of God and one holds both the hands high above the head in salutation and prayer for a way out of the search for the ideal Guru, that very Guru for the deserving soul will manifest himself and proceed to give the initiation. Immediately after the initiation, if the Guru-shishya relationship takes the form of singular identity, it acquires the supreme characteristic quality of rare spiritual attachment.

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