Happy Guru Purnima Wishes to all 🙏
गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुरेव परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ||
So many such sayings can be mentioned to illustrate the importance of Guru in our lives. Not to mention all the stories found in our rich heritage of Sanatan dharma. This land of wisdom “Bharat Varsha” is blessed with such an astounding number of Gurus, Satgurus, Yogis and, Mahayogis, that it’s just impossible to enumerate and elucidate at one go. But definitely worth a try to at least to know a few and mull over. Of all the uplifting, inspiring stories that I have read and heard, I thought of sharing these two.
One is the story of the advent of Shiva, the lord of the universe as the first guru -AdiGuru. Some 15,000 years ago, a yogi with extraordinary presence appeared in the upper regions of the Himalayas and sat in deep meditation. Mesmerized by his meditative trance, people gathered but most left as they could not understand the power and the importance of his meditative trance. Only seven wise men persisted and pleaded Shiva to bless them with his teachings. Shiva gave these seven eager men a simple preparatory test and went back to being his usual self. The seven men prepared themselves wholeheartedly in anticipation of the knowledge to be gained. It took 84 long years for them to be finally worthy of Shiva’s attention. Pleased by their Sadhana, Shiva turned south (Shiva is also known as Dakshinamurthy) and sat as a Guru to these Seven Men (Saptarishis) and become the first yogi (Adi Yogi) –Adi Guru. Shiva became the Adi Guru on Purnima (full moon day) of Ashadha Shukla Paksha (Vedic Calendar Month), to impart the wisdom of possibility for a human being to evolve consciously to the SaptaRishis. And this day is celebrated as “Guru Purnima”
Another story is of Ekalavya Drona Shishya. Ekalavya, who in spite of being rejected by Dronacharya for not being a Kshatriya practiced Archery by worshiping the statue of Guru Drona Acharya for inspiration. He went on to master the game of Archery and impressed his Guru by showing a dog that was unable to bark due to the construction of arrows in and all around his mouth. The construction was contrived in such a way that the dog could not bark and yet it did not harm the animal. Ekalavya, happily severed his right thumb, when Guru Drona Acharya asked for his right thumb as his Guru Dakshina. And become an epitome of the highest grade of Guru Bhakti.
Both tales tell us the great qualities of a disciple in addition to stress the significance of a Guru in our lives.
गुशब्दस्त्वन्धकारः स्यात् रुशब्दस्तन्निरोधकः।
अन्धकारनिरोधित्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते॥ १६॥
The syllable gu means darkness, the syllable ru, he who dispels them,
Because of the power to dispel darkness, the guru is thus named.
— Advayataraka Upanishad, Verse 16
It is the greatness of our Dharma, which stresses on the ultimate truth about the futility of our physical existence and tries to highlight the importance of self-realization and finally liberation. In this ever-changing, complex, enticing world, it would be impossible for us to attain that. All scriptures of Hindu Dharma and its offshoots like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism have advocated the need of a Guru to lead us through this tumultuous journey on earth. I have no clue about these complicated topics of Self-realization and Liberation. I am very sure that I am many lifetimes away from the very first step of understanding them. After living on this earth for some 45 plus years, I have started to ponder over such.
With such beautiful and powerful tales to inspire today’s generation, we would expect today’s youth to have high regard for this Guru Shishya parampara. But, it is painful to see their general approach towards all that is a tradition. Some of the videos I watched triggered this uneasiness within me and thought of sharing it with you. One of the posts about ‘Guru Purnima’ led me to a series of video clips…
There seems to be a fashion to ask questions just to insult a religious Guru. While I strongly believe that questioning is the sign of an intelligent, inquisitive, open-minded person living in a progressive society. One need not accept anything and everything thurst upon us in the name of spirituality. The youth asking questions in his fluent language seems to have preconceived notions. His only motive appears to belittle the Guru and throw a volley of accusatory questions. Rude and arrogant behaviour is very irritating. If a seeker really is interested in knowing and learning our Dharma, the least he can do is listen to the Guru and try to understand. Only then, will the seeker be able to move forward and ask another query?
We have progressed and come a long way in our quest for getting scientific answers for everything. There were times when the Guru used to test the capability of his disciples before accepting them by giving arduous tasks. Compare it to the present scenario, where the Guru is being tested and insulted. Why so much hatred towards our own culture? The questioning youth is ridiculing all that is indigenous to the land under the garb of modernisation, instead of appreciating the goodness of our motherland.
When a populace doesn’t react when its dharma and Gurus are attacked, then it’s a sad state of affairs. I’m not here to criticise anyone, for I believe, what Swami Vivekananda said ‘Condemn none. If you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.’
And most importantly, what could shake a tradition that was initiated by Mahadeva himself? …The Adiguru.
Also, all the great Guru\’s have always been tested by one and all irrespective of their credentials. Real Sat Gurus have always emerged as radiant shining lights of Grace and Blessings.
My shat Koti pranam at the lotus feet of all the great gurus and saints, who have blessed humanity with abundant grace and lead us to path to of enlightenment. May we all be blessed with Satguru’s Grace🙏
Kalyani Sreedhar Kakade