Dhanteras also known as the festival of...
The auspicious day of Guru Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Ashad (July-August). It is celebrated in the memory of the great sage Maharshi Veda Vyasa. All Hindus are indebted to this ancient saint who edited the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas, Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Vyasa even taught Dattatreya, who is regarded as the Guru of Gurus.
Who is a Master?
The Master is also called Guru. ‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘Ru’ means light. Guru is the one who dispels the darkness and brings us into light. He is the channel for spiritual knowledge. The Master is the enlightened one who awakens the divine potential of the disciple. A true Guru is the epitome of selflessness. He wants nothing from the disciple, no cash, no kind. He only wishes the betterment of the disciple. It is the grace of Satguru, if he gives the disciple any work (duty). Selfless work purifies the disciple’s heart. And only a purified heart can sustain the spiritual knowledge.
The relationship of the Master and the disciple is the heart to heart link in which his love, knowledge and grace flows provided the disciple is pure and is ready to receive.
The Master never sees the disciple as the body or mind. He sees him as pure consciousness and tells him that you are Atma and not this body, mind and intellect and guides him through the path of journeying to the inner self. Guru’s love is not to pamper the disciple’s ego and appreciate him all the time. His job is not to hold hands with the disciple and wipe away his tears, but to cut into pieces the disciple’s ego and all that stands between the disciple and salvation. The Guru does not allow dependence. If the disciple becomes too dependent on the Guru, He pushes the disciple away, insisting on independence. It is a remarkable expression of the deepest love. Guru’s love inspires and keeps the disciple on the move. His love expects nothing.
He gives the real knowledge of our true self. The Master tells us that our real self is Sat Chit Anand Swaroop, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient and not the limited mind, body and senses. Everyone gives us the worldly knowledge (How to get success in life, how to achieve, how to be happy). Only Satguru gives us the true knowledge (How to attain liberation from the cycles of birth and death, how to attain eternal happiness, how to develop love for The Almighty). The Master tells us that we have two personalities: – Spiritual and Worldly. His love, knowledge and grace help us to grow in both these aspects. Satguru leads to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual upliftment.
Physically he teaches us right eating and right exercise. Mentally we have so much of ego. Only a Master can identify and take away our ego. Emotionally we are high strung, crying at every little matter. The Master makes us emotionally strong.
Satguru says, “Everybody has to cross their river of emotions themselves. I am there to guide you as a solid rock but will not pamper your emotions”. Guru guides us, lifts us above the physical, mental and emotional level and takes us to the spiritual level. Under the guidance of a true Guru both the spiritual and worldly aspects develop. He makes us an all rounder, Alert (for the work in hand) and Awake (living in the moment and not mixing with the mind).
There are three graces. First is the grace of God, who gave us the human body. Second is the grace of Guru, who imparts wisdom (Gyan) and tells its practical application in life. Guru says, Jap (chanting God’s name), Dhyan (meditation), Swadhyay (study of spiritual scriptures) and Guru vani (satsang) are the four pillars to dispel darkness from life. A rosary in hand and continuous chanting of God’s name with the other three pillars helps to eradicate worldly thoughts; we learn ‘Who Am I’ and rise above duality.
Then third is the grace of oneself which is setting our aim of life i.e God realization and following the teachings of the Divine Master and applying them practically in our life. He, who is bestowed with the company of Satguru in his life, is the most fortunate one. The Guru’s grace and blessings helps the disciple to move on the path of spirituality, giving him various opportunities to learn and grow.
गुरु कुम्हार सिख कुम्भ है, गढ़ गढ़ काढ़ै खोट
अंतर हात सहार दे, बाहर बाहे चोट
Guru Kumhar Sikh Kumbh Hai, Gadh Gadh Kadhe Khot
Antar Hath Sahar De, Bahar Bahe Chot
Sant Kabir equates a disciple with clay or the unbaked earthen pot and the Guru as the Master Potter.
The potter who is a skilled artisan identifies the raw clay with flaws and blemishes, takes the clay and gives it shape. To ensure that the final product is flawless and immaculate the potter always has palm of one hand inside the pot while the second hand keeps beating it from outside. He ensures that the pot does not shatter or break during the pottery process. Similarly, the Guru takes upon Himself to instruct and educate the disciple who has the potential for enlightenment and realization. The beatings in this case are Guru’s strict disciplinary actions enforced during the training and learning period. Compassion, patience and perseverance are the protection provided by the Guru to the disciple during the various trials and tribulations that come in the path of learning and realization which are all His extreme love.
Satguru is a strict Master under whose training the disciple learns to become tough and strong. The Guru is not there in the disciple’s life to give him what he desires, but to give him that which is needed to progress spiritually.
Our close ones can take care of our physical and mental health. But it is only the Master who takes care of our spiritual growth. A mother and father help sustain the body of their child, and nurture and guide the child through the formative years of his life to adulthood whereas, The Master sustains, nurtures, and guides the soul through lifetimes to ultimate liberation.
Happy Guru Purnima !!