GURUPURNIMA MAHOTSAVAM … The importance of Guru in our lives!

published on June 24, 2012

What if children were told to educate themselves in modern sciences without any teacher or any access to prior knowledge gained over centuries? What if we had to reinvent the wheel in every walk of life, without having access to knowledge that was already available from authorities in the field? If this were the case, we would spend a lifetime trying to educate ourselves without making much headway or perhaps even going down a wrong path. In the same way, a guide is very much required in our spiritual journey too. A guide in any field needs to be an authority in that particular field. According to Spiritual science a person who is an authority in the field of Spirituality is known as a Guru.

There is a saying that in the kingdom of the blind the seeing man is a king. With a highly activated sixth sense, the Guru is the totally ‘seeing’ person in the kingdom of the spiritually blind and ignorant. He is someone who has already walked the spiritual road under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, and has access to the Universal Mind and Intellect.

Definition of a Guru or an evolved spiritual guide
There are various aspects to the Supreme God Principle. These various aspects of God perform specific functions in the Universe. This is pretty much similar to the government of any country which has various departments to facilitate the smooth governing and functioning of the country as a whole.

Just as we have a department for education in a government, which facilitates teaching of modern sciences throughout the country, the aspect of God that looks after spiritual teaching and spiritual growth in the Universe is known as the Guru. The salient and highlighting feature of Guru is that He stands by us throughout our life and slowly lifts us from our worldly life into a spiritual way of life. The Guru guides us according to our spiritual level, i.e. our capacity to imbibe knowledge whether we know it or not, helping us develop skills such as perseverance, dedication, compassion etc. through our lives. All these kinds of skills are intrinsic to being a good seeker of God and are vital in sustaining our spiritual journey. For those who are proactively seeking spiritual growth the Guru is more active, guiding them in an unseen form according to what is needed for them.

Literal Meaning of Guru
The word ‘Guru’ is derived from the Sanskrit language and has a deep spiritual meaning. Its two syllables Gu and Ru stand for the following:
1. Gu denotes the spiritual ignorance that most of humankind is in.
2. Ru represents the radiance of spiritual knowledge that dispels the spiritual ignorance.
In short, the Guru is the One who dispels the darkness of spiritual ignorance in humanity and bestows upon them spiritual experiences and spiritual knowledge.

What is the importance of the Guru in the human form?

Each one of us seeks guidance from teachers, doctors, lawyers etc. in their respective fields. If a guide is needed even in these comparatively simple fields, then imagine the importance of the Guru, who releases one from the bondage of life and death.
1. The Guru comes in many forms. He teaches us through situations, books, in human form, etc.
2. Unlike God and deities who do not display their existence and potential, the Guru displays His form through the human Guru. This way the student of Spirituality has a guide to take care of him on his spiritual journey.
3. The Guru in human form is omniscient and is able to perceive everything about his disciple. He knows whether the student is sincere or not and where he is making mistakes. As a result, the student being aware of this ability of the Guru, often refrains from doing bad deeds.
4. The Guru eradicates the inferiority complex in the deserving disciple and grants him the all pervading nature of the Guru.
5. The relationship between Guru and student is pure and the love that the Guru has for the student is without expectations and is unconditional.
6. The Guru is omniscient and is therefore able to take care of the student even when he is not with Him physically.
7. Severe destiny can only be overcome with the grace of the Guru.
8. The Guru guides the student according to the six laws of spiritual practice as per the spiritual level and hence capacity. He never teaches a student beyond his capacity.
9. Though the clouds shower rain equally everywhere, the water accumulates only in craters while the erect mountains remain dry. Similarly Gurus and Saints do not discriminate. The bestowal of their grace on all is the same but the ones with pure intention to learn and grow spiritually are like the craters, able to receive and retain the benefit of their grace.
10. The Guru being omniscient intuitively knows what is best for the student to further his spiritual progress. He guides on a one-to-one basis.

    Gurupournima is the pure full moon day of the Hindu calendar month of ashadh (usually coincides with July of the English calender). This day is celebrated every year to express gratitude unto the Guru Principle. The ArchGuru, Sage Vyas (founder of the Guru-disciple lineage), is worshipped on this day. This festival is the greatest festival in the life of a seeker. The Guru Principle is a thousand times more active on this day than on any other through out the year. (Just as Lord Krushna’s tatvam is more on Shree Krishna Jyanathi, Lord Shiva’s tatvam is more on Shivaratrim etc., so is Gurutatvam more on Gurupurnima day.)     This festival provides an unmatchable opportunity to progress spiritually through service and sacrifice unto the Truth. That is why seekers and Disciple participate in this mission for the Truth with all their body, wealth and mind. The real disciple remembers his Guru every moment and strives to do spiritual practice regularly. Even so, this day is especially celebrated for the following reasons:

1. Seekers celebrate Gurupournima to express gratitude to the Guru.

2. On Gurupournima day, the grace and blessings endowed by the Guru principle is a thousand times more than that on any other day.

Importance of Gurupournima
A. As Gurutattva is active 1000 times more on Gurupournima day than on other days, seva (service) or tyag done for Gurupournima celebration also yield benefits 1000 times more; hence, it is an invaluable occasion for attaining God’s grace.

B. Guru-disciple tradition of Hindus is the Chaitanya charged culture spread over millions of years. However, with time, this great Guru-disciple tradition has been neglected because of influence of a Raja-Tama-predominant culture. On account of Gurupournima, we are able to worship Sri Guru and convey the importance of Guru-disciple tradition to the society. In short, we get a golden opportunity to preserve the Guru-disciple tradition.


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