CONCEPT OF GURU

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(Shyamsundar Turaga)

Om that sat Om that sat Om that sat

First word: In Indian tradition and culture, the place given to is supreme and next to God. This concept is very old and dates to Vedic period. This is expressed through the hymen given below.

Gurur Brahmaa gurur Vishnuh Gurur Devo Maheshvarah

Gurur Saakshaat Prarabrahma Tasmai Sree Gurave Namah

Meaning: The above stanza explains that guru is nothing but Brahma himself. He is Vishnu. He is also Shiva. Know the Supreme Brahman and see in Him and offer thy salutations unto that peerless Guru.

The concept: India is a land of spirituality and is considered as the spiritual mother to all nations in this world. Concept of Guru is unique to Indian Vedic culture, and this is one of the priceless gifts to this world along with the Vedic teachings. The term Veda means divine knowledge, and only one Veda was known to our ancestors. Later with the incarnation of Vyas also known as Veda Vyas who subdivided erstwhile single Veda… Rigveda into four Vedas. As we comprehend that Vedas are eternal and ancient Rishis and sages are our first Gurus who had blessed humanity with this ancient knowledge and wisdom. The Vedas are also called as ‘Shruti’ which means the one which is to be listened and learned.

Here comes the existence of guru since Vedas are only to be listened while guru chants them. The disciples repeat the Sanskrit stanzas along with guru and thus learn Vedas. Thus, the link between guru and disciple is unique and continues to generations after generations. The students or vidyarthis starts staying with guru from the very childhood and remains with him till he is declared by his guru as learned and his training is complete. Thus the ‘Gurukul’ come to exist.

Our Rishis are greatest spiritual scientists ever present who had unfolded the mysteries of universe and are adept masters in their chosen fields. We are amazed at scientific developments and innovations coming from west, it may be surprising for few, but true reality is that our Ancient Rishis were greatest scientists ever present who were adepts in all fields known and unknown to humanity like physics, chemistry, medicine, atomic science, biological sciences, economics, mathematics, science of human body, science of breathing, science of evolution etc. To name a few

Acharya Charak (600 BCE) Father of Medicine – His work Charak Samhita
Acharya Sushrut (600 BCE) Father of Plastic Surgery – his work Sushrut Samhita
Sage Varahamira (499 – 587 BCE) Eminent Astrologer and Astronomer
Acharya Bharadwaj (800 BCE ) Pioneer of aviation technology
Acharya Kapil (3000 BCE ) Father of cosmology
Aryabhatt (476 BCE) Father of Mathematics and astronomy
Bhaskaracharya (1114 – 1183 BCE) Father of Algebra
Acharya Kanad (600 BCE) Founder of Atomic theory
Sage Nagarjuna (100 BCE) Wizard in Chemical Science
Sage Patanjali ( 200 BCE ) Father of Yoga – Acharya Patanjali will forever be remembered and revered as a pioneer in the science of self-discipline, happiness and self-realization and many more

All current Scientific, Spiritual techniques and teachings are based on the knowledge passed on from these great divine souls. As they say Vedas are the root to all teachings and techniques. Great Rishis had passed this ageless wisdom in all subjects present in current times.

The term “GURU” is the combination of two different syllables “GU” and “RU” which independently carry different meanings. GU mean Darkness and RU means Light, so Guru is one who can lead us from Ignorance to Knowledge, darkness to light, worry to Happiness. According to our ancient scriptures all problems, worries etc in one’s life occur due to lack of Knowledge, due to ignorance.

As it is not an easy task to understand the intricacies of higher values, almighty himself comes down in different incarnations say in the form of Masters so that we can relate to them in many ways and understand the true meaning of life and creation. To better know in the last century “Ramakrishna Param Hans” is an example. Later the position was occupied by Swamy Vivekananda.

If we see around us we can observe that there is an infinite power running behind this entire creation and whole creation is itself a miracle. To name a few infinite power of sun and moon (unlimited supply of energy and light), discipline in nature is indicated by seasons, unlimited supply of oxygen, countless number of plant and animal species. Planets revolving around Sun in a definite (orbit) path for countless number of years without fail. And the existence of infinite number of stars is another miracle. Plants releasing oxygen through photosynthesis in a sustained manner to ensure supply that never ends. Interdependency of all living beings (84 Lakh of species), whole mechanism of human body, amazing technology present within our own bodies is another wonder. It is a wonder indeed why they say that human body itself is a mini universe. And also, we can observe that everything goes according to a plan like day and night, sun rising and setting etc, can be sited as few examples.

According to divine plan spiritual giants incarnate on this planet at different places, at different times with different physical bodies to lead the humanity towards higher human values and to make this planet a better place to live in. It is our ignorance to think that all these gurus are different; though they take different forms they all have same divinity. Though they teach different subjects in different languages in fact their core message will always be the same. All spiritual teachers expect us to become true followers by applying knowledge in daily life so that we can improve ourselves in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Inner transformation leads to outer transformation. Change always starts from within us.

Just like a university has different departments these spiritual teachers choose different subjects in this vast university called Earth to reach various seekers across the globe and to help to achieve inner transformation and to realize true potential which lies within all of us. This whole planet is a university, and we are all students at different levels learning different lessons which are important to our growth in all 4 levels to pass the exams of human life.

As Lord Datthaathreya said one has something to learn from every creature and from everyone on this planet. Each and Everyone have something to contribute to others by way of knowledge, wisdom and personal experience, a wise person learns from others’ mistakes. Most persons learn from their own mistakes except for a minority.

Guru is a spiritual teacher who can guide us towards higher values in life. As Humans had evolved from mineral, plant, animal kingdoms, Gurus guide us to lead like a true human being. True guidance can come in any form for instance Guru’s message, in the form of book, in the form of message from a friend etc. A Guru’s Physical body is not permanent, only their guidance, teachings and consciousness is permanent. We can show our true devotion to almighty or Our Guru only by maximizing our efforts to apply and follow their teachings in daily life as spirituality is nothing but understanding the Art of living principles and laws of life so that we can understand the true relationship with ourselves and universe.

Guru’s teachings and messages are more important than guru’s physical body as the saying goes ‘Message is more important than Messenger’.

In physical world, all products come with a user guide so that we can use it in a right manner and make the most out of it, similarly their teachings and messages can act as a user manual to make the most of this human life by realizing the hidden potential (atman) which lies in all of us and also understanding the light within ourselves.

Guru’s teachings can act as user guide for this human life.

Once the student is ready teacher appears

An ounce of action is better than tons of knowledge. Knowledge is power only when it is applied so a true student is one who learns and applies the knowledge gained. True devotion or reverence can be shown only in the form of virtuous thoughts, words and actions (manasa watcha and karmanena).

According to Divine masters we should not limit our Sadhana or spiritual practice to few minutes or hours in a day. In fact, all Gurus say that our whole journey of life should be like a continuous Sadhana it means that once we align our thoughts, words and actions to higher values than our whole life every single minute, hour and day transforms into Sadhana. Chanting of mantras, performing certain rituals, practicing certain spiritual techniques is not the complete definition of a spiritual life, above all thus leading a life by aligning ourselves to Laws of universe and by maximizing our efforts to convert the whole journey of life as a spiritual path filled with ideals like:

  • Positive thinking and Positive mental attitude
  • Practicing Humbleness and dressing in a dignified way projecting our inward and outward personality as simple living and high thinking
  • Serving others in whatever way we can even speaking an encouraging word from heart is also one kind of service
  • Sharing the wealth and time for making a difference to other beings on this planet
  • Practicing nonviolence in thoughts (Thought pollution is considered as the most dangerous threat to our planet) words and actions
  • Radiating Peace, Love and Happiness to other people
  • As Time is divine so utilizing our time in a best way possible for self-growth and to make a difference to others in society to extent possible
  • Practicing Forgiveness, Perseverance, Dedication, Cheerfulness, Balance state of mind, living in awareness, discharging our responsibilities with utmost sincerity and willingness, According to Bhagawad Gita – considered as one of the ultimate and evergreen art of living guides – First and last words of Gita are Dharma and My (Right action or Responsibility) and Masters say that that is the whole gist of Gita teachings. Understanding our roles and playing those roles to its full extent as a citizen of this planet earth, as mother or father, sister or brother, friend, employee, daughter or son, uncle or aunt, employee of a company or whatever role we may be playing in day-to-day life.
  • In this amazing world of creation, we are the only creatures bestowed with power of speech as it is imperative that we use this power in a positive way by uttering positive, loving, encouraging, powerful words in day-to-day life.

This may sound as simple things as “life’s greatest truths are the simplest” so in this journey most of us deviate in our life from spirituality. In current times we tend to overlook simple and basic truths as we are bombarding our minds with complicated thoughts. Tons and tons of literature is available about this vast subject of spiritual life, if we can summarize it will come down to simple and basic truths of life. Once we march towards self improvement and also giving helping hand to other beings’ rest of the things will fall into place automatically.

We offer our utmost reverence and gratitude to all Rishis, Sages and all Masters.

Om that sat Om that sat Om that sat

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