By acharya balkrishna
A guru is the one who awakenes his disciples, makes them connected to the ultimate supreme power, shows them the direction, re-establishes the values of forgotten wisdom, makes them learn sadhana, makes his disciples intellectually sound and profound like himself by introducing them to their tma, yet, always remember- a teacher is only a motivator and a guide who shows the correct path, but it is the disciple who has to make his own endeavours to walk on this path.
If we connect ourselves to the level of consciousness in which our Ris, Santas, Gurus and caryas lived their lives and follow the advices given by them while in tambhara-praj i.e. in the state of praja prasada achieved in jvanamukti-avastha (liberated while still alive), that is through tambhara-praja, (that power or truth obtained in the super-reflective state of samdhi), then we too shall act and behave in the way similar to the saints and gurus and our lives will become as divine as theirs. The following story also reveals the same truth stated.
The students at the Gurukula (A school ancient times of imparting education) of Mahari Dhoumya used to graze the cows and do farming in addition to obtaining education. One evening, the sky was obscured with dark clouds and torrential rains poured out from the skies. Acharya Dhoumya’s mind was drawn to his agricultural fields. He pondered that the rain water was essential for farming. However, the precious water would not stay in the fields if the boundaries were broken. Moreover, the flow of rain water would also deplete the aluvial soil of the fields. It was, therefore, crucial to repair the broken boundaries, if any.
Upon receiving the orders from his master, runi, a disciple at the gurukula, marched towards the field and saw from a distance that the ridge or boundary of the field had broken at a certain place and it had begun to widen up due to the heavy flow of rain water. He first puts grass along with branches of trees and soil in order to seal the broken boundary, but all in vain. An idea struck him. He laid down in the gap and covered himself with soil to stem the outflow. His body blocked the water outflow, as a result of which more soil erosion was arrested. He resolve to spend the entire night in that way.
It was getting darker as the night progressed. Mahari Dhoumya was very concerned about his dearest disciple as he had not returned by then, The entire night was spent in such a worried manner. Early in the morning, he along with some other students, went to the agricultaral field, and found runi lying in the field successfully bridging the gap in the boundary. runi did not respond when called. The poor boy had lost his conciousness. The Mahari’s heart was filled with compassion and warmth on seeing runi’s single-minded devotion to duty and ‘devotion to guru’. The Mahari carried him on his lap and having reached the rama (hermitage), attended to his treatment. Mahari Dhoumya was overwhelmed and said,- “Son runi ! you did not bother even for your own life to follow my orders. The future generation of students will draw inspiration and motivation from this act of your devotion in following the orders of the master.”
“What do you eat? What do you wear? and where do you live?” – a person enquired a Sufi saint. The saint answered, “I eat death, wear the shroud and my home is the grave.” It means that a guru is the slayer of death and a student acquires that knowledge from his guru which may make him immortal.
Ahamindro na parajigya iddhanam na mtyave avatasthe kadacana.
Meaning: I am indra, endowed with prosperity and I can never be vanquished. I have not taken up this human body to die, rather, I have come to defeat mortality.
An carya is verily death, because he slays and destroys the ignorance of disciples.
Mtyoraham brahmacar yadasmi.
In other words, I am the very form of death, the celibate of The Supreme Personality, who acts according to His instructions.
Sheer reliance on masters of the external world and the scriptures will make us dependents. That is why, our tattvadrt Ris, (sages), who have understood the essence of life, have directed us to become our own teacher and master, to seek dharma (true religion), satya (the truth) and Paramtm (The Supreme Self) within.
Gurudarana or Gurubhakti means to imbibe the character of the guru (the spiritual master). The proper meaning of Gurudakina is to whole-heartedy surrender and dedicate oneself to the seva-yaja (The works undertaken for the betterment of the society) conducted by the master.
To integrate one’s mind, intellect, speech and behaviour with that of a true master or saint through a firm resolve, and live like them with divine consciousness, is known as guru-darana in the true sense.
Dialogue with the Guru
Gurus (the spiritual teachers or masters) are the very source of wisdom. To undertake svadhyya (self-study; actually the study of vedas), cintana (contemplation) and manana (reflection) on the vedic scriptures, illuminated by the great gurus, the treatises written by the erudite, righteous and assiduous, direct-indirect masters, and thus imbibe the knowledge and practise the art of dhyana-Yoga is equivalent to directly establishing communication with the brahmaniha (those who are firmly established in the Brahma- the supreme self). The words from the scripture and the mouth of a master, echoes in the sadhaka (practitioner) and he feels that his life is based on the words of scriptures and master. By Svadhyaya (Self-study) and Sadhana (Practices) of this kind, the life of a sadhaka begins to transform and becomes the replica of his master. It is an event similar to an extinguishing lamp, which suddenly becomes brighter.
We should first determine our own shortcomings before looking at others’ shortcomings. Before critising others, we must get rid of our shortcomings, if they do exist. Utilise the time spent on critisizing others in self-development. Then you will come to realise that by wiping out the hatred developed as a result of critisizing others, is now, taking you towards eternal bliss. One must always remember this formula- “Do not carry the burden of others’ defects, if you have the capacity, then clean them instead.”
One of the secrets of progress, is ‘Self-analysis’. Self-analysis is the mirror in which we can explore and analyse those parts of our mind, that otherwise remain hidden from us. Diagnose your failures and find out the good and bad tendencies within you. Questions such as – Who am I? What do I wish to become? and What are the weak points that surround me? should be thoroughly scrutinized.
We should try to win ourselves first, before aspiring to win the world; only then, we can conquer the world. We can control all the living beings of the world, when we are firmly established as a jitendriya (the one who has absolute control over his senses). Then, none of the creatures would ever dare disobey or protest against us.
If we wish for peace, competence and power, then, we have to take recourse of our inner supreme self. We can deceive the world, but not our own selves. If we seek the approval of our inner consciousness before every action, then our sense of right discrimination will not be destroyed. No one can stop us from achieving success if we continue to work according to the motivation of our souls, regardless of the criticism of the world.
Critisism by others should be deemed as useless as the water in a mirage and shunned. True progress is achieved only on the basis of clear self analysis.
Trust God, not a human. The Almighty alone is our true guide and chaperone, and it is He who can lead us onto the correct path.
We should practice forbearance. We must understand our own responsibilties. We must identify our own shortcomings before we point out the mistaks in others and pass comments. If we are unable to control our tongue, then, we must utilise it to preach to ourselves. We must never forget the fact that words are under our control only until they are uttered. Once spoken, man comes under the sway of the words.
First and foremost, we must earnestly try to build a strong and noble character, for; without practice, man can never attain self realization. The prime components of self-realisation includes politeness, simplicity, soberness and tolerance.
We must strive to improve ourselves without bothering about the behaviour of others towards us. If this fact is understood, then it is as good as a big mystery being unraveled.
People often complaint saying- “We are tired of repeating and telling people, but no one listens or cares.” conveying the fact that their words make no impact on others. In my opinion, this suggests more a failure on the part of the speaker than the listener. Self analysis will definitely point out the lack of action as the root cause of this problem. The effectiveness of your speech depends on the efficacy of your actions. We may not utter a single word or may talk less, but if we dedicate ourselves to the given task, we will find within a couple of days, that people are getting attracted to us. Therefore, speak less and do more, as the impact of your utterances will only last for a while, but the effect of your actions will last forever.
Our Ris have stated- “It is prudence to know others, but to know one’s own self is called true wisdom. You have the potential and you can definitely achieve whatever you wish to accomplish from the whole existence.”
(Extracted from “Divine Transformation: Building Blocks for Enlightened Life, Ideal Nation and Peaceful World”.)