Gurvina gulaamanaaguva thanaka Doreyadanna mukuthi
Till you surrender yourself to your Guru, you will not get salvation– sings the Sangeeta Pitamaha, Sri Purandara Vitthala himself.
The meaning of ‘Guru’ is of the person who dispels the darkness and shows the path of light. This darkness is nothing but ignorance to the truth, the purest form of knowledge there is, and the Guru is the one who ignites the flame of passion to learn, to imbibe as much as knowledge as there is and utilize that knowledge for the betterment of the beings around him.
Our Vedas, Smritis, Upanishads, Sutras, Itihasa and puranas contain a plethora of factual, scientific, historical, geographical, anecdotal and spiritual accounts of the ideas, ideals and life of our great ancestors, as they were. The first step taken on the unending road of learning is the step of humility. Any true student would know that they will never be as great as their guru or ancestors and does not aspire to become great, but to be learned. Greatness follows those are humble and aspiring to learn is yet to be learnt.
What makes a Guru different from a teacher? The English equivalent of guru are teacher and professor, but for some reason, they remain equivalent and substitutes or exact meanings. The simple reason being, most teachers and professors take pride in achieving the state of being called a teacher of professor and deem themselves to be the utmost authority in their fields of expertise- fail all tenets of humility that is required to qualify as a guru or even a sishya. A guru is devoid of all superiority and inferiority complexes.
गुरुचरणाम्बुज निर्भर भक्तः
द्रक्ष्यसि निज हृदयस्थं देवम्
As the great, Sri Adishankara Bhagavatpaada concludes in his immortal composition, Bhaja Govindam, we are reminded that it is through surrender to the Guru that we can cross this ocean of samsara towards moksha and it through disciplining of the sensory organs by such surrender, that we can experience the divine, Sri Krishna himself.
Perhaps, a fool can only recite the name of Govinda, only if he surrenders himself to the Guru, who can help him realise the true form of Govinda, and partake the milk that is knowledge.
But, this knowledge comes to one whose’s mind is an Arjuna, capable of imbibing the Gita, instead of a mind that resembles Duryodhana’s- an unquenchable greed for power and greatness in the eyes of the world.
The world today suffers from a severe identity crisis and is unable to find itself. In order to realise that is “Aham Brahmasmi”, one needs a guru. Perhaps that is why, Gurukula is seen as a defining moment in a person’s life.
Search for a Guru. Surrender to a Guru. Serve a Guru. Realise the supreme, through a Guru.
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