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Who is Guru ?

Shri 108 Bal Yogi Shri Santosh Nath ji

श्रीगुरु: परमेशानी शुद्धवेशो मनोहर: |
सर्वलक्षणसम्पन्न: सर्वावयवशोभित: || ( कुलार्णव तंत्र )

वे शुद्धवेश वाले हैं और उनकी मनोहर मुस्कान यह प्रकट करती हैं कि उनकी सभी इन्द्रियों में अंतर आनंद का प्रवाह हो रहा है, जो बाहर प्रसन्नता के रूप में प्रकट होता है | उनका अंग-प्रत्यंग सौंदर्य से शोभित है और दिव्यानन्द से आभासित है, क्योकि ब्रह्मानंद की प्रभा, मस्ती तथा प्रेम की निर्झरणी उनमे प्रवाहित होती है | वे कुंडलिनी जाग्रत करते हैं |


Who is Guru ?

The Sanskrit root "Gu" means darkness or ignorance, "Ru" denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore one who removes darkness of our ignorance is a Guru. Only he who removes our ultimate darkness, known as Maya, and who inspires and guides us on to the path of God-realization is the true Guru. Students also refer to their schoolteacher or college lecturer as guru. The connotation of the word guru in this case is one who imparts temporal knowledge (Apara Vidya) and is thus accordingly offered respect.

A spiritual aspirant, no matter how brilliant, can never attain such knowledge by his own endeavor. This is stipulated in the Shrimad Bhagwatam in which Jadbharat reveals to king Rahugan:

"O Rahugan! One cannot attain knowledge of Atma and Paramatma by performing penance, sacrifices, renunciation, Vedic study or worshipping deities of water, fire or the sun. But when the dust from the feet of a satpurush (God-realized Guru) sprinkles on our heads, then we can surely attain this knowledge."


Skanda Purana - Guru Gita -
A famous verse known by heart by all Hindu children glorifies the Guru:

Gurubrahma Guruvishnu Gururdevo Maheshwaraha |
Guruhu sakshaat Parambrahman tasmai Shrigurave namaha ||

"The guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva), veneration to the Guru who is Parabrahman manifest."


The second line of the couplet does not literally mean that the Guru becomes Parabrahman - God, rather he is venerated as if God is manifesting through him. This is subtly illustrated by another famous verse known to all Hindus:

Guru Govind donu khade, kisko laagu paay,
Balihari Gurudevaki jinhe Govind diyo bataay.

"The Guru and Govind -God, are present before me, to whom shall I bow down first? Glory to the Guru since he showed me Govind."



The Role of the Guru

Ajnana-Timirandhasya Jnananjana-Salakaya;
Chakshurunmilitam Yena Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah.

Prostrations to that Guru who, by the collyrium-rod of Knowledge, opens the eyes of those who are rendered blind by the darkness of ignorance (Guru Gita).

The Guru is God Himself manifesting in a personal form to guide the aspirant. Grace of God takes the form of Guru. To see the Guru is to see God. The Guru is united with God. He inspires devotion in others. His presence purifies all.

The Guru is verily a link between the individual and the Immortal. He is a being who has raised himself from this into That, and thus has a free and unhampered access to both the realms. He stands, as it were, upon the threshold of immortality; and bending down, he raises the struggling individuals with his one hand, and with the other lifts them up into the empyrean of everlasting joy and infinite Truth-Consciousness.



The Satguru

Mere study of books cannot make one a Guru. One who has studied the Vedas and who has direct knowledge of Atman through Anubhava can only be enrolled as a Guru. A Jivanmukta or a liberated sage is the real Guru or spiritual preceptor. He is the Satguru. He is identical with Brahman or the Supreme Self. He is a Knower of Brahman.

Possession of Siddhis is not the test to declare the greatness of a sage or to prove he has attained Self-realisation. Satgurus do not exhibit any miracles or Siddhis. Sometimes they may exhibit them in order to convince the aspirants of the existence of super physical things, give them encouragement, and instil faith in their hearts. A Satguru is endowed with countless Siddhis. He possesses all divine Aisvarya, all the wealth of the Lord.

The Satguru is Brahman Himself. He is an ocean of bliss, knowledge and mercy. He is the captain of your soul. He is the fountain of joy. He removes all your troubles, sorrows and obstacles. He shows you the right divine path. He tears your veil of ignorance. He makes you immortal and divine. He transmutes your lower, diabolical nature. He gives you the rope of knowledge and saves you when you are drowning in this ocean of Samsara.

Guru is God. A word from him is a word from God. He need not teach anything. Even his presence or company is elevating, inspiring and stirring. The very company itself is self-illumination. Living in his company is spiritual education.

Guru is the Moksha-Dvara. He is the gateway to the transcendental Truth-Consciousness. But, it is the aspirant that has to enter through it. The Guru is a help, but the actual task of practical Sadhana falls on the aspirant himself.



The Need for a Guru

For a beginner in the spiritual path, a Guru is necessary. To light a candle, you need a burning candled Even so, an illumined soul alone can enlighten another soul.

Some do meditation for some years independently. Later on, they actually feel the necessity for a Guru. They come across some obstacles in the way. They do not know how to obviate these impediments or stumbling blocks. Then they begin to search for a Master.

The scriptures are like a forest. There are ambiguous passages. There are passages that are apparently contradictory and others that have esoteric meanings, diverse significance and hidden explanations. There are cross references. You are in need of a Guru or Preceptor who will explain to you the right meaning, who will remove doubts and ambiguities, who will place before you the essence of the teachings.

A Guru is absolutely necessary for every aspirant in the spiritual path. It is only the Guru who will find out your defects. The nature of egoism is such that you will not be able to find out your own defects. Just as a man cannot see his back, so also he cannot see his own errors. He must live under a Guru for the eradication of his evil qualities and defects.

The aspirant who is under the guidance of a Master or Guru is safe from being led astray. Satsanga or association with the Guru is an armour and fortress to guard you against all temptations and unfavourable forces of the material world.



Choosing the Guru

If you find peace in the presence of a Mahatma, if you are inspired by his speeches, if he is able to clear your doubts, if he is free from greed, anger and lust, if he is selfless, loving and I-less, you can take him as your Guru. He who is able to clear your doubts, he who is sympathetic in your Sadhana, he who does not disturb your beliefs but helps you on from where you are, he in whose very presence you feel spiritually elevated—he is your Guru. Once you choose your Guru, implicitly follow him. God will guide you through the Guru.

For a beginner in the spiritual path, a Guru is necessary. To light a candle, you need a burning candled Even so, an illumined soul alone can enlighten another soul.

For a beginner in the spiritual path, a Guru is necessary. To light a candle, you need a burning candled Even so, an illumined soul alone can enlighten another soul.

Rudraksham and Guru