Friday, November 28, 2008

The Guru: A social Reformer, a Philosopher or As God?

Gurur-brahma Gurur-vishnu Gurur-devo Maheshwarah!
Gurureva Param Brahma Tashmai Sriguruve Namah! 

“Guru is Brahma (the Creator of the Universe), Guru is Vishnu (the Protector), Guru is Lord Maheshwara (the Destroyer), Guru verily is the Supreme Brahman (the Absolute); Prostration to that Guru.” This verse is from the famous Guru-Gita which is in the form of a dialogue between Goddess Uma and Lord Siva, in the Sanatkumar Samhita in the Skanda Purana. The first half of the second line ‘ Gurureva Param Brahma (Guru verily is the Supreme Brahman)’ is popularly chanted as ‘Gurusaksat Param Brahma’ which means Guru is the manifestation of Supreme Brahman. 

The verse sums up the relation of one’s spiritual preceptor and the God he worships with the Absolute that transcends all relationship. It establishes in no uncertain terms the sameness in essence of the three entities namely Guru, God and Self. To the neophyte in the spiritual path, this may appear to be unbelievable and irrational but this is the true path which he has to understand and digest, sooner or later, before he can make any appreciable progress in his march towards the Goal. 

Many may be familiar with the two terms ‘Guru’ and ‘God’ and may not have heard about ‘the Absolute’ at all. Their conception of Guru is limited to the physical personality of the spiritual teacher. What they understand by the term ‘God’ may be some super human person residing in some far-off world in space, in charge of the welfare of the good and punishment of the evil in this world. These are not wrong ideas. They are correct as far as they go; but they do not give the full significance of the two terms ‘Guru’ and ‘God’ that has to be comprehended properly by a spiritual seeker.

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