The mystery of Guru Purnima – A tribute to all the Gurus

The Guru in the Hindu tradition is looked upon as an embodiment of God Himself. Sometimes more than God because it is through his grace and guidance that one reaches the highest state of wisdom and bliss.One should never consider guru’s place less than God because one who seeks guru as god & whose body, mind & soul are dedicated in the lotus feet of his guru attains the path of God realization.


The sacred festival of Guru Poornima is approaching on 19 July 2016. Let us take a vow to seek our guru with full devotion and make our life blissful.

Guru poornima day is celebrated in the month of Ashaada (July-August) every year on the full moon day. This is the day when devotees find the way to pay homage their respective gurus. This day is dedicated to the Adi (original) guru of all the humans, Vyasa. Vyasa, a great Rishi(sage) was born on this auspicious day. He is described as an incarnation of lord Narayana. He set down in writing the Vedas which previously were known only in the form of sound.

He was the writer who wrote 18 Puranas. He was the great grandson of Sage Vashishtha & the son of sage Parashar. He was the author of Mahabharata. The short version of Bhishma Parva of the sacred Mahabharata is Shree Bhadbhagvat Geeta. This is a wonderful Granth which has been translated in almost all the languages of the world and contains the valuable knowledge of yoga and meditation. Veda Vyasa gathered all the Vedic hymns extract during his time and divided them into four parts Rig, Yajur,Sama and Arthava, based on their use in the sacrificial rites and taught these Vedas to his four chief disciples –Paila, Vaishampayana, Jamini and Sumantu. It was this dividing and editing that earned him the honorific, ”Vyasa”( Vyasa to edit, to divide). Sage Vyasa is greatly honoured & worshipped for his Immense knowledge, deep devotion, unimaginable poetic flair and excellent scholarly qualities. His birthday is celebrated as Guru Poornima in our country.

Guru is like a sanjivni Booty( life saving drug) in various ailments. Guru leads the way to God and make the disciple fear of birth and death. Guru is a link between the individual and the immortal. The fact is that we can’t imagine the existence without a true guru. Even the God in his incarnation on earth had to seek the guidance of Guru. People generally take initiation into spiritual life from some preceptor or get some direction for some law and fast and vigil. Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, Swami Vivekananda, Dayananda, Kabir, Raidas, Dadu etc all these persons illuminate and radiate like a crystal in the hands of guru.


Guru is

“Shiva sans his three eyes.
Vishnu sans his four arms
Brahma sans his four heads
He is Parama Shiva himself in human form.”

Brahmanda Purana

In almost all the religions of world, guru has got the prime importance. They are called by different names like- Mahather, Muni, Parivrajak, Peer, Auliya, Wise, Father, Revrend etc. Bodh religion calls the guru Pragya. In ‘Devalsmiriti’there is description of eleven gurus. For ex- Acharya, pita, Agraj, Raja, brother of mother, Father of the wife, Rakshak, Nana, Baba, Chacha and the best in all the casts means Brahmin.In sikh Dharam There are ten Gurus from Gurunanak Dev to Gurugovindsingh ji Maharaj. Guru is called Ustad also. Goswami Tulsidas has defined the Guru in this way-

Gyan kahe agyan binu tum binu kahe prakash
Nirgun kahe jo sagun binu so guru Tulsidas.

Kabir said- ‘If all the land were turned to paper and all the seas turned to ink and all the forests into pens to write with, they would still not suffice to describe the greatness of the Guru.’

Hindus attach paramount importance to guru by calling him ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’.

When a person seeks guidance from the guru he wants to achieve final salvation and Attain God. But the question comes, how to reach God? What is the best way to attain salvation? He gets confused and unable to choose the right path. In the process he feels himself lost and confused. That person only can guide him or show him the right path who has already reached there.

In India, there are many instances when the disciples had abandoned everything in order to seek the blessing of the guru. Guru’s order was everything to them. See the tale of one such disciple who dedicated his life to his guru-

Satyakam was the son of a woman named Jabal. He had a strong wish to study and so he left home in search of a guru. He went to the ashram of sage Gautam and requested him to make him his pupil. Gautam questioned him, “Before I make you my pupil, I need to know about your family.” This puzzled Satyakam, as he had no idea about his family except his mother. But to join the ashram he would not lie. He told the sage that he would ask his mother. So he went to Jabal. His mother told him, “Go to the sage and tell him ‘I am the son of Jabal and my name is Satyakam Jabali.”

Satyakam went to Gautam and told him what he knew. The sage was pleased with his love for truth, honesty and accepted him as his pupil. Sage Gautam wanted to test Satyakam’s patience and his desire to learn. One day he told Satyakam, “Satyakam! take the herd of 400 weak cows anywhere bring them up and when they are 1000 in number return, I shall start your education.” Satyakam knew that sage Gautam was testing his patience. Without uttering a single word he left with the cows. He took them to the forest and looked after them with loving care. Satyakam built an ashram for himself in the forest and nurtured cows with full dedication. He also followed all the rules and duties of brahmachari. Years went by. The number of cows increased to 1000.

Each and every cow was strong and healthy. Satyakam had fulfilled sage Gautam’s wish. It was a time for Satyakam to return back to ashram. All the gods and deities were happy with Satyakam’s obedience and dedication to his guru. On his way back to Ashram, Satyakam stopped at one place to take a night-halt and lighted a fire to warm himself. During that night, he was blessed with the sacred knowledge of Vedas and Shastras by Agni (fire). On the following evening, Satyakam stayed near a lake along with cows where he was blessed and enlightened by a swan. Similarly, he was also enlightened by a bull and a water fowl.

Now enlightened Satyakam returned back to the sage Gautam’s ashram with all 1000 cows. Sage Gautam saw the glow of enlightenment on his face. He was surprised. He was also very happy that Satyakam had looked after the cows very well. He asked Satyakam, “Child!

Your face shines like a scholar. Who taught you?” Satyakam told him about his four teachers and what they taught him. After settling down, Satyakam respectfully requested sage Gautam, “teacher! According to your wish, I have come back with 1000 cows. Now, please teach me.” Gautam replied, “Child! I have nothing to teach what you don’t know.

You are already enlightened by your four teachers. In fact, now you are more knowledgeable than me. I bless you!!”

Thus the guru is the sage who has transcended name and form and is beyond the effects of three gunas or attributes, he is neither enthusiastic nor uninterested. He is unaffected, calm, and contended. Who has control over his senses, who knows all Vedas, shastras, who is always ready to perform good to others, who is yogi and brahmchari, disciplined and graceful. He is the atma, having realised that the atma is the one and the only one. He makes his disciple out of the fear of birth and death; he renders the disciples for the vision of the eternal absolute truth.

So on this auspicious occasion of guru poornima on 19 July 2016 ,let us dedicate ourselves in the lotus feet of our reverend guru to seek his blessings.

Dhyaana moolam Guror murthi;
Pooja moolam Guror padam;
Mantra moolam Guror vakyam;
Moksha moolam guror kripa.