Having acquired an understanding of Karma in our last post, we now find ourselves immersed in a series of discussions on this subject (to be published subsequently), coinciding with the upcoming celebration of Gurupoornima on July 3rd. During these discussions, we realize the crucial role a Guru plays in our journey towards liberation from the effects of Karma. Let us in this post that Guru is Necessary for Spiritual Path
Why GuruPoornima is Celebrated?
Gurupoornima celebrates the special bond between the guru and the disciple. It is a time for disciples to renew their commitment to learning, following the teachings of their guru, and seeking guidance for their spiritual progress. Gurupoornima is associated with the birth anniversaries of great spiritual figures like Ved Vyasa, who is considered the Adi Guru (the first guru) and the compiler of the Mahabharata. It symbolizes the transmission of spiritual knowledge and the path to enlightenment and self-realization.
Who is a Guru
A guru is a term commonly used to refer to a spiritual teacher or guide. The word “guru” is derived from Sanskrit and means “dispeller of darkness” or “teacher.” A guru is someone who has attained spiritual enlightenment and possesses profound knowledge and wisdom in a particular field.
The guru is considered a revered figure and plays a vital role in guiding disciples or followers on their spiritual journey. The guru imparts knowledge, initiates disciples into spiritual practices or rituals, and helps them achieve self-realization or liberation (moksha).
Sai Baba’s Perspective on the Importance of a Guru
While the technical understanding of Karma enhances our comprehension of its intricacies, it is the Guru who imparts the wisdom and guidance necessary to effectively deal with Karma in our lives. The Guru’s teachings go beyond theoretical knowledge and provide us with practical tools and techniques to handle Karma’s influence.
As we had discussed in our previous post, we again want to bring into reference Chapter 1 of Sai Satcharitra. Hemadpant quotes here, “Sai Baba lived in Shirdi for about sixty years and during this long period, He did the business of grinding almost every day – not, however, the wheat alone; but the sins, the mental and physical afflictions and the miseries of His innumerable devotees. The two stones of His mill consisted of Karma and Bhakti, the former being the lower and the latter the upper one. The handle with which Baba worked the mill consisted of Jnana. It was the firm conviction of Baba that Knowledge or Self-realization is not possible unless there is the prior act of grinding of all our impulses, desires, sins; and of the three gunas, viz. Sattva, Raja, and Tama; and the Ahamkara, which is so subtle and therefore so difficult to be got rid of.”
Furthermore, in chapter 2 of the same work, it is quoted,” Next day after Hemadpant’s meeting with Sai Baba, Kakasaheb went to Baba and asked whether he should leave Shirdi. Baba Said, “Yes”. Then someone asked – “Baba, where to go?” Baba said, “High up.” Then the man said, “How is the way?” Baba said, “There are many ways leading there; there is one way also from here (Shirdi). The way is difficult. There are tigers and wolves in the jungles on the way.” I (Kakasaheb) asked – “But Baba, what if we take a guide with us?” Baba answered, – “Then there is no difficulty. The guide will take you straight to your destination, avoiding wolves, tigers and ditches etc. on the way. If there be no guide, there is the danger of your being lost in the jungles or falling into ditches.” Mr. Dabholkar was present on this occasion and he thought that this was the answer Baba gave to the question whether Guru was a necessity (Vide Sai Leela Vol. I, No.5, Page 47); and he thereupon took the hint that no discussion of the problem, whether man is free or bound, is of any use in spiritual matters, but that on the contrary real Paramartha is possible only as the result of the teachings of the Guru, as is illustrated in this chapter of the original work in the instances of great Avatars like Rama and Krishna, who had to submit themselves to their Gurus, Vasishtha and Sandipani respectively, for getting self- realization and that the only virtues necessary for such progress are faith and patience.”
Chapter 32 of Sai Satcharitra delves into the profound topic of the importance of a Guru. Throughout Sat Satcharitra, we come across various references to Sai Baba’s perspective regarding the necessity of having a Guru who can guide us on the path of self-realization and ultimately assist us in achieving it. Although Sai Baba had already attained Moksha, He chose to remain in his physical form to impart this crucial and ultimate truth to us. His intention was to bring an end to the suffering of every human body and the journey of every soul. Given our limited understanding as ignorant beings, we struggle to comprehend such profound truths and concepts. Recognizing this, Baba graciously assumed the responsibility of helping us in our quest. He firmly believed that having a Guru in one’s life is essential for attaining true self-realization.
In Chapter 39 of Sai Satcharitra, the spotlight once again shines on the importance of a Guru, intertwining Sai Baba’s profound knowledge of Sanskrit and a remarkable encounter about interpreting a verse from Bhagvat Gita involving Nanasaheb Chandorkar, a devoted follower. The narrative unfolds, providing us with deeper insights into Sai Baba’s wisdom and the significant impact He had on the lives of His followers. To conclude this post we would be using the same quote.
On this Gurupoornima…
As devoted followers of Sai Baba, we are not constrained by any rigid rituals or rules when it comes to observing or celebrating this special day. Nevertheless, on this auspicious occasion, let us approach Sai Baba with a humble heart and a sincere desire to understand what blessings He wishes to bestow upon us. With unwavering devotion, we acknowledge that Sai Baba is tirelessly working to fulfill our aspirations and eagerly waiting to grant us what He deems appropriate. On this significant day, let us wholeheartedly seek Sai Baba’s divine guidance, surrendering ourselves to His wisdom and grace, as we navigate the path of devotion and enlightenment.
Bhagvat Gita Quote
तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया | उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिन: || 34 ||— Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4, Verse 34
Transliteration: tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśhnena sevayā
upadekṣhyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśhinaḥ
Translation word by word: tat—the truth; viddhi—try to learn; praṇipātena—by approaching a spiritual master; paripraśhnena—by humble inquiries; sevayā—by rendering service; upadekṣhyanti—can impart; te—unto you; jñānam—knowledge; jñāninaḥ—the enlightened; tattva-darśhinaḥ—those who have realized the truth
Translation: Learn the Truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him with reverence and render service unto him. Such an enlightened Saint can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the Truth.
Our Interpretation: This verse emphasizes the importance of seeking guidance from a spiritual teacher or guru. It advises approaching the guru with respect, asking questions with humility, and serving the guru. By doing so, one can gain true knowledge and understanding of the spiritual truth, as the enlightened guru has direct insight into the ultimate reality.
Image Courtesy: Sai Baba Images with GuruPoornima Quotes, Wishes & Messages
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