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« Reply #90 on: February 02, 2008, 01:37:05 PM »

Have Faith in your Guru




Faith is the state of mind towards the all supreme. It is a devotional surrender for the protection and grace of the lord.

Sri Sai Baba preferred the sadhanas involving faith and bhakti. He advocated worship of several things -images, coins, pictures, padukas etc. He has no mean place for the guru, the giver of Ghana and the solidifier of faith.

The path to the goal is rugged, and Sri Sai Baba warns us that it is infested with hungry wolves and tigers and with yawning pits to negotiate and stresses the need for a guide or guru. In brief, the attainment of gnana is largely upon our Guru. Trust in the guru fully and wholeheartedly. Leave off all doubts that is the only sadhana. Guru is God. Guru is everything. He is brother, father, well-wisher, relative and true friend. Seeing all as Guru is the highest state and he who feels him in every creature verily becomes Myself.

To aspirants for gnana, the mere acquisition of a Guru alone can never suffice. Lucky indeed must be he that finds the proper guru at whose feet he is privileged to sit and learn. Hindus, before they start on any of their prayers, first invoke their Gurus to lead them aright and to be acceptable to their Gods. A subjugation of the mind and will and absolute faith in the guru are the essentials of a true Bhakta.

Sri Sai Baba Says: "Stick to your own Guru with unabated faith whatever the merits of the other gurus. We must not give up our attachment to our own Guru but even more firmly rest in Him and Him alone."

You may have an idea of what constitutes Bhakti and how every one of us old and young, men and women, rich and poor strong and disabled, cultured and uncultured- can follow the path of devotion to attain salvation. To be deeply devoted to God, we should have an idea in the first place. God is everywhere. There is no place where He is not. Everything rests in Him, He resides in the heart of every being. He is in the king, in the beggar, in the animal, in the minutest worm, in plants and also in inanimate objects. That is why in the Gita the Lord said, "He who sees me everywhere and seeth everything in me, of him I will never lose hold and he shall never lose hold of me."

Holiness Guru Swami Kesavaiahji chosen apostle of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba deprecated the practice of being lured by those who exhibit occult powers, but He always insisted in his articles that infinite faith in the Guru would ultimately give satisfaction and bliss to those who respect tradition and religion. Swamiji stresses on saying all saints, Guru's are one. Service to suffering humanity is Baba's Dharma. He taught catholicity of religion. Everyone should serve and help others to his capacity. It is only the good we do, that accompanies our souls. Hatred and jealousy should be forbidden. Honesty and truthfulness are necessary. God recedes from those who are dishonest and untruthful. Character and truth are essential. Truth and righteousness alone save us. The ignorant youth is running away from religious and moral discipline because he gets no religious education either at home or at school to mould his character. Now-a-days science and politics are considered the 'Be all and end all' of man's life. The responsibility to teach their children, the devotion to God reverence to one's Guru, obedience to their elders, and to make them speak truth always is on the mothers.' May Sri Sai Baba guide us all in the path of devotion and bless us
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« Reply #91 on: June 14, 2008, 11:32:42 AM »

Guru Worship

Sri Sai Baba's beneficent work especially on the vast scale that is seen more and more now was and is exercised through various means, Sai worship being one of the most important of these means. That worship was mostly Guru worship, his marga being Guru marga. Hence Guru worship must form an important feature of the Sai movement. A full study of the marga here is out of the question. But to understand Sai Baba's life, guru-sishya relations and nature have to be studied, and Sai Baba's life and lilas throw a flood of light on the full significance and value of Guru marga. That term picked up from Guru Gita is clothed with power and glory from Baba's life.

The story of the life of such a great saint like Sai Baba must include references to Gurus and Guru worship, for it is by their grace that saints achieve perfection which they naturally endeavour to impart to others. By reason of Sri Sai Baba's ability to conceal his real nature and the working of his mind and body obviously in pursuance of the directions of sastras and Gurus that eminence must be concealed, for example, the saint must be unfathomable and undiscerned like the ocean and the python77, moving about like a dullard, idiot, or devil, his acting as a Sadguru and a Samartha Sadguru was unknown to the thousands that met him in life or heard of him thereafter. It is only by revelation of devotees' experiences that people now mostly realise that he was a Samartha Sadguru and had various grades of devotees and sishyas.

His biography is the practical illustration of what Guru and Sishya mean and of the principles that govern their conduct and mutual relation, Hence a preliminary discourse on these subjects is needed, though it cannot exhaust either the general subject or its application to Sai Baba, his Gurus and sishyas. The marga that Baba followed has puzzled many. Many asked and ask whether he was a Yogi or a Jnani or a Bhakta or followed any marga pecualiarly his own. Several thought and think that Baba cannot be classed under any of the divisions applying to saints and sadhus. As a result of study, aided by His own grace, one sees at last that he was an adept of all the margas, though his chief marga, was Bhakti marga, the special form of it that it described as Guru Marga in the Guru Gita, and that Jnana and siddhis including yoga siddhis came in the wake of his Guru bhakti. These will be made clearer as we advance in the study of Sri Sai's Life and of his relation to devotees. At present in this chapter we shall state just a few preliminary matters relating to Guru and Guru worship.

Definition : Guru may be defined as one who imparts information or gives training to another. Any school teacher or moral teacher or the one who teaches the way to salvation or mukti or even teaches mantras for various religious or secular purposes, high or low, can be called a Guru.

Derivation : The word Guru is a Sanskrit word and a number of derivations are found especially in Guru Gita, which is a part of the Skanda Purana. 'Gu' generally means 'Guna' and therefore means 'darkness'. 'Ru' denotes the action of destruction just as fire destroys or removal. So Guru means the dispeller of darkness or ignorance.

Gu karascha Andhakarastu

Ru karah tannirodhakrit

Andhakara Vinasitwat

Guru riti Abhidhiyate.78

Another derivation says that Guru is one who takes you from the Gunas to That beyond the Gunas that is, Brahman79.

Arabic and Persian : It is always better especially when dealing with Sai Baba whose teachings are unique and cosmopolitan to give the word Guru its equivalents in Arabic and Persian, as used by Sufis, Murshad is the Sufi equivalent which Baba himself used. For example Baba said "My Murshad has taken me away from this body which is but my house'. This means his Guru had destroyed his identification of self with the body Dehatma buddhi and made him realise that He the Atma is not the body just as the fire which burns the fuel is different from the fuel, and the seer is not the seen81. The Sufi equivalent for Sishya is Talib and shakir.

Everywhere in the world we find, the usual practise is to have Gurus.

Purpose for a Guru : A Guru being a teacher, the question as to what he teaches or what help he gives or is expected to give, is the essential question.

Classes of Gurus : There are various classes according to what is taught or given, for example Siksha or Diksha, secular or religious subject, sex of guru, methods adopted, whether guru is visible or invisible.

Guru Gita82 classifies Gurus under seven heads calling them:

Suchaka is the ordinary school master who gives secular teachings - the three 'R's and arts.

Vachaka is one who imparts ethical teachings, dharma sastra,

Bhodaka is one who teaches mantras for various purposes - secular or other, and stops with that.

Nishiddha is one who teaches mantras and other methods for achieving lower purposes just as marana, vasikarana, sthambana and akarshana. These are almost invariably used to achieve low earthly objects and are hindrances to one's achievement of the spiritual goal. It is a danger for one to get under a Nishiddha Guru.

Vihita is one who teaches Virakti or detachment, that is frees one from attachement to earthly things and prepares one for achieving one's spiritual welfare. Vairagya or dispassion is the sine qua non for progress just as its opposite, namely, extreme attachment to kamini and kanchana, is a powerful barrier to all progress.

Karana instructs the sishya as to the import of the Mahavakyas the axioms or axles of the Upanishads. After securing thorough vairagya one is ready to get at least an intellectual grasp and then a realisation of the grand basis of all mukti. Mukti is the realisation of the real nature of oneself and of Atma, that is Paramatma; and the mahavakyas embody that truth. Thus the teacher of this basis of salvation is the cause, Karana for salvation and therefore the Karana Guru.

Parama Guru, The last and the greatest of all, who enables the sishya to thoroughly absorb the truth of the Mahavakyas and to realize for himself the Mahavakyas and thus escape samsara or rebirth, is the Parama Guru. He is also called the Moksha Guru. Others are mere Gurus.

The Kula Moolavatara Kalpa Sutra Teeka Gata Kulagama mentions six classes of Gurus in regular gradation. They are;

Preraka one who just starts the pupil

Suchaka one who indicates and carries further

Vachaka one who regularly teaches and coaches

Darscaka one who points out the way and goal to the pupil.

Sikshaka one who regularly teaches and guides the pupil fully. These five are preparations to go to the 6th.

Bodhaka one who is also called the Karana Guru, who thoroughly illumines the pupil and prepares him for Brahma Jnana and Moksha.

There are Gurus who are seen and others unseen; and there are Gurus who merely impart teachings and do not care for results, that is, they are those who do not undertake any responsibility for the sishyas. There are others who give definite undertakings and carry out the same at all costs and if necessary life after life proceeding to seek the sishya in subsequent lives for the purpose. The best instance of such a Guru is Sri Sai Baba who undertook liability for H.S. Dixit, N.G. Chandorkar, Bandra Master T and M.B. Rege and others.

Another classification is based on the powers and methods of the Guru. The Guru who teaches something secular or religious is merely called Guru. He who teaches about God or Sat is called Sadguru. He who uses all his siddhis and superior powers to carry the sishya right up to the goal is called Samartha Sadguru. Ramdas, Guru of Shivaji, and Sai Baba belong to the class of Samartha Sadgurus. Paramaguru is a Samartha Sadguru who looks after the entire welfare secular and spiritual of his disciple.

Diksha   Guru   who   formally   initiates   the   pupil   and invests him with mantra, power,

Siksha Guru, that is the usual Guru who teaches or trains a pupil.

Male Gurus usually prescribed in all Sastras for pupils to attain Moksha.

Female Gurus specially referred to in Tantra works to give mantra and training to pupils who aim at siddhis, The Sastras generally dissuade persons anxious to attain Moksha from resort to female Gurus. In the case of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the Bhairavi Lady guru trained him in tantras. After that came the Nanga Avadhuta Guru who initiated him into concentration on Nirguna Brahman. Similarly in the case of Sri P.R. Avaste, a lady guru initiated him into Mantra that is Siva Panchakshari permutations and combinations japa, which would result in seeing various god forms and produce various powers. Later he came to Baba. Kula Gurus - hereditary. Other Gurus.

Prefer the Kula Guru to begin with. But if no benefit, then go to a competent Guru82. Baba was not the Kula guru of Nana Chandorkar, but his rinanubanda Guru and in a sense the Guru of his Destiny.

Was Baba a siksha Guru to any? For example, to N.G. Chandorkar and Balakram Manker? Yes It seems so.

Gurus for all round training and teaching for example, Venkusa.

Gurus for some push or help, for example, Sai Baba to Narayan Asram.

Gurus for some mantra, tantra, special vidya, yogabhyasa, and asana.

Gurus for Vydeeki profession and Vedic study.

Gurus   for secular purposes only.              for tantra

for spiritual purposes only.                           and mantra

for both. and

for Moksha.

Gurus for Inward working Dakshinamurthi method and Baba's.

Gurus for Oral teaching mainly. Gurus for Both.

Diksha is a special process for removing evil taints and investments of pupil with powers and siddhis83. Kinds of Dikshas are :

Chakshushi by mere glance, Sparsa by touching the head, Vacha by words blessing, Manasi mentally blessing. Sastri by teaching sastras,

Yoga that is Gurus entering into the pupil inwardly.

Howtri Kriyavati performing homas with fire,

Howtri Jnanavati doing the homa mentally, to bless the pupil.

Derivation, Diiyate Vimalam Jnanam Kshiyate Karma vasana tena diks heti prokta. Di-giving jnana, Ksha eradicating taints.

Need for a Guru. The question whether Guru is needed is often times debated by people with great warmth, some holding that there is need and others holding that there is no need. These debates are usually infructuous and they excite and result in loss of peace. A good example is Hemadpant alias Anna Saheb Dabolkar's case on his first visit to Shirdi84. He hotly contested for one hour or so and, contended that a Guru was an unnecessary fetter and quoted the Gita, in his support. Bala Saheb Bhate took the opposite view and maintained that destiny was supreme and that a Guru was had by all. The dis­cussion made Anna Dabolkar less fit to approach the great Guru Sai Baba by reason of restlessness. But Baba by graciously revealing his Antarjnana of all that passed during the discussion made Anna Dabolkar feel humble and contrite, and he felt that Baba was a wondrous Supreme Power before whom he and his weak powers should bend and give up his "reason" and supposed independence. And thus he became the sishya of Baba by the latter's grace and found that destiny had fixed him up, though his reasoning might indicate independence was his proper course. The Sastras, for example, Srimad Bhagavata, Bhagavata Gita, Guru Gita, Katha, Mundaka, Taittiriya, Maha Narayanopanishad say clearly that without a Guru Brahmanjnana and Moksha cannot be attained.

The need is questioned as a rule by persons not yet fit to be sishyas, that is those without humility, reverence, patience, receptivity and other virtues, or the proper attitude towards great saints. They must be advised to have Satsang. That is they must move with bhaktas and fit themselves for further progress. When they are fairly fit, they will get their Gurus. It is not the truth that sishyas always go out to find the Guru. The reverse is often true. There are many noble souls waiting to be approached by persons who want to become sishyas and have the proper attitude and training.

Scanta Mahanto Nivasanti Santah

Vasantavat Loka Hitam Charantah

Teernah Swayam Bhima Bhavarnavam janan

Ahetuna Anyan Api Tarayantah85

This means, There are great souls who have attained perfect peace and who are working to benefit and bless the world like the spring season. Though they have themselves crossed the terrible ocean of samsara, they are ferrying others across with­out any reward or recompense or motive. Amayantu Brahma Charinah86, this means, Let students come. Sai Baba himself sent for N.G. Chandorkar expressly and drew hundreds or thousands to himself inwardly and unnoticed by them. Baba says87, 'No one comes to me except by my drawing. I draw people unto me under various pretexts such as the worldly objects they want, When a boy ties a bird's foot with one end of a string and pulls the other end, can the bird refuse to come?'. This drawing is mostly due to rinanubandha. that is prenatal ties and obligations. This is termed by Bala Saheb Bhate, the irresistible pull of destiny. The need for a Guru is patent especially in worldly affairs. People do not expect the children to learn the three,'R's, drawing, etcetera without a teacher. If this is so in the patent material world, how much more essential is the need in the subtle spiritual field? Generally one's spiritual progress and the stages one has to go through, and the way of mastering problems that arise there are often dealt with in books on religion. These books will not suffice to enable one to tackle this subject effectively. Religious literature is a vast forest, through which one cannot pick one's way. Guru Gita says, Scastrajalam. It is "Bahu Kanataka Avrutam",


JaiSaiRam.
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« Reply #92 on: June 14, 2008, 11:34:18 AM »

Gurus Qualifications


As the main interest in this book is religious development, we shall take up only the highest of Gurus, that is those who attend mainly to spiritual welfare. The description of a qualified Guru is given in Manu, in Bhagavata Purana, in Tantra works, Guru Gita103 and Dasa Bodha104 his glories are sung in Jnaneswari. The central fact of Guruship is that the Guru is approached by an earnest person for achieving highest spiritual welfare. Hence the best Guru can only be one who knows what the highest welfare of humanity is, who has himself achieved it and is both able and willing to train and carry others to that state. Niscreyas and Screyas that is the good, the excellent are the words commonly used to denote the highest achievement in spiritual welfare. The other aim contrasted with it is Prgyas. that is the pleasant. The contrast between the two has been brought out from the earliest times for example, in the Kathopanished,

Sreyascha preyescha Manushyam etow

Tou samparikshya vivinakti Dhirah.

Tayoh Screya adadhanasya sadhur bhavati

 Hiyate arthat ya vu prayo - vrinite.

This means, Both the excellent and the pleasing confront man. The wise one observes, compares and chooses. It is well with him who chooses the excellent. He who chooses the pleasing loses even pleasure, that is loses his aim. The same is also the choice of Hercules between virtue and pleasure in ancient Greek tradition. Man has, in him, both the brute level based on his animal urges especially Hunger, Sex & Self assertion and the higher or divine level and capacity of raising himself above the brute level. Ordinarily men pursue their lower aims connected with the maintenance of the body and its appurtenances and neglect the hard task of controlling the brute instincts and achieving the divine nature which alone can carry man to God­head a realisation of the identity of the Jiva or individual soul with the Paramatma or Universal soul.

The Guru must be from the Vedantic standpoint a realiser of Atman that is Atma Brahma Aikya, Identity of soul and God and that comes to much the same thing as God-realiser of the Bhakti marga. Vivekachudamani and other works say that the Guru must be in perfect Atmanishta or Brahmanishta, and the Bhakti works like Srimad Bhagavata say98

Madabhijnam Gurum,

 scantam upasita Madatmakam

That is, Krishna says the sishya must go to a Parama Bhagavata who is thoroughly familiar with, that is steeped in love of a Personal God, who treats God as his own self. Bhagavata stresses the effort to reach personal God as the Vedantic works stress the reaching of the Impersonal God or the Absolute. Both are necessarily intertwined105 for the Personal merges in and emerges from the Impersonal. Both the Bhagavata and the Guru Gita say that the Guru must be a Supreme realiser of the Impersonal Absolute and Personal God. The Guru Gita106 asks how a teacher who himself does not know the Absolute Brahman is to teach it to others and how a stone which itself cannot float across the ocean, can be expected to carry other stones to the other side of the ocean. Instances of ignorant Gurus posing as teachers of Brahman are not rare, and persons deficient even in moral qualities posing as teachers of Daivi bhakti have played  havoc   with   credulous   sishyas.   Realisation   of  the Absolute is one of the rarest accomplishments and it is by no means easy for a sishya going to a reputed teacher for the purpose of acquiring realisation of the Absolute to see whether that teacher has that realisation. There are no standards or recognised insignia or marks107  of  soul-realisation  or God-realisation and several of the external characteristics usually attending Parama Jnanis and Parama Bhagavatas are easily put on, professed or assumed by others. In this great perplexity, most seekers after Gurus have to trust to the repute which the alleged Parama Jnani or Parama Bhagavata has in society and trust to intuition, purva vasana, rinanubanda or luck. Guru Gita says108 'Observe and choose your Guru'. But the chances of observing and testing, which a student has, are hardly sufficient to enable him to arrive at a correct conclusion. Persons who achieve some siddhis by upasana of petty gods are taken to be perfect gurus. Anyhow, the sadhaka has to get on, and if he has made a bad choice, he is compelled to retrace his steps and give up a bad choice, and give up a bad or false Guru and change for a better one. The Guru Gita warns the sishya's from falling into the clutches of false Gurus

Jnana Hino Guruhtyajydh Mithyavadi vidambakah109.

This means, a hypocrite who really is without God realisation and who pretends to have such realisation should be abandoned. Verse 200 of Guru Gita says that these are

Darsanat bhranti karakah

that is, by external appearance, they mislead people into the belief that they are true realisers. Verse 201 of Guru Gita says that the following are false Gurus.

Pashandi, that is, those who reject the Vedas.

Paparatah, that is persons revelling in sin.

Nasthikah, Atheists or agnostics.

Bheda buddhayah, Those who are under the tendency to oppose one God to another, to distinguish Guru from God, and stress differences instead of stressing the unity of existence.

Stree lampatah, Those who are under the influence of lust.

Duracharah, that is the sinful or wicked.

Kritaghnah, that is the ungrateful.

Bakavruttayah, that is, those who like the crane put on the appearance of Dhyana samadhi or wisdom or realisation, professing to concentrate on Brahman, all the while concentrating on worldly aims and objects. The crane while waiting on the bank to catch fish wears a solemn look, as though it cared for nothing.

Karma bhrashthah, that is, those who have fallen from their duties.

Kshama nashtah, that is, those who are without patience or forgiveness.

Nindyatarka vadinah, that is, those proceeding on fallacious modes of reasoning.

Kaminah, that is, men subject to strong desires for women.

Krodinah, that is, men with ungovernable temper.

Himsah that is, murderous men.

Chandah, that is, cruel men.

Scathah, that is, rogues

Jnana luptah, that is, men without realisation or wisdom.

Mahapapah, that is, highly sinful men.

These have to be avoided. The reason for avoiding such is patent. Sadhakas do not always succeed in avoiding them. One Kavle Patel who was a subordinate of Mamlatdar B.V. Dev of Thana had such a guru, who told him he, Patel, should install a brand new image of the Goddess of Vani in the place of the old image of Vani that he had in his family temple, evidently with the hope of making a great profit out of the new instal­lation, that is Pratishta and Kumbhaabhisheka ceremonies. The Patel had some doubts and so approached Sai Baba through B.V. Dev and next through Shyama to get his decision in the matter110. Baba, a Samartha Paramaguru without any desire for gain, definitely stated that the new image should not be brought and only the old should be installed. When asked about the harm of introducing the new, Baba mentioned that by contravention of a similar advice given by him about the purchase and intro­duction of a cow, an epidemic was the terrible consequence. The Patel who still believed in his own Guru, brushed aside Baba's advice, and brought in the image. And Lo! an epidemic came into the village, and the Patel's wife was one of the first to be attacked. When the Patel appealed to his Guru for aid, the latter demanded a gift deed by the Patel of half of his landed property. The Patel then woke up and discovered that his Guru was an avaricious lobhi, an ignorant man, and a crane like hypocrite and gave up his Guru and followed Baba's advice of reinstalling the old image. Where the Guru, however, is not a person who is sinful or wicked, Baba was conservative and directed people not to shatter their loyalties. His advice was that people should stick to their own gurus however little their merit might be, and not change over to another guru who may have more merit111. The Guru Sishya relation is more personal than the marital.

The process of the Brahma Nishta Guru that is, one with Supreme Realisation of Atman enabling a proper sishya to get the realisation is compared in the Guru Gita to getting another's lamp kindled in the flame of one's lamp. It is the same heat and light which proceed from one to the other, and thus there is continuity in the Guru Parampara. The final result also is said to be light within light.

The realisation of Atma Nishta or Brahma Nishta is very well set out in Vivekachudamani and other works, and the requisites therefore are Viveka, Vairagya, Scamadi shatka, and Mumukshutva112. Vairagya or detachment is the state when attachment to worldly things disappears. Love of God and love of Guru are based on the decreased pull on the heart from wife, child and wealth, So the sadhaka has to march on to strengthen his vairagya and viveka based thereon, in his Jnana Marga and strengthen his love of the Guru also. These, Viveka Vairagya and Love of Guru form a virtuous circle so to speak, mutually assisting each other. The development of scamadhi shatka, scama, dama, titiksha, uparati, shraddha, and samadhana also fall into the same course. In the Bhakti marga also, the increased love of god helps one to overcome the attraction of sense objects and that in turn strengthens one's Bhakti or Prema to God and Guru. The best antidote to worldliness or sense attraction is declared in the Hamsa Gita113 to be worship of God with Bhakti, Bhakti gradually grows in power and intensity and finally leads to a merger. In Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna says,

Bhaktya maam abhijanati

Yavan yatcha asmi tatvatah

Tato maam tatwato jnatva

Viscate tad anantaram

which means, A person contacts me and recognises Me by his Devotion, a dynamic process, and learns more and more what sort of personality and what I am in reality. Thereafter by proceeding higher and higher on to the highest reality he fully realises Me and then merges in Me.

The qualifications of true Gurus may be partly inferred from the above statement of who the false Gurus are. But the positive marks of a true Guru are set out in various words like the Upanishads, Manu, Guru Gita, Bhagavata Purana, We will take the Guru Gita114 first. He must be a

Tatvanishta Adhyatma jnani

Viveki, Sadhu, Nirmalamanas

Scuchi, Kamakrodha Jit Indriya Jit,

Scanta and Mita bhashana

From these qualifications, namely Tatvanishta, which comes along with Adhyatma jnani and Viveki it is patent that the Guru must have perfect nishta, that is, must have steady and continuous realisation of Brahma Atma Aikyam, which is the real significance of the Mahavakyas. Unless a man has reached that realisation, he will not enable the sishya who approaches him to reach it. Mere bookish understanding would only lead to doubts of various sorts as the matter is extremely subtle. As the Guru has to impart jnana or enable the sishya to realise it, it is not sufficient that the Guru should have got into the supreme state of Brahma Nishta. He must also understand the theoretical basis which is found in the Mahavakyas and in the Upanishads for the same. He must have viveka, that is, be able to distinguish between the real or the Brahman and the phenomenal or unreal Universe. There are persons who know a fact or realise a state and yet do not and cannot impart it to others. The omission or inability to impart may be due in part to unpreparedness and in part to incapacity. It is not all who can express what they feel.

The Guru Gita draws a distinction between two sets of Parama Gurus, the Mouni and the Vagmi. The former Mount enjoys the bliss of perfection but does not impart it to help others to get it. But the Vagmi expresses his thoughts and reali­sation as far as possible, and uses language and other means to enable the sishya to acquire that realisation. So the Vagmi is the one primarily to be preferred by the sishya at the initial stage, though finally often a mouni may suit his purpose. Brahma Nishta is not a mere question of intellect or working up the mind and other phases or facets of the self. It is a unique experience and it comes from the grace of the Guru, God, and can come only in that way.

Gurum vinana jananti Mudhas tat paramaam padam.

Mere prayer to Siva and Vishnu will not suffice for knowing God. To know God even a Personal God properly the Guru must help the sishya115. Namdev's case is the best illustration of this truth. That is why prominent mention in the list of qualifications is made of these, Tatvanishta and Adhyatma jnani. This will suffice for the present, and later references ampli­fying the subject may be found in other portions of this book. The fourth qualification, Sadhu is a very wide term. But as it is fairly understood, it need not be discussed. Nirmalamanas refers to the purity of the heart of the Guru. Scuchi also denotes much the same thing, for in addition to external purity, internal purity also is implied by the term scuchi. Kamakrodhajit and Indriyajit qualifications are also practically involved in Nirmalamanas and Scuchi. Unless a person has conquered his lust and other appetites and his temper, he can never be a proper Guru. Any sishya who approaches him is apt to absorb his lack of control. Those who have not conquered their senses, indriyas, their lust, their anger, are generally given to sins and vices, and, therefore, will not only lose mental peace but would also be doing much harm to the very name of Religion and ruining their sishyas and others approaching them. The Upanishads and also the Guru Gita point out the necessity for a person to avoid Gurus who are tainted with these faults.

Navirato duscharitat Naasanto

Na asamahitah Naascanta manaso vapi.

Prajnaneniva enam apnuyat

This means, a person who has not given up bad and evil courses, the man who has not reached calmness and quiet, and who has not gained peace of mind can never realise Brahman that is get Brahma Nishta. Amongst the disqualifications mentioned lack of these has been noticed. The last two, Santi and Mitabhashana, peace, paucity of speech in a Guru are patent external marks of the calm, peace, and quiet that reign in his heart. The Guru Gita points out that at the very sight of a Parama Guru, one's heart is filled with Santi.


JaiSaiRam.
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« Reply #93 on: June 14, 2008, 11:35:46 AM »

Number and Change of Gurus

The number of Gurus is a question which can only be solved with  reference  to  the  particular   subject  involved   and  the circumstances of each case. With reference to secular education, though under the old system of Gurukula which involved both spiritual and secular education, there was only one Guru, still for those who desired varied education in several subjects, a number of Gurus was resorted to. The Guru Gita deals mainly with spiritual education, yet following Srimad Bhagavata it says that the number may be large.

Madhu lubdho yatha bhringah

Pushpat pushpantaram vrajet Jnana

lubdho tatha scishyo

Guror Gurvantaram vrajet126

this means, Just as a bee anxious to have more and more of honey goes from flower to flower, so a student with a strong desire for jnana should or may go from one Guru to another. The Tamil translation adds here, in case the study is incomplete. Obviously this cannot have reference to the Guru who is expected

to give salvation, that is, the Paramaguru127. Verse 90 says, I bow to thee, Paramaguru, who is a combination of Siva and Sakti. The Guru Gita128 set out the eminence of that Paramaguru who gives Mukti and who is the same as the Trinity. In Jnaneswari, the eminence of the Guru is said to be giving one everything. Such a person cannot and should not be given up. See Vasishta's curse of Trisanku who broke away from that Kulaguru. Srimad Bhagavata129, also mentions the advantage of a number of Gurus.

Nahi ekasmat Guroh jnanam

Susthiram syat supushkalam

Brahma etat advitiyam vy

Giyate Bahudha rishibhih.

This means, Verily, knowledge is not abundant enough nor strong enough, if only derived from a single teacher. God Brahman is One without a second. Yet so many rishis sing of it in so many ways. This is the statement of the Avadhuta addressed to King Yadu, after mentioning that he derived his knowledge from 24 Gurus. The 24 Gurus mentioned in Ekadasa Skanda130, are earth, air, ether, water, fire, sun and moon, the pigeon, the python, the sea, the moth, the bee, the elephant, the honey gatherer, the deer, fish, Pingala the courtesan, the king fisher kurara, the child, the maiden, the arrow maker, the snake, the spider, and adding to the list lastly the body. These are not Gurus in the ordinary sense, but from their behaviour, lessons are derived by the Avadhuta. Of such Gurus twenty four are not sufficient. Even two hundred and forty may be insufficient. But really these are not Gurus having Guru-shisya relation with the disciple. They are Gurus only by straining the meaning of the term Guru and not actual Gurus. A Guru is one who is conscious of teaching and undertaking the duties of a teacher. But in dealing with the actual physical Guru at the head of a Gurukulam or Rishi ashrama, the Guru is the only head. In the Ekadasa Skanda131 Krishna advises resort to a Guru. He says,

Mad abhijnam Gurum shantam upasita mad atmakam.

that is, Serve the calm teacher who is in close contact and who has become identified with me. Under one such Guru, ordinarily the aspirant for salvation can advance sufficiently and attain his object. People like Narayan Asram who got a push or some slight help cannot be regarded as Baba's sishyas. They should and usually did resort to other Gurus. Even Das Ganu who got marvellous help from Baba did not regard Baba as his Guru but went to Guru Islampurkar for initiation and treated him as his Guru. In special cases, a Guru might not complete a student's course and might direct him to go to others. Amongst sadhus, they seem to recognise some as forming a particular class or group. Members of such class or group send their disciples to other Gurus of the group. Following this principle, Akkalkote Maharaj, when his body was about to be dissolved, sent some of his devotees Ramachandra Naik and another to Baba. Madhavanath Maharaj, Bhidekar Maharaj, Kusha Bhav's Guru, the Poona Bhimasankar temple Sadhu132 Kaka Maharaj of Dhopeswar133 acted similarly and sent their devotees to Baba. Gajanan Maharaj134 was recognised as Gurubandhu by Baba.

Guru Gita points out the absolute necessity for a change when one has had the misfortune to get under a nishiddha Guru. A nishiddha Guru is one who draws the pupil to mantras with lower aims135 such as mohana, marana, vasikarana, and kindred sordid purposes. The soul is bound to get more worldly and tamasic under such a Guru. Srimad Bhagavata136, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras137 and Baba deprecated these siddhis and warned devotees against their meretricious attractions. When one realises his mistake in getting under a nishiddha and has had the beginnings of vairagya, Guru Gita138 says that the sishya being a vairagi, a higher Guru, a true desika, will contact him and draw him to God realisation, that- is, Brahmanishta. Verses 288 to 294 describe the glories of this Parama Guru, whose very sight will fill one with joy courage and peace. Such a Guru is absolutely free from all attachment to Kamini-kanchana, that is, women and wealth, fame, yoga siddhis, and even the glories of Brahma and Vishnu. They are of two classes, namely the Vagmi, who talks, teaches, and trains, and the Mount, who spreads silent influence.

So there may be desirable and authorised changes of Gurus as mentioned above. Without such or similar pressing causes, a change of Guru should not be thought of. The loyalty of a sishya to a Guru must be more powerful than the loyalty of a chaste wife to her husband. A flagrant breaking of one's ties with the Guru may have a serious consequence on one's spiritual progress and in some cases may involve a curse as in Trisanku's case. Vyabhichara in both the above cases leads to ignominy in the eyes of all reasonable people and thorough wreck in every respect. The pangs of Guru droha may also render a sensitive sishya miserable. Sai Baba therefore dissuaded people from leaving their own Gurus and seeking contact with him. But mostly as Sai Baba was and is an all comprehensive Samartha Sadguru, and as most people had no intense attachment to a Guru, there was usually no difficulty. People felt that Baba, the Sarva Antaryami was their own Guru and their Ishta Devata. The first real feeling of having a Guru came to most only from Baba. A very interesting case of change or supposed change of Gurus will be found in the chapter of P.R. Avaste. He had been initiated into Siva panchakshari of some sort by a lady Guru at Poona, and he was, with difficulty, persuaded to go along with Sri M.B. Rege and see Sai Baba and Ramakrishna Ayi who also had developed some psychic powers and was acting as Guru to some at Shirdi. At the first visit, the oppressive feeling that he was committing Gurudroha in  going to  Shirdi upset his mental balance and made him crazy. He was behaving erratically under strange delusions and fears. Sai Baba directed Sri Rege to take him away from Shirdi. Leaving Shirdi Sri Avaste regained his normal self. By Baba's grace, in his later visits, he was free from such obsessions and he was able to adopt Sai Baba as his Guru. As Sri Sai Baba was a Samartha Sadguru with vast powers139 God has agents everywhere, they have vast powers, I have very great powers', and as he could clearly see the exact state of ideas, feelings, and emotions of everyone coming to him. he could ease difficulties like the above. To a sishya of Dolap Maharaj  Guru Mule Sastri, he appeared as Dolap Maharaj wearing kashaya, and removed his fears of Gurudroha. Similarly beyond just loyalty to particular Gods being affected by appro-proaching Sai, to those who had particular fondness for particular Gods, he could show himself in those forms. To a South African doctor as to the Madras Ramadasini who was devoted solely to Rama, he showed himself as Rama. To a Datta bhakta, he could show himself as the three-faced Datta.  Most Hindus cannot escape fragmentising and localising God, not merely at the start but for their entire life. They feel compelled to adhere to a particular place and a particular form or Murthi in their effort to contact God. This localisation and particularisation however necessary or useful to begin the God contact ought to be out-grown and true ideas as in the case of Namdev should replace the earlier ones. Sai Baba, the realiser of Ekam Sat with his perfection of power of Samartha, could include within himself and show within himself all Murthis as they are all parts of God, Bhagavad Gita140 says,

Angani Annya Devatah

that is, From a part rise to view the whole. Being Nirakara, he could be Sahara at any time whether he was in the flesh or beyond the flesh that is, after Mahasamadhi. Thus he serves as the ideal Guru, though he is not in the flesh, as he can and does appear in his old form to deal with his old and new devotees. Several people felt and feel that a Guru who is not in the flesh does not suit them, as others feel in exactly the opposite way. But by Baba's grace, all these have been drawn by him to his feet.

In some cases a person is fully saturated with the doctrines of Srimad Bhagavata141

Yat driscyam tat Nascyam, or

Drashtam Vinashtam

that is, all things seen are perishable and therefore not the real Brahman and the Upanishad teachings are that Brahman cannot be seen,

Yat chakshusha na pascyati,

yena chakshumshi pascyati,

tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi,

nedam yat idam upasate

which means, Brahman is not that which is seen with the eye but that which makes the eye see and Brahman is not that which people in the world worship, to such as, no seen figure commands the belief that it is Real and God or Brahman. Such a person cannot therefore surrender himself to any God or Guru that is seen. To such a person, Baba is a great boon or blessing.

Sai Baba snuffs out of him the critical spirit which says, You are seen and not God. How can I bow to you? Baba's action is not external reasoning but internal unspoken and unseen working. That takes away and clean wipes off all traces of the critical spirit and substitutes for it a humility that says in effect 'I am a worm, Thou art all power and mercy. Protect me, shed light on my path. Take me as a helpless baby in your arm and deal with me as you like'. This is beginning of that person's feeling that the Unseen Guru is alive, is powerful and can lead and only he can lead him right on to the goal.

The former Gurus of such a person whether Kula Gurus or adopted Gurus have never influenced him, as they were not Samarthas, interested in him. So there is no possibility in such a case of any idea of change of Guru or Gurudroha. Baba makes such a person feel that Baba is the same as the previous Gurus. Baba is Sarva Antaryami and makes persons like the above and like Upasani Maharaj, Mule sastri, feel that he is the same as the former Guru. Baba elevates the devotee and enables him to see Him as the one underlying force or personality appearing in various forms and called by various names Vyabhichara by resort to whom is unthinkable.

In getting Baba as a Guru, one is helped on to the Supreme realisation of Jiva Brahma Aikya. Those who refer to Baba as a single Guru or saint with a particular shape in one place are indulging in their tendency of materialistion, localisation, and fragmentisation. The real fruit of Baba's influence is perceiving him as the All-every thing includes one's old Guru, one's Ishta Devata and oneself. When one has reached that stage, no question of the number of Gurus and justification for change of Gurus can arise.


JaiSaiRam.
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« Reply #94 on: July 20, 2008, 01:34:36 PM »

Guru - the all powerful protector.
 

Om Jivadharaya namaha [who is the bestower of abundant life energy to all]
Om Sarvadharaya namaha [who is the source of all power]
Om Bhakthavanasamarthaya namaha
[who is competent and all powerful in protecting His devotees]

Guru is the one who bestows life and energy to all the people. The whole universe is dependent only on the power of the guru. It is said that ones Guru puts His protective hand on the devotees then no god has any ability to cause distress or anxiety to that devotee.

Guru is the all knowing powerful who has the ability to take on to him the burdens, illness and problems of the devotees. Guru is the one who shoulders or carries His devotees during the times of duress. One cannot escape the actions of their past karma.

Lord Sri Krishna and Rama were subjected to the past karmas so what to speak of the mere humans. But once a devotee seeks shelter under Guru, and then Guru to a great extent takes away the burden of his problems and makes the life journey bearable. The ability of a man to reflect back on to the past misfortunes with an open wisdom is purely due to the grace of guru which has made life easier for us to live even during the tough times. Let us beg him to help us to work out our karma, so that we can concentrate and immerse ourselves in the glory of the Guru and follow Him in attaining bliss. This is possible only through the magnificent of Gurus grace. There is no other power than Guru to protect the devotees.

 As Sri Sai said in Shri Satcharitra every devotee needs a guide [Guru] who has attained self knowledge so as to guide the devotee towards the spiritual path of the ultimate.
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« Reply #95 on: September 30, 2008, 06:15:56 AM »

जय सांई राम।।।

There is no need for a master.

An intelligent and courageous man can walk alone -- but he will have to walk many lives before he comes to the point. With a master the long journey can be cut short.

Walking alone, you don't know where you are going. You know where you want to go, but there is no map. And there are not paved roads to the truth. As you walk you make the path; it is not already there. And there are thousands of doors.

The person who is walking alone will have to knock on each of the doors; and all the doors don't lead to the truth. There is only one door in those thousands of doors which leads to the truth. A man walking alone will have to depend on some coincidence that he happens to knock on the right door; otherwise he will have to eliminate all the wrong doors by knocking on them, finding that they are not the right one, until finally all wrong doors are eliminated, and only the right one is left.

This can take thousands of lives.

The journey will be infinitely long -- so long that the courageous man may lose courage, the intelligent man may get fed up with all that. And rather than reaching the goal, he may turn his back on the whole pilgrimage.

Yes, it is possible without a master, but the difficulties are tremendous. The master does not lead you to the truth because he has already traveled the path: he has already found the right door, the right method. He can help you to eliminate the wrong doors.

In other words the function of the master is not to give you the truth but to make you aware what is false, to make you aware what is not truth. He cuts your journey down to the shortest possible way.

And a master is not a person who owns people. One who owns people is not a master at all: he is a politician. He is on a power trip.

A master can only be a master if he does not own people, but loves them.

Love never owns. Love gives without asking anything in return. Love makes no conditions. Love has no expectations.

A master is only a friend. He is not higher than the people he is leading towards a certain experience. He has no superiority complex. He does not create any guilt, any inferiority, any kind of spiritual slavery -- because these are the barriers to finding the experience he is teaching.

Only an independent, totally autonomous being, living in freedom, can attain to the experience of truth.

अपना सांई प्यारा सांई सबसे न्यारा अपना सांई

ॐ सांई राम।।।
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« Reply #96 on: October 02, 2008, 04:32:09 AM »

The Guru is His Teachings 


By the light of the sun, the whole world awakens. By the light of the sun, darkness is banished, slumber gives place to wakefulness and sloth gives place to activity. By the light of the sun, all beings in this world see things, perceive things clearly. In darkness, one stumbles and falls, loses one’s way and is ever in danger of injury. In the light one is able to proceed, move towards one’s goal; one is safe from danger. All progress, all activity is temporarily suspended in darkness.

Thus the sun is the awakener; the sun is the enlightener; the sun is the marga darsaka (one who shows the path). It is the sun that guarantees smooth, unhampered progress towards each one’s destination. When the sun is not there, one is, as it were, blind, even though having eyes.

In the life of a sincere seeking soul, in the life of a jijnasu, a mumukshu, a sadhaka, a spiritual aspirant, the Guru is, as it were, the sun. It is the Guru that awakens us from our slumber of ignorance. It is the Guru who, by his light, banishes the darkness of ignorance and wrong notions that the jivatma has about life, and brings in the light of right reasoning, right perception and right thought. It is the Guru that also makes us see the way, through his own lofty, sublime personal example, through his own dynamic philosophy, through his own teachings and personal instructions.

It is the Guru that points out the path and makes us see the path clearly. He points out the pitfalls and dangers upon the path, makes us alert, vigilant, jagrit. And, even as the sun initiates activity, so the Guru inspires us to arise, awake, seek knowledge, attain illumination and become forever blessed. All this and more the Guru does.

And the effulgence of the Guru, the radiance of the Guru, the light of the Guru, is his teachings, jnana-upadesa. It is his message, his sandesa, his instruction, his adesa. These constitute the real Guru and these constitute real guru kripa.


Happy Gurus day to all.

Jaisairam.

 
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« Reply #97 on: October 12, 2008, 02:26:58 PM »

"I always bow to the Guru who is bliss incarnate, who bestows happiness, whose face is radiant with joy.

 His essential nature is knowledge.

He is aware of his true self.

 He is the Lord of yogis, he is adorable, he is the physician who cures the disease of birth and death."

Sri Guru Gita—verse 93.

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« Reply #98 on: October 12, 2008, 02:29:08 PM »

Who is a Guru?

 Or what is a Guru?

There is a beautiful text called the ‘Guru Gita’.

If you read it, you will probably dismiss all these Gurus as non-Gurus.

What you and I often refer to as Guru is in fact a teacher.

 There are millions of teachers in the world. There are academicians, professors, school masters.

Then there are your own parents, they teach you something or the other.

But Gurus? No.

They are not found in such profusion as we pretend they are.

A Guru is a very rare phenomenon. On the other hand I may contradict myself by saying that if the disciple is ready, it is possible he finds the

Guru, not in the conventional sense, but in a different sense.

JaiSaiRam.

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« Reply #99 on: October 12, 2008, 02:36:09 PM »

There is a beautiful story in the eleventh section of the ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’, where a king encounters a naked ascetic and he

says: "You appear to be a vagrant, a mendicant, a madman, but the radiance of your face belies all this.

You have found something, what is that?

If you are an enlightened person, tell me, who was your Guru?"

The naked ascetic says, "Gurus, I have many. I have twenty-four Gurus.

 So I learn from everybody and everything."

When can that happen? When I am a good disciple.

You must seek wisdom from several Gurus, only then is the knowledge complete.

JaiSaiRam.

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« Reply #100 on: October 12, 2008, 02:49:47 PM »

Who is a Guru?

What is a Guru?

 A Guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance. Ignorance refers to ignorance of God or ignorance of the

self. Has anyone done that to you? If not, you have not met a Guru. You might have met a dozen of Swamis but

that is of no consequence whatsoever. If he has not touched your heart, sorry, leave him alone. Of course learn

from him as a teacher but not as a Guru. Guru is one who has been able to remove darkness of self-ignorance, or

ignorance of God from your heart and enabled you to attain self-knowledge.

JaiSaiRam.

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« Reply #101 on: October 12, 2008, 05:38:06 PM »

Om Sri Sainathaya Namaha
Om Sri Sainathaya Namaha
Om Sri Sainathaya Namaha

Sairam everybody !
Guru is most essential for our spiritual uplift. But to get a physical guru (true one) is becoming difficult. So, we are left with the Ekalavya method. Just as he made Drona as his virtual guru, lets make Kind Sai as our Guru and pray for success in our endeavors.
Sairam
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« Reply #102 on: November 07, 2008, 04:42:10 PM »

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."


OM SAI RAM.
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« Reply #103 on: December 15, 2008, 01:25:24 PM »

Guru Gita

As such is not necessary to write preface to this Guru Gita. It is the heart of Skanada Purana in form of a dialogue between Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. The direct experience of Suta is brilliantly expressed through each and every couplet in it.

            Reading and study of this Guru Gita stops power of speech of one’s foe. It increases one’s virtues. It destroys all evil actions and bestows success in good actions.

            O dear! Every letter and syllable of this Guru Gita is each king among Mantras. Other Mantras, manifold in nature do not deserve the credit of even one sixteenth part of this.

            The study of this Guru Gita puts end to untimely death and all afflictions. It also destroys the evil effects of Yakshas, Rakshasas, Bhutas (spirits), fear of thieves, tiger, etc.

            Who are pure in heart, full of knowledge incessantly recite this Guru Gita- by even seeing them and touching, one liberated from rebirth.           

            The couplets of this Guru Gita is the great remedy for the longlasting disease of birth and death. It is the sweetest nectar for Sadhakas. The merit is diminished by drinking the nectar of heaven. By drinking the nectar of this Gita sin is destroyed which leads to Absolute Peace and Knowledge of one’s real nature.

            Narasimha Mehta has rightly said: “All Sadhana is meaningless (false) until the Knowledge of the Self dawns.”

             This Guru Gita in your hands to help you in attainment of that Self-God.

            OM… OM… OM…

            SUPREME PEACE

 

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A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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« Reply #104 on: December 15, 2008, 01:26:57 PM »

Prostrations to Brahman, the unthinkable, the unmanifest, beyond the three Gunas

(Sattva,Rajas & Tamas qualities of Nature) yet the Self of Gunas,

the Substratum behind the whole universe.(1)
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A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lOgd1uS-wX0/TCOlFNMxIBI/AAAAAAAAE88/GpxUgxnwioE/why_fear_when_i_am_here.jpg
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