Faith

Guru bhakti

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Guru Parampara venerates the line of preceptors and teaches that just as it is everyone’s duty to remain devoted and grateful to God for all the innumerable graces He has bestowed on each being, it is equally important for all to show the same kind of love and devotion to the guru. The Upanishads reflect that the highest attainment, Brahma Vidya, is possible through realised sages, and hence stress the importance of Guru Sishya relationship, said Swami Vidyashankara Saraswati in a discourse. The guru is able to make the disciple realise the greatness of Brahman and also one’s true self in this world of senses. Under his guidance one cultivates pure and unalloyed devotion to God. Adi Sankara lists the hallmarks of a guru very precisely in the Viveka Chudamani. He is a teacher who is well versed in the scriptures, pure, free from lust, and one who is steeped in the experience of Brahman. He is calm, compassionate and totally selfless in imparting true jnana to the sincere disciple. It may be asked by some that since God is for all why should He be sought via a guru.

The story of Banasura, a staunch Siva devotee, who is also full of ego, provides an answer. Siva is pleased by his exceptional bhakti and grants him boons. Banasura goes to the extent of making Siva reside in his own kingdom, thereby making all those who come to worship Siva to pay obeisance to him as well. If he had the grace of guru he would have learnt the first and last lesson of true devotion which is humility. The guru removes the ajnana that puts a distance between the disciple and God. His grace is indispensable in the case of the jivatma’s salvation. It is as important as the water in the pond by which the lotus that blooms in the sun’s rays is sustained.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:50:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/guru-bhakti/article30078897.ece

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