Faith

The guru illumines

In days of yore, study of Vedas followed the oral tradition and this fostered a bond between Guru and sishya. The role of the Guru in enabling the disciple to imbibe the Eternal Truth with clarity is the most salient feature in this tradition, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse. In this regard, Adi Sankara is hailed as a guru par excellence by his direct disciples who acknowledge their indebtedness to him for conferring on them not only intellectual proficiency but also spiritual enlightenment.

Adi Sankara is the earliest acharya in terms of history and the lineage of acharyas preceding him is traced back through Govinda, Gaudapada, Suka, Vyasa, and the rishis in the Puranas to the Lord Himself who is the primordial guru. Believed to be an incarnation of Siva, Adi Sankara has been responsible for bringing about spiritual awareness in people at a time when much confusion prevailed owing to the prevalence of many cults, dogmas and beliefs. The acharya has firmly established the authority of the Vedas and his contributions by way of explaining the difficult and esoteric thought in the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita continue to be a source of reference in philosophical discussions and debates. He has propagated the Advaita Siddhanta from which other philosophical systems of thought, such as Visishtadvaita, Dvaita, Suddhadvaita, etc have branched out.

Adi Sankara’s Stotra granthas are exceptional in the way they carry the essence of the Vedas to the common man in practical terms. These hymns sensitise one to the fleeting and short life of all beings and to the subtle awareness of God who alone matters when it comes to crossing the cycle of birth.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 8:09:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/the-guru-illumines/article27942909.ece

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