GuRu Poornima – A Tribute to GuRus

Languages in India, especially Sanskrit – called the language of Gods, emerged with deep meanings for each word and letter. The sound waves produced on pronunciation of each letter will have varying effects on the person pronouncing, people around and also the environment. Based on the effects they produce different meanings have been assigned to the letters and words are formed by combination of letters to denote a larger meaning. One such word is GuRu

The word GuRu has two letters “Gu” meaning darkness or ignorance, “Ru” meaning light or knowledge. Hence the word GuRu is meant to denote one who removes ignorance and fills us with wisdom. Going by the above definition for Guru, any person who fills us with right knowledge and removes ignorance, should be accorded the status of a Guru and respected accordingly.

Guru is accorded a place next only to the mother and father as per Indian tradition – Matha (Mother), Pitha (Father), Guru (Teacher), Daivam (God). Even God is accorded a place after Guru. The order denotes that one should first owe his allegiance to the parents – mother and father, then to the Guru and finally to the God. Another explanation is that one should see God in the preceding three and serve them as service to God.

It is said that… If you feed a person with food, he is freed from hunger for that day. But, if you impart him with the knowledge to earn his living, he can fend for himself and that will be of more help to him. Such is the value of knowledge.

A GuRu is one who accords the right knowledge to his pupil

– such knowledge which can make his life in this world a harmonious one with the environment and people around

– such knowledge with which he can inquire within and understand himself better

– such knowledge which will take him to Vaikunta, The abode of The Supreme Lord…

A Sloka from Padma purana which glorifies the role of a Guru and its explanation as taken from an excerpt of a discourse is given below…

Chinthamanir loka sukam suradruhu swarga sampatham
Prayachati Guruhu Pritho Vaikuntam Yogi Durlabham

There is a gem known as Chithamani that would bestow one with any worldly desires and nothing more than it.

There is a tree known as Kalpakavriksha which is superior to Chintamani gem and when one sits under the tree it can even bestow a heavenly abode but it cannot take one to Vaikunta.

If one desires to go to Vaikunta, then he needs to entice his Guru – “Prayachati Guruhu Pritho”. One can be a greatest sinner of all, but for some reason, a Mahatma looks at the sinner and takes him unto his fold then he is sure to reach Vaikunta, which is rare even for the Yogis.

A Guru

– Abdul Kalam – was able to inspire, motivate and give a ray of hope to millions of children in the country. His life is itself a big lesson for all students and teachers alike

Swami Sivananda – who revitalised the wisdom of Yoga with relevance to modern-day life – and spread it across the world

Swami Vivekananda – who inspired and energized people across the world cutting across religious beliefs with the greatness of Hinduism and Vedantic literature

– Ramanuja – who took the benefit of “ashtakshari mantra – Om Namo Narayanayah” to the masses and spread the greatness of Visishtadvaitham

– Sankaracharya – who spread the Sanatana Dharma and Advaitha Siddhanta

– Chanakya of Taxila – who dispelled darkness among the country men, put brakes on Alexander’s conquests, saved this country from bad “Nanda” rulers and established Gupta Empire under the able leadership of Chandragupta

… The list is endless. There have been and are numerous such Gurus who constantly throw the light of wisdom on this world.

Salutations to all those Gurus on this day of Guru Poornima, the day on which it is believed that Sage Vyasa was born in this world – The first Guru, who gave us the 18 Puranas, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagawatham and also classified the Vedic Knowledge into four Vedas.

May the lives of these Gurus / teachers be an inspiration to thousands of other teachers to take the right path and instill right wisdom to their students and help them grow into confident, holistic adults…

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