Today is the full moon. I think it officially waxed full sometime very late last night (according to my local time) or very early this morning, but today is called Guru Purnima and is a special day associated with the current full moon (purnima) wherein we offer special emphasis on the honor of our gurus and life teachers.
The Sahaj Marg recognizes Shri Parthsarathi Rajagopalachari (Chariji) as our current Satguru, and abhyasis everywhere were blessed with Chariji’s darshan either in person or via live telecast through one of the Marg’s websites. The telecast was to include a multi-faceted service followed by a sitting with our gurudev. This was actually the first time I’ve been able to do this with Sahaj Marg, and while it was short-lived and required being awake into the very early morning here locally, it was definitely worth it. We’re unsure how many more of these might be possible because of Chariji’s advancing age and declining health. I hope many abhyasis were able to partake. This evening I’ll be doing my own guru puja quietly at home but I wanted to share a bit regarding guru bhakti – things I have gathered from a book I grabbed up while in Minnesota recently. The book’s title is, “Guru Bhakti Yoga” and its author is Swami Sivananda who authored over 300 volumes and I believe founded The Divine Life Society.
In this book, one reads that to be a guru one must be “…pure in thought, word, and deed, who has mastery over the senses, who has knowledge of the scriptures, who is truthful, serene and who has God-realization.” It’s also mentioned that the Guru is the root of dhyana, is the place of pilgrimage and that there is no difference between Guru and ishtadevata.
There are branches of guru bhakti also spelled out for us. These include the following:
1) Aaptam – strong faith in the Guru’s words and loving obedience of his commands.
2) Angam – please, personal service, etc… Protection of the body of the Guru, washing his clothes, bathing him, and so forth.
3) Daanam – surrender and dedication. This includes possessions and wealth.
4) Sadbhaava – taking the Guru as God and never as man. If one serves the Guru with the bhaava that the Guru is God, then that disciple is blessed with dhrishtam (jnana and bliss obtained by upadesha) and adhrishtam (bliss enjoyed after death).
One of the final chapters of the book amounts to what is essentially a vocab list called, “Guru Types.” I’ll share with you below some entries from the listed terms.
1) Guru – Preceptor, one who initiates into the mysteries of the Self.
2) Paramguru – The Guru’s guru, grand-guru.
3) Paratparaguru – Great-grand guru.
4) Parameshtiguru – Great-great-grand guru.
5) Kulaguru – The family’s guru.
6) Vidyaguru – A guru who teaches the scriptures.
7) Jnanaguru – A guru who teaches or transmits highest knowledge.
8) Sikshaguru – Trains and moulds the character of a disciple.
9) Dikshaguru – One who initiates into the order (Sanyasa, etc…)
10)Adiguru – Orginal guru.
11)Jagadguru – One whose teachings can be followed universally.
12)Advaitaguru – One who propagates the doctrine of Non-Duality.
13)Upaguru – Subsidiary or secondary guru.
14)Chidguru – Guru who is the embodiment of consciousness.
15)Maunaguru – Guru who remains speechless
16)Brahmansrotiyaguru – Guru of theoretical knowledge of Reality.
There are also numerous other terms included in the book, and maybe I’ll write about them some other time, as some are kind of amusing. For now, I’ll close with three prayers suggested by Swami Sivananda.
Happy Guru Purnima!
Aum Shri Gum Gurubhyo Namaha
Aum Shri Satguru Paramatmane Namaha
Aum Shri Gurave Namaha
Aum Shri Satchidananda Gurave Namaha
Aum Shri Gurusharanam Mama
Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
Aum Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshvaraha
Guru Sakshaat Parabrahman
Tasmai Shri Guruve Namaha
Aum Shri Mahganeshaya Namah