Sunday, October 21, 2012

THE GURU by Swami Durgananda

The translation of Guru is ‘weighted one’ the idea is that a guru is weighted by knowledge which is beyond those of mortals and possesses skills more advanced than others in their field of expertise.  It is used to describe a teacher or guide in any subject such as music or maths but it is especially used to describe a spiritual teacher.  

In many families in India there is a family guru who is called a Kula Guru.  

A Sat Guru is a spiritual preceptor and head of a lineage. 
In the Advayataraka Upanishad an explanation of the name of guru is ‘gu’ - dispeller and ‘ru’ - darkness.  

Guru Deva is a respectful name for a guru and means ‘Divine or Radiant preceptor’.

A Spiritual Guru is the head of a lineage, which can be a religious order or as in Samata Yoga a purist lineage that is non-religious.  

To become a chosen guru is a great honour, but also a long and arduous journey of which there are many obstacles, sacrifices and rites of passage that must be overcome.  It takes many years of study and instruction in mind, body and spirit.

Guru Parampara means a line of successful gurus in authentic successful chain of initiation and is the authorising of mystical power passed on from one guru to the next.  This succession is determined by all the past masters of the lineage and will be bestowed at the right time in a secret ritual.

The Guru Sishya System is a master - disciple teaching. It occurs when the teacher and the student have a firm relationship which will allow the student to receive the instruction on all levels whether it is on a physical or subtle level.   The guru will expect complete bhakti in thought, word and deed from that chosen sishya, because only with guru bhakti will the grace of the guru be given.  

If the action of any student is negative towards the guru - a raised voice, an angry word or thought the bond is broken or severed.
When a student receives a mantra from the guru they also receive part of the guru’s vibration which enables the student to achieve that which without the mantra vibration is impossible. Unfortunately when the student’s ego is so great and the student believes they can talk or treat the guru without humility then the vibration of the guru returns to the preceptor and the relationship is broken.

In many ashrams in India there is a school or a gurukula where boys are taught or trained in the mysteries so that one can be chosen to be the next guru or the inheritor of the mysteries, a female is not a choice of many gurus for this purpose as it takes strength of mind and body to progress especially where the training may involve tapas, a most extreme form of training and initiation.

Guru Purnima is a celebration of the guru which occurs on the full moon in July, it is a devotee’s day of re-dedication to all the guru represents.  On Guru Purnima the ceremony ‘Guru Padapuja’ the ritual worship of the guru’s sandals is performed, if the guru is present the guru’s feet are ceremonially washed. During the ceremony devotees acknowledge that the ‘feet of the guru’ are holy and have more knowledge than the devotee. Which is the reason why devotee’s feet must not be pointed at the guru this act in itself is the highest insult.

Lineages of purist origin are not always parampara or ‘uninterrupted succession’ due to circumstances of divine law these lineages at the discretion of the guru may cease for a certain period and then begin when needed, perhaps in some distant time the guru takes the knowledge back until the time is right to continue as these teachings are not for all. 

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