The goal of a Guru is to bring human beings closer to God. The Shishya can attain Moksha with the Guru’s help.
Let’s try to understand the guru-shishya relationship from the perspective of a shishya. The guru has been given the highest place in the shastras. He is Brahma though he does not have four heads, he is Vishnu though he does not have four arms, he is Shiv though he does not have three eyes. It is in the experience of the guru and the guru alone that the shishya experiences ‘Para Brahma’, or that which is unmanifest. The importance of the guru is such that in The Rudrayamala it is said, “By devotion to the guru, a jiva will attain the state of Indra, Lord of Celestials. But by devotion to Me (Ishta Devta alone) he might not attain Me”.
Dhyan moolam Guru murti, pooja moolam Guru padam
Mantra moolam Guru vakyam, moksha moolam Guru kripa
The above shloka is the essence of the life of a shishya. That is the centre of dhyan for a shishya is the form of his/her guru. All the pilgrimages are made by the shishya at the feet of the guru. Every word of the guru is like a mantra (codified energy) for the shishya and he/she attains moksha only by the grace of the guru.
For a shishya, everything associated with the guru is shreshtam or foremost. It is said that the place where the guru lives is equivalent to the Kailash parvat for the shishya. The trees in the guru’s house are equivalent to Kalp vriksha, the water that flows there is like Ganga, the herbs that grow are like Sanjeevani buti, the air is like prana vayu, the food served is prasad, and the water is amrit. When a shishya sits for dhyan with the guru, he/she experiences the state of the guru and gains from the experience of the years of sadhna done by him.
It is after a lifetime of sadhna that a being meets his/her guru, and when that happens, there are indications for it. The first indication is the occurrence of certain changes in his/her body. It starts looking the way the shishya had always desired. Secondly, any imbalance or disease that was hurting the body starts to disappears. You cease to fall ill. And the third indicator is that you start experiencing the energies that run this creation. A guru does not charge you a fee or claim to rid you of your problems; he puts you on the path of attaining the final reality, opening the doorways to subtler dimensions. He is sthir in the five yams of ashtang yog. He exudes the glow and attraction of yog. Whatever he says happens. His mantra uchcharan is full of force and results in divine experiences and manifestations. It is something which people at Dhyan Ashram experience daily.
One should not be in a hurry to choose a guru. They should be absolutely sure when he/she does choose one, basing faith in the experiences he/she has had. Yog sutras give a period of two years for a sadhak to observe, analyse and understand everything before making a Guru. Because after you make a Guru, if you start doubting his/ her teachings or change the path, it is considered as disrespect to the guru (also known as guru niradar). The sadhna of years comes to a point zero. Poet Kabir has said:
Kabira Te Nar Andh Hai Jo Guru Kahate Aur
Hari Ruthe Guru Thor Hai Guru Ruthe Nahi Thor
The next two years are for the guru to accept the sadhak as a shishya. Just like gurus are rare to find, shishyas, too, are few in number. There are certain indicators of a shishya. A shishya keeps focus on the guru; there exists nothing but the guru for him/her. The faith and surrender of the shishya is absolute. A shishya never hides things from the guru and the relationship between the shishya and the guru is barrier-less. A shishya is like a reflection of the guru. He/she exudes the radiance of the guru and his/her vritti (activity) is according to the state of the guru.
Once the guru makes a shishya, he/she becomes his 100% responsibility. The guru monitors the shishya not daily or hourly, but every second. The guru carries the shishya on the path of yog. The domain of the guru is gyan for the shishya. And the domain of shishya is seva of the guru. Such is the mahima of guru-shishya relationship. It cannot be undermined by tying it to a physical give and take. If anywhere in the world this relationship is rested upon physical or monetary favours from either side, it is a tamasha or a business deal.
The present understanding of the term guru is rooted in the physical. Innovative terms like ‘love guru’, ‘business guru’, and ‘management guru’ have become popular. This is indicative of the wrong thought process and desire pattern of people. Even pilgrimages have been turned into picnic spots in present times. People go there in the hope of fulfilling material aspirations. If your desires are rested in the physical, then you need not go to a guru. Simple charity and service and following the laws of creation is enough to achieve physical desires. Guru is needed when you want to understand what lies beyond the obvious. Then, your desire is for siddhis of yoga and to go out of the ambit of life and death.
The problem of kalyug is that our desires are embedded in the physical. So, even when one sets out on a search for the guru, he/she measures him/ her using physical yardsticks — how big is his ashram, how many factories does he own, etc. Beyond that, one is unable to comprehend and thus misses out on the essence of what a guru is. It’s ok to be embedded in the physical because for the majority, that is the starting point. But if you have found a guru and are walking his path and over a period of time your desires are still as they were, then you need to think again about what you can do differently.
The night of Guru Purnima is of particular significance to a shishya. Yagya and mantra sadhna performed on this night under the sanidhya of Guru bestows the practitioner with boons equivalent to many years of sadhna in just one night.
The writer can be reached at www.dhyanfoundation.com
Writer: Yogi Ashwini
Courtesy: The Pioneer