Author Topic: Guru  (Read 803 times)

Subramanian.R

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Guru
« on: December 07, 2015, 03:24:21 PM »
(An article by John Grimes, in Mountain Path, January - March 2015.)

The word Guru literally means 'weighty', 'large', 'heavy', 'great'.

In other words, a Guru is great.  A Guru is one who is extremely great within.  A Guru is one who
is large enough to contain the entire universe.   For this reason, such a one is called Mahan (great).
Interestingly, a Sanskrit word for the Absolute (Brahman) also means 'great' from the root 'br.'
This greatness refers to that which is inward and has little to do with the qualities or qualifications
that are outwardly discernible.       

The most oft quoted etymology of the word 'guru' derives from the two syllables 'gu' (meaning darkness)
and 'ru' (remover).  Thus the Guru is that one who removes the darkness of (the disciple's) ignorance.
Another etymology of the word says, 'The first syllable 'gu' represents the principles of illusion and the
second syllable 'ru' the supreme knowledge that destroys the illusion.

Other 'creative' etymologies include 'gu' (beyond the qualities) and 'ru' (devoid of form).  The Guru is
the one who bestows the formless state that transcends the qualities.  Or again 'gu' (to sound or speak)
and 'ru' (declaring the way to behave).  Thus, the Guru is the one who speaks the Truth. 

The Mundaka Upanishad says, 'A teacher who is established in Brahman is the true Guru.  Adi Sankara's
Vivekachudamani describes the true Guru, as '.....a knower of the Self, who confers freedom from bondage...
...one who is well versed in the scriptures, taint-less, desire-less, a perfect knower, of the Absolute,
continually established in the Absolute."     

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
   
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 03:36:36 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Guru
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 11:00:43 AM »
The term 'guru' generally describes anyone who gives knowledge, that is, one who removes one's
ignorance.   Thus, there are dance gurus. music gurus, and academic gurus, as well as spiritual
gurus.  In ancient India a teacher who is spiritual father of a student and was called an Acharya.
However, in Sri Ramana's vocabulary, a true guru, a Sadguru  is  a person who has realized the Self.

'Guru is the Self... Sometimes in his life a man becomes dissatisfied with it, and, not content with
what he has, he seeks the satisfaction of his desires, through prayer to God, etc.,  His mind is gradually
purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain His grace than to satisfy his worldly desires.  Then,
God's grace begins to manifest.  God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee, teaches
him the Truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association.  The devotee's mind gains strength
and is then able to turn inward.  By meditation it is further purified and it remains still without
the least ripple. That calm expanse is the Self.

'The Guru is both 'external' and 'internal'.  From the 'exterior' he gives a push to the mind to turn
inward; from the 'interior' He pulls the mind towards the Self and helps in the quieting of the mind.
This is guru-kripa.   There is no difference between God, Guru, and the Self.'
(Maharshi's Gospel, Book I, Chapter VII, 'Guru and His Grace'.)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Guru
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 12:32:06 PM »
It is said that the Sadguru gives three gifts to the spiritual seeker.  Bhagavan said, "In the case of
the individual soul, which desires to attain the state of true knowledge or the state of Isvara (Godhood)
and with that object always practices devotion,  the Lord who is the witness of the individual soul and
identical with it, comes forth, when the individual's devotion has reached a mature stage, in human
form with the help of Sat Chit Ananda.  These three natural features, and form and name which he
also graciously assumes, and in the guise of blessing the disciple, absorbs him in Himself.  According
to this doctrine, the Guru can truly be called the Lord.  (Spiritual Instructions, Chapter I, Section 7.)

The first gift is the Sadguru's form.  From the formless, the Divine takes a form.  The form is sweet,
enchanting, lovable. The form enables a seeker to relate to, to begin to seek the otherwise formless
Self.  As each seeker, at one time or another, believes he or she has a human form, so  too, the
Sadguru takes on a human form.

Further, can you think of a form without also thinking of its name?  There is an intimate connection
between the name and the form it represents. The name is the Sadguru's second gift.  As well,
it is said that the name is even sweeter than the form.  If one thinks of a mango, one immediately
becomes happy and one's mouth begins to water.  The word 'mango' conjures up an image of a large,
sweet, perfect mango.  But if one sees a physical mango, all sorts of doubts may arise: "Is it sweet?
Will it be stringy? Will it taste oily?  How much will it cost?"

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Guru
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 11:17:20 AM »
The name leads to the form and vice versa (all of creation is but name and form- nama and rupa).
The manifest universe is but name and form - the un-manifest Truth manifests itself so that one
may relate to it.  The name and form of the Sadguru invokes his or her salient features.  They are
suggestions for contemplation.  They are calling cards for kinship.  They are vehicles of adoration.
They are the Self appearing in dress of manifestation. 

The name  chosen is the means whereby one is able to approach the named.  It is a means to reach
the goal, for the goal is contained in the means.  Consciousness of the name leads to consciousness
of the named.  As one thinks so one becomes. Like a piece of wood that has been placed in a fire,
sooner or later the wood itself will turn into fire. Likewise, a mind that is immersed in the Sadguru's
name will eventually become Divine.  The individual (jiva) becomes the  Divine (Siva) through the
Name.    The Chandogya Upanishad says, 'Meditate on the Name as Brahman.'

The third gift is the activities, the teachings of Sadguru. The life of the Sadguru is full of inspiring events
and a wonderful tool for the Sadhaka to contemplate and emulate.  The teachings of the Sadguru are
given so that the Sadhaka may intellectually, and then experientially, realize the Self.

To discover a Sadguru, three conditions must be present.  First, one needs proximity. There is nowhere
the Sadguru is not, for the Self is all there is.  Bhagavan said, 'The Self alone is.'  Second, there needs
to be a willingness to give.  Sri Ramana said, 'There is nothing to be gained new.'  Praptasya Praptih,
Self realization is but the obtaining of the already obtained. Because the Self ever-is, It is forever
'giving'.  Thirdly, there must be capacity.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Guru
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 01:58:49 PM »
He also said,  "The Guru will say only what I am saying now. He will not give you anything you
have not already. It is impossible for anyone to get what he has not got already.  Even if he
gets anything, it will go as it came.  What comes will also go. What always is will alone remain.
The Guru cannot give you anything new, which you have not already. Removal of the notion
that we have not realized the Self is that it is required. We are always the Self."
(Day by Day, entry dated 16/9/1945.)


Bhagavan states, 'What is your idea of a Guru? You think of him in human shape as a body of
certain dimensions, complexion, and so on.  A disciple, after realization once said to his Guru:
'I now realize that you dwelt in my innermost heart as the one Reality in all my countless births
and have now come before me in human shape and lifted this veil of ignorance. What can I do
for you in return for such a great benefit? And the Guru replied:  'You need not do anything.
It is enough if you remain as you are in the true state. That is the truth about Guru.'

(ibid., 3.1.1946 afternoon.)


So long as you seek Self realization, the Guru is necessary. Guru is the Self. Take Guru to be the
real Self, and yourself to be the individual self. The disappearance of this sense of duality is the
removal of ignorance.  So long as duality persists in you,. the Guru is necessary.  Because you
identify yourself with the body, you think the Guru too is the body.  You are not the body, nor
is the Guru.  You are the Self and so is the Guru.  This knowledge is gained by what you call
Self realization.

(Talks $ 282 16th November, 1936.)

Adi Sankara's Vivekachudamani says, 'Rare and difficult are  these three:  A human birth,
a burning desire for liberation, and association with Great Beings, spiritual giants, Sadgurus.'
(Viveka Chudamani Verse 3.)

Having all three, rejoice and know you are blessed.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.             
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 02:10:18 PM by Subramanian.R »