Continuing from the last month…
These are the next lines of the “Sadhana Karu Pyare” series.
ब्रह्म माया जिव का करु. ज्ञान गुरु सों प्यारे |
सेव्य सों सम्बन्ध अपनो, जान गुरु सों प्यारे |
हरि में गुरु में भेद जनि, लवलेश मानहु प्यारे |
brahma māyā jīv kā karu, jñān guru soṅ pyāre
sevya soṅ sambañdh apano, jān guru soṅ pyāre
hari meṅ guru meṅ bheda jani, lavaleśh mānahu pyāre
In this verse, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj explains that from the Guru, we must learn about our relationship with God.
Our relationship with God is eternal. We do not have this kind of everlasting and endless relationship in this material world. Our material father, mother, and son will die one day. They are not our real father, mother, or relatives. Our true relationship is only with God. Why is that? This word sambandh, or relation, is made from the Sanskrit root bandh, with the prefix sam, and the suffix un. It means an eternal and complete bond. Do you have such a bond with your father? No, he passed away twenty-five years ago. And recently my mother also passed away. One of my daughters has also died. That means they were not your sambandhis. That is why all the scriptures strongly state:
वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो
vedaiśh cha sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛid veda-vid eva chāham
Shree Krishna says “Arjun! What do you have to understand from all the Vedas and Vedic scriptures? Only this much that your relationship is only with Me, and you must love Me exclusively.” Lord Brahma says:
भगवान् ब्रह्म कार्त्स्न्येन त्रिरन्वीक्ष्य मनीषया ।
तदध्यवस्यत् कूटस्थो रतिरात्मन् यतो भवेत्
bhagavān brahma kārtsnyena triranvīkṣhya manīṣhayā
tad adhyavasyat kūṭa-stho ratir ātman yato bhavet
He says, “I have churned the Vedas and the other scriptures three times and have come to the conclusion that they declare only one thing – Your eternal relationship is with Shree Krishna alone, and you have to love Him.” Shree Maharajji says that God keeps on watching us and eagerly waits in anticipation, “When will this soul come to me and love me? I shall liberate him from all bondages that very instant, and bestow upon him the nectar of Divine love
We could ask God, “You are never seen, and my father at home loves me dearly.” God says, “Accept that you are mine.” We can question again, “On what basis should we accept this statement?” God says, “Accept it on the basis of knowledge. Understand fully and decide firmly that you are not this material body but the eternal soul. You will then realize that the soul’s eternal relationship is only with God.”
You will attain this knowledge of your relationship with God from the Guru. Understand this from the Guru in various ways, so that you become convinced. Then on the basis of this knowledge, you must repeatedly contemplate your relationship with God. How and what are you to contemplate? This will be explained in the subsequent lines of the ‘Sadhana Karu Pyare’ series.
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj further explains that there is no difference between God and Guru. He has repeated this in other bhajans as well:
मेरे गुरुवर मेरे गिरिधर प्यारे,
दोउ एकहिं हो न सपनेहुँ न्यारे |
mere guruvar mere giridhar pyāre
dou ekahiṅ ho na sapanehuṅ nyāre
Not even in your dreams should you think that God and Guru are different. Why? Because God is not in front of us and we have not seen Him. But, our Guru is in front of us and we can see him. Now, if we look at our Guru as a normal human being, we will conclude that he is in the same category as we are.
Our flawed thinking will naturally comment, “He sits, stands, talks, and eats just like us. How can he be different from us? We commit mistakes and so the Guru might also commit mistakes. Then why should we obey him? Hence, we will not follow our Guru’s instructions.” This kind of thinking is harmful to our spiritual growth and could even lead to our spiritual downfall.
There is an amazing example from Lord Buddha’s time. Gautam Buddha had a cousin named Anand. He spent 40 years in the company of Lord Buddha. When it was time for the Buddha to leave his material form, Anand said “I have got so much association with you, yet I have not progressed spiritually. In comparison, your other disciples have made great strides.” Gautam Buddha replied “Anand! This is your mistake. You erred when you came to me the first time, many years ago. Anand asked him “What was my mistake?”
The Buddha then reminded Anand of their dialogue forty years ago.
Anand: I am not your disciple yet, but I shall be one tomorrow. I am now speaking as your elder cousin brother, and I have a few conditions. First, I shall make you my Guru, but whenever I invite any person to meet you, you should not avoid him under any pretext.
The Buddha smiled: “Yes, agreed”.
Anand: Second, you must take me with you everywhere you go. You should not depute me on work that requires staying away from you.
The Buddha: Yes, you shall be with me at all times.
Anand: Lastly, you must answer every question of mine and should not deny me an answer on any pretext.
The Buddha: I am ready to grant all that you wish.
Gautam Buddha recalled this dialogue that took place 40 years ago. The Buddha said, “Anand, you did not develop the feeling of Divinity towards your Guru inside your heart and mind. You treated me like your younger brother and did not look upon your Guru as God. Hence, you did not receive any spiritual benefit.”
How do we develop a feeling of ‘Godliness’ towards our Guru? We must always feel and think of our Guru as God Himself.
गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः।
गुरुः साक्षात् परब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः॥
gururbrahmā gururvishṇu gururdevo maheśhvaraḥ
gurursākṣhāt parabrahm tasmai śhrī gurave namaḥ
“The Guru is Lord Brahma (The God of Creation). The Guru is Lord Vishnu (The God of Sustenance). The Guru is Lord Shiva (The God of Destruction). My salutation to such a Guru, who is the Supreme God”
The key aspect is to think that God and Guru are one. God is present amongst us in the form of our Guru and Graces us with His presence amongst us as our Guru. If we continuously remind ourselves of this fact, it will slowly give rise to feelings of ‘Godliness’ towards our Guru and help us surrender our mind and intellect to him.
What is the difficulty in considering our Guru as God? We Indians are born with innate devotion in our hearts. In certain faiths, it is believed that God watches us from seventh heaven. Look at us Indians. We perceive Divine presence in every animate and inanimate object. Our culture tells us:
अतिथि देवो भवः । मातृदेवो भवः । पितृदेवो भवः
atithi devo bhavaḥ, matṛi devo bhavaḥ, pitṛi devo bhavaḥ
We consider our guests as God, our mother as God, our father as God. We are able to think of a rock as God and we begin to worship it! We even worship a tree as though it were God Himself. If we are able to accept inanimate objects as God, what is the problem in accepting our Guru as God?
So, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, “Do not think of God and Guru as two separate entities. They are one and the same. There is no difference between them.”