Be it King Ashoka or Apple CEO Steve Jobs, every one of us needs a base in some point of life. It will be better if we realize it sooner. That base can be anything that builds your inner mind; a core reverend Guru or a SadhGuru who can guide you. Without that base or Guru, you are vulnerable to various sorts of evil doings of society. To understand this fact, let’s consider a simple example. Just think of a little kid who goes to school to learn. He can study all subjects by himself just from the books at home. Then why there is a need for going to school and learn from his school teachers? The answer is simple, things get easier to understand when explained by someone who knows the subject very well. And my friend, your life is full of those curious and uncertain subjects and hence we need a base called Guru.
Pandava Prince Arjuna from Mahabharata was lucky enough to have a guru like Dronacharya who gave Arjuna the special knowledge of the divine Astras. They say, Guru Dronacharya was hardly partial to Arjuna, but it was not completely right. He was greatly partial to Arjuna, more than his own son Ashwatthama. Guru Dronacharya was so fond of his pupil Arjuna that he even asked for Ekalavya’s right thumb, knowing that this loss will hamper Ekalavya’s ability to pursue the archery further because deep in his mind, Guru Dronacharya only wanted Arjuna to be the best Archer. This story of Arjuna, Ekalavya and Guru Dronacharya has been put differently by different authors from ancient times to date, but the positive gist that one can take from this story is, you can be very successful if you have a good Guru in your life. He guides you, protects you, trains you and even be with you in the time of needs.
The auspicious and favourite mantra that is being recited and chanted on every teacher’s day in many schools in India and in Guru Purnima is “Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara; Guru Sakshat Param Brahma, Tasmai Shri Guravay Namah.” This famous Sanskrit shloka is by Adi Shankaracharya -the greatest Hindu mystic. It is part of Guru strotam (a sacred prayer) dedicated to Adi Shankar’s spiritual guide Govinda Bhagwadpada. The meaning of the above Shloka is, Guru-the spiritual guide- is Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, the supreme Gods! Guru is supreme consciousness; thus salutations to sacred teachers. In your life, you should consider your Guru to be no less than those supreme Gods of Hindu Culture and so if you are loved and guided by a true Guru, your life can transform in a better way.
The bonding of Guru–Shishya tradition which is called Parampara in India tells us a big story.; a story of love, respect, knowledge, and honour. In ancient times, It is a succession of teachers(Guru) and disciples(Shishya) in traditional Vedic culture and religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
In our country, each and every Parampara links to a specific Sampradaya, certain Sect. or community. These communities may have their own Akharas and Gurukulas, the teaching and training centers. It is the tradition of spiritual relationships and mentoring where teachings are transmitted from a Guru to Sishya. Such knowledge, it can be Vedic, agricultural, architectural, technical, or musical or spiritual, is being imparted through the developing relationship between the guru and the disciple. In India, we have seen a change in this culture even though the actual essence remained unchanged. The change is, we have now modified and modern labs and schools and sophisticated training and learning centers and training zones. Yet now, we respect our Gurus and follow their words to learn a specific skill or subject knowledge even though the ancient touch is not prevailing.
The present world is seeing wars, communal disturbance, mass killings, manmade disasters and whatnot. This is where we need a good Guru, who can guide. Even if you are a leader to a nation, a true guide can give you the best piece of advice. Don’t you think, why there is even a need to accept Buddhism by Ashoka, even after developing the greatest and successful empire? This is because; calmness is a food to the mind. You may not need it right, but you will need soon for sure. A leader with good mind and guide of a good Guru can transform his world, his empire, his kingdom.
It is up to you whom you choose as your Guru. No matter whom you choose, just remember, you will carry forward the Parampara of your Guru forward. A good Guru will have good Parampara and these matters when you are going to choose a Guru for You. Spiritualism is not something unknown, it is something that you can have even my simple meditation, but for exercising Spiritualism in life, you will need a Guru to guide your way.
Article Written for the Silver Jubilee occasion of Krishna Guru Foundation School.