Importance of Guru

In Ramcharitramanas Sant Shiromani Tulsidas writes the importance of a Guru, "Guru bin bhav nidhi tare na koi, Hari viranchi Shankar sam hoi" which states that, "Nobody is able to cross the endless worldly ocean of life without the assistance of a True Guru even if he has acquired the potential to create like Brahma to sustain like Vishnu or to destroy like Shankar, the entire universe; his salvation and redemption truly lies only by the divine guidance from a True Guru.

From the very beginning of creation the inevitability of Guru has became prominent. Vedas, Upanishads, Purans, Ramayan, Gita, Guru Granth Shahib and all the sacred scriptures of the various religions, the great saints, all have eulogized the significance of a Guru.

Sant Shiromani Tulsidas writes in Ramcharitramanas "Bandaun Gurupad Kanj Kripa Sindhu Nar Roop Hari, Mahamoh Tam Punja Jasu Vachan Ravi Kar Nikar" I prostrate at the lotus feet of the Guru who is an ocean of compassion and is God in a Human form. His words act like the rising sun in eradicating the complete darkness of ignorance caused by desires, attachment, greed, anger and all low tendencies.

In the field of spiritual knowledge or learning, one must strive to acquire its sagacity only under the strict guidance from a True Learned Guru. Austerities, meditation, sacrifice and charity all these require a True Guru's guidance for proper procurement. Auspicious actions become inauspicious, when done anomalously and bring no fruitful results to the doer. All good actions done out of arrogance result in the downfall of the person concerned. A Guru's divine grace is of utmost importance even for attainment of materialistic and worldly pleasures.

The greatest pilgrimage place is the Guru himself whose blissful grace results in immediate favorable returns for the disciple. The residence of the Guru is a pilgrimage place for the disciple. The Guru's nectar-like feet are in true essence, Ganga Jal (Holy water of river Ganga) for the disciple. Guru guides the disciple on the pathway to salvation. A glimpse of the Guru leads to prodigious gains and is extremely rewarding for a disciple.

According to Sant Kabir Das "Tirath gaye se ek phal, Sant mile phal char, Sat Guru mile anek phal, kahat Kabir vichar" which means "Visiting pilgrimage place equals one charitable deed, meeting a saint is equivalent to four charitable deeds, but meeting a True Guru is equivalent to unlimited charitable deeds"

Ignorant humans of present have mistaken this physical and materialistic world as the supreme truth. They have forgotten the real reason of their existence i.e. realization and attainment of God, which is the paramount power behind this material world. Man has given more importance to insensibility than to cognition; which is complete ignorance. A True Guru removes this ignorance and instills the knowledge of God Consciousness into the disciple; making him reach his ultimate goal i.e. to unite with the Almighty Lord. This in all due respect is just like a drop in the ocean in expressing the importance as well as the true greatness of a Guru.

Expression of complete surrender is utmost essential to attain knowledge from the Guru. The disciple is able to receive the Guru's grace only through the sentiment of total surrender. In order to attain the Guru's eternal blessings, protection and love the disciple should completely surrender himself without any doubt at the Lotus feet of the Guru.

Guru's knowledge is more important than the Guru himself. Often disciples accept the Guru but fail to follow his teachings. This course of action becomes the main element of distress, sorrow and turmoil in their lives as well as in society.

To doubt the Guru's words is a blemish upon the name of discipleship. On the day the disciple accepts the Guru, from that very moment his prosperity is ensured. And the day, from which the disciple starts to measure the Guru, his down fall is imminent. The Guru is a divine force, which protects the disciple from all kinds of tribulation. The disciple who comes under the shelter of the Guru is protected from all sorts of affliction. This affliction is of three kinds. Firstly, the affliction which is metaphysical or spiritual, the source being the mind; Secondly the affliction which is the result of destiny and lastly the affliction which is brought about from each other. The Guru keeps the disciple free from these afflictions taking upon himself the duty of making sure that the disciple reaches the abode of the Almighty Lord (Vaikunth).

Tranquility is a matter of experience. Outside things can only give temporary comfort; it is not possible to gain mental peace from them. For peace of mind surrendering at the Lotus feet of the Guru is a pre-requisite. Due to constant remembrance of the Guru, the being becomes one with Narayan the Almighty Lord. He becomes free from all bondages and stays liberated wherever he lives. God is inscrutable and has no definite form, which makes it very difficult to concentrate upon Him. In these circumstances only the Guru should be kept in mind at all times. The Guru is Narayan the Lord Almighty himself in Human form. Therefore persistent remembrance of the Guru leads the devotees to the oneness with Lord Narayan.

Bhagwan Shri Krishan too in the form of the Guru, gave the same precept to the disciple Arjun in the Bhagvad-Gita; "Sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva papebhyo mokshayisyami ma sucah", telling Arjun that "Leaving aside all the other things, one should go into the shelter of God-like Guru and must surrender completely unto him. He will bring an end to all transgressions and will deliver his disciple from all sinful reactions. One should not feel mournful."

Guru is one whose simple but blissful appearance brings about eternal happiness, making patience and mental peace flow in naturally. There is an aura of divine verve radiating throughout the Guru's body; his face glows with splendor, as there is dissemination of light from his face, which has a very strong positive effect on anyone who comes in contact with him.

The invisible rays coming out of the Guru's body not only enamors people nearby, but also makes birds and animals cheerful and charmed. His simple personal physical appearance is a source of great fortitude and happiness in the mind. It brings a total end to the feeling of despondency in the disciple.

Only such an uttermost Guru should be accepted as a Guru. Our most loving Vaikunthvasi Shrimad Jagadguru Ramanujacharya Swami Sudarshanacharyaji Maharaj had all the characteristics of a Supreme Guru and the same qualities in a distinguished manner are embodied in the present Peethadheshwar Srimad Jagadguru Ramanujacharya Swami Purshottamacharyaji Maharaj.

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