Bhagwan Ved Vyas
|The day of full moon, Purnima, in the month of Ashadh is traditionally celebrated as Guru Purnima by Hindus. Also known as Vyas Purnima, the day is celebrated in remembrance and veneration to sage Ved Vyas. He is the Adi (original) Guru of the Hindu Dharma, who classified the Vedas, wrote the eighteen Puranas and the Mahabharat. On this day, the Guru is offered Pujan (worship)by the disciples. First we shall consider the role of a Guru in life.|
In essence, one can only attain salvation by serving the satpurush. Treading the path to God-realization by one's own efforts is likened by the Katha Upanishad as walking on a razor's edge. Adi Shankaracharya echoes a similar injunction: "If a person, despite possessing: a handsome, disease-free body, fame, a mountain of wealth, and even if he has studied the Vedas and all other scriptures, and has himself composed many scriptures, but has not surrendered himself at the feet of a Guru, then he has achieved nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing."
The Guru plays a vital role in boosting the aspirant frequently, when he loses track, becomes despondent or simply runs out of steam. The aspirant is thus better able to obey the Guru if he understands the Guru's glory.
Glory of the Guru
Gurubrahma Guruvishnu Gururdevo Maheshwaraha
"The guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh
(Shiva), veneration to the Guru who is Parabrahman manifest."
This is subtly illustrated by another famous verse known to all Hindus:
Guru Govind donu khade, kisko laagu paay,
The Guru and Govind -God, are present before me, to whom shall I bow down first? Glory to the Guru since he showed me Govind.
Apart from guiding the aspirant on the path to God-realization, the Guru throws light on the profound meanings of the vast array of scriptural knowledge. Hence the Mundaka Upanishad calls such a Guru "Shrotriya" - knower of the true meanings of the scriptures. Adi Shankaracharya forbids an aspirant in endeavoring to decipher the meanings without a Guru. In his commentary on a Mantra (1/2/13) of the Mundaka Upanishad, he says: "Even if one possesses knowledge of the scriptures, he should not attempt to delve into their meanings by himself. He should obtain the knowledge of Brahman only through the Guru."
In their treatises, other Acharyas, such as Ramanuj and Nimbark have considered the Guru mandatory in God-realization.
The Guru in the Swaminarayan
Finally, how should an aspirant serve such a Guru?
Serving the Guru
Upanishad (6/23) :
Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha
(2) Bhagavad Gita (4/34)
(3) Shrimad Bhagvatam
Vachanamrutam (Vadtal 5) :
The phrase "great devotee" signifies moksha-salvation.
Therefore on the day of Guru Purnima, disciples
introspect, and resolve to offer pujan and reverence to the Guru in
mind, action and speech; implicitly obey his unvoiced wishes, commands,
serving him as one would God and lauding his glory and redemptive attributes.
|| Guru Purnima ||
© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith