#65 Gurupurnima Contemplation

Purnima means “full moon day.”    Guru Purnima is the day when the moon is the fullest of the whole year.   It is rather dramatically portrayed as    “that day,  the rays of the sun first touched the earth.”   It is the day of light, the day of wisdom.   Each year, this fullest moon, gurupurnima follows shortly after the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, and is usually in July.

Last Sunday, the 25th of July was Gurupurnima of this year  — The day in which devotees  seek the Blessings of the Guru.   The day when the devotee  through deepest  devotion can contact the Heart of his/her own Guru/highest Creative Intelligence, and receive Blessings.

Gurupurnima is considered the beginning of the spiritual year.   It marks the beginning of chaturmas– a four month holy period of moderation and spiritual activity.    On this day, seekers offer devotion and the fruits of their practice to the Master in the form of  gratitude and love.     Every disciple makes a pledge to practice more, to understand more fully the Guru’s teachings, to do Guru Seva and to become worthy of receiving the Guru’s grace.

Through concentration on the Guru on this day, through the mind, our prana, our Self, through devotional activities and meditation on the Full Moon, we can have a profound experience, or darshan of the Guru.

We are told… One does not choose the Guru, the Guru chooses the disciple.   The Guru comes when the disciple is ready, this being when the aspirant’s Heart Chakra has opened fully.   For it is through the Spiritual Heart that the disciple and guru are connected.

The subject of the Guru is  controversial and certainly confusing and for the most part  misunderstood  in the West.   While ultimately the disciple must one day transcend an external guru, and discover the guru as a spiritual principle or tattva within, Western disciples often discard the Ideal of an external guru, and risk further confusion in the swamp of  inner guidance by the mind, intellect and ego-sense.

There is a beautiful mantra,   Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, expressing the concept of Guru.

From the unreal lead us to the Real    Form darkness lead us to the Light   From death lead us to Immortality

“Gu” means darkness and “ru” means light.     So Guru means “dispeller of darkness.”      The Guru is a spiritual preceptor, who initiates his disciples onto the spiritual path and guides them towards liberation.  The Guru is one who has realized his identity with That, the absolute source of everything, and assumes the responsibility of guiding others to that realization.      As such the Lord is manifested in the form of the Guru.

The Guru tattva is the principle by which Nature, creates, sustains and destroys all life in both our inner and outer universes, in whatever way is necessary for us pass from ignorance to wisdom, from egoism to Self-realization.  Having existed before the universe was created it transcends time and space.  The Guru principle exists within everyone as the inner Self, so when we honor the outer Guru, we also honor our own Self.   It is the impersonal Shakti, the spontaneous force that creates whatever is needed for the greatest expansion of sadhana.  Like Grace, it is always accessible.

The word “guru” is derived from the word “gunas.”  The gunas are the modes by which Nature manifest.  They are three in number: rajas, or activity, tamas or inertia, and sattva or balance.  The Guru is one who shows the aspirant how to overcome the influence of rajas and tamas and to become established in sattva, which is the entry for Self-realization.  Ordinarily our human nature moves us back and forth between activity and inertia.  We go through a daily cycle.  Some of us may wake up in the morning filled with so much tamas (inertia) that we find it difficult to get out of bed.  When the force of rajas reaches its peak, we may feel great restlessness.  Gradually, however, as the day progresses we begin to feel tired. By the end of the day tamas or inertia predominates and we return to the state of sleep.  Rarely are we in the state of sattva, or balance, which is characterized by feelings of calm, contentment, mental clarity, joy, love, and detachment.

The Guru teaches us that Yoga has the effect of reducing the influence of rajas and tamas, and increasing the influence of sattva in our lives. The practice of our yoga postures and pranayama can energize and help us shake off feelings of inertia in the early morning. And yet, if done in the evening can help us to manage the effects of stress, such as agitation and nervousness and bring about restful sleep. They bring about balance and equipoise by ridding the body and mind both of excess inertia and restlessness, The practice of meditation and of mantras has similar effects on the vital and mental bodies. All of these practices promote homeostasis and equanimity, the pre-requisites for going within and becoming established in the perspective of the Self or soul, in the spiritual dimension. The Guru therefore can be experienced purely as “the teachings and wisdom” that comes through a lineage of Yogic techniques that leads us to the doorway of Self-realization.

While a  physical Guru, like Kriya Babaji or other ancient Siddhas like Boganathar or Tirumular or more contemporary siddhas like Ramalinga Swamigal, Ramana Maharshi,  may have merged with the Absolute Being Consciousness and Bliss, leaving the physical plane, they still remain available and willing to help true aspirants.

The Guru in subtle form remains as the grace bestowing power of God. Guru, God, Self, all pervading consciousness, Shakti, the All in One and One in All. When a devotee or disciple chants the Guru mantra and meditates on his Guru, even if not in a physical body, The Guru will feel the current of sublime thoughts coming to him from his disciple.   The Guru responds to the vibrations of sublime thoughts in the wide expanse of superconsciousness and visualizes clearly a fine line of dazzling light between them. This is the Grace Power Light, spoken of so often by Ramalinga Swamigal.

Devotion is necessary to success on the path of Yoga. The Siddhas  tell us that it is true devotion that invokes the grace of God. The Siddhas do not define God, but say, God is Love and that devotion is an authentic yogic path of joy. In order to ensure that we remain on a path of unfolding Divinity, a path of liberation and joy, we need two things: devotion, and a commitment to the practices and teachings of an authentic path. However, devotion of this kind and commitment of this kind comes about only through the grace of God.

The Siddhas tell us that it is due to the senses that we experience pain and suffering, and that it is through God’s Grace that we discover the path of love. And they tell us that it is devotion, which is necessary to develop the steadfastness and firm ground needed to control the senses.    It is control of the senses that is required, if we are to advance in Yoga.    Only a higher control over the senses can curtail the reactions of the ego.    It is only through devotion to God that ego-desires, and aversions, lust, anger, hate, fear, greed, pride, envy can be uprooted.    It is through devotion to God that we attain yogic bliss and a life of joy in the world.

Devotion is meditation on the Lord, which brings about an understanding of that one which is eternal and present in all.   Devotion is the fundamental cognition of the Lord; the assurance of an Infinite Absolute Existence, through a spiritual experience of a transcendental Consciousness or ecstatic delight.    Devotion brings about understanding of the qualities of this Absolute Existence.   Devotion is an inner state, which is full of knowledge and will-power.    It brings true understanding that one needs to possess nothing, but to be a witness to everything.    Devotion helps us to understand that we are, as the Siddhas tell us, merely as beads strung on the thread of the Lord Himself; that this thread never breaks and we are never scattered.   Devotion is a means to serve the Lord within and without.

On one day of the year, Gurupurnima, devotees and disciples are graced with a large dose of Divine Shakti.  Power, light, capacity of consciousness is directed from and into the Heart of the Devoted.

In the Tirumandiram, verse 288 it says:

The Lord God knows them who,   by night and day,

Seat Him in heart’s core,    and in love exalted adore;

To them wise with inner light, actionless in trance,

He comes, and, in close proximity, stands before.”

” On Gurupurnima, the devotee is given darshan and it is done.    It  is done gradually as almost continuous work.  The effects stretch over a long period of time.   The work is possible when the body is still and mind is concentrated and immobile.   The devotee/disciple may experience the penetration.   It is almost perceptible, almost visible.   There may be some immediate change, internal or external. Sometimes it is so obvious that the body or mind may panic.    But in general it is nothing sensational  — no great realization, bliss or spiritual light —  instead it is modest and humbling in its effect.   One may know something totally unlearned.   One may feel a sense of quiet control, peaceful vibration, calmness.   Any increase in vibration or force is quite unobtrusive.

One feels closeness to the Guru and that is all the Heart ever seeks!

Meditate on the Guru, imagine Him/Her  to be in every part of you.    Let your body become filled with your Guru.   Remember that just as a cloth is composed of threads, with cloth present in every thread, so are you in the Guru, and He/She in you.    With this kind of vision, see the Guru and yourself as One.     Let there be no difference between Babaji and you.    Keep repeating in your mind, “Guru AUM”  Implant the Guru in each part of your body by saying “Guru AUM.”    And,  Let it Be.

  1. No comments yet.

  1. No trackbacks yet.