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SLOKAS ON GURU

Guru Stotra

Guru Brahma Gurur Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwaraha Guru Saakshat Para Brahma Tasmai Sree Gurave Namaha
Meaning:Guru is verily the representative of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He creates, sustains knowledge and destroys the weeds of ignorance. I salute such a Guru.

Akhanda Mandalaakaaram Vyaaptam Yenam charaacharam Tatpadam Darshitam Yena Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: Guru can guide us to the supreme knowledge of THAT which pervades all the living and non-living beings in the entire Universe (namely Brahman). I salute such a Guru.

Agnyaana Timiraandhasya Gnyaana Anjana Shalaakayaa Chakshuhu Unmeelitam Yenam Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: A Guru can save us from the pangs of ignorance (darkness) by applying to us the balm of knowledge or awareness of the Supreme, I salute such a Guru.

Sthaavaram Jangamam Vyaaptam Yatkinchit Sacharaa Charam TatPadam Darshitam Yena Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: That Guru who can enlighten us about the all pervading consciousness present in all the three world or states (of Jaagrath, Swapna and Sushupti ... activity, dream and deep sleep state), I salute such a Guru.

Chinmayam Vyaapi Yatsarvam

Trailokya Sacharaa Charam TatPadam Darshitam Yena Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: That revered Master who directs my attention to the ONE divinity existing in all that is inert (immobile) as well as that which is active (mobile), I salute such a Guru.

Sarva Sruti Shiroratna Viraajita Padambujaha Vedaantaambuja Sooryo Yah Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: That Guru who is the ocean of the Srutis (Vedas), the Sun of knowledge (who can destroy our ignorance with these rays), I salute such a Guru.

Chaitanyah Shaashwatah Shaantho Vyomaateeto Niranjanaha Bindu Naada Kalaateetaha Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: That Guru who is the representative of the unchangeable, ever present, peaceful spirit, who is one pointed and beyond the realm of space and time, whose vision is always enchanting, I salute such a Guru.

Gnyaana Shakti Samaaroodah Tatwa Maalaa Vibhooshitaha Bhukti Mukti Pradaaneyna Tasmai sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: The one who is an ocean of knowledge, who is always in Yoga (in unison With God) who is adorned by the knowledge of the God principle, the One Who can liberate us from this mundane existence, I salute such a Guru.

Aneka Janma Sampraapta Karma Bandha Vidaahine Atma Gnyaana Pradaaneyna Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: The one who can help us free from the chain of karma accumulated over several lives, by teaching us the knowledge of the self (Atma Gnyaana), I salute such a Guru.

Shoshanam Bhava Sindhoscha Gnyaapanam Saarasampadaha Guror Padodakam Samyak Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: The one who can help us cross this ocean of life, the one who can reveal to us the Divine, I adore his Paadukaas (hold on to his feet), I salute such a Guru.

Na Guror Adhikam Tatwam Na Guror Adhikam Tapaha Tatwa Gnyaanaat Param Naasti Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: There no greater principle than the Guru; there is no greater penance than the Guru; There is no greater knowledge than meditation on such a Guru. I salute such a Guru.

Mannaathah Sri Jaganaatho Madguruhu Sri Jagad Guruhu Madh Atma Sarva Bhootaatma Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: The Lord of the world is my Lord and the Guru of the World is my Guru, the SELF in me is the same which is present in all (the same divinity inherent in all beings). I salute such a Guru (who gives me this insight).

Guroraadi Anaadischa Guruh Parama Daivatam Guroh Parataram Naasti Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: The Guru has neither beginning nor end; the Guru is the ultimate God (in the visible form). There is nothing beyond this Guru principle, and I salute such a Guru.

Dhyaanamoolam Gurur Moorthihi Poojamoolam Guroh Padam Mantramoolam Guror Vaakyam Moksha Moolam Guru Krupa.
Meaning: The Guru's form is the best to meditate upon; the Guru's feet are the best for worship; the Guru's word is the mantra; the Guru's Grace is the root of liberation.

Brahmaanandham Parama Sukhadam Kevalam Jnaana Murthim Dhvandhvaa Theetham Gagana Sadhrisham Tathvam Asyaadi Lakshyam Ekam Nithyam Vimalam Achalam Sarvadhee Saakshi Bhutham Bhavaatheetham Thriguna Rahitham Sadhgurum Tham Namaami.
Meaning: This sloka tries to describe the qualities of a true Guru. A real Guru has the following qualities. He experiences the supreme Bliss of Brahmaananda (transcedental divine bliss). He enjoys and confers changeless supreme happiness. He is beyond space and time (there is nothing higher than him). He is the embodiment of wisdom which is the basis for all types of knowledge. He transcends the pair of opposites (such as happiness and sorrow, gain and loss). He is more Omnipresent than space itself. He is the very embodiment of the Divine principle, which is the inner meaning of the four great pronouncements Prajnaanam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi, Thath Thvam Asi and Ayam Aathma Brahma. He is One without a second (ekam). He never changes under any circumstances (nithyam). He is without any type of impurity (vimalam). He is steady and motionless(achalam). He is the witness of everything. He transcends mental comprehension and verbal explanation. He is beyond the three gunas (sathva, rajas and thamas). I offer my humble salutations to such a Guru who possesses all these qualities. [The meaning of this Sloka is discussed in great detail in the Guru Poornima Discourse delivered by Bhagavan Baba on July 14, 1992] On Lord Dakshinamoorthy

Gurave Sarva Lokaanaam Bhishaje Bhava Roginaam Nidhaye Sarva Vidyaanaam Dakshina Moorthaye Namaha
Meaning: I salute God Dakshina Moorthy (Shiva in Guru form) who is the Guru of all the worlds, the One who cures the disease of worldly existence and who is wealth of all knowledge. On Guru Shankaraachaarya

Shruthi Smruthi Puraanaam Aalayam Karunaalayam Namaami Bhagavat Paadam Shankaram Loka Shankaram.
Meaning: I prostrate before Shanakara Bhagavatpada who is the house of all knowledge, the Shrutis, Smrutis and Puranas (all the Vedic texts). On Guru Vyaasa

Namostutey Vyaasa Vishaala Buddhe Phullaaravinda Yatapatra Netra Yena Twaya Bhaarata Tailapoorna Prajwaalito Gyaana Mayah Pradeepaha
Meaning: Salutations unto Thee, O Vyasa of broad intellect and with eyes large like petals of full blown lotuses, by whom the lamp of knowledge filled with the oil of Mahabharata has been lighted. On Guru Shirdi Sai

Namah Sree Sai Naathaaya Mohatandra Vinaashine Gurave Buddhi Bodhaaya Bodha Maatra Swaroopine
Meaning: I worship Lord Sainath, the destroyer of attachment, the Guru who preaches discrimination (sharpen the intellect). On Guru Raghavendra

Poojyaaya Raaghavendraaya Sathya Dhrama Vrataayacha Bhajataam Kalpa Vrikshaaya Namathaam Kaamadhenave
Meaning: I prostrate before the venerable Guru Raghavendra who is always professing Truth and Righteousness, the One who is like the kalpavriksha (wish fulfilling tree) and kamadhenu (celestial cow indicating prosperity) to the devotees (meaning He is a boon giver).

Guru Stotram
A selection from 'Guru Gita' as given in Uttarakhand section of 'Skanda Purana' in the form of a dialogue between Shiva and Uma (Shakti).

Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwara Guru Sakshat Param Brahma Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah
Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Lord Maheshwara. Guru is verily the supreme reality. Sublime prostrations to Him.

Dhyanamoolam Guru Murti Pujamoolam Guru Padam Mantra Moolam Guru Vakyam Moksha Moolam Guru Kripa
The bestowal of liberation is only the Guru's grace. Real worship is of the Guru's feet. The basis of all mantras is the words of the Guru. The bestowal of liberation is only the Guru's grace.

Akhanda Mandalakaram Vyaptam Yena Characharam Tat Padam Darshitam Yena Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha
I prostrate to the Sadguru by whom the whole world, comprising of unbroken consciousness, is pervaded and filled through and through in every moving and unmoving object. Sublime salutations to the Guru who is established in That and who has awakened me to its realisation.

Manathaha Shri Jagannatha Madguru Shri Jagadguru Madatma Sarvabhutatma Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha

My Lord is the Lord of the Universe. My Guru is the Guru of the whole world. My Self is the Self of all beings, therefore I prostrate to my Guru who has shown me this.

Gyana Shakti Samarudham Tatwa Mala Vibhushitam Bhukti Mukti Pradata Cha Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha
He who is established in spiritual knowledge and power, who is adorned with the garland of truth, the Reality, He who bestows both liberation and enjoyment here in this world... to that Guru sublime, Salutations.

Sthavaram Jangamam Vyaptam Yatkinchit Sacharacharam Tatpadam Darshitam Yena Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha
Whatever is moving and unmoving and that which pervades whatever is animate and inanimate, to that Guru who reveals all these things, sublime Salutations.

Chinmayam Vyapitam Sarvam Trai Lokyam Sacharacharam Tatpadam Darshitam Yena Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha
I prostrate to the Guru who has made me realise that essence which pervades past, present and future and all things moving and unmoving.

Chaitanyam Shashvatam Shantam Vyomateetaha Niranjanaha Bindu Nada Kala Teetaha Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha
Prostrations to the Guru who is eternal, peaceful, unattached, full of light and knowledge, beyond the stages of Nada, Bindu and Kala, and who transcends even the ether. [top]

Guru Purnima day the full moon day in Ashadh is of great importance in relation to a guru and disciple. On this day a disciple, expresses his gratitude to his Guru and makes some offerings. This is the day that strengthens the teacher student bond. Whatever the old poets and writers have written in the past, holds good even today. Kabir wrote, "Guru is a washer-man, his disciple a cloth, soap the creator, washed on the stone of knowledge, this gives out utmost light brightness." This couplet of Kabir throws light on the relation of a guru (master) to a disciple; Who washes away the dirt (bad element) in the mind of the disciple and thus makes him clean, pure and pious. He expects from almighty that by his blessings, he should enlighten his inner conscience. Guru in Hinduism The word guru means teacher in Sanskrit and other Sanskrit-derived languages like Hindi, Bengali and Gujarati. It originated in a Hindu context and holds a special place in Hinduism, signifying the sacred place of knowledge (vidya) and the imparter of knowledge. The word comes from the sanskrit root "gru" literally meaning heavy, weighty. Another etymology claimed in Hindu scriptures is that of dispeller of darkness (wherein darkness is seen as avidya lack of knowledge both spiritual and intellectual), 'gu' meaning darkness, and 'ru' meaning dispeller. The syllable gu means shadows The syllable ru, he who disperses them, Because of the power to disperse darkness the guru is thus named. Another popular etymology claims that the syllables gu ( ) and ru ( ), stand for darkness and light, respectively, providing the esoteric meaning that the guru is somebody who leads the disciple from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge. In the sense mentioned here above, guru is used more or less interchangeably with "satguru" (literally: true teacher) and satpurusha. Compare also Swami. The disciple of a guru is called sishya or chela. Often a guru lives in an ashram or in a gurukula (the guru's household) together with his disciples. The lineage of a guru, spread by worthy disciples who carry on that guru's particular message, is known as the guru parampara or disciplic succession. In the traditional sense, the word guru describes a relationship rather than an

absolute and is used as a form of address only by a disciple addressing his master. Some Hindu denominations like BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha hold that a personal relationship with a living guru, revered as the embodiment of God, is essential in seeking moksha. The guru is the one who guides his or her disciple to become a jivamukta, liberated soul that achieves salvation in his or her lifetime through God-realization. The role of the guru continues in the original sense of the word in such Hindu traditions as Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and Bhakti schools. Indeed, it is now a standard part of Hinduism (as defined by the six Vedic streams and the Tantric Agamic streams) that a guru is one's spiritual guide on earth. In some more mystical Hindu circles, it is believed that the guru could awaken dormant spiritual knowledge within the pupil, known as shaktipat. In Hinduism the guru is considered a respected person with saintly qualities who enlightens the mind of his disciple, an educator from whom one receives the initiatory mantra, and one who instructs in rituals and religious ceremonies. The Vishnu Smriti and Manu Smriti regards the teacher, along with the mother and the father as the most venerable gurus (teachers) of an individual. Some influential gurus in the Hindu tradition (there have been many) include Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Shri Ramakrishna. Other gurus whose legacy of continuing the Hindu yogic tradition grew in the 20th century were men like Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, Shri Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda and Swami Chinmayananda. See also the list of Hindu gurus. In Indian culture having not having a guru or a teacher (acharya) was looked down upon as being an orphan, and a sign of misfortune. The word anatha in Sanskrit means "the one without a teacher". An acharya is the giver of shiksha, or gyan which means knowledge. Guru also gives diksha (initiation) that is the spiritual awakening of the disciple by the grace of the Guru. Diksha is also considered to be the procedure of bestowing the divine powers of a Guru to the disciple, through which he progresses continuously on the path of divinity. The institution of the guru has evolved various basic tenets of Indian culture and transmitted spiritual and fundamental knowledge. Gurus formed the axis of ancient educational system and ancient society, and enriched various fields of learning and culture by their creative thinking. In this lies the lasting significance of gurus and their contribution to the upliftment of mankind. The origin of guru can be traced back as far as the early Upanishads, where the conception of the Divine Teacher on earth first manifested from its early Brahmin associations. Indeed, there is an understanding in some sects that if the devotee were presented with the guru and God, first he would pay respects to the guru since the guru had been instrumental in leading him to God. Saints

and poets have sung the glory of the guru and the God such as Kabir and Brahmanand: Guru Bhakti (literally "devotion to the guru") is considered important in many schools. In the Upanishads five signs of sat guru (true guru) are mentioned. In the presence of the satguru; Knowledge flourishes (Gyana raksha); Sorrow diminishes (Dukha kshaya); Joy wells up without any reason (Sukha aavirbhava); Abundance dawns (Samriddhi); All talents manifest (Sarva samvardhan). The importance of finding a true guru is one of the tenants of Hinduism. Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: Acquire the transcendental knowledge from a Self-realized master by humble reverence, by sincere inquiry, and by service. The wise ones who have realized the Truth will impart the Knowledge to you. (Bhagavad Gita, c4 s34) On the role of the guru, Swami Sivananda asks: "Do you realize now the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the Guru's role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of Guru-Tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the Guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby re-affirms its belief and allegiance to it. For, the true Indian knows that the Guru is the only guarantee for the individual to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death, and experience the Consciousness of the Reality." Some Hindu gurus have warned against false teachers, have recommended the spiritual seeker to test the guru before accepting him, and have outlined criteria how to distinguish false from genuine ones: Swami Vivekananda said that there are many incompetent gurus and that a true guru should understand the spirit of the scriptures, have a pure character and be free from sin, and should be selfless without desire for money and fame. Sathya Sai Baba said in a discourse (Sathya Sai Speaks, vol I, p. 197) that the hunt for rich disciples who can be fleeced has become a tragicomedy, and said in the booklet Sandeha Nivarini that the seeker should test the guru by assessing whether his words are full of wisdom, and whether he puts into practice what he preaches.

Abstract

Having a teacher to guide us in any field is invaluable. This is true in Spirituality as well. As Spirituality is subtle or intangible in nature, it is difficult to identify with certainty who is a spiritually evolved guide or Guru. A Guru is very different to a teacher or a preacher. He is a beacon of spiritual light in our world, and teaches us the universal spiritual principles that underlie all religions and cultures. This article expands on His characteristics and salient features. Table of contents 1. Introduction 2. Definition of a Guru or an evolved spiritual guide 2.1 Literal meaning of Guru 3. Differences between a teacher/professor and a Guru. 4. Differences between a preacher and a Guru 5. What are the differences between a Guru and a Saint? 5.1 What makes a person become a Guru over and above being a Saint? 5.2 What are the similarities between a Saint and a Guru? 5.3 What are the differences in characteristics between a Saint and a Guru? 6. What is the importance of the Guru in the human form? 6.1 Importance of the Guru - from the perspective of educating a student 6.2 Importance of the Guru - from a psychological perspective 6.3 Importance of the Guru - from a Spiritual science perspective 7. Some salient features of a Guru in the human form 8. How do we recognise and acquire an evolved spiritual guide? 8.1 The fake or unauthorised Guru 9. In summary

1. Introduction What if children were told to educate themselves in modern sciences without any teacher or any access to prior knowledge gained over centuries? What if we had to reinvent the wheel in every walk of life, without having access to knowledge that was already available from authorities in the field? If this were the case, we would spend a lifetime trying to educate ourselves without making much headway or perhaps even going down a wrong path.

In the same way, a guide is very much required in our spiritual journey too. It stands to reason that a guide in any field needs to be an authority in that particular field. According to Spiritual science a person who is an authority in the field of Spirituality is known as a Guru.

There is a saying that in the kingdom of the blind the seeing man is a king. With a highly activated sixth sense, the Guru is the totally seeing person in the kingdom of the spiritually blind and ignorant. He is someone who has already walked the spiritual road under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, and has access to the Universal Mind and Intellect. In this article, we will explain who can be considered a Spiritual Guide or a Guru and His characteristics.

2. Definition of a Guru or an evolved spiritual guide There are various aspects to the Supreme God Principle. These various aspects of God perform specific functions in the Universe. This is pretty much akin to the government of any country which has various departments to facilitate the smooth governing and functioning of the country as a whole. Just as we have a department for education in a government, which facilitates teaching of modern sciences throughout the country, the aspect of God that looks after spiritual teaching and spiritual growth in the Universe is known as the Guru. This is known as the unseen or unmanifest Guru or the Teaching Principle of God. The unmanifest Guru pervades the entire Universe and is with us at all times during our life and even after we die. The salient and highlighting feature is that the unmanifest Guru stands by us throughout our life and slowly lifts us from our worldly life into a spiritual way of life. The Guru guides us according to our spiritual level, i.e. our capacity to imbibe knowledge whether we know it or not, helping us develop skills such as perseverance, dedication, attention to detail, tenacity, compassion etc. through our lives. All these kinds of skills are intrinsic to being a good seeker of God and are vital in sustaining our spiritual journey. For those who are proactively seeking spiritual growth the Guru is more active, guiding them in an unseen form according to what is needed for them. Out of the entire population of the world, few take up spiritual practice that is universal and beyond the confines of formal, organised religion. Among these, very few people through their spiritual practice (regardless of their religion of birth) attain a spiritual level of over 70%. The unmanifest Guru then works completely through some of these evolved individuals who are then known as the manifest Guru or the Guru in the human form. In other words, a person has to be at least of the 70% spiritual level to qualify as a spiritual guide or a Guru. The Guru in human form acts as a beacon of spiritual knowledge for humanity and is in total alignment with the Universal Mind and Intellect of God

2.1 Literal Meaning of Guru

The word Guru is derived from the Sanskrit language and has a deep spiritual meaning. Its two syllables Gu and Ru stand for the following: Gu denotes the spiritual ignorance that most of humankind is in. Ru represents the radiance of spiritual knowledge that dispels the spiritual ignorance. In short, the Guru is the One who dispels the darkness of spiritual ignorance in humanity and bestows upon them spiritual experiences and spiritual knowledge.

3. Differences between a teacher/professor and a Guru The following chart gives the differences between a teacher and a Guru in human form.

4. Differences between a preacher and a Guru There is a vast difference between a person preaching Spiritual sciences or religious study as compared to a Guru. The following table expands on the differences between them when guiding people.

Most preachers in todays world are at the 30% spiritual level and as a result they are neither able to understand the true implied meaning of the Scriptures they quote, no have they experienced first-hand everything has been written. Thus, the possibility of leading the audience astray is high.

5. What are the differences between a Guru and a Saint? 5.1 What makes a person become a Guru over and above being a Saint? Every Guru is a Saint but the reverse is not always true. Only a small percentage of Saints qualify as Gurus. The following table shows how many Saints and Gurus are there in the world in the year 2006.

Footnotes We have started the frequency interval at 66% because people at this level are in all likelihood going to reach the spiritual level of a Saint i.e. 70%.

5.2 What are the similarities between a Saint and a Guru? Both a Saint and a Guru are over the 70% spiritual level. They both have spiritual love for all of humankind, i.e. love without expectation. They both have very little ego. This means that they do not identify themselves with their five senses, mind and intellect but with the Soul, that is the God within.

5.3 What are the differences in characteristics between a Saint and a Guru? The following table shows a gross comparison between a Saint and a Guru at the 80% spiritual level.

Footnotes (based on the numbers in red in the above table): By love for others, we mean loving others without any expectation. This is different to worldly love which is always tainted with some sort of expectation. 100% would mean the unconditional, non-partial, all-pervading love of God, extended equally to all of creation right from non-living things, to the tiniest of living beings like ants to the highest of beings i.e. humans. Service means serving the Absolute Truth or Spiritual science, that is the universal principles that underlie all religions and govern the entire universe. 100% here would mean 100% of their time and abilities in all dimensions like physical (bodily), mental, intellectual, financial, social, etc. is spent in serving God. Sacrifice means how much of their time, body, mind and wealth have they sacrificed to serve God. Quantity of writing of texts related to explaining or propagating the Absolute Truth.

The nature of the writings of Saints and Gurus are more about spiritual experiences and spiritual guidance respectively. God functions by His mere existence. He does not need to make any effort, hence His energy is not manifest. The forms of His energy are unmanifest, like Serenity, Bliss etc. But Saints and Gurus, because they have a tangible physical body, do use manifest energy to some extent. As Gurus are more one with the unmanifest (nirgun) form of God, they do not need to use much manifest energy. As the I in Saints is higher than that in Gurus, they use more manifest energy than Gurus do. But this is much lower compared to those performing similar functions with the help of supernatural powers. For example, when a person is cured of his illness due to blessings of a Saint, only 20% energy is manifest, whereas the same may be up to 50% in the case of one who is not a Saint but heals with supernatural healing powers. As the manifest energy of God is 0, the manifest energy one expends is a function of oneness of God. Thus the more your manifest energy, the further away you are from God. Signs of manifest energy are bright, glowing eyes, sharp hand movements, etc. In order to carry out their mission Saints and Gurus alike need manifest energy which is given by God. Saints sometimes solve worldly problems of their devotees which use up comparatively more energy. A Guru focuses His disciple on spiritual growth, which in turn makes the disciple self-sufficient in overcoming problems where the root causes are spiritual in nature. As a result the Guru uses up less spiritual energy. Both Saints and Gurus have a spiritual level of at least 70%. After crossing the spiritual level of 70%, spiritual progress is faster in Gurus than in other Saints. They attain the level of a Sadguru (80%) and a Paratpar Guru (90%) faster than other Saints attaining the same spiritual levels. This is because they are constantly engrossed in the mission of spiritually uplifting a disciple, while Saints also help their devotees at a more worldly level.

6. What is the importance of the Guru in the human form? Each one of us seeks guidance from teachers, doctors, lawyers etc. in their respective fields. If a guide is needed even in these comparatively simple fields, then imagine the importance of the Guru, who releases one from the bondage of life and death. 6.1 Importance of the Guru - from the perspective of educating a student The Guru comes in many forms. He teaches us through situations, books, in human form, etc. The following table is a comparison between these various forms and it shows the importance of the Guru in the human form.

6.2 Importance of the Guru - from a psychological perspective There are many psychological benefits for a student to have a spiritual guide in the human form. Unlike God and deities who do not display their existence and potential, the Guru displays His form through the human Guru. This way the student of Spirituality has a tangible guide to take care of him on his spiritual journey. The Guru in human form is omniscient just as the unmanifest Guru and is able to perceive everything about his disciple. He knows through His access to the Universal Mind and Intellect whether the student is sincere or not and where he is making mistakes. As a result, the student being aware of this ability of the Guru, often refrains from doing bad deeds. The Guru does not allow the disciple to develop an inferiority complex from the fact that he is lesser than the Guru. He eradicates the inferiority complex in the deserving disciple and grants him the all pervading nature of the Guru.

6.3 Importance of the Guru - from a Spiritual science perspective The following table shows the importance of a Guru in the human form for the spiritual growth of a seeker/disciple.

Footnotes (based on numbers in red in the above table): At around the 55% spiritual level, a student/disciple develops enough spiritual maturity to benefit from the Gurus presence in human form. It is akin to receiving a scholarship in Spirituality. At this level of spiritual maturity, the disciple is set to take proper advantage of the Gurus assistance in guiding him towards experiencing God. It is relatively more difficult to derive benefit from an idol. The subtle, intangible frequencies that an idol or picture of a Guru emits, can only be useful to a person beyond the 60% spiritual level with an activated sixth sense.

When one follows the guidance of a Guru in human form, the effort required to make spiritual progress is the least as it is channelised most efficiently. In all other cases, the chances of making mistakes are much higher. To be able to understand the implied meaning of the scriptures is no mean task. Very often Holy Scriptures and books are prone to misinterpretation. Here ego refers to faith in oneself. If faith in oneself is not high, then one cannot make spiritual progress without taking guidance from someone. Without a spiritual guide the likelihood of stagnation or even regression in spiritual growth is high.

7. Some salient features of a Guru in the human form A Guru is beyond organised religion and He looks upon all of humankind as the same. He does not discriminate on the basis of culture, nationality or gender. He only seeks the student who intensely desires spiritual growth. A Guru will never ask one to convert from his religion. He will lift the student to comprehend universal spiritual principles that underlie all religions. Whichever spiritual path or religion one follows, they all finally lead to the path of grace of the Guru.

A Guru functions with spiritual power at the level of resolve. With this spiritual power given by God, He lifts a deserving student just by His thought that the student should progress. A seeker/student of Spiritual science cannot reach the spiritual level of 70% unless he has the Gurus grace and is guided by the Guru in the human form. The reason for this is that, in the earlier stages of our spiritual growth, we can progress just by following the basic laws of spiritual practice. However after a certain stage, the spiritual knowledge becomes so fine that one can easily be misguided by ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) through their sixth sense. One needs a highly evolved spiritual guide in the human form to accurately negotiate the way for further spiritual progress towards Sainthood. Even after one reaches the level of a Saint one needs to continue one's spiritual practice to ensure a constant flow of Gurus grace.

He lifts the student to be able to access the Soul knowledge within. This is as opposed to some people with sixth sense (ESP) who, as mediums, access knowledge from subtle bodies (spirits) in the subtle dimension. When one acts only as a medium, one cannot make spiritual progress. The relationship between Guru and student is pure and the love that the Guru has for the student is without expectations and is unconditional. The Guru is omniscient and is therefore able to take care of the student even when he is not with Him physically. Severe destiny can only be overcome with the grace of the Guru. The Guru guides the student according to the six laws of spiritual practice as per the spiritual level and hence capacity. He never teaches a student beyond his capacity. The Guru will always teach with a positive attitude. For example, a Guru may advise one to undertake any one spiritual practice among the following, depending on the students spiritual maturity, Sing devotional songs, chant The Lords Name, perform service to God, etc. He never guides in a negative way such as Do not drink alcohol, do not behave this way, etc. The reason for this is that teaching not to do certain things is at the psychological level, and does not serve any purpose from the point of view of making spiritual progress. The Guru focuses on the spiritual practice of the student. Over time this itself will give the student the capacity to discard activities which are detrimental to him. Though the clouds shower rain equally everywhere, the water accumulates only in craters while the erect mountains remain dry. Similarly Gurus and Saints do not discriminate. The bestowal of their grace on all is the same but the ones with pure intention to learn and grow spiritually are like the craters, able to receive and retain the benefit of their grace. The Guru being omniscient intuitively knows what is best for the student to further his spiritual progress. He guides on a one-to-one basis.

8. How do we recognise and acquire an evolved spiritual guide?

It is difficult for a student of Spiritual science to judge the ability of a Guru. This would be like the student testing the teacher.

To test someone, one has to be of a higher calibre than that person. The student cannot be that person to test the Guru. More importantly, the ability of the Guru is in the subtle or spiritual dimension, i.e. beyond the understanding of the five senses, mind and intellect. It can be gauged only through a highly activated sixth sense. This leaves the average person in a quandary of whom to follow. The Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) recommends that one should not go searching for a Guru. In almost all cases, one will not have the spiritual maturity to be able to discern as to who to choose as a spiritual guide.

To grow ones capacity to discern, one needs to do regular spiritual practice according to the six basic principles of spiritual practice. This will ensure spiritual growth and development of a sattvik intellect. The all-pervading unmanifest Guru or the Teaching Principle of God keeps a constant watch on all of us. When one achieves a spiritual level of around 55%, a Guru in the human form comes into ones life. (The mode spiritual level of present day people is 20%). At the spiritual level of 55%, a student of Spiritual sciences has the spiritual maturity to have a sense for whether the Guru is genuine with their sattvik intellect itself.

8.1 The fake or unauthorised Guru 80% of the Gurus in society today are fake or without spiritual authority. That means they are at a spiritual level much below 70% and do not have access to the Universal Mind and Intellect. In some cases, these people may have a high ability to attract thousands of people by some specific spiritual power they have obtained. For example, a person at 50% spiritual level may be able to cure disease from an early age through spiritual power obtained from spiritual practice undertaken in a previous birth. Most of humankind in todays era being between the 20-25% spiritual level are unequipped to discern whether the person is a Saint or not. However they generally end up following the person who can heal them or perform miracles. For the benefit of an average person, we have listed some points that a true Guru is not. These are a few points that will help you in finding out fake spiritual guides that can be understood by the intellect and tested. These are some cases where these fake Gurus have exposed themselves by their actions.

1. The Gurus who generate a feeling of inferiority in others and try to show off their greatness: One Saint asks everyone who comes to pay obeisance to him their name and age. Once that is told he says, Both the answers are wrong. The name and age belong to the body. You are the Soul. It has neither a name nor age. Then he speaks on Spirituality and asks, Are you doing spiritual practice? If someone happens to reply in the affirmative, he asks What spiritual practice? If one replies, The one recommended by my Guru, he says You were not able to answer simple questions about your name and age. Then what has your Guru taught you? Only a real Guru can reply to these questions. Come to me. I will tell you. One should tell such fake Gurus, Actually your questions were meaningless! You asked me my name and age only because of your awareness of the body (dehabuddhi), so I too replied with awareness of the body. What kind of Guru is he who is unable to make out at the first glance whether one has a Guru, or if ones spiritual practice is going on appropriately or not? 2. Those who have an attachment to wealth and women 3. Putting on false airs One Guru does not use a watch because he does not want to be bound by the restrictions of time and a watch strap. Yet after every fifteen to twenty minutes he asks others, What is the time? 4. Desirous of fame Some people who have an earnest desire to be known as Gurus and are spiritually evolved to some extent, recommend different kinds of spiritual practice to others. In most cases, they do not walk their talk themselves. As a result, it has been observed that the seekers undertaking the advised spiritual practice progress but the so called Guru remains stagnant. 5. Encourage dependency in their students Some Gurus fear that if they impart all spiritual knowledge to their disciples, they will have no importance thereafter. Hence they do not impart all knowledge to them.

9. In summary The following are the key take away points from this article.

A Guru is a spiritual guide beyond the 70% spiritual level. Do not go searching for a Guru, as in all likelihood you will not be able to discern for sure if the person one is looking up to is a Guru. Instead do spiritual practice and ensure that it is aligned with the six basic laws of spiritual practice. This will help one grow to a point wherein one has the spiritual maturity to not get fooled by a fake Guru. One cannot reach Sainthood, i.e. a spiritual level of 70%, without the grace of the Guru.

SHANKARACHARYA AND GITACHARYA : Traditional Advaitins recite the following verse as a part of their daily prayers: : :

Shankaram shankarAchAryam keshavam bAdarAyaNam. sUtra-bhAShya-kRitau vande bhagavantau punaH punaH. [My repeated reverential obeisance to Lord Shankara, verily Shankaracharya, and Lord Keshava, verily bAdarAyaNa-vyAsAchArya who are the authors of the commentary and the BrahmasUtras respectively.] All Advaitins revere the two great luminaries whose contribution is invaluable. Tradition holds that Lord VishNu (Keshava) Himself incarnated as Bhagavan BAdarAyaNa VyAsa who composed the Bhagavadgita (Mahabharata) and the Brahmasutras. Also, Lord Shiva Himself incarnated as Acharya Shankara who penned the commentaries to the Brahma sutras, Gita and the Upanishads. Tradition also holds the two Divinities Lord Shiva and Lord VishNu as nondifferent from each other: (See footnote 5 & 6 below)

Shivaaya viShNurUpAya shivarUpAya viShNave Shivasya hRidayam viShNuH viShNoshcha hRdayam shivaH [(obeisance to) Lord Shiva who is of the form of Lord ViShNu and to Lord ViShNu who is of the form of Lord Shiva. Shivas heart is VishNu and VishNus heart (essence) is Shiva.] Thus, according to tradition, the One Supreme Brahman, as Vishnu and Shiva, has authored the Scripture and its commentaries for the supreme benefit of those in bondage. This scheme assures us that the commentaries of Acharya Shankara reflect the true purport of Scripture owing to the unity of authorship of the Scripture and the commentaries. In the sequel, a brief study is undertaken to bring out a very unique way of viewing the change of roles by VishNu (Keshava) and Shankara. Generally when we require a clarification while reading the Upanishad or the Bhagavadgita, we look into the bhAShyam. Here is a case where we get an elucidation for a bhAShya-statement in the Bhagavadgita. In His commentary to the BrahmasUtra tat tu samanvayAt (1.1.4) Acharya Shakara makes a laconic statement, pregnant with meaning: - ,

//The embodiedness of the Self is caused by wrong conception and so the person who has reached true knowledge is free from his body even while still alive (Brahma sutra bhashya 1.1.4).//

This pithy statement is easily understood and its purport appreciated if we study the following verses of the Bhagavadgita (5.8,9): (. ,) [The man of Knowledge, a Jnani, even while engaged in - seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, walking, eating, dreaming/sleeping, breathing, talking, discharging (ejecting), holding/grasping, closing and opening the eyes (even while still alive) is of the firm conviction I do nothing at all; the senses/organs interact with their respective objects. (is free from his body) ] Even though the Acharya has left us in no doubt about the Jnani, at the bodymind-organs level, engaging in all action, yet, we find the above verses of the Gita a quick reference manual for understanding the Acharyas statement in the BSB quoted above. The words in red and green fonts in the above paragraph are from the Brahmasutra bhashya. Just as the BSB quote states, in one go, the Jnanis unembodiedness as well as his being alive, the Gita verses quoted above too state, in one go, the Jnanis freedom from agency even while engaging in all activity. While what has been said above is with an assumed writers licence, one can also look at the Bhashyam quote as a laconic commentary of the two Gita verses. Either way, the mutual conformity of the Gita verses and the Bhashya

quote give the seeker a feeling of joy and increased faith in the Bhashyam and the Gita as guiding lights in the spiritual journey. : :

Shankaram shankarAchAryam keshavam bAdarAyaNam. sUtra-bhAShya-kRitau vande bhagavantau punaH punaH. Om Tat Sat

For my Guru who has reached the Supreme.


Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Even if every drop in the seven oceans become the ink and the great oceans themselves the inkpot, even if the majestic mount Meru were the pen and the entire universe the writing leaf: and even if I was granted all eternity, I would still not be able to describe fully the innumerable virtues of my guru and his limitless grace. Where can I begin and where can I end? What language, be it human or divine in origin, has the words I am looking for? Where can I find the adjectives of superlative strength that I will need to describe the strength of his upasana? It has been said that the effort needed in sadhana is akin to what is needed to drain the entire ocean using a blade of grass. By dipping it in the water and shaking it off and then dipping it and shaking it again. And again, and again and again, until all the water is drained. If such intense effort and dedication had a physical form, it would be that of my Guru Sri P.P. Krishna Iyer. Adi Shankaracharya says, The Vedic dharma is verily two fold, characterised by Pravritti (social action) and Nivritti (inward contemplation), designed to promote order in this world. This two fold dharma has in view the true social welfare and the spiritual emancipation of all beings. My guru is the very personification of the Vedas and their essence and entirety. It is only fitting that the following verses are dedicated to those two fold aspects of the Light that He is.

Pravritti (From No-form to Form) Sri Krishna incarnated (on earth) to dispel the darkness of Arjuna in the midst of the battle field of Kurukshetra, Shining forth like countless Moons. He expounded the Prapanja Rahasya (earthly secret) through the Gita, And thus was Arjunas grief assuaged. Sri Krishna incarnated (on earth) to dispel the darkness rooted deep in the battlefield of my mind, Shining forth like innumerable Suns. He expounded the Vidya, mysterious, shining and in the form of fifteen syllables, And thus was my grief assuaged. Confusion and darkness, and the accumulated grit of countless lives Vanish like the morning mist on contact with the sun. The tightly closed bud, my existence,

Blooms through the never ending stream, His grace. He made no judgements nor did He order me about. My Lord and my Master He was, Yet, behaved always like a friend who knows. Undeserving though I might be, He taught me the art of Being. Blind though I might be, He taught me the secret of seeing. Consumed eternally by a million passions, Pulled forever into countless actions. Such has been the journey of my soul in this world. I stand back and see the shattered illusions, As I tread the Vidya path so ancient, so old. With each breath as with each step, I give thanks and I sing His praise. Even if I were able to drain the oceans With nothing but a blade of grass. Even if I were able to crush the Himalayas With nothing more than a thought. Even then, O friend, even then My debt to Him would diminish by nought.