The word Guru has become very common in the West along with Enlightenment. The language one uses maybe the same but when it comes to spirituality, the meanings are totally different. Guru is a Sanskrit word, which appears in the scriptures from the East dating back thousands of years, Gu means DARKNESS and Ru means LIGHT. Therefore, a True Guru is someone who is the dispeller of inner darkness, he is someone who is born from time to time as a repository of spiritual force which he transmits to the disciple, a unique gift called Grace. Saints from different cultures and at various times in history have spoken with great reverence of the role of such a Guru. Saint Kabir, a saint from the fourteenth century in India hails his Guru as someone who is indispensable and comes before everything, even before God:
“If Guru and God stood together,
To whom shall I bow (first)?
Praised be my Guru, through
Whose (grace) I have met God”.
The terminology used by the saints is so misunderstood by the masses that they interpret their teachings to suit themselves and reduce the whole teachings to the personality level, for example, “the Guru is the same as God” is very much abused and as a result, any questioning about what the Guru is and what they have actually said, reaches a dead end. When a True Guru, an Enlightened Teacher, actually comes along, he is quickly dismissed because of the conditioning of religion and the parents.
In reality, it is the Divine Form of the Guru, the Transcendental, Light and Sound. In Adi – Granth, the scripture which is revered by many in the East and West, Guru Nanak says:
“To see without eyes, hear without ears,
Walk without feet, work without hands,
To speak without the tongue,
To die whilst living;
O Nanak, recognize the Lord’s command
And merge with your Lord and Master.”
This meditative state beyond the senses is only accessible through the Grace of an Enlightened Teacher, it is the revelation of the Light and Sound within the disciple. It is the grace of an Enlightened Teacher or the Guru, which humbles the disciple so much that he/she is so ecstatic, that they dance with joy. Kabir has expressed it very beautifully:
“My Master has given me the key
To the unyielding lock;
Whenever I like, I open the door;
Dressed in the dancing costume of Love,
I enter the town whenever I please,
And I dance and dance in ecstacy.”
The heart of the disciple overflows with Love, humility and gratitude for the Master as they witness their own transformation. Where the disciple only knew darkness, they are know bathed in the Divine Light and Sound. Another saint in the Adi Granth describes it as such:
“I am a sacrifice to my Guru a
Hundred times a day.
He makes deities of men, and that
If a hundred moons were to rise,
And a thousand suns appear in the sky,
Even with such Light, there would be pitch
Darkness without the Guru.
And again, in the same scripture, Guru Arjan says:
“By Gurus grace openth the inner lotus;
In darkness dawneth light.
Who hath created (the universe),
Through Guru is he known;
By Guru’s grace came acceptance
To the foolish mind.
Guru is the real doer,
Guru hath the power to do;
Guru is God, now and forever.
Say thou, O Nanak, this hath God revealed to thee:
O Brother, without the Guru there is
No liberation (mukti).”
In most recent times, Swami Vivekananda, a great Yogi who was born over one hundred and fifty years ago, testifies to the spiritual power a great Master carries in comparison to the ordinary ones. In his book on Bhakti Yoga, he writes:
“Higher and nobler than all ordinary ones, are another set of teachers, the Avataras of Ishvara in the World. They can transmit spirituality with a touch, even with a mere wish. The lowest and the most degraded characters become in one second saints at their command. They are the Teachers of all teachers, the highest manifestation of God through man. We cannot see God except through them. We cannot help worshipping them; and indeed they are the only ones whom we are bound to worship.”
There is no doubt left by Swami Vivekananda as to the Spiritual Power which an Avatar carries with him, and I want to emphasise here that there are some Gurus, where they are neither themselves Enlightened, nor show any evidence of having imparted Grace revealing the inner Path of Light and Sound to their disciples, mislead mankind by making statements like an Avatar is someone who cannot grant Enlightenment to their disciple. This is absurd and a gross misrepresentation of the word Avatar itself. Below is a correct definition of what Avatar means, which is a statement from an Enlightenment Master, or an Enlightened Teacher, who has granted the same state of Enlightenment to over two hundred people globally at this time in history, as well as there are many at different stages of the Path. So, here it is:
“AN AVATAR SIMPLY MEANS, “ A BRINGING DOWN.” IT IS A WAY OF TRYING TO SAY THAT BECAUSE THE ABSOLUTE STATE CANNOT COMMUNICATE WITH THE INDIVIDUAL AS HE OR SHE LIVES THEIR LIVES, THE AVATAR IS A COLLECTION OF ENVIRONMENTS WHICH ARE NEUTRAL ENOUGH TO ALLOW AN ACCESS THROUGH TO THIS HIGHER LEVEL OF ENERGY WHICH CAN BE PUT TO THE PUBLIC USE. AN AVATAR IS ESSENTIALLY SOMEONE WHO IS ABLE TO CONNECT THE INDIVIDUAL SEARCHING FOR TRUTH AND THE PURPOSE OF LIFE, TO THE ENERGY SYSTEMS WHICH WILL ALLOW HIM OR HER TO GAIN ACCESS INTO THE UNIVERSE AT ITS DEEPEST LEVELS AND, FINALLY PASS OUT THE OTHER SIDE UNTIL THEY ARE ABLE TO DISCOVER THE CAUSE OF THE UNIVERSE HIDDEN BEHIND ALL LIGHT AND ALL THE SOUND THAT MAKES CREATION POSSIBLE.”
All the scriptures bear testimony to the fact that when such a Guru comes along, he/she is not to be dismissed. Unfortunately, only the rare ones pay any heed to such statements. In my early teens, I would go and sit in a corner in a temple every Sunday listening to the devotional songs of the saints and ponder over their statements. At other occasions, I would hear preachers at the top of their voice that if such a Master were to come along today, they will sacrifice all they had to pursue him. Now I am in my sixties and see the hypocrisy of it all, just lip service. The Master is here today, and I find that people are too busy doing everything else and have no time to see what this Master is giving away. I can understand, it is just human nature, Saint Kabir testified to this nearly seven hundred years ago:
“The jewel of Nam and riches, a whole mine is open within me,
In huge quantities do I give it, but alas! No seeker is there.”
Now, I want to mention a very crucial point, the sense of urgency. The physical body of the Master or Guru is subject to the same physical laws, and a time will come when this gateway of having access to this great miracle will also close down with him leaving this earthly plane. Religion deludes people by promising them that there is reincarnation, other lifetimes, and this robs mankind of the rare opportunity available to them because THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS REINCARNATION. At Enlightenment, the individual witnesses this by himself through Grace. An Enlightened Master not only teaches that there is no reincarnation, but also proves it, like he has done to so many other people. God is Absolute and undifferentiated, which means, it has no parts, therefore, the idea of a jivatman, an individual soul is absurd. It is total garbage to preach that, what would be the point of Enlightenment if one was to discover that they were still trapped in billions of people
Teaching people that there is reincarnation makes them complacent, and they turn their back to an opportunity, which they will never have again, and can die without knowing the meaning to their life. Religion has to take responsibility for that blunder. The word religion is derived from the Latin word religare, re means back and ligare means bind, that is to bind back to God, yet in thousands of years of religious history, there has not been one person who has been Enlightened. My point is that it is not a belief system, which is what religion is, that will get you to Enlightenment, but the Grace of an Enlightened Teacher who is Enlightened, and of course, has demonstrated the he has Enlightened other people.
A Guru who carries so much spiritual power is not to be taken lightly and dismissed. Such a Guru is indeed the true Saviour and the Messiah, he alone knows what he has to do to get us out of darkness and lead to spiritual Enlightenment. Swami Vivekananda leaves no doubt as to what attitude we should have towards such a Guru:
“ The one thing necessary is to be stripped off our vanities – the sense that we possess any spiritual wisdom – and to surrender ourselves completely to the guidance of our Guru. The Guru only knows what will lead us towards perfection. We are quite blind to it. We do not know anything. This sort of humility will open the door of our heart for spiritual truths. Truth will never come into our minds so long as there will remain the faintest shadow of Ahamkara (egotism). All of you should try to root out this devil from your heart. Complete self-surrender is the only way to spiritual illumination.”
I have used statements from other Saints to point out the fact that the role of the Guru is indispensable, theirs are the testimonials I have used with humility, but I realised my state of Enlightenment through the Grace of my Guru nearly eighteen years ago, and I am a living testimony to the spiritual power he carries to help humanity at large. This article is my tribute to my Guru, whose own Enlightenment day falls in June. I express my deepest gratitude to him for giving me this amazing gift of Enlightenment and I am so humbled by his ceaseless effort to help humanity, his unconditional love, that I want to conclude by a quotation from the Sufi Saint, Rumi:
“THIS IS HOW I WOULD DIE
INTO THE LOVE
I HAVE FOR YOU:
AS PIECES OF CLOUD