Today is Gurupurnima, a festival and a day of tremendous spiritual importance to Hindus and Buddhists across the world. We, Indians, have always revered the relationship of knowledge sharing between Guru (teacher) and the Disciple (student). This occasion of Gurupurnima is celebrated on the day of the Full Moon (Poornima). It is also known as Vyas Poornima. The significance of Guru Poornima is that spiritual seekers, disciples and students offer worship and show their gratitude and respect to their Guru (spiritual teacher) on this day. Buddhists across the world also celebrate Guru Purnima to honor and express their commitment and faith in following the teachings of Lord Buddha. It is also believed that Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon on this auspicious day at Sarnath, in Uttar Pradesh.
Simply put, today is the day to show and express gratitude to those whom you have learned from.
Guru-Shishya Relationship between Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda
When my mind dwells on this beautiful relationship of Guru-Shishya bond that takes the merits of several previous lifetimes to evolve, the first person whom I think of is Swami Vivekananda. His relationship with Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa is full of examples of how a perfect Guru-Shishya bond can illumine the heart and intellect of even a hard core atheist. During the second meeting between Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, it is known that when the Guru touched Naren's heart, Naren lost outward consciousness. This is a very normal experience that spiritual seekers experience in the divine presence of spiritual masters. That is what spiritual masters transfer to you - a peek into the real world, beyond all that we perceived before they came into our lives.
If you read varied narratives about their relationship as Guru and Disciple, you are likely to come across several instances wherein other older disciples of Sri Ramakrishna were filled with jealousy and even anger that their Guru was sharing more time and knowledge with a new disciple called Naren who talked to their Guru like an equal and questioned everything the Guru said. When asked, Sri Ramakrishna revealed that in young Naren, he recognized a relationship between them that had spanned several previous lifetimes. He also said that he recognized Naren had actually been a Rishi who had come down to earth to love and serve humanity. Their story and their intense relationship portrays how the greatest love a mortal can experience is that of communion with God and Guru - both lead the self to its place of origin - and beyond the fleeting, tumultous waves of the illusory mind.
Nature of the Mind is the Nature of Everything, Just let it Be
Like the Buddhist masters often say, "The nature of the mind is the nature of everything, as vast as the sky, as fleeting as the clouds that are meant to pass by." If we learn this simple fact and assimilate it, we would be able to respect, honor and pray for the well being of all sentient beings so that they come closer to experiencing the primordial truth of oneness.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba as My God, Guru and Guide
Last but not the least, I offer my loving, grateful pranams at the lotus feet of my beloved Lord and Guru, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It is He who taught me to look beyond the realms of religion to find God. He continues to guide and teach me to evolve from a good human being so as to evolve as an embodiment of divine love. The path is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, loving Bhagawan is sometimes as painful as walking on a blazing trail of fire. The fire burns your ego, crushes your bias and bad habits and turns to ashes all those material pests that gather in the fringes of one's thoughts in the form of greed, jealousy and desires.
Most times, there are so many people who flow into your life and leave behind their influence in a good or bad way because of the experience they leave you with. Their entry into your life may scorch you due to the flames of their expectations, wants and needs and sometimes their acts that may not be acceptable to you. To show love and compassion in such situations becomes almost a painful exercise but it is possible and I am learning to handle the ropes bit by bit. In recent weeks, there have been very agonizing moments when I have felt that I am failing but then Swami would give me exactly the advice I needed. Sometimes His advice reaches me through a book or from the words of a good friend and so on.
Basically, in everything I strive to say or do, it is Bhagawan who gives me his loving guidance and support and His constant presence helps me see the light within more clearly.
I am most grateful to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for everything He has blessed me with in my life and that of my beloved family members, especially my mother. Most importantly, I have a prayer to place at his Lotus feet.
Swami, all that I am and all that I will be
is because of Your love and blessings alone.
For all the mistakes I make and may unknowingly make,
Give me the most painful punishment
so that to You alone I will seek refuge and solace
and in You alone I will find My soul's liberation.
Whatever You do, do not leave my heart and soul
even for a minute,
For it is Your love that keeps my heart beating.
and my soul in search of discovering and understanding
the effulgence within me,
that is actually YOU.