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Benefits of having a Guru
Every human being comes to this planet with subconscious, unconscious and conscious mind. As the conscious mind starts becoming more active, learning begins. The presence of a Guru is essential for any learning to happen. The Guru’s presence continues throughout the life because the learning continues throughout the life.
What are the benefits of having the Guru in life? When you consciously acknowledge the Guru, that is when you learn more. You also might have experienced, that in life sometimes you feel stuck and the Guru’s presence moves you through, so that you don’t get stuck. Events, situations, concepts can all make one feel stuck. Firstly, one does not even know that one is stuck. Guru’s presence makes you realize that you are stuck, and helps you move.
First step in learning is knowledge. Of all the different types of knowledge that you learn, from whomsoever you may learn, that “who” is part of the Guru. Mother is the first Guru. From the mother you learn first level of learning – alphabets or this is a cat, this is a banana etc. This also applies to the various other disciplines that we learn.
Moving from where we are stuck to having the flow in life towards its ultimate goal is the second benefit of having a Guru.
Third benefit of having a Guru is when you have a desire for something. In order to get it you need guidance. You need someone to give you what you want. But then there is no end to desires and sometimes you are not even sure of your own desire. That is where the Guru comes into play. The Guru principle or Guru Tattva will give you that which is good for you and not everything that you want.
The fourth benefit is liberation or inner freedom. Guru does not let you remain in an illusory world but helps you wake up and look at what is the ultimate reality of the universe. That is freedom or liberation.
Knowledge, movement, achievement and freedom : these are the 4 aspects that one gains by having a Guru.
Self-effort is only in the conscious mind. For the subconscious mind you cannot put an effort. You need someone else or some other higher power to influence that. In fact to turn the unconscious mind into the super-conscious mind one definitely needs help and therefore nature has provided tradition of masters. Time and again the human society has been guided by holding hands towards oneself, towards the light that one is. In fact if you see from the context of mind and intellect, or emotion and intellect they go in completely opposite direction.
Moon is associated with the mind. Someone who goes crazy is called a lunatic. Moon is associated with feelings, emotions, craziness whereas Guru is associated with wisdom, knowledge and rational thinking. Guru Purnima is the strange combination of the rational and emotional. Guru stands for rationality or wisdom and moon stands for emotions. This combination is an oxymoron – fullness of the emptiness or emptiness of the fullness. Life has place for both and the Guru does both. Guru brings the fullness in emotions or strength in the emotions and sharpness in the intellect.
Rational thinking appears to be in opposition to emotional ecstasy or emotional elevation but with spiritual wisdom it doesn’t. It unites them very well. In fact it brings us to the first point in Art of Living – opposite values are complimentary. It makes you realize that you can be sensitive and sensible in life. This is the skill and the art in life. It’s easy to be sensitive and it’s easy to be sensible. There are some who are very sensible but not sensitive and there are some who are very sensitive but not sensible. That wisdom which brings the balance in life is the Guruprinciple.
Everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher as well. By default you are teaching something. Whether you want to or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, either by showing people what you should do or by showing what you should not do. Someone learns from you even though you may not deliberately want to teach. From just the way you walk your life, someone can learn from you.
The smallness in human psyche or human attitude and tendency can only be gotten rid of through wisdom. Wisdom comes from Guru and so is the celebration of Guru Purnima. The wisdom does not find its fulfillment unless and until there is gratitude and recognition of progress, achievement, freedom and wisdom in life. It is there, but it needs recognition. It is called Pratyabhijna in Sanskrit.
The principle by which the internet is working today was there even hundred of years ago, but no one recognized it. They did not know how cellphone could work without wires. Science is a recognition of that which is and spirituality is also a recognition of that which is. So they go together very well. That’s why fulfillment in life comes when you have both science and spirituality. Contentment comes when knowledge of who am I (the subjective knowledge and the knowledge of what-is-this-all-about) is present. In both realms Guru is essential. Leading from darkness to light, from known to unknown, the manifest appearance to the un-manifest reality, the journey can only happen with a Guru.
From darkness to light, from the seen world around us to the unseen world within us, from the conscious mind to the super-conscious mind, the journey is possible only with a Guru and Guru’s energy or grace.
So everyone is playing the role of The Guru in a small way or big way in some field or the other. When it comes to the totality or the ultimate then you say Jai Gurudev. That is very sacred and so Guru Purnima is one of the sacred moments where one feels how blessed one is, how enlightened one is and how fortunate one is. It is a moment where we realize what a big blessing or possibility has been opened up for us on this planet.
Two things that manifests in Guru’s presence – Emotional fullness and Intellectual sharpness.