GURU PURNIMA 2020—A SPECIAL DAY TO HONOUR OUR SADGURU, SRI GANAPATHY SACHCHIDANANDA SWAMIJI
Jaya Guru Datta Appaji! Wishing You and everyone a happy
and blessed Guru Purnima 2020! Prostrations to
Your Lotus Feet always! With Love from : THDM Team
A Unique Guru Purnima
On this blissful day when devotees who have a Guru are worshipping their Guru all over the world, we in Trinidad are not unique, as, physically our beloved Sri Appaji is far away from us-- that too in this difficult time of Corona and unrest everywhere---yet we feel His Presence with us, through His Grace! However, we are thankful that at least a few devotees can gather in His main Ashram in Carapichaima, and the branches in Princes Town, Arima, and Penal. In Mysore where Sri Appaji is, the main Ashram remains closed still. Nevertheless, this time period has been a boon from Lord Dattatreya in many ways, especially as we are forced to go within ourselves, and of course, through Appaji’s coming into our homes via Live sessions! As we recall previous Guru Purnimas when Sri Swamiji was here with us in Trinidad, or when we were fortunate to be physically in His Presence, let us focus on a few of His teachings about the Guru and resolve to practice, enjoy and be so absorbed internally in our own Sadhana that, in Appaji’s words, “not even the desire for Liberation comes to our minds!”
Many wonder why we worhip His Padukas
From the moment His sacred Datta Padukas touched our soil in August 1976, Appaji started sowing the seeds of His mission. According to Guru Gita, all holy rivers, pilgrimage places and gods reside in the Sadguru’s Feet, hence He continues to bless many devotees through their traditional devotion to Sri Hanuman, Sri Rama, Lord Shiva, Devi, Surya, Sri Krishna, whichever deity’s worship came with their ancestors! Like Sri Rama who went to the forest to bless the souls waiting for liberation, and destroy the demons harassing them, our Sadguru returned, and keeps showing His Presence, protecting and guiding, comforting and strengthening us in many different ways! We worship His Padukas (His sacred footwear) with firm faith that they are the same as His Feet , full of Divine Power, the Feet of the Supreme Reality! Such worship came with Him. He came and comes again and again, not only to help souls who had some connection with Him from previous lives, but also new seekers of Truth, regardless or religion, race or status! We need a Guru of His stature to awaken all our Chakras or inner spiritual energies so that we reach the highest state of Consciousness.
On this occasion of Guru Purnima we offer all our love and devotion to Him, strong in our faith that He is only a thought away! Let us remember our beloved Appaji with pure devotion that seeks nothing in return, even if from our homes, this blissful special Day!
We offer our thankful Pranams/Prostrations to His Lotus Feet!
Why the need to follow a Guru? Guru Gita explains clearly that Guru is Shiva, the formless Parabrahman!
According to Sri Appaji, “Following the Guru, is vital to achieving the purpose of human life. Satsanghs and implicit obedience bring you closer to Sadguru. Satsangh is Pure Company or Friendship with Guru.”
In all of His visits, even from 1976 and 1981, Sri Appaji shows He knows our every thought, word and deed. He sacrifices as Datta Guru His own health and time, and introduces many new(at that time) traditions to devotees here. He stresses ‘implicit obedience, no second thought’ in following His instructions, no matter how hard or contradictory to what we expect, or what social obstacles may come our way! Guru is a Friend, Philosopher and Guide. In Appaji’s words,
“ Once you are a follower, you just have to follow.”
“ Look to Swamiji (Appaji) as your Mother. Feel the loving care He gives you and experience it. When everyone of you feel the same way, you are all alike . There can be no difference in you. You will be united children, and your Mother, Swamiji, who is also the Incarnation of the Goddesss Mother, will be happy…. Remember that Swamiji is Bhakti Adheena—bound by Bhakti, or devotion. This bond of devotion that you generate by your love to Swamiji and to all His spiritual children, will itself bring you closer to the sadguru, both as indivduals and as a satsangh group. You will thus be closer to Swamiji in mind, heart and deed. (Source: “Ganapathi Swamiji-Datta’s Grace,The Caribbean Story)
“You attend Satsangh or Friendship with your Guru and friendship to the spiritual children of your Guru/other devotees for purifying your indriyas and body. “…think, meditate, talk and concentrate only on Swamiji , your Guru. Then only your Guru will come closer to you. If you have bad thoughts, this is karma and will push you away from Swamiji. Who loses? You only lose. You must always remember this.” “ Do Guru Chintana by meditating on the Guru worshipping the Guru or chanting Namasankeertana, and so many ways. …Every action in Pooja has a tattva—principle and meaning. Every offering you make to the Sadguru represents your subtle offering to Him….What are Patram, Phalam and Toyam(Leaves, flowers and fruits)? They are nothing but the mind, body and soul of the worshipper.”
The first Guru Purnima here in Appaji’s Divine Presence took place at Tyrico Bay,an impromptu, but memorable visit, with Swamiji blissfully spashing child-like, in the clean, gentle waves. This was followed by the start of Datta Kriya Yoga in Arima here, in 1984. As we have to follow strict disciplines in this Corona virus time, the strict diciplines of the participants then are brought to mind.
“Sit only on your mat wherever you are and may go for this one week. No hugging or touching others, even children or babies. Eat only fruits elsewhere, no garlic nor onion. Main meal must be at the Kriya yoga venue, the then Meditation Centre.”
The testing of Datta Guru becomes most evident then, but He patiently and kindly explains later, this is to make us realize our shortcomings, especially regarding how we think of Him when we find His instructions hard to understand. Swamiji asked one devotee to tell everyone that He had given her instructions to ask for more money, and this she did. Then He scolded everyone, saying that it was just a test, and that all He wanted was our devotion. As He explains His actions,
“Spiritual life is hard. Don’t postpone satsangh. Time, “Kala” is not waiting. We are all rushing to death. We are losing energy, going after artificial things. Try to speak good, see good, hear good, always do good. Guru leads to Brahman or True Happiness. On the first day, for two hours, Swamiji took the very bad vibrations of the students. Swamiji suffered. Swamiji circulated around the room. He took the bad energy built over the years of the students.”
“Guru is like a mirror. He blesses through Darshan or Looking, Sparshana/touching, and talking something which gives good results. The mirror will be clean and clear….This seven day course is the first step in your spiritual life. Swamiji gave only like a small chocolate….Practise Pranayama and Kriya suited to your health. This seven day Kriya Yoga course is a testing dose of medicine. It looks nice, but practising is very hard.” Then He continues in a powerful tone: “ Swamiji does not want money for Himself. He wants only sincere devotees, love and sincere feelings. Once we surrender to Him, Swamiji’s responsibility is coupled with love, to look after us in every way!
In July 2005, on the occasion of Guru Purnima, Appaji again explains more about the tests of Lord Dattatreya.
“Akhanda mandala karam Vyaptam yena caracaram
Tat padam darshitam yenaTasmai sri Guruve namaha
“So today is happiest Guru Day. You observe all kinds of festivals in your life time—Mother’s Day, Guru day, May Day, Valentine’s Day, marriage day—but Guru Day is a very rare occasion. If you have a Guru, then you will celebrate; otherwise, no Guru Day! This Guru Purnima Day honors Sadguru, our Parampara Guru. Parampara means remembering our Guru lineage. Our first guru was Brahma. He created so many problems in this world. The first Parabrahma was thinking to himself, “What is this? There are no activities.” There was only darkness. (If you read the Bhagavatam, then you will understand about creation.) At that time, Brahma was invisible; he had no form. He thought, “I want to create something.” So He created different jivas (lives).”
Dattatreya, the Adi Guru or first Guru for the world
“Immediately after this creation, maybe these jivarasis (souls) will experience problems—facing their karmas and sorrows, and again birth and again death… transferring karma from one life to the next… “These souls will suffer, so I must create Sadguru first.” Brahma first created medicine, then disease—not the disease first. “I must first create a doctor. A guru is like a doctor.” He created the first Dattatreya.”
There are many beautiful stories, but the details are not necessary now. I have already given these messages in ‘DattaDarshanam’ and also in my lectures.
Sadguru is like a vaccine
After creation, He was kind enough to give Sadguru… Brahma saw that our travel would be miserable, so He gave into three veins an injection or vaccine—the creation of Sadguru. Before you travel to India, you get a vaccination. Sadguru is like a vaccine. If you have a Sadguru, don’t worry about this maya. You must practice strong faith in Sadguru. Sometimes Sadguru Himself is creating maya. Why? We don’t know why. There is no answer. This is simply a Sadguru phenomenon.
Purification is always going on. Like gold is melted in the fire, then cooled in water, then hammered, and then back into the heat, the water and hammered, over and over again…. Likewise, imagine a big rock. The sculptor hammers thousands and thousands of times, and finally the rock is transformed into a beautiful murti (idol) of Krishna or Shiva. Human beings are like the gold that suffers to become a beautiful ornament worthy of respect. Don’t worry about the “tests” in your life.
Birth is one big test.
“The wise man does not wish to experience birth again. I will give you a small example. Ramana Maharishi was my father’s friend, and that is why I am respecting him always. Ramana Maharishi had some small cancer on his leg. His German devotees wanted him to have an operation to remove it. He refused saying, “I must face this thing. Very nice.” But finally he agreed, and they operated. All through the night, some of his disciples were sleeping while he was unconscious. At about 3:00 o’clock, Ramana woke up and saw bandage on his leg. He was unhappy and he removed the bandages. The doctors had made the mistake of leaving the cancerous tissue in the trash in his room. Ramana took back the infected flesh and applied it to his leg. A disciple ran to get the doctor. Both the German doctor and devotees asked, “We love you, but why are you spoiling this surgery? You will get infection!” Ramana said, “It doesn’t matter. This infection must eat my leg. This is my karma. If you forcibly remove it, I will have to take birth again with infection again in my karma. I will finish it in this janma (incarnation). This infection is no problem. I must face this.” This is the high knowledge from Ramana Maharishi. We may not be able to achieve that level, but we must practice.”
“We must face our karma. Don’t hesitate. Don’t be disappointed in your karma. If bad karma comes, you blame your Guru…You are a little bit cracky! You accept the blame yourself and face your karma. You will experience nice and also sorrowful karmas. You want always only good experiences! What about bad? You can experience bad, and during those times, you must believe. Follow Sadguru and He will help. Definitely, He will help.”
Read Swamiji’s Autobiography
There are a lot of stories and examples in our lives and also in the Puranas. I think you should read Swamiji’s autobiography. It looks very ordinary, like a novel. But indirectly there are many hidden secrets and stories of the beautiful Datta leela.
Chant Guru’s Name when you feel lost
It is very difficult to get to Guru. So many years you have struggled with your karma, then you get Sadguru. But it only takes one second to lose Him! One second is enough! It is also difficult to maintain that relationship. If you get to Guru, it is good luck—your good merit from a previous birth. The journey is very difficult, I know. In this big ocean of life, called samsara, there are no directions, no compass, and we can’t swim. At that time you must chant Guru’s name.”
Everywhere, always sense Swamiji’s presence. You are always collecting photographs of Him to feel his presence, but they are not necessary. Look only at your inside photography (pointing to his heart). If you get upset, you take away His photograph. Don’t worry about the photo! Do not think that He is not your guru and say, “Today my guru is not here!” Use His photographs to develop love and to build a connection with Swamiji. Because you are a physical body, you want physical things—like photos, puja materials, padukas— After this physical karma, then you close your eyes—without photo, without things—and you get a good vibration, good moksha.”
You are acting like a jnani, saying, ”I know everything about the supernatural and this karma, I am doing this meditation only.” I don’t understand what kind of meditation are you doing? It is physical body only! You say, “I don’t go to temples. I don’t listen to Sadguru. I don’t follow. I only meditate, silently pray.” You are listening to big lectures about this and reading many foolish books. If you have a physical guru, you must use Him. Ask your spiritual questions, then you can understand about guru. It is very difficult to get guru, but you can lose him in one or two seconds. Don’t do like that!”
… I am your family member. My attachment is a very pure attachment, like a crystal. If you feel anything bad, I feel it and I hurt too. So don’t do that. If you are upset, you can take a break for one or two days, but not all the days, not permanently. Because I don’t leave you! If you go to Vaikunta or to heaven, I will come. If you have to travel into the darkness, I am coming with you and bringing my light. This is because there is a contract between Sadguru and disciple. I have already signed this indivisible contract. Don’t worry. You must develop affection and devotion.”
Appaji has been stressing also the importance of Kriya Yoga especially to build immunity and positivity in our lives in these difficult times.
“… Please listen always to GuruGita and BhagavadGita, and listen to small bhajans and practice slowly. Always I bless you. Swamiji has given His promise, so you must do your part also and develop silence and discipline. Please wake up your chakra—from muladhara through sahasranama—with breathing exercises, with meditation, with silent prayer. I bless you.”