THE IMPORTANCE OF GURU PURNIMA
Our Sadguru is a Shakti Pada Guru that is, One from whose Feet the Cosmic Flow of Divine Energy can help the disciple to experience the Supreme Consciousness within and without. According to Sri Appaji,
“Such Gurus are very very rare….Seek out such a Guru and fall at His Feet!”
Sadguru shatters the ego
Many devotees may think that means to run behind Appaji and prostrate whenever possible, to His Lotus Feet! But that is not the truth. It means surrender your ego, and help in His mission and in fact, help others to your capacity, whenever possible.
“Give up the feeling ‘I am doing . I, I, I, I did this!’ ”
In an early visit in 1986 here in Trinidad, Appaji said,
“To serve a perfect Master is the hardest task in life. Being with such people(Avadhootas like Appaji)is hard. They are NOT ruled by any general principles prescribed in the Sastras. They are kings and servants at the same time. It is not child’s play to serve a Sadguru. Your ego will be shattered, your prayer will be vanquished, your mental set up and notions will have to change. Are you prepared for such tasks? Then approach Sadguru. But beware, Swamiji is Agni(Fire), you will be burnt to ashes. Feel responsible in all tasks assigned by the Guru and do it with Shraddha and Bhakti(faith and devotion). These things alone please Him, not money, pelf or authority of any kind….I am Satya Sankalpa Sadguru. My Sankalpa becomes true. I can make an ass talk; I can make an ass, a cow and a cow an ass. My Grace is such. …Swamiji is quite tough in mind, and unbending. Lots of seva and seva (service) may attract His memory and blessings! You might be well read, educated, or men of wisdom,
but Grace of Sadguru is the greatest teaching, of lifetime, remember that. Guru Anugraha is the greatest achievement in life.
On Guru Purnima - July 30, 1996 , in Trinidad, our Sadguru again, reminds us how to celebrate this God-sent day. We have to worship also Veda Vyasji, Hyagreeva, Hanuman, Jayalakshmi Mata, among others. Recently He told us when Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman was consecrated here, “If you want to understand Sadguru Tattva, you must study Anjaneya, then only you understand!”
“On this sacred occasion of Guru Purnima, as per the tradition of Bharata, we should respect, speak to, touch, worship and pray our teachers or Gurus who have bestowed us knowledge or Mantra for our Spiritual Sadhana. This is the way and this is the Tapas. This Tapas has come from Badarayana Sage or Veda Vyasa, the Saptarshis, Valmiki, Shankaracharya….
Why is this day so important?
Guru is Purna - full. Here full does not denote form or decoration. This can be done by many. Full here denotes enlightening the six chakras and removing the darkness of ignorance. Sadguru Darshana is capable of removing sins. This is the importance of Guru Purnima. Chanting Mantra will not bring all merits. We should also serve the Guru who gave the Mantra. This should be Physical, Verbal and Mental…. This Karma body needs purification. This is proper Seva. The present world asks: 'Is not Manasa Seva enough? Is physical or Seva necessary?' This physical body is capable of effecting ill to a pure mind. This body needs to be taught Tapas. (Penance). The senses must learn Tapas… About two thousand years ago, it was different. But this Kaliyuga is different. In that golden age, a strong Sankalpa was enough to purify the mind and body. Both mind and body were powerful. But it is not so now. The present Manas is a servant of the Indriyas - senses. That is why physical seva of Guru is necessary. Later comes Mantra Deeksha, and Mantra Siddhi.”
Here we happily recall that in 2018 for Guru Purnima, Appaji initiated many fortunate devotees into the mantra He chose or for the deity whom they chose! Initiations also take place on other sacred occasions like Datta Jayanti.
Then how long is this physical seva necessary? Till death. Even if you don't get Mantra Siddhi. It may not be possible to tune this body in one life. It has been pampered with luxuries. It demands hot water. We must start questioning the wants of this body. That is the start… It may look small desires…. Bathe in cold water. What happens, after all. you may shiver. That is all. The body learns its lessons/ This Tapas needs no Yantra or Mantra. The help from guru is all that necessary.
Vasishtha trained Rama and others, made them sleep on hard surface. One meal only. His wife was worried. Even their mother was worried. But Vasshtha was adamant that the brothers must be prepared for worst of the circumstances. See it was very useful later. Their desires were limited. We are not trained for such. But let us commence in whatever manner we can start. As soon as you wake up, the tongue asks coffee. When Ravana died in the battle with Rama, Ravana's wife Mandodari came to the battle field and bemoans the death of her husband. She says" Oh my dear Ravana. What has befallen on you ? You conquered your, senses and won the three worlds. Perhaps they [ the Indriyas] were waiting to take revenge. They influenced and tempted you fully and ensured your demise!”
Our concentration must improve
“…Now the Tapas of Manas. (Mind Penance).
The first complaint is that the Manas is unwilling to concentrate. The more you concentrate, the more it flickers and brings thoughts. When you put the senses and body in Tapas, the mind thinks that the 'Jeevi' is asleep.. let me go for a ride' ...thinking so , it starts to run wildly. There will be no concentration. Many thoughts come. The thoughts that the mind generated then, takes you through a tipsy turny emotional ride of your past… Some frightening.. some pleasurable.. some related to the Indriyas .... some sinful but pleasurable ... some about your friends and neighbors .. some thoughts trusting them, some thoughts suspecting them.. Like this, the mind scans your existence and life when you sit for meditation. IS this why you sat for meditation?”
Need for music( Sadguru's Music for Meditation and Healing are great for this)
“Here, you need to hear some sounds, so that the mind concentrates on that. That is why Swamiji says listen to music when you meditate. The mind will be engrossed in music… the mind will get tired and tries to sleep. That state of a sleeping mind, even for just ten minutes, is worth it. Every day this exercise is necessary. This is the Tapas of Manas.”
“Next is Vachika Tapas [ Verbal Tapas] For this purpose we sit for Satsang and do bhajans. Our mouth will be chanting "Hare Rama Hare Rama- Rama Rama Hare Hare. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna - Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. (Swamiji gesticulates with funny actions. Swamiji cleans the ears. Swamiji scratches head, back, Swamiji yawns.....) Is this the Vaachika Tapas? The Indriyas, The Manas, the eyes, all will be very active while we chant- Chanting like a tape recorder.”
“Many devotees perform Anagha Vrata. The scene will be like this: The devotee invites all his family members and friends to witness the Vratam. He sits to perform the Vratam and somebody enters the house. He looks at them , smiles , invites them inside and beckons them to sit. While he is doing this, the priest would have chanted the next shlokas. The next door neighbor would be watching the television with full sound. You will hear more of the TV sound than the priest's Mantras.”
“…After this fiasco called Vratam, he writes a letter to Swamiji " Swamiji, I performed Anagha Vrata. This is my twelfth Vrata, I spent five thousand rupees and served feast for two hundred people." Is this what Swamiji wants ? NO! Swamiji wants your concentration to improve. Vaachika Tapas demands that you forget everything when you sing a bhajan.”
Datta Tradition transcends all traditions
“In Datta Peetham, Dattatreya Sampradayam is followed. This is from time immemorial Datta Tattva existed in all the four Yugas - Krita, Treta , Dwapar & Kali. Datta was the Guru of the Devatas. Even Sri Rama went looking for Datta. But only Atri and Anasuya were there. But on the day, Rama ascended the throne, Dattatreya came from nowhere, blessed Rama and Seeta and disappeared. All sages came to bless Rama that day. Datta Sampradaya, Datta tradition transcends all barriers. It is a wonderful tradition!”
Full Moon--Complete bliss
“Today is knowledge day. That means very auspicious Guru Purnima day. Purnima is full moon. Full Ananda - complete bliss. That is full moon. Ajnaana day is Amaavaasya day. Some people like Amaavaasya because they start Vratas on this day. Purnima is also very powerful day. On these two days, the environment, oceans have some change. The Pancha Bhutas undergo subtle changes. The Celestial beings are constantly changing. It is the creation. Srushti phenomenon. Constantly changing. No change means not smooth running. Life too has so many changes. Sorrows and happiness. Many people wish for a long life. If you live 120 years and there is no change, then you get bored. After 85 years of age, it is very difficult to maintain this body. Death is natural. Death is not ending. Death is a beginning too. It is the starting of the Jnaana. Birth and death are necessary like inhaling and exhaling. Like light and dark. One cannot ask for light at all times. If there was light always, you cannot sleep and you get irritated. You need darkness at times so that you can sleep. Otherwise no peace.”( Guru Purnima, 2006, Trinidad)
Shankaracharya, in the Guru Ashtaka ,explains the Guru Tattva
First Sri Swamiji sings "Guru Ashtaka" and explains the meaning:
“What is the use a of having beautiful body, family , a heap of wealth, if the mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru ?
Scholar of Six Shastras, Vedas, Poet, a Literary expert. But what is the use if the mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru ? If this is there the learning gets useful.
Possessing educational qualifications from foreign universities, famous, gold medallist, well respected . What is the use of them if the mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru ?
All the rulers of this world are at His feet. He is an emperor. They serve him. What is the use of him if his mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru ?
He is famous for donating. His fame has spread wide and far. But what is the use of him if his mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru. Then only his fame gets qualified. Look at the story of sage Vishvamitra. Till he surrendered to a Brahma Guru, he was not called as ' Brahmarshi'. Vishwamitra performed great penance. But he did not seek a Guru. Until that happened, he was not recognized as a Brahmarshi.
You may be a great devotee. You may not be interested either in woman, or money, or wealth or fame. But what is the use of these if your the mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru?
You may not be interested in a life in forest. You may not be interested in your wife, house, life. You are a renunciate. What is the use if the mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru ?
You might have enjoyed the possession of the greatest of gems. What is its use if the mind is not wedded on the Sacred feet of Guru?
Whoever listens to this Guru Ashtaka, will become true devotees. That too those who listen from the lips of a Guru, Yogi, Brahmachari. What is the use of the life, if Guru Karuna is not there ? It is like possessing the greatest car and not knowing how to drive. We should find an able driver. The Driver takes you through the best possible route.
Like Krishna drove Arjuna in Maha Bharata. He drove Arjuna to safety and finally victory. At last, Krishna Tells Arjuna " If you cannot do anything, then at least surrender to me. I will help you."
You all are lucky. You have listened to the great Guru Ashtaka from Swamiji on this sacred day of Guru Purnima.
Even to this day, our beloved Sadguru always emphasizes that chanting the names of God is an easy method to Liberation in Kaliyuga. Enjoy the story of Namadev given on Guru Purnima - July 11, 2006 - Datta Yoga Centre, Trinidad:
“I have many times given you the story of Namadev. Let me tell again.
Namadev was a great devotee. Panduranga Vitthala appeared one day and asked Nam-dev to come with him to Vaikuntha (Vishnu Loka). Nama Deva refused saying he was very happy on earth – chanting the name of Lord - and going to Vaikuntha would mean the feelings would stop and the chanting would not be necessary. Nama Deva knew that on earth he would have the divine opportunity of singing the name of the lord.
If you stop singing Bhajans for one week, you will feel guilty and a sense of loss would develop. Singing Bhajans is a very good Abhyaasa (Practice). Puja gives discipline. When the discipline comes, automatically Ekaagrata (concentration) comes. It comes one by one.
I am happy that the Guru Purnima is taking place in Trinidad. I have told many times that Trinidad is one of my birthplace. Though I have many countries, Trinidad has a special place in my heart. People also are very nice. Sometimes, there is confusion, but even then it is good. Confusion is good at times. I am also experiencing confusion. Even Sadguru has 24 Gurus. I am learning lessons from all the gurus. Confusions also teach me lessons. That is my habit.
Reading Datta Darshanam removes difficulties now in 2020 also
You people think that you give bad experiences to Swamiji. Do not feel so. I like confusion. That's all. I bless you. Please go ahead with Datta Darshanam. Life history of Swamiji is also very important. Swamiji has given simple version of Bhagavad-Gita. If you have received a Guru mantra, then you should chant it as many times possible. Don’t look for results. Keep on chanting. If you think about the result, the power of Mantra diminishes. You practice NISHKAAMA KARMA.
It is very difficult to get a Sadguru. Don’t lose a Sadguru. In the beginning there will be much confusion, later you will understand and strong faith develops. Even in Bhaagavatam, there are lots of devils who create much confusion. Some people talk positively about Swamiji and some negatively. You should think only of the Good things, even at the times of Krishna, such things happened. Sometimes bad words create strong belied. Even bad thoughts may become strong beliefs. Thanks to demons for indirectly strengthening our beliefs. Because you are getting positive energy, it is okay. But don’t lose that good experience. Some people give bad advises so that their group number increases. They want to increase their Raakshasa group. But Krishna had most friends and enemies. Bad friends of Krishna were poisoning the minds of the Gopikaas. Finally they realized that this is not good. Be careful. You chant Guru Mantra more and more. May Datta Bless you all. Jaya Guru Datta