Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guru and Guru Tattva

An Article written by me for  SRI VIDHYA CHARITES, BANGALORE , Who released Sovenier on occation of  10th Aradhana Mahostvam of SRI  SADHU RAM SWAMIGAL

V.Aravind Subramanyam
94 B, Third Street, Tatabad, Coimbatore 12
Email :  Ph: 9994641801
Who is a Guru? What is his role? Is he necessary for a human being?

The path to our goal is rugged, and is infested with hungry wolves and tigers and with yawning pits - and the necessity for a Guide is inevitable. Guru is the only guide who can make your travel safe and help you reach your destination. 
Guru is God. Guru is everything. He is brother, father, well-wisher, relative and true friend. A Guru is the vital part in one’s life… 
And the main problem with people is they even fail to understand the necessity and the importance of a Guru. A Guru’s prime job is to remove the ignorance of his sishya. But most of us seek a Guru – who, according to us is our “Problem solver”. Delay in marriage, Non-employment, family disputes etc etc we have a very long list, whenever we meet a Sage or Guru. Only a genuine seeker will know what it is to get attracted to an enlightened master.  
My Gurunatha,  Sri Seshadri Swamigal was beyond the description of a saint, a reality that cannot be clutched and clasped by the mind leading one to realization. Sri Seshadri Swamigal’s interaction with the world was very strange. Seshadri Swamigal's behavior was quite eccentric and unpredictable. He acted like a mad man at times to fend off worldly people, but to earnest seekers he was extremely gentle and considerate Often when people saw him in the streets they would prostrate before him and he would get near to enable them to touch his feet. But, he would never allow selfish or worldly people to touch his feet. He would run away and if they forced themselves on him, he would abuse them or even pelt them with stones. Seeing this, many people did not go near him. But when the person is a real pathra – seeking for the ultimate truth, he would himself call them and give what they want.
For a layman, a Guru is a form that bestows all the grace for a fruitful material and spiritual life. And the masters – out of Sheer kindness encourage us with all our worldly limitations and give us the helping hand. The Guru helps the sishyas in all aspects by solving their problems. They wait for a sathsishya to come – whom they can ignite. With this mentality when we get attracted to the Guru, sure we will recognize a new center unveiling within us. 
And who is a Guru? One must clearly understand that a Guru is not a person who jumps from the sky with four hands.  Anything that diverts the mind from the ultimate truth -is maya and the power which makes the mind ‘turn back’ and seeks to the source is Guru.
Though he may appear to be a normal person.. He may appear to behave like everyone else. But, Guru is something beyond comprehension and only when you have a direct experience of the Guru's grace, then you realize the supremacy of Guru.  
gurau manuShyabuddhiM cha mantre chAkSharabuddhikAM |
pratimAsu shilAbuddhiM kurvANo narakaM vrajet ||
  - kularnava Tantra

      `One should not look upon his master as a mere human being, or the mantra that he gives as merely words. A person who does this, or commits the mistake of looking upon an idol (devatA vigraha) as a mere stone, will certainly go to hell'. 
A person who has ultimate faith in his Guru and His words – for him no sadhana is needed. The Moksha is very well assured for him. Ultimate trust in Guru - fully and wholeheartedly is the only sadhana.
You can never judge a Guru – who is compassion personified. Their acts may be dramatic – but they are deeply impressive and has a very great significance. Even the emotions which they show – is another vehicles to carry the grace. The ordinary words which come from them are a teaching thereby imparting guidance in a more profound way.
When Vallimalai Swamigal came to Thiruvannamalai in search of a spiritual path, he met Sri Seshadri Swamigal who said nothing but the following words
        “Thiruppugazh dhan Mahamantram” - Thiruppugazh is the Maha Mantra.  
      This words from Gurunathar- transformed the life of the disciple. Sri Sachidhananda Swamigal dedicated his entire life to highlight the glory of Thiruppugazh.
From the Ever compassionate Guru, even scolding had the effect of erasing self image and infusing grace. 
Seshadri Swamigal had the habit of picking up pieces of broken mud pots and throwing them at people sometimes. One day, one shepherd boy approached him. Seshadri Swami, for no apparent reason, began to beat him up with those pot pieces! Even blood began to ooze out of the wounds. A crowd collected around. Some of them were upset and some disconcerted. Two months later, one foreign couple came to Tiruvannamalai, saw the boy and adopted him. They taught him their family trade. He became a millionaire later! Even the anger of the Guru is a great blessing, if only we know how to receive.
Srividyopasana, the highest form of Upasana and highly secretive in nature. A Srividyopasaka’s daily routine starts - as soon as he gets up from his bed in the morning, the first thing to do is to meditate on the sacred feet of his Guru. This he must do even before he thinks of his Ishta Devata
The Guru Tatwa is an embodiment of complete Karunyam – compassion. The Divine force has Five distinct functions (pancakrityam)– and the guru tatwa belongs to the profoundest of the five divine functions ie. Srishti (creation), Stithi (sustenance), Samhara (destruction or devolution), Tirodhana (veiling) and Anugraha (grace).  
Guru is Anugraha mayam. What does anugraha mean? It is the power which takes a mature soul to the higher plane – by making him come in contact with the master and in turn lead to Gnana (self knowledge). Thus when the divine grace itself assumes a human form – and this power of grace manifests through the personality of the teacher – Guru.
Faith is the state of mind towards the all supreme. It is the surrender that gets the grace of the Guru. Once this state is attained, then the worldly issues will not bother the disciple. Now, it’s the responsibility of the Guru to take care of his Sishya – the helpless child.
But please remember – to a devotee who has made an ultimate surrender – the very need for a prayer itself comes to an end. The Guru takes care of all problems, burdens and even day to day activities. This continues not only for a particular period of time but till he attains Moksha.
It is this power of grace that emanates from the Guru that fascinates the seeker. When the sishya is ready, the Guru comes automatically to “take care” of his child and thereby show him the right path.
A Chintamani is a stone which can only convert the metal into gold. But guru does the greatest alchemy. He transfigures his disciple into his own likeness through the upadesham. The ultimate grace of guru gives a deathly blow to the disciple's ignorance and makes him understand the ultimate; thus now the sishya becomes a Guru for another seeker.
vinA dIkShAM na mokShaH syAduktaM shivashAsane |
sA cha na syAdvinAchAryaM ityAchAryaparamparA ||

`Without initiation, there can be no release from the phenomenal bondage; and there can be no initiation without a master. Hence the succession of masters 
      He who have tasted the bliss, hand it down to the next in line. The Guru can transform the disciple by a look, a touch, a thought or a word or willing. When this is passed down in this way, those whose desire for the ultimate - can do so by the grace of the lineage or ‘parampara’.
      Seshadri Swamigal initiated Shri Vallimalai Swamigal. Sri Vallimalai Swamigal – even after his Maha Samadhi, appeared to Sethuraman who had run away from his home and safely took him back home. He placed a composition called 'Hara HarO Haraa Kummi' in Sethuraman's bag. He appeared in the boy's dream and told them to sing the kummi and dance.  From then onwards Sethuraman became an arutkavi Sadhuram Swamigal with the ability to sing hundreds of songs and poems.  
Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi, Maha Periyaval of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam said once "will I become like Seshadri Swamigal". Such was  the greatness of our Gurunathar Sri Seshadri Swamigal.
A Guru is a manifestation of Karunyam. The Guru is like a Mother, full of Love and Compassion. He is none other than Parashakti - who is avyaja karuna moorthi who showers the grace for no reason.
This once unlettered boy, whom he took under his benevolent care, with the " Hiranya Bahu " - the Golden Hand which turned him what he is today, dedicates these few words with veneration and humility to the Lotus feet of Shri Seshadri Swamigal 
sharIraM surUpaM sadA roga-muktam
yashashcAru citraM dhanaM meru tulyam
guror aGghri-padme manashcen na lagnam

tataH kiM tataH kiM tataH kiM tataH kiM

"One's body may be beautiful and always healthy, one's fame may be wonderful and bright, and one's wealth may be like a mount of gold. But if the mind is not fixed on the lotus-feet of the Guru, then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? What is the use?


  1. Initially I when I saw Swami's photos I never knew about His Holiness. While reading a speech by Pramacharya I found a mention about Swamigal. Did some search and found about Him then got hooked(so to say). This was a refreshing article.. Keep up the good work and keep us enlightened.
    "Na Guror-adhikam tattvam na Guror-adhikam tapah" is what i felt reading this.

  2. Namaskarm
    I read the "Article on Guru tatavam" delighted by the contents.
    Thanks lot
    S.Krishna kumar

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Extremely beautiful site, -extremely touching! I wish to express my happiness, at your devoted site. I too am a Sesha Mahaan Bhakthai. Sharing the same sentiments and feelings towards Sesha Mahaan, I wish to suggest another list of wordpress sites on Sesha Mahaan -
    There are so many miracles of Sesha Mahaan, happening in the lives of Bhakthas, even today, this very moment!!
    Please read... Thank You so much....- Vaishnavi