Sunday, June 27, 2010

Guru - Sishya Relationship

Is it true that a person should always be under his guru and should not go beyond him? Will this not affect his 

Some people say one must learn from his guru and vacate the place and not be too close to his guru. 

Also is Guru Dakshina a must?

V.R. Rajaraman


First let me make it clear that Iam talking only about Guru - who is for your Atma sadhana. ie who gives you mantra deeksha or upadesham and guide you towards the Lord. Iam not talking about your Music teacher or bhajan Guru.

Guror anugruhenaiva puman purna prashantaye
Only by the grace of guru can a person become a self realised soul

Any sadhaka when his devotion to his favorite god is ripe, its pulls the Guru towards the sishya. 

And please remember there is no lakshanam for a guru. He is not limited by age, education or relatioship. Mostly we will try to judge and always make a wrong judgement.

The significance of Guru and Guru Bhakthi is immesurable.

"Gurur Sakshat Parabrahma" - Guru is the Lord Himself. Generally people confuse among themselves with an acharya and guru. 

The person who teaches a subject or something like music etc is an acharya. But the person who gives the mantra of a diety is Guru - he is God. He may not be a person jumping from the sky; he may look very ordinary and move along with us; But please understand - unless you have a feeling that He is God himself,one can never get salvation. Even he is an ordinary person, once if you accept him as your guru - please dont forget He is God to you.

Today the mantra siddhi is very rare phenominon to see. This is because of lack of Guru bhakthi. 

Guru Santhushta Matrena sidyathi
One gets mantra siddhi - once the guru is pleased.

By giving you a mantra upadesham - the Guru takes you along with him to the divinity and actually is shouldering your responsibilty. Please understand - until the sishya get proper gnana - the Guru doesnot get moksha. For this debt - even if you serve him for the entire janma, it cannot be equated. 

Dos and Donts with a Guru

I dont want to give any more of my personal opinion. But i'l quote only one single paragraph from Lalithopakhyana - which shows the greatness of Guru

  • A sishya must dedicate one's body, wealth and life to the service of Guru and always live according to his instructions. He must never try to supercede him.
  • The most difficult thing in the entire world is getting a proper Guru.Once this Guru is happy with the sishya - Moksha Lakshmi comes to him within half a second.
  • Even if he scolds - understand that it is a blessing.
  • And analysing your Guru and comparing him with others is the most sinful act. And accepting one person as your Guru and changing to another Guru - will lead to eternal darkness.
  • Before commencing any vaidheeka or Lowkika karmas, you must get his blessings/approval.
  • One must never call his Guru in singular terms (like Nee, Vaa etc) and must never argue with his guru 
  • The most sadhachara is Guru bhakthi and the maha papam is Guru Droham 
  • Even telling a lie in front of your Guru is a great sin - this is more sinful than Brammahathi or Go hathi
  • One who ponder overs the feet of Guru (Guru Paduka) gets everything that is good - this is greater that all maha yagas or pujas or temple worship
  • Guru Vaakyam pramaanam - Even the mere words from Guru has to be follwed strictly. The mere words are shastras to the sishya
  • Once you see you guru , fall like a danda(stick) and do sashtanga namaskara and do a pradakshina
  • Worship your favorite God as your Guru's form

Most of the above statements may look "unfit" in today's world. But still there are persons who follow it strictly and are coming up in their life - both spiritually and also in worldly life. Iam seeing, admiring and wondering about the Guru bhakthi of these few persons (even today) and their attachment towards their Guru.

(Iam seeing all the following personally even today) Just imagine

  • Not even uttering the name of his Guru
  • Considering their puja moorthi as Guru and Guru Patni himself
  • An officer and highly placed person falling at his guru's feet in the middle of the road
  • A politician sitting on the floor refusing to sit on a sofa along with his Guru

Unfortunately, Ive also seen persons, who hesitate greatly even for doing a namaskaram to his Guru. There are worst cases ie when the sishya is in Guru's place, he keeps quiet while the Guru serve the disciple.  This is  a very great sin.

Once a Guru  named meykaNdAr took one pot of cellulose (kanychi) kept for the cloths and drank it. While he was drinking it, some of it dripped through his elbow. The ardant disciple umApathi chivAchchAriyAr drank that, which was dripping through the master's elbow. This is Guru Bhakthi. 

Today a poor Guru is carrying the tiffin plate of a sishya. ( A guru - out of his sheer kindness or affection may do this to his disciples; but a Sishya should NEVER allow this happen and infact he must grab each and every oppurtunity to serve his Guru).

Proximity to Guru

Now you might have understood the concept of being close to his Guru. Leaving one's Guru must never happen.

Lalitopakhyanam again gives the following list as to how a sishya should be close with his Guru and offer his namaskarams :

If a person lives very next to his Guru he must meet him and do namaskarams thrice a day.
If a person lives near his Guru within a Krosa (the distance at which a man's call could be heard) he must do this daily.
If a person lives near his Guru within half a yojana (6.5 Km) he must meet his Guru atleast during the 5 parvas of a month.
If a person lives more than one yojana (13 kms) to twelve yojans(156 Kms) he must meet him according to the distance( ie 13 kms - Once a month, 26 Kms twice a month to 156 kms atleast once a year)

Apart from this, whenver a person wants he can anytime come to his Guru and offer his pranams

Guru Dakshina

And coming to Guru Dakshina - there is a saying in malayalam
"Kriya Avasanam Dakshina" - each action gets fulfilled only with a dakshina

The Hindu tradition of guru dakshina is a means to show the sishya's gratitude. He is paying his respects to the Lord who has appeared as Guru covered by a human skin. 

In general at the time completing Gurukulam or during Mantra upadesham Guru Dakshina is a must. Only with the Guru Dakshina - he may get the result fulfilled.

Also during important occasions, rituals, poojas and Vijaya Dasami days is the duty of the sishya to submit his offerings to his Guru. 

The dakshina may not not always monetary. At times, the Guru may ask his sishya to execute an important task as his dakshina.

So please remember - No book or mantra can bestow the Knowledge of Self. Only by gurukripa a sadhaka can attain his self or reach his Ishtadevata


  1. Dear Aravind,

    Excellent guidelines, but general query with every one is how to select Guru.

    what is the qualification to get Deeksha.

    After seeing media, people are very sacred of selecting guru and some people argue why to have middle man to speak to god and will try to reach god directly with our own prayers etc.,

    Also some people accepted there guru as Maha periava, Ramana maharishi, Rama krishna, Arabindo, Seshathri swamigal (Even the person never met him).

    Also give some information regarding Thruvannamalai Giri vallam. some people says they could able to see SITHAR SWAMIGAL LIKE PAPMPATTI SITHAR etc., is it true. I never get opportunity to visit that temple and attend Giri vallam.

    Can you clarify.


  2. Namaskaram,

    I read the new post on Guru-Sishya Relationship. Your annotation about
    explaining Guru is really great. I don't have age to tell your

    Its really rejuvenating.


  3. Dear Mr.Kumar,

    Selecting a Guru?
    Let me clarify your query as a separate post

  4. really a GREAT post.. u explain each query every nook n corner.. :)

  5. Namaskaram,

    Anna the post on gurusishya realtion is really good and its a kind of - opens one's eye..!!

  6. Namaskaram,
    Anna, the post on gurusishya realtion is really good and it kind of opens one's eye..!!!

  7. Namaskaram,

    I read the new post on Guru-Sishya Relationship. Your annotation about
    explaining Guru is really great. I don't have age to tell your

    Its really rejuvenating.