Radiant Atman! By the light of the sun, the whole world awakens. By the light of the sun, darkness is banished, slumber gives place to wakefulness and sloth gives place to activity. By the light of the sun, all beings in this world see things, perceive things clearly. In darkness, one stumbles and falls, loses one’s way and is ever in danger of injury. In the light one is able to proceed, move towards one’s goal; one is safe from danger. All progress; all activity is temporarily suspended in darkness.
Thus the sun is the awakener; the sun is the enlightener; the sun is the marga darsaka (one who shows the path). It is the sun that guarantees smooth, unhampered progress towards each one’s destination. When the sun is not there, one is, as it were, blind, even though having eyes.
In the life of a sincere seeking soul, in the life of jijnasu, a mumukshu, a sadhaka, a spiritual aspirant, the Guru is as it were, the sun. It is the Guru that awakens us from our slumber of ignorance. It is the Guru who, by his light, banishes the darkness of ignorance and wrong notions that the jivatma has about life, and brings in the light of right reasoning, right perception and right thought. It is the Guru that also makes us see the way, through his own lofty, sublime personal example, through his own dynamic philosophy, through his own teachings personal instructions.
It is the Guru that points out the path and makes us see the path clearly. He points out the pitfalls and dangers upon the path, makes us alert, vigilant jagrit. And, even as the sun initiates activity, so the Guru inspires us to arise awake, seek knowledge, attain illumination and become forever blessed. All this and more the Guru does.
And the effulgence of the Guru, the radiance of the Guru, the light of the Guru, is his teachings, jnana - upadesa. It is his message, his sandesa, his instruction, his adesa. These constitute the real Guru and these constitute real guru kripa.
What is Guru’s grace? It is not some mysterious something that comes out of him, as Gurudev used to say, like water out of his kamandalu. His kripa, his anugraha (grace) is in the form of his sandesa, upadesa and adesa. They constitute the manifestation of his grace. His teachings, his admonitions, his instructions to us and his positive, imperative directives are the dynamic expression of his grace.
“Sleep no more; wake up; sit in asana; do japa. Meditate on the Supreme Being. Read one chapter of the Gita. Have sattvic diet. Be simple in life; reduce your wants. Control anger through kshama (forgiveness). Observe mauna for some time every day. Speak the truth at all costs. Observe brahmacharya. Do charity every day according to your ability. Introspect; find out your defects and remove them. Draw inspiration from elevating, inspiring svadhyaya: daily svadhyaya will increase your knowledge and wisdom; your heart purified, elevated and inspired. Read the lives of saints. Thus progress day to day.
In this way, the Guru gives practical suggestions and warns that these are all-important spiritual canons and must be observed rigidly. You should not give any leniency to the mind. And if you do some thing wrong, punish yourself, atmadanda. Great ones have progressed through this method only. These positive and imperative commandments, adesa, directives, to spiritual aspirants, sincere seekers, disciples, devotees, constitute anugraha. They constitute guru kripa. They constitute the light in our life, the light that illumines our path and which shows clearly the goal that we have to attain.
Thus the Guru never passes away; the Guru is never absent. He is immortal and deathless and has come to teach us that we are immortal and deathless. As long as the sun and the moon and the stars continue to shine in the sky above us, the Guru jnana-upadesa, the wisdom teachings of the Guru, are our wealth and treasure. They represent for us visible kripa. They are for us, and they constitute, the ever-present light that shines and illumines our life and the path before us.
Understand this clearly and walk in the light. Understand this clearly and know that the Guru is where there is an earnest, ardent and fervent wish to move along that path, to practise this instructions, there the Guru is fully present and guru kripa is fully present. The anugraha of the Guru enriches such an aspirant.
Jagat Guru Lord Krishna is not present before us now. We cannot sit before Him and ask Him questions, put our problems before Him; we cannot write him a letter and get his instructions in reply; we cannot telephone Him. He is not here. But as long as the sun, moon and stars shine in the sky, as long as the Gita is still a living treasure for humanity, who can say that Krishna Kripa, Krishna’s anugraha is not there? Who can say that? Because He says that I am present in the Gita; My light is in the Gita; Gita is My very heart.
There are millions of Buddhists all over the world. Are they able to meet Buddha. Ask Him questions, get replies, telephone Him? But yet, how many inspired souls there are walking the noble Eightfold Path and attaining enlightenment, Buddhahood! They do not walk in darkness who have made Him their light, the sun of their life.
Because they have the right perception, millions upon millions are benefited by the teachings of the great ones. We have their grace, their presence, their strength and force and power and light in our lives. Their words are words of power. Their invisible presence is a force. Jivanmuktas never die – brahmavit brahmaiva bhavati (The knower of Brahman verily becomes Brahman). He becomes that which he has sought, the one supreme non-dual existence, ekameva’dvitiyam brahma. That the brahma –jnani becomes, and therefore, he pervades, he is ever present, sarvam khalvidam brahma.
Put these truths together. The brahma-jnani is filled with Brahman, for prajnanam brahma-jnana itself is Brahman. Bodhi (Knowledge) itself is Brahman. Prajna (awareness) itself is Brahman. And the enlightened one becomes prajna. He becomes Brahman, and Brahman IS, not was. Brahman is here, now. Brahman alone is; all this is filled with Brahman – brahmaiva kevalam, sarvam brahmamayam.
God has given us intelligence and discrimination – viveka, vichara. Think, ponder, reflect deeply. See the truth clearly before you; live in the light of the truth and forever become blessed.
Thus one should live a dynamic life guided by the light of the ever-present Guru’s teachings. He dwells in, he works through, and in the spirit he is dynamically present in his Guru jnana-upadesa. That is the real Guru. Otherwise, even if he is alive in flesh and blood before us, if one does have the reverence to follow his teachings, he is as good as not existing for you. But, even if he does not exist, if you make his teachings the light and guide in your life, then he exists for you.
What is the sun if not its light? The sun is no sun if there is no light. The sun is the sun because it radiates perennial light, an inexhaustible, unbroken supply of light even so, the Guru is his jnana upadesa.
Let us, therefore, rejoice that have this treasure, we have this kripa. We are walking in the light of lofty, luminous, illuminating and enlightening teachings. Therefore, let us move with determination, enthusiasm, firm confidence and conviction that we shall attain and achieve in this very body, in this very life. For the force of the Guru, the power of the Guru infills us. The one thing needful is right perception, right understanding and right exertion, purushartha. Then everything becomes achieved. In time, everything becomes achieved.
Sivananda Yoga (Yoga DVD)
Yoga, A Way of Life - Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
"Yoga and Health" - a complete book with Question & Answer section by Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
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