Balihari guru aapne jin govind diyo milaye- Sant Kabir
I don’t remember in which class did I read this doha, but to this day I remember it clearly. It was revised in the deep recesses of my being, many times. Honestly though I did not doubt the author’s conviction in claiming his guru to be better and superior to God, yet I could not find myself to apply it in my own life. On the way from my childhood, I met many teachers both formal and informal who could not justify the truth of the doha. And it left me wondering that as God is all powerful, almighty, how can anyone consider guru to be greater than Him!
When my spiritual journey began, definitely I respected my guru Swami Devshankarananda Ji very deeply though I could not express it neither to him nor to others as outward showoff is not in my personality. I did not care! Since he was a sadhak of great depths, he understood. In my ignorance I disobeyed him many times. E.g. when he told me, “You do japa on Tulsi mala.” I said, “Why?” he said, “O.K. you do as you like.” Many times he used to tell me to read Gita, Vishnu Sahatranam.” Due to my low level I did not follow his advice. Even then he was never deterred and persuaded me; insisted and persisted, tried his level best for my spiritual development. Due to his spiritual powers; in a very short span of time; my spiritual achievements were too good to describe. He was very happy by my progress. Each revelation redoubled his zeal to inspire me, motivate me, and encourage me!
Little did I know that this was the first seed of faith, in the greatness, selflessness of a guru; he had implanted in my mind. One more incidence I would like to quote; since he was initiator of the golden glorious path of spirituality to me; he was my guru for quite sometime. I respected him more due to his selflessness, openness and honesty than greatness; as I was not aware of that aspect of his personality till then. Suddenly a very strong ‘Bhav’ came from inside that Swami Satyananda (whom I had not seen except in photograph) was my guru. Innocently I revealed this bhav to him. He was very happy and said, “You are very lucky.” For many years his reaction kept on ringing in my ears, his happiness kept on puzzling me greatly. It was so unlike any other worldly men who had come in my contact. That is how his greatness gradually revealed to me by my own experiences which left a far deeper impact on my psyche than any of his oral teachings.
He often used to glorify the greatness of Swami Sivananda and Swami Satyananda, their great works and many other things about them. Once I watched him offering flowers at the lotus feet of Swami Satyananda with intense Bhav. It left me wondering inside ‘how can a person so much learned can worship another human being with so much Bhav? I thought that Bhav should be used only for the Almighty. How naive! How ignorant! How petty my thinking!
Once he told me about his great experience with Sri Swami Ji. He said, “When Guru Ji touched his one finger on my eyebrow centre, I was charged with so much power that I kept on shaking for 3 days involuntarily.” I could not assimilate the full meaning of this at that time. But I am greatly impressed by the teachings of Sri Swami Ji. I try to read them, assimilate them and practice many of them. I want to see the truth and depth of many of them.
By my good luck when eternal diary-1 was gifted to me, I enjoyed it; relished it, cherished it with a depth; I did not know existed in my personality. I greedily read and reread many teachings and tried to assimilate as much as possible.
One poem of Sri Swami ji influenced me deeply is as follows:
MY GURU HAS SHOWN ME THE PATH.
He desired my body
I gave it to him unflinchingly
He asked for my prana.
I offered it unhesitantly
He said, “Will you give me your mind too?”
I replied, “It is yours for ever.”
I was left with nothing,
Empty and desolate.
The dark blue sky dotted with stars and the moon
That was all I had.
Then all at once
The sun burst upon me with a song
The restless ocean bathed me with its waves
The thundering clouds burst upon me with rain,
The snow white swan danced before my eyes,
A flash of lighting illumined my soul.
My Guru came to me once again.
He said, “Will you give me the samaskaras you have collected life after life?”
I looked into his deep brown eyes,
Into the dark and deep abyss of his being.
For what seemed aeons, he stood before me.
Everything else began to dissolve before my eyes,
To melt and fade away.
There was unity within and without
It is the grace of my guru,
He who has extinguished my being, and absorbed me into himself.
My guru has shown me the path.
Even now whenever I read this poem my eyes become moist with a deep emotion. I must admit that this poem has helped me in attaining a major milestone in my spiritual journey. His Guru poornima massage in this dairy is still guiding me like a light house. Although each and every teaching has inspired me greatly, changed my inner being subtly that I am unable to put it in the words, yet I could not think about his great guru Sivananda.
When Sivananda came to my life spiritually, I was swept off my feet unknowingly unawares. Though Sivananda was always there trying to guide me, inspire me, motivate me both directly and indirectly; due to my own naivety I could not get the full significance of his being. As a ship when hit by a strong storm in the ocean is shattered to pieces; the same feeling I had in the boat of my life. A simple act of care towards one of his old disciple triggered this grace. May be the right time had come! Who can know the grace of God! His greatness was revealed to me in bits and pieces. With each discovery I was left wondering ‘can it be true?’ is it happening to me? What have I done in this life to deserve so much grace? Gradually I established a relation of great loving father with him; whom I met after a long….long break. I must say that the whole effort had been his. With my ignorance, naivety how could I know him! Out of all assess his great love, wisdom and generosity. He showered me with love, happiness and peace in my spiritual journey. He filled my being with affection, love and discrimination which I never knew. He is making me a better individual. He is bringing out the best in my personality, at the same time helping me to clean the darkest, innermost corners of my being. He is an expert teacher the best as I have come across; who uses different approaches for different situations and makes sure that the message gets home and is acted upon. Many times when I did not obey, in spite of being annoyed or angry, he clearly demonstrated the results which I myself experienced. Now whom could I complain? The only alternative he left was, “learn from your own mistakes.” I.e. most powerful way of teaching, I had to agree. I am reading his books regularly and getting a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. The most beautiful part of his teachings is their simplicity and straight forwardness which instantly affects the lower level students also.
I am extremely grateful to God that he has chosen my humble being to carry out his message. Now I can’t but deeply agree with sant Kabir who wrote this doha about the greatness of guru. I fully agree and understand Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa’s teaching, “O, God you are my operator and I am thy instrument.”
Who can measure the depth of an ocean! A small fish! A salt doll! Only the divers who dare to dive deep can pick up a few gems and pearls by the grace of great ocean itself!