The Nature and Importance of Guru, Continued
Text in [brackets] are my own insertions or comments.
Shiva’s response to Parvati’s surprise at seeing him bowing down to someone else, and to her questions (see Guru Gita – Part 1):
O Devi (Goddess), You are my own Self in the form of another. No one has put this question of Yours to me before. It will benefit the whole world, so I will explain.
Only to one who is supremely devoted to God and has the same equal devotion to Guru will the truths explained, clearly reveal themselves.
He who is Guru is Shiva, so declare the scriptures. That Shiva is Guru is a fact that is stated in all the Smritis. Making a distinction between these two, is the greatest of errors.
The Guru is Brahman (God) and no other than Brahman Itself, O Parvati. I declare to you that this is Truth. Listen to what I am saying and believe me, for this Truth is not know to anyone else in all the three worlds.
22 – 23
The Vedas, Puranas, etc., the science of mantra, yantra, etc., and the various doctrines and separate creeds [i.e., religions] that exist in the world, only serve to confuse everyone.
Japa, austerities, observances, pilgrimage, sacrifice, charity, etc., are all a waste without understanding this truth about Guru (Guru Tattva).
O Parvati, I declare to You, with all the emphasis at my command, that there is no difference between Guru and Atman (Self). Therefore, all effort should be made by seekers, the learned in scriptures, and men of wisdom, for the attainment of a Guru.
The attainment of a qualified Guru is the only means to the attainment of Jnana [the wisdom of direct experience]. Therefore, there is no difference between the Guru and Atma Jnana [Self-knowledge]. — Swami Narayana
Hidden ignorance [hiding one’s ignorance from oneself], the absence of knowledge of Self, the illusion of the world and the body, are all caused by ignorance itself [ajana, the opposite of jana, wisdom]. The one by whose grace one attains direct experience is known by the name, “Guru.”
I prostrate to that Guru whose two lotus-like feet help the removal of all miseries stemming from the pairs of opposites, and who saves one from rounds of births and deaths.
I will now tell you how the embodied soul, having become free of impurities, becomes Brahman (God): It is by the Service of the Guru’s feet. I say this because of my special interest in You.
Service of the Guru includes physical service, learning and teaching and all acts which please the Guru, and particularly by spreading the teachings of the Guru among eager and qualified aspirants.
An ideal disciple finds no difference between God and Guru. Worship of Guru is worship of God. Worship of God is worship of Guru. Those who find any difference cannot have real devotion to God and Guru.
— Swami Narayananda
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NOTE: Please take special notice of the connections made between God and Guru and Self.