Guru Gita – Part 2 of 4

 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

♦  ♦  ♦

NOTE: Please take special notice of the connections made between God and Guru and Self.

5 thoughts on “Guru Gita – Part 2 of 4

  1. Galen

    Here is my understanding of part 2 of the Guru Gita. Clearly devotion to Guru is devotion to God and vice verse. God and Guru are Atman(self). To whom would I give physical service to, learning and teachings and all acts that please the Guru? Would I give such to me in all humility?
    I seek direct experience but what experience is there that is not my own? If I follow the words of another(Do as I say not as I do) I must surrender completely onto that person with not one ounce of doubt and a conviction that is tempered in a white heat of purity. Like Prakriti I have said that I must be hit over the head and awaken saying that yes this is the person that I give all that I think I am to.

    Love Galen


  2. Pingback: A Question on Discipleship | Mystical Tidbits

  3. Pingback: Mystical Mini Bit — Guru Gita | Mystical Tidbits

  4. prakriti

    I am sure I am not alone as a modern American woman struggling with the concept of Guru. Just because someone says they are a liberated being how do I know their inner state? I feel like, until God knocks me over the head with this direct knowledge in meditation, I should be cautious. Twice in my life I have had a spiritual teacher that I grew to distrust as their behavior did not seem consistent with holy teachings. I later found out, in both instances, that other people were also struggling with the teacher’s attitude, comments, and private lifestyle. I remember thinking “If this person is Self-realized I don’t really want liberation. I would rather just be an honorable person, love my family, do good in the world, and die again.” That is pretty sad.
    Love, Prakriti


    1. Prakriti, this is a wonderful comment. I too, have been down this road. The road is littered with self-aggrandizing wanna-be gurus, but the real thing is out there, too. Shopping is a good thing, but one can do this and still be fooled.

      I believe I have mentioned in Intensives, that I do not consider myself “finished”, that I am still on the path and still imperfect and subject to error, but I will keep all of you posted as to corrections and additions. So if you throw your chips in with me, I can only teach you what I know from my own experience (which is considerable on the one hand, but miniscule in the big picture), what I have been taught, and what I glean from scriptures (I do have a gift in this arena). I do have some idea, based on experience, how terrifically huge the big picture is, and it makes me feel like a babe in the woods.

      One thing my guru said that I will never forget was: “Don’t do what I do, do what I say.” He was not one for giving orders or talking about submitting to his control when he said this. As a teacher this statement made perfect sense to me. I would no more ask a beginning piano student to start with a Mozart sonata than I would try selling popsicles in Alaska.

      I will say this to you also, with the understanding that submission and control is not in the picture: “Don’t do what I do, do what I say.”

      Durga Ma


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s