Guru Gita – Part 3 of 4

Concerning the Importance of Guru, Discipleship, Practices and Actions

From another version.

9
Know for certain that the conscious Self and the Guru are truly one. For this reason, one who is wise will seek one’s Guru.

10
Because of the darkness of the mind, the secret knowledge of Truth is concealed, but by Her light and the Guru’s word, the Mother of all comes to be revealed.

11
O Parvati, because I love you I will make this known: Everyone’s misfortunes and errors can be washed away by serving the Guru’s feet with love. By this practice, one becomes one with God.

12
All sacred waters bestow no greater reward than this, so sprinkle the water of the Guru’s feet upon your head with your mind attached to the Guru’s feet.

13
The mire of impurities will be washed away and the knowledge of Truth will shine through. With the water of the Guru’s feet, one crosses the ocean of ignorance.

14
Ignorance and attachment can be overcome, the round of births and deaths ended, and wisdom gained, by drinking the water of the Guru’s feet.

15
Drink that water of holiness, eat the remains of the Guru’s plate, meditate on the Guru’s form, and repeat the Guru’s mantra.

16
Kashi [Varanasi] is where the Guru dwells, and Ganga [the Ganges river] flows at the Guru’s feet. The Guru is God, the Lord and protector of the universe.

17
All the holy rivers, holy trees, sacred and holy places, are all contained in the Guru’s feet. I bow down to that beautiful form of the Guru.

18
Meditate on the Guru’s form, always think of the Guru’s name, fulfill the Guru’s wishes and needs, and always think of Guru.

19
The Guru’s knowledge awakes in one on whom the Guru has bestowed grace, so keep the Guru in your heart.

20
Let go of thinking of your life as your own, along with thoughts of fame, status or money. Nothing should be in your mind but the thought of the Guru’s name.

21
For one who loves Guru with one-pointed devotion, Godhood comes with ease. This is the highest goal, so one should strive to feel worthy of the Guru’s love.

22
The Guru’s wisdom cannot be learned, even from gods of the higher lokas [worlds], but the Guru’s knowledge awakes in one who serves the Guru with pure love.

23
“Gu” is darkness, “Ru” is light. The Guru, whose light of knowledge dispels the dark, is God without a doubt.

24
“Gu” is unceasing change, all that appears to the eyes [all the senses][the Relative Realm]. “Ru” is God in which all is contained and yet remains ever the same [Parabrahman, the Absolute].

25
Even gods yearn to tarry at the Guru’s feet, their highest goal. Angels in heaven called gandharvas, worship the Guru’s feet with love.

26
The wise say that nothing compares to the Truth-Guru, so one should offer as gifts, everything the Guru could need or use.

27
Devotees should delight their Guru with their gifts, but more than this, one should offer one’s life.

28
Serve the Guru with all your heart, in speech and in action, and before the Guru stretch out upon the ground. Give all your love to the Truth-Guru.

29
One must release wife or husband and give all to the Truth-Guru—senses, body, and breath—with all your soul.

30
Bones and blood and flesh will turn to ashes one day, so without delay, surrender to the Truth-Guru.

31
The tree of samsara* sinks below, along with souls who cling to it, but all are saved by the Guru’s grace. To that Truth Guru, I surrender.

* Samsara – the cycles of birth, death and suffering.

32
The Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. About this there is no doubt. God and Guru in fact are one. I surrender to that Guru.

33
Guru is the cause of the universe, the bridge to cross over change, and the source from which all knowledge comes. To Shiva the Guru I bow.

34
Ignorance blinds the eyes, but the Guru makes us to see again. With the Guru’s wisdom we are set free. Salutations I offer the Guru:

Salutations [prananams] to Guru:

35
You are my mother and father, my brother and sister, my wealth in this world of change. You are my God, my very Self. Salutations I offer You.

36
Because You are all this world appears to be, just as sun is the cause of light, all our joy is because of You. Salutations I offer You.

37
The mind can perceive this world, but You, the mind can never perceive. You are the witness behind all minds. Salutations I offer You.

38
By Your wisdom the Truth is known: the world and the Self are no longer two. The form of Truth is itself the Truth. Salutations I offer You.

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And on it goes, but I had to quit somewhere.

Regarding number 29:

“One must release wife or husband and give all to the Truth-Guru…”

Please keep in mind that these ancient mystical teachings are written in “final form”. In other words, they represent an ultimate ideal. In this shloka, this ideal might be better expressed to the Western mind as having a spouse’s genuine support of one’s spiritual endeavors or, even better, being on the path together. If you need to ease your heart, remember the source of this text: a conversation between Shiva (Parvati’s husband) and Parvati (Shiva’s wife), and review number 9…

“Know for certain that the conscious Self and the Guru are truly one…”

There are deeper meanings to this shloka of course, but I think this will do for now. Just keep looking for deeper teachings in what I’m sending you, what they mean and how they might apply to you in your current phase of sadhana. And remember, progress means change, so your understanding will change (increase) with time and practice.

Love,
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Mystical Mini Bit — Guru Gita

Synopsis of Guru Gita-Part 2, vs 20-25 

Shiva is Guru, Guru is God. Also, there is no difference between Guru and Self. All spiritual practices are a waste without understanding this truth about Guru. For this reason, it is emphasized that anyone seeking God/Truth, should find a Guru. This is a fact that is stated in all oral teachings, regardless of the teaching lineage. The written teachings, techniques, belief systems and religions that exist in the world, only create confusion and conflict among all people.

Read the Mystical Tidbit from which this synopsis is derived, here.

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Guru

A teacher who knows union with God through experience, and how to get you there.

Self
The real You, the divine, non-physical individual that you really are without all the packaging.

Shiva
The transforming aspect of God is known as Shiva. As an individual who has mastered the highest yoga, Shiva is known as “the king of yogis.” It is in this sense that Shiva is mentioned here.

Oral Teachings
In this case, the word is smriti (the ri is a vowel). The Smritis are memorized oral teachings that were passed down through teaching lineages in verse and meter in order to preserve them and assure their authenticity.

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):

18
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.

19
Only to one who is supremely devoted to God and has the same equal devotion to Guru will the truths explained, clearly reveal themselves.

20
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.

21
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.

24
Japa, austerities, observances, pilgrimage, sacrifice, charity, etc., are all a waste without understanding this truth about Guru (Guru Tattva).

25
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.

Commentary:

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

26
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.”

27
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.

28
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.

Commentary:

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.