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The Eternal Guru


On July 29th 2007 falls Guru Poornima, the festival celebrating the birth of revered Sage Vyasa and the occasion to express our love, reverence and gratitude to our teachers and preceptors. Swami, most often, gives a revealing discourse on this occasion every year, and let us recapitulate now one such His discourse delivered two decades ago in 1987.


Become Truly Human

By being endowed with the human form, men do not become really human. The evolution from animal to the human being has taken millennia. The world is peopled today by billions of human beings. But how many of them display genuine human qualities? Man is still going through birth-pangs of real humanness. Only when human qualities are manifest can man claim to be truly human. In that humanness there is Divinity. It will wear the mantle of Truth. It will be the embodiment of Dharma (Righteousness), Prema (Love) and Santhi (Peace). It is only when men display these qualities that they can be regarded as human. If mankind is able to achieve at least this level of humanness, it would be sufficient.

Today we are celebrating Gurupoornima. The day is usually observed as an occasion for offering worship to the Guru (the religious or other preceptor). There are eight different types of gurus, who impart spiritual instructions of different kinds. Among these, the really important guru is "Vihitha Guru", the preceptor who removes the doubts in the minds of the disciples and reveals to them the process of Self-discovery and Self-realisation. The guru should destroy the darkness of ignorance (about one's Reality) and illumine the mind of the disciple. The illumination must result in the perception of the One Reality that is beyond name and form and attributes.

What Does Vibhuti Signify?

Swami often gives to devotees Vibhuti or Bhasma (the sacred ash). Many people smear their foreheads with this ash. What is the inner significance of this ash? When any object that has a name and form is completely burnt, it is reduced to ashes. The name and form are gone. All things are one and the same in the final state as ashes. When Vibhuti is given, Swami wants the recipient to understand this Advaitam (basic oneness). The devotee should get rid of Ahamkara (ego arising from the feeling of separateness) and sense of Mamakara ("mine" and "thine"). These two are based on name and form and when they are destroyed, the underlying unity of the Divine can be realised.

People constantly talk of Advaita (non-dualism), but hardly live up to their professions in practice. One must practice what one preaches or professes. Today there are not many gurus who live up to their beliefs or teachings. Their actions belie their words. No purpose is served by going in search of gurus. There is a guru in each of us. It is the Atma (spirit) principle. It is the Eternal Witness functioning as Conscience in everyone. With this Conscience as guide, let all actions be done…

Real Freedom

Real freedom exists in submitting to the Will of the Divine and not acting according to one's caprices and fancies. What is freedom that people want? Is it to behave like dogs with no self-restraint? Is it to descend to the level of the sub-human species? Is it to flee from one's divine nature and indulge in demonic acts? What kind of freedom is this?

In this context I shall tell you today the inner meaning of the different yugas (eras) the Tretha Yuga, the Dwapara Yuga and the present Kali Yuga.

Experience the Divine in You

In the Tretha Yuga (the time of Lord Rama), the Divine elements were on one side and the demonical elements on the other… In the Dwapara Yuga (the time of Lord Krishna), the divine and the demonic elements - namely, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, were in the same kingdom… But today, these divine and demonic forces are battling in each human being. This is the mark of the Kali age.

In Tretha Yuga Rama fought the battle in person. In Dwapara Yuga Krishna played the role of a witness, using others as His instruments. He did not engage in the battle Himself. In Kali Yuga because the two opposing factors are in each individual, the Lord plays the role of a witness and as the conscience. Man has to use the power of discrimination given to him to fight the evil forces within him. He has to foster the divine elements in him by his own efforts and listening to the voice of his conscience. The freedom to choose has been given to man for this purpose. This freedom is to be used to discriminate between right and wrong, good and evil and to foster divine qualities. This is the unique feature of the Kali age. In this age, each individual has to fight against the demonic forces himself and vanquish them. When this is accomplished man's inherent divine nature will manifest itself of its own accord.


Embodiments of love! Realise that no special Sadhana (spiritual practice) is needed to experience the Divine in you. You must get rid yourself of impure thoughts and actions. Sanctify every action you do and make it a Sadhana. The Divine is not a created object. It is self-effulgent and present in everyone.

- Divine Discourse in the Poornachandra Auditorium on 11-7-1987.

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Vol 5 Issue 07 - JULY 2007
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