On Gurupurnima Day, the Madanapalle campus turned a festive one with the hustle and bustle of a thousand people arriving. The open space with its ample yet simple floral decorations was packed with a record number of visitors this year.
The event began with Sri M’s arrival, whereupon he performed a symbolic puja to the deities near the venue.
Clad in a yellow kurta and dhoti, Sri M introduced the symbolism of the day thus:
“Gurupurnima is celebrated for paying respects and giving thanks to all the great teachers who have existed since the beginning of time.”
“The respect given to a spiritual teacher is not merely outward. The ultimate principle of the Supreme Guru is in everybody’s heart. When we bow to a teacher, we are bowing to the physical manifestation of the Supreme Guru principle inside us – known as the ‘antaryami’. This asks us tokeep oursminds transparent. If we live this way, we are actually worshipping the Guru.”
“The relationship between the teacher and the taught is an intimate one – of attitude and mind. If the student has taken the decision to be on the spiritual journey, he or she is always on the teacher’s radar. So, one has to decide carefully before choosing to be on this journey.”
Sri M further elucidated that as per his NathParampara, a Dhuniis liton Guru Poornima. The Dhuniis symbolic of the inner fire of desire for spiritual fulfillment. A very serious fire, it cannot be doused easilyonce sparked. When it burns, it reduces every desire and every other thing to ashes. What remains is the eternal satisfaction. This is the fire that we should light in our hearts. All our sadhana is meant to keep this fire alive in us.
In a joyous mood, he said,”Guru Poornima is a happy occasion for celebrating the coming of great teachers from time immemorial. Too much seriousness is not a sign of spirituality. So, we must stay happy and joyful.”
Sri M chanted the Gayatri Mantra and explained its meaning. The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most ancient mantras in the world. It comes from the Rig Veda – most ancient of the Vedas – and the particular chandas(metre) in which it is chanted, has become famous as theGayatrichandas. The rishi of Gayatri is Vishwamitra – the friend of the universe.
oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt
This mantra is intended for the Bhuloka first, the earth we live in. Bhuloka also means the ‘waking state of consciousness’. Bhu envelops everything on earth and the state in which we are aware of this earth. This is common to all.
Bhuva – is the next realm after the physical – the subtler realm of thoughts and dreams together. So, the message of Guru Poornimagoes to Bhu Loka,Bhuva Loka and Suwathat means a short form for SwargaLoka.
Practically, it implies that when ‘Gayatri’ (Mantra) is chanted properly, it penetrates the waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states – ‘Tat SaviturVarenyam’.
This Gurupurnima has two messages: one is when one respects the Guru; one respects the all-pervading being in one’s heart that also pervades the whole universe. Two, that Supreme Being is worshipped since ancient times in the form of ‘Gayatri’ and we should follow the chanting with deep reverence.
Sri M led everyone in a short meditation after chanting Om thrice.
Subsequently, he narrated his experience with Maheshwarnath Babaji in Rudraprayag. Please read the transcript for the full story.
Everyone dispersed for lunch to meet again in the evening for Bhajans, Satsang and lighting of the Dhuni.
People gathered around the Peepal tree near the Shivalaya for the evening program. Some sat in quiet meditation while others were seen catching up with friends in whispers. There was a small drizzle just before the Satsang. The dark clouds disappeared in time and the weather played a perfect host to the evening. As Sri M arrived, bhajans by children of Satsang Rural School and Satsang Vidyalaya commenced the evening of Satsang and devotional music.
Sri M began the Satsang with the Shanti Mantra:
Om Puurnnam-Adah Puurnnam-Idam Puurnnaat-Purnnam-Udacyate
Puurnnasya Puurnnam-Aadaaya Puurnnam-Eva-Avashissyate ||
Om Shaanti Shaanti Shaantih ||
He explained the meaning of the mantra:
“The Supreme Reality that pervades the Universe and from which this whole thing has come, that which we see, including us is by its complete nature Purna, complete or whole. In essence, the Supreme Reality is complete. Somewhere along the line, we have this separateness. This is also the reason why all human beings want to feel fulfilled and it is towards this fulfillment that we move and work.We attempt to be complete without realizing that if we go within and see, we are complete already and there is nothing more required for completion.”
“In our true essence, we are always complete; when we move away from that, we have the insatiable desire to fulfill, to grow, to move, to expand.This is understood only when the mind is absolutely quiet, calm, and tranquil. Then we realize we are not this small thing but that wholeness, requiring nothing.”
The Shanti Mantr ais the introduction with which the Ishavasya Upanishad begins.
After this mantra, the succeeding shloka is as follows:
“Isavasyam idam sarvam
Yatkinca jagatyam jagat
Tena tyaktena bhunjitha
Ma gridhah kasya svid dhanam
Ishavasyam idam sarvam
That Supreme Isha, the Lord, the Supreme Being, pervades everything here.
Yatkinca jagatyam jagat
It pervades everything here and everything that moves.
Tena tyaktena bhunjitha
“He says, ‘Let go and rejoice’.In the practical sense, consider it all part of the Supreme Reality. Therefore, since the movement of time cannot be stopped – flow. Let go, flow.”
Sri M said, “This is the liberating message of the Upanishad. Being Gurupurnima, I thought there is no better message to give. The Guru is in every one of us, in our hearts, not necessarily in this outside form. It is that which is found when the mind is tranquil, when the chitta is completely free of vrittis. In that calmness, the runway opens up from which you can take off to the higher dimensions. Till that is done, you have to change jobs, do this and do that. Turn inward, that’s my message to you.”
The lighting of the Dhuni and mellifluous bhajans by Sri Saptarishi Chakraborty and his team followed.
With pranams to the Guru, Sri M, another memorable Gurupurnima celebration thus came to an end.