Guru darshan-very few people are able to have it. However, there are some individuals who have pretty good fortune in this matter.
Communion (satsangati), guru darshan-these are synonymous. In this word, two things are very rare. Tulsidas ji says :
संत समागम प्रभु भजन, तुलसी दुर्लभ दोय।
सुत दारा अरु लक्ष्मी, पापी के भी होय।।
Sant samagam prabhu bhajan, Tulsi durabha doi,
Sut dara aru Lakshmi, pappi ke bhi hoi,
Communion with saints, songs of god, Tulsi both are rare, Son wife and wealth, even sinners do have.
That means, son, wealth, wife etc. are not concerned with this. There is nothing extraordinary about them. Even a sinner has all of these. But communion with saints and bhajans (songs of god)-these are extremely rare in the world.
शैले—शैले न मणिक्यं, मौत्तिवं न गजे—गजे।
साधुवो न सर्वत्र, चंदन न बने—बने।।
Each mountain does not have makiks (a kind of jewel), Mukta (a kind of pearl) is not there on the forehead of each elephant, Gentle, saintly people are not found everywhere, and each forest does not have sandal trees.
Because of this, communion, or company of sainlty foolks is given so much importance. How to meet a saint ? How to have his darshan ? How to have an interveiw with him ? Goswami Tulsidas ji says :
संत मिलन को चलिए, तज माया अभिमान।
ज्यों—ज्यों पग आगे धरैं, कोटि यज्ञ फल जान।
Sant milan ko chaliye, taj maya abhiman.
Joon-joyn pag aage dharain, koti yagya phal jaan.
Come along to see the saint, leaving the pride attachment of wealth etc. behind. Knowing with each step forward, there are fruits of crores of yajnas.
So when you happen to visit saints, leave your worldly desires (maya) and their pride outside, hanging on a peg. Because if you don’t, if you get to the guru stuffed with those, where would you receive what the guru is distributing, the saint is distributing. How would you take away what the guru is offering to you ? You would have no room for that. Therefore, enter the furu’s place only after shedding, for ever, the worldly desires (maya) and pride that lies stored within you.
Once when a devotee proceeded for the guru’s darshan guru maharaj’s kamandala (pot used by saints for keeping water that stood outside, beckoned, “Where are you going ? come here.” The devotee said. “I am going to have guru maharaj’s darshan. ” The kamandala called him up and said :
गुरु दर्शन प्रथम, कमलण्डल कहता मुझको देखो।
मुझ जैसा अपने को, गुरु चरणों में मत पेंको।।
क्यों कि त्यागियों की सेवा में, यह मेरा जीवन बीता।
बहुत सुने उपदेश, मगर फिर भी रीते का रीता।।
Guru darshan se prahan, kamandala kehate mujhko dekho.
Mujh jsids apne ko, gur chanon mein jeevan beeta.
Bahut sune upadesh, magar phir gi rite ka rita.
Before guru’s darshan, the kamandala says look at me.
Like me, do not throw yourself at the guru’s feet.
Because in the service ancsetics, this my life has spent.
Heard sermons a lot, but I am as empty as ever.]</font></center>
Keeps lying empty, the poor one could never get filled up. till now. Do not become like such a kamandala.
When that devotee, worshippesr reached the guru maharaj, How did he offer the samagri (things) he carried in his hands.
`My homage to the guru having the attributes of steady dearshan, knowledge and character, In this manner, materials, i.e. oblation in three mounds (in three parts) should be offered to Acharya Upadhyaya and Sadhu-Aryaka ji, Ailak, Kshulak ji seated in th temple.
While bowing to the Acharya, Upadhyaya and Sadhu, one should say `namostu; for Aryaka Mataji-`Vandami; for Ailak; Kshullak-Kshullika ji, `ichhamis or `ichaakar’. Homage to brachamachari and brahmacharini should be offered with folded hands. The guru is bowed to.
Pichhi is a hand device. It is an insturment of non-violence. People request the maharaj to use it. Oh ! pichhi is applied to drive away insects etc. You are not at all insects. Its sweetness, natural tenderness is such that if put on bare eyes, it produces no burning, irritation or pain at all. It is a natural device. That is why, even the minutest creature is saved by this. After saving them, we sit on the ground.
Pichhi too started saying to the devotee about to enter the gur’s place. `You have listened to the kamandala. Now just give an ear to me too :
जो पिच्छी का पीछा करते, वे श्रावक कहलाते।
जब तक पिच्छी पीछा करती, मोक्ष नहीं जा पाते।।
जिनने पिच्छी पकड़ी, उनको माक्ष लक्ष्मी वरती।
ऐसे त्यागी संतों का, पिच्छी खुद पीछा करती।।
Jo pichhi ka peechha karate, ve shrawak kahatate
Jab tak pichhi peechha karati, moksha nahin n pate
Jinane pichhi pakadi, unko moksha Lakshmi varati,
Aise tyagi santon ka, pichhi khund peechha karati.
As long as pichhi chases them, they are not able to attain salvation. Whosoever grasped the pichhi, is chosen by salvation Lakshmi, such ascetic saints are themselves followed by the pichhi.
Guru or teacher-guru is of supreme importance in the world. In every sect, every religion, every culture, every community, if there is any one who keeps thr religion alive, he is the guru. Had these teachers not been there, just imagine, what would have been the plight of the religion. What great sacrifices have our guru’s made for the sake of maintaining, securing this religion. How great penance, sacrifice, perseverance and meditation have they made. Guru’s such a medium that guides us as Kabirdas ji has weitten in a couplet :
कबिरा वे नर अंध हैं, गुरू को कहते और।
हरि रूठे ठौर हैं, गुरू रूठे नहिं ठोर।।
Kabira ve nar andha hain, guru ko kahate aur
Hari roothe guru thaur hai, guru roothe nahin thaur.
Kabir says that those men are blind who describer the guru as something (someone) else. If god turns away, there is refuge with the guru, but if the guru gets displeased, there is no shelter at all.
Now if some literary fellow is called up and is got explained by him i.e.. If we ask him, `interpret this couplet.’ it could be something like this :
`Kabir ve nar andha hain, guru ko kahate aur.’-Kabir says that those men are blind who describe the guru as someone else, insignifivant, overlook him, give no importance to him in their lives.
In the secone line, it is said, `Hari roothe gur thaur hai, guru roothe nahin thaui. `What does this mean ? If god turns away, guru is the fefuge, but it the guru gets cross, there is no shelter at all. Those worldy creatures would extract their own resective meanings of kabir;s words.
But remember, the god that becomes unhappy, displeased is notgod, and the guru that gets unhappy is not a guru. Who is the one to get unhappy. He who is a failure in his work, abuses the god. Has the god ever called anybody names till date ? You visit a temple. If you fail to do so for 8-10 days, does the god ever grab your hand aking you did not come to the temple ?
But look at yourself. You came to the temple for 8-10 days, you offered prayers, and your purpose (desire) was not achieved. Then you declare, `You are not at all god. You are just a stone god. `Just condemning him, you get away.
नाराज सो महाराज नहीं, महाराज सो नाराज नहीं।
Naraj so maharaj nahin, Maharaj so naraj nahin
He who is angry is not a maharaj. He who is maharaj is not angry.
You might be unhappy with a guru because he is strict. `Guru’ means weight or heaby. Not everyone can bear the weight of the guru. And he who cannot bear the weight of his guru cannot do anything in the world.
गुरू कुम्हार शिष्य कुम्भ है, धड़—धड़ काढ़ै खोट।
अन्तर हाथ पसार के, बाहर मारे चोट।।
Guru kumhar shishya Kumbha hai ghar-ghar kade-khot
Antar Hath pasar ke, bahar mane chot.
Guru is potter, pupil pticher, corrects the defects by beating inwardly sprading the hands outwardly gives the blows.
What an example did give the blow.
What an example did I give ? If the earth (clay) gets sacred of the impacts of the pottor’s thumbs, it can never sit on a person’s head, can never become a pitcher. If stone gets frightened by the blows of a sculptor’s chisel and hammer, it can never become a god’s statue. When a piece of stone much, when a chunk of earth has to suffer this much, we are simply human beings, we too would have to bear to some extent. Even otherwiase, it is said-`a pupil and a bottle should be kept plugged.’
The guru manifests our form. He is the helping cause, the sculptor of our life. Our life is like unsculptured stone. Like dust, when our life is dedicated at his feet. our reverence is dedicated, then it is chiselled by the guru. Someone is diamond, someone emerald, someone peart, someone bloodstone and someone ruby. The kind one belongs to, the kind of face one has and the kind of form-he is moulded accordingly.
The kind of possibilities one has is known only to the guru. He would accordingly chisel him up. The guru is a skilful scupltor who gives shape or chisels the devotee’s sentiments. The guru is a living shastra, in person. The shastra that you have read in months and years. You may get, sitting in the guru’s proximity, a complete conslusion of that classic in just a single sloka, a single word.
Analysing the word guru for its meaning. `gu’ means `darkness’ and `ru’ means `to drive away’; i.e. driving the darkness away. He, who sitting deep inside us expels the darkness of ignorace, is called the `guru’. Whosover dissolves our illusion is the guru. Guru is Vaidya (ayurvedic doctor), guru is engineer, guru is advavate, guru is doctor.
All the aspects that concern us, all the medium through which they are covered, are available there in the guru. He offers us hearty advice, so an advocate; draws a map (plan) of our life, so an enginer; roots out the malaise of doubt existing in us, operates them out, so a doctor.
Psychologist say that as freely you can express your thoughts and feelings to your guru, you cannot put out to anybody else. That is why there is a provision for atonement, admitting to one’s fault, guilt before the guru, just as there are family doctors to provide medical treatment to you, there should also be a family guru. He who has no guru not have his life begun. In a certain sect, there is a whole ritual or ceremony for initiation or being a gurumukhi Gurmantra is chanted in the ear. What is not there in the guru ? He is everything. That guru who gets one to have an intercview with the god incarnate is the supreme friend.
गुरू : ब्रह्मा, गुरु: विष्णु, गुरू: देवो महेश्वर:।
गुरू साक्षात परम ब्रह्मा, तस्मै श्री गुरूवे नम:।।
Guru Brahma, guruh Vishnu, guruh devo Meheshvarah.
Guru sakshat param Brahma, tasmaih Shri gurve namah
Guru is Brahma, guru Vishnu, guru is lord Maheshwa. Guru is the supreme god incarnate, my homage to such a guru.
`You alone are the mother, father too only you are. You alone are the brother, friend too only you are, So, he slone is everything. But if you try to hide something from the guru, you would not gain anything. Some disciples just try to grab this thing from the guru.
At home, there a parental property, I consider it, merely stones and pebbles. Diamonds and pearls, gold and silver, what else are they other than stones-pebbles. All these have come from the earth only. They have not droe heaven (sky) for which one should pray or beg. This does not do. The guru’s vision is peculiar, He instantly understands who is serving with what kind of feeling.
In history, only he has guru. And those who have been busy snatching the guru’s throne, his property, his ashram etc. to have in their own name. They did receive all the physical meterial, but could not keep the inner flame lighting. Only he could keep that flame going who negated all the externam materials and remained turned with the inner element.
Just have a look at the past history. Of all the boys who used to receive education at the ashrams of sages and saints, the one who grazed the guru’s cow he one who fetched fuel for him, received the maximum learning. And those stayed empty handed who merely read the books. They could not have darshans of the god, the supreme soul, the guru-none all. They just study and studied and went back home.
In the world, guru is the single greatest capability. Once a discussion was going on among gods as to who was the greatest in the world. So they said, `the earth is the greatest. Then they pondered too, Yes, the earth is the greatest. But one of the god did not agree with that. He said, “If the earth is the greatest then explain, why does it rest on sheshnah’s heed ? He who is bearing the load of such a huge earth is greater than that. Everbody got it and said. “Yes, Sheshnag ji is the greatest. ” All started saying, “Yes fellows ! Sheshnah ji is the greatest.”
But then one god started saying. “If Sheshnag ji is the greatest, why does he hang around Shankar ji’s neck ? It dawned upon everbody that Shankar ji is the greatest of all. One of the gods spoke up “If Shankar ji is the greatest, why does he live on the kailas Parbat ? so everybody started sdaying, “Yes, the Kailas parbat is the greatest.” At this, one god said, “If, th kailas parbat is the greatest.” then how can Hanuman ji has been aboe to hold it in his hands ?” To this, everyone said, `No doubt, Hanuman ji is the greatest. “Then, one of the gods said, “If Hanuman ji is the greatest, then why does he lie at the feet of Shri Ramchandra Ji is the greatest of all. “ Again, one god asked, “If Ramchandra ji is the greatest, why does he lie at Guru Vashishtha’s feet ? Then, everybody came to realise that the the guru’s place (position) is the greatest of all. That is why—
हरि रूठे गुरू ठोर है, गुरू रूठै नहिं ठौर।
Hari roothe guru thaur hai, roothe nahin thaur.
You have already learnt about the signification of these golden words. If for once, you refuse to accept the existence of god. even call him names, doesn’t matter, but if the guru gets displeases, there is no refuse in the world. Guru is such an adicsor who would make you friends with the unhappy one (god), by any means, would arrange your meeting with the displeased god, That is why—
गुरू गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूँ पाँय।
बलिहारी उन गुरुन की, गोविन्द दिया बताय।।
Guru Govind dono Khere kake lagoon paiya
Balihari un gurun ki, Govind deo bataya.
Guru and Govind (god), both are standing, whom to prostrate ? Blessed be that guru, who introduced (me) to the god.
Thus, guru is that who, if you happen to unhappy with the god, even then, one way or the other, would introduce you to Him But it the guru himself turns away, there is no such power in the world that can get you an interview with the god.
What does one get from guru’s worship ? This thing requires a lot of thought and understanding. We might go through a shastra any number of times, even then, it cannot make us comprehend the things. But coming to the guru, we can understand quite a lot. But this company of the guru, the communion with saints does not come without punyas (holy deeds).
पुण्य पुंज बिनु मिलहिं न संता, सत्संगति संसृति कर अंता।
Punya punja binu milahin na santa, satsangati sansriti kar anta.
Without a store of punyas (noble deeds), sages cannot be found. Communion with sages brings an end to the rounds to this world.
For that, a fund of hard earned punyas is needed. That gets us face to face with reality (truth). This is called `communion’ (satsangati). Whatever the inner truth is, saints introduce us to it. In that deepseated truth, those who afforod us the feel or consiousness of the supreme soul (paramatma) are saints. They are those who carry the key to the end (i.e. moksha or salvation), whose benign company is the liberator of the world.
‘संत्संगति संसति कर अंता।’ The meaning of satsangati is communion with him whose company puts an end to our journey to this world, i.e. the cycle of rebirths. Storms of passions and desires are rising deep in the heart. Cyclones of attachments and passions are approaching us. We are lost in the woods of passions and desires. Thrns of passions are pricking us. Setting us free from all these, putting new vigour in us, new light, new glow. Everything should be there with you. One devotee says :
शरीरं सुरूपं सदा रोग मुक्तं,
यशश्चारू चित्रं धनं मेरू तुल्यं।
गुरो घ्रि पद्मे मनश्चेत् न लग्नं,
sharaisram suroopam sada rog muktam.
Yashashcharu chitram dhanam meru tulyam,
Gurondhri padm manashchet na laghnam,
Your body is beautiful, always free from disease. Tremendous fame, and character too is fine. And wealth is like the Sumeru mountain. Even then, if there is no sense of devotion for guru’s feet, you posess nothing at all, nothing at all, nothing at all. The guru shows us to the god. And he who places the guru in his heart, discovers that alongwith the guru, god gets into his heart, Where else could there be a cheaper deal ? If you set upon to catch of find the god alone. i.e. by yourself, would you not suffer hardships ? But service to the guru’s feet-that would automatically arouse the supremen soul’s feet unto you.
Once I was preaching about devotion for guru, that one should be devoted to the guru, and so on. After the sermon, one lady asked me, “Mahraj ji ! Today our sages and gurus have become lethargic in their acts. How shall we know that these are genuine sages or gurus ?” I said that I have a formula for identifying a real sage or guru. The woman got very happy. What more do you people want ? Just that we may be able to test a saint. Isn’t it ? I said, “You would certainly find a sage or guru. The day your soul becomes a true devotee, that very day you would definitely find the real saint-guru.
Today a person either blindly worships gurus and sages, because of which, even their demerits look like merits, or a sage overlooks over character or conduct, encourages our weakeness. Such are over gurus. In such times, this proverb seems illustrated or examplified—
लोभी गुरू लालची चेला, होय नरक में ठेलम ठेला।
Lobhi guru lalchi chela, hoya narks mein thelam thela.
Greedv guru, avaricious disciple. There would be pushing around (disorder) in the hell.
Therefore this thing must be there in our minds too. Otherwise we neglect real saints and gurus so much that we fail to see any merits in them. Therefore, what do we have to do in guru darshan ? If as a result of our punyas (holy deeds), they happen to arrive alongwith sahes etc., special homahe should be paid to them. We should hear their sermon. It is not necessary that all the sages deliver sermons. But one must take the benefit of their darshan and worship. providing them with food etc.
As the time permits vaiyavritti (service of sage) should also be done. For a sage, except instrument knowledge, instruments of self control, things should be given that might cause degradation of the saint or the religion. But if your faith does not bow at some saint’s conduct, he should not even be criticised.
Whomsoever you have accepted as your dharma guru (religious teacher), once a year, alongwith your family, you should definitely go for his darshan-prayer, From him, some rule, fast (going without food for religious purpose), self-control etc, must be received. Then alone would he become our real dharma guru. And every year, one or the other fast or rule must be added. The imperfections that mar or cause violation or your fast-rule should be critically atoned for, then would our welfare be there.
Having thus obtained the darshan of god, scripture and guru, stepping out of the the temple, one should utter `assahi’, assahi, assahi’ thrice. The purpose behind pronouncing `assahi’ is that we have returned the place to those gods, kshetrapals etc. from whom we took it for the purpose darshan, worship etc.
After the darshan, while leaving the temple, one should noy show one’s back to the god, scripture and guru. Scholars’ view is :
अग्रतो जिन देवस्य, स्तोत्र—मन्त्रर्चनादिकम्।
कुर्यान्न दर्शयेत् पृष्ठं, सम्मुखं द्वारा लंघनम्।।
Agrato Jin devasya, stotra-mantrarcharnadikam.
Kuryann darshyet prishtham, sammukham dwars langhanam.
Which means, perform strota, mantra, worship etc. before Jin deva, but while getting out, do not show your back to him. Facing him only, moving backwards, get across the door.