Guru-Pooja, By Swami Shri Bhagirath Ji Maharaj
- Posted on Jan 24th, 2009 by SantMat_Mystic_(James)
Guru-Pooja (Worship of Guru---Devotion to the Sadguru)
The following article (translated into English) has been extracted from the book, 'Santmat Tatvajnaan-bodhini', authored by Swami Shri Bhagirath Ji Maharaj. The focus of this chapter is on Guru-Pooja.
In the Yogshikhipnishad, Lord Shiva says: (hymns are in Sanskrit):
Gururbrahmaa Gururvishnurgururdevah sadaasivah,
Na gurordhikah kaschintrishu lokeshu vidyate.
Divya jnaanopadeshtaaram deshikam parmeshwaram,
poojayetparayaa bhaktyaa tasyajnaana falam bhavet.
Yathaa gurustathaivesho yathaiveshstathaa guruh,
poojaneeyo mahaabhaktyaa na bhedo vidhyate anyoh.
(English Translation): "Guru is Brahma (Deity of Creation), Vishnu (Deity of the Maintainance of Creation) and Shiva (Deity of Destruction). There is nobody else anywhere greater than Guru in the three Loks [three regions): i). Paataal Lok -- under the earth, ii). Prithvi Lok -- Earth, iii). Aakash Lok -- above the earth).
"When the disciple worships the teacher of Divine Knowledge, Guru, with devotion, only then the disciple gets the results of that Divine Knowledge.
God is exactly like Guru and Guru is exactly like God. There is not a single difference between them. Worship Him with this faith."
In these above hymns, the greatness of Guru has been described. In the hymn it is taught that the three works of the universe (creation, maintenance, destruction) are done by three different gods, but all these powers exist in one form and that is Guru.
Hitopadesh says: (hymns are in Sankrit):
Gangaa paapam shashi taapam dainyam kalpatarustathaah,
paapam taapam cha dainyam cha hanti santo mahaashayaah.
(English translation): "Ganga (the holy river in India) removes the sins of the person. Moon removes the heat, Kalpvriksha (a divine tree which fulfills the desires) removes poverty. But Sant-Sadguru alone is able to remove all these three."
Such is the power of the Guru that if, due to any reason, all the holy books of the world are destroyed -- all this knowledge is obliterated, disappears, and then a single True Perfect Guru and single true disciple remain alive, they are capable of reproducing all the knowledge in all those holy scriptures/books.
Sant Satguru Maharshi Mehi Paramahans Ji Maharaj says in Philosophy Of Salvation article No. 79: "The meeting with the perfect and true spiritual preceptor is equal to the meeting with Supreme Sovereign God, Himself."
The perfect true Sant Sadguru minimizes or mitigates the actions or consequences of bad stored karmas --- works done by devotees in many births. When the devotee has to face the wound of the sword, Sadhguru becomes so kind that He lets it happen through the pain of the small needle. And sometimes in His holy will (Mauj), the Guru protects His disciple, destroying the bad consequences of his action and He never even reveals to the devotee the true extent of the grace has been given by the Guru. When the disciple leaves his body, Guru Himself appears before him. Kaal (the God of death) does not come there. The soul awakened by the Guru does not fall into hell. Sant Kabir Sahab says: (hymns are in Bharati):
Sonaa kaayee naa laage, lohaa ghun na khaay,
bhalaa buraa jo guru bhagat, kabahu narak na jaay.
English translation: "Gold does not rust; mite does not destroy iron; similarly good and bad disciples do not go to hell."
The Sant Sadguru protects His disciple from the curse of Rishis-munis, yogis, and deities, gods-goddess and the god of Death (Kaal).
Amir Khushro has written: "See, I also have had the holy presence of the Great Spiritual Preceptor of the universe, Lord Swami Ramanand. For my own preceptor Khwaja Sahab I had gone to see Swamiji with an incomparable present to Panchaganga ghaat.......Swamiji had imparted his merciful blessings upon me -- my heart became pure at once with his imparted supreme grace and therein reflected the holy glimpse of the Divine Light."
The person who at least once goes to the harbour of Sadguru, He takes the onus of the greatest goodness for him. If a person takes a glimpse of the holy face of the Sadguru even from afar, he also gets salvation in very few births. This is the greatness of Sant Sadguru. Now the question is, 'Who is Sant Sadguru?'
Bhagwaan Shankar has said to Maa Parvati: "That great person who destroys the eight traps: doubt, kindness, fear, hesitation, criticism, praise, pride, and wealth, and bestows the holy Divine Pleasure, is called Sadguru."
Maharshi Mehi Paramhans is saying : "The perfect and true spiritual preceptor is that great Life-liberated Sant-soul whose consciousness-force has been immersed into Shabdaateet Pad (the Nameless State) at the time of Samaadhi (stage of spiritual trance or God-realized state), transcending all the non-conscious concealments, and while working, whose mind remains uninvolved (whim-less) -- Its consciousness-force being connected with the Essential Divine Sound."
In another poem Maharshi Mehi cites:
"He who knows the way to liberation, he who practices meditation every day,
And while doing so lives in this world with a true and pure heart.
Who loves Satsang, fortifying his detachment (with things worldly)
Who destroys faulty thinking or evil thoughts (of his disciples) by
imparting the right knowledge,
Who firmly implants the precepts of Santmat in our minds clarifying all
He and he only (who is gifted with all the above virtues), having a true
and pure heart, says Maharshi Mehi Paramhansji Maharaj, can be a Guru."
Sant Radhaswami Sahab has said, (hymns are in Bharati):
Kyaa hindu kyaa musalmaan, kyaa isaayi jain,
guru-bhakti pooran binaa, koi na paawai chain......
English translation: "No one can get peace without the service to the Guru whether it be Hindu or Muslim (Islam), or Christian, or it be Jainism. Determine yourself to worship Guru and only then do any other thing. There is none other than Guru who destroys the cobweb of illusions (Maya) in this world."
Worship of Guru is done by two ways: Gross [physical] worship (also called Sthool-Bhakti), and Subtle worship (also called Sookshma Bhakti). In gross [physical] worship (Sthool-Bhakti), devotes do physical service to Guru, e.g. cooking, cleaning pots/utensils for His food, arranging foods for Guru, arranging bath for Guru, cleaning His clothes, following His orders, massaging His holy feet while taking rest, Maanas Jap (the mantra) --- He instructs one to chant, i.e. practicing Maanas Jap with eyes and mouth closed in meditation, as instructed by Guru), Maanas Dhyaan (concentrating over the physical form of Guru in meditation with eyes and mouth closed, as instructed by Guru) --- all these are forms of physical devotion to Guru.
Practicing of Drishti Yoga (The Yoga of Vision/Yoga of Light, Bindu Dhyaan) and Surat-Shabda Yoga (i.e. Naada-anusandhaan, the Yoga of Divine Sound), are the Subtle [non-physical, ethereal, mystical or other-worldly] devotions to Guru.
The pupil who wants the greatest welfare must do both (Sthool and Sukshma Bhakti) worship of Guru. Initially the devotee should do Sthool-Bhakti (gross [physical] worship) and later he must do the Sookshma-Bhakti (Subtle worship). There is great importance of the Gross Worship explained in Sant-vaani (Sayings of the Sants). Whenever a Sant gives blessings after pleasing the pupil's physical service (gross devotion), it always becomes true in time. Whatever words emit from His holy mouth, that becomes true always. It never fails. It never goes in vain.
There was a yogi named Sumedh in the village of Amraavati town. He was born in a rich family. Once he served Bhagwan Deepankar (a sant) for a very short time period. The even was that once Bhagwan Deepankar had been invited for Satsang propagation (teaching) in Rambhawati town. He was going to that place. On the way there was a small ditch full of mud. He had to cross it. Sumedh also was there and he was putting the dry soils on that mud. But meanwhile Bhagwan Deepankar arrived there. Then Sumedh did not want Bhagwan's feet mingled with mud, and so he quickly laid down on that mud keeping his back upwards and requested to Bhagwan to cross the ditch keeping His legs over his back. Bhagwan Deepankar crossed the ditch keeping feet over Sumedh's back and told, "This Sumedh will be Gautam Buddha in the next birth and millions souls will get Divine Welfare by him."
That Sumedh born in the next birth as the son of King Suddhodhan. His name was Kumar Siddharth and later he became famous as Gautam Buddha, who is being worshiped throughout the world. Maharshi Mehi praises in His poem, 'Dhani Rishi-Santanh dhanya Buddha Ji.' [victory to the Rishis, Sants and Victory to Buddha.]
Shri Shankaracharya Ji Maharaj had four main pupils: Sureshwaracharya, Padmapadacharya, Hastmalakacharya, and Totakacharya. The main job of Totakacharya was cleaning the utensils. He was not educated, but he had devotion. He did not let happen any mistake in his service. Once Totakacharya was busy in cleansing the utensils. The time was of study. Three disciples (Sureshwaracharya, Padmapadacharya, Hastmalakacharya) gathered to Shankaracharya. That day, Shankaracharya was waiting for the fourth pupil on his own desire. Seeing it, the One of them requested, "Guru! Totakacharya does not know to read or write, then it is fruitless to wait wait for him? So, please start the learning." Hearing it, Shankaracharya became sad and scolded, "Why do you underestimate Totakacharya? His heart is very pure and full of devotion. He is no less in any matter in comparison to all of you."
Saying it, Shankaracharya summoned Totakacharya, "O Totakacharya! Come to me singing the hymns of the Vedas and scriptures." Totakacharya came doing it. Then Shanakaracharya ordered, "Whatever these three disciples have read till now, and will read later, speak all of those." Upon receiving his Guru's order, he began to pronounce fluently.
One of the main pupils of Bhagwan Buddha was Ananda. Ananda used to serve Buddha all the times, round the clock with full dedication, and devotion. The last moment came for Gautam Buddha. He was now to leave the physical body and to attain Parinirvan. Seeing it, Ananda became anxious, he went to the forest of Kushinara and began to wept loudly holding the wall. He stated crying, "There was many things remaining to be learned. Our Shasta (Master, Buddha) used to bless us, and now He is going in Nirvan (Salvation). Now what will we do, and how?"
Omnipotent Buddha opened His eyes and did not find Ananda nearby. He asked Anirudha, "Where is Ananda?" Anirudha replied, "Bhagwan! He is crying holing the wall." Buddha sent Aniruddha to call Ananda, and when they returned, He proclaimed: "Ananda! Do not grieve.I have already told you that one day we will have to leave all the good and loved ones. The things which have been created, those all are mortal, and temporary. Then how is it possible that this physical body should not be destroyed? This body has been created, so it has to come to an end. This can never be reverted. Ananda! You have been very obedient pupil and served me with all your breaths. You have served us with your body, love and dedication and you have sacrificed for us. Ananda! You have stored a huge bank of infinite virtues. Ananda! Now start your hard and ceaseless practice of meditation. You will be liberated very soon." And Ananda Ji got to the goal by the blessings of Buddha.
This is the spirituality which is increased in many hundred births, but that is achieved in the shortest time by very little grace of the Guru.
Sant Nabha Das was shown the Divine Light by the grace of Sant Tulsi Das. Gorakh Nath became a great Yogi by the grace of Guru Matsyendra Nath. Guru Angad became a sant by the grace of Guru Nanak. Guru Amar Das became a sant by the grace of Guru Angad. Samman and Moosan completed their devotion in that birth only by the grace of Guru Arjun Dev.
Once I (Swami Bhagirath Baba) urged to Guru Maharaj (Maharshi Mehi): "Hujoor! Sant Charan Das has said that the service to the Guru done in only four pal (fractions of a second) is greater than the hundred years service to God. Then how is it possible? What the job I can do in four pal (seconds). In four seconds a glass of water also can not be served."
Then Guru Maharaj replied, "Here the meaning of four pal should be taken as very short-time of service. See, my Guru Baba Devi lived in Muradabad (a town in Uttar Pradesh, India). I used to go to meed Him once/twice each year. He was very strict. Once I massaged His feet. 'Now see, do I feel lack of anything?' I replied with folding hands, 'No Hujoor!'"
Lord Shankar had told Parvati: (hymns is Sanskrit):
Yavatkalpaant kodehstaavaddevi guru smaret,
guru lopo na karttavya swachhando yadi vaa bhavet.
Translation: "O goddess! If the body exists till the Kalp (Kalp is the time which consists of billions years), till then pupil should remember Guru and after achieving Salvation (Self-realization), the pupil must not leave the shelter of Guru."
Maharshi Mehi says: "Always chant Maanas Jap in your mind, that is extremely holy.
Guru is well-doer and practice Maanas Dhyaan of His face/form. ||1||
All the deities, Absolute Brahma, and God reside within Guru. All the sants say the same thing. ||2||
The greatness of Guru is greater than the greatness of God. It is well known in the world. This is so because God is not achieved without Guru. Though God remains within this body. ||3||
God is hidden within the heart, still there is darkness. Practicing meditation by the method of the Guru (instructed by Guru), Light appears. And then the Supreme Sovereign God is realized. ||4||
Though God always remains within, still the sufferings of transmigration (cycle of birth and death) are not removed. It is the Sadguru who destroys this pain. Hence, all sing the praise of Guru. ||5||
Sacrificing body, mind and wealth, serve the lotus-feet of Guru. Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj states, "Cross the miseries of the world by following His orders". ||6||