It is Guru Purnima again. The most precious day for a devotee. Each Guru Purnima has been revealing a different facet of mine to myself leaving me in utter amazement! It has ranged from just celebrating the day with Sadhana, Seva and Satsang to understanding in depth the Guru Principle, experiencing the infinite vastness of our Master and slowly recognising the same within me, gratitude flowing out as grace and finally dissolving in love. The process of mellowing into ‘Somebody to Nobody to Everybody’ has been very humbling. The blissful journey continues.
Now, the baffling question. Where am I?! Frankly, the answer is ‘I don’t know!’ and I don’t care. I have been running to sit on the conveyor belt. Now that I am there, I have stopped running. I will reach home. I have nothing to do but RELAX. I just watch the world go by with amusement and wonder! The scenery has lost its power to affect the Seer to a great extent.
I watch Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji go through the nitty gritty of Maya world and I know He is putting Himself through it all to uplift humanity.
The story of Ekalavya shared by Gurudev recently elucidates the power and compassion of a Guru. Ekalavya, a low caste boy who was not qualified to get archery lessons from Dronacharya , keeps a stone idol of him as his Guru and practices the art of archery. He excels in the art to an extent that Arjuna becomes insecure. Arjuna wanted none else to exceed him in the proficiency of archery. Dronacharya, seemingly to please Arjuna, asks for Ekalavya’s thumb as Guru Dakshina knowing very well that he won’t be able to shoot arrows without his thumb. Ekalavya, without a moment’s hesitation cuts his thumb and offers to his Guru.
Can anything be more confusing than this relationship of Guru-Disciple? How can Dronacharya be so unjust, cruel and heartless? What right had he to ask for such a Guru Dakshina?
How can Ekalavya be so naïve as to offer his thumb and sacrifice his years of practice to a Guru who did not teach him with his physical presence?
These questions are natural to surface at the superficial level. A devotee who has experienced the unconditional love of a Guru will see beyond the event. In Puranas, Ekalavya has been accorded an elevated place as a disciple par excellence because of his unflinching faith in surrendering to his Guru’s command. In fact, his place is higher than that of Arjuna. It is understood he would have excelled Arjuna had he continued his practice of archery.
Let’s look at the compassion and skill in thought, words and action of the Guru, Dronacharya. Without disappointing Arjuna, has elevated Ekalavya to a place we look up to for ever. Dronacharya is seen as unjust, unreasonable and partial Guru. But, a Guru does not care about his reputation. All he wants is to uplift his devotee. Even when He does a seemingly unfair act, deep inside He has the best intention for His devotee. Difficult to digest but happens to be the truth.
Do I see glimpses of Dronacharya and several Ekalavyas on this path? Yes, I certainly do. Many a time, nothing makes sense but then if everything makes sense where is the element of wonder? Where is the element of faith?
Faith is beyond doubt. When the prana is low, it is natural to dwell in doubt. The scenery also pulls one towards doubt. Retracting senses, moving from the scenery to the Seer, doubts are removed and faith becomes steadfast.
Lord Hanuman, a perfect example of a devotee, puzzled even Lord Rama. He wondered ‘Why is Hanuman so devoted to me when I am not doing anything for him! In fact he is helping me out by doing extraordinary feats.’ ‘Show me what is inside your heart’ commands Rama, out of curiosity. Hanuman tears his chest apart and shows Rama who dwells in his heart. Rama sees himself and Sita residing in Hanuman’s heart. Hanuman says ‘It is the strength and power of chanting your name that enables me to do extraordinary feats’.
In Kannada, we have a Dasara Pada, (Song of a Saint) ‘Neenyako ninna hangyako, ninna namada bala ondiddare sako’, means, I do not need you or your obligation. I only depend on the power of chanting your name. Gurudev has said ‘Whenever you are in trouble, whisper my name and I will attend to you’. What more reassurance does one need? Wherever in the world He is, He is available to us in an instant! Inner technology! Log in to the power of devotee, Inner Net. . It will connect instantly.
‘Connection with the Guru is already there. Or else, we cannot even come anywhere near Gurumandala’- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The moment we recognise the connection, we become part of our Guru. Just as Guru dwells in our heart, we too dwell in the heart of our Guru. He has already sung years ago ‘My home is in your heart and.. Your home is in my heart’. That’s why I am an Antevasi, an ‘In-dweller’ in my Master’s heart.