The Guru Principle

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The Guru tattva is the principal and the wisdom of a Guru is a tattva (an element), a quality which is present inside each one of us. The Guru tattva is confined to a body or form. There is a story that Lord Krishna once Uddhava, his close friend and a very wise man, to the gopis and gopans, who were full of devotion. Uddhava went to give them wisdom, to talk about liberation but none of them was interested in listening to that. They all echoed: "No, tell us about some story about Krishna, tell us what is happening in Dwarka, where He is. We don't want to hear this wisdom; you can keep that to yourself. But tell us what news you have of Krishna? We don't care about wisdom; we are happy with longing and we are happy with love. So, let us sing and dance."

That's all they wanted to do. This is how love makes you crazy. That's when all the boundaries drop and you feel one with everyone around and one with the whole universe--and that's called the Guru tattva. Devotion is the inherent nature of man. When you rest in your own nature, there is no conflict. But usually, we feel a conflict and then we feel about a negative quality we have or something that we did.

A Master is one who lifts these burdens from you that you yourself cannot carry--and kindles in you devotional love. Offer everything to the Master--your anger, your frustration, all your bad feelings and good feelings. Your negativity pulls you down. Your positive qualities bring pride and arrogance in you thereby making our life becoming a big weight. When you offer it all by dedicating it, you become free. One ends up feeling much lighter like a flower. You can once again smile and rejoice in the moment. What remains in you is pure love. Since ages, all the knowledge and wisdom have been passed on.

In India, we continually express our gratitude to the guru-shishya tradition. The festival of Guru Poornima is the day to celebrate the knowledge and love. India has been rightly called "Bharata" in our scriptures. The Sanskrit word "Bha" refers to "Bhaskar" which means light while "Rata" signifies chariot or land. Hence, the name "Bharata" could translate into the chariot of knowledge or the land of knowledge. Our mind is connected with the moon and the full moon is a symbol of completion, celebration, a pinnacle. The highest desire is to ask for knowledge and freedom. Ultimately, happiness cannot be brought by money. Comfort is a small thing. But there are only two things that will be asked which make life more fruitful--how much love did you give? And how much knowledge have you acquired? What gets imprinted in the consciousness is knowledge.

Knowledge is not what you read in a book; it is derived from awareness. Knowledge is like the ocean, which cannot be measured. Some people take a walk along the beach while they receive good oxygen, fresh air and they are happy with that. Others would put their feet in the water and feel the scintillating impact of the ocean. A few more adventurous souls would go for surfing or scuba-diving and they find precious things. So, it's up to you--if you want to take a walk on the beach, swim or go deeper. Every single person on this planet is a spiritual seeker since everyone is looking for peace, love and happiness. This is precisely what the "spirit" comprises of.


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