Yena cetayete hidam
cittam cetayate na yam
tasmai sriguruve namah
Salutations to Shri Guru, who illumines this world, but whom the mind cannot illumine. He also illumines the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states.
Towards the journey of the self, a disciple should have infinite patience. Then only can he see the light of his Guru, which is nothing but the light of his own soul. After the process of purification of his mind, which is explained in detail in the previous verse, Lord Shiva takes us ahead in the direction of light.
For a moment let us imagine being trapped in a dark room with no light. When even a small ray of light falls into the room, our eyes tend to fall on it and we follow the path of light. Likewise, upon cleansing our mind we will automatically be able to follow the light. The clouds of klesha and klishta are blown away with the sadhana and now the light of the sun - called guru is visible to us. He is the enlightening light who illumines the whole world - both external as well as the internal world.
The Guru also illumines the three states of our being that is the waking, dreaming and the deep sleep states. The moment our eyes fall on the ray of light, automatically, we step into the path of surrender just like stepping into an escalator.
In an escalator, if one leg is kept, the other leg also has to be kept automatically and only then we go up. Also, keeping the other leg is automatic. Likewise, once we set ourselves on the path of surrender, everything is automatic. There is no looking back in life just like there is no question of coming down from the same escalator. On the path of surrender there is no duality or doubtful state. If we have to come back, another lifetime or janma is required.
Lord Shiva in this shloka also categorically says salutations to the Guru - the enlightening light himself; whom our limited mind cannot illumine. This can be understood better with an example. When we take the instance of a torch, a torch cannot give light to itself, it cannot throw light upon its own batteries that are powering it to show light to others.
Likewise our mind, which is directed by the 5 organs of our senses or panchendriyas and 5 organs of action jnanendriyas cannot comprehend where the Light is coming from. The mind cannot gauge or judge the Guru’s light and conclude on anything. Further, the mind cannot even grasp or understand, or cognize that light of consciousness.
If you place one mirror in front of another mirror, then the mirror can see its own image through its reflection. That is exactly how the Guru functions.
When we stand in front of the Guru, Guru is like a mirror that reflects our own chit or consciousness and thereby illumines both our inner world as well as our outer world. The outer world looks beautiful because of the light of the sun, where as our inner world looks beautiful because of the light of the Guru.
However brainy we are, however much we are good at using the faculty of logic, our intellect, we know nothing about our chit, our consciousness. It is only our Guru who illumines our chit and lights the lamp of consciousness within us.
Lord Shiva in this shloka also talks about how the Guru illumines the three states within us. We experience three states within us. The state of awareness - jagrat known as the wakeful state, swapna known as the dream state and sushupti known as the deep sleep state.
The three states are controlled by one’s karmas. They are not real as they don’t confirm the experience of bliss for us.
Extract from The Force of Nirvana by Shri Shri Nimishananda