The Individual Self rises to blossom. The Skanda Purana, one of the 18 Puranas that form the basis of Sanatana Dharma along with the Vedas and other scriptures, has an entire segment dedicated to make mankind aware of the importance of the Guru. Called the Shri Guru Gita, it comprises of 182 verses as a divine, grace - giving dialogue between Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi.
Lord Shiva, in verse after glorious verse, tells us who is a Guru, what is the importance of the Guru in one’s life, what is the connection between the soul, the Guru and Brahman, and how to understand, propitiate and establish the Guru in one’s life and heart and thus be liberated.
In the Shri Guru Gita, Lord Shiva says that all embodied souls on earth suffer because they labour under various kinds of illusion and delusion. If only they would adapt their lives on the tenets of dharma as laid down in the scriptures, they would not.
But the most common delusion that prevents them from doing so is the attitude that: ‘spirituality is not for the householder’; ‘spirituality is only for retired people in their sixties’; ‘spirituality does not help me in the material world’; or, the most dangerous one of all (effect - fall out) - ‘I can learn all the spirituality that I need from the scriptures’.
Lord Shiva warns such of those souls, - “Don’t ever try to ‘learn’ spirituality by yourself by reading the scriptures”. In fact, says the Lord, “Such an exercise will leave you more confused and leads you into more illusion and delusion!” In the Verse 7, Shri Guru Gita - II Shaivashaakta agamaadeeni anyani vividhaani cha II Apabhramsha karaaneeha jeevaanaam bhraanta chetasaam II.
The Shaiva and Shakta treatises - which propound the paths of Shiva and Shakti, the Agama shastras which describe about different forms of God and their propitiation, other Puranas which narrate the glories of Gods through stories, the Vedas - all of them have come directly from the Divine Source intuited by Sages in deep meditation.
However, mere command over the Sanskrit language and intellectual prowess are not enough to reveal the inner truths hidden between the lines of these scriptures - they can only help you understand the words but will not bring out the divine cosmic vibrations underlying in them.
Continuing further, there is every chance that you will misunderstand and misinterpret scriptures and bring them down to your limited level of understanding. Which is why we come across ignorant, irresponsible and blasphemous remarks like ‘If Krishna can have 16,000 wives, why can’t I’, or ‘Rama is so cruel, he asked his wife to jump into the fire and banished her back to the forests again, that too when she was pregnant ’! Also, several paths like Tantra can be misused to perform harmful acts, which is not their intended purpose.
This article is taken from the book Pratical Spirituality for Enriched Living by Shri Shri Nimishananda Guruji