BANGALORE: Gukara stvandha karasca rukarasteja ucyate ajnanagrasakam brahma gurureva na samsayah
The syllable ‘gu’ is darkness and the syllable ‘ru’ is said to be light. There is no doubt that the Guru is indeed the supreme knowledge that swallows (the darkness of) ignorance.
Today, our minds are deluded. Just by merely obtaining information we inflate our ego. We feel we know everything. Through this sloka, Lord Shiva tells the divine mother Parvathy that it is only when we obtain knowledge from the Guru, will we be able to destroy the ignorance deep-rooted in us as illusion and delusion.
The word Guru comprises two words — Gu and Ru. ‘Gu’ represents illusion and delusion. Most of the time, we lead a life based on imagination, and this leads to constant doubts. Our past experiences fuel our imagination and we psyche ourselves by replaying the same thing over and over again in our mind. We lack mental clarity. We convince ourselves that we are right and then become mad over it. Many a time, even accidents are replayed over and over by our mind and we experience fear and agony again and again. Our mind triggers wild imaginations in us. We never realise that it is not true. This is maya. Many scriptures have elaborated on the Maya. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, “It is very difficult to transcend my Maya.” Only the power of Guru’s grace can transcend maya that we are engulfed by through several lifetimes.
Lord Shiva says Gu means darkness of ignorance and ru is the light of knowledge. Today we are in total darkness only because of the six internal enemies, vices, past life karmas and vasanas. We base our present life also on these and get into the habit of comparing ourselves with others. Lord Shiva says that we should not compare ourselves with our own selves too. We must not rewind to our past and compare it to how we are at present. Our ignorance has reached heights as we compare between any two verses of Shri Guru Gita too. We say this verse is better than that. This is easier than that. We evaluate Gurus too. We have many times passed remarks — this Guru is good, this guru is bad and so on. Such is the extent of our ignorance. Our petty mind can never fathom the power of the Guru. Instead of getting into the futile exercise of using our mind, we should engage in sadhana or spiritual practice. We should also devote our mind to contemplation.
When we worship the Guru with bilva leaves, internally we should contemplate on his teachings. Then, our ignorance is destroyed. Always be aware that the Guru is the Para Brahman — Supreme Self beyond all the thirty-three thousand crore forms of Gods. Merely listening to satsanghs is enough to grasp the essence of the self. But it is equally important to contemplate upon the discourse we have heard.
Contemplation upon the Guru’s teachings is essential. It is a sure-shot remedy to remove all maladies caused by our mind. It destroys ignorance deep-rooted in us in the form of illusion and delusion.
Extract from The Force of Nirvana by Shri Shri Nimishananda