Volume 16 - Issue 07
July 2018
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Posted on: July 27, 2018

How GURU POORNIMA IN PRASHANTHI TOUCHED ME

Mrs Priya Tandon

"Stepping into the Sai Kulwant hall this morning, a current of exhilaration, ecstasy and bliss just ran through my entire being..."
The author is blessed to be in Prasanthi for Guru Poornima 2018 and here is her musings about this sublime celebration.

Guru Poornima is celebrated on full moon day, in the lunar month of Ashad (July) as a day dedicated to the Guru. The moon is said to be the presiding deity of the mind. 'Gu' means darkness and 'Ru' means dispelling. So, a Guru is one who dispels darkness.

Last night, looking at the moon shining resplendently in the dark night sky, I felt blessed to be here in this holy land of Puttaparthi on Guru Poornima. Puttaparthi is a small hamlet in Andhra Pradesh that has been brought on the world map because it was the place where our Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, took birth and chose to walk the Earth and bless millions who came His way.

Stepping into the Sai Kulwant hall this morning, a current of exhilaration, ecstasy and bliss just ran through my entire being.  Sitting close to the Mahasamadhi, and looking at the little sparrows dancing up and down, playing with and pecking at the beautiful flower decorations done so painstakingly at the Mahasamadhi, I am filled with a sense of awe.

Here lies the Master, who guided and goaded us into make ourselves better human beings. The epitome of His teachings is written on the Mahasamadhi. It reads as, “LOVE ALL SERVE ALL.” Come to think of it, if we can imbue this simple mandate into our being, we can do no wrong.

This year (2018) the Guru Poornima celebrations are all the more festive because this marks the Golden Jubilee of the girls college set up at Anantapur by Baba. This makes me think that the empowerment of the girl child that is being so much talked about presently was conceived of fifty years ago in this remote place, which was surely not in the limelight. The boys college came up later and then followed the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

There is also a ‘GO GREEN’ conference going on here, where leading environmentalists are elaborating the teachings of Bhagawan Baba, and how He showed the path to conserve the environment.

If we realise that God dwells in each atom of the Universe, we cannot do wrong. Love for nature and all its components, meaning thereby loving and respecting the air, water, fire, earth and space would naturally bring us to a point of not abusing nature, not causing pollution, not wasting natural resources and taking only as much as we need from nature.

The 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose were discussed. The point that caught my imagination was that one of the keynote speakers said that we are around 10,000 of us gathered here in this hall today. If each one of us impresses upon one individual, who is not here and convinces him to GO-GREEN; and the following day when our team numbers 20,000, if we can manage to educate 40,000 people and so on… in less than three weeks, we can spread the awareness to everyone in the world! Well! It may not be as simple as that, but it is surely worth trying.

Looking at the conduct and demeanour of the former students of the Sathya Sai University, many of who are mothers, fathers and even teachers now, a chain of thoughts flowed through my mind.

The Hindus say, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava. This means, revere the mother, father and teacher as God. The mother is the first teacher. Her advice and admonition affect man the most and the longest.

The second teacher is the father. The child instinctively looks up to the father and fears as well as admires him for his strength and knowledge.

The next is the teacher, through whom we beget worldly and material knowledge. And we have an army of well-trained, mothers, fathers and teachers here.

But when we yearn for spiritual knowledge, when we are on a quest for the soul, it is the Spiritual teacher or Guru who shows us how to open the inner eye and look within. He incites and awakens in us the quest for spiritual knowledge. He invites us to ask ourselves, 'Deham?' (Am I this body?) Deep self-inquiry makes us realise the answer, ‘Naham’, (No, I am not this body. I am the one who is using this body as a vehicle.)

Then the search starts for the identity that is using that vehicle - ‘Koham?’ (Who am I then?). It goads us to delve deeper, concentrate and contemplate. In a state of pure consciousness, the answer reveals itself to us, ‘Soham!’  (I am HE!), I am a spark of the Lord!

Come to think of it, this quest leads us to understand that which our breath recites and resounds every moment; from the time of birth to the time of death. With each inhalation the sound 'So' is produced and with each exhalation the sound 'ham' is pronounced.

Suffice it to say that our breath is reciting the 'Soham' mantra tirelessly, 24x7, in an endeavour to make us understand. But to understand this, or even to begin to understand, we need a Guru.

For all of us Sai devotees gathered here in Puttaparthi on Guru Poornima, our Guru, is our God too. We feel totally blessed to have been alive at a time when our beloved Bhagawan Baba walked the Earth. The opportunity to have had His Darshan (seeing Him in Physical form), Sparshan (being able to touch Him), Sambhashan (hearing His discourses) is something that we have enjoyed and been blessed with.

Bhagawan Baba, taught us to understand that the journey of a spiritual aspirant is from yourself to Your-Self. It is the journey of looking within and realising that the Lord is resident in yourself and you are a spark of Divinity.

Whenever anyone asked Him if He was God, He said, “Yes, I am God and so are you. The only difference between you and I is that while I am aware of this fact, you are not.”

 

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