Atanu Dey On India's Development

Guru Purnima Greetings

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Guru Purnima this year falls on 3rd July. It’s the full moon day we acknowledge the debt we owe to our guru.

(I suggest focusing on the audio and ignoring the video.)

The mantra says

Guru Brahma
Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Shakshat Parabrahma
Tusmai Shri Guruvey Namaha
Om Om Om

Guru, one of the many awesome words that the dharmic traditions of India given to the world lexicon, simply means teacher. The idea is as simple as it is profound. It claims that the guru is Brahma, the Creator. The guru is also Vishnu, the Preserver. And the guru is Maheshwara, or Shiva, the Destroyer. The guru is the Supreme Brahma. All salutations to the guru.

The guru is the embodiment of wisdom and knowledge. What we know is transmitted from the guru to us. By transmitting to us the accumulated wisdom, the guru is the creator of our own enlightenment. As carriers of knowledge ourselves, our guru puts us on the path to creating more knowledge. The guru dispels and destroys our ignorance and is therefore Shiva, the destroyer of ignorance. The guru is also Vishnu, the Preserver of what has been created or discovered.

The guru is a living embodiment of knowledge. The guru is not an ancient book with outdated information. Rather, the guru is a living, breathing person transmitting what is known up to that point in the evolution of humans. We have to take that and build upon it, and in turn become gurus to those who come later. It is a continuous process of accumulation, enrichment, invention, discovery and transmission.

I Am That, say the ancients of India. Tat tvam asi. I am the guru, and I am therefore the Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

  • Yoga

    gukaarastvandhakaarasyaat
    ruSabdasthannirOdakah
    andhakaara nirOdhitvaat
    gururityabhideeyatE

    गुकारास्त्वन्धकारास्यात
    रुसब्दास्थान्निरोधाकः
    अन्धकार निरोधित्वात
    गुरुरित्याभिदीयते

    Etymology:

    Gu means darkness. ru means destroyer of darkness. Guru is the destroyer of darkness. You mentioned this in your essay too. I just thought I’d share the roots of the words as well.

    Yoga

  • mallikarjuna

    Good thoughts.
    Great teachers inspire.