First Guru

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

It is said that the mother is the first guru. You receive your samskaras, your mind and the traits of the mind from your mother. From your father, you only receive the body, from the mother you receive the mind and emotions. You are expressing this all the time in your life. Therefore, the mother is considered to be the first guru for she teaches you the lessons of samvedhan sheelta, sensitivity towards every other person.

I sometimes wonder if mothers of today qualify to be the first guru or not. The mothers of today were children of yesterday who lived without samskaras. It is not practical or possible to say that every person is endowed with the right samskara. There is possibility of growth on any land, however you have to take care of what you plant. You cannot throw the seed on the ground and say, “This will grow now.” You have to take care of what you are planting and you have to nurture it. This has to be the effort of every father and every mother.

It is important that you look after your behaviour first. If your behaviour is right and proper, then your children will imbibe it from you and that is your responsibility. When parents misbehave in front of their children, children lose the trust in their parents. In this situation, how can the mother or father be the guru of a child? What does it mean when you say ‘mother is the guru’, ‘father is the guru’, or ‘guru is the guru’? Guru is the person who has the ability to show the right path.

It is the duty of the mother to show the right path for the child to grow. It is the duty of the father to show the right path for the child to develop, and it is the duty of the sannyasi guru to show people the right path so that they can evolve and progress.

Showing the right path can only happen if you are a better person yourself. Parents want their child to be like Krishna or Rama, yet first of all, to have such a child they have to become like Dasharatha.

20 September 2014,Tyagaraj Sports Stadium, Delhi, India