Guru Poornima

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The aim of the Guru Poornima celebration is threefold: connecting with satyam, shivam, sundaram, the real, the auspicious and benevolent. Then one is expressing inner beauty and appreciating outer beauty. It is satyam, shivam and sundaram that remove the darkness from the life of an individual, not the teachings of the books, but what you are able to imbibe and experience.

That is the connection a disciple develops with the guru. Previously, disciples would hear the instructions and try to live them. Today, they read but are unable to live. That is the normal social trend – read and know, but live according to your choice. Spiritual discipline says, ‘Learn, imbibe and live what you have learnt in a harmonious and disciplined manner’. This is the difference between the aspirations of the material life and spiritual life. People face problems when they come to spiritual life.

They are not able to manage the mind-set and discipline of spiritual life, and they are not able to harmonize it with their material life. Therefore, they become more aware of strife and struggle rather than developing awareness of satyam, shivam and sundaram.

If the idea and the inspiration of satyam shivam sundaram is alive within us, then maybe one day we can ignore the logic and move into the area of experience which can make us enlightened. That is the reminder of Guru Poornima – to become the full moon whose cooling light brings peace and solace to all souls. That is spiritual life.

Material and spiritual life

In ancient times, gurus or masters taught the material and spiritual sciences together to have a balance in the behaviour and expression of society. In modern times, the spiritual subjects have been taken away from the material subjects leading to a condition in which we do not appreciate the beauty and bounty of life – we exploit it.

People lived with material needs and desires in the past as well, yet they were able to regulate and balance their needs in life with spiritual precepts and disciplines. Today, in the absence of spiritual precepts and disciplines, nothing is left to check and balance our lives except materialistic motivations. Greed and exploitation take a toll on human civilization and on planet Earth. Therefore, it is important that we bring spiritual understanding and spiritual awareness into our life to balance the greed and exploitation which is leading to our destruction and death.

If we are able to balance our nature with positive spiritual qualities and disciplines, there is hope for our future generations to live a life of dignity. If there is no check to this material hypnosis, then death and destruction of the human race is imminent. Now the choice has to be made: let us balance the material with spiritual.

Our choice

Let this Guru Poornima be the time when we can make the choice, apply the change and have conviction, trust and faith in what we do, in ourselves and in the guidance received from past and present masters. Let us work together to make our society a pleasant, harmonious and positive society. Let us think about it, plan it and then take an oath on this Guru Poornima day to help ourselves, our society and our world. This will be the biggest tribute we can offer as novices to the tradition of enlightened, luminous spiritual masters, who have come time and again to tell us, “Watch it, be careful, balance, tread carefully for your own good.” With positivity, positive convictions and positive efforts we can definitely honour the people who have inspired us to achieve the best in our life.

5 July 2017, Guru Poornima, Paduka Darshan, Munger