As we celebrate Pragatya Divas on the full moon day of the month of Jesth (June), it is important for us to reflect on the importance of Satguru in our life. 619 years ago, Satguru Kabir Saheb appeared on the lotus flower in the Lahartara lake in Kashi, India. He changed the social, religious and spiritual perspective of the world by openly teaching in plain and direct language the mystery of human existence. His teachings were not only targeted to a specific community, but to humankind. So, let us reflect on the importance of the Satguru. Why did He have to come? What is the relevance of His messages and teachings to us? I will start with a short story and then elaborate on why the Satguru is important to us.
A devotee, after having visited several places, after having traveled by foot, bicycle, car, bus, train, ship and plane, arrived to the abode of a Great Master, a revered Guru. He wanted to stay with the Guru for ever, and not have to go to any other places any more. So, the Guru gave him a jewel, and asked him to price it to check for its worth and come back to him. The Guru told him that after he has been able to find the true value of this jewel, he could stay for ever with him. The devotee went to the marketplace and first met with a flower seller. The latter offered him $1 in exchange for the jewel. He moved on and met with a fruit seller, who said he could give him three apples in exchange for the jewel. He continued his route and met with a clothes merchant, who said he could give him $500. He then went to a goldsmith’s store. The goldsmith offered him $1,000. As he moved on, he met with a jeweler. The latter offered him $10,000 for the jewel. His next stop was at another jeweler with a much bigger shop. This jeweler offered him $20,000. And finally he met with the best jeweler in town. This jeweler examined the jewel carefully and said to him: “This jewel is priceless. Don’t ever sell it for any amount.”
Let us understand the story. The devotee in our story is the human being, who after going through so many different life forms (chauraasee lakh yonee), has been blessed by human birth. The Great Master is God, who has graced the soul with a human life so that it can go back to its permanent abode. The devotee wants to get back to his source; but can he find his way? The jewel is the atma, the soul, which has traveled through so many different life forms and attained an elevated level to reach a human birth. Reaching this level is the door to liberation. The marketplace is the world, which is full of Maya, and the various merchants are the numerous traps of Maya. Ultimately the best jeweler is the Satguru who awakens the human being, makes him discover the value of his existence at this level, and shows him the way back to his source.
So, the Satguru is important because He is the one who can demystify our existence, who can teach us and fill us with spiritual knowledge, who can show us the road to liberation. This is why Satguru comes in our life. Satguru Kabir Saheb taught us :
“Heeraa Tahaan Na Kholiye, Jahaan Khoti Hai Haat; Kassi Kari Baandho Gatharee, Uthi Kari Chalo Baat.”
Which means that we should not let our soul be exposed to the tricks and traps of Maya. We have to be very careful in knowing which company we have to be in. We better walk on the path prescribed by our Satguru and persevere so we can attain liberation. Satguru is the one who awakens us; otherwise we live in ignorance. He shows us what our worth is and how we should be living to attain our goal. We have something precious, but if we do not realize its worth we would have wasted our human lifetime and fallen back in the cycle of life and death.
One of the primary teachings of Satguru Kabir Saheb is that one should have a Guru in his life. Without a Guru, one cannot achieve his purpose in life. By following your Guru’s instructions, you are able to live your life according to the purpose of this human existence and not waste it. The importance of the Guru cannot be stressed enough. The fact that the whole world is Maya and that the traps of Maya are everywhere, one can easily fall into its traps and get back in the endless cycle of birth and re-birth. Satguru Kabir Saheb said that just as the ocean has many pearls in its deep waters, and only the expert/connoisseur can find it, similarly the Master is the one who can show us where the treasure lies and how to realize it.
“Saagar Men Maanik Base, Chinhat Naahin Koee; Yaa Maanik Ko So Lakhe, Jaako Gurumat Hoee.”