Guru Poornima is the time to celebrate our Guru. As such, we have to contemplate on our Guru at all times. But Guru Poornima is the time when we dedicate all our love to our Guru in recognition for the transformation in our life.
We have several Gurus in our life – mother, father, siblings, school teachers, bosses, etc. But the Spiritual Master holds a special place in our life. He is the one who helps us remove impurities accumulated not only in this lifetime, but from many previous lifetimes.
“Kumati keech chelaa bharaa, Guru giaan jal hoye
Janam janam kaa morchaa, pal mein daare dhoye”.
The disciple is filled with impurities, and the remover of these impurities is the spiritual knowledge imparted by the Guru. The build-up of stains from several lifetimes are washed away in no time by the pure water flowing from the Guru.
Once there was a disciple who wanted to please his Guru in the best possible way he could. The Guru was living in a small hut in the woods, close to the disciple’s village. Often, the disciple would bring food, fruits, dhoti for his Guru. But he kept thinking how he can do more and more for his Guru. One day he decided he would make a pair of wooden sandals for his Guru. He spent a lot of time looking for the finest piece of wood, applied himself in polishing the wood, cutting it to measure and make the most comfortable footwear for his Guru. When he was done, he went to his Guru full of enthusiasm and offered it to him. The Guru never wore any sandals; he always walked bare feet. The Guru questioned him asking him why he brought the sandals. The disciple, in all his excitement, went to tell his Guru how he spent so much time in making the sandals himself. After listening to him, the Guru threw away the sandals, saying that they were no good. The disciple became quiet, and was disappointed, but he asked his Guru’s forgiveness and promised to make a better pair. The disciple once again set himself to work to make a better pair of wooden sandals. Very proud of himself that he did a much better job this time, he went to his Guru. This time also the Guru looked at it and again threw it away saying that this one was worse than the first one. The Guru told his disciple he did not expect such a poor job from him. The disciple’s face changed, but he still asked for forgiveness and promised to do a better job next time. With renewed vigour, he again went on to make a new pair of sandals, giving his 100% to make it perfect this time. After spending several days and nights, he made a new pair of sandals, confident that his Guru will definitely love it. He went to his Guru and offered it. The Guru again threw it away, qualifying this one as the worst of all. This time the disciple remained calm, not disappointed at all, accepting the criticism with a big smile on his face. The Guru was satisfied that his disciple had now learnt his lesson. The disciple there and then attained realisation.
All the time the Guru was rejecting the sandals he was in fact teaching his disciple detachment, he was teaching him to be at the feet of his Guru himself, not offer a piece of wood. The rejection of the Guru was a lesson to make his disciple withdraw himself from the material comfort which was an obstacle in his way to realisation.
Satguru Kabir Saheb says : “Guru aissa chaahiye jo sheeshya se kacchu na le
Sheeshya aissa chaahiye jo Guru ko sab kucch de”.
The Guru comes in our life to give us everything we need to reach our goal; but the disciple has to be ready to surrender everything to the Guru. The act of surrendering is in fact renouncing all that is a hindrance in the disciple’s path.
Celebrate and keep honouring the special Guru-disciple relationship.
Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.