[Excerpts from articles, letters and commentaries by Swami Chinmayananda]
GURU POORNIMA is the DAY of AWAKENING!
Guru Poornima — this full moon day is considered as the sacred day dedicated to Guru, and all seekers and disciples invoke their Masters and try to reach him. The Gurus are an institution and not an individual. On Guru Poornima Day, all the Gurus are on the Altar! Ordinary days they should be always your Guru and your Grand-Guru.
Guru Poornima, though we celebrate on this specific day — and have glorified it as the day of Vyasa; as a sacred day to start studies of Brahma-sutra and our Upanishads; a day elected for the prayerful worship of the Teacher etc — it has a deeper significance. Guru Poornima is not a day, an occasion, a ritual, but a STATE of CONSCIOUSNESS, when the students try to tune in their minds to the Inner State of the Teacher. The darkness within gets lit up with the full understanding and Knowledge Supreme (Full Moon). Let us tune our mind to Sri Gurudev. Invoke Sri Swami Tapovana Grace and let us prostrate to Sri Vyasa Bhagavan.
Guru is not an individual. He is an institution. He is not a person. Guru is a personality. He lives the Essence, and we have to discover this in our direct insight. When in contemplation we merge our thoughts, there we dive into the depths of the Guru and meet there the Essence; to be one with It is the Goal. This “Awakening” is to be attained by the disciple through devotion, surrender and recognition of the Glory that is the “Guru in-depth”. That day is Guru Poornima.
The declarations of the scriptures, your own logical thinking, and Guru’s explanation are the main three sources of knowledge available for a spiritual seeker. All these but give an intellectual appreciation of what Truth is. It has to be confirmed in one’s own direct and personal experience that “I am this Self”. Then alone a healthy intelligent seeker’s scepticism will end. For this direct experience, the seeker will need repeated encouragement from his Guru. Hence the Guru’s impatience to spiritual seekers. The day dedicated to Guru-worship is the Guru Poornima day. Let us all prostrate to Sri Swami Tapovanam. His grace is sure and unfailing.
On this auspicious day of Guru Poornima, let us ask of the Rishis only one thing: “You have made for me a soft path and spread roses over it, solicitously removing all thorns. I walked on, in ease and comfort. Master Pioneer! Now, teach me how to pave the path and make it easy for others! You have given me a voice and lend melody to it. I sang of the Joys of the world to my heart’s content. Master Musician! Now teach me your divine music…..to pass on the harmony to all others!”
Guru Poornima offerings should not be ended with a mere physical expression of presenting a material thing. That which is offered would contribute as a symbol of the offering of the head and heart to the things expressed and sought after by your Teacher. Then alone the Guru Poornima offering has got a meaning and a message. Offer your spiritual devotion in humble surrender to Sri Gurudev and the Lord-of-the-Universe, Sri Jagadeeswara. May their blessings be upon all your spiritual efforts and reach you to the State of Pure Effortlessness. Let the words of the Guru, the ideas of the Teacher, the Truth of the scriptures, all remain with you for all times. Make the whole year an “Year of Tapas”. Every member must spend one hour each day reading scriptures, japa and attempts at meditation. Offer it all, at each day’s end as GURUDAKSHINA to Sree Gurudev.
The human GURU whispers the sacred formula into the ear! The DIVINE GURU breathes the Spirit into the soul!!
सदा शिव समारमभां शङ्कराचार्य मध्यमाम्॥
अस्मदाचार्य पर्यन्तां वन्दे गुरु परम्पराम्॥
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