Guruh Brahma Guruh Vishnu Guruh Devo Maheshwarah Guru Sakshata Parabrahmah Tasmai Shri Guruve namah.
This is the sanskrit shloka on the foundation of which the business of the “modern gurus” is conducted. This year I saw this shlok being circulated on whatsapp on 5th sept celebrated as (school/college) Teacher’s day. The commonly circulated translation is “The Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv. The Guru is the All observing Parabrahma. And thus I bow down to that Guru”. So our School teachers and modern age gurus chant this and elevate themselves to the levels of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and the Parabrahma. Such ego! Its unbelievable.
What is a “guru” in Sanskrit? Lets see, venerable, extended, heavy, serious, difficult, high, valueable, momentous, dense, attract etc. Remember this is a sanskrit word used in the context of spiritual studies, so intention and layers and layers of meanings.
A school/college teacher is more properly an “adhyapak” in sanskrit. A school or college teacher should not be called a guru, it is an insult to the real Guru.
Second these modern age “spiritual gurus” who are only interested in establishing “centers”, businesses, brand names and products. They cannot live without AC, wear really expensive clothes, use expensive vehicles and just talk. Use complicated words to baffle and awe their followers. This is just bad karma that they are creating for themselves. Its is the greatest sin to purposely deceive an aspirant who has a genuine interest in spirituality.
So who is the Guru? He is the Satguru. The one who shows you, brings you, attracts you to the Sat/Eternal Truth. And the real Sat is your own self. That which you have been searching for so long is Yourself. And thus the only force who can bring you to youself is …. Your Own Self.
Next this shlok, remember Sanskrit, layers of meanings, So this shlok more properly means this, “Brahmadev is the Guru, Vishnu is the Guru, Maheshwar is the Guru, the ‘witness to all’ Parabrahma is the Guru. And thus I bow down to such Guru.” Brahmadev, Vishnu, Maheshwar and the Parabrahma are the energies which bring you to the Truth/Sat. Thus it makes sense.
The difference between these 2 meanings is like heaven and earth.
And my personal belief is that I really do not need someone in a physical body to be my Guru. I believe that there is a higher self within me. I am a tiny bit of the Parabrahma myself and this tiny bit is my conscience/Antaratma. If I let my conscience be my Guru, it will take me to Myself. But living in this world of so many external influences, pushes and pulls, I have stopped hearing the voice of my conscience. So how do I hear Myself again? Only when I cut off these external voices and sit still.
So please start your spiritual practice, and practice sitting still. Your conscience will speak to you again and a day will come when you will start following your conscience. That is the power of Sat, your own.
Now listen to this Guru stotra by Uma Mohan which defines in even more details what a Guru actually is!