Rāja-yoga is the path that studies and analyzes the mind. The Yoga-sūtras of Patañjali begin by defining yoga in the following manner: yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ “Yoga is the cessation of mental activity.” (Yoga-sūtras 1.2) This yogic path teaches us to transcend the...
The Role of the Guru
Prabhuji, H.H. Avadhūta Bhaktivedānta Yogācārya Ramakrishnananda Bābājī Mahārāja, was inspired and guided in the different stages of his retroprogressive process by two holy masters. In his initial stage, he received guidance from H.D.G. Bhaktikavi Atulānanda Ācārya Swami Mahārāja, disciple of H.D.G. A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda. In the more advanced levels, he was guided by H.D.G. Avadhūta Śrī Brahmānanda Bābājī Mahārāja, disciple of H.D.G. Avadhūta Śrī Mastarāma Bābājī Mahārāja. The latter officially transferred to him the responsibility of continuing the line of disciplic succession of avadhūtas, or the sacred paramparā, by officially appointing him as the successor ācārya.
Having given his life completely to the service of his masters in body and soul, Prabhuji considers himself more of a disciple than a guru. However, according to the sacred guru-śiṣya tradition, he accepted the position of Acharya in obedience to the official request of his masters.
In the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, it is said:
tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
“In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the bona fide spiritual master, who is fixed in the Absolute Truth.” (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, 1.2.12)
Acceptance of the guidance of an authentic guru is imperative in the retroprogressive process.
In the Śrimad-bhāgavatam, Kṛṣṇa says:
आचार्यं मां विजानीयान्नावमन्येत कर्हिचित् ।
न मर्त्यबुद्ध्यासूयेत सर्वदेवमयो गुरु: ॥ २७ ॥
ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān
“One should know the ācārya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.” (Śrimad-bhāgavatam, 11.17.27)
According to the Sanātana-dharma religion, the guru is the highest deity, he is Kṛṣṇa, he is your own self and that of the entire universe manifesting in human form to guide us. It is through the guru that we relate to God, because it is the grace of God that takes the form of the guru.
cakṣur unmīlitaṃ yena
tasmai śrī guruve namaḥ
“I was born in the darkest ignorance, but my spiritual master opened my eyes with the salve of transcendental knowledge. I offer my humble obeisance’s unto him.” (Śrī Gauḍīya Kaṇṭhahāra, 1.37)
When the egoic phenomenon is transcended, we consider everyone as our guru. In reality, the guru is consciousness devoid of attributes. It is only due to our inability to perceive consciousness or Kṛṣṇa that it manifests in a form like Īśvara. The guru is the connection between the relative and the absolute, the temporal and the eternal, the personal and the universal.
He who has highest love and devotion of God just like his Deva, so for his Guru, to him who is high-minded, these teachings will be illuminating.
Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.23)
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadeksyanti te jnanam
“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”
(Bhagavad Gita 4: 34)
The Guru-gītā was composed by Vyāsadeva, the literary incarnation of divinity, and is part of the Skanda-purāṇa, although some consider it to be part of the Viśvasāra-tantra. The text offers an important traditional etymological explanation of the term guru, based on the root gu meaning “darkness” and ru meaning “light.” It defines the guru as the dispeller of darkness and revealer of light. Not only can it be studied, but it is also recommended to be chanted. The Guru-gītā comprises a talk between Śiva and his consort, Pārvatī. She requests her husband to teach her about the guru and enlightenment. Lord Śiva offers her valuable descriptions about the guru, different forms of worship of the master, and beneficial methods of repetition of the Guru-gītā.
Brahm is oblation, and fire ceremony, Brahm is offering, and offerer – me,
That knowledge of the Supreme, thy sandals bestow,
To thy sandals, dear Guru, once again do I bow.
An eagle to slay, all the snakes of desire, Viveka, Vairagya, thy sandals inspire.
Thy sandals give knowledge and liberation now,
To thy sandals, dear Guru, once again do I bow.
They are a boat to crossing, the endless ocean of sorrow,
They steadfast and lasting devotion they bestow.
They are mighty fire, to dry mud of doubt, To thy sandals, dear Guru, once again do I bow
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
parvati shiva’s loyal wife one day went to her tender lord, reverently she pranam to him and spoke these loving words to him.
Parvati to shiva:
i bow to thee, O great god of gods, only guru of all the world, sada shiva mahadeva may I know the truth of the guru’s role.
Lord please teach me the surest way whereby man can be one with thee, at thy feet lord I pray to thee, let thy grace fall on me today.
Shiva to parvati:
oh dear goddess thou art myself, because I love thee i’ll grant this boon, for none has asked me but thee thyself, these words aren’t given to everyone.
The mystery of the universe, I will reveal oh beauteous one, god and guru are but two names, the truth is they are forever one.
The vedas, shastras, puranas too, all the scriptures and books of law, mantras, yantras and books of truth, smritis and the great tales of yore.
Books of shaivas and shaktas too, books regarded as wisdom end, all these doctrines and separate treats, only further confuse all men.
Japa, penance and charity, ceremonies and vows and chants, without the knowledge of guru’s words, leave a man lost in ignorance.
Know for certain the conscious self and the guru are truly one, for this reason a man who’s wise, will seek the guru who’s meant for him.
Due to darkness within the mind, the secret knowledge of truth’s concealed, by her light and the guru’s word, the mother of all comes to be revealed.
All man’s sins can be washed away, by serving the guru’s feet with love, then a man and his god are one, because i love thee I’ll make this known.
All the waters of sacred lands, bestow no greater reward than this, sprinkle water upon thy head with the mind attached to the guru’s feet.
The mire of sin will be washed away and the knowledge of truth will shine, with the water of guru’s feet, cross the ocean of ignorance.
Ignorance can be rooted out, put an end to the round of births, non attachment and wisdom gained, drink the water of the guru’s feet.
Drink that water of holiness, take the food which he gives to eat, meditate on the guru’s form. The guru’s mantra thou must repeat.
Kashi is where the guru dwells, ganga flows at the guru’s feet, he is the lord of the universe, brahma the saviour he is indeed.
The holy rivers and holy trees, the sacred places of holy lands, are all contained in the guru’s feet, to the guru’s feet to his form I bow.
Meditate on the guru’s form always sing in thy heart his name, the guru’s wishes thou must obey, think of nothing but him all day.
The guru’s knowledge awakes in him, on whom the guru bestows his care, keep the guru within thy heart as a faithful wife keeps her husband there.
Let the thought of thy own live go, the thought of status or wealth or fame, nothing else should be in thy mind, but the thought of the guru’s name.
To the man who loves him alone, god would come with the greatest ease, therefore this is the highest goal, strive to be worthy of guru’s love.
The guru’s wisdom cannot be learned from even gods of the higher worlds, the guru’s knowledge awakes in him, who serves his guru with purest love.
‘gu’ is a symbol for darkest night, ‘ru’ is a symbol for radiant light, the guru is brahma without a doubt, whose light of knowledge dispels the dark.
‘gu’ is the world of unceasing change, all that appears to the eyes of men, ‘ru’ is the god in whom all’s contained, yet truth remains ever more the same.
The guru’s feet are the highest goal, even gods yearn to tarry there, angels in heaven called gandharvas worship the guru’s feet with love.
Wise man says that there’s nothing else, one can compare to the satguru, one should offer as gifts to him, all the things he could need or use.
Serve the guru with all thy heart, serve him in speech and in action too, before him stretch out upon the ground, give all thy love to the satguru.
This cage of bones and blood and flesh will turn to ashes at least one day, unto the guru this body give, in full surrender without delay.
The tree of samsara sinks to hell, along with souls who cling there too, all are saved by the guru’s grace, salutations I offer him.
The guru is brahma, he is vishnu, there is no doubt he is shiva too, god and guru in fact are one, salutations i offer him.
He is the cause of the universe, he is the bridge to cross over change, he is the source from which knowledge comes, to shiva the guru I bow my head.
Ignorance blinds the eyes of men, the guru makes him to see again, with his wisdom he sets men free, salutations i offer him.
Thou art my mother and father too, thou art my brother, thou art my god, thou art my wealth in this world of change, salutations i offer thee.
Because thou art all this world appears, just as sun is the cause of light, all our joy is because of thine, salutations I offer thee.
Because of thee life on earth goes on, thou art the sun by whose rays we live, it is thy love which gives love to men, salutations I offer thee.
The mind of man can perceive this world, thee the mind never can perceive, thou art the witness behind all minds, salutations I offer thee.
By thy wisdom the truth is known, the world and self are no longer two, the form of truth is itself the truth, salutations I offer thee.
To those who know thee thou art unknown, they claim to know thee who know thee not, nothing else but thyself exists, salutations I offer thee.
Thou art the cause of the universe, but men see only the universe, thou art the cause and effect as well, salutations I offer thee.
The world of many is truly one, all that is, is contained in thee, it is all thy play which appears as change, salutations I offer thee.
The world is the play of duality, but thy feet save men from all distress, from all misfortunes and accidents, salutations I offer thee.
My head I bow at the guru’s feet, untouched by thoughts and the words of men, mind and senses can grasp them not, shiva and shakti they represent.
Transcending gunas the syllable gu, transcending rupam the syllable ru, by guru’s grace realise this truth, beyond all forms and all attributes.
Without three eyes he is shiva still, without four arms he remains vishnu, without four faces he is brahma, this the scriptures declare is true.
Again i bow at the guru’s feet, the sea of kindness he is indeed, by the grace of the satguru, this soul is free from this world of change.
Sri gurudeva, the form divine, which only the eyes of the wise can see, his glory is hid from the eyes of fools, as the sun is hid from a blind man’s eyes.
The lotus feet of the satguru, should be worshipped with love each day, bow to the feet of the satguru, this I ask thee oh parvati.
Pranayama cannot be learned by toil, try however many times one may, strain and pain and surely wariness are the most one can hope to gain.
Prana finds its way to steadiness alone, by the grace of sri gurudev, serve the guru continually, and thus remain in the state of love.
Meditation on the guru’s form, is meditation on the lord, chant the name of gurudev, as if thou would chant the name of god.
The speck of dust from the guru’s feet, forms a bridge strong enough to cross, samsara can be overcome, worship him as the lord of all.
The power of darkness can be destroyed, by the might of the guru’s grace, the guru grants what the heart desires, salutations I offer him.
The guru’s feet put an end to change, just as water puts out a fire, there in the lotus within the moon, high in the top of the head of man.
The guru dwells in the sahasrar, enclosed by a figure whose sides are three, supreme hamsa is also there, remember the guru with love each day.
By his glance he creates this world, it is his glance which sustains it too, ignoring wealth he examines hearts, and takes the sins of all men away.
In the one he remains engrossed, so the world has its source in him, though he moves in the world of men, his eyes are fixed on the final goal.
His glance is a pillar that holds this world, its showers the nectar of love and grace, perceiving the secrets of life within, his vision embraces the universe.
Permeated with consciousness, his glance gives birth to the world of time, oh may that glance from the guru’s eyes , illumine me with that light divine.
The word guru is a word supreme, refined like gold and by reason tried, with a mantra ‘guru’ oh parvati, a man need never more fear to die.
Although he moves he is ever still, although he’s near he is far away, although beyond all this world of change, the guru dwells in the hearts of all.
‘i have no birth i have no death, ageless i am forever one, chidananda the blissful self, i contain all things’ – so the guru knows.
‘I am the pure the eternal one, before the creation of life i was, i am the spirit that forms all things, forever blissful, forever one’.
Remember the guru with every breath, knowledge comes by the guru’s grace, through books or scriptures or inference, or through the means of experience.
O parvati I shall speak to thee, on the theme of the guru’s grace, thy mind is able to comprehend and so the truth find in thee a place.
Pervading in all of this universe, undivided the one supreme, by the guru he is revealed, salutations i offer him.
All the scriptures are only gems, decorating the guru’s feet, the lotus of knowledge he makes to bloom, salutations I offer him.
Knowledge wakes in the mind of men, when the guru is loved with faith, all is attained by the guru’s grace, salutations I offer him.
In lasting peace and in lasting bliss, stainless, soundless, beyond all sounds, beyond all visions the guru dwells, salutations I offer him.
All the forms in this universe, in motion, stillness, in live or death, are merely forms which the guru takes, salutations I offer him.
By the power of his wisdom’s fire, the light of knowledge has been revealed, all past karma has been destroyed, salutations i offer him.
As high as the guru there is no truth, as high as his service there is no work, as high as his knowledge there is no gyan, salutations i offer him.
My lord is the lord of the universe, my guru the guru of all three worlds, myself is the self within all men, salutations I offer him.
The root of gyan is the guru’s form, the root of puja the guru’s feet, the root of mantra the guru’s word, the root of mukti the guru’s grace.
Though he lives he was never born, the satguru is eternal god, above all else is the satguru, salutations I offer him.
Though one travels to holy lands, and bathes in the waters of holy seas, a greater treasure is won by him, who sips the water of guru’s feet.
Guru is all the universe, he’s brahma, shiva and vishnu, he is the highest god of all, give all thy love to the satguru.
The fruit of love for the satguru, is realisation and knowledge too, he is the highest god of all, meditate on the satguru.
Above all else is the satguru, scriptures say he’s beyond this world, with thy mind and thy speech as well, serve the guru continually.
The guru’s grace is the power that guides brahma, shiva and vishnu, the state of final oneness comes, only through serving the satguru.
Gods and angels and ancestors, sages and creatures of other worlds are unable to comprehend, the way of serving the satguru.
Even men who are strong of mind, with all the learning the world provides, continue to spin on the wheel of change, blinded victims of selfish pride.
There is no freedom for even gods, angels and spirits of other worlds, sages and siddhas are lost as well, unless the guru is served with love.
Meditation oh parvati on the guru brings highest joy, pleasure, comfort, eternal bliss and the treasure of liberty.
I think of my guru who is brahman, I speak of my guru who is brahman, i bow to my guru who is brahman, I serve my guru who is brahman.
The bliss of brahman is highest joy, bestowing knowledge of all life’s forms, beyond the realm of duality, ‘thou art that’ – it has been proclaimed.
Eternal stainless beyond all forms, beyond the sight of the eyes of men, wakeful conscious of highest bliss, i bow to the guru who is brahman.
Meditate on the guru’s form, within the heart on the golden throne, like the moon he shines granting all desires, to the conscious state he awakes the mind.
Meditate on the guru’s form, clad in white and bedecked with pearls, his face is lit with a gentle smile, radiating the grace of love.
The guru’s form is a purest bliss shedding knowledge and happiness,
the lord of yogis the sweetest one, engrossed in the self to him I bow.
It’s guru’s grace which creates this world, it’s guru’s grace which sustains it too, by him it lives and by him it ends, salutations I offer him.
The two eyed, two armed serene guru, dwells in the lotus of sahasrar, he grants the power of fearlessness, every morning remember him.
There is nothing higher than the sat-guru, there is nothing higher than the sat-guru, shiva’s word is true, shiva’s word is true, shiva’s word is true, shiva’s word is true.
All this is god, all this is god, all this is god, all this is god, I have spoken the truth, I have spoken the truth, I have spoken the truth, I have spoken the truth.
Meditate on the sat-guru, the bloom of knowledge will open wide, by the grace of the sat-guru, “i am free” will awake in thee.
The guru’s path leads a mind to truth, follow it with the greatest care, detach yourself from the world of change, to which the mind and the senses cling.
The world of form is the object seen, the mind of man is the one who sees, the way to freedom is found by him, who knows he is both the seer and seen.
Remember the guru till life is gone, until the end of the universe, obey the words from the guru’s lips, the liberation is then obtained.
The true disciple could never speak, discourteously to the sat-guru, before the guru he could not speak, a single word that could prove untrue.
The fear of time and the fear of death, the curse of demons and gods and such, cannot touch one oh parvati, whom the guru’s grace protects.
Of all the words which the sages wrote, the word guru has the greatest power, of mantras this is the one supreme, it leads a man to the highest state.
Though ignorant of the scriptures law, who serves his guru faithfully, he has truly surrendered all, which others merely pretend to do.
Eternal brahman, beyond all form, can be revealed by the guru’s grace, he wakes the mind to the absolute, as a lamp is lit by another lamp.
Perceive the self of the universe, the one who dwells in the hearts of men, walk the path which the guru shows and in the wakeful state remain.
From highest god to a clump of grass, all forms of life are contained in him, all who live are the guru’s own, i bow to the lord of the universe.
I bow to sat chit ananda, the undivided, the sat-guru, eternal, perfect, beyond all form, beyond distinctions he is ever one.
The sat-guru is above all heights, eternal bliss he bestows on men, deep within every heart he dwells, pure and bright as a crystal gem.
Just as a crystal reflects what’s near, the mind that’s made pure reflects the self, within it shines as pure consciousness, within it shines as the highest bliss.
Meditate on the inner self, the tiny person within the heart, oh parvati there is none else, but this one in the universe.
The self as nature cannot be known, by aid of senses or by the mind, it’s formless, nameless, beyond all sound, its grace is difficult to obtain.
Just as surely as blooms are sweet, surely as camphor has a scent, sure as cold weather follows heat, so is brahman eternally.
Just as caterpillars change to moths, by meditating incessantly, so does the man who adores the lord become the same as the god he loves.
Meditate on the satguru, that is the way to become divine, he is free who has know these three, pindam, padam and rupam.
Parvati to shiva:
oh great lord please define for me pindam, padam and rupam, tell me also shankara, what it is that’s beyond these three.
Shiva to parvati:
pindam’s kundalini shakti, padam is the hamsa mantra, rupam is the blue pearl of light and beyond these three is the infinite.
Of pindam free and of padam free, of rupam free oh parvati, that man is free forever more, who knows the one beyond these three.
Become the whole of this universe, know the one who’s the source of all, this is the highest of all that’s high, all else has no reality.
After the truth of the self is known, through the grace of the sat-guru, all attachments and cravings fade, alone, at peace, that man is free.
With mind at peace be detached from own, enjoy whatever is brought to thee, it may be much or it may be naught, from bounds of craving thou must be free.
When a man sees the self within, he knows the truth of the universe, he knows the world and the self as one, he dwells at peace in the highest bliss.
Any place where he lays his feat, becomes well known as a blessed land, this is the way that the free are known, this is the path oh parvati.
This is the answer you begged from me, follow the path of the sat-guru, by meditation and love for him, the wise will attain to the highest goal.
All ones actions will bear good fruit, however foolish that one might be, success comes easy to those who love and serve the guru continually.
To wash away all impurities, to rid thyself of all woes and cares, bathe thyself in this guru’s song and free thy mind from all earthly snares.
The knower of brahman who has no fear, he is the guru one may be sure, wherever the guru may choose to live, one may be certain that place is pure.
Wherever the stainless guru dwells, that place is where the gods reside, in time they gather and settle there and there remain to be by his side.
Sitting, standing or lying down, waking, sleeping or moving round, on an elephants back or astride his feet, remember the guru incessantly.
His only love is the lord of all, that man of vision is truly free, he’s always eager to do god’s will, he serves his master continually.
All life’s pleasures will come to him along with moksha oh parvati, wealth and freedom he will obtain and on his lips sarasvati.
All the powers that can be gained, all the pleasures that wealth can bring, along with freedom belongs to him, who sings this sacred guru hymn.
Its true, its true what I have said, the guru gita stands alone, it’s true, it’s true oh parvati, it is the highest doctrine known.
There is one god, religions one, faith in one is the best tapah, the best of truth is the satguru, there is nothing higher than the satguru.
Blessed his parents and family, blessed the earth on which he stands, who loves his guru with love that’s pure, such guru bhakti is truly rare.
Body, senses and breath of life, wealth and brothers and loved ones too, mother, father and family, are all contained in the sat-guru.
There is no realm on the face of earth, holier than the guru’s feet, adore the guru and be at rest, of holy places that is the best.
This song from the purana shri skanda, the song of shiva to parvati, i offer thee oh my gurudev, a gift of the goddess sarasvati.
Oṁ Śanti, Śanti, Śanti