Sadhguru explains how Guru Pooja is a process of making yourself choiceless, so that the Divine also has no choice but to be with you.
Guru Pooja is not about offering a flower, a fruit, and a coconut. This is a subtle process to create an invitation to the Divine. There is a difference between meditation and a ritual. Meditation is all your own stuff–it is exclusive. But if we actively participate in a ritual, everyone can be in the same space and enjoy the same thing. If performed properly, a ritual is a vibrant and fabulous tool that supports everyone. A ritual needs integrity, involvement, and inclusiveness. If there is no integrity and inclusiveness in the atmosphere, people can misuse it in so many different ways. So there is a serious risk because generally in the society, there is a lack of integrity and inclusiveness.
Guru Pooja is a tool, a certain method. It is not a thanksgiving ceremony. Yes, there is a sense of gratitude in it, but that is not what it is all about. It is a way of creating a certain sacred energy geometry which will naturally draw certain forces to it. You must do the Guru Pooja in such a way that no matter where I am, I must come. I should not have a choice. This is only possible if you make yourself choiceless.
There is a very beautiful story in the Mahabharat. On a certain day, Krishna was having lunch. Rukmini, his wife, was serving him. Krishna was a man who had taken on the whole world, so he barely got home. The chance of serving him a meal did not come often, even for his wife. It was a privilege that she cherished and valued. Halfway through his meal, he suddenly got up and left without even washing his hands.
Guru Pooja is such a tool. You must make it in such a way, the invitation is sent in such a way that he has no choice; he has to be there.
She said, “Please, at least finish the meal before you go.” He said, “No, one of my devotees is in trouble. I need to go.” He went till the gate, stood there for a moment, turned back and sat down to continue his meal. Rukmini asked, “What happened to your devotee?” He said, “He was sitting in the forest, chanting my name, when a hungry tiger approached him.” Krishna had seen that this man was totally immersed in the chant, calling Krishna with total involvement, and when the tiger approached, immediately Krishna had gotten up and left. He continued, “As I went towards the gate, the fool picked up a stone to protect himself, so I’ll let him do his business.” This is the power of choicelessness.
Guru Pooja is a device for you to make yourself utterly choiceless. All these rituals are just that–you give yourself to a process and make yourself completely choiceless. When you are like that, even the Guru does not have a choice. You need to make it in such a way that the Divine does not have a choice about you. It is from this that many yogis said, maybe in different ways, ‘Shiva has no choice about whether to be my partner or not.’ I have a choice to lose him, but he has no choice. You must always keep him like that because what kind of a fool would consider losing the Divine as a choice? Only someone who has just one brain cell would. If you had two brain cells, you would clearly see that losing him as a partner is not really a choice–it would be utter stupidity.
Guru Pooja is such a tool. You must make it in such a way, the invitation is sent in such a way that he has no choice; he has to be there. If you create such power about simple things that you do, then the benefit of sadhana will multiply manifold.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing all aspects of human wellbeing through yoga programmes, and social and environmental initiatives.