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Relevance of ancient Indian scriptures: The guru and the teaching

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Suppose, I stand in front of the World Space studios and somebody comes to me and asks, “How do I go to Lavelle Road?” Well, if I am familiar with Bengaluru and if I know the way to reach Lavelle Road, I would say, “Well Sir, go straight and turn right and keep going down and then take a right turn and you are on Lavelle Road in front of the famous United Breweries.”

Okay, so if you really want to go there, what would you do? Drive down in your car or on your motorbike or on your cycle or walk there until you reach the place, right?  I may walk with you or I may just say, “please go”. You may go and find out, but you must walk. I can’t walk for you, right? You must do it yourself, go the way.

Instead of that, if you stop right there instead of moving towards Lavelle Road, and you take out a garland from your bag, hang it around my neck, and then you light a lamp and do an aarti and close your eyes and say, “Oh Sir, you are the greatest teacher on earth; I worship you, I bow down to you, or something similar,” will you reach Lavelle road? No Sir. No madam. You won’t. You will be stuck there in front of Cubbon Park and when you open your eyes, I would have gone, right?

So, that sums up my idea, which of course is derived from the Upanishadic tradition of what a guru is or how important the teacher is.


So, I think this illustrates the importance of the guru and the insignificance of merely worshiping the guru, instead of following the path or the teaching. Understanding and moving forward in the path is more important than worship and if he or she is a real teacher, believe me, he or she cares two hoots, whether you worship him, or you don’t worship him, or you say he or she is the greatest. His interest is in guiding you and not in listening to you singing praises. So, that sums up my idea, which of course is derived from the Upanishadic tradition of what a guru is or how important the teacher is.

Now, regarding the guru, I would like to quote from the great Dayanand Saraswati of the Arya SamajI am not an Arya Samajist, let me make this clear. In his magnum opus, the Satyarth Prakash, which of course is quite hilarious at times, a questioner says, ‘The guru is Brahman, the guru is Vishnu, the guru is…’ and so on. Therefore, we bow onto the Guru. It is kind of Guru worship, right?’

Is it right to drink the water in which his feet have been washed; to obey him in all things and consider him an incarnation of the deity? Never to lose faith in him or never commit whatever he may forbid, is that true?

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