MEDITATIONS / Swami Chaitanya Keerti
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: 4 July, 2001
ON JULY 5, there will be celebrations all over the country in praise of Guru, the master. The guru is a concept of the East – something uniquely Eastern. The West knows teachers or preachers but there is no concept like that of Guru there.
Once I had to appear in the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) in Portland, USA. The officer, Mr. George Hunter knew that I was a Osho disciple and the first thing that he asked me was: What is the meaning of guru?
I told him what I had heard from my guru: “The word ‘guru’ is untranslatable. Neither does the word ‘teacher’ nor the word ‘Master’ have that beauty. In fact, the phenomenon of the guru is so deeply Indian that no other language of any country is capable of translating it.
The word ‘Guru’ is made of two words, ‘gu’ and ‘ru’. ‘gu’ means darkness and ‘ru’ means one who dispels it. Guru literally means ‘the light’. And you have the light within you, yes! If you come across a Buddha or a Jesus or a Krishna or a Mahavir, it will be of tremendous help to you in finding your inner guru, because seeing Buddha, suddenly a great enthusiasm and hope will arise in you: “If it can happen to Buddha” – who is just like you, the same body, the same blood, bone, marrow – “if it can happen to this man, why not to me?”
The hope is the beginning. Meeting with the Master on the outside is the beginning of a great hope, a great aspiration. Every disciple in the East has been singing in praise of his or her guru. Kabir’s poetry is most famous and profound but Sahajo Bai has a real feminine touch.
Ram tajun guru ko na bisaaroon”(I can abandon God, but I would not forsake my guru”, sang Sahajo, a mystic woman disciple of a saint named, Charandas, who had two very devoted enlightened disciples: Sahajo Bai and Daya Bai. Expressing her gratefulness to her guru Charandas, Sahajo placed her guru even above God.
Here’s the translation of the complete song that Sahajo sang: “I can abandon God, but I would not forsake my guru. God is not the equal of my guru. God has given me birth into this world. My guru has freed me from the cycle of birth and death. God gave me five thieves. My guru freed me from them when I was helpless. God threw me into the net of family. My guru cut away the chains of attachments. God ensnared me in desire and disease.
My guru has freed me from all this by initiating me. God made me to wander in the illusion of doing. My guru showed me my being. God hid himself from me. My guru gave me a lamp to illuminate him. Above all, God created this duality of bondage and freedom. My guru destroyed all these illusions.
(The writer is the editor of Hindi edition of Osho World)