By SWAMI CHAITANYA KEERTI
Times of India
July 5, 2001
INDIA celebrates Ashadh Purnima, the full moon of July as Guru Purnima. It is the day when all disciples come together to express their gratitude towards their Guru. This is something uniquely Indian.
It is unlike a student-teacher relationship, which is very formal. A teacher imparts knowledge to students and gets paid for it. A guru does not merely impart knowledge to his disciples; he shares his being and illumination with them. The disciples learn the deeper meaning of life by living in Guru’s presence. The Guru does not have to teach with his words; he guides with his own life. Hence a teacher does not command the same love and respect that a guru does. Teachers often complain that their students are not as respectful to them as they should be. Respect cannot be forcibly demanded – it arises naturally.
When a teacher evolves into a guru, he commands natural respect – not just respect, but love and devotion too. The disciple becomes so devoted to the guru that he can sacrifice his life for him, though a true guru never expects any sacrifice. The guru shares his Being, his love and light with his disciples unconditionally. Osho says: “The very concept of guru is Eastern; the word cannot even be rightly translated. When we translate it as ‘master’ much of its meaning is lost, because a master means a teacher – the guru is not a teacher. In the western consciousness nothing like the guru ever existed. That phenomenon is eastern… it is something basically eastern. It has to be understood”.
Describing the role of the guru, Osho says: “The role of the guru is to give you a glimpse of the real – not a teaching, but an awakening. The guru is not a teacher: the guru is an awakener”. He has not to give you doctrines. If he gives you doctrines, he is a philosopher. If he talks about the world as illusory and argues and proves that the world is illusory, if he discusses, debates, if he intellectually gives you a doctrine, he is not a guru, he is not a master. He may be a teacher, a teacher of a particular doctrine, but he is not a master, not a guru.
Something about the meaning of the word, Guru. ‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘ru’ means dispeller. One who dispels your darkness is your guru. The first basic requirement of living with guru is meditation. Meditation is not a few deep breathing exercises; it is a way of life. Meditation is the medicine for all the social sicknesses that people suffer from. That’s why these two words – meditation and medicine – have the same root: medi. The guru gives this medicine of meditation to his disciples and makes them healthy.
Talking about this health, Osho explains that Sanskrit word for healthy is ‘swastha’. ‘Swa’ means self and ‘stha’ means rooted. You become healthy when you become rooted in your self. You are sick when you lose connection with your self, your own being. Meditation reconnects you with your self and makes you healthy. That’s why it can be called a medicine. Meditation is the panacea for all the inner ailments. It is the art of living a really healthy life. Buddha calls himself a Vaidya. Guru Nanak says the same. All the enlightened ones of the East do not call themselves as philosophers but physicians. They are not ordinary doctors. They are the physicians of the inner dimension. They cure the sickness of the mind. Buddha says: “Don’t ask me any silly questions of philosophy, I am not a philosopher. Tell me about your real sickness and I will give you the cure. Let me uproot your sickness.”
Basically, a man of enlightenment makes our vision brighter by removing dust from our eyes. He teaches us the methods of cleaning the mirror of our mind and leading our life with clarity. Meditation is nothing else but clarity. Meditation is a way of living our life in total awareness. It is not that we pray or meditate a few minutes in the day and then continue living life unconsciously in the regular mechanical manner. No. Meditation is moment-to-moment awareness. It remains there all the time it becomes us. Meditation is an intelligent response to the moment