The Role of the Guru

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The Role of the Guru

Sunday, 05 July 2020 | Swami Shraddhananda Giri

The renowned guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, began his spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi with these words: “The characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru relationship.”

Guru Purnima, falling this year on Sunday, 5 July 2020, is an occasion to celebrate the guru-disciple relationship.

The guru helps his disciple — especially when the disciple makes a mistake because at that time he is overcome by delusion, and therefore needs help more than at other times. The guru guides the disciple, and protects him from making mistakes repeatedly.

The guru’s primary role is to give the disciple complete liberation — freedom from rebirths, karma, any and every form of misery.God in the form of the guru brings the yearning truth seekerback to Himself.

The guru Paramahansa Yoganandaji’s path to Self-realization includes the practice of ancient scientific techniques of meditation taught in his Yogoda Satsanga Lessons. The sincere practice of these methods is the best expression of our gratitude toParamahansaji.

“The guru-disciple relationship,” Yoganandaji said, “is the loftiest and most sacred of all relationships. One who partakes of this relationship is on the way to wisdom and freedom.A guru….is a human vehicle whose body, speech, mind, and spirituality God uses as a channel to attract and guide lost souls back to His home of immortality.”

The saint Kabir extolled the guru in these words: “It is the mercy of my true Guru that has made me to know the unknown;I have brought my love and my meditation into the land where there is no sun and moon, nor day and night….Kabir says: ‘The Guru is great beyond words, and great is the good fortune of the disciple.’”

Paramahansaji in his book of prayers, Whispers from Eternity, wrote: “May I realize that in my journey toward divine expansion, incarnation after incarnation, Thou [God] and Guru have been and will be my only Eternal Friends.”

A true guru is always affectionatelywatchinghis disciple, with unconditional love and unquestioning acceptance, like an adoring eternal motherobserving her little child — her little darling!

Paramahansa Yogananda lauded the role of the guru in these words: “The guru is the awakened God, awakening the sleeping God in the disciple….The guru is the best of givers. Like the Lord Himself, his generosity knows no boundaries!”

Swami Shraddhananda Giri is a senior monk of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1917.

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