The Heart of The Guru
Sri Swami Chidananda
This article is a chapter from the book A Call To Liberation.
We are now approaching the great annual day of worship of those who bring light to dispel the darkness of spiritual ignorance in our interior, who take us from unrealities to the Reality, who enable us to go beyond the ever-recurring, revolving wheel of birth and death into that realm of everlasting, rebirthless life. The celebration of Guru Purnima pays homage to those beings, those great ones, who having reached that abode, having liberated themselves forever, have turned back and engaged themselves in illumining others, in liberating others.
What is in the heart of these great teachers? Why do they act and engage themselves in ceaseless work when they have no motivation for acting, having fulfilled all that has to be fulfilled? They have done everything that has to be done, attained everything that has to be attained. They have no more wishes, no more desires, no more wants, no more intentions, no more sankalpas.
They thus revel in a state of supreme satisfaction, contentment, for they know that there is nothing more for them to do. Their hearts are full; they desire nothing. And so, if the Lord were to place before them the bounty of all His countless millions of universes and say, “Take this,” they will reply: “Keep them, for You have blessed me in a far greater manner. You have taken away from me the shackles of desire. You have graced me with the supreme gift of perfect desirelessness, perfect contentment, perfect fulfilment. What greater blessing can you offer me, O Lord?”
What could be the motivation for such beings to continue to act when there is no longer any need to act—when they have attained everything and are in a state of supreme plenitude and peace? What does the Indian spiritual genius have to say about the heart of these great ones? It says that if at all one could attribute to them any desire—if you want an explanation from your point of view—then you can say that they do have one thought, one intention, one desire, and that is that all sincere seeking souls who are in quest of the Goal Supreme may attain that goal, that they may be in the same state in which they are.
With that one urge from within—a spontaneous urge not arising out of mind, intellect, thought, feeling, emotion or sentiment, because they are established in a state totally beyond, transcending, all these—there is a spontaneous intention of supreme love and goodwill that all may be established in the great state that they have attained by the grace of the Supreme. That is the only intention with which they act.
And, therefore, when that is the one urge that moves them to act, the least that we can do is to strive to the best of our ability to become like them, to approximate the ideal that they have placed before us by their own ideal life—to respond to their call, to become liberated here and now in this very life, not in the distant future, not in some post-mortem life, but now, here, so that even while in this body we are yet a liberated being, a jivanmukta.
That indeed would be the highest Guru Purnima worship, the highest expression of devotion to the guru. Therefore, striving with all earnestness, all sincerity, ceaselessly try to be like them, aspire to be like them and pray to them: “By my own effort and intention, this will never be possible, because of all my weaknesses, drawbacks and imperfections. May you, therefore, out of your infinite grace, complete it, make it full and whole.”
And, they are ready to do it. The great spiritual master, Paramahamsa Ramakrishna, said: “Even if you do one sixteenth of whatever sadhana has been done through this body of mine that will be more than enough. You will attain perfection. You will become a liberated being. You will go beyond all sorrow. You will be established in a state of joy and bliss.”
Therefore, let us all be in a state of oneness, let us all join together and collectively make our life a sincere, earnest and grateful response to this great and glorious urge that makes these perfect beings wish to bestow the same perfection upon others, the urge that makes them continue to engage themselves in this great work of awakening the human world into a state of higher awareness of their divine destiny.
Be it so! Let this be your highest worship, highest devotion. Then, verily, Guru Purnima will not merely be a religious day upon the outer secular earth plane of your life, but it will be a great spiritual landmark, a spiritual turning point in your interior unto satchidananda-consciousness. That is what life ought to be, and by the grace of God and the loving benedictions of Gurudev, may it be so! God bless you!