On September 20, the column of Speaking Tree had an article by Kamlesh Dixit, ‘A guru to provide safe harbour’.
I remember many years ago, my uncle induced Yamuna and me to have ‘Gurumukh’ from a Guruji. We had come to our village for a vacation from Calcutta. I didn’t believe in the ritual, but I couldn’t refuse my uncle too. In a small function at home, we took ‘gurumantra’ from our young guruji who was a teacher by profession. We would have paid him some money as usual. The Guruji happened to be the son of a learned priest who was the guru of my parents and uncles in the family. On many occasion, I heard him emphasizing his point of view with help of Sanskrit slokas. I used to get immensely impressed. But thereafter I got busy in my profession and the visits to the village became rare. We couldn’t meet our guruji. His father also had left the village, which was where we had our farmland.
Many a times, I felt like seeking a guru who could answer at least some of my queries about our religion and the contents of some of the religious books. I wanted someone who could give the contemporary explanation of the teachings and rituals prescribed in our religion. Unfortunately, I have not got one till date. The story of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna given below that Dixit has included in his article, makes me think again about finding a guru.
When Swami Vivekananda first visited Ramakrishna he asked: “I have read the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures several times, I lecture and give discourses on the Gita and Ramayana. Do I still need harbour of a saint; do I still need a guru?”
Ramakrishna didn’t reply to Vivekananda’s question. After a few days Ramakrishna called upon Vivekananda and handed him a parcel to be delivered at a nearby village a few hours away by the sea route.
Early morning the boat and sailor would be ready and all he needed to do was to go to the village and deliver the parcel to the designated person.
Vivekananda agreed and decided to start early. He found the boat and the sailor ready to put out to sea. Suddenly, upon sitting in the boat, Vivekananda realised that he didn’t know the road to the village. He inquired of the sailor who had no clue, either. Vivekananda decided to go back to his guru to ask him the shortest way to the village.
Upon this Ramakrishna said, “Narendra, this is my reply to the question you asked me when we met the first time: Today, you have the medium (the boat), you have the resource (the sailor), you have the road (the sea), you know what to do (deliver the parcel) and you also know where to go but you don’t know the way. Likewise you have read all the scriptures, and you can conduct wonderful discourses on them. However, to realise the wisdom of scriptures one needs a guru, someone who has already traversed that path so that he can guide you through the journey and encourage you to not give up”.
In Sanskrit, ‘gu’ is one who dispels and ‘ru’ means darkness. Every individual who wishes to rise above his existing levels needs someone in life who can help in dispelling darkness and provide light when needed.
I hope one day I find my guru or my guru detects me and picks me up.