Gurparsaad - The Grace of the Guru
9. Gurparsaad - The Grace of the Guru
In the context of the mool-mantra, Gurparsaad also means that the Lord who is Saibangh is Himself the compassionate Guru.
The Guru or 'Teacher' is He who removes that darkness of ignorance. The Lord or the Reality which is all-pervasive and ever-present in each and every thing in this universe is veiled due to our ignorance.
Indeed, not only do we not recognize the Truth, but we are not even aware that we are ignorant. So the all-compassionate Lord in His supreme kindness manifest Himself as the Guru to inspire us, guide us and reveal to us His true nature.
He who is the Kartaa Purakh, the one Doer, or Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer, He alone takes the form of the Guru to liberate us from the bondage of samsaara. Therefore we say, "Guru Brahmaah, Guru Vishnuh, Guru Devo Maheshwarah, Gurureva Param Brahma, Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah. Guru is the Creator, Brahma. Guru is the Sustainer, Vishnu. Guru is the Destroyer, Shiva. Guru is the Lord of the Universe. Guru alone is the Absolute Reality, the Param Brahma. Unto that noble Teacher, my humble prostrations."
Shri Guru Nanak Dev has echoed the very same idea in the "Japji Sahib": GUR ISAR, GUR GORAKH BARMAA, GUR PARBATI MA-EE. Guru is Isar or Lord Shiva, for He destroys the ignorance and all the evil in us. Guru is Gorakh, the protector of the cows-Shri Vishnu, who protects us, sustains our aspirations for the higher and nourishes us with noble virtues.
Guru is Brahmaa, who creates in us the desire to know the Truth and inspires us to live a divine life. Guru is mother Parvati, who fulfills all our pure desires and feeds us with the milk of Divine Knowledge.
The lord is the one guru of all. In fact, He is the sole Giver of all knowledge. Who taught the birds to fly and sing? Who taught them the fascinating art of building nests? Who taught the animals to find their food? He is the one Guru of all creatures.
It is the lord alone who is the one Knower and Revealer of all the sciences including the knowledge of one's own nature, which brings about liberation. He is the Aadi Guru, the First Guru. He alone appears again and again in the form of different Gurus to bless the seekers. He alone is our Guru.
What can be said about one's Guru? What words can describe His Compassion and Grace, His Parsaad?
A mere side glance of His transform a sinner into a saint. The cool stream of Ganga flowing from His lotus lips destroys the evil of ignorance, washes away the sins of countless lifetimes and ends the burning sorrows of samsaara.
His lotus feet are the one refuge in the many storms of life. They are the mighty boat, which alone can take us across the samsaara saagara, the ocean of transmigration. Even the devtas, the heavenly denizens, cherish the sacred dust of His feet.
How can one describe or even enumerate the infinite glories of the Guru? The Vedas become silent in Their reverence, the Rishis are choked with emotion and the poetic saints are at a loss for words.
Shri Kabirdaas once said, "SUB DHARTI KAAGAZ KARO, LEKHAN SUB BAN RAI, SAAT SAMUDRA KI MASI KARO, GURU GUN LIKHEEYA NA JA-EE. If the entire earth were turned into paper, all the trees in all the world's forests into pens, and all the seven oceans into ink, still they would not suffice for me to write about the glories of my Guru."
Similarly, Shri Guru Nanakji has said: "JE HAU JAANA AAKHA NAAHI, KAHNA KATHAN NA JA-EE. Even if I knew of Him and all His glories, still I would never be able to describe Him, for He is indescribable."
The greatest Parsaad or 'Grace' of the Guru is that Supreme Knowledge, which reveals to us our true infinite nature, shows us our identity with God and destroys all our karmas, the bondage due to the results of actions gathered through millions of lifetimes.
To surrender in devotion at His lotus feet, is the only one direct means of salvation.... "NA GUROH ADHIKAM TATVAM, NA GUROH ADIKHAM TAPAH, TATVA GYAANAAT PARAM NAASTI, TASMAI SHRI GURAVE NAMAH. There is no reality higher than the Guru, there is no tapas or austerity greater than service to the Guru, there is no knowledge higher than knowledge of the Truth. To that Teacher who is my all, my humble prostrations."
At His feet blooms the lotus of the Scriptures. He alone can expound the mysteries enshrined in the Scriptures. He is that brilliant sun in whose light and warmth the lotus flower of Knowledge blooms. One who has surrendered to Him and is in the protection of the Guru shall certainly realize the Truth.
"ACHAARYAVAAN PURUSHO VEDA," declare the Upanishads of the Vedas. Gurparsaad is what we should seek. In other words, we should seek the Lord in the form of the compassionate Guru. Surrender to Him, serve Him and open our hearts to His ever-flowing parsaad or grace. The greatest service we can render to the Teacher is obedience to His instruction, for such instruction is given for our benefit alone.
The Guru requires nothing for Himself, and the greatest offering one can make to one's Guru is to abide in the Knowledge given by the Teacher. In this way one can fulfill the purpose of human existence, which is a rare form of life attained after millions of lifetimes.
Yet, even after gaining the Knowledge, we fail to abide in the Truth. This is because of the impressions and habits accumulated in the past, and the countless agitations and dissipations of the mind, as well as our constant laziness and forgetfulness.
Thus the all-compassionate Guru Nanakji lovingly urges us Jap (Chant).
9. Gurparsaad - The Grace of the Guru
Guru Granth Sahib: 1. Mool Mantra - Fundamental Meanings
Guru Granth Sahib: 2. Ik Onkaar - The One God, the Absolute Reality
Guru Granth Sahib: 3. Satnaam - His name is Sat, Ever True
Guru Granth Sahib: 4. Kartaa Purakh - The Only Doer, the One Creator
Guru Granth Sahib: 5. Nirbhau Nirvair - Fearless and All-loving is He
Guru Granth Sahib: 6. Akaal Moorat - His Form (Existence) Transcends Time
Guru Granth Sahib: 7. Ajuni - He is Without Birth or Beginning
Guru Granth Sahib: 8. Saibangh - He is Self-existent and Self-illuminating
Guru Granth Sahib: 9. Gurparsaad - The Grace of the Guru
Guru Granth Sahib: 10. Jap - Chant
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