[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Mar 6 00:50:55 CST 2010

On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 6:15 PM, Anbu sivam2 <anbesivam2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> // Earlier I had posted that Holy Hill of AruNaachala was the Guru of
> Bhagavaan
> RamaNa.  This cannot be proved to the satisfaction of anyone bent on
> holding
> that only a person with body, mind and intellect can be a Guru, that all
> communications take place only through the medium of a mind and that the
> process of sravaNam, mananam and Nidhidhyaasanam should immediately precede
> enlightenment.  The great AruNagirinaathar who jumped from the top of the
> temple tower in ThiruvaNNamalai with a view to committing suicide was saved
> by Lord Muruga and taught Gnaana in infinitesimally small time by his
> kataaksham.  AruNagirinaathar's anubhoothi is a vEdhavaakyam for Muruga
> Bhakthas who sing it everyday.  Many of his songs are advaithic in
> nature.//

There is, in literature, a figure of speech called 'personification'.  In
Tamil I think it is called:   உருவகம். In Sanskrit it is generally called:
रूपकालङ्कारः. The poet considers his object of eulogy/veneration/even abuse
as a person while in reality that object could be  inanimate  or even a tree
or animal or bird.  This opens up infinite possibilities of viewing the
'person' with a body, as male or female, as child or husband, with a mind,
an intellect, ahankaram, etc.

In the case of the Hill Arunachala, Bhagavan Ramanar has resorted to this
alankAra.  Hence He is able to address the Hill as a Guru, God and relate
with it as he likes.  In the ' akshara maNa maalai', 'aruNachala panchakam',
etc. one can see the facility this alankaaram gives the supplicant.

All devotees over the ages have resorted to this, including Bhagavan Ramana
and Arunagirinathar.  The teaching they received from such divine Guru is
thru the medium of the mind, speech, kataksham, etc.  All these media are
possible only when a 'person' is in place.  For, mind, speech, kataksham,
etc. are impossible in an inert Hill or NirguNa Brahman.  The moment one
conceives of Muruga, it is saguNam, with a form that is 'azhagu'.  The
devotee expresses his thoughts to the deity only with the basic
understanding that the deity will 'listen' and respond thru a mind.  When
one pleads: முருகா உன் மனம் உருகாதா, 'Murugu, will not Your mind soften,
melt?', undeniably, a mind for the Guru Muruga is 'supplied' by the devotee
to Murugan.  This is inevitable.

Saint Manikavachagar got the revelation from Lord Dakshinamurti with a form
of the Teacher, in the most unexpected situation.  Even when communication
is said to be in 'silence', what really happens is the receptacle of this
'silence' communicated is the mind of the devotee.  So also the teaching
thru the 'chinmudra'.  It is the eyes of the devotee that sees the mudra and
forms the necessary meaning in the mind, depending on the samskaram.  The
teaching given in a 'moment' and received so, is only because of 'a priori'
prolonged preparation in the form of sravanam, etc. either in this life or
previous lives.  This is undeniable and can never be by-passed by anyone.

Thus, the medium of mind is undeniable in any form of communication of the

Om Tat Sat

> In his Kandhar Anubhoothi AruNagiri describes the various forms of Guru as
> follows:
> உருவாய்  அருவாய்  உளதாய்  இலதாய்
> மருவாய்  மலராய்  மணியாய்  ஒளியாய்
> கருவாய்  உயிராய்  கதியாய்  விதியாய்
> குருவாய்  வருவாய்  அருள்வாய்  குஹனே
> Uruvaai aruvaai uladhaai iladhaai
> maruvaai malaraai maniyaai oliyaai
> karuvaai uyiraai gadhiyaai vidhiyaai
> guruvaai varuvaai aruLvaai guhanE
> *
> Meaning*
> O! Lord Muruga you are the one with the form, you are also one without a
> form. You are the one who has it all, and you are the one who does not have
> it all, you are present in the smallest, in the flower, in the ring of the
> bell, and in the Light. You are the embryo, you are the life, you are the
> destiny, and you are the fate. Please come upon us as our Guru and bestow
> your blessings.
> (Translation from Panchangam.com)
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