[Advaita-l] Guru lakshaNa and Sishya lakshaNa

Dr. Yadu Moharir ymoharir at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 27 18:30:41 CDT 2010

Namaste Vidyasankar-Ji:
Thank you for suggesting a wonderful topic.  I will try to undertake the project.
Before we go and jump into the core and meaning it would be important to understand the background of Samartha Ramdas Swami.
Samartha Ramdas Swami (1606-1682) was an extremely practical person.  His writings clearly show his death of understanding of vedic literature for the betterment of the society.  His keen observation of the present day society, raajyasattaa (Islamic rule), conversion to Islam just for  (survival) feeding own belly immensely bothered him. He was totally fed up with absence of pride in svadharma within the society and non desire towards self governance bothered him constantly.  He had immense shaddha in himself that he vowed to wakeup the society (heLaamatre mukta kariina janaa) that could lead towards self governance.  King Shivaji regarded him as a his guru.  Once Shivaji offered him his complete kingdom and expressed his desire to take sanyaasa but he talked him out it by explaining him his own raaja-dharma (duty of king; just like in Mahabhatra “daNDa eva hii raajendra xaatra dharmo na munDanam”). 
His philosophy needs to read in original, with proper concept of the social conditions existed during his period.  He practiced advaitic principles and his writings are full of such evidence.  His concept of “so called moxa” was not limited to him as a person but for the society.  He is attributed for establishing literally thousands of Sri Ram & Hanuman temples through out India.  He constantly emphasized the importance of becoming knowledgeable through one’s own efforts by ourselves.
bhakta mhaNije vibhakta navhe . ANii vibhakta mhaNije bhakta navhe .
vicaare.nviNa ka.nhii.nca navhe . samaadhaaana .. (daasabodha. 4.9.6)
Meaning – While explaining and/or trying to understand the term “deva” who / what is deva ?  Ramdas illustrates that just bhakta and bhagavaana are not separate, just by thinking that bhakta is separate from bhagavaa is not possible (avibhaktamavibhakteshu).  If one does not think then he can never become one with the knowledge. (ya shaaxaata kurute prabhodha samaye svaatmaa na mevo dvayam). To understand bhagavaana one needs to understand himself first.
tasmaat vicaara karaavaa . deva koNa to voLakhaavaa .
Apalaa ApaNa shodha ghyaavaa . a.ntaryaamii.n .. (daasabodha. 4.9.7)
Meaning - Therefore, one needs to think and understand the concept of “deva” and serach for himself within himself.
With this brief introduction let us move on to the question of various guru laxaNaa as described in daasabodha.
Just like Advaita uses the concept of “neti-neti”, Ramadas Swami describes various entities that are not “sdaguru”, which leads us into various illustrations that definitely helps one identify Who is not a guru?
Ultimately, the real guru is in you yourself and you needs to find that entity for himself.  External guru just leads one towards knowledge but it is up the individual saadhaka to realize the knowledge for themselves, just like, one can take a horse to the water but horse has to drink it by himself.
daasabodha is an elaborate discussion between Guru & shiShya on various aspects.
Personally, I do not like to read long posts therefore I will be posting this series on “guru laxaNa” few “ovi’s” at a time.
Hope this is useful !
Dr. Yadu

--- On Wed, 3/24/10, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Advaita-l] Guru lakshaNa and Sishya lakshaNa
To: "Advaita List" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 2:56 PM

Dear Sri Moharir,

May I suggest that you post in more detail about these? Samartha Ramadasa's writings
are not widely accessible, especially to people who do not know Marathi, so the whole
list would benefit if you could translate and write more about these chapters from the



> Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 07:49:12 -0700
> From: ymoharir at yahoo.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Swami Nithyananda
> Dear LIst:
> Excellent commentary of "guuru lakshaNa" is found in (samartha raamadaasa) daasabodhaa 5th Chapter 2nd section.  3rd section deals with "shiShya lakshaNa"
> Hope that helps.


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