[Advaita-l] Guru Worship

Lakshmi Muthuswamy lakmuthu at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 29 10:53:47 CDT 2006

K Kathirasan   NCS <kkathir at ncs.com.sg> wrote: Namaste Lakshmi amma,

I agree with you 100%. But pls read my question again. My question was
to find a scriptural reference and not justifications. I adore and love
all my teachers. And I also happen to be a grand-disciple of Swami
Dayanandaji. :-) 

What I want is references from the shruti or the smrti. 

-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of
Lakshmi Muthuswamy
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 3:15 AM
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Guru Worship

K Kathirasan   NCS  wrote: Namaste,

The last statement by Sastrigal has prompted me to ask the following

Today we have a few rituals such as Guru Pada puja, Guru Puja etc... 


My question is "Why praise a human being by performing guru puja?" This
is being asked by very many youngsters today. 

Getting up in the morning and doing a namaskara to the altar and parents
was a must in our homes. This was inculcated at a very young age so that
the reverence to the parents and elders continue to be imbibed in their
system as they grow up. Sadly this has disappeared from our culture in
our homes and so such questions arise.

I am  reproducing some parts of the Book "Prayer Guide" by Swami Dayanda
Sarasvati of Arsha VIdya Gurukulam as an answer to my own question.

"The Lord himself is teh Guru. Why don't we go diriectly to the Lord?
Suppose you perform penance and get to see God and ask him for
self-knowledge. God will aks you to go to the teacher. He  cannot
improve upon his own words that you are the whole. That is the only

"A guru teaches the spiritual knowledge. the word guru has a number of
meanings. the one who teaches is a guru; the one who helps somebody out
of a trouble is also a guru. These days the word guru is used in the
english language. American press, we find 'guru' being used very widely
by journalists. they say for instance 'he is an auto mobile gurur" He is
a stock market Guru".

When a person thinks himself as a guru, the one who lkearns from him
also feels that is true - he evokes in you the feeling of a disciple. In
addition to martial arts teachers, classical dance masters and musicians
also insist on being called a guru. Many teachers of art forms that must
be taught directly are considered gurus.

While I have nothing against such usage, the word 'guru' really can be
used only for a person who imparts spiritual knowledge. A guru is one
who unfolds the knowledge that you are the whole, non seperate from the
Lord. A guru is the upadesha karta -the one who is the teacher of the
mahAvAkya, the equation revealing that you are the whole.

 The wholeness, which you are seeking, is not separate from you. The
very fact that you are seeking that is because it is yoou - you want to
be yourself. The one who teaches that is called a guru.That is the final
definition. He is the mahAvakya upadesha karta, the one who teaches the
statement revealing the identity of the individual in realtion to the
lord, the whole.

We invoke the lord in the guru. The guru is a human being. When the guru
is praised, however as in the following verse, the human element is not
taken ointo account.

gurur brahmA gurur vishNuh gurur devo mahesvarah

gurureva param brahma tasmai srI gurave namah

the guru is Brahma, the guru is Vishnuh, the guru is Mahesvara(Shiva),
the guru is the immediate limitless Brahman. Salutations to that revered

Only the truth element is taken into account because the guru teaches
that you are Brahman, you are limitless.

When he teaches that you are limitless, he doesnot mean, "I am limited;
you are limitless." In fact you are limitless and he is limitless.

The limitless is Brahma, the limitless is Vishnuh, the limitless is
Rudra or Shiva, and the limitless is you. Everything is this

So when we praise the guru, the human element is absorbed into the total
element. you either relegate the human element into the background or
absorb it into the total.It is the total that is worshipped. In that
way, the guru, the person with a human body who teaches, becomes a kind
of altar of worship, but what is being invoked is the Lord.

When you worship the form, murti of Sri Dakshinamurti in the temple, it
is not the murti you are worshipping but the Lord. You invoke and
worship the Lord ina particular form.

Similarly, when youm praise the person who teaches you and for whom you
have shraddhA, it is not the individual person you praise, but the
teaching itself, for what he teaches is not separate from him."

om nnamo narayanaya
Lakshmi Muthuswamy

Yahoo! Music Unlimited - Access over 1 million songs.Try it free. 
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list