What is Importance of Guru in our daily life as well as spiritual life?
Jay Sriman-Narayan ! Dandvat Pranam ! Here I am going to tell you the importance of Guru in Spiritual life. Guru can't be described in short because his mercy is infinite.It's my request to you Please read once and Patiently, It will help you alot.
Guru (गुरु) Meaning from Here : If we Seperate the letter Gu(गु)= remove darkness and ru(रु)= Bring Brightness.
Guru is a person who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and uses it to guide others. Literally a preceptor who shows others knowledge (light) and destroys ignorance (darkness). It is also used for teacher or guide in the religious or sense. The guru is seen as a sacred conduit for wisdom and guidance, and finding a satguru (True Guru) is often held to be a prerequisite for attaining self-realization.
Very Well-known Sloka From Vishwasara Tantram of
गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुरेव परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥१॥
The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru Deva is Maheswara (Shiva), The Guru is Verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Brahman); Salutations to that Guru.
Guru is a Tri-dev and he is even Par-Brahman, there are lots of glories described in our Scriptures for Guru, and you can find more sloka of श्री गुरुस्तोत्रम् from Here
How we can find Real and Genuine Guru ?
It is a really important thing to find real Guru (Spiritual Master), who can guide us and help us to reach to the Supreme Truth.
A guru must be a direct representative of Lord who distributes the instructions of Lord without any change.
So, The Real Guru never interrupt Lord Instruction and also never interrupt the Scripture for his own Sense Satisfaction.
Real Guru always instruct to his/her disciple which is described in scriptures. He never instructs by his own speculation and which is not in scriptures.
The Person who interrupts scriptures by his own speculation and if his instructions are also contradicted with the scriptures then he is not a real and genuine guru.
It is a most Important thing to understand to find real and Genuine Guru to make progress in spiritual life.
Otherwise Doha of kabirji is significant here:
गुरु कीजिए जानि के, पानी पीजै छानि ।
बिना विचारे गुरु करे, परे चौरासी खानि॥
We have to choose Guru very carefully and wisely.If we make Guru without thinking,then we have to again take birth throughout the 84 lacs species of life.
It is very dangerous to make guru with-out checking him, whether he is real and authenticate guru.
So, Choose Guru who is authenticated from Sastra/Scripture.
Why we have to make Guru?
It is also important to know that why we have to make Guru.
Everybody thinks that he/she is capable of reaching through the supreme truth without help from Guru.we can find by ourselves, we are thinking it by our ego or ignorance that we can achieve without the help of Guru, but it is impossible as to hold sand in our fist.
In Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12
tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet: ||
To learn the truths of spirit, one must approach spiritual master,who also has such teacher. This preceptor must be fixed in the Absolute Truth".
One who wants spiritual knowledge must approach a genuine guru who comes in a lineage of self-realised teachers.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam Chapter 3
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam |
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam ||SB 11.3.21||
one who is very interested in understanding the activities in the spiritual world must search out a guru a bonafide representative of Lord. From all angles of vision, therefore, the word guru is especially meant for the bona fide representative of Lord and no one else.
We will take few Example from our Scripture :
Story of Dhruva Maharaj
from Srimad-Bhagavatam Fourth Canto:
Dhruv was the son of King Uttanpad. The king had two wives: Suruchi and Suniti. Suruchi had a son named Uttam and Suniti had two sons. Dhruv was Suniti's eldest son. Suruchi was the king's favourite queen. Whilst the king loved her and her son Uttam, he ignored Suniti and her son. Once Uttam sat in his father's lap. Dhruv too tried to sit beside his stepbrother. At this Suruchi shouted to him, " You cannot sit there. If you want to sit in the king's lap you shall have to prove your worthiness and undergo serious penance."Dhruv could not bear the insult and he resolved to go to the forest and please Bhagwan Vishnu by praying to Him.
On the way he met Naradji, who tried to stop him. "You are just a small child. The forest is full of dangerous animals. How will you bear the winter's cold and the summer heat. Go back home," he said. Dhruv replied, "O learned sage! Even at the cost of my life and all the rigours of the forest, I will prove myself worthy to sit in the lap of the king, my father, by undergoing great Penance and pleasing God." Penance means to fast, to meditate and to live a very simple life. Naradji was pleased with Dhruv's dedication and fearlessness and he showed him the place and the method to practice penance. Then Dhruv reached a place in the forest called Madhuvan. He stood on one leg and started praying to God. Dhruv was so absorbed in his penance that the difficulties of forest life did not affect him at all. He had only one goal - to please and to meet God. He prayed for more than five months, standing on one leg. One day Bhagwan Vishnu was pleased with his devotion and He appered before Dhruv. "I am pleased with your devotion, my child. Tell me, what do you wish?" Bhagwan Vishnu asked Dhruv.
"O God, I wish your blessings and love from my parents," Dhruv replied.
"All your wishes shall be fulfilled my child." Saying this he vanished.
Dhruv had achieved his goal. He had pleased God and had met him. Now he returned to the kingdom. The king welcomed Dhruv with full honor and respect. Suruchi, too, hugged Dhruv and he became everybody's favorite.
Later, Dhruv was made the king and he served people with love and dedication.
So, we can see here from the help of Naradji, Dhruva could reach to the Supreme truth, with-out help of Guru Naradji, Dhruva could not be success in his path.
We also put 100 % faith towards our Guru like Dhruva Maharaj Did, he put 100% faith on Naradji and he became success in his path.So, If you make authenticate guru and you don't put faith on him then it is also worthless.you can't be reach to the supreme truth.
Story of Valamiki Rishi
from Ramayan Uttara Kanda
During Treta Yug, a time thousands of years ago, a man named Ratnakar lived in the forests along the banks of the holy river Ganga. Ratnakar was a cruel hunter and a fearless thief. Everyone was afraid of Ratnakar! When he walked in the forest, even the birds would fly to their nests, and the animals would look for a place to hide.
One day, Ratnakar was hiding by the side of a forest pathway, waiting for a victim. Along came the great sage Naradji, who was walking peacefully, admiring the beauty of the forest and singing kirtans in praise of God.
Ratnakar jumped out in front of him and demanded, "Hand over all you have or else!"
With love flowing from his eyes, Naradji said smilingly, "My dear man, all that I have are these rags I wear. If you want them, you may take them!" Naradji's fearlessness surprised Ratnakar. As Ratnakar gazed in Naradji's eyes, his cruel mind melted.
Naradji saw this transformation and lovingly explained to Ratnakar how stealing and killing animals was very sinful. He reminded Ratnakar that although his family was eager to share the fruits of his bad actions, they would not share his sins.
Upon this realisation, Ratnakar fell to Naradji's feet and asked for forgiveness. Naradji taught him to recite the sacred name of Ram. Ratnakar sat down in the forest and continued chanting with closed eyes. His concentration was so deep that he remained in meditation for years. In fact, he sat there so long in meditation that an anthill grew all around and above him!
One day Naradji came that way and carefully cleared away the anthill. With a kind smile, Naradji declared Ratnakar a sage, "As you are now reborn from a 'Val-mika' (ant-hill), from now you'll be known as Valmiki."
With tears of joy in his eyes, the sage Valmiki began his new life. He built an ashram near the river Ganga that provided refuge to Sitaji, wife of Shri Bhagwan Ram. It was at this ashram that Valmiki rishi composed the Ramayan!
Here we can See that if we get the Authenticate Guru, like Narada Muni, then our chance of getting the Supreme truth is High. like Valmiki rishi.
Now we finally Understand it from Bhagavad-Gita, Let's see which advise Lord Krishna gave to arjuna regarding Guru.
as Described in Bhagavad Gita chapter 4 Sloka 34
तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया।
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः।।4.34।।
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a Spirtuial master (GURU). Inquire him submissively and render service unto him. The Self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you becuase they have seen truth.
You can only seek the Ultimate Truth by devoted to Guru only.
From this Sloka of Bhagavad Gita:
श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं तत्परः संयतेन्द्रियः।
ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति।।4.39।।
One who has faith, who is dedicated to serivce of Guru, and who has controlled the senses, attains enlightenment. Having attained enlightenment, one obtains Supreme Peace.
Even Arjuna became disciple of Lord Krishna for seeking a truth,Lord Krisha became Guru to gave Ulitmate Knowlege to Arjuna
From this Sloka of Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 sloka 7
कार्पण्यदोषोपहतस्वभावः पृच्छामि त्वां धर्मसंमूढचेताः।
यच्छ्रेयः स्यान्निश्िचतं ब्रूहि तन्मे शिष्यस्तेऽहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम्।।2.7।।
Arjun said : With my heart stricken by the weakness of pity, with my mind perplexed about my duty, I request you to teach me conclusively what is good for me.I am your disciple. Instruct me who have taken refuge in you.
So,Now days Lord Krishna is persent in form of authenticate Guru from Scriptures, and we are in condition like Arjuna.
But Arjuna used his wiseness and choosed Guru like Lord Krishna, Same Dhruv Maharaj as well as Valamiki Choosed Naradji.
Therefore, we have to use our wiseness and choose a Guru who can liberate us from this body and take us to the Supreme Abode.
Put Faith on Guru our Spritiual Master, like arjuna, Dhruv maharaj and Valmiki, and we Definetly reach to the Lord's lotus feet.
Types of Gurus
There is an diksha guru (initiating guru), shiksha guru (an instructing guru), and even chaitya guru (the “guru within”). An initiating guru is a person who formally accepts a student into a sampradaya (religious order). This kind of guru gives a mantra and other articles of initiation in a ceremony called diksha. The instructing guru is the teacher who actually trains the student. Sometimes the instructing guru and the initiating guru are the same person. The guru within is said to be the “wee” voice of God within the heart that tells a person how to act, and so on. Conscience might be the best word to describe this type of guru. In fact, it is considered that God is the original guru and all other forms of guru represent this one original guru. The expression sat guru (“eternal guru”) is often used to indicate God as the original guru.
Respect and Honour to Guru
A guru is given great respect, even to the point of offering worship (guru puja). One full-moon each year (during July/August) is even called the Guru Purnima and is dedicated to the worship of guru. To have a guru who acts as the master is an essential part of spiritual growth and so to feel respect for and to want to honor one’s guru is natural and healthy. However, there is a tendency within Hinduism for the development of guru “cults” where the worship of guru supersedes the worship of God. This generally takes place when the original idea of guru as teacher becomes diminished and is replaced by the idea of guru as "blesser." To be blessed by a guru is considered the greatest thing, but people forget that the real blessing of a guru comes in the form of study, discipline, and hard work that leads to knowledge and wisdom and not just with the touch of a hand. The idea of the guru as blesser is a debasement of the true role of a guru.
As, I said Guru's mercy is infinite, It is the only short description of his mercy.I can fill-up more than 100 posts from the Scriptures and there are lots of scriptures who sing the glories of Guru.
So, Here my point is that, follow the Guru which is authenticated from scripture and take shelter of him.Respect him worship him with full faith.Always follow his instruction, then by his mercy you will easily understand the Ultimate Truth and reach to the Supreme Abode.!!
श्रीमते रामानुजाय नमः||
जय श्रीमन नारायण:||