This article is a continuation from the previous article titled, "The concept of God" by Dr. Sanskrit Kannan, an SRCM Preceptor (Prefect), which was published at: http://sahajmargyoga.blogspot.in/2016/01/the-concept-of-god-sahaj-marg-angle-dr.html
This grand statement that “Guru is God” brings us to the next important aspect of our discussion, viz., the importance of the Guru and the significant role that He plays in our life. Swami Vivekananda has said, “Know your Guru as Brahman” and Lord Kṛṣṇa too has said, “know your Guru as myself” (“ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīhi”).
In Indian tradition, the ‘Teacher’ or ‘Preceptor’ or the ācrāya or the ‘Guru’ has always been held in high esteem. We have this well-known verse in Sanskrit.
“guruḥ brahmā guruḥ viṣṇuh gurur devo maheśvaraḥ |
guruḥ sākṣāt parabrahma tasmai śrīguravenamaḥ” ||
This says that the Guru is the Creator (Brahmā), for He creates the disciple. According to our tradition, we are twice-born (dvija) – the first birth is when we are born out of the mother’s womb – the physical birth. The second birth is when one is initiated by the Guru. Guru is the protector (Viṣṇu) as he protects the disciples from many obstacles that come across in their path of journey (yātra) towards the Ultimate Reality. He destroys (Śiva) the samskāras of the aspirants. That is why the derivation of the word Guru is given in the Advayatārakopaniṣad (16) as,
“guśabdas tvandhakāraḥ syāt ruśabdas tannirodhakaḥ|
andhakāranirodhitvāt gururityabhidhīyate ||“
(The syllable “gu” stands for “darkness or ignorance” and the syllable “ru” stands for its removal. Since, he removes the (inner) darkness or the ignorance, he is called “Guru”). The Guru is the Ultimate Reality (Parabrahma). The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.23) says,
“yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ yathā deve tathā gurau |
tasyaite kathitā hi arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ”||
(“These truths, when taught, shine forth only in that great Soul, who has supreme devotion to God and an equal degree of devotion to the Guru”). Thus, the scriptures proclaim the greatness of the Guru and equate the Guru to God Himself.
In Sahaj Marg, the importance of the Living Master (as Guru is addressed) cannot be explained by mere words but can only be experienced. That does not mean that Sahaj Marg advocates “gurudom” or one should become a slave of the Guru and serve him all through his life. What our system say is that since God does not possess any organs and mind, He cannot receive our prayer and come to our rescue. But the Guru in the human form possesses the mind and more importantly the heart full of love and compassion for all the beings so that He is able to serve all at the appropriate moment. Since the living Guru under the Sahaj Marg system is established in God, He is divine and hence, Omni-pervasive. So, a sincere prayer in the heart by anyone from anywhere in this vast universe reaches Him instantaneously and necessary action is taken automatically (This is done so naturally!)
That is why Lord Kṛṣṇa has said in the Gītā (XII. 5) “kleśo'dhikarasteṣamavyaktāsaktacetasām, avyaktā hi gatirduḥkhaṁ dehavadbhiravāpyate” , i.e., it is futile to worship the God in His unmanifested form. So, he suggested to Arjuna to worship Him, love Him, dedicate everything to Him as He was the Master in loving form for Arjuna. If we look at the Bhagavad gītā and Kaṭha Upaniṣad, we can find one striking evolution of thought in the Gītā. In Kaṭha Upaniṣad, the body is considered as the chariot, the intellect as the Charioteer, the five indriyas as five horses, mind as the rein and the Soul as the person in the chariot. But the Gītā goes one step ahead and presents the Lord in human form as the Charioteer (instead of Buddhi). Rev. Chariji Maharaj said that the Guru in the human form represents the divinised mind and by connecting oneself with Him, one can reach the goal smoothly.
The Kaṭha Upaniṣad (III.14) also proclaims “uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata” (Arise, awake, realise (that) by approaching the Chosen One”).
Rev. Chariji Maharaj also pointed out this in a very telling manner. While talking of knowledge, He said, “You can know a thing only if you become that”. If you go and ask him, he would say,
“How to be it, Sir?”
“How to become it, Sir?”
Go to the one who has already become that!”
This clearly brings out what has been quoted above from Kaṭha Upaniṣad. So, we need a personality amongst us who can make us become ‘That’, what He represents, in this lifetime itself. This means the personality should be of the highest calibre and a Chosen One for the purpose. He is beyond space and time and can act so, according to the need. Age or knowledge is not a criterion for such a personality. We have this wonderful verse ascribed to Śaṅkara in Dakṣiṇāmurthi Stotra
“citraṁ vaṭatarormūle vṛddhāḥ śiṣyā gururyuvā |
gurostu maunaṁ vyākhyānaṁ śiṣyāstu chinnasaṁśayāḥ”
(“It is a wonder under the banyan tree. The disciples are old (aged) and the Guru is young. The explanation offered (by the Guru) is silence and the disciples remain with their doubts dispelled”).
Nobody can claim to be a Guru by the merit of their ‘sādhanā’ or knowledge or age. In fact, these are not at all a criterion for becoming a Guru. It is only the grace of the great Master who chooses, prepares and places one of His associates as his disciple, representative as the Master by the Divine Master and always remains a disciple to his Guru. Thus, He has to play twin roles – as the Master for all the beings and as the humble disciple of His Master. So, there is no question of even the thought of power, position, fame or any such things. It is a position of tremendous responsibility, total commitment for the welfare of all – even those who do not accept Him. Anyone can claim to have left Him but He cannot leave anyone, for having merged in the Absolute and the “Nothingness”, He cannot exclude anything or anyone! That is why, I said, in Sahaj Marg, “Guru is God”, for, God alone can remain like this.
Rev. Babuji Maharaj has also pointed out that in the strict sense, only God is the real Guru.
Patañjali also accepts this view and says (YS I.26) , “sa eṣa pūrveṣāmapi guruḥ kālenānavacchedāt”. This proves again that the Guru, living in the present, represents all the knowledge and the evolution of the past extending upto the unimaginable future. In short, though his body is limited, He is not limited by space and time. He represents, in the hearts of all the seekers of Reality, without any barrier of space, time, sex, nationality, colour etc. This great phenomenon unknown in the history of mankind, perhaps hinted in the sacred scriptures of our land, is practically experienced by all of us. This is called “prānahuti” in our system. It is beyond words, for words cannot represent the Reality whereas the Master can.
Suffice it to say that the Guru of Sahaj Marg represents the Reality, nay, He is the Reality, He is the means and the path to lead us all to the Reality which He himself is. Our prayer also says, “O Master, thou art the real goal of human life.... Thou art the only God and power to bring us upto that stage”. That is why Rev. Babuji Maharaj, in “Efficacy of Raja Yoga in the light of Sahaj Marg” has said, “If A is equal to B and C gets equal to A, then ultimately C becomes equal to B. Hence, in our system, mergence in the Master is synonymous to mergence in God (Brahmalaya).
Shri. Kamlesh D Patel, the current President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (www.srcm.org) and the Spiritual Master of Sahaj Marg has said in one of his talks with an emphasis: “We are all here for brahma vidya. We all want to practise and achieve. Then, why not do it wholeheartedly? Why not do it with joy?”
Thus we see the uniqueness of the status given to the Masters of Sahaj Marg conforming to the views expressed in sacred scriptures.
 There is a beautiful verse by the great poet Māgha with which he begins his great poem Śisupālavadham (I.1) “śriya patiḥ śrīmati śāśituṁ jagat jagannivāso vasudeva sadmani|
vasan dadarśāvatarantaṁ ambarāt” which means “The great Lord, who is the container of the whole Universe is living in the house of Vasudeva”.
 See the views of Viśiṣṭādvaita wherein it is stated that God is the upāya (menas) and upeya (the goal)
 Complete Works of Ram Chandra (Volume I) (p.133).