ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE OF GURU POORNIMA
According to the Hindu calendar, 25 July 2010 tomorrow (Sunday) is GURU POORNIMA Day. During the last one-week thousands of Hindu institutions in the field of education, culture and religion in India and abroad have been celebrating the Guru Poornima Day.
Maharishi Veda Vyas
SANATAN SANSTHA OF GOA will be celebrating Sri Vyas Pooja at DG Vaishnav College, Arumbakkam tomorrow (25-7-2010) at 5 PM. Apart from offering prayers and salutations to Maharishi Veda Vyas, devotees and members of Sanatan Sanstha will also be offering their salutations to their Guru Parama Poojya Bhaktaraj Maharaj on Guru Poornima Day. The foremost disciples of Poojya Bhaktaraj Maharaj are Dr.Jayant Balaji Athavale and his wife Dr. (Smt.) Kunda Jayant Athavale. Their Spiritual Master, the Late Shrimat Sadguru Bhaktaraj Maharaj accepted their humble and erudite discipleship and bestowed all the gifts of omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and transcendental spiritual knowledge and wisdom——practice——— upon both of them lavishly. As a direct grace flowing from the benediction of Shrimat Sadguru Bhaktaraj Maharaj, this divine couple are now running a Society named ‘SANATAN BHARATIYA SANSKRUTI SANSTHA’ (SANATAN SANSTHA). Sanatan Sanstha has centres galore in different parts of India and abroad and they are all engaged in the noble and sacred work of spreading the scientifically correct knowledge of spirituality rooted in Sanatana Dharma.
What is the significance of Guru Poornima Day? The full-moon day in the month of AASHADA is the most auspicious and holy day of Guru-Poornima. From very ancient times, on this Aashada Poornima Day, sacred to the memory of the great sage SRI VYAS BHAGAVAN or Sri Krishna Dvaipayana, it has been the established tradition for Sannyasins (Saints, Sages and Rishis) to settle at some place to study, to do Vedantic Vichara, and discourse on the thrice-blessed Brahma Sutras composed by Maharishi Veda Vyas. What is the greatness of Sri Veda-Vyas? Sri Veda-Vyas has rendered everlasting service to all humanity by editing the four Vedas, writing the eighteen Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata. We can repay our deep debt of gratitude to him only by devoted and constant study of his spiritual works and assiduous practice of his teachings imparted for the regeneration of humanity in this Kali Yuga. In honour of this divine Maharishi, all Sadhakas and devotees perform VYASA PUJA on this Guru Poornima Day. On this sacred day, aspirants worship their GURU. On this holy day, Mahatmas and Sadhus are honoured and entertained, and all Grihastas with deep faith, devotion and sincerity undertake acts of charity. Chaturmasa for Sannyasins begins from this Guru Poornima Day. Sannyasins stay in one place during this period (the rainy season) for four months, study the Brahma Sutras, and practice meditation. This tradition has been going on in India for countless centuries.
Sankaram Sankaracharyam Kesavam Baadarayanam;Sutra-Kaarya-Kritau Vande Bhagavantau Punah Punah
The meaning of the above age-old Sanskrit verse of Guru Vandana is as follows: ‘I adore Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu, Bhagavan Vyasa and Sri Sankaracharya. I again and again prostrate to Sri Vyasa who wrote the Vedanta Sutras, and to Sri Sankaracharya who wrote the commentaries thereon (Guru Vandanam)’.
The Guru’s duty in Vedic India was not only to teach the student a specific subject, but also to develop the overall personality of the student. The Guru tried to develop the student’s character, versatility, confidence, strength and overall vision of life. The ideal Guru was supposed to be the best friend, philosopher and guide of the student. Ideally in the Guru-Shishya parampara, the relationship was unconditional: nothing was asked for in return as a pre-condition other than the Guru’s acceptance of the Shishya as a student. In this parampara, the leaning process determined the guru-shishya relationship. Acquisition of knowledge in a value-rich environment was undertaken in a formal framework under the Gurukula system, where the Shishya surrendered himself to the Guru. All learners, irrespective of their background, were equal under the constant supervision and tutelage of the Guru.
Our great SANATANA DHARMA tradition has been enriched by the GURU-SISHYA relationship. Lord Rama’s greatness lay in His relationship with His most loyal disciple HANUMAN who taught the essence of RAMANAMAMRITIM. Lord Krishna gave us the Bhagavad Gita, thanks to his devoted and most trusted disciple Arjuna. Saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gave to India Swami Vivekananda who in turn gave to the world the Ramakrishna Mission embodying the soul of India.
Let us draw our inspiration from the soaring words of Swami Vivekananda who painted the relationship between the GURU and his SISHYA in radiant words of everlasting beauty and wisdom: ‘’The GURU must be worshiped as GOD. He is God, nothing less than that. The GURU is the bright mask which God wears in order to come to us. As we look steadily on, gradually the mask falls off and God is revealed. He is the embodiment of the BLISS DIVINE, the personification of the highest knowledge and the giver of the greatest beatitude, who is pure, perfect, one without a second, eternal beyond pleasure and pain, beyond all thought and all qualifications, transcendental. Such is in reality the Guru. No wonder the disciple looks upon him as God himself and trusts him, reveres him, obeys him, follows him unquestioningly. This is the relation between the Guru and the disciple’’.
Devotees belonging to Sanatan Sanstha would be offering their special prayers to their Guru Shreemat Sadguru Bhaktaraj Maharaj (1920-1995) and Dr.Jayant Balaji Athavale at the Guru Poornima festival at DG Vaishnav College Hall. Arumbakkam, Chennai tomorrow (25-7-2010).
Sadguru Bhaktaraj Maharaj Dr Jayant Balaji Athavale
Sadguru Bhaktarâj Maharaj of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India was a Hindu saint in the age old Bhakti tradition of India. He radiated the message of Bhakti through his Bhajans (devotional songs) and by repeatedly chanting the name of the Almighty or Guru (Naamsmaran). He was a devotee of Sai Baba of Shirdi who came to him in the name and form of Anantananda Saish. The name Bhaktarâj means King amongst the Devotees. This name was conferred on him by his Sadguru Anantananda Saish as a token of grace and love. The divine quality of Baba (Bhaktarâj Maharaj) was his loving nature. He attracted thousands by his divine love and Bhajans and led them towards the highest goal of spirituality. The chief essence of his teaching was to “Experience bliss through the spiritual practice of chanting the name of God, singing holy songs, service by seeing all in form of God or Sadguru himself, sacrifice, unconditional love for others”. Many of his teachings were compiled by Dr. Jayant Bâlâjî Athavale and Dr. (Smt.) Kunda Jayant Athavale in their book ‘The Teachings of Saint Bhaktaraj.
The founder of Sanatan Sanstha is His Holiness Dr.Jayant Balaji Athavale. Sanatan Sanstha was founded by Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale in 1990, with the blessings of his Sadguru, Saint Bhaktaraj. After practicing as a hypnotherapist for twenty years, he realized that nearly 30% of his patients did not recover with the usual treatment regimens. On the contrary, many of those patients recovered fully after having gone on a pilgrimage, or having followed the spiritual advice of a Saint. Thus Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale came to the inescapable conclusion that there is another science far superior to physical and psychological medicine, and that was the science of Spirituality. This was because medical science only dealt with physical and to some extent psychological aspects of a patient, but completely left out the entire spiritual aspects of the person. To his great joy and satisfaction, he found that the cure rate among his patients increased substantially by following this new path of guided spirituality.
Dr. Athavale has worked tirelessly in the field of Spirituality to share with humanity the findings of his research into the deeper understanding of the Spiritual dimension using a scientific approach. In order to achieve this end, he has published more than 1.6 million copies of spiritual books in 11 languages like Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, English and other languages during the last 7 years. His work has been recognized by Hindu Saints and Sages belonging to all denominations.
From the dawn of her history India has adored and idealized, not soldiers and statesman, not men of science and leaders of industry, not even poets and philosophers who influenced the world by their deeds or by their words, but those rarer and more chastened spirits whose greatness lies in what they are and not in what they do; men who have stamped infinity on the thought and life of the country, saintly men who have added to the invisible forces of nobility and wholesome goodness in the world. To a sordid world given to the pursuit of power and pleasure, wealth and glory, they declare the unreality of the unseen world and the deathless call of the spiritual life. Their self-possession and self-command, their strange and deep wisdom, their exquisite sweetness and courtesy, their humility and gentleness of soul, their abounding humanity, proclaim that the destiny of man is to know himself and thereby advance and take forward the universal life of which he is an integral element. This supreme ideal has dominated the Indian Religious Landscape for over hundred centuries.
Both Sadguru Bhaktaraj Maharaj and Sadguru Dr.Jayant Balaji Athavale belong to this glorious tradition. We find in both of them in powerful combination, spiritual profundity, moral strength of the highest order and a discreet intellectual reserve. They are rare spirits who bring to ordinary men a realization of their own divinity and make the spiritual life seem adventurous and attractive, so that they may go forth into the world with a new interest and a new joy at heart. While their great intellect and wisdom give them cosmic comprehension of the highest truth, their warm hearts lead them to devote their life to save from sorrow faltering and suffering humanity, thus confirming the great mystic tradition that true immortals occupy themselves with human affairs even though they possess divine souls.