The Guiding Light

I have to admit that in many ways I consider myself very fortunate. Most of the experiences that life has presented me with were beautiful. It is of course a great blessing to be born in my family, being loved and cared for, having the friends that I have, and so on and so forth. But there is something that makes me feel really special. Something that has made me who I am. A great fortune that many do not realize they have access to. It is the role guru has played in my life.

I know that Guru is a complicated concept for many. In a world of deteriorating teacher student relationship, it is difficult to comprehend the loving presence of a guiding soul. Unfortunately, many have a very wrong notion of what a guru really means. Recently Oxford dictionary adopted the word to their new edition. But the context in which they are using the word is quite degrading. For example tech guru, business guru and all other absurdities. Mostly, people picture guru as a classical renunciate who sits cross-legged under a tree, with a long beard and talks in rhetoric. But to me, Guru is something beyond the physical realm. In Sanskrit the etymology of the word gives the meaning “the one who removes or dispels darkness”. Though there are a lot of teachers and masters out there, it is quite difficult to find a real guide to eternal light.

I was one of those people who was in the quest for a Guru. Though many people formed a heroic figure in my mind, through time I outgrew the habit of putting someone on the pedestal. So my search continued. After so many years it struck me one day. Influenced by the classical concept, I had been searching for the aforementioned person (cross-legged, long bearded) and therefore was moving in the wrong direction. Guru is much more than that. I realized that the spiritual guide had always been with me like a guardian angel. But I was so insensitive that I didn’t feel his presence. Still he manifested in different forms throughout my life.

To explain it better, I can narrate the whole experience in four stages.

In the first stage Guru manifested in the tangible form of the loving people such as my parents and teachers. My parents have always been very supportive and encouraging. It was through them that I got the first glimpse at guru. Secondly it was my teachers who took up the role. Right from my Kindergarten to till now, I am blessed with many great teachers. I am referring to the extremely committed group of selfless people who burned like candle for providing light to their students. As the list is too long, endeavoring to name them would be a folly. If it wasn’t for the love and kindness that these people had showered on me, life would have been totally different. They were focused more on my all round development than the academic achievements. Their compassion compelled me to move forward confidently. Though I never was an ideal student, all my idiocies were unconditionally forgiven and right way was always pointed out. Collectively all this people formed the figure of all-knowing Guru at this stage.

In the second stage, I became attracted to books.  At first I read whatever I can lay my hands on. Eventually, I became attached to some genres such as biography, philosophy and spirituality. I found some real gems in this journey. Through the words of great masters like Jesus, Krishna, Sri Narayana guru, Gandhi, Nitya chaitanya yati, Osho, Jalaluddin Rumi and Kahlil Gibran, a completely new world was unravelled for me. These great thinkers and philosophers totally changed my perspective. So Guru became a deeper concept now. Manifesting as these masters, he educated me on the different concepts and philosophies that helped me to change my outlook. My thoughts were enriched and presumptions were questioned. It provided the encouragement towards personal and spiritual growth.

My understanding of Guru further expanded on the third stage, when random people on streets, whom I usually avoid, were giving timely advises and unanticipated aid to me at the time of distress. Help was always available whenever I needed it. Only thing was that I had to be more open-minded and considerate of everyone’s opinion. Even the small things and trifles gave me insights once I started transcending my prejudices. It was a wonderful experience and it felt like the whole universe is caring for me. Hence at this stage Guru became not a person at all, rather an omnipresent being who can watch over and guide me through all difficulties. It became apparent that anyone and anything can be an instrument of his will.

The fourth stage was the most astonishing of all. It was when I realized that I am also part of the grid and Guru can manifest through me too. Many times when people seek for advice, I came up with right solutions that helped them. But the remedies that I gave them were not actually mine. It was spontaneous reaction and I would invariably start thinking,”wow, where did that come from”. I began realizing the presence of guru inside was prompting me to say the right thing at the right time without me consciously thinking about it. It was magical because I had always considered myself as an idiot with no original ideas whatsoever. So as Saint Francis Assisi said, I realized I was also an instrument in the hands of the Guru.

My quest was definitely full of surprises. Towards the end, the whole experience transcended the notion of Guru into something much deeper and mysterious. Evolving from physical to universal to spiritual and finally to all-encompassing. It is possible that different religions use different words like guardian angel, Malak, Holy spirit and so forth for the concept that I presented here as guru. I believe that everyone has access to such a guru but in the hustle of life, forget to stop to meditate and listen to the guiding soul. Hence they feel lost and stranded. If someone is meditative and has faith in the guiding hands, he or she will undoubtedly feel the love and warmth of the eternal light.

Gurur-brahma

gurur-vishnu

gurur-devo maheshwara

gurur-sakshat para brahma

tasmai sree gurave nama.

{Guru is the creator, preserver and destroyer. Guru is the one omnipresent Brahma. Salutations to that Guru}

 

8 comments

  1. Thank you Giulia for reading and commenting. Hope you will be guided to greater awareness and understanding in your life

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I can definitely relate to it, all my life I felt guided by Something. Lately I started to feel it stronger, especially when I meditate, and it makes me so joyful 🙂 I call it Soul or God.

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