It is said that an association with a Sadhu or a Mahan and to be in the divine communion with Bhagavatas is indeed the rarest of the rarest. This is what is said in Srimad Bhagavatam. This can be verily seen to be the case with the king Muchukunda from the Ikshvaku dynasty. When he met Lord Krishna in person, the only thing he requested the Lord to bestow upon him is satsang. Another great devotee of the Lord is Thondaradipodiazhwar, who desired to be at the feet of the great Mahans who are in constant communion with the Lord. Such is the greatness of Satsang. Our Guru maharaj proclaims that one who chants the Divine Names of the Lord and narrates the stories of the Lord is verily a Bhagavata. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has also said that one who chants the Divine Names of the Lord even once in his/her life is indeed a Bhagavata. We are all indeed blessed to have a telecom satsang every week and let’s pray to the Lord to bestow us with more satsangs.
Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar would say that by chanting the divine Name of Lord Rama, the Rama Rajyam [rule] can be reinstated. This fact has been echoed by various Mahans right from Swami Vivekananda. One great Mahan whose birthday falls on the second of October is Mahatma Gandhiji, the father of our Nation and his life-line was chanting the Divine Names of the Lord. He did not perform any other spiritual austerity other than the Nama Sankirtan.
Here is a quote from Gandhiji’s Hairjan magazine –
“To a question by some missionary friend whether he followed any spiritual practices?
In reply to this question Gandhiji said that he was a stranger to yogi practices. The practice that I follow is something I learned in my childhood from my nurse. I was afraid of ghosts. The nurse consoled me that ghosts don’t exist. She also gave me a panacea for my fear of ghosts. She advised me to chant the Divine Names of Lord Rama. What I learnt in my childhood has now become eternal in my mind. It is verily the sun that has brightened the dark star. A Christian might find solace from the repetitive chanting of the name of Lord Jesus, a Muslim can find peace by reciting the name of Allah. All these are identical and have same implications and produce the same results under the same circumstances. The repetition should not be just a lip movement but be a part of the being itself. Gandhiji even proclaimed that it is only the Divine Name chanting of Lord Rama that would help India gets its independence in one of his last meetings, before India got her independence. Soon after this meeting, India got its independence akin to Yogi Ramsuratkumar who said that the Divine Name chanting of Lord Rama would establish Rama Rajya.
Once a devotee questioned Sri Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi mutt, whether the Divine Name chanting will fetch the same good merits as other spiritual austerities. Sri Bodendral replied that it is very true that the Divine Name chanting will fetch the same merits as the other spiritual practices, but one needs to note that it is only because of the good merits accrued in previous births that one get to chant the Divine Names of the Lord in the present birth. Such is the glory of the Nama Sankirtan.
The more recitation of the Divine Names of the Lord even if chanted mechanically will over time start to involve our mind and heart and will very soon develop that state of devotion [ bhava]. It is also a fact that the Divine Name chanting of the Lord will have more effect when initiated by a Guru.
Followed by introductions, Mukundji from Redding CA beautifully rendered the satsang talk on the significance of Guru.
In this mundane world, to be adept at any skill, one would needs a master [Guru] to guide in mastering that skill set. Let’s take an example. We widely use a pot that is made out of mud to grow plants, store water etc. What we never wonder is the time and intricacies associated to make this pot. When one such pot breaks, we quickly go and get another pot. Not everybody possesses the skills to make a pot. It requires adept skills and definitely needs a master [Guru] who has specialized in this to impart that skill to everyone. This applies to other fields as well. When we need a master [Guru] who is highly specialized for every field only in this worldly life, then what to talk about the spiritual life? We definitely need a Guru if we are going in pursuit of spiritual knowledge say spiritual realization or realizing God. One cannot embark into the spiritual world without a Guru. It is only a mahan [Guru] who can help in realizing the self and eventually make us reach the holy feet of the Lord.
“krishnam vande jagatGurum” – Lord Sri Krishna is the Guru for the universe. That Lord Sri Krishna also had a Guru Sandeepani to get enlightened. Akin to Lord Sri Krishna is Lord Rama whose Guru was Sage Vashishta. When all the Lords themselves need a Guru, it is very lucid that common people definitely need a Guru to guide them through their spiritual practices. We have a family physician to whom we go and seek medical advice when we are not keeping good health. We have an ailment in the spiritual world as well. It is the cycle of births and deaths. It is only a Guru who can absolve the bad merits accrued in our births and eventually cleanse us and throw us unto the holy feet of the Lord even without our knowledge. So who is a Guru? A Guru is one who is a self-realized soul, always sings the Divine Names of the Lord and reminisce the stories of the Lord and is in constant communion with the Lord.
Sant Kabirdas in one of his dohas very beautifully says that “If at all both the Lord and the Guru come and stand in front of him, he would first prostrate to his Guru and then to the Lord.” There is a beautiful reason as to why he says this. A mother takes every step to bring up the child right from the first day of her pregnancy till the child becomes independent. When the child grows up and becomes very learned and earns a very respectable position in the society, the father proudly tells everybody that it is his son.
Similarly a Guru takes everyone unto his feet and bestows them with Jnana, Bhakti and Vairagya and throws them unto the feet of the Lord without their knowledge.
Lord Krishna very beautifully explains the significance of Guru in Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Sri Krishna who is the ruler of Dwaraka is filled with peace. His close friend Sri Kuchelar who is poverty stricken is also very peaceful. The reason for their tranquility is because they were enlightened under the tutelage of their Guru Sandeepani. When their education was about to culminate, they were blessed by their Guru that they will always be calm, happy and that peace will prevail eternally in them. A Guru’s word and blessing will never go wrong.
The young Dhruva wanted to sit on his father’s lap and his step-mother Shuichi banished him and asked him to go to the forest and perform penance in order to be bestowed with a boon from the Lord to be born as the son of Suruchi, so that he can sit on his father’s lap. Dhruva who was only five years old was not able to comprehend fully what his step mother was asking him to do. He set out to the forest to meet the Lord and ask him for a boon to be born as the son of Suruchi. En route to the forest, Dhruva was stopped by Sage Narada who enquired about Dhurva’s whereabouts. He narrated whatever that had just happened in his father’s courtyard. Upon hearing, Sage Narada advised him to go back since doing penance in the forest for such a small boy was going to be very difficult. Dhruva after listening to Sage Narada immediately said, “It is you who asked everyone to chant the Divine Names of the Lord in order to see the Lord”. Hearing this, he was awed at Dhruva and he blessed him and initiated a Nama. Dhruva, by chanting the Nama had the darshan of the Lord. It is said that the Devas are not very amiable when the Rishis perform any spiritual austerity. They tend to cause some disturbance. But in the case of Dhruva, since he had blessed by a Guru [Sage Narada], there was no super natural disturbance and Dhruva was able to attain the goal that he aspired.
Akin to how a child who is devoid of parents is called an orphan, a devotee who doesn’t have a Guru is also called orphan. In order to reach god, one definitely needs a Guru.
The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.