The Profound Significance of Guru Purnima
The true celebration of Guru Purnima will only commence when you surrender completely unto the lotus feet of your Spiritual Master.
On the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, everyone would like to know what the real meaning of Guru Purnima is. It is the complete surrender by an individual soul under the bondage of maya to a personality beyond maya.
Everywhere in this material world, we can see different levels in different fields. For example, the degree of sweetness varies in different objects. Regarding academic qualifications, one enters at the lower standard and progresses to the higher ones, from standard one to standard two and so on. Similarly, if we are able to surrender completely unto the lotus feet of our Spiritual Master, that would be the true celebration of Guru Purnima.
The Vedas declare, “Avoid maintaining any distance between you and your Beloved Lord, so as to reach the state of complete surrender.”
A touchstone converts iron into gold only if both are united properly. The same applies to God and you. Draupadi, though a great devotee of Shri Krishna, failed to attain Shri Krishna’s favor until she relied on her own strength and kept her garment clenched between her teeth. The moment she released it, Shri Krishna came running to rescue her as she had now completely surrendered to Him. The Lord takes full responsibility for those who completely surrender to Him.
In the beginning of the Gita, Arjuna says to Lord Krishna, “My dear Lord! I am a prapanna disciple of Yours and fully surrendered unto You alone.” Arjuna was very wise; he did not acknowledge Shri Krishna as the Supreme Lord, otherwise Shri Krishna could have definitely sent him to a Guru to seek guidance. In the beginning, he only admitted himself to be the disciple and Shri Krishna as his Supreme Master.
It is only a God-realized soul that should be accepted and worshiped as a Guru. You can worship and regard your father, mother, or any of your loved ones as your Spiritual Master if he or she is a God-realized soul. Mere physical relations are immaterial. The only condition is whoever you accept as your Guru, he or she should be a God-realized soul.
Now listen to Shri Krishna, what did He say to Arjuna when he claimed himself to be a prapanna disciple? Shri Krishna explains, “My dear one. You are wrong if you think yourself to be a prapanna disciple. Don’t you know the definition? What does prapanna mean? It implies the complete surrender of the mind and intellect, while panna means to prostrate only physically without having any feeling of submission. Surrender of the mind is true surrender; otherwise, it is a mere show or deception.”
Prapanna means complete surrender of the mind as well as the intellect. “I ask you to give Me both your mind and intellect fully. You are intent on giving Me your mind but not your intellect. This will not be accepted by Me. Give me both, only then can you declare yourself to be a prapanna disciple of mine (your Spiritual Master).”
The celebration of Guru Purnima conveys this profound message of Shri Krishna: a sincere disciple should be devoted to his Spiritual Master with his mind and intellect fully guided by his divine grace. As a client submits himself to the advice of his solicitor, without using his own reasoning, or in the way a student never questions his teacher, even if he does not understand many of the complexities during the learning process – he just accepts whatever the teacher says otherwise the teacher would expel him.
In the same way, a patient strictly follows the prescription given by his doctor and consumes the prescribed medication given by his
doctor accordingly so as to be cured quickly; otherwise, he would never get rid of his ailment. Similarly, we should surrender to our Guru in order to be free from the bondage of maya.
At so many places in our daily life, we are well-practiced in complete faith. For example, normally in a bank where a person deposits his hard-earned money, he first hands it over to the cashier without any acknowledgment. Later he receives the receipt. It is possible the cashier may not give him the receipt. Being under the influence of maya, he may be deceitful, but we place our firm faith in him that he will give us the receipt.
Does the rich businessman go to deposit money himself? Most of the time his transactions take place through his subordinates; he relies on them fully. All this is going on in the world, but in the spiritual field, we have doubt. Until we completely surrender to our Guru, whether in this life or in another lifetime, we will not achieve our supreme goal.
Lord Krishna vividly declares in the Gita, “I am ready to provide full protection and take full responsibility only for those who seek My refuge, abandoning all other support, and who set their mind constantly in Me alone.”
So if you also desire the Lord to do the same for you, be fully devoted earnestly and sincerely to Him alone. In the event you show off, He will respond in the same way. He further declares in the Gita, “As one approaches Me, I receive him in the same way. If you are eager to live in My protection and have Me alone attend to your needs, then you will have to surrender completely. If you resolve to be taken care of by Me only partially, then divide your attention and surrender to Me accordingly; it is your choice. If you love the sufferings of this world, live a life being indulged in sensual pleasures; and if you desire divine bliss, then come to Me.”
So the true celebration of Guru Purnima will commence only when all you individual souls controlled by maya since eternity have the good fortune to surrender yourself completely unto the lotus feet of a God-realized soul, your Guru.
Blessed are those who meet a God-realized Saint. More so are those who are under the guidance of a genuine Jagadguru, who is the most exalted among many God-realized Saints. However, the most fortunate of all are those who are practicing devotion under the guidance of Jagadguruttam, the Supreme Spiritual Master of the World. Attaining such immense fortune is possible only with the boundless mercy and grace of the Supreme Lord, Shri Radha Krishna.
To be celebrating Guru Purnima in Bhakti Bhavan within Bhakti Dham, where the outpouring of bhakti rasa is profuse and never-ending, is the rarest of rare opportunities. We are indeed extremely fortunate to be a part of the auspicious occasion, and our deepest heartfelt thanks to our beloved Guru.
The magnitude of our Guru’s greatness is infinite; there are no words to describe it. From the Vedas to the Ramayana, all scriptures have spoken about guru tattva, the entity known as Guru, and all have declared in unison that no one can ever repay the debt of such a Guru even over countless lives. Celestials like Saraswati and Brihaspati have tried and failed. Perhaps the one and only reason for this is that even the Supreme Lord, Shri Radha Krishna, is bound by the Love of the Guru.
On this auspicious occasion, let us make a firm resolve to surrender our body, mind, wealth, and all that we have at the lotus feet of
our Guru. Let us utilize this golden opportunity by conducting a self-analysis and assess how much of our spiritual capital has increased and how much we have squandered since last year’s Guru Purnima.
JKP wishes all devotees a very Happy Guru Purnima.
By Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj (Credits: A Journey Towards Divine Love)
*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*
(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharajji)
The original title of Jagadguruttam (‘Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World’) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957 by ‘Kashi Vidvat Parishad’ (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like ‘Prem Ras Madira’, ‘Prem Ras Siddhant’, and ‘Radha Govind Geet’ to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include - Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh, Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharajji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.