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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Who is the Guru? Who is worthy of receiving Brahma Vidya?

Sri Ramakrishna says that only Sat-Chit-Ananda is Guru. Sri Rmakrishna also says that one who has seen God and have got order from God can only teach mankind, else one one will follow him, as God is not with him. The effect will be temporary

Shastras say the same. Bhagavan in Gita says

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया।
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः।।4.34।।

tadviddhi praṇipātēna paripraśnēna sēvayā.
upadēkṣyanti tē jñānaṅ jñāninastattvadarśinaḥ..4.34..

4.34 Know that through prostration, inquiry and service. The wise ones who have realized the Truth will impart the Knowledge (Tatva Jnana) to you.

Brahma vidya and the study of Advaita which takes you to Brahma-vidya or Atma-Vidya or Tatva Jnana should only be given to the pure minds.

Guru Gita

Guru Gita at many places say that there is no difference between Shiva and Guru. Guru means Guru Tatva and not physical Guru. Only Sat Guru (Param Guru) can help you cross the ocean of Samsara.


यो गुरु स शिवः प्रोक्तो, यः शिवः स गुरुस्मृतः |
विकल्पं यस्तु कुर्वीत स नरो गुरुतल्पगः ||

He who is the Guru is Shiva Himself, so declare the scriptures, and the fact that Shiva is the Guru, is reminded to us in all the Smritis. He, who makes any distinction between the two, is guilty of the crime of uniting with his own Guru’s wife. (18)

गुरुबुध्यात्मनो नान्यत् सत्यं सत्यं वरानने |
तल्लभार्थं प्रयत्नस्तु कर्त्तवयशच मनीषिभिः ||


The Guru is not different from the conscious Self. Without doubt, this is the truth; therefore wise men should make an effort to seek knowledge of Atman from Him. (22)


गुकारश्चान्धकारो हि रुकारस्तेज उच्यते |
अज्ञानग्रासकं ब्रह्म गुरुरेव न संशयः ||

The syllable “Gu” is the darkness and the syllable “Ru” is said to be light. There is no doubt that the Guru is indeed the Supreme Knowledge that dispels (the darkness of) ignorance. (33)


गुकारश्चान्धकारस्तु रुकारस्तन्निरोधकृत् |
अन्धकारविनाशित्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ||

“Gu” Kara means the darkness and “Ru” Kara means the remover of the darkness. On account of the power of removing darkness, the teacher is known by the significant name “Guru”. (34)


गुकारश्च गुणातीतो रूपातीतो रुकारकः |
गुणरूपविहीनत्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ||

The letter “Gu” denotes that He is beyond the three Gunas and “Ru“ denotes that He is beyond forms. Because He is free from Gunas and forms, He is called the Guru. (35)


गुकारः प्रथमो वर्णो मायादि गुणभासकः |
रुकारोऽस्ति परं ब्रह्म मायाभ्रान्तिविमोचकम् ||

The first syllable “Gu” represents the principles such as maya and the second syllable “Ru” the supreme knowledge that destroys the illusions of maya. (36)


गुकारं च गुणातीतं रुकारं रुपवर्जितम् |
गुणातीतमरूपं च यो दद्यात् स गुरुः स्मृतः ||

The syllable “Gu” is that which transcends all attributes, and the syllable “Ru” is that which is without form. The Guru is said to be the one who bestows the state that is beyond attributes (and form). (47)

Katha Upanishad

In Katha Upanishad, Yamdev says the same thing that Sri Ramakrishna says about teaching Brahma vidya without realizing or abiding in Truth is like Blind Leading Blind

2.5 The deluded staying in illusion thinking themselves to be enlightened go in circles faltering and floundering like sightless-men led by a sightless one.

2.8 This principle (Brahman) is not understood by pondering in different ways or being taught by one of low ability. There is no other way than being taught by one of unparalleled ability and it transcends all arguments and is subtlest of subtle.


2.9 This knowledge is not attainable by argumentation. It is of easy comprehension only when instructed by another. O! Dearest one! O! Nachiketa! let there be seekers like you! You are truly resolved in your desire.

Brahma Jnana is difficult to grasp and teach


2.7 It is not possible for many to hear about it (Brahman) and even having heard many do not understand. The teacher must be a skilful one and the pupil should be sharp in grasp. The knower is a wonderful person instructed by the adept.


Svetasvatara Upanishad says

यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ ।
तस्यैते कथिता ह्यर्थाः प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः ॥
प्रकाशन्ते महात्मन इति ।6:23।

These truths, when taught, shine forth only in that high-souled one / pure mind who has Supreme Devotion to God, and an equal degree of devotion the Spiritual Master. They shine forth in that High-Souled one only.

Rama Gita

Bhagavan Shri Rama in Rama Gita says that since Laxman has purified himself through selfless service form many years, he is worthy for receiving Tatva Jnana.

Same is said by Bhagavan Krishna in Bhagavad Gita

संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दुःखमाप्तुमयोगतः।
योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति।।5.6।।

saṅnyāsastu mahābāhō duḥkhamāptumayōgataḥ.
yōgayuktō munirbrahma nacirēṇādhigacchati..5.6..

5.6 But, O mighty-armed one, renunciation is hard to attain without (Karma-) yoga. The meditative man equipped with yoga attains Brahman without delay.

Yog Vasistha

Bhagavan Rama had gone to visit his city and after returning he developed dispassion. Sage Valmiki and Sage Vishvamitra discussed about the mental state of Shri Rama and concluded that now since he has developed dispassion in society i.e. vairagya, he is fit for self Enquiry and requests Sage Vasistha to impart Brahma-Vidya.


Bhagavan in Gita says that

क्लेशोऽधिकतरस्तेषामव्यक्तासक्तचेतसाम्।
अव्यक्ता हि गतिर्दुःखं देहवद्भिरवाप्यते।।12.5।।

12.5 Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the unmanifested; for the goal; the unmanifested, is very hard for the embodied to reach.

The path is difficult because the aspirant has to give up attachment to the body from the very beginning of his spiritual practice.The embodied: Those who identify themselves with their bodies. Identification with the body is Dehabhimana. The imperishable Brahman is very hard to reach for those who are attached to their bodies. Further, it is extremely difficult to fix the resltess mind on the formless and attributeless Brahman.

Sri Ramana Maharshi in Sri Ramana Gita Chapter 7 says:

Ones who have purified their mind through sadhana (meditation) or by Sattvik Karma in past lives can practice advaita Vedanta. He further says that one who does not give much importance to his body and senses and has no interest in the worldly affairs instead of being surrounded by worldly issues are considered as eligible for Self Enquiry.


The person who has no other desire but to know the true nature or realize Brahman / Atman is Brahma-vidya or Brahma-Jnana. Such person is indeed rare and is not attracted by worldly objects. Only the one who has realized true nature can teach the knowledge of Self Realization.


Note: Guru Gita is translated in Hindi by Nandlal Dashora and is published by Randhir Prakashan

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