Guru Purnima, a spiritual tradition practised in many parts of the world, is the most significant day in the Guru-Disciple relationship. On this day, a disciple offers his Guru a coconut symbolic of the former’s ego. It is an act representative of the complete surrender of his Tan (Body), Mann (Mind) and Dhan (wealth). A Guru must accept this offering and evaluate whether the disciple has evolved to the stage that was expected of him. When the Guru blesses the coconut, he blesses the body and mind of the disciple.
The Guru plays the most significant role in uplifting the consciousness of the disciple, guiding him, mentoring him and helping him course correct when he falters. It is he who sheds light on the fact that there is more to one’s existence than the trappings of worldly existence. The Guru teaches the disciple to perform actions selflessly devoid of expectation, without accepting anything in return . It is he who teaches the disciple a lesson of immense value on the path of seva (Selfless service) – that it is the disciple’s good fortune to be presented with an opportunity to serve others which in itself is the greatest return.
A devoted and loyal disciple will strive to spread his Guru’s philosophy and teachings to all. That is the most sincere way of expressing gratitude to the realised master, and fulfil one’s duty towards him.
On the occasion of Guru Purnima, let us reflect on one of Saint Kabir’s Dohas, in tribute to those who have played the role of a Guru in our lives.
“Guru Gobind dono khade, kake lagoo paye?
Balihari Guru Apne Gobind diyo dikhaye”
In the above doha, Kabir asks – if Guru and Gobind (the realised self or jivaatma) are standing together, whose feet should one touch? He then responds to the question saying, “I will touch the feet of my guru because it is he who showed me to me!”