Section-9 of Sheeksha Valli, the first part of Taittiriya Upanishad imparts invaluable wisdom on leading a balanced and virtuous life. It encourages individuals to fulfil their duties, seek knowledge, practice virtues, and contribute positively to their families and society. The teachings emphasize that truthfulness, austerity, and the pursuit of knowledge are essential aspects of a meaningful and spiritually fulfilling life.
In this section, the Upanishad conveys: “The Integral Principles of Vedic Education and Propagation.”
Do your duty; learn and teach.
Speak truth; learn and teach.
Meditate; learn and teach.
Control sense; learn and teach.
Control mind; learn and teach.
Kindle fire; learn and teach.
Feed fire; learn and teach.
Be hospitable; learn and teach.
Be humane; learn and teach.
Serve the family; learn and teach.
Procreate; learn and teach.
Educate your children; learn and teach.
Essence of the lines: 1 to 5 is for: ” Brahmacharya Ashrama”(Students).
Essence of the lines: 6 to 9 is for: ” Grihastha Ashrama” (House Holders).
Essence of the lines: 10 to 12 is for: ” Vanaprastha Ashrama” (who are nearing retirement).
Learning and instructing are fundamental to each of the aforementioned 12 duties. The practitioner of any of the above is obligated to learn about it and pass on it with others. He should learn as much as possible to help him achieve his goal of liberation, and he should teach others so that this knowledge will remain in the public domain forever.
Note to the Readers:
Studying and propagating knowledge stand as the bedrock of our mission. Through dedicated study, we empower ourselves with wisdom, enabling us to serve society with greater insight and purpose. Propagation extends this knowledge, reaching wider circles and benefiting the collective. Together, these principles fortify our mission’s commitment to illuminate minds and contribute positively to society’s growth and well-being.
It is with great joy and reverence, I would like to focus here today to explore the profound concept of the Guru Tatwa, an infinite intelligence that transcends any particular human form. “GURU TATWA” is not limited to any Guru in the form of Human Being.
On this auspicious day, let us express our gratitude, seek blessings, and rededicate ourselves to the path of self-discovery and enlightenment under the guidance of the Guru Tatwa.
Guru Purnima, a sacred day celebrated by spiritual seekers and devotees around the world, holds profound significance. Beyond the veneration of a specific guru, it symbolizes the recognition and reverence for the Guru Tatwa—the universal principle of knowledge and wisdom.
Ancient Teachings: Significance of Guru Tatwa in Hindu Philosophy:
Guru Tatwa refers to the universal principle or essence of the Guru. It encompasses the fundamental qualities and attributes associated with a guru, which are considered sacred and vital for spiritual growth and realization. Guru Tatwa represents the role of the guru in dispelling ignorance and leading seekers towards enlightenment. The Guru Tatwa plays the role of a spiritual guide and mentor. Gurus offer clarity, direction, and inspiration, helping the disciple transcend limitations and realize their spiritual potential.
Guru as the Manifestation of “Brahman”:
In Hindu philosophy, Brahman is considered the supreme reality, the ultimate source of all existence, consciousness, and knowledge. The Guru is seen as a manifestation or embodiment of this divine principle, serving as a guide and transmitter of wisdom to seekers on their spiritual journey. Brahman, being formless and beyond comprehension, assumes different forms to interact with the world and guide seekers. The Guru can appear as a human being, an avatar, a sage, nature, or even an animal, depending on the divine play and the needs of the aspirant.
Spiritual Growth: Role of Guru: –
The Guru possesses deep spiritual realization and insights into the nature of existence. Through their own direct experience and connection with the divine, they are able to transmit knowledge and guidance to their disciples. This transmission occurs on a subtle level, beyond mere intellectual exchange, as the Guru’s presence and teachings facilitate spiritual growth in the seeker.
The relationship between the Guru and disciple is profound and sacred. The disciple approaches the Guru with humility, surrender, and a sincere desire for spiritual evolution. The Guru, in turn, imparts knowledge, offers guidance, and helps remove the veils of ignorance that obstruct the seeker’s path.
Parents: the first GURUs.
The first GURUs in our lives are our parents and the immediate environment in which we are nurtured. This holds true for all living beings, but for human beings, it carries a special significance due to our heightened consciousness and potential for spiritual growth. From the moment of our birth, they become the primary channels through which we experience the world. As human beings, we possess a unique position in this cosmic play, for we are highly evolved manifestations of Brahman.
Learning from Nature: The Second Guru:
The natural world is a profound teacher, offering valuable lessons and insights. The environment exposes individuals to the beauty and intricacy of nature, fostering a sense of awe, wonder, and interconnectedness. Observing the cycles of seasons, the diversity of flora and fauna, and the balance of ecosystems can instill a deep appreciation for the wisdom and harmony of nature.
Cultural and Social Interactions: The Third Guru:
The social environment, including interactions with family, friends, community, and society at large, contributes to one’s growth and development. Cultural norms, values, and customs are passed down through interactions within the community, exposing individuals to different perspectives and ways of life. These interactions provide opportunities to learn from diverse experiences and broaden one’s understanding of the world.
Educational Institutions: Prime period with Gurus:
Formal educational institutions, such as schools, colleges, and universities, serve as influential aspects of the environment. They provide structured learning environments, access to knowledge, and opportunities for intellectual growth. Teachers and mentors within educational institutions impart academic knowledge, critical thinking skills, and guidance in various disciplines.
Other forms of Gurus:
1) Media and Technology:
In the modern era, media and technology shape the environment in significant ways. The internet, books, television, films, and other media platforms offer a wealth of information and perspectives. While navigating these platforms requires discernment, they can provide access to diverse sources of knowledge, insights, and ideas, serving as an educational resource.
2) Personal Experiences and Life Challenges:
Life experiences, including personal successes and failures, challenges, and hardships, offer profound opportunities for growth and learning. These experiences serve as powerful GURUs, providing lessons in resilience, adaptability, compassion, and self-discovery. Through personal experiences, individuals gain practical wisdom and insights that shape their character and spiritual evolution.
In the concept of Guru as “Brahman,” we understand that the Guru is the embodiment of the supreme reality and the ultimate source of all knowledge. Through various forms and the grace of the Guru, seekers are guided towards self-realization and spiritual awakening. We have embraced the understanding that this wisdom is accessible to all beings in myriad ways. May we always cherish the divine presence in our lives, appreciating the interconnectedness of all beings and the role they play as GURUs on our journey of self-realization.”