Friday, 27 May 2011

Birth Day of our Spiritual Teacher - What is so special about it?

Sadguru  Janma Dina Utsavam

(Birth Day of our Spiritual Teacher)

 What is so special about it?

-          Vamshi Krishna Ghanapathi
Time is eternal and admits of neither an identifiable beginning nor a quantifiable conclusion. However, mankind devised sagacious systems to gauge the units of time, with the aid of celestial phenomena and objects, such as planetary constellations and their relative positions for their convenience of transactions and possible curiosity about forecast. Our Ancestral Sages combined their intuitive powers and long term observational skills with stringent penances. This enabled them to establish the earliest system of reckoning time, commencing with the very genesis of the Universe (Brahmaanda), as well as the Mortal Body (Pindaanda). The implications behind each unit of time’s coincidence with each unit of the body (Celestial/ Human/ Biological) were discussed threadbare in a myriad of texts.
Thus the system of Jaataka Chakram (Kundali) or Horoscopy Chart, was derived, by means of which any person could ascertain what was in store. In the case of anunfavourable forecast, several remedies were provided with this system of forecast. This served to uplift a soul from its pall of gloom, and provided a measure of assurance. The asynchronous analysis of life with the able assistance of the guidelines available in the Dharma Sastra (Code of Righteousness) was also made an inseparable part of our life, and this was resorted to during casual exchanges or introspection.
Apart from this, a periodical review of a person’s performance in life was an important factor. Such review was deemed to be indispensable for the betterment of human life.
This requires the identification of some significant occasion. Consequently, the concept of Birth Anniversary was recognised and designated as the most suitable occasion for such annual performance reviews.
Contrary to the contemporary pomp and extravaganza associated with Birth Day Parties, in the name of re-union, homogeneity, and gaiety; this day was devised by our traditions, as an occasion for achieving the following objectives.
Birth Anniversary is the right occasion for:
1.        Prayer to the Almighty, in gratitude for the unique and great gift of Human Birth.
2.        Introspection, with respect to our actions, during the past year and the overall progress made in life.
3.        Contemplation of future action in accordance with the goals of life, vis a vis spiritual and material progress.
4.        Plans for equitable distribution of our prosperity and wealth, and the suitable means for achieving it.
5.        Finally prayer for extending longevity with the same Quality of Life for another year.
6.        Seeking the Blessings and Guidance of the Great Learned Souls, for the betterment of life.
7.        Re-dedication and Re-orientation of Life towards the stated or perceived objectives, and focusing on the Goal of Life, as determined by the meritocracy.
8.        Rationalising the use of the remaining life and stemming wastage of time, to the optimum level, with proper planning and execution. 
Is There a Need for Celebration?
Yes! It is absolutely necessary to celebrate the great treasure termed Human Birth, which we all possess. We should cherish the labour and efforts of our previous Janma and Karma (Actions of Previous Births).
Hence, there is a need to celebrate this invaluable possession, with a view to put it to the optimum use, for our betterment and that of those around us.
How About Enlightened Souls Such as the Sadguru?
Despite the best description, a modicum of doubt persists in sceptical minds, regarding the need to celebrate the Birth Day of the Guru.
Does the Guru still require the performance of the above stated activities, if he is so enlightened? – is the pertinent question at this juncture. In order to comprehend to a greater extent, let us look at the phenomenon of Avataara (Re-incarnation) of a wise and enlightened soul on this planet.
Inequality and Difference are real.
How much so ever, we may exclaim aloud that all are equal; it is not true, under all circumstances. It is only true to the extent that the aspect of Divinity, Consciousness, Bliss and Wisdom equally permeates every creature. However, the extent to which this transpires varies from creature to creature, which explains the obvious differences in traits, understanding, names and forms amongst us. It is also an acknowledged fact that there are more souls, who are less advantaged than the few privileged ones, who had acquired their resources through tireless efforts spread across many births.
Based on the incidence of the majority being in a somnolent state, on account of intellectual and spiritual impoverishment; God regularly deputes a miniscule proportion of enlightened souls to uplift the majority. This juxtaposition of Enlightened Souls with the common folk constitutes incontrovertible proof of dexterous and compassionate attitude of God towards Humanity.
Hence, the Divine Deputation is called an Incarnation. The relevant Samskruta term depicts greater accuracy of description.
Avataara denotes coming down to the level of the underprivileged. Therefore, we always find one leader and myriad followers.
Leader and Follower
            Once, we realise the mess that we are embroiled with and understand the indecisiveness which we undergo to escape it, we comprehend the necessity of the guiding factor for our emancipation. As the Guiding Factor, in the form of the Sadguru, explains the reasons behind maladies and persuaded the follower to shun malpractices, the disciple values His Personality. This valuation is frequently elevated to veneration, as the disciple enjoys the benefits of Enlightened Guidance.
            In order to express gratitude, reverence towards the Guidance, the disciple looks for an occasion that will aid in the process.
            The pursuit of an occasion, practically directs followers to the day that had brought the joy of wisdom not only to them, but alsoto innumerable other followers. This unique day is the Day of Incarnation of the Sadguru. Therefore, followers, without exception, have an occasion and the right to celebrate the Incarnation Day of their preceptor.
            Expression of Reverence and Admiration
            As the beneficiaries of Sadguru’s Guidance resolve to acknowledge the presence of their benefactor on this planet, they close ranks to celebrate the Spread of Wisdom. This celebration usually comprises of several means and methods including:
1.      Direct Expression of Reverence in the form of Paada Puja (Worship to the feet of the revered person, as a mark of highest respect).
2.      Acts of Charity, to demonstrate the adherence to the Preaching of the Sadguru
3.      Activities based on the principles enshrined in the doctrine of Sadguru’s Philosophy; such as discourses and seminars.
4.      Honouring Similar Enlightened Souls and Scholars.
5.      Conduct of Rituals for the physical well-being of the Sadguru. (Aayushya literally denotes wellbeing  and long life)
However, the principal activity that actually pleases the Sadguru, is to carry out a candid self-introspection that includes the items on the following check list:
1.      What is the transformation achieved so far, in my life due to association with the Sadguru, especially during the past year?
2.      Am I parsimoniously dispensing my resources for a goodcause?
3.      Am I engrossed in material benefits only?
4.      Am I limiting the precious association with Sadguru, to mere guidance in pecuniary and mundane matters?
5.      What is the probability of my becoming a virtuous example for a true disciple? If not, what else needs to be done?
6.      How best, am I equipped to serve the mission of the Sadguru, and how can I help others to attain the benefit of His Guidance?
This progression of attitude is in actuality, what the Guru looks for in all the disciples. With a view to denoting such progress, the Birth Anniversary is called Vardhantee, which essentially means growth among the followers.
This triumph alone vindicates His incarnation (which is nothing but a descent from the Eternal Supreme Bliss to moribundinfrequent spells of happiness) and proves His mission successful. Hence, it is termed as Jayantee, which means the Ever Victorious; as the decimation of ignorance takes place, through the spread of the light called Wisdom.
The Birth and Death Anniversaries of Great Souls, in many parts of our country, are referred to as Jayantee and Vardhantee. In some regions of India, the Birth Day is referred to as Vardhapana Utsava; which means the day of nurturing growth.
Essentially, all these terms relate to meta-physical spiritual growth, and are not limited to physical growth, which is bound to stop at some point.  (A Wide Following, as an indication of achievement, is the Triumph of a Person’s Legacy - Jayantee. Enlargement in the number of such entities, practising the legacy is Vardhantee. Nurturing the growth is Vardhaapana.)
Darkness is absence of light. (As the Darkness cannot be quantified, the degree of ignorance cannot be described.) Only Light can be measured and quantified. Similarly, the symbols of wisdom, our scriptures, are qualified and quantified as the source of rays of enlightenment.
If a disciple truly intends to celebrate the Birth Anniversary of the Sadguru, it is mandatory to verifiably collect the rays of His wisdom and emulate the magnificent examples set by Him. Thus the celebration would be a Jayantee (Triumph) and Vardhantee (Growth) in letter and spirit.
Sri Gurubhyo Namah

O my Guru, Infinite!                       Datta I pray show me light
Keep my mind always right            Give me might Help me fight
Fill my heart with morality                        Help me serve humanity
Bless me always, o! Trinity                        Lead me to eternity
Kill my ego open my eyes             Show your form give me peace
Clean my mind Make me wise      Your grace is the greatest prize
Pardon me Take me along             My journey is very long
Make my tongue sing your song    Sacchidananda make me strong

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