Articles By H H Maa Purnananda Ji

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What it Means to be a Worthy Disciple!

By H H Maa Purnananda

“Tadviddhi Pranipaaten Pariprashnen Sewaya; Updekshyanti Tey Gnyaanam Gnyaaninastattvadarshinah.” (Sreemad Bhagawad Geeta – 4/34)

“Know That by prostrations (Sashtang Dandwat Pranaam), by inquiring, & by service (to the Guru); to you shall the Realized Master impart the Knowledge.”

At the outset, let us remember some of the worthiest disciples we come across while reading the scriptures; Arjun, Lakshman, Dhruv, Nachiket, Uddaalak, Jabal, Shaunak, the list is endless indeed! One may aspire to seek guidance from a Guru, but let us remember that it is the prerogative of the Guru to whether accept the aspirant as a disciple or otherwise. Therefore, the aspirant is advised by the Shaastra-s to strive hard with utmost humility and try to become worthy to be blessed with the opportunity to be accepted by the Guru.

So firstly, even before approaching a Guru, some basic preparations would be required. Is it that the Guru expects wealth, food, clothing, land and so many other possible material objects from the aspirant who approaches him? Mostly, these are thought to be the expectations of a Guru, unfortunate indeed! People do bring all these, though with devotion, but without understanding that the material riches cannot make one qualified to take refuge of a Realized Guru. When the Guru has come to Realization of the Reality behind the falsehood, how can He then fall for the worldly riches, name, fame, power and so on?

After having Realized the Truth, the Guru shall be absolutely free from even an iota of worldly traps. One who has woken up from his dream, himself rejects the dream as false and does not cling on to his dream-world possessions any more. This being a man’s daily experience, why then should he not believe in what the Realized Masters advise him?

In the given Shlok Jagadguru Bhagwaan Sree Krishna Himself instructs His dearest disciple Arjun about how one is supposed to approach a Guru, a Realized Master. So Sree Krishna tells three practices; Pranipaat, Pariprashna and Sewa. Let us discuss each one carefully and intently.

First comes Pranipaat – long prostrations. Suppose a person has been reading the scriptures on his own and that inspired him to seek guidance from a Guru. So such a seeker of Truth, with conviction, determination and sincere urge to learn at the Holy-feet of a Realized Master, firstly must be ready to accept the greatness and graciousness of the Guru Whom he approaches, with utmost humility and a sincere attitude of surrender. With such a tamed mind, when a seeker approaches a Guru and prostrates effortlessly at His Holy-feet without any inhibitions what so ever and with complete focus on whatever he would have to study and learn, it would be Pranipaat in true sense.

Next is Pariprashna – Spiritual inquiry. After the acceptance from the Guru, the seeker will be gradually guided by the Guru about the intricacies and disciplines of Spiritual pursuit. As the disciple goes deeper into the studies, not that he doubts the statements and instructions from the scriptures, but for proper understanding and further learnings, the disciple might need deeper explanations of the same from the Guru. He then humbly would approach his Guru, prostrate at His Holy-feet and request Him if he could put-forth his doubts and seek further guidance for his queries. On this, the Guru would guide, instruct and bless the sincere disciple as per his requirement. This would be Pariprashna – seeking further explanations for deeper comprehension and disciplined Spiritual practices for wholesome and integrated inner development.

Last but not the least is Sewa – service to the Guru. When a most fortunate one practises Spirituality under the shelter of a Realized Master, he would doubtlessly be too eager to serve his Guru in all the possible ways; as he would have unflinching faith, deep reverence and fathomless love for his Beloved Guru, the Beacon of his life! The disciple will work hard and dedicate all his activities to his Guru; his mind will be constantly focused at His Holy-feet even while careful navigation through the rough seas of the world, and, he would be always eager to offer all his wealth at the Holy-feet of the Guru, which yet he would find it to be very trivial in front of the Sacred Wealth showered upon him by his Guru. This would be Sewa – service of Tann, Mann and Dhan.

All the great disciples that we come across while reading the scriptures, as mentioned thereof, lived an exemplary life and their personalities inspire the sincere seekers on the Sacred Path to raise their standards accordingly to be worthy disciples. Moreover, to imbibe the instructions of the Guru with unswerving faith and devotion and eventually mould one’s life in accordance with the scriptural insight, further endorses the worth of the disciple.

On the most auspicious day of Sree Guru Purnima this year falling on 13th July, every seeker must vouch to reinforce his scriptural studies with determination and complete dedication to unfailingly fulfil the aim of being a worthy disciple; of course, by humbly seeking the blessings from the gracious Guru Parampara.