Mankind are always looking for peace and happiness. We all want this is our own lives. Generally speaking, if a little child is scared or sad, they run to a parent. If there are awful things happening in our lives, we tend to look for something outside of ourselves for help. People go to churches, mosques, temples and other places considered divine to ask for help. Here in India, everyone calls this divine – Guru.
Everyone has their own understanding of what a Guru is. I had huge misconceptions about the word until I came here. ‘Gu’ means ‘who dispels it’ and ‘ru’ means darkness – he who dispels the darkness. In other words, he who brings light, he who replaces ignorance with knowledge, he who shows you where to go when you are lost. We all have a Guru. You may follow a religion and have a particular Guru. Your Guru might be your friend, a parent, a sibling. You see, here, a Guru isn’t always necessarily religious but is a teacher, a master of something from whom you can learn. The term is used very flippantly now a days, usually for fun reasons, but the real meaning is very beautiful and lovely in my eyes.
So, I can’t take credit for any of this knowledge because the Swami who teaches at the yogshala told us most of this during the Full Moon Celebration, or Guru Purima. The key message was the Guru is in all of us, the light is within us all. Some say it gets lost or we forget about it due to the conditions we go through from birth. We then learn from Gurus who enter our lives and hopefully we can reach enlightenment. Something Swami said that particularly struck me was this; ‘When you are having a terrible time, your wife is trouble, your husband is trouble, your children are trouble and everything is hell [Swamis makes jokes too 😊] and you go to your master and say “I have so many problems, what should I do?” The master will say “Ok, give them to me, show me them.”, but you cannot, for they are inside, they are in the mind. Therefore, it is not reality. Happiness, self-realisation and peace are inside of us, we need to realise them and make a choice to live that way. We have a completeness inside.’ Swami isn’t preaching when he says this, he is teaching. He is not teaching us solely about his religion, but suggesting a way of life.
Now, believe me, I know sometimes it’s very easy to read things like this and if we are actually going through hell, they don’t help (I know this because I’m a teacher and have lived through reports and inspections 😉) but in all seriousness, what I gathered from this was that eventually, you find the light at the end of the tunnel by yourself, gurus may have guided you in the right direction at times . All good teachers know that children don’t learn when you just show them the answer.
The moon is in complete fullness tonight. To the people in India, and others across the world, this is a monumental day where we are connected to that completeness. We are celebrating that completeness together, people give thanks to their Gurus, people travel to different places to seek blessings and everyone is celebrating each moment. I loved being part of it and feel more complete myself, for having come here and meeting many teachers along the way. Thank you Swami.
‘A divine dance appears in the soul and the body at the time of peace and union. Anyone can learn this dance, just listen to the music.’ – Rumi
ps : I will add my own pics when wifi permits :)