गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णु र्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः
गुरु साक्षात परब्रह्मा तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः
So everything is changing. The status given to Guru in our ancient scriptures, where a Guru is equated with the Trinity of the creator, the preserver and the destroyer in the form of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh respectively no longer holds good. And I would say fault lies on both the sides – Guru, the giver of Jnana or knowledge as also the shishya, it’s recipient. And to stretch the point further, the fault actually does not lie with either but with the objective of gaining Jnana or knowledge ! Today knowledge is not acquired for becoming a better human or to understand the deep nuances of the reality of this world , but to acquire quickfix bookish knowledge for material gains! When the entire objective is materialistic, it will be inappropriate to view this entire issue from a spiritual angle and hence the lack of relevance of the above mantra in the context guru shishya parampara or tradition.
If there are no Guru Dronacharyas, where are the Eklavyas? If Ravi Shankars are not being born, where are Baba Allauddins? In fact, the electronic music seems to be gaining so much popularity that in near future, we may not see a pianist, sitarist, violinist, guitarist but only one playing synthesiser, who with the touch of a button would reproduce sound of any of the aforesaid instruments. In sum, today the only thing that counts is the convenience factor and people want to acquire everything – money, status, sedan, house as also skills – professional or artistic- overnight! And we expect Tapasya of Eklavya or Ravi Shankar kind or the patience of Dronacharya or Allauddin kind!
And thanks to our social media, creativity really runs very high in thinking through posts that range between outright hilarious to ludicrous! So we are receiving posts with a garland around a bottle of Teachers whiskey as also an incense stick and a coconut offered to the biggest new age guru – Google! No doubt Google has made all information available at a click of a button, but I don’t know why do we mix up information and knowledge. Mere obtainment of information is not knowledge; imbibing or emulating that information in our day to day lives is salvation, for which Google baba is not competent and we may either run to our scriptures or to Sri Sri, Mahatria and Shankaracharyas ! And the teacher of the bottled variety offers salvation only for that evening, making us wake up with a big hangover the next morning!
We all know that each individual is a unique divine creation and the acts of kindness by the God almighty actually get executed through one of his divine creations only, who comes to us as a manifestation of God himself when we are into neck deep trouble!
While the above examples of Guru Shishya tradition and lofty goals of salvation are far fetched, all our day to day benefactors are our Gurus. From whomsoever we learn or get solace or gain anything from material to spiritual, they are worthy of being our Gurus. And he or she need not only be a teacher or parent or a superior authority. All ordinary mortals qualify to be our Gurus who touch our lives positively in any manner and these could be our juniors, peers, seniors, guides, mentors, benefactors et al. In today’s dark Covid times, who can be the bigger guru than Corona warriors- our doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, police, public transport operators, armed forces etc all working tirelessly and selflessly to keep us safe.
Let’s bow before all these gurus!
Happy Teacher’s Day!