Guru Gita Part - 1
The Guru and Sanaatanadharma go together. The aspirant, saadhaka, seeks the unification with the Divine with the aid and blessings of his Guru, who makes the ascent both possible and easy. The Guru, preceptor, is one, who out of love and compassion for his sishya, disciple, guides and leads him forward to attain moksha, liberation or salvation.
Spiritual knowledge and wisdom are obtained only with the blessings and aid of the Guru. Parama Shiva Himself conveyed to His consort, Devi Parvati, a fund of knowledge and wisdom about the Guru, the Guru’s power and greatness and specified the way of paying adoration to the Guru in Guru Gita. Three adhyayas, chapters, in the latter part of Skaanda Purana, one of the most widely read of the eighteen puranas written by Sage Vedavyas, also referred to reverentially as Vyasa Bhagawan. The greatness of Guru Gita is brought out in a single sloka, which is worth repeating many times every day.
samsaara saagara samuddharanaika mantram
brahmaadi deva muni poojita siddha mantram
daaridrya duhkha bhava roga vinaasha mantram
vande mahaabhayaharau guru raja mantram.
My salutations to the mantra, incantation, which is the only one that is capable of rescuing me from the sea of samsaara, family and the world; the mantra worshipped by Brahma, the deities and great seers; the mantra which is a remedy for all worldly maladies, poverty and grief; the mantra which is the sovereign of all mantras and the dispeller of all dire and mighty fears.
Dev Bhasha, geervaan, as it was called, Sanskrit has been the most sacred vehicle to convey and communicate things divine. Once spoken all over Bhratakhanda, our country, with ease, today, even in the land where it is born, Sanskrit, though revered as ever, is not familiar to all. Hence this little attempt to give the slokas in English transliteration followed by the meaning in English.
The Guru Gita occurs in the dialogue between Shiva and Parvati in the latter portion of the Skanda Purana.
Sri Guru Gita
Atha Guru Gita Praarambhah
Now the Guru Gita begins.
Aum asya shree gurugitaa stotra mantrasya
Bhagavaan sadaashiva rishih
AUM. Lord Sadashiva is the rishi, the sage and seer of the mantras of this hymn, the Guru Gita.
Shree guruparamaatmaa devataa
The prosodic-patterns of this composition are diverse. The Guru, the Supreme Self, is its devata, deity;
Ham beejam sah shaktih krom keelakam
Sri Guru prasaada siddhyarthe jape viniyogah
‘Ham’, its beejaakshara, power-charged letter; ‘Sah’, its Shakti (power); and ‘Krom’, its magic formula. You use this, incantation, chant, repeatedly to win the Guru’s Grace.
Now for meditation.
Hamsaabhyaam parivrotta patra kamalair
divyair jagat kaarnair,
Visvot kiranamaneka dehanilayaih
Tadyotam padasabhavam tu charanam
Pratyakshaakara vigraham gurupadam
dhyaayed vibhum shaasvatam.
The Guru’s lotus eyes are represented by ‘Ham’ (the individual Self or Shakti) and ‘Sah’ (the Universal Self). He is the Divine Cause of the universe. He, of His own volition manifests in numerous forms to uplift the world. He is supremely free. His form is imperishable, manifesting divinity. He is eternal and all pervading. Meditate on his feet.
Mama chatur vidha purushaartham siddhyarthe jape viniyogah.
I engage myself in the chant of the Guru Gita to realise all four goals of life (dharma, righteousness; artha, wealth; kama, desires; moksha, salvation).
Guhyaat guhya taram vidya gurugita visheshasah
Broohinah sootakripasya srunu mahaatwat prasaadatah
Among all the sacred subjects of learning, Guru Gita is the most mysterious and sacred. Kindly grace our ears with the recounting of the Guru Gita. We will take this as a great blessing and scred boon.
1. Kailaasa shikhare ramye,
bhakti sandhaana naayakam;
Pranamya paarvatee bhaktyaa,
Suta replied: Once, while Lord Shiva, who knows the secret of devotion, was seated on the beautiful Mount Kailas, Parvati bowed to Him with reverence and asked:
2. Om namo devadevesha,
The Goddess said: O Lord of Gods! O Supreme preceptor of the universe! O benign and benevolent Mahadeva, God par excellence! Unravel and explicate to me the mystery of the Guru.
3. Kena maargena bho svaamin,
dehi brahmamayo bhavet;
Tvam krupaam kuru me svaamin,
namaami charanau tava.
O Lord! My salutations at your lotus feet. Tell me by which path can a human being become one with the Absolute? O benevolent great God
4. Mamaroopaasi devi tvam,
tvat preetyartham vadaamyaham;
na kenaapi kritah puraa.
Eeshwar said: O Goddess, you are My very form and self! I answer and explain this out of My love for you. No one has ever before asked Me this question for the benefit of all the lokas, worlds.
5. Durlabham trishu lokeshu,
Gurum vina brahma naanyat,
satyam satyam varaanane.
I reveal to you the mystery inscrutable of all the three worlds. O Beautiful One! Listen! The Absolute is not different from the Guru. This is the Truth. This is the Truth.
6. Veda shaastra puraanaani,
mntra yantraadi vidyaascha.
smriti ruchchtan aadikam.
This is the truth not revealed by the Vedas, various other scriptures, epics, the sciences of mantra and yantra, magic formula etc., or the Smritis and other sources.
7. Shaiva shaaktaagamaadini,
anyaani vividhaani cha;
jeevaanam bhraanta chetasaam.
The Shaiva and Shakta treatises and different sects and dogmas only further confound the already deluded creatures.
8. Yajnyo vratam tapo daanam,
japastheertham tathaiva cha;
moodhaaste charate janaah.
Those who perform sacrificial rituals, take vows, do penance, offer gifts, perform japa and go on pilgrimages without knowing the truth of the Guru are ignorant.
9. Guru buddhyaatmano naanyat,
satyam satyam na samshayah;
kartavyo hi maneeshibhih.
The Guru is not different from the Self, from Consciousness. This is beyond doubt the Truth, the Absolute Truth. Hence a wise man must feel it his duty to seek and find the Guru.
10. Ghudha vidya jaganmaayaa,
dehe chaajnaana sambhavaa;
Owing to ignorance, the embodied being thinks that the Universal Mother resides in the body as secret knowledge. But She reveals Herself in Her own light, with the grace and through the words of the Guru.
11. Sarva papa vishuddhaatmaa,
shree guroh paadasevanaat;
Dehee brahma bhavedyasmaat,
tatkripaartham vadaami te.
Through service at the feet of the Guru the embodied soul becomes purified and all its sins are washed away. It becomes one with the Supreme. I disclose this to you out of grace.
12. Gurupaadaambujam smrutvaa,
jalam shirasi dhaarayet;
Sampraapnoti phalam narah.
If a man sprinkles the water at the Guru’s feet on this head, remembering the lotus feet of his Guru, he obtains the punya, merit, of bathing in all holy waters.
13. Shoshanam papa pankasya,
deepanam jnaana tejasaam;
The holy water (that has washed the Guru’s feet) dries the slush of sins, lights the lamp of knowledge and helps one cross the ocean of earthly life.
14. Ajnaana moola haranam,
janma karma nivaaranam;
jnaana vairaagya siddhyartham,
It uproots ignorance, which is the consequence of avidya, ‘not knowingness’, puts an end to rebirth and (its cause) karmas. One should sip the holy water of the Guru’s feet for enlightenment and resignation and unattachment, vairaagya.
15. Guroh paadodakam peetvaa,
Gurumoorteh sadaa dhyaanam,
gurumantram sadaa japet.
Drink the holy water of the Guru’s feet; eat the left overs of the food offered first to the Guru. Constantly meditate on him and constantly repeat the mantra given by the Guru.
16. Kaashi kshetram tannivaaso,
Gurur visheshvarah saakshaat,
taarakam brahma nishchitam.
The very place where the Guru resides is Kashi. The holy water of his very feet is the Ganges. The Guru is the Lord of the universe, Shiva Himself. He is indeed the Saviour, Brahma.
17. Guroh paadodakam yattu,
gayaa ’sau so’kshayo vatah;
Teertha raajah prayaagascha,
gurumoorte namo namah.
The holy water of the Guru’s feet is Gaya, the Akshaya (imperishable) banyan tree, the most sacred Prayag. Salutations again and again to the Guru!
18. Gurumoortim smarennityam.
gurunaama sadaa japet;
Meditate ceaselessly on the form of the Guru. Always repeat his name, carry out his orders and think not of anything except the Guru.
19. Guruvaktra sthitam brahma,
Guror dhyaanam sadaa kuryaat,
The Supreme Knowledge abiding on the Guru’s lips can be realized through his grace alone. Always meditate on the Guru, as a loyal wife unremittingly thinks of her husband.
20. Svaashramam cha svajaatim cha,
svakeerti pushthi vardhanam;
guror anyanna bhaavayet.
Set aside your station and stage in life, caste, fame, wealth or means of attaining worldly success. Think of nothing but the Guru.
21. Ananyaas chintayanto maam,
sulabham paramam padam;
Tasmaat sarva prayatnena,
guror aaraadhanam kuru.
The supreme state is easily attainable for him who meditates on his Guru with single-minded devotion. Strive utmost to adore and propitiate the Guru by all means.
22. Trailokye sphuta vaktaaro,
Guruvaktra sthitaa vidyaa,
gurubhaktyaa tu labhyate.
No gods, demons, or cobras of all the three worlds can spell out clearly that the knowledge abiding in the Guru can be acquired only by total devotion to him.
rukaaras teja ucyate;
Ajnana graasakam brahma,
gurur eva na samshayah.
The first syllable ‘Gu’ means darkness and the second, ‘Ru’, light. The Guru is doubtlessly Brahma who dispels all darkness.
24. Gukaarah prathamo varno,
maayaadi guna bhaasakah;
Rukaaro dviteeyo brahma,
maayaa bhraanthi vinaashanam.
The first syllable ‘Gu’ is suggestive of the attributes such as Maya. The second, ‘Ru’, is suggestive of the Supreme Absolute who is free from the illusion of Maya. (‘Gu’ represents the lower manifested world while ‘Ru’, the Supreme Absolute, is the Unmanifest.)
25. Evam gurupadam shreshthaam,
Haahaa hoohoo ganaischaiva,
The lotus feet of the Guru are the highest object to be pursued. They are difficult even for gods to find and attain. The groups called Haha and Huhu and Gandharvas worship them devotedly.
26. Dhruvam tesham cha sarveshaam,
naasti tattvam guroh param;
Asanam shayanam vastram.
All these have the faith that there is nothing higher than the Guru. The aspirant should offer those seats, beds, clothes, ornaments, mounts and vehicles to the Guru, which would please him.
27. Saadhakena pradaatavyam,
guru santosha kaarakam;
Guror aaraadhanam kaaryam,
The Guru should be pleased and should be made happy. One should dedicate one’s entire life to the Guru’s service.
28. Karmanaa manasaa vaachaa,
nityam aaraadhayed gurum;
Deergha dandam namaskritya,
Constantly serve the Guru with mind, speech and action. Prostrate unabashedly like a stick in front of him without the least reserve.
29. Shaareeram indriyam praanam,
Dedicate everything to the true Guru; the body, the senses, the prana. Offer everything you hold dear. Shed all sense of ‘myness’. mamakaara, and seek refuge in the Guru.
30. Krimi keetaa bhasma vishthaa,
durgandhi mala mootrakam;
Sleshma raktam tvaca maamsaa,
O Beautiful One! Do not hesitate to offer to the Guru all the body, which is full of germs, worms, waste matter, foul-smelling urine and faeces, phlegm, blood, and flesh, without sparing anything.
31. Samsaara vrikshamaaroodhaah,
Yena chaivoddhritaah sarve,
tasmai shree gurave namah.
Salutations to the revered Guru who uplifts souls perched on the tree of the world from sinking into the ocean of hell.
32. Gururbrahmaa guruvishnuh,
tasmai shreegurave namah.
The Guru is Brahman, He is Vishnu, He is Shiva. The Guru is indeed parabrahma, the Supreme Absolute. Salutations to Him.
33. Hetave jagataameva,
Prabhave sarva vidyaanaam,
Sambhave gurave namah.
Salutations to the Guru who is Shiva, the one ever auspicious and welfare-causing, the first cause of the universe, the bridge to cross the ocean of worldliness and the source of all knowledge.
34. Ajnaana timiraandhasya,
Chakshur unmeelitam yena,
tasmai sreergurave namah.
Salutations to the Guru, who with the collyrium stick of knowledge treats the eyes of one blinded by the darkness of ignorance.
35. Tvam pitaa tvam cha me maataa,
tvam bandhustvam cha devataa;
tasmai sree gurave namah.
Thou art my father, thou art my mother, thou art my relation, thou art my God. Salutations to thee, O Guru, the imparter of ‘jnaana’, true knowledge, in this world.
36. Yatsatyena jagatsatyam,
yatprakaashena bhaati tat;
tasmai sree gurave namah.
Salutations to the Guru whose existence is the cause of the world and its existence, whose light (knowledge) makes all creation perceptible, whose bliss makes possible all individual bliss possible.
37. Yasya sthityaa satyamidam,
Priyam putraadi yet preetya
tasmai shree gurave namah
Salutations to the Guru the cause of all creation, by whose form as the Sun and light all becomes perceptible and in whose love all relationships (like father-son) become dear.
38. Yena chetyate hidam,
chittam chetyate na yam
Jaagrat svapna shusuptyadi
tasmai shee gurave namah.
Salutations to the Guru who enbles the mind to peceive this world and Him the mind cannot perceive, who illumines the three states of the waking, dream and deep.
39. Yasya jnaanadidam vishvam,
Na disyam bhinna bhedatah;
Sadeka roopa roopaya,
Tasmai sree gurave namah
Salutations to the Guru by whose knowledge this creation is no longer seen as different from the Supreme Being Himself whose form is Truth.
40. Yasyaamatam tasya matam,
matam yasya na veda sah;
Ananya bhaava bhaavaaya,
tasmai sree gurave namah.
Salutations to the Guru who is known to those who do not know him, but not to those who claim to know him. Such Guru is not different from the Supreme Being.
41. Yasya kaarana roopasya,
karya roopena bhaati yat;
Kaarya kaarana roopaaya,
tasmai sree gurave namah.
Salutations to the Guru who, though being the Primary Cause, is seen as an effect; who is both cause and effect.
42. Naanaa roopamidam sarvam,
na kenaapyasti bhinnataa;
Kaarya kaaranaat chaiva,
tasmai sree gurave namah.
Salutations to the Guru who reveals the truth that this world of diversities is, in fact, undifferentiated and that it is merely a play of cause and effect.
43. Yadanghri kamala dvamdvam,
damdva taapa nivaarakam;
Taarakam sarvada padabhyah,
Salutations to the Guru whose lotus feet eradicate the anguish of all dualities and help us cross all misfortunes and calamities.
44. Shive kruddhe gurustraataa,
gurau kruddhe Shivo na hi;
Tasmaat sarva prayatnena,
Sreegurum sharanam vrajet.
If Lord Shiva becomes angry the Guru can come to your rescue, but if the Guru becomes angry, even Shiva cannot save you. Therefore, make every effort and seek refuge in the Guru.
45. Vande guru paada dvamdvam,
Shveta rakta prabhaabhinnam,
Shiva shaktyaatmakam param.
Salutations to the feet of the Guru, which are invested with white and red lustre, representing Shiva and Shakti.
46. Gukaaram cha gunaateetam,
Gunaateeta svaroompam cha,
yo dadyaatsa guru smrutah.
The syllable ‘Gu’ denotes that which transcends all qualities, while ‘Ru’, that which transcends form. The Guru is One who makes one realise that which is beyond attribute and form.
47. A-trinetrah sarva saaskshi,
A-catur vadano brahma,
Sreeguruh kathitah priye.
O Dear One! The Guru is Shiva, the witness of all, although he is without three eyes. He is Vishnu, although he is without four arms. He does not have four faces, yet he is Brahma. This is what the scriptures say.
48. Ayam mayaanjalirbaddho,
daya saagara vriddhaye;
Yad anugrahato jantush,
chitra samsaara muktibhaak.
I bow down to the Guru, the ocean of mercy, with folded hands for his grace, which delivers the soul from the world of dualities and diversity.
49. Sreeguroh paramam roopam,
Manda bhaagyaa na pashyanti,
andhaah sooryodayam yathaa.
The Guru’s supreme form is pure nectar to the eye of discrimination. Just as a blind man cannot see the sunrise, an unfortunate person cannot perceive the Guru’s glory.
50. Sreenaatha charana dvamdvam,
yasyaam dishi viraajate;
Tasyai dishe namaskuryaad,
bhaktyaa pratidinam priye.
O Beloved, bow down in the direction of the Guru’s feet with devotion every day.
51. Tasyai dishe satatam anjaliresha aarye,
prakshipyati mukharito madhupair budhaishca;
Jaagarti yatra bhagavaan guru chakravarti,
vishvodaya pralayantaka nityasaakshi.
O Noble One! The wise and the learned always offer handfuls of fragrant flowers over which bumblebees hover humming, to the direction in which resides the supreme Guru who is witness to the eternal play of the creation and dissolution of the universe.
52. Sreenaadhaadi gurutrayam ganapatim
peetha trayam bhairavam,
siddaugham batukatrayam padayugam
Vireshashaatha chatushka shasthi navakam
Sreeman maalini mantra räjasahitam
vande guror mandalam.
Salutations to the court of the three Gurus – Sri Gurudev. Parama Gurudev and Paraatpara Gurudev and all other deities of all the peethams, the eight bhairavas
and groups of accomplished sages and seers along with Sri Malinee mantra.
53. Abhyastaih sakalaih sudeerghamanilai
vyaadhi pradair dushkaraih,
praanaayama shatair aneka kaaranai
Yasminna bhyudite vinashyati balee
vaayuh svayam tatkshanaat,
praaptum tatsahajam svabhaava manisham
What is the use of practising all those hundreds of rounds of long and deep pranayama, which are strenuous, tedious, hard to master and likely to cause numerous diseases? Attain the spontaneous state in which the powerful prana becomes still of its own accord through constant devotion and service to the One Guru.
54. Svadeshikasyaiva shareera chintanam,
bhavedanantasya sivasya chintanam;
Svadeshikasyaiva cha aama keertanam,
bhavedanantasya shivasya keertanam.
To contemplate the form of one’s own Guru is to contemplate infinite Shiva. To chant the name of one’s own Guru is to chant the name and glory of the infinite Shiva.
55. Yatpaada renu kanikaa,
kaapi samsaara vaaridheh;
Setu bandhaayate naatham,
I worship the supreme Guru; the single particle of the dust of whose feet forms a bridge to cross the ocean of family and the world.
56. Yasmaad anugraham labdhvaa,
Tasmai shree deshikendraaya,
Namascha abheeshta siddhaye.
I bow to the highest Guru for the attainment of the desired fruit. His grace destroys mighty ignorance.
57. Paadaabjam sarva samsaara,
madhyastham chandra mandale.
The Guru’s lotus feet extinguish the raging fires of worldly existence. In the centre of the thousand-petalled lotus is situated the Moon Circle in Brahmarandhra (on the crown of the head).
58. Akathadi trirekhaabje,
Hamsa paarshva trikone cha,
smaret tanmadhyagam gurum.
In the centre of the triangle, with the points ‘a’, ‘ka’, and ‘tha’, with Hamsa situated close to it, the Guru resides. Always remember Him.
59. Sakala bhuvana sristih
nikhila nigama drishtih
sampadaam vyartha drishtih;
tat padaarthaika drishtih,
bhava guna parameshtir
moksha maargaika drishtih.
The Guru’s divine glance creates all the worlds, nourishes all things, and penetrates to the essence of all scriptures. It regards wealth as a trifle. It removes failings and defects. It remains focused on the Ultimate, and though giving rise to worldly qualities, is firmly set on the final goal of salvation.
60. Sakala bhuvana ranga
sakaruna rasa vroshtis
sakala samaya shristih
nivasatu mayi nityam
sree guror divyadrishtih.
It is the principal pillar holding the stage of all the worlds. It showers the nectar of compassion. It is equal to the garland of the thirty-six tatwas. It creates all time. It is permeated by the true bliss of Consciousness. May this divine glance of the Guru be always on me!
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