One of the famous novels in Tamil (Manam Uruguthe) highlights how the relationship between an individual and his guru enhances the quality of life of the individual and how it eventually leads to his overall development. For those who ask, why we need a guru in the first place, my answer would be – Why do we need to go to temples if we have a temple within the house?
We go to temples to seek peace of mind, offer our prayers to God, and have archana-aarthi etc.The ambience in a temple is of a different kind. In the villages in Tamil Nadu, we used to have a “Perumal” temple. [Perumal denotes Lord Balaji]. One of the characteristic feature of this temple is that the external walls would be painted with “kaavi’ – a special colour that is used along with the Rangoli. So, when you are in that kind of an environment, you are engulfed by a sudden calm in the mind, a renewed hope for life, a momentary relief from day to day frustrations. Those who only go to temples to seek something are making a mistake. You can also visit temples plainly to have a darshan and seek the blessings of the Almighty.
Thus, even though we do poojas at home, celebrate festivals at home; it is also practice in our custom to visit temples. One of the important reasons why a visit to a temple purifies our hearts can be ascribed to the fact that when so many people are there in the temple, the positive energy is at its peak. Imagine the positive energies from so many individuals who have congregated in the temple premises....what a profound impact it has... Ever visited the bhajans of Satya Sai Baba or Sai baba or even Lord Ayyappa ... The entire atmosphere is surcharged with spirituality and devotion.
Whatever state an individual is in, spirituality is bound to transform him. All that you need is a pure heart shorn of all the vices that only cause ruin to mankind – anger, jealousy, negativity, frustration, depression.Mantra chanting results in vibrations around the individual, the effect of which can be tremendous. As they say, whatever you do, do it with sincerity, love and devotion. No point in doing something just for the sake of it. Rituals are only a way of life – they are not the only way of life. An intelligent man will use his ingenuity to utilise the time available at his disposal to embrace spirituality.
Who is a Guru to come between man and God? I hear someone asking the question. Why do we spice our food? Why do we need a catalyst in chemical reaction? We do all this to get that extra zing. Spice makes the food more palatable. A catalyst helps in expediting the chemical reaction. In a likewise manner, a yogi / siddha/ guru is one who enables a successful communion of the individual with the God. He helps us to realise God much faster. He creates an awakening in us about the futility of this physical form. He encourages us to eschew our emotional attachments to all that are material in the world. The Guru enlightens us like the Buddha, he shows us the way, he protects us from ills, and he embraces us like a mother would do her child. He is probably there because God himself has manifested himself in such people. A guru’s grace is what every individual yearns.
No amount of money can equal the happiness that is obtained from the grace of your guru. Swami Samarth, Gajanan Maharaj, Mata Amritanandamayi, Satya Sai Baba, Yogi Ramsuratkumar,Saibaba – what do these people gain by blessing us ? Only the immense satisfaction of contributing to the removal of negative energies from this world, contribution to the upliftment of mankind and do manav seva.As Baba says – Manava Seva is Madhava Seva.Sittars in Tamil Nadu have performed miracles that continue to remain oblivious to human logic.
Thus, every individual should aspire within his hearts for a guru/yogi and it is a certainty that the guru will reach him in some form or the other. As far as the Hindu culture is concerned, spirituality is our identity. There is no point in our leading a life without an identity.