Benedictory Address by Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj
Every year on Gurupurnima we worship Guru as Narayana Himself. Vyaso Narayano Hari, today is the Purnima on which Vyasa was born and also attained mahasamdhi and so it is called ‘Vyasa Purnima’.
“Vyasaya Vishnu Rupaya Vyasa Rupaya Vishnave”, Vishnu Himself is coming in the form of Vyasa and Vyasa represents Vishnu. Vyasa is the Guru of all Gurus since he was the person who assimilated the Vedas in their present form.
Vedas are the records of the spiritual experiences of our Rishis. Vyasa separated the experiences of sages into four Vedas, the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Hinduism, also called Sanatana Dharma deals with the fundamentals of all religions. It speaks about God, Jivas or the individual souls and about the world, the creations. It also speaks about the connection between one another. These are discussed in all prominent spiritual texts. We call it Vedas, some call it Quran and some call it Bible.
Swami Vivekananda puts all these things into one category, all are religious texts. They came out from inside the rishis, the sages and God himself spoke through those Rishis. They saw God and spoke to Him. To see God, we have to undergo some spiritual practices, some disciplines have to be followed. But it is also necessary to have faith in these disciplines and practices.
Sanatana Dharma teaches us how to realise God and how to go back to Him. All spiritual teachers are in one person - Vyasa. He is the Guru of all religion of all people and of all times. So we celebrate Vyasa Purnima.
We see only the finite. The quest to see God, i.e. the infinite is there from time immemorial. What we see outside is all finite. People have gone deep into infinite and found out the truths of God, the jivatma, the paramatma and the creation. Jagat, Jivatma and Paramatma, how to realise these truths? To realise them, one should become a good person, honest and with a pure mind. He must have his senses under control. He should love every one and should be unselfish. He needs to have tremendous faith in the infinite God and Guru. Thus, God realization is possible only through moral perfection and spiritual practices.
For spiritual practices, generally four different paths have been outlined. These are Bhakti yoga, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga and Karma Yoga. We need a guru to find out which path suits us as an individual. Only a real Guru can guide us to a proper path. The disciple cannot select his guru, rather it is the Guru who should select the disciple. The real guru will come to a real disciple by himself, but earnest prayers are required. Swami Vivekananda says it is like an economic law, where there is demand, supply will come. Earnestness is very important for the disciple. All great men say ‘We are all Divine Beings.’ The atman is eternal; we must realise that we are not bodies, we are the atman. It is for this awakening that a Guru is needed.
In Ramakrishna Order, the President and Vice Presidents of the Math and Mission give initiation. We used to tell people that we are not the Guru, but Sri Ramakrishna who resides inside us and also inside everybody is the Guru. The Supreme soul tests itself through the Guru. You think of your Guru, who is also a part and parcel of the Paramatma.
Whatever the guru says, one must follow. We must be true to our Gurus. Sri Ramakrishna is the supreme Guru of this age. We are all fortunate to come to this Ramakrishna Sangha. Hold on to the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. This is the easiest and most authentic path and let us follow Him.