Guru Devo Maheshwaraha
Tasmai Shree Gurave Namaha
Guru is the representative of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Hindu Trinity- Trimurti. He creates, sustains knowledge and destroys the weeds of ignorance. I salute such a Guru.
Om Dattatreya Vidmahe
Av- dhoothaaya Dhimahi
Thanno Datta Prachodayath
Om Guru Datta Namo Namah
Om Gurudevay Vidmahe
Lord Dattatreya is considered as the incarnation of the Hindu triad Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in one form. He is represented with three heads signifying the unity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Hindu triad of gods. Dattatreya is the personification of all gods, prophets, saints and yogis. He is the Guru of all gurus.
What are the qualities of a good teacher?
Someone that has put time and energy to cultivate knowledge on a particular subject. A teacher studies the subject matter at hand and strives to deliver the information in a way that is simple and effective. A teacher is passionate about the students learning and applying the material that is presented. Yoga or spiritual teacher is teaching from experience. Book knowledge is important, but once it turns into a way of living it becomes wisdom. When a teacher is living from experience the difference is tangible, you feel their teachings. Therefore, a teacher doesn’t need to preach. There isn’t a right or wrong way that needs to be convinced. Rather the teacher shines the light of awareness into a subject and asks the student to contemplate their own experience. The teacher teaches because the desire to assist others is strong. Not for ego inflation but from a space of compassion. The teacher is humble in the sense that they have been through enough to help others and that they still have more to learn. A yoga teacher teaches from the heart. Teachers can take the seat of the sage on the stage, where their awakening seems unattainable, therefore creating a sense of separation. There is the guide on the side that helps the student see that the path is open for all, what the teacher has realized the student can also, the union that is Yoga.
The guru is the term for a spiritual teacher, usually in the form of Buddhist or Hindu religion. It is an endearing term for a mentor who has assisted the student on their path towards awareness of Spirit and liberation from suffering.
Gu is defined as all the icky, sticky, dark, messy stuff that is clouding your perception of seeing yourself clearly.
Ru is the ability to remove. Remove the darkness so the light can shine through.
So, the guru, Ru’s the gu. The teacher is the remover of the darkness and the reminder of the light. It is said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. It is also said that the teacher has students when they have done enough spiritual work to be of service. Inspiration and transformation can come in many forms. It can be the spiritual teacher or it can be that relationship, illness, or experience that has forced you to shift your perception and look at the circumstance in a way that helps you evolve.
Cleanse the lens, Remove the dust
Why is it that teachers, mentors or leaders are needed in life? Past experience and memories leave impressions in the psyche. They are called samkaras. These impressions force us to act in the present from our past. These impressions cloud our judgment and perception from seeing a situation or ourselves clearly. The reactions we take in our lives can be of the feelings of doubt, fear and insecurity that we once felt before. We all need reminders of our light. Life has or can be hard and when those samkaras remain intact we forget the potential of our being. Gurus guide to see what you have forgotten. The practices of yoga are continuously clearing the dust, removing the gu and creating space so your inner light can shine. It’s like a lampshade over a light bulb. Your spirit- soul- Atman- Purusha is the light bulb that is covered by all your life experience- the lampshade- that you have not yet realized or let go of. The practices become a constant exploration to decipher what is a samskara and what is the Truth of your existence, that is Eternal and right now.
Your Inner Light
When you know, feel and sense this aspect of yourself you can lean into it guiding you. The ego- ahamkara, feels like a struggle. When it leads your life, it feels resistant, discontent, indecisive and tumultuous. It seems like you need to be right. Blame others, gain something which can create separation. Your inner light is a direct reflection of the Divine guiding you. When you are aligned to that guide, it feels like trust and surrender. You believe that your choices will bring the appropriate result. Not a result you want, so to say, but the one that is necessary for your liberation. Being guided by your own light just feels good, there is no conflict. This is your inner intelligence- Buddhi. It comes from the root word Bud- like Buddha, the enlightened one. The teachings and your practice become a way of living that you experience, not just a concept you have learned. You are aligned with your own inner guidance.
Be your Own Best Teacher
Teachers of any kind are designed to help you see that you need no one else to learn to trust yourself. You are not going to rely on the teacher your whole life. It is said the teacher surpasses the student, inevitably. At some point, you get to the place where you can learn anything from anyone but you know that the inner light that is guiding you is the High. When you know, you are your own best teacher you can see the lessons you are learning from everyone, everything. Everything becomes your teacher. The teacher in you humbly bows to be the student, in all things. This inner guru sees that we can learn anything from anyone and we are also the reflection of light to others. Life becomes this dynamic exchange of teaching each other to see our true nature. What a gift.