Guru’s position – a disciple’s perspective.

5 09 2014

Prologue : A teacher is one who wants to teach you, a ‘Guru’ is one who makes you learn. A students idea is ‘to be’, whereas a disciple (shishya) is the one who wants ‘to become’. In other words a student is looking for change while a disciple is aspiring to transform.

Whatever I say is with this context in mind.

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Many years back, must be my secondary school days, if i remember it well, around my wonder years,  back in time when I was studying in 8th or 9th grade, I happened to read a story. This story has had a lasting impact on my thought process. I do not clearly remember that story and its context, but it is this one scene from the story which has stayed with me and shaped my understanding. It goes like this.

A young disciple, completely devoted to his guru, was someone who was committed to follow on the path shown by his guru. He had this habit of always going to his guru whenever in some critical decision making situation. And the Guru would readily guide him out during each such instance; in the process the guru would enlighten the disciple. One fine day, in a similar situation as the disciple reaches out to his Guru, the Guru doesn’t offer him any guidance. The disciple is astonished and couldn’t believe this fact. The Guru sends him back by saying “Son, I have given you enough, I leave you now to imbibe all of that, find your own path, and make your own experiences. Its time you take your decisions without me.”

Now this incident from the story found its way deep within myself. Over different periods of my existence this story has provided me different lessons. It started with me believing that a ‘guru’ can only take one this far. One cannot have a guide to eternity. At some later stages i realized the importance of ‘swadhyay’ or ‘learning by self’. Further ahead I understood that it will all be fruitless if one does not learn to take his/her own decisions.

Over many summers of my existence I was fortunate to come across many learned people and many loving teachers. It was quite later in my young life that i discovered a ‘Guru’. It was destined for me to get my greatest lessons from this one person. However the above story was always a part of me, and hence in spite of total surrender I never actually became dependent. That infinite love and reverence can thrive and still one remains boundless was a unique experience and a learning for me. Secondly I knew that the physical proximity and one-to-one transfer of knowledge with the ‘Guru’ can only happen till a limited period of time. This understanding fueled my urge to learn and make the most of those transactions. Many individuals close to me, around that period, sensed a transformation in me, they sensed an urgency in me; I could not explain it to them, than, but deep down i knew that i need to build myself to a level from where I can be on my own. Also I never wanted to come to a point, like the boy in that story had to, where my Guru feels that his disciple has not learned to be on his own.

Many Guru – Disciple relations end in agony and bitterness or in sheer blinded dependence. The crux of this eventuality is the non-realization of the fact that – a guru can only take you this far. With this dawned another important learning from that story and a whole new dimension of learning opened up for me. A disciple is the one who is aspiring to move to a higher destination, in every which way. A ‘guru’ is the form who takes the disciple to that destination. However if one remains focused on the destination and not the form, than ‘guru’ dissolves his form and becomes a part of your being. Somewhere within you the ‘guru’ is installed, and without any one-to-one interaction the transaction continues. Whenever in doubts or in crisis  I am able to talk with my ‘guru’ without even talking with him. In certain extraordinary situations i would have resorted to the one-to-one interactions, but largely I have come this far with the help of the ‘guru’ within. Many times while I ponder on all that I have received from my ‘guru’, I end up tearful. The enormity of the receipt is so huge that all the ego inside me is pushed out by way of tears.

And so I learn that the ‘guru’ in the story while denying his disciple the guidance, has actually given him the greatest lesson anyone can learn. That ‘without’ can be turned into ‘within’.

This has been my experience since a decade now, whereby the ‘Guru’ has found a position ‘within’. In his distinct  style he had shared something, which for me is the articulation of the above learning. He said to a few of us, “I do not want you to be learned, I want you to be learners’.

In whatever limited capacity, with pride, I can tell myself, that I have not stopped learning and I know, the ‘Guru’ within would not let me decay ever.

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Krishnaverse #1

29 04 2014

Student :  Sir, I get varied responses to my decision of moving to this new job which for some is not as healthy as the one I left. For me, may be coming to this city (ahmedabad) was of some social value, and at the back of mind I do harbor the urge to be independent. Quite a few of such factors led me to this decision. And I am fine if I am not comfortable for a while, its ok. But then these various views leave me perplexed.

Sir : Not falling prey to comfort zone dreams is a good thing, and I fully agree there…but then one doesn’t have to be on the extreme side either; a fine balance is what is required. See it’s not about our safety or safety nets that matter, what matters is at no point in time our potential to contribute should go wasted, whether it gets translated in economies or not, what is important is that wastage has to be controlled. Because a wastage now is a wastage forever, you see. that’s the danger. So we have to be a little careful about that. Every day the contribution has to get recorded. If we work in that spirit, its fine. Whether you are stationary or jumpy, it may not make any great difference; so long that you are contributing and not sitting idle.
That’s the kind of thing we can do…this is a ‘karma- bhumi’ this place, all said n done we should hold to it; we should give, every day we should give – that’s how we can shape up the world in our own small bit. You contribute, plan it that way.
When I heard you are being a bit jumpy it appears a bit risky, but then you are not sitting idle, you are doing your best . So that’s fine. No need to remain perplexed.





Krishnaverse.

29 04 2014

Most of ancient Indian knowledge is written in the form of ‘verse’ known as ‘shloka’ or ‘sutra’. A sutra is like a seed, from which thoughts would emerge. A Universe is the term used to define ‘all that exists’. ‘Krishna’ – the hindu god who gave profound wisdom to his devotee and relative ‘Arjuna’, said it all in the form of verses, which is celebrated all across the world as the ‘Gita’ (song of god); this happened while the world was at the cusp of a mythical time zone.

For me and hundreds of students all of this comes through our teacher Dr. KVSM Krishna. Since classroom days to real life situations filled with dilemmas, he is a teacher who is always around to make us learn the ability to take our own decisions. Over a decade and a half a lot of us students would have interacted with him and many who continue to do so, have learn a lot  from these conversations. These conversations contain a lot of meaning for everyone who is a student of this University called Life.

A few of those conversations that happened with me, a few with someone else, but were shared with me, I am attempting to bring them here in the form of question and answers, for every student to learn and enrich himself/herself.

This i would like to term as ‘Krishnaverse’.

The next blog will be a first in this series.

 

My earlier writings on Dr. Krishna can be found here :

https://mihirgajrawala.com/2009/05/10/a-teacher-as-is-see/

https://mihirgajrawala.com/category/my-musings/dr-krishna/

Note : My faculty of memory and comprehension is extremely limited in comparison to the quantum of wisdom Dr. Krishna would have shared. The writings I present will be contained by this limitation. I request every reader to consider this as my interpretation of a conversation and not a verbose representation of what he would have said or meant. I apologize for any wrong comprehension that I might end up doing in this process. My intention is to share with many, what some of us have learn from him.

I also invite other students to share the conversations they had with Dr. Krishna over this years. I will be happy to articulate them to the best of my abilities.