Sankaram Sankaracharyam Kesavam Badarayanam;
Sutra-Bhashya-Kritau Vande Bhagavantau Punah Punah
I adore Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu, Bhagavan Vyasa and Sri Sankaracharya. I again and again prostrate to Sri Vyasa who wrote the Vedanta Sutras, and to Sri Sankaracharya who wrote the commentaries thereon (Guru Vandanam).
The full-moon day in the month of Ashada is the extremely auspicious and holy day of Guru-Purnima. On this Ashada Purnima Day, sacred to the memory of the great sage Sri Vyasa Bhagavan or Sri Krishna Dvaipayana, Sannyasins settle at some place to study, do Vedantic Vichara, and discourse on the thrice-blessed Brahma Sutras composed by Maharshi Vyasa. Sri Veda-Vyasa has done unforgettable service to all humanity for all time by editing the four Vedas, writing the eighteen Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata. We can attempt to repay this deep debt of gratitude we owe him only by constant study of his works and practice of his teachings imparted for the regeneration of humanity in the iron age or Kali Yuga. In honour of this divine personage, all Sadhakas and devotees perform Vyasa Puja on this day; aspirants worship their Guru. Mahatmas and Sadhus are honoured and entertained, and acts of charity done by all Grihastis with deep faith and sincerity. Chaturmasa for Sannyasins begins from this day. Sannyasins stay in one place during the rainy season for four months, study the Brahma Sutras, and practise meditation.
Mark fully the deep significance of this great day. Ashada Purnima heralds the Chaturmasa, or the setting in of the eagerly awaited rains. The water, drawn up and stored as clouds in the hot summer, now manifests in plentiful showers that usher in the advent of fresh life everywhere. Even so do you all begin seriously to put into actual working all the theory and philosophy that you have stored up in you through patient study. Commence practical spiritual Sadhana right from this day. Generate fresh waves of spirituality. Let all that you have read, heard, seen and learnt become, through Sadhana, transformed into a continuous outpouring of universal love, ceaseless loving service and continuous prayer and worship of the Lord seated in all beings.
Live on milk and fruits on this day and practise rigorous Japa and Dhyana. Study the Brahma Sutras and do some lakhs of Japa (Anushthana or Purascharana) of your Guru Mantra or Ishta Mantra, during the Chaturmasa. You will be highly benefited.
As the day of Guru-Puja or worship of one’s preceptor this is a day of pure joy to the sincere aspirant. Thrilled by the expectation of offering his reverent homage to the beloved Guru, aspirant awaits this occasion with eagerness and devotion. It is the Guru alone that breaks the binding cords of attachment and releases the aspirant from the trammels of earthly existence. The Sruti says: “To that high-souled aspirant, whose devotion to the Lord is great and whose devotion to his Guru is as great as that to the Lord, these secrets explained, become illuminated.” Guru is Brahman or Isvara Himself. He guides and inspires you from the innermost core of your being. He is everywhere.
Have a new angle of vision. Behold the entire universe as Guru-Svarupa. See the guiding hand, the awakening voice, the illumining touch of the Guru in every object in this Creation. The whole world will now stand transformed before your changed vision. The Virat Guru will reveal all the precious secrets of life and bestow wisdom. The Supreme Guru, manifest in visible Nature, will teach you the most valuable lessons of life. Worship daily this Guru of Gurus, the Guru who taught even Avadhuta Dattatreya. The silent all-enduring earth with its lofty forbearance, the shady fruit-bearing tree with its willing self-sacrifice, the mighty Banyan tree (Pipal) reposing with patience in the tiny seed, the dripping drops whose persistence wears away the rocks, the planets and the seasons with their orderly punctuality and regularity are divine Gurus to him who will look, listen and receive.
Become a personification of receptivity. Empty yourself of your petty ego-sense. All the treasures locked up in the bosom of Nature will become yours! You will have progress and perfection in an amazingly short time. Become pure and unattached as the mountain breeze. As the river flows continuously, steadily and constantly towards its goal, the ocean, by moving every moment of your life towards the Supreme State of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, let all your thoughts, all your words, all your actions be directed only towards the Goal.
The moon shines by reflecting the dazzling light of the sun. It is the full-moon of Purnima-Day that reflects in full splendour the glorious light of the sun. It glorifies the sun. Purify yourself through the fire of service and Sadhana, and like the full moon, reflect the glorious Light of the Atman. Become the full reflectors of Brahmic splendour, the Light of lights. Make this your goal, to become a living witness to Divinity, the brilliant Sun of suns!
Brahman or the Supreme Self alone is real. He is the Soul of all. He is All in all. He is the Essence of this universe. He is the Unity that never admits of a duality under all the varieties and diversities of nature. Thou art this immortal, all-pervading, all-blissful Brahman. Thou art That—Tat Tvam Asi. Realise this and be free.
Remember the four important verses of the Brahma Sutras: (i) Atha-Ato Brahma-Jijnasa—Now, therefore, the enquiry into Brahman. (ii) Janmadyasya Yatah—From which proceed the origin, etc. (iii) Sastra-Yonitvat—The scriptures being the means of right knowledge. (iv) Tat Tu Samanvayat—But that because It is the main support.
Now sing: Jaya Guru Siva Guru Hari Guru Ram,
Jagad-Guru Param Guru Sat-Guru Syam.
Remember and adore Sri Vyasa and the Brahma-Vidya Gurus. May their blessings be upon you all! May you all cut asunder the knot of Avidya and shine as blessed Jivanmuktas, shedding peace, joy and light everywhere!
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