The Guru Tradition: 1
The Guru Tradition: 1
About the Book
The concept of the guru is central to Hinduism and is at the heart of the continuity of our civilization. The guru has a greater place in our history than the ruler or the conqueror. The voice of the guru, of the acherya, is heard above the din of all the battles fought on our sacred soil. Do not we still hear the voice of Sri Krishna Paramatman, who played many roles during his divine incarnation, the foremost of them being that of jagadguru? The guru or acharya means more to India than the teacher or professor to Europe and other parts of the world. Gurukulavasa, with its tradition of selfless preceptors, is unique to this country and is one of its glories. Without any expectation 'of material gain the gurus in the past worked for the uplift of their students and the spread of knowledge. Pujyasri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Svami, in these discourses dwells with special emphasis on gurukulas under individual acharyas not supported by any institution. With penetrating insight and with the intellectual fervour reminiscent of our Upanishadic seers he surveys the entire educational landscape of India through the ages, not forgetting the Buddhist and Jaina contribution to institutional education. The Sage of Kanchi reminds us that the heights achieved by us in the past in vidya was due to the fact that teaching was not a "business" and was not institutionalised. He speaks eloquently of the true function of a guru, that of making his student know himself and freeing him from bondage. "There is no one higher than the guru," he says. "If we truly believe that Isvara himself comes to us in the form of our guru there is no need for us to worship Isvara apart from our guru. It is faith based on such belief, such devotion to the guru, that will deliver us from worldly existence." And the grace of Isvara is expressed through the grace of the guru. As one who shows his sishya the path of deliverance the guru combines in himself the roles of three gods - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara. He is indeed the Parabrahman. In these illuminating discourses the Great Acharya of Kanchi gives us the ultimate upadesa of the identity guru and Isvara.
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