Dear LWP Readers,
This newsletter contains news about the much awaited exclusive LWP interview with Maj Gen GD Bakshi as well as Guru Purnima blessings for one and all. As usual, the weekly digest is included further below.
From Darkness to Light – Guru Purnima Blessings
The full moon following the summer solstice is of great significance to spiritual seekers, being the day of Guru Purnima. In ancient India, Guru Purnima was one of the most important days of the year.
The word “Guru” comes from the Sanskrit roots “gu” which means darkness and “ru” which means dispeller. The Guru is the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance. That moves one from untruth to truth. As the ancient verse from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad goes:
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
Lead me from unreality to reality. From darkness to light. From death to immortality. Let there be peace. Om.
In Indian culture, the first Guru, Adi Guru, is considered to be Shiva, who first gave the tools of yoga to the seven rishis (saptrishis) who then passed them down to humanity. Since that time, many gurus have walked the land of India and still do, showing the way of liberation to humanity.
And yet, the Guru is not in the essence, a person with a teaching. A guru is not someone who preaches morality, a man of principle. The Guru is the principle – the Guru Tattva – inside the heart of all sentient beings. The Guru is the universal Self. The Guru is the silence that quietens the mind.
“Guru is the Self. Sometimes in his life a man becomes dissatisfied and, not content with what he has, he seeks the satisfaction of his desires through prayer to God. His mind is gradually purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain his grace than to satisfy his worldly desires. Then, God’s grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association. The devotee’s mind gains strength and is then able to turn inward. By meditation it is further purified and it remains still without the least ripple. The calm expanse is the Self. The Guru is both external and internal. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn it inwards. From the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps in the quieting of the mind. That is the Guru’s grace. There is no difference between God, Guru and the Self.”
– Sri Ramana Maharshi (Be as you are, The teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, p. 91)
We don’t need to strategize about ways to dispel the different forms of darkness – we just have to let the light of Grace shine. Guru Purnima is the time when it is easiest for humans to experience Grace. It is therefore believed to be a day that we must try to spend in contemplation, meditation and fortifying our spiritual aspirations.
How much Grace we allow into our lives is completely up to us because Grace itself is always ‘on’, always flowing.
May everyone experience the Grace of the Guru this full moon day – Guru Purnima Blessings!
My conversation with GD Bakshi on ‘Soldiers & Spirituality’ was personally very interesting and enlightening. The first part of this video interview was released on LWP yesterday. In this part, GD Bakshi spoke about his guru, a fitting topic for this Guru Purnima! Many viewers of the video expressed their surprise at this heretofore hidden side to GD Bakshi who is more popular for talking about all things war and defence!
I think you will find the upcoming parts of this conversation even more interesting – revolving around GD Bakshi’s peronal meditation experiences and a broader discussion about the role of spirituality in the lives of soldiers (an apparently obvious connection given that soldiers constantly face death, but yet not a much discussed/explored one). Look out for these videos on the LWP website and YouTube channel.
Below is the Part 1 video incase you missed it.
Here’s some other important highlights from the past week on LWP:
– Glimpses of the Rath Jatra 2017 in pictures. This annual festival of Lord Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is enigmatic, colourful and a true display of universality in which people from all walks of life (including tribals and Muslims) participate.
– Beloo Mehra shared with us a touching piece in memory of her late mother. Sometimes a person’s cooking feeds not only the stomach but also the soul as this beautiful piece shows.
– If you’re thinking of visiting Korea, know that it is a meat obsessed society but there’s ways of getting by on a healthy vegetarian diet. Danielle Oakes shared some survival tips for going ‘Meatless in Korea’.
– LWP shared Dr David Frawley’s piece on Guru Purnima – the Full Moon of the Universal Guru – an enlightening piece on the significance of this day tracing back to ancient times.
– Last Sunday’s newsletter included Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s video on the #RallyforRivers initiative being led by the Isha Foundation to save and rejuvenate the badly depleted Indian rivers. Do watch and share the video and pledge your support for the cause (a missed call to the number: 80009 80009 registers as a support to the petition for saving the rivers which will be placed before the Indian government in October 2017). LWP supports this cause and will be sharing much more information, knowledge and support in the coming weeks.
As always, I look forward to your comments, feedback, suggestions and article contributions. Do share this with those you think may be interested so that they can also and join the wiser-living movement!
Wishing you a lovely Sunday wherever in the world you are and may you have a truly blessed Guru Purnima!
Editor, the LivingWise Project