Devotion to the Parents & the Guru
Our Indian culture aims at getting the children scale great heights in their tender age itself. It has a very systematic arrangement for inculcating the most ideal and benevolent pieces of knowledge into children in the forms of very simple and aphoristic precepts. Our culture declares:
मातृदेवो भव | पितृदेवो भव | आचार्यदेवो भव ||
i.e . ‘May the mother be thy God,may the father be thy God,may the teacher be thy God’.
The parents and the Guru are our well-wishers, hence we should not only respect them but also salute and worship them seeing Divinity in them. The sense of respect is enough to ensure obedience, but to enrich it with the sweetness of love the sense of reverence in the pre-requisite. This sense of reverence does ensure that act of obedience doesn’t become a means of further bondage, but a natural and nectarine piece of work equaling the act of worship.
It requires power to take water up. Power is used even in the lift that takes things upstairs. If the water has to get evaporated and fly upwards it does have to bear the pains of being heated. Even the ball has to be hit hard in order to go up in the air. But O dear students! How wonderful is the eternal culture of India that has in it this most efficacious formula of attaining progress in life as given by the ancient rishis and saints, making the very task of Self-elevation a spontaneous act of blissful sport.
Whoever took recourse to this formula did himself become worthy of respect and worship. Lord Sri Rama established such a great standard of revering, serving and worshipping the parents and the Guru considering them to be manifest forms of divinity that even today He is being hailed as the greatest ever human being to have observed the highest moral standards in his life. Known as Nanda-nandana and Yashoda-nandana i.e. the son of Nanda and Yashoda, even Lord Sri Krsihna happened to flood the household of nandaji with downpours of nectarine bliss, thereby pleasing them to the core; and then staying at the ashram of His Guru –Sandipaniji, He served Him too with great love and sincerity. When Emperor Yudhisthira performed the ‘Rajasuya Yajna’ Lord Sri Krsishna took upon Himself the service of washing the holy feet of the invited Gurus, saint and Brahmins. By virtue of such sincere devotion to His duty did He make it into the hearts of millions as the most adorable ‘Karamayogi Lord Sri Krishna.’ Lord Ganesha, Grandsire Bhishma, Shravana Kumara, Pandalika, Aaruni , Upamanyu, Totakacharya , etc. are just a few fragrant flower of the pious garland of devotees of their respective parents and Gurus.
Totaka, the disciple of Adi Shankaracharya who was considered by others as an ignorant and fool, took the formula – ‘acaryadevo bhava’, i.e. ‘may the teacher be thy God’ to the bottom of his heart and stuck to it firmly enough. And the result is a well-known fact today that by the benign grace of the Guru he went on to gain knowledge of all the scriptures even without having to go through them, thereby earning great renown and honour. Even in this present age, a young boy used to massage the feet of his father till late in the night. His father would tell him repeatedly to go to sleep, but through loving insistence he would still continue to massage his father’s feet. Pleased with his tireless service, his father would bless him:
पुत्र तुम्हारा जगत में सदा रहेगा नाम ! लोगों के तुमसे सदा पूरण होंगे काम !!
(“My son! You will earn eternal fame in the world. The people would get their wishes fulfilled by your grace.”)
He also served His revered Mother with great diligence unto the very last moments of her life. As a youth, alike Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, he too spent a life of great austerities and diligent service with a reverence mixed loving devotion to the holy feet of the Guru. The trying pains and testing miseries borne in the Guru’s place finally turned out to be the givers of Supreme Bliss. Today, that very child has grown up into a great saint and is revered the world over by millions. While delivering satsanga, this great saint, at times, alludes to some particular incident of his life in His Guru’s company and repeats the following couplet of Kabirji:
“The misery that comes one’s way as a test at the Guru’s place, Kabir says that he is ready to sacrifice a million happiness in exchange thereof.”
The Satguru is the only Supreme well-wisher in the world. ‘acaryadevo bhava’ –these scriptural words are not merely words alone but are the personal experience of all great saints.
‘मातृदेवो भव | पितृदेवो भव | आचार्यदेवो भव |’ This aphorism can be seen in its manifest form in the life of this great saint; and this alone has fructified in the form of His revered Mother and Gurudeva choosing His pious lap alone to rest their heads on in the last moments of their life. Now, guess out the name of that young boy who went on to set such sublime example of devotion to the parents and Guru. Today’s children should take lessons from these great examples of devotion and by propitiating their parents and the Guru drive the apple cart of their life towards true prosperity.