As Bharat celebrates Guru Purnima today with great fervour and devotion, it is high time to analyse the role of Guru in moulding the minds of shishyas (disciples) and ensure that knowledge is imparted like it was done during ancient times. While education in the West has been a recent phenomenon, shiksha in Bharat has been an important component since time immemorial. On this day, disciples express their respect and gratitude towards their Gurus, who are considered to be on par with Gods. It is believed that Maharishi Ved Vyas was born on this day and the festival of Guru Purnima is dedicated to Maharishi Ved Vyas. On this auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, Mahendra Kumar of Organiser Weekly has done an interview with Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji Maharaj, President, Hindu Dharm Acharya Sabha and renowned spiritual voice of India on the prevalence of the Guru-Shishya parampara in Indian culture and the impact of Western culture on Indian values. Swami Ji has transformed innumerable lives with his social and spiritual activities. Excerpts:
In our Sanatan culture, Guru has been placed in the highest position. Guru is considered on par with God. What are your views on this?
Guru and God are mutually indistinguishable beings in the same form. Therefore God and Guru are not separate but one element. It is the opinion of the scriptures that in the form of Guru, only God manifests himself for the welfare of the living beings. The one who frees our conscience from the veil of ignorant vices, gives us realisation of ‘self’ or introduces us to the divine power inherent in himself is the Guru.
You were initiated into sanyas by Brahmaleen Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj, great founder of Bharat Mata Mandir and Samanvay Seva Trust . You have also discussed on many occasions, your vedic education under Guru Avdhoot Prakash ji . What is the contribution of your Gurus in the sadhana you have achieved?
Craftsman sculpts the stone and replaces it in the form of a divine image. Similarly, wherever divinities are seen in my life, it is the result of Guru’s grace. I am the culmination of my Gurudev’s resolve. Brahmaleen Sadgurudev Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj founder of Bharat Mata Mandir and Samanvay Seva Trust, and Brahmaleen Avadhoot Prakashji , the Guru of my vedic education period, have bestowed on me tenacity and determination for accomplishing divine works and public welfare.
In the COVID period, our dietary habits, Yoga-Ayurveda etc. have been accepted all over the world. Today, the whole world and Western countries have started accepting that India’s cultural-spiritual life values are only for global welfare
It is said That due to the imitation of the West in India, our ancient Guru Shishya tradition is dying. What do you have to say about this?
Western civilisation has spread rapidly in India. Fortunately, ancient and divine tradition of India will never become extinct. Our cultural beliefs, festival traditions are eternal. That which is true is eternal, it does not disappear with the passage of time. A cloud cannot hide the sun’s light. I am very happy to inform you that today any culture which is flourishing the most in the whole world without greed, without showing fear and without conversion, then it is Sanatan Hindu Vedic culture. In the COVID period, our dietary habits, Yoga-Ayurveda etc. have been accepted all over the world. Today, the whole world and Western countries have started accepting that India’s cultural-spiritual life values are only for global welfare.
Bharat Known as the land of sages and seers, Bharat has been the world leader for many centuries and is looked up by many countries. When can we fulfil our dream of making India a world leader again?
To become Vishwa Guru means Bharat has to guide the entire humanity in its spiritual values and show direction when it comes to solving critical issues like climate change and environmental crisis and occultism. Bharat has always been revered as a world guru due to its soft power, spiritual awakening, Yoga-Ayurveda and festival-traditions. To become Vishwa Guru does not mean to establish our dominance over the world but to spread humanistic values.
How to choose a wise Guru?
Look, the meaning of Guru is one who makes intelligible conversations, whose conduct is prescribed by the Vedas and who frees his disciple from worldly traps and engages himself in divine and transcendental works. Similarly, it is necessary to have faith and devotion in the mind of the disciple towards the Guru. Only by faith and belief, sources of accomplishment and solution of life can emerge.
Today any culture which is flourishing the most in the whole world without greed, without showing fear and without conversion, then it is Sanatan Hindu Vedic culture!
Crime, lies and deceit are increasing continuously in society. Do you not think that the role of Gurus who show people the right path is receding?
Today due to the fault of some people, distortions are visible in society. If there is a dearth of great men around us, in such a situation, we should take shelter of the scriptures. By including Gita and Upanishad etc. scriptures and spiritual life values in our daily routine, we can remain comfortable ourselves and can also ensure our contribution in the establishment of a healthy society.