18: Guru’s Grace
It is God’s grace that we are given this human form. However, our entanglements in worldly objects, make us incapable of experiencing His grace.
The two most vital things required for us to experience this grace are the blessings of a learned Guru and self-study. Each one of us knows the truth, but Guru’s grace is prime to revealing this knowledge so we can see the truth clearly. Only a Guru can evaluate his student’s progress. Without the Guru, no knowledge is complete. For example, when an art expert acknowledges an artist’s outstanding creativity, the artist receives recognition. Only Gold authenticated by proper authorities is valuable.
Shree Shukacharya was all-knowing, enlightened. However, his father Maharshi Vyasa said to him, “You are an enlightened being. However, in order for the knowledge to be steadfast, one requires Guru’s blessings. Shree Janaka is an enlightened Guru.” Shree Shukacharya arrived at King Janaka’s palace. Seeing the grandeur, he was stumped, “How can one who lives such an affluent and lavish life be a Guru?” Suddenly, he heard one of the courtiers rushing to the king and exclaiming, “O king! The kingdom is in grave danger.” King Janaka very peacefully replied, “God’s grace will protect the kingdom.” As soon as these words were spoken, another courtier came running to the king and said, “O king! We are safe now.” Shree Shukacharya was filled with deep respect and reverence for King Janaka. He became King Janaka’s disciple. Under the guidance of his guru Shree Shukacharya achieved the Sthitapradnya state.
The relationship between a Guru and his disciple is like that of a mother and her child. The Guru gives his disciple the elixir of life and nourishes his spiritual being. Only then can the disciple realize his true self. P. P. Shreevasudevanandsaraswati Swami Maharaj composed a poem praising the Guru. The gist is as follows- “The one who is the truth, complete, omniscient, omnipresent, knowledge and who’s blessings are gratifying, is none other than the Guru.”