"Guru Govind Dono Khade, Kisko Lagu Pai, Balihari Gurudevki Jisne Govind Diyo Batai"

Meaning - if the Guru and the Almighty God appears before you, to whom would you bow first? Saints have said, "Without a Satguru's blessings you wouldn't even recognise God." Therefore, one must bow to the Satguru first.

Guru meaning a teacher. In Sanskrit a Guru is a person who takes you from darkness to light. There are various types of Teachers / Gurus. Everyone needs a Guru as there is no enlightenment / true knowledge without a Guru.

Main Gurus in our lives are:

Our first Guru is the Parents. They bring us in this world and guide and make us independent by giving a basic knowledge of life - help us to walk, talk, eat, dress etc. and lead us to the second Guru.

The second Guru is a Teacher at school where we learn the art of communication and specialise in the topics of our choice.

The third Guru is called a "tilak Guru" a symbolic Dharma Guru as it is believed that a soul without a Dharma Guru is considered to be unholy.

The fourth Guru is Dharma Guru / Satguru – who would give the basic knowledge of life, religion (Dharma) and God and show the way to the salvation of the soul. He is believed to be in direct contact with the Almighty and his blessings can get us out of the circle of life and death and give us the ultimate peace.

Satguru is like an Immigration Officer with an authority to grant visas to visit and explore the Govind Dham – self-realisation - travel beyond what we can see. Only Satguru can give us the vision to see the glory of the Almighty – open our third hidden spiritual eye.

We should strive to see what is ours – the Soul. We live in the age of science and we believe in only what we see or personally experience. The Soul cannot be seen by our naked eyes and although we can experience the Soul, we have no ability to recognise or identify the Soul.

There cannot be true knowledge without the Satguru's teaching. You may read a thousand books but you cannot gain the knowledge, which a Guru can give you.

We are like a blind person, in the spiritual world. If four blind persons were asked to identify an elephant each would describe the elephant as that part of the elephant they may have touched. E.g. the one who touches a leg would describe the elephant as being like a pillar, the one who touches the trunk would say the elephant was like a rope, the one who touches the tail may say it was like a broom and the one who touches the body would say it was like a barrel of grain.

All of them would be wrong. Only the person with the full view of the elephant could fully describe the elephant. Likewise the Satguru is the only person who has the full knowledge and vision, of the life, and can explain the mystery of life and death.

Therefore, we need Gurus to take us through various stages in life to achieve the ultimate goal.

Once you have accepted someone as a Guru it becomes that Guru's responsibility to provide you with the necessary knowledge to see you through your life.

Just as a teacher at a school would teach and help you to get through your exams, a Guru would work for you throughout the year and try to make you see the light of life.

Therefore, Disciples have nominated a full moon day in a year called "Gurupurnima" when each Disciple would pay respect and bow to his Guru, bathe the Guru's feet, as a sign of submission and offer him a gift (dakshina) in appreciation of the knowledge and blessings received from the Guru during the year which will take the Disciple from darkness to light.

That is the importance of the GURUPURNIMA

Jayanti N. Vadher