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Guru Purnima

1. Introduction to Guru purnima

Guru purnima is a day to express gratitude towards one’s Guru. Each seeker thinks of celebrating this day in the best possible manner. Obviously, since Guru principle is active 1000 times more on this day than on any other day, seekers are benefited accordingly. Guru does not expect anything from his disciples. Guru keeps on making efforts so that His disciple progresses spiritually and is elevated to a higher level. For faster spiritual progress, it is necessary to increase seeker-ship qualities in oneself. The true gratitude towards a Guru would be when a seeker develops seeker-ship qualities and eventually becomes a disciple. Let us review in this article, ‘What exactly needs to be done to increase seeker-ship qualities’.

2. Let us imbibe nine aspects of spiritual practice to increase seeker-ship

  • Personality Defect Removal: For this purpose, we have to accept our mistakes, go to their root cause to find the personality defect, make a note of it in our diary and take appropriate auto suggestions. We have to follow this process regularly.

  • Ego Removal: Let us try to take each and every action in our daily life consciously with complete surrender (sharaṇāgat-bhāv). Let us become aware of all the acts and symptoms where our ego is manifested and try to overcome it.

  • Leadership Qualities: Let us take more and more responsibilities related to service unto God (sēvā) and carry them out in the best possible manner. For this purpose, we need to study different aspects of leadership and practice them. If we sincerely practice the above three aspects of spirituality, it will be like practicing the following six aspects as well.

  • Chanting:  Chanting done without manifestation of ego, with complete surrender and avoiding ‘ten faults / offences’ is full of spiritual emotion. We do not have to take any other effort. This chanting happens effortlessly.

  • Satsang: To lead a life without ego, defects and coupled with chanting is company of truth (satsang) in itself. If this happens we can remain in satsang for 24 hours and derive satsang from each and everything.

  • Satsēvā: Service unto the Absolute Truth done along with chanting and surrender becomes satsēvā.

  • Sacrifice (Tyāg): Sacrifice unto the Absolute Truth (tyāg) is more important on the day of Gurupourṇimā

  • By regularly practicing all aspects of spirituality, we will be able to sacrifice our body, mind and wealth. Normally, Guru’s grace starts flowing when we commence our spiritual practice. However, when we sacrifice our body, mind and wealth to the extent of 55% we can get spiritual experiences of Guru’s grace. We should make an effort towards it. If in a day we are able to do physical satsevā for 13 hours along with chanting (by constantly being in connection with God) then we can say that we have done 55% sacrifice of body, mind and wealth.

  • In sacrifice of mind if something happens against our wish we should not think about it emotionally, rather we should have an attitude that Guru has given us an opportunity to learn from this incident. To have this kind of attitude we should effectively implement Personality Defect Removal and ego removal process.

    To make sacrifice of our intellect we should practice “Yog Karmasu Kaushalam“, means by following the principle that ‘performing each and every task perfectly and efficiently itself is Yog’.

    In spirituality, we have to achieve dissolution of mind and intellect as soon as possible. This is achieved through sacrifice. Sacrifice of wealth is comparatively easy. Full time seekers might think that, ‘we have sacrificed everything and come to the ashram, so how can we sacrifice wealth?’ These seekers should exercise thriftiness and make appropriate use of Guru’s belongings. This way they will be able to achieve sacrifice of wealth.

  • Spiritual love (Prīti ): We have to practice all the above aspects with love and without any expectations. Only through this, we will be able to develop spiritual love (Prīti) for everyone.

  • Developing spiritual emotion (Bhāv): When we practice all the above 8 aspects in its entirety, developing Bhāv is a certainty.

3. How to be introverted

There is one more obstacle in implementing all the above aspects, that is lack of introspection. Generally, while doing our daily service (sēvās), we do not realise or cannot control our mistakes and reactions we have in our mind towards other seekers. We are not able to concentrate while chanting or doing sēvā. We face all such difficulties. In all these situations we fall short of introspecting ourselves. In any situation, instead of analysing ‘where did I fall short’, we blame co-seekers, planning and the situation. This is where we make a mistake. In order to avoid this mistake, we have to change our thought process. Let us understand this by the following examples.

Eg: A.: Anil complains that Sunil does not listen to him even after explaining his mistakes to him in different ways. So, he concludes that Sunil lacks listening attitude and stops telling him his mistakes. In this case Anil has thought at Sunil’s level and come to a conclusion.

If Anil introspects himself it would be as follows: Sunil listens to H.H. Dr. Jayant  Athavale (founder of FHA) and evolved seekers but not to me; which means that he does not lack listening attitude, whereas I am falling short in my efforts in explaining to him. When I become like H.H. Dr. Jayant  Athavale or an evolved seeker, he will listen to me. So I have to increase my efforts. This thought process will eliminate any negative thoughts towards Sunil in Anil’s mind and he will start thinking positively and will start making efforts in that direction. In this example, Sunil may or may not improve but Anil will improve and become like H.H. Dr. Jayant  Athavale or an evolved seeker. This is what is expected by H.H. Dr. Jayant  Athavale.

Eg: B: Satsang in a Srī Datta temple was stopped. Satsang conductor, Mr. Shinde informed that the number of attendees were few and they were just listeners and not curious. They had to be called for the satsang and yet did not attend. So, the satsang had to be stopped. In this example, Mr. Shinde thought at others’ level but he did not introspect at his level. He should have thought, whether everybody understood the topics he presented in the satsang or not? Was the timing for satsang convenient to attendees? Was he clearing their doubts in the topics presented? Did they have any other obstacles in attending the satsang? In this case even if the satsang was stopped if Mr. Shinde had made efforts to continue the satsang, he would have definitely achieved his spiritual progress.

4. With prayers to the Guru anything is possible

If we make prayers in addition to the above efforts, it is not impossible to be introverted and practice nine folds of spirituality. Sometimes due to the black covering created around us by negative energies, we are not able to make desired and consistent efforts. H.H. Dr. Jayant  Athavale (founder FHA) has told us that if our spiritual level increases, distressing energies will not be able to trouble us. This means that we should increase our devotion and strengthen our spiritual power. It is not impossible to achieve this if the above efforts are coupled with maximum prayers.

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