A Heart of Devotion
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
When the devotee surrenders to the Lord, at that point the Lord no longer holds the faults of the devotee within His heart. On the contrary, He praises the devotee in society. Such a Lord, such a master, besides you there is no one. With my arms raised, I promise and make this statement of truth.
These are the words, the promises uttered by Bharat in the Ramayana for his brother Lord Ram. I also raise my arms similarly and based upon my own experiences can vouch with a similar statement that for us disciples, there is no greater or better guru than Guruji who was very identical to Ram in his life and living. As disciples we need to ask ourselves, can we accept that state of surrender to Him? Can we develop a heart of devotion just as Bharatji had for his Lord Ram? On this Guru Purnima, this is the thought we want to churn in our minds.
Further on, Bharatji states that the animal that is trained will dance and the parrot, which is taught different mantras, will recite the same. But in reality, the praise should go to the person who trained them. The beauty of the dance of the animal or the ability to recite the mantras are truly not of the animal or of the bird but of the teacher. So the real praise should go to that person who has given the training.
The Lord improves and brings deeper qualities to the person who is doing His seva. He honors and respects him to the extent that he is made a crown jewel of the sadhus. So such a great being and such a compassionate being, besides you who else can there be? Not only that, the master continues to sing the praises, sing the glory of the disciple in society.
Today the events of Bandhwad and also of Guruji come to my memory. By the grace of Lord Hanuman and by the inspiration of Guruji, we had the grace and the opportunity to establish His statue, His murti at the ashram in Bandhwad and do the Pran Pratistha ceremonies in January. At that event, the love and the enthusiasm of the people of the village were distinctly overflowing from their hearts. They had a huge and elaborate welcoming for me, for this body, and through those actions they indicated their love and their support.
At that time I very, very deeply missed Guruji’s physical presence, because truly speaking all that was unfolding for me was really being done for Him. It was His doing, His efforts and His grace that was the cause of all that was unfolding at the time and moment, and so the true being worthy of the honor of that love from the village belonged to Guruji and not to me, not to this body.
Today on this beautiful day of Guru Purnima, let us all join in hearts and mind and, further, at a level of respect and honor and love for our guru. That significance is infinite. The greatest of writers have been unable to completely sing that glory. So let us all hold the feet, the sandals of our guru in our hearts and in doing the puja, bring that glory to our hearts. If we are truly able to do that then we will achieve mental peace, the siddhis of all our positive actions and, most of all, spiritual growth.
When Lord Ram went to the forest, Bharatji went after him and was hoping to bring him back to Ayodhya; he requested the Lord to come back home, but of course Lord Ram did not agree to return. Instead, he sent his sandals back to Ayodhya with Bharatji who established those sandals on the throne and, with the true faith that Lord Ram was working through those sandals, continued to perform his duties in Ayodhya.
Tulsidasji says that each of the sandals of Shri Ram is like a guard, a security person. They protect the devotee, the disciple. Bharatji’s love is like a priceless jewel to be found in the sandals, which act as containers for that love.
Bharat represents the pure love that the devotee has for the Lord, for the Guru. For the tongue, the two sandals represent the two letters of the word Ram.
The experiences that Bharatji had through the sandals were so profound that he constantly felt that when he was in the vicinity of the sandals he was in the presence of both Ram and Sita. These are just not mere words but pure experiences. Many disciples have had identical experiences with Guruji’s sandals over the years.
There is a story that in the years when Bharatji was ruling Ayodhya, he at one point became extremely depressed without the physical presence of his Lord. So he decided to end his life. He went to the river, the Saryu, and decided to enter the water and drown himself. As he began to step into the waters, he suddenly found himself being held strongly by two persons, by his arms. So he asked them, “Who are you?” The two persons said, “We are the sandals of Lord Ram; we are here to protect you, we cannot allow you to do this, you are taking a wrong step.” So the sandals of the Lord, the sandals of the guru, hold infinite and tremendous significance. If you are truly able to hold the sandals within the space of your heart, you will be able to achieve anything and everything.
Be sure to recite the Five Stanzas to the Guru’s Feet as regularly as possible, at least once a day. Guruji is always with us in each and every breath, but as you recite the five stanzas, the subtle bond with you and the guru will become deeper and stronger. By reciting this chant, negative karma will be washed away, the soul will attain its true state of purity and you will be able to transcend the grips of maya, of illusion. You will be able to have vision of the light of the soul, and ultimately liberation.
On this auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, I pray to Guruji from the depths of my heart that His sandals may be inscribed within the space of your heart. May they bring the taste of the ultimate states of bliss. In this infinite ocean of God’s bliss may you enjoy the
most profound peace and may you be immersed in that absolute aspect of Joy. I am placing Guruji’s sandals in your heart. Have a wonderful Guru Purnima. Sita Ram.
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu niramayah
Sarve bhadrani pasyantu
Ma kascid dukhabhag bhavet
Ma kascid dukhabhag bhavet
Om shantih shantih shantih
Shri Ramachandra bhagavan ki jai!
Sadaguru Deva ki jai!