Shri Anandi Ma’s 2010 Guru Purnima Blessing
This year, we are honored and happy to be able to present Shri Anandi Ma’s Guru Purnima Address on Guru Purnima Day. It is preceded by a video clip of the final blessing from the address. Ma prerecorded the entire address for viewing at our Guru Purnima celebrations while She is leading the yatra to Mount Kailash. And those of us who cannot attend these events can view this extract and read the entire text on Guru Purnima day! Jai Gurudev! Jai Ma!
A video excerpt from Ma’s blessing
The full transcription of Ma’s Guru Purnima blessing
Shri Anandi Ma Chants:
Sarva vedaanta siddhaanta
Gocharam mama gocharam
To the One who cannot be grasped by the senses, to the One who can be known and recognized through scriptures like the Upanishads, to that form of the divine, that form of the Lord, to that form of supreme bliss, my guru, I bow down.
This auspicious mantra is from a very beautiful text known as the Viveka Chudamani, written by Aadi Shankaracharya. It is very profound in its meaning and essence, and holds a unique state. The guru of Aadi Shankracharya had the name Shri Govindapada. So by using a single word, Govind, Aadi Shakaracharya offers his pranams to both God and guru simultaneously.
Saint Kabirji writes in a beautiful couplet that if God and guru are standing side by side whom shall I bow down to first? He continues to write and sing that it is by the grace of the guru that God is standing here and therefore I bow down to the guru first and then to God.
In both these verses, the usage of the word Govind has been adopted. In the word Govind, go denotes the senses and vind is that which gives force and energy to the senses. Govind is the supermost aspect of principle that goes beyond words and description. So the guru holds the master key that opens all the difficult locks to reach the supreme that goes beyond the senses and therefore the first pranams go to the guru. The guru is perceived, experienced, visible, and it is through that tool, through the guru, that we recognize what lies beyond that sense of perception. Therefore we first pay our respects to our master, our guru and once that has been achieved, we continue to Govind, the supreme.
All the different words utilized to denote the supreme—the One that is beyond the senses and experienced through the senses, the One that is both form and formless, the One that is with qualities and without qualities—all these different words are simply addressing that same single principle of God.
Today we are sitting at the base of Mt. Kailash, in the lap of this beautiful mountain and we remember and offer pranams to both God and guru. This is a unique spot. Herein coincide the core essences of both Lord Shiva and this physical earth. The tattwa, or essence and principle of Lord Shiva, of God, is of course present everywhere. But just as the Mother Ganges originates at Gomukh where she enters Earth and begins her journey, quite similarly Mt. Kailash is that point of origin of the flow of the unique principle of God that is Lord Shiva. This is therefore the base of creation of the physical earth.
Vishnu takes incarnations on earth, but Lord Shiva never incarnates. In fact he is ever present because he is constantly working through the saints, through the gurus, and therefore the absolute principles of both God and guru, of Ishvar and guru are identical
Vishnu takes incarnations on earth, but Lord Shiva never incarnates. In fact he is ever present because he is constantly working through the saints, through the gurus, and therefore the absolute principles of both God and guru, of Ishvar and guru are identical. The aspects of the quality and quality-less states are in reality one and the same.
We are sitting at one of the most significant spots of our earth and also a very significant spiritual point for human evolution. This is the highest physical point in that sense. Down below in the plains there are thousands of places of worship—the temples, the churches, the mosques, and so forth. But here, all we see is this magnificent mountain representing the aspect of the divine without qualities. In past years, as we have traveled to many places, we have experienced the state of the divine through qualities. A few years ago, we made the trip to the 12 jyotir lingams where we experienced Lord Shiva in more of that form with qualities. But today we are here by the grace of Lord Shiva and guru to experience and taste the divine in that formless and quality-less state.
In the Ramayana it is written that there is no difference between the quality and the quality-less state of the absolute; just as the ocean and the wave are not any different or separate, just as you and your shadow are not truly different, quite similarly, whether it is the form or the formless, the quality or the quality-less state of the divine, both are equally one and the same. Today, let us put in an effort to understand that absolute principle of Lord Shiva in whatever way we possibly can through our mind and through our intelligence and understanding. This is truly an aspect of experience and when we hear these details—the promises from the scriptures—and when we have that inner experience, it is verified and it brings about a deeper level of bliss and understanding.
The Shiva tattwa is of course infinite; it is intense and cannot be contained. Just as the sky is infinite and the depth of the ocean is beyond measure, similarly the truth of God, of God’s principle, is beyond all these limited expectations and the guru tattwa, the essence of the guru, runs parallel to that.
Today I wish to share with you the details of the Shiva tattwa in a condensed, precise manner, from the Shiva Purana. Shiva tattwa is of course very significant and inherently loaded with mystery. In our daily lives we value jewelry, gems, gold, silver, rubies, diamonds, pearls and such; we value property, buildings, cars and so forth. But all these objects that we put such a high price on are still worthless, according to me. None of that remains with us forever and, more particularly, nothing can be taken by the soul at death; the only aspect that comes with us, with the soul, is the truth and the experience of this beautiful principle of the divine. That is why the Shiva tattwa is priceless and is the absolute mantra itself.
So that no significant details may be forgotten or left out, and to communicate the entire depth to you in its original form, I have written it down so that it can be read in its completeness.
Addressing a meeting of many rishis, the great master, Sutaji says:
Rishis, I am sharing with you the experience of Lord Shiva that I have had, so please be attentive and listen deeply. This is extremely mysterious and very secretive, but it can grant liberation itself. Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh are the very personifications, the forms of knowledge so whatever they have said, whatever they have indicated, is essential knowledge that needs to be attained and understood.
This entire creation is permeated by Shiva. This knowledge, this concept of understanding needs to be constantly infused in our lives, both internally and externally. All scholars should without doubt try to reach the goal of the experience that this entire creation is nothing but the permeation of Shiva. From Brahma himself to everything in the entire spectrum of creation right up to the smallest particle, even that little insect, there is nothing but Shiva. Mahadev is Shiva himself. When he desired, when he willed, creation came into manifestation. He knows everyone, but no one knows him. He is the cause of this creation and permeates every aspect of it, yet he is not in it anywhere. In the absolute reality, he never enters that phase because he is the absolute self, the state of absolute bliss, and is not coated by anything. The sun, a flame or other forms of light are reflected in water, but truly speaking such light has not actually entered or permeated the water. The true aspect of Shiva needs to be understood in the same way. Debate and differences of opinion are not knowledge because besides Shiva there is no other thing, nothing is separate, and there is no other power.
The soul is the essence of the supreme, but it is because of the lack of true knowledge and understanding that it remains restricted or dependent rather than independent. It is why one feels and thinks that he or she is separate from Shiva. But if knowledge comes and ignorance vanishes, that understanding and experience that ‘I am Shiva’ is crystal clear. Lord Shiva himself permeates everything and he is at one spot. He is spread in every living creature. He pervades everything animate as well as inanimate, and keeps everything moving in activity. Those learned beings who take that support and practice to realize Shiva will definitely attain the goals and fruits of self-realization. The fire element is present in each and every piece of wood, but only the one who rubs two pieces of wood together can actually have the manifestation and experience of the fire. So the fire element, although present, is unseen; it is hidden. Similarly, it is through practice, through anusthans, through austerities, that the individual can have the experience of realization. There is no doubt about that. Only Shiva, only Shiva, only Shiva; there is nothing else. It is that same Shiva experienced in all aspects of creation. Just as gold, dirt and the ocean appear to be different because of the names given to them, similarly Shiva is known and experienced through different states in his own creation.
Truly speaking, at the ultimate level there is no difference between cause and effect. It is only because of the elusive state of the mind, of the intellect, that they appear to be dual or different. If that elusive nature of the mind is removed, if it is destroyed, then the differences also dissolve. When the sprout erupts from the seed, it is manifesting another realm of principle. But eventually it becomes stable again and reestablishes in the seed itself, and the sprout is destroyed. The learned person is quite similarly established in the seed state, and the different distortions, the variations, are the sprouts. When one is free from all those sprouts, it is then that the individual becomes reestablished in the absolute state of knowledge. There can be no other thought involved in this process. Everything is Shiva and Shiva is everything. There is no difference; there is no separation between Shiva and the rest of his creation.
Why then does one see many different forms, or why is one searching for one single aspect? Shiva is like that flame, which is visualized differently as it is reflected in different levels or states of water. Just as the sky, although present everywhere, is untouched and cannot be bound in any way, quite similarly, Shiva is everywhere and cannot be tied down anywhere. It is because of the attachment to the ego that the essence of Shiva becomes the individual soul. As soon as one is free from that ego, he or she becomes absolute Shiva. Because the soul is engulfed by the fruits of karma, it becomes very lowly, almost worthless; but when the karma is discarded, the soul is free and becomes Shiva. Just as when silver is added to gold its value decreases, similarly when the ego is attached to the soul, the value decreases. It loses its depth. But just as when the impurities from the gold are removed, it becomes pricey again, similarly when the samskaras are purified, when the negative tendencies are destroyed and only the positive ones remain, the jiva—the individual soul—becomes Shiva.
By accepting and understanding that the absolute principle resides within the guru, all the karma of the soul is destroyed. All ignorance is destroyed at that point as well, and the individual becomes infiltrated with knowledge.
One needs to adopt a guru and then, always understanding that guru and Shiva are one, to worship the guru through faith and devotion. By accepting and understanding that the absolute principle resides within the guru, all the karma of the soul is destroyed. All ignorance is destroyed at that point as well, and the individual becomes infiltrated with knowledge. The one who is without ego in the body is the truly learned person. The individual soul that is free from ego and becomes gentle by the grace of Lord Shiva attains the state of Shiva. Like seeing one’s reflection in the mirror, one who experiences Lord Shiva everywhere is said to be free while still in the body. Once the body falls at death, the soul that has been free is already united with Shiva.
The roots of spirituality are the contemplations of the soul and who or what is Shiva. That true liking for God and everything pertaining to knowing God comes through devotion. It is only with love that one can even hear about the divine and it is only through listening that true satsang is attained. It is through satsang that the true guru is attained and it is through the grace of the guru that true knowledge can manifest in the heart. Once that knowledge is attained, true freedom comes.
The great sage Vyaasji, after studying and deeply contemplating the spiritual history of the Vedas, the Puranas, and various other spiritual texts several times, took the essence and gave me the profound teaching of this principle.
One who narrates or listens to this with deep concentration will enjoy all the joys of life and ultimately attain union with the state of Shiva. By listening to this even once, all karma is erased. The one who is without devotion attains devotion. The one who has devotion gains the capacity to increase it further. By listening a second time, one attains absolute devotion. By listening to it a third time, liberation can be attained.
This essence of Lord Shiva is extremely dear to Shiva himself.
At this unique and auspicious time, I heartily pray to the absolute compassionate Lord Shiva and to the profound love of our guru, that you may have the unique and profound experiences of this absolute principle. May you attain the complete fruits of this pilgrimage as per the promises of Lord Shiva and the great masters, and may you attain quite easily and spontaneously the states of devotion, of knowledge, and of union.
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu niramayah
Sarve bhadrani pashyantu
Ma kascid dukhabhag bhavet
Ma kascid dukhabhag bhavet
Om shantih shantih shantih
Shri Ramachandra bhagavan ki jai!
Sadaguru Deva ki jai!
Kailash Pati ki jai!
Whoever is present at this Guru Purnima in Antioch, Connecticut, or wherever, I give to my blessings to you, that you may reach your ultimate goal, and Lord and Gurudev shower their grace upon you.