"The Guru is everything," writes Shri Babaji in His commentary on the Guru Geeta. So much misunderstanding and abuse surrounds the tradition of Guru-disciple in which the wisdom of the Ultimate Truth is imparted. The Guru Geeta is an ancient scripture in which the highest philosophy of non-duality (Advaita - the unified oneness of the Supreme Consciousness) comes as a teaching from a true Guru to a sincere, dedicated, spiritually-seeking disciple. These highest teachings are subtle and are carefully explained to allow a full understanding and appreciation of the true Guru-disciple relationship. In this devotionally charged exposition of the power of that relationship, Babaji explains the requirements of a disciple in terms of humility and total devotion to the Guru, the need for and role of the Guru, and the qualities of a Realized Jnaani Guru and His glorious Existence as That Ultimate Truth, the Self.
The idea for this commentary arose spontaneously from a request by a devotee. Commenting on each of the 352 verses, Babaji conveys what He learned from the Divine Guru, Swamiji, through close observation of His behavior, His deeply profound teachings and unfathomable Silence. The mind is slippery and is always wandering in this world like a monkey. The Guru initiates the disciple into the proper technique of sadhana and lights the way on the spiritual path like a torchbearer, inspiring the disciple to put in efforts.
The title ‘Guru Charanaambujam’ means the ‘Lotus Feet of the Guru.’ This means that if one is receptive and adopts the spiritual methods set out in the Guru Geeta, the Guru Geeta can become like the physical presence of the Guru, ready to guide and inspire at all times. It can become like the Lotus Feet of the Guru where all achievements of the disciple, including Liberation, are laid as an offering. As such, ‘Guru Charanaambujam’ also signifies that Babaji offers this commentary at the Lotus Feet of His Divine Guru, Swamiji, from whom He gained this Knowledge.
"Everything is given in this Guru Geeta - devotion to the Guru, how to surrender, why one should put in efforts and do sadhana, what it is that one can achieve. That is why the Guru Geeta is considered as the storehouse of knowledge of the Self... Whenever one can think of this Geeta, such a mind gets connected to the Divine that is the Ultimate, thus obtaining the Guru’s Grace. To such a one who does sadhana of the Guru Geeta, meaning practices everything as recommended in the Guru Geeta, such a one becomes one with the Divine."
A devotee writes:
If you have been to any of Shri Babaji’s public talks, you will almost certainly have heard Him gently recite a beautiful verse, half chanted, half sung in His melodious voice:
Ekam Nityam Vimalam Achalam
Sarvadhi Sakshi Bhutam
Bhava Teetam Triguna Rahitam
Satgurum Tvam Namami
This beautiful verse is from the Guru Geeta, in honor of the Guru. You will perhaps have noticed the first act of Babaji on entering the hall is to do Aarati to the picture of His Guru, Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, with His attention fixed on the Guru’s image. Whilst He is a Realized Yogi, having completed His Tapas and touring the world to guide and inspire the spiritually thirsty, He will always remain the disciple of His beloved Guru. Every action is dedicated to Swamiji. In His talks and writings we gain an insight into the deep wisdom of a Master. This wisdom has not come from academic study, it is gained from placing the words of His Guru into His every action and every thought. Babaji spent twenty years in selfless service to His Guru in the Ashram at Dehradun. He did so without question, knowing that whatever His Guru said or did, no matter how harsh it may have seemed to some at times, it was always for the spiritual benefit of the dedicated disciple. The very process of dedication and surrender based on His absolute faith in His Guru led Him to Realization.
In this commentary Babaji clarifies and expands on the profound wisdom contained within the Guru Geeta. Misinterpretations are swept away with the certainty of one who is Realized. To get this from such a Master is a rare opportunity that seldom occurs in history. Babaji knows because He lived these verses with His beloved Swamiji. Today Babaji offers it as a friend to all who sincerely wish to learn.
Extracts from Guru Charanaambujam
Verse 102 - Not This
“The scriptures declare neti meaning 'not this, not this' and speak of the beyond which is nothing. That Tatva is the Guru in reality, one should therefore, through the mind in particular, and speech and actions, worship that Guru.”
Comments: Scriptures talk of 'not this, not this', like it is not the body which is perishable, not the breath, not the intellect and so on, but it is Tatva meaning That, beyond which there is nothing. When the Sages realized the Ultimate Truth as Existence they addressed it as That, because that Existence is such a wonder you can call it by any name, any form or formlessness. It is all the same, what you call space, the name space is also given for the sake of understanding. Nobody completely, conclusively knows about space and its nature. That is the greatness of the Sages who gave us the Vedas and the Upanishads. They said it is Ananta (boundless) and you cannot conclude what it is. It is the Supreme Being, it is the Nirvana, it is the Moksha, it is the Liberation, it is the Enlightenment, and so on, so many ways it has been addressed. A Realized Guru is none other than That Self. Therefore worship that Guru by applying the mind and through speech and actions.
Verse 110 – A Realized Jnaani
"A Realized Jnaani Guru is the one who is in Supreme Peace beyond all imaginations. The Guru is in Supreme Happiness which has no equal to describe it, is That knowledge personified, is above all dualities, like the sky. Always attentive to the Self, is alone in one’s own Self, composed, unmoved, witness to all happenings, beyond all emotions and the three gunas. Prostrations to that Guru."
Comments: Trying to understand a Realized Jnaani Guru a little bit. He is the one whose happiness and peace is beyond anybody’s imagination, the mind cannot understand and visualize. He is enjoying Peace at its highest, no other Peace is above that. Such a Guru is the knowledge personified and has become one with That, in quest of which all go. For That all look, for that knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, the Guru is That. When in pursuit of happiness in this world, the mind always gets involved into the dualities of happiness and unhappiness, good and bad, right and wrong etc. Because the mind expects something and the world has no such universal law that everything pursued by the mind will happen according to that mind’s imagination. If it happens the mind is happy or else the mind is unhappy.
A Jnaani Guru is above this. Such a Guru’s consciousness is not the mind that is a bundle of thoughts that are spiritual impurities, because they keep your consciousness, keep you away consciously from the Real Self that you are. Such a Guru’s attention is always on the Self, is one with the Self. As Ramana Maharshi tells, "Even if a Yogi is gossiping a lot He is the ever-silent one." A Yogi Guru’s mind does not picturize or visualize any thoughts or visions in any manner. It has become one with the Self. Such a Guru is alone, not as a personality but as entity of Ultimate Truth. He is fully aware that the Real Self is one Single Existence in Itself. Like space is one single entity in itself. Like everything of the mind’s imaginations are not different from the mind, and the mind is the only single entity existing in itself. It is eternal, never born, never has to die, always exists. Achalam, is unmoved by any adverse comments of critics as He has experienced the Truth. If you have simply heard the truth from others then there is always the likelihood that the consciousness becoming the mind can get confused. But a Realized Jnaani Guru is unmoved, is only a witness to this universe and mentally never gets attached. Though the Guru might behave like any other normal person but from inside He is fully aware of the Self, does not analyze and judge and is only a witness. He has stopped all future and past. Such a Guru would have transcended all emotions and the three gunas of good, bad and ugly. Consciousness is Pure and Peaceful. Prostrations to such a Guru.
Verses 120 and 121 – Creation
Meaning: "May the Divine vision of the Guru ever dwell on me. The Divya (Divine) vision of the Guru is so powerful that on it depends the entire universal creation, on whom all this creation is superimposed (seems to exist). On whom depends the entire Vedic injunctions and knowledge, in whom rests the entire creation. On whom depend the ways of Brahma and His creation of the universe's (samsara) appearance and disappearance. In whom rests the one path to Liberation, which is the support of the entire creation comprising countless worlds. The rain of whose merciful glance bestows the knowledge of the Self, the awareness of Supreme Happiness of Supreme Consciousness and all Creative Existence."
Comments: An amazing narration of That Self which is unthinkable and inexplicable. Silence is the real conveying of That Truth. Yet in such beautiful words it has tried to be described for the sake of understanding and motivation, to feel inspired to go for that Ultimate Truth, Self awareness. "May the same Supreme Peace come to me, may the awareness of the Self come to me," the disciple should pray to the Guru. Everything your mind has imagined depends on the same mind for its existence. Though everything that is in the mind appears to exist, actually imaginations are superimposed on the mind which is Pure Consciousness of Existence. When you are dreaming everything that you see is within your consciousness. You are watching everything within you. Once you get up that dream vanishes. Where was that dream? You can’t show it to anybody that the dream existed here. In the Kathopanishad, explaining the creation, the Divine Guru tells Nachiketa that when the Divine Supreme created there was no other raw material to produce the universe because only That existed as one single Self, one Unified Existence. Therefore the Divine out of mere imagination using Itself as raw material created everything in Itself. Just like everything created in the space is within the space only. That is how a Realized Jnaani Guru Yogi is able to be aware of the Oneness and would have the conscious vision of seeing only That Self everywhere. That is the real Guru. You visualize in the mind everything that is visualized appears, and the day you can make the mind quiet, everything disappears. Only such a Guru can bestow Supreme Peace on the disciple. One should not misunderstand and think that without efforts simply the Guru will give such Supreme Peace just like a cup of instant coffee. With devotion and faith, mentally surrendering to the Guru, one must adopt methods taught by the Guru and achieve. Pray for the Grace of the Guru.
Verses 239, 240 and 241 – Obtaining siddhis
Meaning: "By adopting the Guru Geeta’s recommendation of sadhana one attains siddhis undoubtedly. One should abandon all forbidden acts and places. One can do sadhana in cremation grounds, under a banyan tree or Vilwa tree, Kanaka tree or mango tree for success. A white colored cloth for peace, yellow for Mohana and red for Vashya."
Comments: Once again these are recommendations which are myths and symbolic. One can sit on any color cloth. It is recommended to avoid any such color or thing or place which may not suit a disciple’s psychology or temperament. What is important is all the forbidden acts of greed, anger, jealousy, double standards, cheating and robbery which increase the impurities and selfish narrow-mindedness of the mind. One is likely to get distracted easily by these acts and might end up not doing any sadhana. Swamiji always warned, "Beware, even after accepting a life of celibacy, monkhood or a life in an Ashram or Monastery etc. one can easily get involved in the acts of struggling for power and status, of greed and jealousy. It is important to renounce all these if one’s intention is sincerely to achieve Self awareness." The color of the mind is more important than anything else. A white color mind means a peaceful, pure, desireless mind which can concentrate on sadhana – this is important. One should not try to meditate with the imagination and desire of getting stupid magic powers or arrogant status, egoistic power and so on. Sincerity, devotion and faith are necessary. Other forbidden things should be renounced.
Verse 266 – This Great Secret
Meaning: "This great secret, difficult to understand, should not be revealed to all. It is to be kept well guarded. I have related this to you because you are very dear to me."
Comments: Again keeping it secret and guarded is not for discrimination. It is to safe-guard the reverence for the Guru and the greatest and highest knowledge and wisdom. People whose minds are not yet ripe may take it casually or tease by making fun of it. It is useless teaching such people. When Swamiji initiated people into meditation, He was always unique, He said, "As a friend this meditation is given, no imposition that one has to consider Swamiji as the Guru." It is the student’s choice, if the student wanted to be a disciple and progress by serious practice and accept Swamiji as the Guru, then Swamiji was ready to guide and help. It is important that yearning should come from the disciple, earnestness should be from the devotee. Only then one can have proper devotion and faith in the Guru, then reverence also develops and seriousness in sadhana happens. Then whatever the Guru teaches goes into the head, meaning it penetrates the inner layers of the mind. Otherwise soon after one listens to the teachings of the Guru, by the time you get out, you would have forgotten. Such devotees never seriously adopt the Guru’s teachings and waste their energies. My teacher in middle school used to tease us by telling, “I do not know whether you will learn, but I shall keep my practice perfect, that is why I am going to do my duty of teaching you all.” That is what Baba says now. Teaching is my duty, those who want to adopt and do sadhana, helping, guiding, inspiring is my duty. You want, I am ready to give. You ask, I will tell you. You question, I will answer. You knock, I will open. You are devoted, I will make you to do sadhana, you have faith and you will get it from me. If you are not interested, it will always be a secret for you. If you are genuinely interested it will be a secret no more, it is for you only.