THE GREATNESS OF THE GURU

By Dr. J. Das, Kabir Association of Canada.

Published with permission

(Note: Satguru Kabir exalted the position of the guru even above God, for it is the guru that enlightens you about God. In one of his famous couplets he stated,

guru govind dono khade, kis ko lage panw; balihari guru apko, govind diyo lakhai

If the guru and Govind (Lord Krishna) are standing together, at whose feet will you bow down first? I am a sacrifice onto the guru for he has revealed Govind to me. [Guru Kabir uses various conventional names for God, but refers to the formless God])

bando charan saroj guru, mud mangal agar

jihi sewak nar hot hain, bhowsagar ke par

guru ke sumiran matra se, nashat vighan anant

tase sarva arambh men, dhyavat hain sab sant

I salute the lotus feet of the guru. He is the place of happiness and bliss. Serving him man is able to cross the ocean of birth and death. With only remembering the guru, limitless obstacles vanish. Therefore, in beginning anything, all the saints meditate on him.

guru guru kahi sab vishva pukare, guru soi jo bharm nivare

bahut guru hain as jag mahin, hare dravya bhow dukh kou nahin

The entire world is saying “Guru, Guru” and is calling him. The guru is he who removes There are many gurus in this world who take your wealth but do not remove any of your suffering.

tase pratham pariksha kije, pachhe shishya hoi diksha lije

binu jane jo koi guru karahi, so nar bhowsagar men parahin

Therefore, at first test the guru, then afterwards become his disciple. If one accepts a guru without testing him, he will drown in the ocean of birth and death.

pakhandi papi avichari, nastik kutil vriti bakdhari

abhimani nindak shath natkhat, duracharyit abla lampat

He who is hypocritical, sinful, thoughtless, disbelieving, crooked and having the nature of a heron; who is egotistic, backbiting, wicked or sly, naughty, full of misconduct, and lustful towards women;

krodhi krur kutark vivadi, lobhi samta rahit vishadi

as guru kabahun bhuli na kije, inko durahi se taji dije

And who is angry, cruel, argumentative, quarrelsome, greedy, without evenness of mind, and always sad, never accept such a guru even by mistake. Reject him from far away.

nigamagam rahasya ke gyata, nispriha hit anushasan data

daya kshama santosh sanyukta, param bichar man bhow mukta

Accept a guru who knows the secrets of the scriptures, and who is unattached, is a well wisher, and disciplinarian; who is full of mercy, forgiveness, contentment, is highly thoughtful, and free from worldly bondage;

lobh mohh mad matsar adi, rahit sada parmarath vadi

rag dvesh dukh dwand niwari, rahen akhand satya vrat dhari

Who is free of greed, attachment, ego, jealousy etc., and always speaks of the highest good; who removes the suffering of dualities (pleasure-pain) of attraction and repulsion, and who is unmovable from his vow of truthfulness;

bhadra vesh mudra ati sundar, gati apar mati dharm dhurandhar

kripya bhaktan par kar priti, yatha shastra sikhve shubh niti

Who wears proper clothes, has a very beautiful countenance, is very approachable, intelligent, and is a leader in religion; who is kind, affectionate towards the devotees, and teaches the noble way according to the scriptures.

jin ke swapanehu krodh ur, kabahun na hot pravesh

madhur bachan kahi pritiyut, det sabahi updesh

In a true guru, anger never enters his heart even in a dream; with sweet words he teaches everyone affectionately.

haren abodh dodhprad janke, nashi ashesh klesh jivan ke

krityakritya vikritya karm ko, nyaianyai adharm dharm ko

The guru removes ignorance, and bestows knowledge to the people, and destroys all the miseries of life. He teaches to discriminate between actions that are good or bad, and inaction, and between justice and injustice and between righteousness and unrighteousness.

vividh bhanti nischai karvayi, bhinn bhinn sab bhed lakhai

sat mithya vastu parkhavai, sugati kugati marag darsavai

In many ways, he teaches us to determine all the differences separately, in detail. He lets us see the way of a good life and a bad life, and how to examine things that are eternal.

tihi guruki sharanagati lije, tan man dhan sab arpan kije

asan basan vahan aru bhushan, sut dara nij paricharak gan

Take refuge in such a guru, and surrender all your body, mind and wealth to him. Offer him food, clothing, transportation and jewelry, and let your son, wife and servants serve him.

kari sab bhent guru ke age, bhakti bhav ur men anurage

tan yatra nirvahh ke karan, mange deya so kije dharan

Put all offerings in front of the guru and express your spirit of devotion from your heart. To maintain the body on the journey of life, accept what he gives.

lai bhikshuk sam din bhav man, kare pranam dandavat charanan

maha yagya ko phal vahh pave, sakrit bandi guru shish navave

Be like a beggar and accept his gift with humility, and prostrate yourself at his feet in salutation. You will obtain the highest benefit once you bow your head to the guru.

yahi vidhi guruke sharan hoi, kare nirantar sev

guru sam jane owr nahin, tribhuvan men koi dev

Accepting the refuge of the guru in this way, serve him constantly. Do not accept any god in the three worlds as equal to the guru.

jin guru ko manush kari jane, tin sam ko nirbhagya ayane

buddhi rahit nar pashu samana, hai pratyaksh bin pachh vishana

He who thinks the guru as a mere man, there is no one as unfortunate or foolish like him. He is without discriminative intellect, and it is clear he is like an animal without tail or horns.

vishva vidit vishesh prabhutai, govind se guru ki hai bhai

govind ki maya vash prani, bhugte dukh chowrashi khani

O Brother! The greatness of the guru, compared to God, is known in the world. Due to God’s Maya, living beings suffer in the 8.4 millions of life forms.

guru pratap bhowmul vinashe, vimal buddhi hoi gyan prakahse

sukh akhand nar bhoge jai, satyalok men basa pai

By the grace of the guru, the causes of births (karmas) perish, and man’s intellect becomes pure. Man then enjoys perfect bliss and dwells in Satyalok.

guru se shresht owr jag mahin, hari biranchi shankar kou nahin

suhrid bandu sut pitu mahatari, guru sam ko duja hitkari

In the world, there is no one better than the guru, including Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Besides a friend, relative, son, father or mother, who else is a well wisher equal to the guru?

jake rakshak guru dhani, sake kahh kari owr

hari ruthe guru sharan hai, guru ruthe nahin thowr

What can others do to a person who has the protection of the mighty guru? If God is displeased with you, then the guru is your shelter, but if the guru is displeased, you have no place to go.

yog yagya jap tap vyowhara, nem dharm sanyam achara

ved puran kahain goharai, guru bin sab nishphal hai bhai

O Brothers! The Vedas and Puranas repeatedly say that without a guru, all yoga, yajna, japa, penance, worldly activities, discipline, righteousness, control of passions, and noble actions, do not bear the desired fruit.

guru bin hridai shudh nahin hoi, koti upai kare jo koi

guru bin gyan bichar na awe, guru bin koi na mukti pawe

Without a guru the heart cannot become pure, even if one tries in millions of ways. Without a guru,spiritual knowledge and noble thinking are not attained, and without a guru no one gets salvation.

guru bin bhut pret tandhari, bhrame sahastra varsh nar nari

guru bin yamke hath bikai, pai dusahh dukh man pachhitai

Without a guru, man and woman wander in doubt for a thousand years in the body of ghosts and spirits. Without a guru, man is sold into the hands of Yama and endures unbearable sorrows, and repents.

guru bin sanshai kown niware, hridai vivek kown vidhi dhare

guru bin nahin agyan vinashe, nahin nij atam rup prakashe

Without a guru, who else can remove doubts; in what way can the heart possess discriminative spiritual knowledge? Without a guru ignorance cannot be removed, and the soul does not realize its true form.

guru bin brahmgyan jo gaven, so nahin mukti padarath pawe

tehi karan nischai guru kije, sur durlabh tan khoi na dije

Without a guru, if one sings of divine knowledge, he will not attain liberation. For these reasons certainly accept a guru, and do not waste the body that even the gods have difficulty obtaining.

ved shastra aru bhagavat, gita padhe jo koi

tin kal santusht man, bin guru kripa na hoi

If one reads the Vedas, Shastras, Bhagavatam, and Gita, still without the grace of the guru, the mind cannot be satisfied in the three times – past, present and future.

akhil vibudh jagmen adhikari, vyas vashisht mahan achari

gowtam kapil kanad patanjali, jaimini valmik charanan bali

In the entire scholarly world, the authoritative people – Vyas and Vashisht were noble characters. I bow to the feet of the rishis Gautam, Kapil, Kannad, Patanjali, Jaimini and Valmiki

ye sab guruke sharane aye, tase jagmen shresht kahaye

yagyavalkya aru janak videhi, dattatraya guru param sanehi

All of them came to the refuge of the guru, so in the world they are called great. Yagyavalkya and Janak, who was liberated in his lifetime, and Dattatraya greatly loved their gurus.

chowbis guru kinhe jag mahin, ahankar ur rakhyo nahin

ambarish prahalad vibhishan, ityadik jo bhaye bhakt jan

Dattatreya accepted twenty-four gurus in the world, and kept no pride in his heart. Ambarish, Prahalad, Vivishan, and others became devotees of gurus.

owrahu yati tapi vanvasi, ye sab guruke param upasi

hari biranchi shiv diksha linha, narad dhimar ko guru kinha

Many others such as ascetics, practitioners of austerity, and forest renunciates were great worshippers of the guru. Even Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva took initiation, and Narad accepted a fisherman as his guru.

sant mahant sadhu hain jete, guru pad pankaj sewahin tete

shesh sahas mukh bahu gun gave, guru mahima ko par na pave

As many saints, mahants and sadhus there were, they all served at the lotus feet of the guru. Shesh Nag, with one thousand mouths, sang the attributes of the guru, but could not fathom the grace of the guru.

ram krishna se ko bada, inahun toh guru kinhh

tin lok ke ve dhani, guru age adhin

Who is greater than Ram and Krishna? Even they accepted a guru. They were masters of the three worlds, but were humble before the guru.

nij mukh jo guru ninda karahin, kalp sahastra nark men parahin

guru ki ninda sune jo koi, rasabh swan janm tehi hoi

The state of the person who slanders his guru will be like dwelling in hell for thousands of years. If he listens to slander of the guru, then he is like having birth as a mule or a dog.

guru se ahankar ur dhari, kare vivad mudh avichari

te nar maru nirjal ban jai, trishit maren rakshas tan pai

He who has pride in his heart, and argues with the guru, is foolish and thoughtless. Such a person is like being in the waterless desert and dies of thirst and inhabits the body of a demon.

jo guru ko taji owrahi dhyave, hoi daridra ati dukh pave

bin darshan nanin guru ke rahiye, yahh dridh niyam hridai men gahiye

He who gives up the guru and worships others, becomes poor, and suffers a great deal. Do not go through life without a guru. Keep this firm principle in mind!

jo bin darshan karen ahara, hoi vyadhi tan vividh prakara

yathashakti jan chuke nahi, hoi ashakt dosh nahin tahi

He who eats without ever seeing a guru, develops various bodily ailments. As much as possible, people should not make mistakes. If one becomes helpless, then no blame attaches to him.

guru sanmukh nahin baithe jai, khali hath hilawat ai

jo kuchh owr nahin bani awe, patra pushp phal bhent chadhave

Do not sit improperly in front of the guru, and do not go to him with empty dangling hands. If you cannot afford much of anything, then at least offer leaves, flowers or fruit to him.

namra bhav ati pritiyut, charankamal shirnai

jo satguru agya karain, lije shish chadhai

With humility and a great deal of love, bow down at the lotus feet of the guru. Whatever command the guru gives, accept it and place it on your head (obey)

ati adhin hoi bole vani, rank saman jori yug pani

kabahun na baithe panv pasari, jangha pad dhari asan mari

Be very humble and speak respectfully to the guru. Be like a beggar with folded hands. Never sit with your legs outstretched, and do not sit with one leg on the other thigh.

sanmukh hoike gaman na kije, guru chhaya par panw na dije

gupt bat kischit nahin rakhe, kari chhal kapat na mithya bhakhe

Do not walk in front of the guru, and do not step on his shadow. Do not keep the smallest secret from the guru, and do not speak lies, or be deceitful or hypocritical.

ved mantra sam kahana mane, guru ko parmatam sam jane

satyasatya vichar na kije, guru ka kathan mani sab lije

Accept the words of the guru as Vedic mantra, and accept the guru as equal to God. Do not analyze the guru’s words as true or false, but accept all his sayings.

jo kuchh shresht padarath pave, so guru charanan ani chadhave

guru ki adbhut hai prabhutai, mile sahastra guna hoi ai

Whatever good things you obtain, bring it and offer it at the feet of the guru. The grace of the guru is wonderful, and your offering will increase a thousand fold.

kiye yathavidhi guru ki puja, shesh rahe kartabya na duja

prabal pap nashe sab tanke, hoi manorath puran man ke

jo guru ko bhojan karvave, mano trilokahi nyont jimave

If one worships the guru in the prescribed manner, then there remain no other duties outstanding. All the grave sins of the body are destroyed, and all wishes are fulfilled. He who offers food to the guru, does as if he invites and feeds the three worlds.

guru ki mahima hai amit, kahi na sake shruti shesh

jin ki kripa kataksh se, rankahu hot naresh

The grace of the guru is limitless, and the Vedas and Shesh Nag cannot explain it. By his grace and merciful look, the poor can become a king.

as prabhav hai susar kehiman, jas kuchh hai satguru ki mahima

sarv siddhprad ati vardayak, dukh sankat men param sahayak

Which other person can have the same influence as the Satguru through his grace? His grace gives all success and great boons, and is the main remover of suffering and miseries.

nit uthi path kare jo koi, sakal pap kshai take hoi

chit chinta santap vinashe, sukh santap aishvarya prakashe

The person, who daily wakes in the morning and recites the Guru Mihama, will have all his sins removed. His anxieties and sorrows disappear, and wealth, happiness and prosperity appear.

mahavyadhi jwar adi niware, dei akal mrityu bhi tari

lahen sakal sukh je jag kere, kabahun daridra na ave nere

Serious diseases and fever etc. disappear, and he avoids the fear of untimely death. He will attain all pleasures of the world, and poverty never comes to him.

hoi alabhya labh maragmen, pave man pratishtha jagmen

param mantra yahh akhil phalprad, haran sakal bhav janm maran gad

Inaccessible gains come to you when you follow the good path, and you attain respect and a good reputation in the world. This Guru Mihama is a great recitation and gives all good fruits, and destroys all births, deaths and diseases.

shraddhavan bhakt lakhi lije, tako yahh guru mahima dije

param rahasya gudh ehi jani, kahe na sabahin prasiddh bakhani

Examine a devotee who is truly devoted and give him this Guru Mihama. Knowing this Guru Mihama’s great and deep secret, do not boast about it to others.

dhanya mat pitu dhanya hai, dhanya suhud anurakt

dhanya gram vahh janiye, janh janme guru bhakt

Fortunate are the mother and father, and fortunate is the loving friend, and fortunate is the village where adevotee of the guru is born.

bhakt prabhav miti sakal, dharamdas ki pir

koti janam ke punya se, satguru mile kabir

By devotion, all the sufferings of Dharam Dass vanished. It is by the good deeds of millions of births that he met Satguru Kabir.