Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Listening to the Guru


Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 29

The  Gita  revisited. 

Listening to the Guru 

                          Lord  Krishna  is  urging  Arjuna  to truly listen  to  the Lord's  teaching  . Listening  directly  to the  Guru's  words  is  very important  in the  spiritual path even in the present times , even  though  CDs  , e- classrooms  , online  learning   are  all  available  to  the  modern  student of Vedanta. . Yet  they can never  take the place  of   listening directly  to the  words  that  come from the Guru sitting   in front  of  him . Vedanta  deals  with  subtle  subjects  and  only a  Guru  can explain  the  correct  meanings  of  the  scriptures  ,so  that the  student  comes to  understand  them  in the  proper way. 

                         Scriptures  say  that  even  mere listening  with a prepared  mind  can  lead  to  Realisation  of  the Truth. (  sravana  matrena  jnanam  bhavati  )  . Towards  the  end  of the  Gita  , we  find  Arjuna  confessing  to  the  Lord   after  listening  to the  Gita  that  his  doubts  have  been  dispelled,  and his ignorance  and delusions  have  been  destroyed. . Hence  sravana  is a very important   subtle  spiritual  practice  (  antaranga  sadhana  )  . It  is said in the scriptures  that  manana  and   nidhidhyasana   are needed  only  when  realisation  does not take  place   through sravana  . . Such  is the  power  of listening  to  the  Guru.  I have  understood  the  importance  of listening directly to the Guru's words  from my own  experience  with   Gurus  while  attending vedanta classes  in Mumbai   and  I now continue to attend  Upanishad classes  . I can write  with confidence  that  before I met my Gurus  ,when  I was doing  self study,  my knowledge  of the scriptures  was only superficial  and  sometimes  I even  misunderstood  certain facts  discussed  in the  scriptures.  I am indeed  indebted  to  my Gurus   for guiding me in the right path  and helping me understand   the texts  without any  misunderstandings  

                    Listening  to the  Guru  requires  the  student  to  listen  with an open  mind   and with good  intentions  to understand   and  realise  the  Truth  . Secondly  ,he  should  be  ready  to  do what all  needs to be  done  to  understand  the teaching  to realise the Truth . Thirdly  , he should have  love  for  the  knowledge   and  the  teacher   and  lastly   a great  respect  for the  knowledge   and  faith in the  teacher.

  to  be  continued.....  

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