We owe awakened intelligence to Guru
We come into the world through our mother and she becomes the one to give us our first birth. But our second birth is through the Guru, the master who delivers us the knowledge and the skill. An acharya (teacher) gives knowledge; a Guru gives awareness and makes you alive. Acharya gives information; Guru gives awakened intelligence. When spiritual knowledge seems so total, one is called a Satguru.
Guru is a tattva - an element, a quality inside you. It is not limited to a body or a form. Guru comes in your life in spite of your refusing or being rebellious. The Guru principle is so vital in life. There is an element of the Guru in every human being. That wisdom in each has to be invoked, awakened. When this element is awakened, misery in life disappears. In our consciousness, wisdom comes to life when the Guru tattva comes to life. When we have no desires of our own, then the Guru tattva dawns in our life. Wake up and see that our life is changing every moment and feel grateful for whatever you have received. Give all your garbage to the Guru and be free.
A Guru is just like a window. Guru simply means one who brings more joy, more alertness, and more awareness into your life. A Guru is not one who holds any authority over you. He is not one who dictates terms to you. Rather, a Guru encourages you to be in touch with yourself. He reminds you to live in the present moment, and takes away the guilt, agitation, sorrow, and anguish. That in the true sense is the meaning of Guru.
The adulation for Gurus has come down the ages. Why does somebody adore someone else? In college, rock star, movie stars, sports players are adored. This adulation is part of human nature. Deep inside it is your nature to appreciate and honor good qualities. In the East, people took pride in their Gurus. There was a lot of respect but it's missing in the students now.
In India, there is a festival in the month of October when people worship everything from cars, scooters etc. Everything is venerated. Divine dwells in every particle. Whenever you praise, the praise goes to the Divine and your own consciousness expands. If you praise your Guru, the praise goes to the Divine.
That is why we celebrate Guru Purnima. Guru Purnima is the day when the devotee arises in full gratitude. It is the day to feel grateful for the great knowledge you have received from your Master. It is time to review how much knowledge you have ingrained in your life and how you are growing in knowledge. This may bring about a realisation for scope of improvement, which in turn will bring humility in you. Be grateful for the way this knowledge has transformed you. Just think how you could have been without this. Gratitude and humility together blossom a genuine prayer inside you!
On Guru Purnima, remember all Gurus of the past. When your life is full, you get a feeling of gratitude then you start with the Guru and end up adoring everything in life. On Guru Purnima, the devotee wakes up in full gratitude. Devotee becomes like an ocean moving in itself. Guru Purnima is a time to celebrate rise in devotion and gratitude.
Celebrating Guru Purnima as 'Environment Day'
The Art of Living celebrated Guru Purnima as 'Environment Day' as the founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar urged people to protect the environment as a foremost duty. The Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Trust, under the aegis of the Art of Living targeted spreading awareness on need to protect environment and conducted mega tree plantation drive in 20 States of India which was joined by thousands across India.
Championing the cause of environment, Sri Sri said, "We have to take care of this planet Earth. Earth, water, fire and air, these elements have to be protected and nurtured for generations to come. Let’s take care of this Earth; let’s not put poisonous things into the soil; let’s go back to organic farming; let’s plant as many trees as we can. We are cutting so many trees but we are not planting enough trees.
On this Guru Purnima, let’s all take a sankalpa and determination to plant more trees, keep the water sources clean; let’s not pollute water sources and waste water; water is very important. Let’s not pollute air. If we take care of the environment, it will take care of us. It will bring us health, prosperity and happiness. Let’s learn from the mistakes others have made. Let’s not repeat the mistakes we have committed in the past. Take care of our planet and celebrate Guru Purnima as World Environment Day.”
The organisation also raised awareness on bio- fuels and encouraged plantation of fruit trees, medicinal plants, aromatic plants, culinary herbs. Adding to it they guided individuals to use eco-friendly products and services and also to opt for natural farming, elaborated ways to save existing resources. Ideas were promoted through different mediums and platforms.
The Art of living has been at a forefront of working for the environment. In 2014 around 25 lakhs plants were planted on Guru Purnima in 13 States. The Art of Living with its roots in spirituality, has nurtured a deep respect for our planet in thousands of people around the world. The earth may be made up of rocks, sand and water, but spirituality can help us to perceive our planet as a living vibrant entity, responding to our care and attention.
Inspired by the vision of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and moving together as a team, volunteers from around the world have initiated several environmental projects: Large scale tree plantations through Mission Green Earth, water conservation and protection including cleaning polluted rivers and zero-budget chemical-free farming which support poorer farmers to farm to farm in a way which is both economically and organically sound.
The Art of Living also recognises that to nurture and ensure future conservation of nature, it is necessary that these values be inculcated in young minds at home and at school. Awareness programes for young people and children (called ‘Deepening Roots, Broadening Vision’) also form an important and integral part of this long-term programme.