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Guru Puja 2003

 

GURU PUJA 2003 The ancient festival of Guru Puja is a special symbol of the bond of love between Guru and disciple. This festival traditionally takes place on the July full moon and in spite of heavy monsoon rains it was this year celebrated as usual at Satlok Ashram, Muradnagar, on 12th & 13th July by premies mostly from the nearby states of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Guru Puja is smaller in scale and more intimate than either Vaisakhi or Hans Jayanti, but even so, facilities at Satlok were stretched to the limit. By the evening of the 12th, many thousands of premies had arrived, quickly filling up the grounds of Shri Hans Intermediate College where satsang was to be held.

Photo Sadgurudev Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj
Sadgurudev Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj

The program began at 6 pm with an opening hymn of dedication to Guru and a set of inspiring devotional songs. Several mahatmas then spoke, each discussing particular aspects of the path of self-knowledge and the vital role of Guru Maharaj Ji in the spiritual evolution of the disciple; explaining how only in the shelter of a true Master do the mysteries of this subtle Knowledge unfold. Initiation by Satguru awakens the slumbering consciousness and clears any obstacles that arise. Mahatma Narayanandji said that there are many sects and many religious leaders around, but it is only by awakening the transforming power of the Light which is in every heart that human beings can achieve their true potential. The Master gives this Knowledge freely to all, regardless of caste, colour or creed. The Light of the Almighty exists within us all equally. It is ever-present but can be realised only by the disciple who sincerely walks the path shown by an enlightened Guru.

'The Living Master', the fourth in a series of books prepared by Dr. Jai Prakash of Kalimpong, was then given its official launch by Shri Maharaj Ji.

Shri Shwetaji spoke next, saying that many countries celebrate Mothers Day and Fathers Day, but only India has a day dedicated to Guru, a day on which disciples can express their love and devotion towards their Spiritual Master. The love which binds Guru and disciple is like the unbreakable bond between mother and child. Guru gives the disciple his second birth, his birth in the spirit. We are lucky to be the heirs, she said, of this ancient legacy of countless saints and holy masters. Mira Bai sang the glory of her Master in every street and alley and people called her crazy, but we don't call her crazy today!

There was a short ceremony in which devotees from distant parts of India and abroad welcomed Shri Maharaj and the Holy Family with garlands.

Mr D.D. Kaushik from Calcutta compared the moods of a disciple to the waxing and waning of the moon. Guru Puja is the full moon, when we feel most deeply our love and reverence for our Guru Maharaj Ji, when we feel most dedicated, and he illustrated this with verses from the Ramayana and Guru Nanak.

The uncomfortable conditions didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the audience and they keenly anticipated Shri Maharaj Ji's discourse. Maharaj Ji began by saying that, like Mothers Day and Fathers Day, Guru Puja is celebrated once a year, but real 'puja' is understanding what the Master is teaching and putting it into practice in our daily life. The idea is that disciples honour their Guru through their dedication, meditation and service. He then discussed how the entire universe is interwoven with the Word. The difference in steam, water and ice is a merely difference in state, and a change from one state to another is the result of an increase or decrease in the rate of vibration of the water molecules. Similarly, oscillations in the frequency of the cosmic vibration alters the state of the universe. That is why a saint declared, 'The self-effulgence of the Word is all there is, and Satguru revealed this mystery to me." But to know oneself it is vital to concentrate the mind.

13th July was the day of the full moon, the official Guru Purnima, so from early morning everyone got into their spiritual routine. To the sounds of mahatmas singing verses from the Gita, premies went for darshan, to pay their respects to their beloved Master and members of the Holy Family, who have dedicated their lives to helping and guiding others on the path of self-realisation.

At 6pm satsang began. Mahatma Fakiranandji spoke first, quoting often from the Ramayana to explain that only a real Master can give the knowledge which leads to enlightenment. He always wishes the best for his disciples. Through the Knowledge he gives, the noblest spiritual qualities blossom in the sincere disciple. Deep and constant love for Guru Maharaj Ji is the beginning of success in one's spiritual life.

Meanwhile, rain was bucketing down in neighbouring districts, but luckily Satlok Ashram remained dry, so we were able to enjoy satsang without interruption.

In the course of his satsang, Maharaj Ji said that science believes in the evolution of species and the scriptures too talk about the progression of the soul through a series of incarnations. Recycling is a part of Nature. We have the water cycle. We all talk nowadays about planting more trees to control pollution, because their green leaves convert impure carbon dioxide into pure oxygen. Paper, plastics and metals are all recycled so that they can be used again. In the Bible it is written, 'God made man from the dust of the earth, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.' When a body dies it returns to dust. Isn't this a form of recycling? Some religions do not believe in reincarnation, but 'sanatan dharma' does.

Maharaj Ji then discussed the concept of the Kalki or Maitreya Avatar, who is supposed to come and unite people of all religions in friendship, understanding and mutual respect. The formal program finished with Arti, the ancient hymn of praise to the Master, but festivities and darshan continued long into the night, as the full moon shone over the vast fields of Satlok Ashram like a blessing.

- Ashok Saxena

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 Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti.