Madhuram Madhuram Gurunathan Madhuram
Time and again, our Sanatana Dharma emphasizes the great need for a spiritual master in the life of a true aspirant. The scriptures, of course, encompass all spiritual knowledge a seeker can think of. They are vast and exhaustive. Nevertheless, they are like the dense, dark forests abounding with trees and sublime water bodies. There are many routes and passages that would get one there – some may be hidden, some apparently conflicting and some may look ideal but impractical to tread. Even a map might not be sufficient. What a traveler needs is a guide — one who has traversed the path, knows the place well, and who has the ability to show the sight of this beautiful pinnacle to the traveler.
In the path of spirituality, He is called the Guru! He alone can clear our mind, show us the essence of the scriptures, transmute our defects, dry up the moss of sins, hold our hands and take us along. Being compassion-incarnate, He is more than a mother, mending the ways of His children (us), being a pair of eyes when we stumble in the darkness of this world, and giving us strength when we feel weak and forlorn, lost in the great muddle of rampant situations, like the current one.
The Guru-disciple relationship is the loftiest and most sacred of all relationships. The journey with the Master is by itself a spectacular voyage to the extent that the destiny itself becomes inconsequential. The disciple feels secure being part of the Master’s big, warm, loving family crossing all worldly boundaries.
Recalling the blessed meeting of Vidura Swami and Uddhava Swami in the 3rd canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Shuka says,
“Alingya gAdham praNayena bhadram svanAma pruchad bhagavat prajAnAm”
Vidura Swami and Uddhava Swami, overwhelmed with affection, very fondly embrace each other. Bound by the chord of their common divine and measureless love for Sri Krishna, they are delighted to be in each other’s presence. Great Mahatmas, expound and celebrate the reason for this attachment – which is the vital knot of “satsanga” that unites them. ‘Satsang’, Mahatmas say is, being under the umbrella of a Satguru. The physical proximity of ‘Satguru’ brings the mind to abide in the ‘sat’. By physically having the darshan of the Guru, by clasping that memory strongly in our hearts and then by constantly reminiscing His form, and His words, it eventually results in our mind finding attachment in the ‘sat’. The disciple’s life henceforth keeps revolving around the Guru.
Thirumoolar elucidates this by saying,
teLivu guruvin tirumEni kAnDal
teLivu guruvin tirunAmam cheppal
teLivu guruvin tiruvArttai kETTal
teLivu guruvuru chindhittal tAne
Clarity is seeing the holy form of the Guru
Clarity is uttering the holy name of the Guru
Clarity is hearing the holy words of the Guru
Clarity is contemplating on the holy form of the Guru
Hearing the holy words of the Master gives clarity but hearing holy words in His praise, melodies that sing about the Guru, give ineffable joy. These words impart bhakti, jnAna, and vairAgya. Needless to say, it’s these words that are nectarine to the ears and heart of the disciple. This month, we are blessed to relish the sweetness of one such song composed by Sri Swamiji’s disciple, our dear brother Sri Ramanujam ji that sings the praise of our Master’s Sweetness.
madhuram madhuram gurunAthan madhuram
madhuram guruvin charaNam madhuram
madhuram karuNai kaNgaL madhuram
madhuram azhagiya vadanamE madhuram
madhuram abhaya hasthangaL madhuram
madhuram kOmaLa hridayam madhuram
madhuram gurupon mozhigaL madhuram
madhuram guruvin gAnamE madhuram
madhuram gurunaDai ezhilum madhuram
madhuram gurudhyAna thavamE madhuram
madhuram guruvin vAtsalyamE madhuram
madhuram guruvin kripaiyE madhuram
madhuram varadanin lAlanam madhuram
madhuram mAdhurIsakhi pUjanam madhuram
madhuram guruvin smaraNam madhuram
madhuram shrIgurujiyin darshanam madhuram
Sweet, sweet, the Guru is sweet
Sweet, the Guru’s Holy Feet are sweet
Sweet, His compassionate eyes are sweet
Sweet, His beautiful countenance is sweet.
Sweet, His protective arms are sweet
Sweet, His tender heart is sweet
Sweet, His golden words are sweet
Sweet, the Guru’s melody is sweet.
Sweet, the Guru’s elegant gait is sweet
Sweet, meditating on the Guru is sweet
Sweet, the Guru’s motherly affection is sweet
Sweet, the Guru’s compassion is sweet.
Sweet, His caressing of Varadan (Premika Varadan) is sweet
Sweet, His worship of Madhurisakhi is sweet
Sweet, reminiscing the Guru is sweet
Sweet, the vision of Sri Guruji is sweet.
By Nithya Balasubramanian, Pleasanton CA
Illustration: Divya Balaji, Richmond VA
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