A sumptuous spread of South Indian breakfast welcomed everyone in the morning. The place was buzzing with the arrival of many devotees from all across Japan. The Amagi Assembly Chapel was converted in to a Satsang hall with Swami’s photo in the altar. The entire premises, including the Chapel was tastefully decorated with Origami art work (the art of folding paper) by the youth, with the name of Swami written on each piece of paper, Likitha Japa. Swami recollected that Japanese devotees used to make flowers and decorate the Brindavan Ashram in Bangalore during Buddha Poornima, and each flower had carried the name His name.
Gurus from many countries had also arrived for the third Guru Vikas Meet, which was to be held that morning. Teachers are the catalysts in the path of transformation for students, and ‘Guru Vikas’ is an initiative by Swami which is all set to truly redefine education, and pave the path for a new moral and spiritual revolution in the field of education! ‘Guru Vikas’, is a journey of a teacher, until he or she becomes a Guru. Swami has always reminded everyone that children are born pure and Divine. He says, “To ensure children remain pure, as they were when they were born, the environment around them has to become pure. ‘Guru Vikas’ is one such effort to ensure that they remain what they are. They are pure, they are Divine, and they are full of love – and these qualities must be preserved by providing them the right kind of environment.”
‘Guru Vikas’ was initiated in September 2015 in Singapore. Swami expanded the word ‘Teacher’ and gave it a whole new meaning and purpose.
T – Transformation, and not merely information
E – Example to everyone
A – Awareness of Oneness or Awareness of Atma
C – Culture of the country
H – Head, Heart and Hand, and its unity
E – Environment
R – Role of Religion
The Guru Vikas Meet commenced at 9:30 a.m. Sister Bhuvana gave a brief introduction and overview of the ‘Guru Vikas’ programme and invited two speakers on the command of Swami. The first speaker was Dr Sarina Molina, who is a Professor of Education at the University of San Diego. She was born and raised in Japan for 18 years, and paid her rich tribute to the land which had nourished her. She spoke about her journey of transformation, ever since Swami picked her as one of the Gurus for ‘Guru Vikas’.
The second speaker was Mrs Sudha Kudva, an adult and child counsellor from Malaysia. She spoke about children being the reason for her transformation journey, and narrated why it is important to first be, and then do, which is the basis of the ‘Guru Vikas’ programme.
Swami had commanded nine books to be published in the ‘Guru Vikas’ series. The first book, ‘An Introduction to Guru Vikas’, was released by the Lord last year, and He had commanded that the book must be translated into other languages. Devotees had embarked on this project, and the Japanese, Italian, Tamil and Sinhala books were lovingly released by Swami that morning. Thereafter, ‘T – Transformation’, the second book in this series, was also released by Swami.
Sri C Sreenivas addressed the gathering next, and began by saying, “The child truly is the father of man, and epitomises life. Like Swami says, living in the moment, or omnipresent is really the purpose of life. It is only when we grow up and get on with life, it becomes a contradiction, and that is exactly the bulls eye which Swami is hitting today! Swami is addressing the contradiction of life, through your efforts.”
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy in his speech narrated about the short car drive that morning to the Satsang venue from Swami’s residence. Swami saw many devotees flanked on either side of His path, and had commented that if there is one word to describe the Japanese, it is ‘humility’. He said, “It’s a great tribute paid by God to Japanese culture. This word ‘humility’ may look humble, but it is very profound. It is the most difficult virtue to cultivate. It is said that when a proud man wants to pretend to be humble, he is proud of his humility. In Indian culture, humility is the hallmark of wisdom. In Sanskrit humility is termed as ‘Vinaya’, which is the ultimate consummation of true education. Vidya Dadathi Vinayam.
True education grants humility. And from humility one gains deservedness, which in turn grants wealth to man. When wealth is used in the right way, it leads to right conduct and therefore, true happiness.
Vinaya Pitaka is one of the most important scriptures in Japan, which sums up the teachings of Lord Buddha, who says that the starting point of all spiritual pursuit is humility. Every Guru is a teacher, but not every teacher is a Guru! The basic difference between a Guru and teacher – Teacher provokes the mind and a Guru touches the soul. Teacher instructs, whereas a Guru constructs a student. Teacher gives you knowledge, but a Guru imparts wisdom.”
Swami in His beautiful Guru Vikas discourse started by saying, “The one is beyond the duality, the one who is vast as the sky, the one who teaches us the goal that we are God. The one who is behind the three qualities of Inertia, passion and purity, the one who is the witness to all, these are the qualities of the Guru to whom I salute. This is how the scriptures have described the true Guru and his quality.
The role of the Guru in the ancient scriptures has been placed higher than God. For without the help of the Guru one cannot realise God. Think of a traveller who is thirsty. There is water nearby, but he does not know where the water is. If a guide tells him where water can be found, the role of the guide is far important. Such a person who guides the thirsty to water is a Guru.
Neither the thirst was created by the Guru nor the water, but the role of the Guru is to take the thirsty to water. Therefore to emphasise and elaborate more, let Me tell you a small story. Four people were travelling together in a forest. The first was a sculptor, second was a tailor, third was a tantric or mystic magician, and the fourth was a Guru. They were tired and wanted to rest at night. When they were about to sleep, they decided that each person will take turns to keep vigil, so no wild animals would attack them. First was the turn of the sculptor, and to keep himself awake he thought of doing some work. He picked up a piece of wood, and crafted an idol of a boy. After his turn was over, the tailor woke up. He used his skills to make some clothes for the idol. As his time got over, the mystic woke up. He thought, ‘These two have done a wonderful job, let me put life into it by my yogic powers.’ So with his power of yoga, he brought the idol to life. When he went to sleep, the Guru woke up. As it was early morning, he felt it was the right time to teach this child how to lead a life, and used the time to teach him the truths of life. He taught him the highest truth, that the body is temporary, and it will go as it has come. It has come from the elements and will go back to elements at the appropriate time. He told the boy, ‘Don’t be proud of this body. All that you have acquired with this body, and all that you have possessed with the body are also temporary and will not follow you after death. Time will take away wealth, youth and even relations.’ So the Guru imparted the highest, the Atma or Brahma Vidya. The student engaged in deep meditation thereafter.
At the crack of dawn, all the three woke up, and started claiming their right and authority over the boy. The sculptor said he gave the body to the child; tailor said he had given the possessions without which he would not be able to live; the mystic said that he has infused life, otherwise the boy would have remained just a doll. But, the Guru kept quiet. After some time, the child came out of meditation, and he had experienced the highest. He told the sculptor, ‘Like a mother you gave me the body.’ He told the tailor, ‘Like a father you gave me all that was required to protect my body.’ To the mystic the boy said, ‘Like God you breathed life into me. But even with all these I could not have been complete, for I would not have been better than a clothed animal. But here is a Guru who gave me the wisdom to lead life, and that’s how I have found fulfillment. Hence, I bow down to this great Guru who has taught me how to lead life. Food, fear, sleep and procreation are common between man and animals. Without the right kind of education man is equivalent to an animal. And this Guru has taught me not to be a clothed animal, but to be my true self. Hence, he is the greatest of all.’
Education should not be animal making or man making education. It should be God making education! Therefore, the role of a Guru is the highest. The greatest service you can do is to be an example. To know how well we are dressed, we need a mirror. Likewise, now your role is to be a reflective mirror, which can help people become better.’
Bhagawan’s discourse was laden with the highest truths, but delivered in the most simplified manner. He then encouraged the Gurus to ask questions. The glorious morning came to an end after Mangala Arati and Prasadam distribution.