Gurupurnima Celebrates Devotion and Love

Gurupurnima Celebrates Devotion and Love

/ Guest Column / Saturday, 24 July 2021 19:15

- His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

What is the significance of Gurupurnima?

Gurupurnima is called the day of the Master. Actually, it is the day of the devotee. As a student you probably went to primary, middle and senior school. You collected information; you learned about the mind, about computers, mathematics, how two plus one is three. A student collects information. Information, however, is not knowledge; it is not wisdom.
Then there is the disciple who follows the example of the Master. But a disciple is with the Master to imbibe wisdom to help improve his life, for the sake of attaining enlightenment. He has a purpose, a cause, so he is not just collecting information. He goes a little deeper. He is trying to bring about transformation in his life. He wants to make sense of his life. That is a disciple. A disciple is still centred on himself, so he grows gradually and one day might get enlightened.
Then, there is the devotee. A devotee is not there for wisdom only. He is simply rejoicing in love. He has fallen deeply in love with the Master, with Infinity, with God. He doesn’t care as to whether he gets enlightened or not. He doesn’t care as to whether he acquires a lot of wisdom or not because every moment he is immersed in divine love: That is enough for him. A devotee is difficult to find. Students, there are in abundance, disciples are a few, but devotees are rare.
Everything is God, who is present in everything, so it is great to become a devotee. Do you see this? Everything, whether you want it or not, is already God, but when love and devotion has flowered in you totally, you become a devotee. Attraction is everywhere, love is somewhere, but devotion is rare. Devotion is beautiful. A student comes to the Master with tears in his eyes. There is so much pain and when he leaves, he is carrying the same tears, but the quality of the tears is different, they are of gratitude, of love. Entire creation is longing for only one thing, the transformation from salty tears to sweet tears.
The Buddha’s disciple Sariputra, got enlightened. The Buddha told him, “Now go ahead, go into the world and preach, teach and do the same work I do. Carry on my work”. Now Sariputra left, but he was crying and people asked him, “Why are you crying when you are enlightened?” He said, “Who cares about enlightenment, it could have waited, I would have waited. I didn’t even bother about it or ask for it because the joy of being at the feet of the Buddha was so great. Being a devotee was so great, now I am missing it. I would have preferred that to enlightenment”.
When Krishna was leaving his body, he spoke to his friend Uddhava with tears in his eyes. “These Gopis are so beautiful and I cannot bear the amount of devotion they have for me. Go and tell my devotees that only they can free me of their gratitude and of their love”. He rejoices, “Go tell them that where my devotees sing, I am right there”.
Love is something that even the Divine rejoices in. Infinity longs for you as much as you long for it. It is waiting to receive you. God is as anxious as you are to be close. So when a devotee flowers on this planet, God is happy. That is why Gurupurnima is the day of the devotee.

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