Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
The most beautiful aspect of Lord Datta Guru, is the way He created the potential in each and every one of us; mankind, animals, elements of nature and every specie to become both; Guru and Devotee.
Remember Lord Datta is considered to be the Primordial Guru. The first of all Gurus and also considered to be The Ishta Dev (the family God or Guru) of all those who follow the path of Hinduism and He is also considered to be the Embodiment of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.
And yet, He was of the opinion that if one wanted to be a disciple then one must be receptive to every message, every teaching, every grace that comes one’s way in the path of spirituality and realising one’s own Godhood.
Datta Guru in the most innocent manner even made it clear that the profound Perfect Masters and Avatars could have the most humble of Gurus, the latter being instrumental in evoking and awakening the Godhood in the Perfect Masters and Avatars.
I really don’t think anybody has so sublimely insisted that the Power of anybody being a Guru to somebody or the other, is not the prerogative of Sages and Masters and those in various religious uniforms, but that Power and that Grace belongs to each one of us, as I mentioned earlier, including animals, elements of nature and every specie.
I have time and again insisted that there is a major difference between The Perfect Master and The Guru.
A Perfect Master has the elements of nature, within and outside in His or Her control; elements of nature and the Laws of Nature, operating within The Perfect Master and in all of Creation, completely in His or Her control. The Perfect Master is beyond the Laws of Karma and the elements. The Perfect Master can intervene on behalf of the devotee and disciple and change the course of the individual’s Karmic path. The Karmic onslaught, like an ocean can be tempered down to a trickling stream, if The Perfect Master wishes to. The Perfect Master is Enlightened and Self Realised. There is no duality between The Perfect Master and The Oneness Family. The Perfect Master is both merged with The Creator and also retains His or Her Individuality, in order to continue to help and serve all of Creation and make one and all realise their Godhood.
The Guru on the other hand, is an Individual, who consciously or via default has helped somebody on the path of Light; dispelling darkness in some way which was caused due to Karma or ignorance. So, according to me, this so called tag line of me being the 110th Master on The Speaking Tree, can be, with a large berth of Compassion and a certain sense of humour, be related to this term Guru. I share my journey and the reader may find some Light which dispels darkness on the route of his or her Karmic journey. But that doesn’t make me enlightened or self realised. We all are seekers and in our own way we help and are helped to walk the path of Oneness, by each one of us; our family, friends, detractors, kids and largely by the ex wife.
Somebody can become a Guru even by default. Let us say, a child witnesses the ill effects of hot temperedness in one of his or her parents. The child realises from early on what hot temperedness can do to relationships and to the overall wellbeing of both the parents and the family. The child decides to control his or her out bursts of anger. Thus by default the parent has made the child realise the demerit of anger and the child for the rest of his or her life controls outbursts thanks to the ill-tempered behavior of that particular parent. Thus that parent has been the Guru of the child. Why? Because in a very round and about manner, the parent through action, has shown the child, why anger only destroys; thus that parent has removed a particular darkness from the child’s life by showing the need for calmness and has thrown light by highlighting the importance of being calm and the ill effects of anger.
That parent isn’t a Master in the conventional sense but that parent has played the role of a Guru; by dispelling darkness, even if it is by default, and lighting the path to calmness.
According to Lord Dattatreya the ideal disciple is one who is humble, receptive to learn and grow, irrespective who is the teacher and in what form the teacher comes through. The need to move beyond the association of the body and swim in the Ocean of Oneness and Spirit, makes the individual grow as a disciple spiritually and then to Oneness and self realisation. When you stop coming from the cluttered pit of adulthood and look around as a child, with curiosity, innocence and humility, then one grows as a disciple, and then Gurus and Masters and Archangels and The Oneness Family open Their arms and nurture you.
Lord Datta told His disciples that He had twenty four Gurus.
Mother Earth is the first Guru and Teacher teaching all of us Compassion. Lord Datta calls Her the first Guru of us all. Look at the way we have plundered Mother Earth and still She keeps giving and giving and giving without any malice, without any hate, without holding back. She is centered in Her Compassion and in Her bountifulness and She gives one and all and keeps forgiving us. There is no discrimination. She gives to all and She gives without asking for anything. In spirituality, we all turn towards the sky, but till one doesn’t place one’s forehead down to Her, you can never really soar to the heavens above. She is our Mother. Stand for what you believe and no matter what the world or one’s fate does, don’t lose your sense of compassion, selflessness and love. Forgive and forget and move on. Hate and negativity are very heavy crosses for anybody. Release yourself and those around you from hate and anger; just as Mother Earth forgives all those who plunder Her. Mother Earth teaches us that She will never fall short in Her depth, you can keep digging and digging and She will have only more and more to give; the same way hate and anger, are eternal pits of damnation. More you cultivate these negative emotions, more deep you shall find yourself in damnation. Spirituality is not about reaching the stars. It is about creating a bit of heaven wherever you are.
The Air, so needed to be alive, so needed to give us the life spark in the form of Prana, the life force, teaches us to always be present, to live and not just exist; to create life, sustain life and not to take it and never ever to be stagnant. It is present in everything but doesn’t get attached to anything. Be present in all your Dharma but don’t get attached to the fruits and the consequences of it. Where ever you may be, give without expecting even an acknowledgement.
The Sky, is like the roof of our world, our galaxy and even our universe, but in reality the sky is unlimited, just like we are unlimited in the true sense. We are not the body, we are the Spirit. As the Spirit is unlimited, we are unlimited. Nothing can contain us, but as the body we are limited and decaying each moment. Be like the sky, apparently tangible, but in reality, nothing can hold us, nothing can cage us, nothing can limit us. We are the spirit in the body. We are not the body.
The Water, giving us life, always flowing, always nurturing; finding its way back to the ocean. Be like the water always quenching thirst, cleansing one and all, removing dirt, allowing Mother Earth to get rejuvenated. Wherever there is flowing water there is life and activity around that place. It cleanses and nurtures everything in and around that place. Similarly, be like the flowing water. Nurture, heal, cleanse, give and give and give; don’t be like stagnant water that becomes the breeding ground for illnesses and rot.
The Fire, can never get polluted. You can put whatever you want in Fire, it remains pure, it dispels darkness, it enhances life. Make sure the fire within each one of us, dispels darkness, illuminating everything within you and around you. Burn away all negativity and dark emotions within you and let the flame of The Eternal Fire within you, remove the darkness of ignorance and sin, everywhere you are. It takes a candle to light a thousand candles and one diya or candle can dispel all the darkness put together; be that candle, be that flame, be that fire.
The Moon, so beautiful, teaches us, that everything connected with the physical is an illusion. We see the moon, change its luminousness; various shades of light and darkness and thus even size, but in reality, the moon remains the same. Similarly Lord Datta wants us all to go beyond the illusion, beyond the body, focusing on the Spirit, as in the Spirit, there is no waxing and waning, everything is constant and consistent. The Spirit doesn’t have phases of light and darkness, It is eternally Radiant.
The Sun, is always present, only giving light, warmth and life. As Baba Sai of Shirdi often in channeling has mentioned that, there is darkness not because The Sun has set, but because that part of The Earth has shown Its back to The Sun. Similarly, be like The Sun, always giving Radiance, Warmth and the Positive qualities of life. Lord Datta says, The Sun takes the water from the ocean and then returns the water in the form of rain, which sustains life. Similarly, no matter what you take, always give back much more and more and more. The Sunlight takes the colour of whatever it is reflected in, but the Rays of The Sun are always pure, always pristine. Be like the Rays of The Sun, wanting to eradicate darkness wherever your presence takes you.
The Pigeon, taught Lord Datta, not to get caught up in the web of emotions. One day He saw the fledglings of a pigeon caught in a hunter’s net. The pigeon was so distraught that unthinking it tried to save it’s children and got caught in the same net too. Be careful of our emotions, thoughts, and desires, as trying to indulge in them, one can get snared in the nets of illusion and then get caught in the web of Karma, for lifetimes.
The Python, taught Lord Datta, that in reality, there is nothing greater than surrender to The Cosmos. He saw the python wait patiently, not searching for its food but satisfied with what came to it. In reality, this could also mean, give your best to life, and then gracefully accept what The Cosmos, your Master and your destiny has in store for you.
The Ocean, accepts everything that comes into it without changing its depth or its appearance. Water from streams and rivers and gutters gush back into the ocean but the ocean remains unaffected. Similarly, be as expansive as the ocean, don’t let anything affect you, don’t let the negativity and the meanness and the shallowness and the self-centeredness of those around you, and the world at large change your essence and make you take on their hue and intent. Be beyond the circumstances, situation and environment. Let your depth only have Oneness and compassion for all. I know all this is tough but then life, love and fate, are all four letter words, deal with it.
The Firefly, by essence gets attracted to the flame and eventually dies due to its obsessive compulsive disorder for the flame. Lord Datta realised that one’s lust and desires have made us like the firefly burning our very essence into the fire of our wants and emotions. Of course, the Fire fly, according to me, also signifies the need to become one with The Great Flame. Learning from the one pointed devotion that the fire fly has for the flame, if we too have that kind of devotion and desire to merge with The Great Flame, our bodies would be burnt and along with it all our Karmas and desires, leaving us to be the ash that is under our Master’s feet. So, for me, the firefly signifies two extremes of the barometer. One, that desires can make us burn and become hollow from within but also if looked at from the spiritual point of view, if we had the devotion and love that the fire fly has for the flame, and we had the same devotion for The Great Flame, all the rot and the Karmic backlog would be burnt away, and we would become one with The Great Flame.
The Bee, teaches one how just to take what is really needed and after that, create only sweetness. The bee works on flower to flower, taking only that much what it truly needs, without harming the flower, and eventually converts what it has taken, into honey. If we were to take from Nature without plundering Her and in return give back goodness, purity, nobility and spread wellbeing; like the bee, we too would enrich our lives and the lives of those around us.
The Elephant, taught Lord Datta how one should not let one’s emotions derail us from the highest good. One day He saw an elephant being lured into a trap, when the hunters had carved a wooden image of a luring Miss elephant. Our man, with the trunk and tusks, got all mesmerized and rushed first to make small talk and then get on with more urgent anatomical business, but was captured. Lord Datta says, that don’t let the senses and desires entrap you and distract us from our spiritual pursuits, which is the only pursuit worth undertaking. Illusions are like the wooden carved out elephant, at the end of the day, unreal, and an entrapment. Be careful. Keep the focus on the Old Man.
The Honey Gatherer, or the one who collects honey, made Lord Datta realise that one should spend one’s life time gathering sweetness and all that which is pure and not be like the bees who spend a lifetime collecting honey, but so often not getting to enjoy their fruits of their labour. We are going to leave our body, and all that we have amassed in the form of material wealth is going to be left behind for others to enjoy. Instead work hard, collect those things that one can take along when one leaves the body, like one’s good thoughts, words and deeds and noble Karma. At the end of the day, we come only with our Karma and we go with our Karma, everything else is left behind, to mingle with dust.
The Deer, taught Lord Datta that when it is in the moment and aware of the present and its surroundings, it is virtually impossible to capture the lithe and agile animal, but if the animal is distracted, it can be captured with little effort. He saw a hunter unsuccessful in capturing the deer till the hunter realised that music distracted the deer and made the animal unfocussed. The animal got entranced in the music and the hunter caught the music aficionado with ease. In the same way, on the path of spirituality, don’t lose your focus. If we get distracted by anything, any desires, we are going to be entrapped in the web of further Karmas. The only way is to be completely focused on The Great One, one’s Master, and not let anything else distract us. This is the only way we are going to get the golden wings attached to our backside.
The Fish, gets caught not because of the expertise of the hook of the fishing rod but because of the fat, delicious worm hanging on the hook. The same way Lord Datta realised that there are various temptations that can hook an individual on the path of spirituality. When on the spiritual path, there are various baits and if one is not completely focused and centered, getting caught or baited, would nullify lifetimes of hard work, dedication and devotion, so be careful of that juicy worm of temptation.
Pingala, was the name of a courtesan who inspired Lord Datta, to consider Her as one of The Gurus. The story goes as, that Pingala was in love with some chap, name not mentioned. One day she waited for our man to arrive but for whatever reason he didn’t show up. She kept waiting and waiting and then filled with frustration she realised that her desires of the man made her suffer. In one moment of clarity she realised that all our suffering is caused due to desires. In that one moment of realisation, she turned inward and a greater realisation that dawned on her was that if she had desired only The Lord, she would be devoid of all suffering and eventually merge with Him. All our desires are the cause of our suffering and this is a fact. We are all the Gods of our own suffering and hell. The day we realise that the reason one has to suffer or is suffering, is caused due to the separation from one’s God, Goddess and Master, our suffering would burn away all our Karmas and move us towards The One and eventually one would merge with The Big Fella.
The Sparrow, taught Lord Datta that it is important to understand one’s own strengths, weaknesses and limitations and then operate from one’s knowledge of the self. Baba Sai of Shirdi often in channeling repeats that, be it in day to day life or spiritual life, it is best only to operate having a road map of one’s own self; complete honesty of one’s strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Once one is aware of who one truly is and then functions from that knowledge, many a pit fall is avoided. Lord Datta saw a sparrow flying with food in its small beak. A big bird caught sight of the sparrow and swooned down to capture it. When the sparrow realised that it was no match for the big chap, it left what was in it’s beak. The winged pursuer dived for what the sparrow had released, giving the sparrow enough time to fly off to safety. Thus, whether in practical life or spiritual, know your strengths and your limitations and weakness and operate from there. Do not try to do something which comes from ignorance of one’s own capabilities.
The Child, showed Lord Datta how to live in the moment. Lord Datta realised that the child doesn’t hold on to its past or is not burdened by the future. It lives only for and in the moment. All children live for the moment trying to get joy out of everything and every opportunity. All pain and sorrow of the past is quickly let gone off and there is no real stress about the future. It lives without ego and is joy personified. Each one of us seems to have forgotten how to live for and in the moment and with joy. Joy is the most under rated of all emotions. Baba Sai of Shirdi often says that, before moksha and spiritual evolvement, ask for joy, as joy makes the journey so much lighter and a lot more fun. Joy also makes sure ego does not crop it’s ridiculous head as the one filled with joy never takes himself or herself very seriously. Live life with joy and through joy pursue everything including spirituality.
The Girl, taught Lord Datta the need to be alone on the path of spirituality. One day, the girl received many guests. She was all alone and thus made the guests seated while she went to prepare food for them. She wore many bangles on her hand and while preparing food, one bangle broke. She removed the broken one, but as she worked she realised that the bangles kept clanging on each other making unnecessary noise. So she broke away all except two. After a while she realised that even two bangles clashed and thus she broke another bangle leaving her hand with just one bangle. Lord Datta realised that on the path to spiritual growth, one should walk alone, as the path requires great silence and complete focus. Nothing should detract one from the path and that path is best tread alone.
The Archer, Lord Datta realised needed complete focus and one pointed attention. Anything less and the arrow missed its mark. However strong the bow was and however sharp the arrow, if the mark is missed, all effort has gone to waste. Similarly, in life one needed to have complete focus and single minded devotion, especially when one walked the path of spirituality. But then in anything, it is best to be in the moment, as be in worldly affairs, passion, joy, spiritual growth, if one is not in the moment, one never truly reaches the summit; the pinnacle always alludes you.
The Snake, taught Lord Datta first and foremost to avoid crowded places and a snake usually never stays in one place. Similarly in spiritual pursuits, spend quality time alone, and don’t let the mind become cluttered with too many thoughts. Seek seclusion and silence, within oneself and around oneself. To move like the snake, can be akin to not getting attached to anything that would lead to creating more clutter which would lead to more wants and desires. The path to spirituality is that of silence and seclusion; more within, than outside.
The Spider, reminded Lord Datta of Lord Brahma. The spider weaves a web made from its own saliva and when the job is done, it is said that the spider takes the web back into itself. Like Lord Brahma, who created all and then will take back all. The spider also teaches one to be self reliant and know how much to give out and how much to receive.
The Wasp, is the twenty fourth guru of Lord Datta. The story of the wasp is interesting. It is said to capture its prey, usually an unsuspecting insect, take the chap to its nest, and on and off keep stinging the insect. Slowly the insect becomes so fearful of the next sting that it begins to virtually get obsessed and absorbed in the wasp; sort of meditating on the wasp. After a while the insect takes on the characteristics of the wasp. Lord Datta says, to mediate and to know God is to become eventually like God. The more and more and more you meditate on God, think of Him, go about day to day life only with Him in mind, eventually you will become like Him.
So says Lord Datta.
Lord Datta gave one and all the hope of realising one’s own Godhood. Gave respect to every aspect of Nature. Made each one realise that he or she is Guru and Disciple and there is God in each one of us. The only question is how bad do you truly want The Big Guy.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha