Ashwin Shukla Asthami, Shri Durgashtami, Vikram Samvat 2064, Shukravar
Questions Regarding Guru Worship in Hinduism Answered
Question: To what extent is it appropriate to worship one’s Guru, to meditate on the Guru, to eat the left-overs off the Guru’s plate, to take the dust of his feet, or to drink the nectar-filled water after washing his feet ?
Answer: All of this should be done only to God; just like one should worship the form of God alone, one must meditate on God alone, one must make an offering of food to God alone and then take that in as God’s offering (prasad).
One must only pay homage and save the soil of that land where God entered into His divine play. One must drink the nectar from *Shaligram *stone. One must pay homage and revere *Gangaji *herself, that touched the feet of the Lord. The point being made here is, that God himself it the greatest and the purest.
There is no one like God, has never been, will never be, and can never be. Therefore taking refuge in God, one must worship God alone, meditate and do all else for God alone.
God’s body is eternal and consciousness itself, but the bodies of great souls are made of the five elements and therefore inert and perishable.
God is present everywhere as He pervades this entire Universe; i.e. He is in the photograph, as well. But the all pervasiveness of the great Souls (being separate from the body) is within God’s all pervasiveness. Within God are all the great Souls, therefore by worshipping God, all the great Souls will be automatically worshipped.
If instead one worships the picture of a Great Soul, and worships the body of a Great Soul made of flesh and bones, then this will become an obstacle in worship of God, which is totally against the principles of great Souls. This is because great Souls come in to this world, to bring human beings close to God, not to get people attracted to and involved in themselves instead.
One who attracts others towards himself (to worship him, to meditate on him etc) is a deceitful imposter.
In reality if one examines this further, then this body is nothing but a machine producing excretion and sewage. Even when given the best of best foods, it converts it into excretion and the best of best sweet juices and nectar, comes out in the form of sewage ! As long as there is life force, the body is a machine to manufacture excretion and sewage. And once the life force leaves it, it is nothing but a corpse.
In reality, this body is dying at every moment, it is becoming a corpse. One cannot take a picture of that which is the essence within (the consciousness) . A picture can only be taken of that body which is changing every moment, and continuosly perishing. Rather even immediately after taking a picture, the body does not remain like the same as when the picture was taken a few minutes back.
Therefore worshipping a picture is worshipping only the perishable. There is no life force in the picture of a body, therefore picture of a body is like the
corpse of a corpse !
Question: To what extent is it appropriate to worship one’s Guru, to meditate on the Guru, to eat the left-overs off the Guru’s plate, to take the dust of his feet, or to drink the nectar-filled water from washing his feet ?
Answer: (cont’d) The one we consider a great soul (Mahatma), that one is a great soul only when he has completely detached himself from the body. His greatness is not from association with that body. A great soul is never restricted to the body. Therefore faith should only be in the eternal principles and vows of the great Soul (Mahatma), and not the perishable body or name. There is attachment associated with the perishable body and the name. It is not faith !
Therefore worshipping the perishable, ever changing body, meditating on inert, and forsaking the worship of the eternal, imperishable, divine, transcendental form of God, not only results in a waste of our lives, but also causes a major deceit and delusion in us.
In this day and age, in worshipping the Guru, in meditating on Guru etc., one must be extra careful; because there is a great possibility of being cheated.
As far as possible one must stay far away from and escape safely away from one who gets others to worship him, meditate on his body, recite his name, eating his leftover morsels, taking dust of his feet, drinking the water after washing his feet etc., because in this there is a great likelihood of being cheated – just like Pratapbhanu was cheated by Kapatmuni, just like Sita was abducted by Ravana dressed in the clothes of an ascetic and just like Hanumanji was cheated by Kaalnemi !
A spiritual aspirant on the spiritual path, should never have anyone do their worship, because by doing this some of the latent powers and strength dissipates and an obstacle arises in spiritual progress. Therefore a spiritual aspirant must stay away from such practices.
From “Saccha Guru Kaun Hai” in Hindi pg 30 by Swami Ramsukhdasji