Message of the Guru Gita
The repetitive message in the Bhagavad Gita is “Serve God, Serve God, Serve God!” In the Chandi Path the repetitive message is “Take one asan and chant the Chandi!” What is the repetitive message in the Guru Gita?
“na guroradhikam | na guroradhikam | na guroradhikam |”
There is nothing greater than the Guru! There is nothing greater than the Guru! There is nothing greater than the Guru!
Guru Gita Dhyanam
Is the Dhyanam referring to the “guru tattwa” when it says, “.. perceives all existence and resides in infinite bodies” or is it refering to Shiva?
Shiva is the Guru of all Gurus, and therefore they are one and the same. He is the Guru, and all other gurus are links in a chain which bring devotees to the Guru of all Gurus. The Guru Tattva is Shiva.
Guru Gita and Skanda Purana
Given that the Puranas are the expansion of hymns from the Vedas, what Vedic hymn does the Guru Gita is expand on?
The one word mantra – Guru.
In the viniyoga of the Guru Gita the pin is “KROM”. What does Krom mean?
Kaa is the cause, Raa is the mind, O is the energy of the subtle sound and M is perfection.
Guru Gita Verse 1
In the Guru Gita, verse 1, it says Parvati asked of the Cause of Peace (Shiva). Does the name Shiva mean Cause of Peace or is ‘Cause of Peace’ one of the names of Lord Shiva?
Shankara has been translated as Cause of Peace: Shan – peace, kara cause. It is a name of Shiva.
Guru Gita Verse 2
Goddess Parvati asks for initiation of the Guru ? Does this line mean “Who is a Guru” or “Can you initiate me?”
Actually it is: “Guru diksham pradehi me.” Please bestow upon me initiation of the Guru. It means the teaching, bhava, energy, the mantras, mudras, kriyas, intellectual understanding along with intuitive feeling. Who is the Guru? What is the Guru? Where? How? Why? When?
Guru Gita Verse 4
Guru Gita, Verse 4 says, “never before anyone has asked of it.” Does this mean that Goddess Parvati is the first disciple of Lord Shiva?
Yes. Here, Shiva is Nirakara and Parvati is Sakara.
Guru Gita Verse 5
Verse 5 of the Guru Gita refers to three worlds. What are the three worlds?
1) gross 2) subtle 3) causal
Guru Gita Verse 7
Guru Gita verse 7 says: “Those people who perform sacrifices, yagyas, sacred vows, purifying austerities, tapasya, offering gifts, recitation of mantras (japa), sacred pilgrimages, in the absence of understanding the principle of Guru, perform like fools.” What is it about guru tattwa that must be known in order not to perform like a fool?
That all of these acts are undertaken as a privilege to demonstrate devotion to the Supreme Divinity, to the Supreme One who Illuminates the Darkness through the various forms of His and Her Light.
Guru Gita Verse 11
Verse 11 states “From the selfless loving service at the feet of the respected Guru, the soul is purified from all sin. I am telling you of that “objective of grace” by which one is merged in Brahma (Supreme Divinity).” What is meant by “objective of grace”?
What kind of Grace are we seeking? The objective of grace (kripa) is to do and to get. What we hope to get from our doing, namely, is to become merged in Brahma (Supreme Divinity).
Guru Gita Verse 14
Guru Gita, Verse 14 says “Whoever drinks the water from the Guru’s feet removes the root of ignorance and purifies the karma (activities) from birth, obtains perfection, wisdom, and renunciation”. Does the Guru actually take on the karma of a disciple?
Does not a wife share the karma of her husband? And vice versa? When we are in a relationship, we cannot help but sharing our karmas together. In the same way, in relationship with a Guru, we give our karma to the Guru. Often this karma has effect upon the guru instead of upon us.
Guru Gita Verse 18
What does the phrase, “the attitude of none other than the Guru” mean? Does the Guru provide everything in our life – the circumstances, the provisions, the challenges, the victories, the relationships, the motivation, etc?
Absolutely. The Guru is not only a physical being. The Guru is the reflection of divinity through a human body, the example we want to follow, and the inspiration which gives us the energy to proceed.
Guru Gita Verse 19
Verse 19 of the Guru Gita says “The Supreme Divinity resides in the mouth of the Guru, which is obtained as prasad.” This line seems to say that following the instruction of a Guru which is obtained only with grace, leads one to Supreme Divinity. Is this the correct interpretation?
That is one interpretation. Another is that the wisdom spoken by the Guru actually emanates from the Supreme Divinity, and when the guru speaks, God speaks, and that wisdom should be regarded as prasad.
Guru Gita Verse 25
Please explain about “Ha Ha” and “Hu Hu” – the two famous celestial beings that appear in verse 25 of the Guru Gita?
They are Gandarvas. Just say their names and you can’t help from smiling!
Guru Gita Verse 26
Guru Gita, verse 26 says “to offer to the Guru a seat, a bed, cloth, ornaments, conveyance”. Is there is any special significance to these items?
As much as we take over the responsibilities of worldly life from the Guru, so much are we permitted to witness the example of someone moving forward on the spiritual path.
Guru Gita Verse 32
Verse 32 of the Guru Gita states “Gurubrahma Guruvisnur Gururdevo Mahesvarah Gurureva Parabrahma Tasmai Srigurave Namah” which means: Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Visnu, the Guru is Lord Maheswara. The Guru is actually the Supreme Divinity and therefore we bow down to the respected Guru.
What does this mantra mean then: “Gurubrahma Guruvisnur Gururdevo Mahesvarah Gurursakshat Parabrahma Tasmai Srigurave Namah”
It means the Guru is actually the Supreme Divinity
Guru Gita Verse 45
Guru Gita Verse 45 reads “…various colors, white and red…” What is the significance of these two colors in this verse?
White is consciousness and red is nature.
Guru Gita Verse 52
Verse 52 of the Guru Gita states, “We bow to the circle which surrounds the Guru, to the Supreme Lord, our Guru and the three other Gurus (Param, Parapara, and Paramesthi), to Ganapati, to the three places of worship of bhairava, to the number of attained beings, to the three children, to the two feet, to the order of ambassadors to the circle, to the heroes sixteen, sixty four and nine, to the five heroes that sacrificed, to the respected makers of garlands, by means of the king of mantras, the Guru Gita.” Who are the three children referenced in this verse?
The three children represent all the threes (kamakala) who have just been born into the harmony of our devotion because of our bowing.
Who are the heroes 16, 64, and 9?
The heroes are all those who help in our search for purity, clarity and perfection. 16 is Shodasi – the 16 lettered mantra. 64 are the yoginis. 9 refers to the Durgas.
Who is refered to by Param, Parapara and Paramesthi?
Param is the Guru’s Guru. Parapara is the lineage of Gurus. Paramesthi is the supreme Guru or the first Guru.
What are the “5 heroes sacrificed”?
The 5 heroes that sacrificed are the senses which stopped looking outward.
Guru Gita Verse 63-64
As I read the Guru Gita, I perceive that Shiva is speaking in third person about the Guru through much of the text. Then in verses 63 and 64 there is a change to first person. How am I to understand these verses, as Shiva blissfully expressing attributes of the universal Guru? As my own soul singing out in reflection of the Guru?
As both. I am Shiva. I am the Guru. The Guru is both outside and inside.
Guru Gita Verse 92
Verse 92 talks about meditation of guru at lotus of the heart whereas verse 95 talks about meditating on the guru in the lotus of the head. Which is the ideal place (head or heart). I was under the impression heart for Ishta Devata and Gurudeva in the lotus of the sahasra on the crown of the head?
Meditate on either place. There is no difference between Guru Deva and Ishta Deva.
Guru Gita Verse 95
What is the “divine name” referred to in verse 95 of the Guru Gita? Is it GuRu or Om Namah Shivaya?
Both are correct. It also refers to the Guru’s name and the mantra that you took from the Guru as well.
Guru Gita Verse 99
Guru Gita Verse 99 says “By means of the path of the intuitive vision of the Guru, the mind should be made pure. The impermanent and other divisions should not be a bondage to the soul.” What does the “path of the intuitive vision of the Guru” mean? Also can we say that everything except sadhana comes under “impermanent and other divisions”?
Certainly when the Guru gives instructions he or she is exercising the path of intuitive vision. This is true by words and example. When we follow that example or instruction, we become pure. Definitely everything except sadhana is impermanent or divisive. But then again, when we are truly devotees, there is nothing but sadhana.
Guru Gita Verse 100
Verse 100 says, “Let the mind be filled with the intrinsic nature of all that is knowable. Realize that wisdom is one with that which is knowable. Other than this there is not a second path.” What does this mean?
All that is knowable is the reflection of divinity. This understanding is wisdom. The intrinsic nature of all that is knowable is Love.
Guru Gita Verse 101
Is there any special interpretation of the sun and the moon in Guru Gita verse 101?
In this verse it means “for an eternity.” Why? Because when we cast aspersions upon our example of perfection, it is no longer perfect. If we have no ideal of perfection, how can we strive to improve? Of course, without striving to improve, there is no dharma, etc., and the ignorance and attachment persists.
Guru Gita Verse 102
Verse 102 of Guru Gita says, “So long as the body may remain, remember your Guru as a worshipful God. Do not give up on the Guru, even if he moves according to his own rhythm.” I am curious about whose body is referenced is the disciple or the gurus? How does the relationship change when one of them drops the body (especially the Guru).
I use this verse to apply to both. When the Guru leaves his or her body, we no longer have an external example to follow. We are required to rely on memory. That can be very difficult because of the tendency to remember things as we want to, and not necessarily as they were.
Guru Gita Verse 106
Guru Gita Verse 106 says, “Without energy are the Gods and others, without energy are the munis as well. Because of a curse by the Guru, they may quickly become exhausted. Of this there is not a doubt.” I am unable to understand how the Gods and Munis are without energy and I would like to know how this helps a human sadhak to understand the value of a Guru.
It says that if the Guru were to curse them, even the Gods and munis are powerless. The Guru has greater influence than even the Gods or munis.
Guru Gita Verse 110-115
In the context of verses 110-115, who is the “full, complete and perfect conscious being (Purusa)”, who we are to meditate upon as the size of a thumb within the heart? In verse 91 we are told that in the lotus of the heart situated at its very center upon a throne, the divine murti or image is established.
That is to say: It is with form and It is beyond form. It is both great and It is small.
Guru Gita Verse 58 and 114
Verse 58 of the Guru Gita says, “Ham and Sah are side by side … in the middle of which the Guru is remembered.” From verse 114, one can infer that there is no remembering after the ajna because one becomes mindless. Can Ham and Sah be the feet of Guru and the middle that point in the crown where the heart’s vibrations are felt?
If you look at the tilak for Ram, there are two marks, in the middle of which is red: the two feet of Ram are Consciousness, while in the center the red mark of Nature. Here they are saying the Guru is Consciousness and Nature, and also beyond all manifestation.
Guru Gita Verse 115
Verse 115 says, “Listen as I speak of that full, complete, and perfect conscious being (Purusa), which is meditated upon as the size of a thumb within the heart, where he gives rise to an attitude of awareness (Bhava).” Why is the subject of this verse purusha, rather than atman (how is purusha full, complete and perfect)?
Puru means full, complete, and perfect and isha means consciousness. Purusha means full, complete, perfect consciousness or conscious being. Purusha is the atma of the universe.
Guru Gita Verse 119-122
There are four successive verses mentioning the outward actions pinda, pada, and rupa (119-122), and it is used to describe a very subtle, or inward, process. Why? Then it says that we are “liberated in” each of these three, separately. What does this mean?
Liberation occurs when our consciousness dwells in all action as a consecrated offering. Liberation occurs when our consciousness dwells in the sacred syllables. Liberation occurs when our consciousness dwells in the form of one-pointed awareness.
Guru Gita Verse 128
Guru Gita Verse 128 says, “Oh Goddess, also instructions about the path of the Guru to liberation, devotion to the Guru, as well as meditation, all have been explained.” Why is the path of the guru, devotion to the Guru and meditation mentioned separately?
They are three aspects which unite: the path, devotion, and meditation. We want to make sure we have all three ingredients.
What is the path of the Guru?
The path of the Guru is the path that the Guru is showing through example, as well as the path of devotion to the Guru by following that example. The very asking of these questions is part of the path of the Guru.
Guru Gita Verse 129
Referring to Guru Gita verse 129, what is meant by “for the benefit of the inhabitants of all the worlds do not accept an attitude of worldliness?
It is in everyone’s best interests not to become bound by worldly attachments.
Guru Gita Verse 137
Can you please explain why sitting on a cloth will produce affliction, and sitting on wood produces no fruit?
If the asana is too flimsy or too hard we will contemplate the pain in our backside rather than the love of the Guru.
What merit there is in sitting on a dead animal’s skin?
It symbolizes sacrifice, giving up our animalism, our animalistic tendencies. Also the skin will provide optimum insulation between us and the earth.
Guru Gita Verse 138
The verses from 138 onwards of the Guru Gita are related and deal with color and directions to face when practicing. If one has a real need for support in more than one area, can the disciple rotate through colors of asan and directions faced?
If there is a specific type of support that one needs, that subject should be consulted with the Guru, rather than randomly changing colors and directions.
Guru Gita Verse 139
Verse 139 of the Guru Gita states that kusha (or durva too) mat should covered by a white blanket. Is it ok to just sit on kusha grass mat or do we need to put white blanket on it? What is relevance of sheepskin used in Devi Mandir tradition?
It is ok to sit on the kusha asana, but it will quickly become uncomfortable. You can put a blanket under it or a different asana on top. The sheepskin is white wool.
Guru Gita Verse 141
Why it is that facing in different directions during our sadhana produces these various results?
It is because we tune into the energies which are prevailing in each direction.
Guru Gita Verse 165
Guru Gita verse 165 appears to be speaking of one who is finally letting go of the container of individuality and merging into the undifferentiated. This verse suggests the process of doing so involves letting go of doubts. It seems odd to me that there would be doubts of any kind left at that stage. Is this the major obstacle at this stage? Could you explain a little bit?
Not only has the Guru removed all of his or her own doubts, but wherever the Guru moves, all doubts are removed. Just seeing or being in contact with that divine inspiration is sufficient to inspire devotees to dedicate themselves to the sadhana of serving the Guru.
Guru Gita and reference to water
In studying the Guru Gita and also the Chandi, there is much reference to water. What does this flooding mean from a spiritual standpoint to a disciple? “Gu” is the darkness, the muddy waters, the maya and “ru” is the light. When all of the debris and sohas settled, all that can remain is light. Water is the mirror of the world – what is causing this degree of cloudiness?
The waters are the ocean of existence, flooding us with worldliness.
Guru Gita Homa
I would like to do a Guru Gita homa. How would I change the recitation of a sankalpa to accomplish this?
In the sankalpa use “Shree Guru preetyartham, Shree Guru Gita iti mantrena ahuti homamaham karishye.”