Mumbai Memoir 58- Tribute to my writing ‘Guru’- J. D. Sir
In 2006, in context of the historical novel which I was working on, a journalist friend of mine introduced me to Mr. Jaywant Joglekar. Then in his late eighties, I realized the volume of knowledge Mr Joglekar had accumulated in his lifetime to fluently and precisely guide me on various historical facts www.lulu.com/spotlight/jaywantjoglekar. Instantly a chord was struck between me and Joglekar Sir and from that very moment onwards he became my writing mentor. J. D. Sir is what I use to call him fondly.
Recently on 15th July’ 2016 he passed away at a ripe age of 95 years. I find myself blessed to have witnessed his energetic spirit of writing editorial articles for a magazine till his final days! He was a friend philosopher & guide to me who since last ten years had been my writing Guru. On hearing about his demise, my sentiments of his loss flowed from my pen’s ink. Instantly a poem was born which is as follow:
He lives in me,
He lives in my memory.
The laughs & the warmth of the tea sessions,
The history, the politics & life’s lessons.
From him I inherit a vast kingdom,
Of his ‘golden’ words & his ‘silver’ wisdom!
He lives in me,
He lives in my memory……
The below article about the significance of Guru (mentor) is dedicated to Late J.D. Sir.
”Guru and God both appear before me. To whom should I prostrate” I bow before Guru who introduced God to me! – Saint Kabir
It took centuries for mankind to evolve out of animal life. At the dawn of civilization man probably may have explored his surrounding on mere trial and error basis. But books related to Vedic civilization of ancient India, provides evidence regarding scientific and systematic knowledge being passed on by learned hermits. These hermits took the social responsibility of dispensing knowledge to their disciples and were referred as ‘gurus’. The gurus were considered to be the chord between the disciples and the Almighty.
The guru thus shared, both worldly knowledge and his spiritual actualizations to his disciple, who resided along with the guru in midst of a forest hermitage referred to as ‘gurukul’. Indian culture, since then got introduced to the ‘guru-shishya parampara’ (guru-disciple culture/mentoring culture). It is an astonishing fact that such an ancient cultural trend still is practised today not only by Indians but by all the world citizens who acknowledge the role of their respective gurus in shaping their life for good.
Who is a guru? Guru is an honorific designation of a preceptor as mentioned in Hindu scriptures and epics. The Oxford dictionary defines a ‘guru’ as a spiritual teacher or head of religious sect or an influential teacher and revered mentor. A guru is one who slowly lifts us up from the worldly life to a self-actualized and spiritual life. A guru helps to develop skills such as perseverance, dedication, attention to details, tenacity, compassion that gets instilled within us throughout life. A guru cautions you genuinely at the right time. He/She encourages you to appreciate the goodness of life and guides us to manage the resources provided by God (The ‘X’ factor possessing Universal wisdom). Thus a guru lays a positive influence in our life.
A guru is said to feel enthusiastic and radiant in dispensing his spiritual knowledge if he finds his disciple to be proactive in his approach to absorb wisdom from him. A guru instills faith towards self and towards God within the disciple. With his actions and words he assures his disciples, directly or indirectly, about the generosity of the ‘Universal mind’ (God) and to constantly strive in contributing to the beauty of the universe. Many disciples, who have actualized the positive change brought about by their guru, acknowledge them by expressing their heartfelt gratitude. According to the Hindu tradition, a guru should be acknowledged for his role played in shaping one’s life. According to the Hindu calendar, this ‘Thanks giving’ ceremony is annually conducted on the full moon day of the month of Aashada (July-August period). This day is known as ‘Guru Pornima’. On this day the disciples bow down to their respective guru and offer them ‘guru dakshina’ (a valuable token of appreciation given to a guru).
Ofcourse no money or gold can buy the wisdom of a genuine guru but still the disciple expresses his/her gratitude towards one’s guru. The disciple acknowledges the fact that the vision and clarity to sail the rough ocean of life can only be achieved if one is guided by a wise and good guru. The guru can be in any form, it could be one’s parents, brother, friend, relative, teacher or a spiritual leader or all of them from time to time. Besides Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism too acknowledge the role played by a guru in one’s spiritual upgradation. The readiness to submit oneself on the basis of trust too is important. Lord Buddha once quoted, ‘When the disciple is ready, the guru will appear!
Some people do not follow one particular guru from whom they seek wisdom. They absorb the wisdom that flows around them in all small and big forms. They may wonder as to whom should they offer their ‘guru dakshina’? One way is by doing community service of some kind and thereby offering the ‘guru dakshina’ directly to the ‘universal mind’ who we call God. After all, Swami Vivekanand had quoted, ‘Service to mankind is service to God’.!
Signing off with genuine feelings towards our respective Gurus.
Photo credit: Shraddha Sankulkar & Free Internet source.
Photos & Captions:
Seeking the blessings of a Guru- An Indian tradition.
One candle flame kindles another- J.D Sir & me