Guru Vandana: Salutations to the teacher
Living Dharma

Guru Vandana: Salutations to the teacher

By September 24, 2021 No Comments

Guru in Sanskrit means teacher and Vandana means salutations. Guru Vandana means ‘reverence for the teacher’ and is an expression of love and gratitude towards one’s Guru. It is a means to honor the teacher for imparting knowledge and wisdom to his students.

These chaupaais are from Ramcharitmanas, ‘Bala Kanda’ composed in the Avadhi language. 

Guru-disciple tradition is a distinctive attribute of Hinduism. These lines signify that Guru is an ocean of blessings and compassion. He is the dispeller of darkness and reveals to us the true meaning of life.

dhyaana muulam gurur muurtih l puujaa muulam gurur padam ll
mantra muulam gurur vaakyam l mokssa muulam gurur krippa ll

This shloka is the quintessence of life of a disciple (shishya). The root of meditation is the Guru and all the pilgrimages are at the feet of Guru. Every word of Guru is a mantra for his disciple. The root of salvation is the grace of the Guru, a shishya attains moksha only by the difference of his Guru. It is through the grace of our Guru that we can cross the ocean of material desires.The root of worship is the feet of the Guru. The root of mantra is the word of the Guru.

guru brahma guru vishnu gurudevo maheshwarah l
guru sakshaat parabrahma, tasmae shri guruve namahaa ll

Guru is the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. In Hinduism, the Guru is equated with God in human form. In this shloka Guru has been equated with Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. Guru is the creator just like Brahma who is the Lord of Creation, protector like God Vishnu, and the force of transformation like Lord Shiva. Guru is here referred to as the supreme almighty. Guru is Para Brahma who leads to a path of light. His teachings are boundless. We bow to that Guru in respect who is cardinal in itself, who constructs, sustains proficiency, and destroys the ignorance and is the eventual Godhead.

vande bodhmayam nityam guruum shankar roopinam l yamashitroh he vakroapee chandra sarvatra vandhyate ll

“I worship Lord Shankar, the eternal instructor, who is all wisdom, and resting on whose forehead, the crescent moon, though crooked in shape, is universally worshipped.”

This shloka signifies that even if a student is imperfect, he will be respected, recognized, and appreciated by all because of his Guru’s blessings. Guru tells us how to keep balance amidst the troubles of existence and guide us to walk with a vision.

akhand manglakaram vyaapatam yen characharam ll
tadpadam darshitam yen tasmaye shri guruve namaha ll

Salutations to that glorious Guru who divulged to me the Truth, which is undivided, infinite, timeless and which pervades the entire universe, be it movable or fixed. Truth is the essence of the whole universe because if a person is truthful he can grow and learn from his own mistakes. In society truthfulness makes social bonds and creates a closer connection.

bandaum guru pada kanj kripa sindhu narrupa hari ll
mahamoha tama punja jasu ba chan rabi kar nikara ll

I bow to the lotus feet of my Guru, who is a God in human form and his words are sunbeams which cut through the darkness of ignorance. He removes mental darkness through his teachings and conduct.

bandau guru pad padam paraga l suruchi suvas saras anuraga ll
amiya murimaya churan charu l saman sakal bhav ruja parivaru ll

I worship the lotus feet of Guru, who is the source of Divine love. He is like a mixture of sanjeevani (a life saving medicine) which cures even the life threatening diseases. These ailments don’t necessarily be physical but can be mental too. It cures the diseases of the cycle of birth and death. If a human has doubts about himself, his Guru becomes the source of inspiration.

sukriti sambhu tan bimal bibhuti l manjul mangal moda prasuti ll
jan man manju mukura man harani l kiya tilak gun gan bas karni ll

Guru is like the Divine vibhuti (sacred ash) which is over Lord Shiva’s body and cleans the shishya’s body and heart. It is delightful, benevolent and is the mother of bliss. This ash removes dust of doubts in a student’s mirror of mind. By applying this on one’s forehead, all qualities automatically get imbibed in the student. This purifies life and brings peace to troubled minds.

shri guru pad nakh mani gan jyoti l sumiran divya drishti hiye hoti ll
dalan moh tam so saprakasu l bade bhaag ur avi jasoo ll

Tulsidasji here says that Guru’s feet nail’s brightness is as bright as gems and the moment disciple recalls this, his heart is filled with divine light and this eternal light erodes away the clouds of ignorance. One who has the mercy of his Guru attains salvation. The moment Guru comes to our heart, the sorrows and delusions of the world take a backseat and eventually disappear.

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