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04 Guruvandanam

Children, This is for you.
After praying to Mahaganapathy to remove obstacles and to Goddess Sarswathy, to enrich us with knowledge, we will now pray to our Guru for his blessings. Guru is practically the one who provides us tools for a purposeful living. Later, you will lean that Guru is an elevator to your spiritual enlightenment, but it is too early to go into that aspect.
This is a familiar slokam on Guruvandanam.
guru mantra in sanskrit

Meaning :

The Guru is Brahma (The God of Creation)
The Guru is Vishnu (The God of Sustenance)
The Guru is Shiva (The God of Annihilation)
My Salutation to such a Guru, who is verily the Supreme God.
Who is your Guru ?
Your first Guru is your mother, in whose womb you evolved as an embryo of two layers of cells and grew step by step , absorbing the nutrients from her, that made you fit to come out in the open and face the world.
“Are you comfortable my gem in the little space I have provided, where neither the sun rays nor the moon shine reach ?” She asks you, unhappy over the reality that she could not provide you a mansion with golden walls and silver floor, on the top of a diamond hill
” Am I hurting you my lotus bud, when I sit, stand, bend or walk?” She continues to worry. ” Come out soon my child so that I can feed you when you cry”.  She laments, “how sad I have no way of knowing when you are hungry !”
Those words soaked in unadulterated affection, love and compassion, pass to your years, ignoring the intermediate layers and get embedded in your little brain.  Mother’s  love crosses mountains and oceans . The first lesson you learn is nothing but the vibrations of love and affection, care and compassion and it is with that precious knowledge that you enter the world. Your mother has already provided you the safest place in the earth, inside her own body, where neither the hungry vultures nor the vagaries of weather will en-capture and decimate you. That accommodation, also gives you an opportunity to learn to live in darkness, in a restricted space and to grow with the available air and food.
Thus, your own mother is your first and foremost Guru.  God is the repository of compassion and He is known as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara and as your mother teaches you the first lesson on the above subjects, she is your first Guru.
तस्मै Thasmai- to him ( here, to her) my namaskaram.
My eldest son Sharath,( Ananth for the world and Kuttan for me ), used to burst into  a ‘pey,pey’ yell, the moment I went to sleep, exhausted and eager to rest.  It was as if he entered this world with an imbedded device in his throat .  Jumping like a just- filled foot ball, I had to get up from my bed, carry him on my shoulder, stroll around the  garden in front of our house, resisting the chill weather. Enjoying the mild rocking and warmth of my body, intermittent slow and rhythmic  patting on his back, low-tone lullaby lethargically escaping from my lips and  cooing of the night -birds from the bushes around, my naughty little imp used to  pretend to sleep but the  moment his father halted, he used to scream again  more forcefully, as if the sky had fallen on his head or a meteor had passed through his ears. What he actually deserved was  a dozen slaps or pinches for his cruelty, but I continued my stroll till he slipped into the hands of sleep, unwillingly and unknowingly.
Your parents too are like me, who had often forgone their basic needs like sleep and food to take care of your needs and to make you comfortable and happy. They taught you the value of love, care and tolerance.
You might not remember now but it was your father who taught you to regain your balance when you missed your steps while toddling.
It was he who taught you, your fist steps, which subsequently turned as a long journey in life. Therefore , your father too is your Guru.
So are the other elders in the family, your siblings, your friends , your teachers, your neighbors . You have learned and continue to learn some good acts or words from them and therefore, they too are your Gurus.
So are the world around, the sky and the stars, the sun and the moon, the trees and the rocks, the birds and the animals- they all have a lessen or two for you and they all are your Gurus.
You are an intelligent child. That is why you ask, ” how am to differentiate good from bad, in the process of learning  , since you say that every object has some thing or other to teach me ?”
valid question. I will try to clear your doubt when we meet next.

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