I came to India feeling uncomfortable with using the word Guru to define a human being I spend time studying under. A month later as I get ready to leave India, I understand the word Guru again and in a new light. The word ‘Guru’ comes from the Sanskrit language and has a deep spiritual meaning. Its broken down into two parts Gu and Ru; Gu is the state of ignorance most of humankind is stuck living in, the Samsara Halala which we ask to be removed through the opening prayer, Ru is the light of spiritual knowledge that dispels the darkness of ignorance. Guru is therefore the One who dispels the darkness of ignorance and bestows the light of knowledge.
So who is Guru in our everyday life? And do we all or can we all find one?
To me Guru is that person or situation that reminds me I am love, he/she/it establishes me back into the feeling that I am surrounded and held by love. He/she/it reminds we that I am one with that love. When I am reminded that we are in essence pure love, there is no discrimination, no separation derived from the form each individual takes. When I can live established in this there is no need to judge, tag, feel anger, greed, jealousy, envy, ect... These are the feelings that derive from living in a state that is lacking in the awareness that we are all love, and when we live this way we suffer, as these feelings leave us with a sense of I versus you or them.
Being in the room with Guru I've come to be reminded that asana is just a method, a vessel we use to break the barrier between ourselves - as perceived through living in this illusion of worldly life - and love. As those barriers begin to drop, you realize the body is just a sheath or a curtain; if you open it you merge with what surrounds you, there are no separations. Taking forms and shapes as we breathe, we loose sight of our own form and realize the true Self, which is love. That is what Guru is to me. He/she/it holds up the mirror of truth, without character, without discrimination, even for all, as we project onto the mirror our fears, jealousies, anxieties, envies, ect..we work through all these layers until one day we come out the other side and realize, we are not any of that. This mirror, happens to be Sharath Jois at this moment in time for me, he has been a Guru for me for many years now, I've forgotten about it between trips and thought it was absurd to call someone Guru, but if you understand its not about the person holding up the mirror of truth, but about the truth he/she/it stands for, or shines back at you in that moment in life, then Guru can be anyone person or experience in life. It takes the dogma out of the word, and moves you into a space of experiencing life as a journey of growth away from darkness and into the light, where every interaction is an opportunity for growth, for union with the divine that surrounds us and is within all of us.
I'd like to invite you all to search for opportunities to see the Guru, and to ask yourself if you are being a Guru for someone in your life. Can you hold up the mirror of truth for someone, without judgement? and can you identify and be grateful for those that do that for you in your life?