Friday, December 7, 2018

Deergha Bandhu

Original Kannada article by Vidwan B.G. Anantha
English translation by Dr. Sandhya Kulkarni

The Guru who enables us to cross the sea of samsara is called by very many names. These are more than just names or synonyms; they are special terminologies which highlight a Guru’s nature or qualities. One of them is the word ‘Deergha Bandhu’- A bandhu (beloved kin) forever.

Bandha, Bandhu
The word Bandhu comes from Bandha which implies a bond or connection. The bond could be due to a connect between two individuals on account of shared kinship, Emotional or Physical bonds. The most common usage of the word bandhu implies a bond on account of birth and kinship.
A kinship by birth is for life and after. The relationship between Dasharatha and Rama as father and son will be cherished even a thousand years from now.
Some others are kinship that are acquired subsequent to birth, but still last forever. Like that of a husband and wife, bosom friends or that of a Guru-Shishya. Before a shishya submits himself to a Guru and is accepted by him, there existed no relationship between them. But once acquired it is forever. 

Guru, Shishya, Vidya
There are very many things in this world to learn. Neither those who coach us about these worldly things could be called gurus nor can the people who learn them be called Shishya. Guru and Shishya are technical words with specific usage in our literature. A master who guides in the spiritual path and guarantees that we realize the Supreme, alone is Guru. Only such an individual whose life goal is the supreme realization and who guided by the Guru, puts his effort into reaching the goal is a Shishya. Such profound Spiritual instruction and direction given by a Guru alone is Vidya. This is what is implied by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita when he says ‘’Adhyatma Vidya Vidyanam’- Of all Vidyas, I myself am the Adhyatma Vidya.

Guru Shishya Sambandha
A soul whose sole objective in life is to accomplish liberation, requests guru to guide him in this profound spiritual path. The Guru having confirmed shishya has met all requirements to get the direction accepts him as a disciple. That moment is an auspicious nectarine moment. From that point is set up a spiritual bond of master and disciple. It must be remembered that the Shishya is a seeker and the Guru is a Siddha - one who has reached the pinnacle of the spiritual journey. It cannot be that both are aspirants themselves. If that be the case, it would be similar to two swimming aspirants taking to the water depending on each other for guidance.

Deergha bandhu
When a true Guru acknowledges someone as a disciple the bond remains till the objective is fructified. This profound bond between Guru and disciple exists till the time the disciple attains the knowledge of the Parabrahman-regardless of whether it takes disciple one or a few hundred lifetimes. 

It is said that a fish swims through a thousand miles to heed to the call of its little one. A Guru is said to protect and guide his devotees likewise across time and space. Guru, who is thus a long-term relation, is, along these lines with gratitude, called by his disciples as Deergha Bandhu. This is truly remarkable considering no other relationship in this world is the length of that between a Master and a disciple. Our salutations over and over again to that embodiment of compassion - Deergha Bandhu !

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs