Guru Purnima this year falls on 3rd July. It’s the full moon day we acknowledge the debt we owe to our guru.
The mantra says
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Shakshat Parabrahma
Tusmai Shri Guruvey Namaha
Om Om Om
Guru, one of the many awesome words that the dharmic traditions of India given to the world lexicon, simply means teacher. The idea is as simple as it is profound. It claims that the guru is Brahma, the Creator. The guru is also Vishnu, the Preserver. And the guru is Maheshwara, or Shiva, the Destroyer. The guru is the Supreme Brahma. All salutations to the guru.
The guru is the embodiment of wisdom and knowledge. What we know is transmitted from the guru to us. By transmitting to us the accumulated wisdom, the guru is the creator of our own enlightenment. As carriers of knowledge ourselves, our guru puts us on the path to creating more knowledge. The guru dispels and destroys our ignorance and is therefore Shiva, the destroyer of ignorance. The guru is also Vishnu, the Preserver of what has been created or discovered.
The guru is a living embodiment of knowledge. The guru is not an ancient book with outdated information. Rather, the guru is a living, breathing person transmitting what is known up to that point in the evolution of humans. We have to take that and build upon it, and in turn become gurus to those who come later. It is a continuous process of accumulation, enrichment, invention, discovery and transmission.
I Am That, say the ancients of India. Tat tvam asi. I am the guru, and I am therefore the Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.