Of all the Sanskrit sholkas I know, the Guru Mantra resonates most with me. It says —
ॐ Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Shakshat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Guruvey Namaha ॐ
Here it is in Devanagari:
And my interpretation of the mantra follows.
The word guru means the one (ru) who helps in removing ignorance (gu). The guru mantra says that the guru is Bramha, the god who creates; the guru is Vishnu, the god who preserves creation; and the guru is the god Maheshwara (Shiva, the god who completes creation by annihilation). The guru is the personification of the Ultimate Brahma. I salute the guru.
Everyone and everything is potentially our guru because we can learn from them. It all depends on how evolved we are. The rocks can teach if we are sufficiently evolved. We can learn from the elements, from Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Whoever and whatever it may be, we can learn from on our path to enlightenment.
So here’s my favorite Beatles, George Harrison singing the guru mantra in the song, “My Sweet Lord”:
Guru Purnima greetings, everyone.