Thoughts on Shree Guru Gita
by Yogeshwari Fountain
"One who thinks he knows not, knows; one who knows by thinking, knows not.
Salutations to Shree Guru, who has no other thoughts (only the absolute)." - Verse 40
Countless times a day I turn my mind and heart to this ancient text, which has become (over time) one of the pivotal landmarks of my daily life and yoga practices. It keeps me humble, riveted, connected to grace. What began as a frustrating tangle of tongue twisting words is now my oracle. Just how did this happen over the course of the past year?
I first found the power of chanting the Guru Gita on Sunday mornings at our local Siddha Center. One of the devotees suggested I pick a verse that spoke to me and memorize it. That was a key moment. I was struggling with a new point of contention in my relationship with my mother, and reciting the words of Verse 35 forever freed me:
Tvam pita tvam ca me mata tvam bandhustvam ca devata,
Samsara-pratibodhartham tasmai srigurave namah.
Salutations to Shri Guru. In order to receive true understanding of all that exists,
I honor you to be my father, my mother, my brother, and my God.
All the expectations I’d laid at the feet of my parents lifted, and I knew henceforth, this text was going to be my mainstay.
Thus it continues to be. I approach it in my own way, according to my ever-evolving needs (meaning that there is no perfect way). Sometimes I chant through the whole text with the yogis at the Siddha Center. Most mornings I chant after I meditate, and follow the Svaroopa® Vidya approach, often dividing the text into three parts (about 60 verses each, picking up where I left off the day before). Sometimes I chant with Gurumayi’s CD, sometimes acapella (without instrumental accompaniment). I stumble through many of the pronunciations and that’s okay. When I chant on my own, I take my time. Sometimes I get through only ten verses, because I discover a line that pulls me in deep to the Self, so I contemplate this. Being drawn to reading the translations and taking to heart the message of the text has the power to radically shift me on the inside.
Therefore my book is tenderly dog-eared and underlined… a constant source of comfort on this transformative path of yoga. It reminds me that even as the Guru lives in the absolute knowing of the Self, and I drift in and out, I am still experiencing the Self more than I realize, and this is the truth. Baba Muktananda reminds us,
“The Self is already attained.”
OM svaroopa svasvabhavah namo namah!