Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 14 Jul 2003

     

GOSPEL ON GURU PURNIMA-2003

[This discourse was given on the morning of the Guru Purnima day. Purnima is a full moon day. The birthday of sage Vyasa, which falls on a full moon day is celebrated as Guru Purnima, since sage Vyasa was one of the greatest Gurus. It is an occasion to express gratitude to and honor the Sadguru.] Today all of you have offered guru dakshina (donation) at My feet in the form of some money to be used for the propagation of divine knowledge and devotion to Lord Datta. The full moon today represents gold or a silver coin (money), which you have to surrender to the Guru as guru dakshina. In fact, you have to do this on the full moon day of every month. The full moon is a reminder of this.

Every human being cannot be a Guru. You must donate only to the Sadguru, which means the Lord in human form. Only then is your money properly utilized. The sacrifice (donation) of money proves your real love. To whom do you give your entire wealth and money? To your children of course! So, your real love is for your children—it is a simple and straight test! If you have real love for the Lord, you will give that money to the Lord. No more argument. This is the practical test. Prayers by words and meditation by mind are only ways to prove your devotion for God, to others. It is not real devotion. Of course, prayers and meditation can act as side pickles (side dishes) if the main item i.e., rice is present in the meal. The main item here is guru dakshina. It is also called as karma phala tyaga i.e., sacrificing the fruit (money) of your work for the sake of God. Without the guru dakshina, simply singing and thinking about God is like offering a meal plate in which there are only pickles and no main item to eat. You should recognize who is the Sadguru and then given the guru dakshina to Him so that your guru dakshina does not go waste or get misused.

Identification Marks of a Sadguru

The Sadguru is to be recognized by the infinite true knowledge possessed by Him. The Veda says “Satyam Jnanam ...”, which means that the Lord in human form should be recognized by His true and infinite knowledge. The four greatest statements 1 from the four Vedas also say the same. The first three statements say that God appears in human form like me, like you and like him. The last statement says that such a Human Incarnation is recognized by His special knowledge. Even scholars give knowledge but their knowledge gives you a headache. The knowledge of the Lord touches your heart and gives you immense pleasure as said by the Veda, “Anando Brahma”. So, by His blissful knowledge, you can recognize the Lord just as fire is recognized by its heat. Miracles are not His identity marks. Miracles are performed even by demons like Ravana. Miracles are like the jewels of the Lord, which can be given to the demons if they demand the jewels from God by doing severe penance. Demons are the foolish children of the Lord. So He gives those jewels to the demanding demons after they do penance for them. But by getting these jewels (power to do miracles), demons cannot become God, as they cannot get His inherent quality i.e., the blissful, true and infinite knowledge. In the past, demons have claimed that they are God [since they could perform miracles]. But the sages never agreed with their claims since the demons could never attain the inherent quality of God (divine knowledge).

Scriptural References and Devotee’s Life Incidents

The entire Bhagavad Gita stresses on karma phala tyaga. The first hymn of the first Upanishad (Ishavasya Upanishad) says that you should return the extra money (more than your needs) that you have earned, to the Lord.  Keeping it with you is not permitted by Him. It says that this entire world is His wealth alone. The Gopikas 2 donated the fruit of their whole work viz., butter, to the Lord in human form (Krishna) instead of even giving the butter to their own children. They reached the 15th uppermost world called Goloka. They also surrendered their bodies to the Lord 3. This body is also the fruit of your previous action called as prarabdha. Thus, they sacrificed even justice (Dharma) and were not even afraid of hell. Their love for the Lord was the highest and so the Lord granted the highest world to them. Their guru dakshina was total i.e., they sacrificed everything—their money (butter), their bodies, their minds, their words etc. and what not?

The Lord was misunderstood that He was always more fond of the Gopikas and not of the other male devotees. He was abused as a fan of women. What is the secret in this? A man is full of egotistic (rajas) qualities. But a woman is full of submissive qualities (sattvam) like fear, obedience etc., which are required for salvation. This is the reason why even the male sages 4 were reborn as the Gopikas to attain salvation. According to Lord Datta, every soul has to take its last birth as a woman. But this does not mean that every woman is in her last birth!

A devoted hunter called Kannappa sacrificed his eyes to the Lord. The eyes are the best parts of the body. Hence, his sacrifice was the best guru dakshina. The Veda says that you can earn a minimum amount, which is required for yourself and your family; not anything extra. That much is permitted by the Lord. If you have taken (earned or received) extra, return it to the Lord. For example, when you visit your friend and are offered a cup of milk, you can drink the milk but not take away the cup. The Veda says that if you have taken extra, you are a thief and it is a sin. If you return the extra, you will be excused by the Lord. Otherwise, that sinful extra money will lead to all sorts of problems. Some devotees even offer a part of their minimal earnings to God. Some even offer the whole of their minimum wealth. Patil, a devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba used to offer his entire annual crop to Baba and he would take back whatever was given to him by Baba. When a rich man came seeking for spiritual knowledge, Baba said to him, “You could not even give the Rs 5 required by Me, then how can you know God?’’ Baba used to ask for guru dakshina from everybody only to teach this most essential aspect of karma phala tyaga.

The Lord does not need your money because the entire money is left here itself in this world after you leave. You go alone with your sin. So, all His money is left in His bank alone i.e., this world. You yourself are in His bank. You had taken extra from His bank and while dying, you left all those extras in His bank alone. You have not taken anything extra with you except for the sin committed by you by taking that extra. You could have at least returned it to Him with your own hands.

Shabari 5 offered even her meal of wild fruits [her minimal wealth] to Lord Rama. This represents good wealth. The hunter, Kannappa, offered raw flesh to Lord Shiva, which represents sinful wealth as it was earned by hunting [killing innocent animals]. Both reached the same Lord because Rama (Vishnu) is Shiva 6. The Veda says, “Shiva is Vishnu (Shivashcha...)”. The intensity of love was the same in both the devotees. So, if you offer guru dakshina with full love to the Lord, he will not find fault with your sins. Kannappa was given salvation irrespective of his sinful hunting since he did not enjoy that flesh himself, but he offered it to the Lord. If one enjoys sinful wealth, he incurs sin.

Practical Implementation of Karma Phala Tyaga

You offer guru dakshina to the Lord in Tirupati 7 after getting some help from Him in solving your problems. The money offered by you was actually His own money, which you had stolen in the form of extra earnings. Instead of returning that extra money with a humble apology, you are giving it to the Lord in order to get some work done by Him. There too, you first get the work done from Him and only then do you pay Him.  That is your faith! An atheist gives money to another man to get his work done in a similar way. In what way are you greater than the atheist? Shri Venkateshwara, the Lord of Tirupati, is only the external dress of Guru Datta. So today, Guru Datta is giving you the true knowledge to rectify this. Guru Datta says, “Today, you should leave all this chain of sins and offer guru dakshina to the Lord without expecting anything in return, because whatever you possess belongs to the Lord alone. You had stolen money from a shop and you are giving the money back to the same shop. So you should not take away any article from the shop in return for giving that money. You should give the stolen money to the shop with all apologies and go back. Datta is so kind that by the time you reach your house, your house will be full of a hundred articles [even though you did not purchase anything from the shop].

You must return the stolen cup to its owner, in which he had given you the milk that you required. Similarly, you must return the extra money stolen by you to the Lord. This is guru dakshina. So the attitude here must be of apology and fear; not pride. The Veda says, “Bhiya deyam” which means, “Give to the Lord with fear”. The Veda further says, “Samvida deyam” which means “You should recognize the Lord by His knowledge”. The Veda also says, “Sraddhaya deyam” which means “You should have patience to search for the deserving person i.e., the Lord in human form, to give your guru dakshina”. The point here is that you should return the cup to the actual owner and not to some other person. Similarly, you should give guru dakshina to the Sadguru alone because He is the Lord and the actual owner of this entire wealth.

People are hasty in doing charity. Store your money with patience day by day and once you recognize the Sadguru, offer the entire stored money to Him as guru dakshina. That day is the real Guru Purnima. Before the full moon day, the moon grows everyday. It indicates your money, which is being stored with patience. The place of donation, time of donation and the deserving person (recipient) are the three main criteria to do charity. Among the three, the last criterion is the most important. You commonly give guru dakshina to some person at a particular (auspicious) place like Varanasi and on a particular (auspicious) day like the full moon day. In this you are giving unnecessary importance to place and time. You are not analyzing the person (recipient) with your knowledge to know whether he is the Lord or not. Whatever may be the place and whatever may be the day, if you are giving all your stored money as guru dakshina to the actual Guru Datta, that place becomes Varanasi and that day becomes Guru Purnima.

But if Datta is not available as an Incarnation (Sadguru), the next best alternative is a poor devotee of Datta, because the Lord dwells not only in the Incarnation but also in devotees. Sage Narada said this in his Bhakti Sutras (The Principles of Devotion) “Tanmayahite....’’ But in the body of a devotee, both the Lord and the soul of the devotee co-exist. The Lord advises the soul and that soul has to preach to others or do service [as per His advice]. In such cases, errors occur. For example, you have donated money to a spiritual trust containing devotees. They simply provide food to 100 pilgrims on a Shivaratri day at Varanasi, which is a total waste. All the pilgrims are capable of earning their food and are not in need of free food. On the other hand, the Sadguru might feed only one deserving poor devotee for 100 days with your donation. By donating to the Sadguru, your money is fully utilized and you get its full fruit. In the case of the Sadguru i.e., the Human Incarnation of God, only the Lord lives in the body. So He directly preaches and He does the service without any error. Shirdi Sai Baba used to give the guru dakshina given to Him, to several poor devotees. He knew exactly what, when and to whom it should be given. He knew all the past deeds of each soul. He can never be deceived. But beggars can deceive you by many tricks.

After giving guru dakshina to the Sadguru, you should not try to investigate how He used your donation. You should have complete faith in Him. If He is really a Sadguru, naturally He would know the best use of the donation.  If you believe that what is before you is a real fire, you need not test it by putting your finger in it. If your faith is partial, it is like a baby-monkey, which catches on tightly to the stomach of its mother. Jumping from one place to another is the duty of the mother. But catching on tightly is the duty of the baby-monkey. But in that case, there is a possibility that the baby may fall. However, when you have full faith, the Lord catches you and picks you, just like a cat catches its baby in her mouth and carries it along.

Sai Baba would receive guru dakshina from devotees. But no one knew anything about how He spent the money. An income tax officer tried to investigate, but failed. Baba was not even giving anything to His poorest devotee called Mahalsa. All the devotees were worried. But Sai Baba was testing Mahalsa for his firm devotion. If He had helped Mahalsa, the test would have been disturbed. The tests by Datta are only for your benefit. He knows where you stand even without a test. He also teaches you the same. But you do not take it seriously. When you are tested practically and the reality comes out, then only do you realize your real level. It is for this purpose alone that Datta conduct tests; not to know the level of a devotee. He is Sarvajna (omniscient) and knows your level even without the test.

The full moon represents not only the stored money for guru dakshina but it also represents the full mind or faith. As per the Veda, “The moon stands for money and mind. The moon is Goddess Lakshmi, which is money (Chandram...) and the moon is born from the mind [Chandramah...]”. Sai Baba could have asked the people, who gave guru dakshina directly give it to those poor devotees to whom He wanted to give. But He took it Himself and gave it to the poor devotees secretly. This tested the faith of the people in Him.


[1] The four great statements or Maha Vakyas from the Vedas and their meanings as explained by Swami elsewhere are are given below. The first three are metaphors:

Aham Brahmasmi—God is [appears to be like] me [externally].

Tat Tvam Asi—God is [appears to be like] you [externally].

Ayam Atma Brahma—God is [appears to be like] him [externally].

Prajnanam Brahma—God is [the possessor of] special divine knowledge.

[2] The Gopikas are the milkmaids of Vrindavan, who were the greatest and most ideal devotees of the Lord. They served Lord Krishna in His boyhood days.

[3] Some of the Gopikas including married ladies, loved Lord Krishna as their lover.

[4] The male sages of the Dandaka forest, who served Lord Rama were reborn as the female Gopikas when the Lord incarnated as Lord Krishna.

[5] Shabari was an utterly poor tribal lady who lived in a hut in the forest for her entire life until oldage, waiting for the day when the Lord would visit her and give her an opportunity to serve. When Lord Rama arrived there finally, she served Him wild berries for a meal. Her pure devotion pleased the Lord and she was granted salvation.

[6] Both were granted salvation. Shabari reached the abode of Lord Vishnu, since Lord Rama, whom she served, was an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Kannappa reached the abode of Lord Shiva since he had served Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are identical as per the Veda. So, both attained equivalent positions.

[7] Tirupati is a famous Hindu temple where a lot of devotees pray to God (Lord Venkateshwara) for some favors. After their wishes are granted, they donate huge sums of money as guru dakshina.