A sculptor is an artist who creates a beautiful sculpture from a raw stone. Does he create anything new and add to the stone? Not really, he just works very closely in removing certain parts and thereby creating a shape that conveys a message to the viewers.
A guru also does not create or add anything additional into us. He just carefully removes the ignorance that is blocking our original form of knowledge. They excel at the art of brushing off the ignorance from a seeker through wise words and staunch practices that reflect their intense knowledge on extremely profound vedic literature, ie. Sa:stram.
While the sculptor has the art piece in his brain, the Guru also sees the true form of the seeker and separates it from his ignorance when working with him.
Such gurus and great devotees have three abilities which help in shaping us up:
- They can reduce the impact of ego on us which will then pave a path for open mind to let knowledge flow with no hurdles.
- They have a command on sa:stram and do not cross the lines at any given point in time. Their devotion to sa:stram makes them experience God
- They do not get carried away in the tornado of desires.
If we can get to at least begin listening to their words, our journey towards the state of bliss begins. Sometimes, a glance at their form, their walk, their way of life can create an impact that will benefit us. All this is possible because their intentions are so self-less and their practices are driven by the pure devotion towards sa:stram.
While we are here – let’s look at an example of how important such devotees and gurus are in order to be helped by God. It is said that Sugreeva in Sri Ramayana did not pay respects to Lakshmana during their introductions. And therefore Sri Rama purposely did not kill Vali in the first fight between the brothers – Sugreeva and Vali. When Sugreeva came back from the fight and asked Rama why he did not help him in the fight as originally promised by Rama. Sri Rama asked him to get garlanded by Lakshmana and then he will be able to identify him from Sugreeva, otherwise he said they both looked similar.
An awesome observation of Sri Rama’s attitude in taking away the ignorance of Sugreeva. He did not just walk away from Sugreeva. He instead taught him a lesson, rather hard way. But, Mardana:th gunavardhanam – i.e. it is a proven practice that if we want an iron piece to shine, we first heat it and then hammer it. So, he allowed Sugreeva to face a hard time which made his heart soft and that made him bend down in front of Lakshamana, the all-time devotee of Sri Rama.
A:charya:s recognise this greatness in Goda Devi also, she does not walk away from anyone who are ignorant of their mistakes, she goes closer to them and works with them to clean their weaknesses and turns them into strength that helps them evolve them in every way.