Art of Living, Buddha, Devotee, Devotion, Disciple, Enlightenment, Guru, Learning, Sri Sri, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Student, Teacher, Zen
Q: Tell us about devotion to Guru.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are three types of people who come to the Master, the student, the disciple and the devotee. A student goes to a teacher and learns something, gets some information and then he walks out of the School. There is no more information, just like looking at a guidebook, like a tourist guide. Then there is the disciple, the disciple follows the example of the Master. But a disciple is with the Master for the sake of learning wisdom, for the sake of improving his life, for the sake of attaining enlightenment. He has a purpose, a cause, so he is not just collecting information, but he goes a little deeper. He is trying to bring a transformation in his life. He wants to make sense out of his life. That is a disciple.And then there is devotee. A devotee is not there even for wisdom. He is simply rejoicing in love. He has fallen in deep love with the Master, with the Infinity, with the God. He doesn’t care as to whether he gets enlightened or not. He doesn’t care as to whether he acquires a lot of knowledge or wisdom or not. But that very moment, and every moment, he is immersed in divine love that is enough for him or her. A devotee is very rare to find.
Students are in abundance, disciples are a few, but the devotees are rare.
It is nothing great to become God or be God. Whether you want or not, all are already Gods. A stone is also a God. Where the devotion has flowered totally, the flower has blossomed, that is a devotee. Attraction is everywhere, love is somewhere, but devotion is again rare. Devotion is very beautiful. A student comes to a Master, Teacher, and Guru with tears in his eyes. There are so many problems, and when he leaves, he is carrying the same tears, but the quality of the tears is different, it is of gratitude. Still tears flow, but those are of gratitude, of love; it is so beautiful to cry in love.
One, who has cried even once in love, knows the taste of it, of surrender and of devotion and the entire creation rejoices it. The entire creation is longing for only one thing, the transformed tears, from salty tears to sweet tears.
One of Buddha’s disciples named Sariputra got enlightened. When he got enlightened, Buddha told him, “Now you go ahead, go into the world and preach, teach and do the same work I do, carry on my work.” Now Sariputra left Buddha, but he was crying and crying and people asked him, “Why are you crying when you are enlightened?” He said, “Who cares about this enlightenment, it could have waited, I would have waited. I didn’t even bother about it or asked for it because the joy of being at the feet of Buddha was so great. Being a devotee was so great, now I am missing this, I would have preferred that to this enlightenment.”
There once was a Zen Master who always thought that he was enlightened. He went around saying, “I am enlightened”. He happened to meet one of his Masters who gave him a puzzle, called ’koan’. The ‘koan’ was “the statue has eyes, the tears roll down silently”. Hearing this Zen Master was shaken and he said, “There is some depth in it”.
Like fatherhood and motherhood, there is Guru-hood. We all have to play Guru-hood at least to somebody. We do play! Consciously or unconsciously you are all Guru to somebody. You keep giving advices and guiding people, giving them loving care! You all do this, but do it 100%, without expecting anything in return: that is living the Guru principle. There is no difference between the divine, the Self and the Guru. They are all one. Meditation is relaxing and reposing. Think of all the things to be grateful for and ask what you want for the future and bless everyone. We receive so many blessings and we should also bless all those who are in need.