After creating mankind, Lord Brahma, the Creator, gave the following advice: "May you multiply and prosper with the spirit of sacrifice. May this yield the fruits of joy that you seek. Instil the spirit of sacrifice in others because by doing so, you will attain good. Let the gods be gracious to you..."
The object of this advice must have been to ensure peace, progress, prosperity and tranquility for the entire mankind.
In the same spirit, the ancient sages had conceived the doctrine of Vasudhaiva Kutumbhkam (that the entire world is one family and we are members of this global society) in order to spread universal brotherhood.
Sadly, as the human race multiplied, somewhere on the way, we forgot the advice and became materialistic and self-centred. We built walls of ego around us and ended up restricting our vision. In the words of Rousseau, the famous French philosopher, "Damn that man who said this is mine and that is thine - and thus, sowed the seeds of self-centredness and a feeling of jealousy and animosity."
We are born into a stream of existence and this cycle of birth, childhood, youth, old age, death and rebirth, continues. The quality of this cycle (success or failure) may differ from individual to individual depending upon his past and present karmas.
Kabir once said: "God, save me from two fires: one hanging upside down for nine months in my mother's womb and second, when my corporal frame is consigned to the flames soon after the soul leaves the body."
A guru plays the pivotal role in reminding us the divine advice. And he teaches us the art of living a balanced life with restraint and a stable mind. He is the one who dispels the darkness of ignorance and shows the path of light and eternal bliss.
He is the one who brings about awareness that actions (karmas) give rise to sensuous pleasures and pains, which are transitory. He guides one on how to discipline and bring under control the five wild horses - kama (passion), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (emotional attachment) and ahankara (ego) and helps one to achieve inner peace and a tranquil mind.
He brings about a realisation that over-indulgence in sensuous objects give rise to tamo guna and the end result is regret, remorse, sorrow and loss of peace. He conditions you to fearlessly travel from the illusionary material world to the realms of spirituality, so that you can be one with the Real One and realise the ultimate truth — God.
(To be concluded)