SREE GURU CHARITRA
CHAPTER – 1
As long as we do not realize the Supreme Self, the universe looks frightening as a snake that is illusorily projected on to a rope in darkness. The moment the Self is realized, the illusory nature of the phenomenal universe is experienced. Let us bow to the GURU who is the Reality, of the nature of Reality-Awareness-Bliss. The non dual reality which manifests itself as many to the erring intellect, but which is realized to be the One is indeed the Parabrahman and Lord Datta is it- the one who, in His Mercy, manifested Himself as Lord Datta, the son of sage Atri and Anasuya, to enable his devotees, Kartaveeryarjuna and King Yadu, to realize the Self. He again manifested Himself as Sreepada Sreevallabha, and Sree Nrisimha Saraswathi to uplift his devotees. Even now, he responds to the call of His loving mortals at the confluence of rivers Krishna and Bheema and has been perpetuating His mission. The One Self who manifested Himself as the multiple universes and entered its form is Lord Datta Himself. He can be realized through jnana or knowledge. Those who transcend the duality of likes and dislikes born of sensory experiences of objects, through the power of discrimination get liberated from the strangle hold of ignorance. To such a one, only the Supreme Lord is the object of love. It is for the sake of such discriminating ones that the Lord assumes the sporting form of a human being. In every age, He thus manifests himself and restores righteousness through the adherence to His own duties enjoined by the scriptures and then shuffles off His form. In this cosmic cycle of the Day of Brahma, twenty eight cycles of the four Yugas (cosmic epochs) had passed in the Swetavarahakalpa. Having known that even the cosmic deities become unresponsive in this wicked age of Kali, He again manifested Himself. He exists in the subtle form of a renunciate Sage, manifesting His miraculous and divine sport at the confluence of rivers Krishna and Amaraja. The glory of this manifestation of the divine is indescribable. Even at the moment of his birth, he uttered the mystic syllable”Om” and by the mere touch of his hand, he transmuted iron into gold. Even before he learned the alphabet, he taught the Vedas to his disciples and expounded the Vedanta to his parents in his childhood. Even at that young age, he visited the holy pilgrimage, practiced yoga and restored the tradition of renunciation to its pristine purity by his own practice. He cured the intestinal illness of his devotee by making him partake of the very food which is prohibited to such by medical science. He transformed a tongue less man into an elegant expounder of wisdom. He terminated the poverty of a Brahmin by his mere blessing and he enabled him to visit three holy places in the wink of an eye. He revived the dead, made barren cow yield milk. He conferred the vision of his cosmic form on his devotee, Trivikrama and humbled the pride of the learned. He made a devotee of the low caste recite the Veda by his mere blessing. He terminated the widowhood of a lady and expounded the subtleties of Karma Yoga to a devotee. He made a withered twig grow into a tree and blessed a barren woman with offspring by his mere look. He cured one of leprosy. He presented himself in eight forms simultaneously at the houses of his eight devotees on the holy day of Deepavali (the festival of lights). He transformed a farm that was prematurely harvested into one plentiful yield. He performed and has been performing such miracles. It may be possible to count the stars in the sky, the grains of sand on earth and the drops of water in the ocean, but not the infinite divine attributes of the Lord. Though he is the Spirit without any form, he miraculously assumes a form and enters his devotee’s heart and through the gateway of his hearing and cleans his heart and liberates him in this very life from ignorance. The devotee who has transcended the dualism of joy and sorrow, whether he is free from his body or not, will surely attain perfection, the moment he works out the store of his karma called prarabdha. This is a truth which cannot be understood who do not bask in the association of the will, and who are thus blinded by the force of their infatuation and preoccupation with sensory pleasures. Those who lead their life according to the form of righteousness that is enjoined by scriptures; in accordance with their innate tendency; and those who have faith and devotion in the deities and saints; those who thus ever live in the light of their discrimination, are free from false sense of agency in actions and free from craving for the fruits of their actions, are true renunciates who attain both divine security in life and liberation afterwards.
Having listened to such a noble and glorious account of the manifestation of Sree Guru, a Brahmin by name Namadharaka Sharma who, disillusioned with the cravings of mundane existence, ever lived, devoting all his life to the contemplation and glorification of the noble qualities of the Guru, arrived at the confluence of rivers Bheema and Amaraja. Thereby he realized the Lord. With the single object of directly contacting the divine self of the Guru, he worshipped Lord Ganeswara in order to ward off impediments in his endeavor and Goddess Saraswathi, in order to obtain the right knowledge. Then, he at last succeeded in achieving his object by glorifying the Guru who reached out to him in the form of the story of his Divine Sport, recounted by a living human form.
Namadharaka glorified the divinity of Sree Guru thus: “Oh, All-knowing one! Don’t you know me? Oh, Witness of the whole universe, don’t you see me? Oh, all-pervading one, don’t you hear my cry? Or, even though you have heard me, do you choose to ignore me? If you know what I am, why does my despair still persist? If you have listened to my cries, why does my misery persist?
In case you ignore me, is it proper for you to mean that I should resort to some other deity; for you are the one Spirit and Lord of all deities. Moreover, you are our ancestral deity. How could I leave you and seek the protection of some other deity? I know that you are my Lord. Or, you being the Supreme, do you ignore me, because I am but one among thy myriad creatures – just as the king is known to all his subjects but he does not know every one of them individually? This may be possible in the case of a little-knowing mortal of a king, but it cannot be so in your case. For oh Lord, you are all-knowing. If you say that you would grace me in return for my service, or through offerings of charity, it is not proper. He who does good only in return for some service cannot be a true giver. Such a one is, indeed, a selfish giver. Just as the sun affords light, and you have bestowed your grace on sage Dhruva and Vibheeshana and bestowed the highest spiritual state on them. In a similar fashion, may you bestow on me your blessed vision! The nine types of treasures and the eight supernatural powers are your servants. Can you need anything? What is it that I can offer you? You are ever-full. What can I do for you? Even ordinary kings on earth ever protect their servants. Oh you, Sustainer of the whole universe, you have already received my worship. Why do you ignore me? Oh, Lord of all deities, are you pained at some failing of mine? It is not proper for you who is the abode of grace, to be so. Even a human mother does not mind if a child kicks her with its feet. Always the one or the other of the human parents ever protects their children. You are the Father and Mother of the whole creation. If You who is my Father and Mother, are not merciful to me, I am helpless. It is not proper for you to say that you have withheld your mercy from me owing to my failings. For all my actions are prompted by ignorance; such is my innate nature. I am doomed to do all those things which I condemn as bad. Do you say that I should undo them by the contrary righteous action? If most of my actions are holy and only a few of them are unholy, it is possible for me to rectify then through praayaschitta (penitentiary actions). Indeed, even such penitentiary actions are afraid of me, even as a cow is afraid of a tiger. How is it possible to remove the blackness of black gram? Even so, how can japa and dhyana purify me who is the very form of sin? Oh Lord, there is no sinner like me and there is no destroyer of sin like you. Therefore, give up your indifference towards me, Oh Lord, and protect me who has no other refuge. Even flint seems to melt with kindness at my cry of despair. What happened then, to your mercy, Oh merciful Lord? Why don’t you protect me, who is slave of death?”
He started fasting unto death. One day he wandered about and, finally, fell asleep under a tree. He had a blissful dream in which he saw a great wandering yogi. He had matted hair and besmeared his body with holy ash. He wore a tiger’s skin and he wore rosaries of rudraksha in his neck and on his arms. The very sight of the holy one had completely quenched the blazing fire of his longing to see Sree Guru. With tears of joy, Namadharaka prostrated before the holy one, bathed his sacred feet in his tears of joy and wiped them clean with his own long hair. The Yogi raised him up, and blessed him by keeping his hand on Namadharaka’s head and put holy ash on the latter’s forehead.