24 Jul 2014

Interview with Sri Swami Vishwananda

During His Italy Tour in March this year, Sri Swami Vishwananda has given an interview.
The interviewer, Amrir Ananda Giri J., started by asking how the four Gurus mentioned in the Guru Prayer (below) operate through Swamiji.

Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnuh
Gurur Devo Maheshvarah
Guru Shakshat Param Brahma
Tasmai Shree Guruve Namaha

Sri Swami Vishwananda: Actually you have to understand this mantra; there are not four different Gurus, they are all four in One. There is only one Guru – Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Shiva and Guru is Parabrahma. In the Hindu tradition, of course, we worship God. We have a great veneration for God – God is the Ultimate. But God Consciousness prevails everywhere, in everything. There is not a single place where God is not present. However, as Krishna said in the Gita, “I shall come in the form of the Master, in the form of the Guru.” The Guru is the representative of the Creator, Protector and Destroyer. And Guru is Parabrahma, because in the Hindu tradition we can't achieve God's Grace without the Grace of the Master. And it's not only in the Hindu tradition. It is in all the traditions. Because one can't approach God without receiving the Grace – and the Masters carry this Grace. So, when one is inclined towards the Master, when one is in connection with the Master, the Master pours that Grace over the disciple or the devotee. And when one receives that Grace, one perceives the Divine. Then one perceives that there is no difference between the Master and the Divine. There is no difference between God and His Disciple, the Guru, who has achieved the Discipleship or God Consciousness. They have become One. But one thing is very clear – the Guru will always know where the Guru stands and where God stands. That's why I was saying the day before yesterday, in the life of Kabir there was a time when he had a vision: on one side his Guru was standing and on the other side Krishna was standing. He had a big dilemma, “Who shall I bow down to first, to the Guru or to Govinda?” Then, he bowed down to his Guru first. Why? Without the Grace of the Master he would never find Govinda, he would never find God. But through the Grace of the Master he had found Krishna. It is the same in the lives of all the great ones. Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself said, “I have been a great scholar. I have known all the Vedas, all the Upanishads, all the Puranas, but yet without the Grace of my Master, without the blessing of the Guru nothing is possible.” That's what this verse stands for. It says that the Guru is the Creator. The Guru is the One who creates a certain Maya, certain situations, a certain direction in the life of the devotee or the disciple. 
And He is the One who sustains everything in the form of Vishnu. He is the One who gives the knowledge to sustain, gives the knowledge so that the devotee may understand where one is being led to. And Guru is Shiva, because He is the One who destroys ignorance.
That's what the word Guru stands for. The word Guru means the ╩╗removal of darkness╩╝. In that form He is Shiva, who destroys ignorance, the darkness of ignorance, and makes one shine forth the True Self. The Guru is these three in One and then the other verse says, “Guru Shakshat Parabrahma.” “Guru Shakshat Parabrahma” means, the Guru is the Ultimate. Here the Guru is not the physical Guru, but He is the Universal Preceptor – God Himself.
To watch the full interview, please click the link below: