At the end of this journey we will give to our Guru the envelope with Dakshina in the form of money and we have to say "Krishna Arpan" which means “Everything to God”. Guru Dakshina is very common to hear of in India, but for western people it might be odd. It is what we give back to the Guru for his teaching. It is very important. The time may come when a disciple might ask his Guru what the Guru dakshina will be when the education is finished, for example, or the Guru can ask the disciple to give dakshina at any time in between.
Pramod was pointing out a nice story of Eklavia, a member of a tribe in India, and a Guru called Drona, who was a guru of the Pandavas and Kauravas.
The guru Drona made Arjun the best archer in the world. One day, they found out that there is another amazing archer around, and they wanted to know who he was. So they find Eklavia, a young archer, who was living in the cave, who had made a statue of guru Drona and worshiped it. He gets all his skills of archery just through concentration on that statue, and not from Guru Drona in person. He was so good in archery that he was maybe the equal of Arjun - or even better! Guru Drona had already promised to Arjun that he would be the best archer in the world! They found Eklavia and wanted to know how he learned to be so good at archery. Eklavia said that he learned from the guru Drona. Drona said if you learned from me, I ask you for the guru dakshina. Eklavia said "What is it?" Guru Drona answered it will be the thumb of your right hand. Eklavia took the knife and cut his thumb, which means that archery was finished for him, but he was still happy to have pleased his Guru.
|Arjuna, Dronacharya, and Ekalavya|
The guru always knows what dakshina is proper for his disciple and it also should be paid because of karmic balance. We received from the Guru and we also give back to the Guru. You should not leave the Guru without giving dakshina. Pramod also said what I remembered that Swami Vishwananda never takes from dakshina for his personal needs, he always give what he received to ashram or for spreading his mission. Even that there can be dakshina envelopes for one year, left, and when it comes the time, then they will be open.
The second important thing is about prasad. During this pilgrimage Pramod said that we will get a lot of prasad from the temples and from the swamis, and that it is very important how our attitude is for what we get for eating.
Pushpami from Croatia