Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
The Bodhisattva (anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated an enlightened mind for the benefit of all sentient beings) is known for his compassion. Just before taking the last jump into Nirvana, he said that I would like to stay by the door and send everyone, and then I will go last. So he is considered even a step higher than Buddha, because Buddha went through the door, but the Bodhisattva who followed the order of Buddha to bring people to liberation said, 'I will stay by the door and send everyone in'.
See that compassion, that greatness! He did not say 'My enlightenment!' He said, 'I will stay back till the last disciple gets in, then I will go'. This is following the words of the master, and the Bodhisattva is considered the highest, even higher than Buddha. This is why Guru is higher than God, because Guru leads you to God.
Jesus said, 'I am the way. If you have to go to my father, go through me'. Jesus took all the pain and suffering for the sake of his disciples. So that is the compassion of the Guru; of theGuru Tattva.
The emotions of the student also affects the teacher, or the master.
If the student is depressed, angry, or upset, it pinches the teacher also, because there is connection.
See what happened in Jesus’s time, all the 12 disciples ran away. All of them chickened out!
When he was being crucified people said, 'Oh, he came to save us, he could not save himself!'
The most humiliation, if any Guru has experienced, was Jesus. He was humiliated, and till the end, nobody could understand him.
He said that after saying all the knowledge the only thing they asked me was, 'On which side of God you will be sitting, left side or right side?'
They did not get it, they were so dumb! But still there was something in them, that fire in them that kept them committed.
Afterwards, even all the disciples were crucified or hanged upside down, just for preaching love! For spreading love they were all turned upside down, and butchered.
If they were only connected only through the head, they would have asked questions, 'What are things like this, why didn’t God save me? Why did God do like this', etc. But the connection was not from the head, it was from the heart, from the commitment.
They endured the toughest time ever in history, and then the knowledge spread throughout the world. Of course, later on the Church distorted the whole knowledge and just went with fear and guilt and fear, and forgot the teachings of the master.
It is the same with Buddhism. There is only one Buddha, but today there are 32 sects of Buddhism, and they have forgotten all the knowledge that Buddha gave.
Even with Buddha it happened, his own disciples threw a very big stone at him.
You know, if somebody is very closely and there is a deep connection, then love hate starts happening. So his close disciples, four or five of them got together and they went behind the hill and they pushed a big boulder from the top towards where Buddha was sitting and giving a sermon. The boulder stopped just a few inches in front of Buddha. He barely escaped! The entire congregation was shocked, but Buddha was unperturbed. He just smiled and said, 'They are getting over some Karma, so don’t react!' There was total acceptance on Buddha’s side.
They used to test the student in the ancient days, to see whether the student is ready or not.
But I say that only when the student is ready does he come to us.
This is another way of looking at it.
You will see like that, in our holy tradition,Adishankaracharya was a great Guru. He is called Jagat Guru, which means the Guru of the entire world, not just one country or one community.
The title Jagat Guru started coming fromAdishankaracharya. Before that nobody was called Jagat Guru. Jagat means The Entire World. He was given the title of the Guru of the entire world.
Just like Jesus Christ, he also lived only for 32 years.
As a young Sanyasi, once when he was walking and someone from a very low class who was doing some manual work came in his way. So he asked him to move. That person askedAdishankaracharya, 'Whom are you asking to move, the body or the spirit? Who should move?'
In that one moment, Adishankaracharya saw a Guru in him, in a scavenger, in a manual laborer.
He said, 'You are my Guru because you have opened a new dimension of awareness for me'.
In the ancients days, before taking someone as a disciple, they used to take a lot of tests. It is like, before putting the roof you shake the pillars to see if they are strong enough to take the load. So they used to do a lot of testing in the ancient days to see whether this person is fit to be a student or not.
If you want to go to an engineering college, you have to first give an entrance exam, isn't it. You have to give an entrance exam and only if you pass then you get admission into the college. So like that, they used to have vigorous tests in the ancient days. This is because, in those days if you take someone as a disciple and they are not capable, then they will pull you down.
If you have a horse and it is not moving in the direction you want it to move, then it will pull you in its own direction. Then you will be in trouble. The emotions of the student also affects the teacher, or the master. And if the student is depressed, angry, or upset, it pinches the teacher also, because there is connection.
Among the seven billion people on the planet today, you should feel precious and privileged because you have gotten something so precious!
There is a proverb in Sanskrit which says, 'If you make an unworthy person as your student then even you (the Guru) will go to the hell if the disciple does not listen'. But I don't believe in this going to hell.
So they used to keep it all very exclusive and very limited, but Adishankaracharya did not do that. He just opened the doors to everybody. That is why he was called Jagat Guru. And we are from that tradition.
Even here, people say, 'Oh pranayama is a secret, you should keep it only for the meditation class. And don’t give mantra to everybody, give it only to those who are ready for it'.
We said, 'No, we will make people ready and will give it to everyone. We will open the door to everyone'.
This is another way to look at it.
The tests they used to do in the ancient days was to see whether the student is ready or not. But I say that only when the student is ready does he come to us. This is another way of looking at it.
So today, when you walk around, realize that you have a something great that has been bestowed to you. You are carrying a diamond with you, you are wearing the most precious thing in your heart. Among the seven billion people on the planet today, you should feel precious and privileged because you have gotten something so precious!