Verses for Introspection

Shloka 79 shrotriyo avrjino

Ma Gurupriya

  • Shloka 79 shrotriyo avrjino

    Ma Gurupriya

The Sadguru & the Way to Approach Him

श्रोत्रियोऽवृजिनोऽकामहतो यो ब्रह्मवित्तमः ।
ब्रह्मण्युपरतः शान्तो निरिन्धन इवानलः ।
अहेतुकदयासिन्धुर्बन्धुरानमतां सताम् ॥

तमाराध्य गुरुं भक्त्या प्रह्वप्रश्रयसेवनैः ।
प्रसन्नं तमनुप्राप्य पृच्छेज्ज्ञातव्यमात्मनः ॥
– विवेकचूडामणिः ३३,३४

śrotriyo’vṛjino’kāmahato yo brahma-vittama: |
brahmaṇy-uparata: śānto nirindhana ivānala: |
ahetuka-dayā-sindhur-bandhur-ānamatāṃ satām ||
tamārādhya guruṃ bhaktyā prahva-praśraya-sevanai: |
prasannaṃ tam-anuprāpya pṛcchej-jñātavyam-ātmana: ||
– Vivekacūḍāmaṇi: 33, 34


He who is well-versed in scriptures, who is taintless and pure, who is free from desires, who is of the highest order amongst Knowers of Brahman, who has withdrawn into the Supreme, who is peaceful like fire that is devoid of fuel, who is an ocean of mercy without any motive, and who is a friend to those good people who surrender to him. Approaching such a Guru, worshipping him with devotion, when the Guru is pleased with one’s surrender, humility and service, one should ask about the Self, which is to be known.

Points for Introspection

Life in this world is transitory. However much one may possess wealth, property, luxury, comfort, a good family, name and fame, there is no security in life. Everything that one possesses may be lost at any moment.

Man finds that the happiness he enjoys in life by possessing anything is smeared with the fear of losing that. At times he feels threatened by the impermanency of life, by the fact that everything is perishable. His condition becomes like one facing a huge storm which threatens to sweep him away. He feels fearful and does not really know where to turn in order to get assurance and solace.

In his heart of hearts he cries for someone who would hold his hand and show him the anchor in life; one who would show him the way to go across the worldly ocean in which he feels he is getting drowned every moment. Seeing the perishable and momentary nature of the world, he grows more and more dispassion.

At such a juncture of life, when the heart is sincerely yearning for liberation, a fortunate soul reaches the feet of a Sadguru. A Sadguru is capable of giving relief to anyone seeking liberation from worldly miseries. He can show the way to go across the worldly ocean remaining afloat in the midst of vicissitudes. The Guru is the one who bestows fearlessness.

Sri Śaṅkarāchārya has described the attributes of such a Guru (verse 33). He says a Guru is well-versed in the scriptures. Not only well-versed and scholarly, every moment of his life he lives the knowledge gained from the scriptures. Realizing Brahman, he becomes Brahman.

The Guru is sinless. There is no narrowness in his mind. His mind is ever-expansive, limitless and taintless like the sky. This is so, because he is never smitten by any desire. He is pure and transparent. He is of the highest order among Knowers of Brahman (brahma-vit-tamaḥ).

His mind is completely withdrawn from worldly attractions and it ceaselessly dwells on Brahman alone. Desire agitates the mind of human beings. The Guru, having no desire, is absolutely quiet and peaceful. He is like a fire that has completely consumed its fuel. Above everything, the Guru is an ocean of mercy and compassion. Without any cause or motive, he feels compassion for every creature. It is his nature, and by virtue of this nature, he becomes the friend of everybody who comes to him with humility.

What should a seeker do when he has been able to find such a Guru?

In śloka 34, Śaṅkarāchārya says, having approached the Guru, a seeker of knowledge should prostrate at his holy feet, surrendering himself completely. With devotion and humility, he should worship and serve the Guru. He should take care of his needs attentively. And when the Guru is pleased, the seeker should ask whatever he wants to know about the Self.

The seeker should humbly but openly, without any reservation, speak to the Guru about his fears, doubts and anxieties; tell him about his aspirations and yearnings in the spiritual path. Most humbly, the seeker should then follow the Guru’s instructions.

These ślokas, when chanted contemplating on the meaning, generate a deep feeling of devotion to the Guru and guide one on the path of Knowledge.

Word Meaning

श्रोत्रियः (śrotriya:) = one who is well-versed in scriptures; अवृजिनः (avṛjina:) = one who is taintless, pure; अकामहतः (akāmahata:) = one who is not smitten by desires; यः (ya:) = who; ब्रह्मवित्तमः (brahma-vittama:) = a Knower of the highest order; ब्रह्मणि (brahmaṇi) = in Brahman; उपरतः (uparata:) = withdrawn; शान्तः (śānta:) = one who is peaceful; निरिन्धनः (nirindhana:) = devoid of fuel; इव (iva) = like; अनलः (anala:) = fire; अहेतुक-दयासिन्धुः (ahetuka-dayā-sindhu:) = one who is an ocean of mercy without any motive for its expression; बन्धुः (bandhu:) = a friend; आनमताम् सताम् (ānamatāṃ satām) = to those good people who surrender to him;

तम् (tam) = that; आराध्य (ārādhya) = having worshipped; गुरुम् (gurum) = Guru; भक्त्या (bhaktyā) = with devotion; प्रह्वप्रश्रयसेवनैः (prahva-praśraya-sevanai:) = with humility, surrender and service; प्रसन्नम् (prasannaṃ) = pleased; तम् (tam) = him; अनुप्राप्य (anuprāpya) = having approached; पृच्छेत् (pṛcchet) = should ask; ज्ञातव्यम् (jñātavyam) = that which is to be known; आत्मनः (ātmana:) =of the Self


यः श्रोत्रियः, अवृजिनः, अकामहतः, ब्रह्मवित्तमः, ब्रह्मणि उपरतः, निरिन्धनः अनलः इव शान्तः, अहेतुकदयासिन्धुः, आनमताम् सताम् बन्धुः,

ya: śrotriya:, avṛjina:, akāmahata:, brahma-vittama:, brahmaṇi uparata:, nirindhana: anala: iva śānta:, ahetuka-dayāsindhu:, ānamatāṃ satām bandhu:,

तं गुरुं भक्त्या आराध्य, प्रह्वप्रश्रयसेवनैः प्रसन्नं तम् अनुप्राप्य, आत्मनः ज्ञातव्यम् पृच्छेत् ।

tam guruṃ bhaktyā ārādhya, prahvapraśraya-sevanai: prasannaṃ taṃ anuprāpya, ātmana: jñātavyaṃ pṛcchet.

Verses for Introspection

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