Guru Poornima Special:

8 days remaining for gurupoornima
Guru Poornima this year is on July 31 according to Panchaang (the Hindu calendar) On this day, the Guru Tattva gets magnified a thousand times and is far more potent. Thus, if we perform qualified Sadhna, Guru Krupa can be acquired many times over. To enable you to utilize this golden opportunity to do Sadhna, from this issue onwards, I will share some special incidents and memories concerning Guru and the disciples. This should increase your devotion towards your Guru and you too might make similar efforts. This time, I am recalling for you an inspiring story extremely dear to me. This is not fiction, but a real incident.
Kabirdas was a saint of the highest order, but he did not learn anything from his Guru in the gross form. He displayed devotion towards his Guru like Eklavya and received self-realisation. All of you must have heard this couplet of his:

गुरु गोविंद दाऊ खड़े काके लागू पाय |
बलिहारी गुरु आपने गोविंद दियो दिखाय ||

Guru Gobind Dou khade, kaake lagoon paye,
Balihaari Guru aapne, Gobind diyo dikhaaye

Imagine his faith in his Guru whom he saw just once, that he even gave the credit for self-realisation to his Guru and not to God, because he had placed Guru on a higher pedestal than God himself. Only those who have tasted the nectar of Guru Krupa can understand his importance.
(Gurukrupa hi kevalam shishy param mangalam.)
And the Guru too conceded defeat in the face of Kabir’s devotion.
The story about Saint Kabirdas goes thus:
Upon noticing the fame of Saint Kabir increasing, some Pundits of Kashi grew jealous. They went to Saint Kabirdas and asked him about the traditions of his Guru. Saint Kabir said, “My Guru is Ramanand Maharaj. He only had given me the Guru Mantra and it is by his grace that I am in bliss today.” As the Pundits were jealous of his fame, so they went to Ramanand Maharaj and asked him, “A person whose caste and birth etc are not known, how did you make him your disciple?” Ramanand Maharaj said, “I have not made Kabir my disciple, I do not even know who he is.” The Pundits retorted, “But he openly says you are his Guru and that you have given him the Guru Mantra.
Before we proceed further, let us recall an incident that had taken place earlier. Saint Kabirdas wanted to receive Deeksha (initiation) from Ramanand Maharaj, but knew that he would not agree. Therefore, in the early hours of dawn one day, he lay down on a Ghat (river bank) of Ganga (Ganges), knowing that Guru Maharaj takes that route every day on his way to take a holy bath. It would be the best route to seek Deeksha, he thought. It happened exactly like that. As soon as Ramanand Maharaj accidentally stepped on Kabir’s chest, he suddenly spoke out ‘Ram Ram’. Kabirdas felt touch of His guru’s feet on his chest as His blessings and considering ‘Ram Ram’ as his Guru Mantra, went back. Now, since Ramanand Maharaj had already said that he did not know Kabir, the Pundits called for a Dharm Sabha to let Kabir down. In those days, such gatherings used to be held on the staircases of big temples, where issues of even small magnitude used to be resolved. When the meeting started, Ramanand Maharaj called Kabir and scolded him. He was standing one step above Kabir, and disciple Kabir one step below him. The followers of Ramanandi community used to keep a kind of a forcep. So he beat one against Kabirdas and asked him, “Tell me, when did I accept you as my disciple, Ram Ram?” He had a habit of saying Ram Ram in every sentence. So he pricked Kabir with the forceps and said: “Why are you telling a lie that I gave you the Guru Mantra, Ram Ram”. Hitting Kabir a third time with the forceps, he said, “Tell the truth in front of everyone, Ram Ram.”
Saint Kabirdas stood humbly before him and said, “That day my God had allowed me to touch his feet in dark and gave the Mantra of Ram Ram, and today He has given the impressions of His blessings on my back. What else can I say about His grace?” And he then showed his back to everyone, on which one could clearly see three marks caused by the forceps. Gurus are Gurus after all.

Upon seeing such devotion, tears came to Ramanand Maharaj’s eyes, and he said, “Now, even if all the Pundits of Kashi boycott me, from today you are my disciple and I am your Guru, Ram Ram.” Saying this, he embraced his disciple. Seeing tears in their eyes, all the Pundits went back embarrassed.

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