Saturday, July 12, 2014

Guru Poornima Diary

So excited about Guru Poornima! I can’t explain it but I’ve been waiting for it like one might for one’s birthday. Much is happening today at Isha Yoga Center, and I am not there, alas, but the multi-talented people there are super kind to those of us who live elsewhere: proceedings will be livestreamed and I will catch it online.


I came across the Guru Paduka Stotram a few years ago. It is written by the magnificent Adi Shankara to whom I bow almost as deeply as I do to my Sadhguru. It moves me tremendously, in various ways. I have tried to learn the words and can now join in recitations with some concentration. It is simply gorgeous and it’s going to reverberate all day in my room.

Here is a link to the whole thing: words, meaning and significance.


The feet of the Guru hold immense fascination for the disciple. It seems strange if you look at it, but it is so. As Shankara says: “Nalika nikasa padahrtabhyam...” Feet attractive akin to a bunch of lotuses...

It reminds me of this story that’s told of Amir Khusrau. A poor man, it is said, once came to Nizamuddin Aulia asking for alms. Having nothing at that moment to give, the saint pointed to his rather tattered sandals. The man was disappointed but nevertheless bore them away.

As he left the town, he encountered Amir Khusrau, who was returning from Delhi, his carts, camels and horses laden with royal gifts from the Sultanate. As their paths almost crossed, Khusrau scented his Master. "Bu-e-Shaikh mi aayad,” he muttered,“Bu-e-Shaikh mi aayad!" (I smell my Master, I smell my Master!). Prompted, the man told him how he could only get these sandals from Nizamuddin Aulia.

Khusrau made a trade – he offered the man his entire entourage in exchange for his Pir’s sandals. And then he came home triumphantly holding the sandals on his head. The Pir saw the footwear and asked to be told how. When Khusrau told him the price he had paid for them, Nizamuddin Aulia said: "Arzaan khareedi." (You got them quite cheap).

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