It is the desire and goal of every sadhaka to please his/her Guru and obtain their blessings. For those in the path of sanatana dharma, it is well known that the way to Moksha is through the grace of Guru! As dasaru has said so aptly:
“guruvina gulaamanaaguva tanaka doreyadanna mukuti”
“until one surrenders completely to one’s Guru, salvation is not possible”
The most natural question that then arises in the curious mind is “How do I obtain Guru’s blessings and protection?”
The obvious answer is that one must please the Guru and obtain his grace.
How then does one please one’s Guru?
This is a tricky question. Many believe that the way to please a Guru is to perform his shushrusha – service – and gain his pleasure. While this is true to an extent, a genuine and satvik Guru is not going to be pleased with those who only serve him.
The real happiness to Guru comes from his students following his teachings and practicing them with genuine intent.
Sri Trivikrama Panditacharya, the direct shishya of Sri Madhwacharya, has bestowed his kindness on us by revealing to us the secret to gaining the grace of Sri Mukhyaprana. In his great work – the Hari Vayu Stuti – he has composed one shloka that gives a clear guideline on earning the grace and protection of Sri Vayu.
विष्णोरत्युत्तमत्वादखिलगुणगणैस्तत्र भक्तिं गरिष्ठा
माश्लिष्टे श्रीधराभ्याममुमथ परिवारात्मना सेवकेषु |
यः संधत्ते विरिञ्चिश्वसनविहगपानन्तरुद्रेन्द्रपूर्वे
श्वाध्यायंस्तारतम्यं स्फुटमवति सदा वायुरस्मद्गुरुस्तम् || 15 ||
Sri Trivikrama Panditcharya declares as follows:
स्फुटं अवति सदा अस्मत् गुरुः वायुः
“Our Guru Vayu shall always and definitively protect”
To the question – whom? Sri Trivikrama Panditcharya says तम् – such of those…..
He then highlights the true knowledge that one must possess and imbibe that will grant the protection of Vayu.
a) विष्णोः अखिलगुणगणैः अत्युत्तमत्वात् तत्र गरिष्ठां भक्तिं
Sri Mahavishnu possesses all auspicious attributes of all categories.
He is present everywhere.
He is present at all times.
He is stronger than all.
He possesses infinite knowledge.
He is the most compassionate.
The list of his auspicious qualities itself is infinite.
Hence he possesses akhila-guna-gana.
He is also the most supreme amongst all sentient and insentient beings in this Universe.
He is sarvottama.
Hence one must possess गरिष्ठां भक्तिं in him i.e. the maximum devotion in him. None else must be more dear to us than Vishnu
b) श्रीधराभ्याम् आश्लिष्टे
Such abundance of devotion must be had towards that Vishnu who is (forever) embraced by the two forms of Mahalakshmi – Sri and Dhara.
Sri Trivikrama Panditacharya gives us the next important tattva that we must remember – the greatness and yet at the same time subservience (to Vishnu) of Mahalakshmi.
He says we must remember that Vishnu is always embraced by Lakshmi. Therefore she is equal to him temporally and spatially. However, she is forever dependent upon him. He reminds us of the dependence of Lakshmi on Vishnu by describing her as tightly hugging him with two forms!
The embrace of Lakshmi is an indication of her affection and devotion to him. At the same time it is an indication of her dependence upon him.
Hence the second tattva to remember is that Mahalakshmi is next only to Vishnu!
c) परिवारात्मना विरिञ्चि श्वसन विहगप अनन्त रुद्र इन्द्र पूर्वेषु सेवकेषु तारतम्यं आध्यायन् (भक्तिं) संधत्ते
One must possess संधत्ते devotion by meditating आध्यायन् upon the family परिवारात्मना including Brahma विरिञ्चि, Vayu श्वसन, Garuda विहगप, Shesha अनन्त, Rudra, रुद्र, Indra इन्द्र and other Devatas and jeevas in accordance with their position in the hierarchy i.e. तारतम्य. All of them are the sevakas of Vishnu!
After possessing the highest devotion towards Vishnu and understanding that Lakshmi comes next only to Vishnu, one must also develop bhakti towards the family of Paramatma. Not just that, one must express devotion towards them in accordance with their relative position in the hierarchy of jeevas.
Amongst all jeevas, Brahma is the highest. Our reverence therefore must be maximum towards him. After Brahma comes Vayu. Similarly, Garuda, Shesha, Rudra, Indra, Kama and other Devatas stand in subsequent echelons of the hierarchy.
We must develop full understanding of this relative position of jeevas and accord them respect and devotion.
स्फुटं अवति सदा अस्मत् गुरुः वायुः
Only when the above three critical tattvas are understood and inculcated in our sadhana will our Guru Sri Mukhyaprana bless and protect us!
One must also a similar approach towards worship of Gurus such as Sri Raghavendra Swamy, Sri Vadiraja Swamy and others. While offering prayers to them, celebrating their aradhana and other forms of worship are all certainly needed and fruitful, the way to earn their maximum grace is by understanding and following their teachings.
Sri Raghavendra Swamy, Sri Vadiraja Swamy and other saints have written numerous granthas propagating Vishnu Sarvottamatva and Vayu Jeevottamatva. Only when we truly imbibe that knowledge and inculcate the same in our sadhana will we be able obtain the grace of these great Gurus.