a question for the traditionalists among us

Christian Lee Novetzke cln4 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Tue May 9 20:47:40 UTC 2000


For a non-classical method, you might look one of Anantadas's
hagiographies, the Kabir Parachai, where Kabir becomes a disciple of the
guru Ramanand in a novel way:  Kabir hides on the bathing ghats of the
Ganges where he knows Ramanand will come in the morning for his bath.  When
Ramanand approaches, he trips him, causing the Guru to tumble down the
stairs crying out, "Hey Ram!".  Thus Ramanand's mantra is transmitted to
his accidental disciple, thereby initiating Kabir.  Supposedly, Kabir had
to follow this unorthodox path because he would otherwise have been refused
initiation due to his low birth and ambiguous religious status, between
Muslim and Hindu.

Like I said, not a "traditional" way, but perhaps a critique of tradition.

Christian Novetzke
Columbia University

At 04:24 PM 5/9/00 -0400, you wrote:
>At 11:55 AM 5/9/00 -0400, Steve Brown wrote:
> >Friends;
> >
> >i am curious about the methodology of finding a guru in classical
> >hinduism...How does one look?  when does one know he/she has found their
> guru?
> >how does one approach this guru? is this discussed in the Dharmasuutraas? I
> >ask only for my own purposes...not scholarly, those of seeking out a
> guru. any
> >help you can provide will be of immense help and quite appreciated
>There is a lot that can be said on this topic.  Here are just a couple
>verses I'm aware of:
>The following is one verse from Padma Purana:
>sat-karma-nipuno vipro, mantra-tantra visaradah,
>avaisnava guru na syad, vaisnavah sva paco guruh
>A brahmana (priest or intellectual) with all brahminical qualities and
>abilities is not qualified to be a guru unless he is a devotee of Lord
>Vishnu (the Supreme Lord).  While a devotee of Lord Vishnu, even if born in
>the lowest class, is qualified to act as guru.
>And one from Bhagavad-gita 4.34
>tad viddhi pratipatena
>pariprasnena sevaya
>upadeksyanti te jnanam
>jnaninas tattva-darsinah
>Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from
>him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can
>impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.
>I hope this is helpful.
>Best wishes,
>Chris Beetle

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