Published On: Mon, Jul 10th, 2017

Gurupurnima – The Day of the Devotee

By His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Gurupurnima is called the day of the Master, but it is actually the day of the devotee. There are three types of people who come to the Master — the student, the disciple and the devotee.

A student goes to a teacher and learns something, gets some information and walks out of the school. There is no more information left; it’s like looking at a guidebook. It’s like going to a tourist guide. You go with the tourist guide to see a place and the guide shows you all the places. Or it’s like asking a traffic police or someone about a location. They will give you some information and you say “thank you” and it is finished there. Isn’t it? You went to primary school, middle school, you collected information; you learned about mind, you learned about computers, learned about mathematics, and learned how 2+1 is 3. The student is the one, who collects information, but the information is not knowledge, it is not wisdom.

Then, there is the disciple; the disciple follows the example of the Master. But a disciple is with the Master for the sake of learning wisdom, for the sake of improving his life, for attaining enlightenment. He has a purpose, a cause; so he is not just collecting information, but going a little deeper. He is trying to bring a transformation in his life. He wants to make sense out of his life. That is a disciple. The disciple takes some time off and according to the capacity, he or she grows and one day he or she may get enlightened.

And then there is a devotee. A devotee is not there even for wisdom. He is simply rejoicing in love. He has fallen in deep love with the Master, with Infinity, with God. He doesn’t care as to whether he gets enlightened or not. He doesn’t care as to whether he acquires a lot of wisdom or not. But that very moment, and every moment, he is immersed in Divine love. A devotee is very rare to find. Students are in abundance, disciples are a few, but the devotees are rare.

It is nothing great to become God or be God. A stone is also God. You are also God. Everything is God, God is already there, but it is great to become a devotee. Everything whether you want it or not, is already God. Devotion is very beautiful and rare. A student comes to a Master, a Guru, with tears in his eyes and when he leaves, he is still carrying the tears, but the quality of the tears is different, it is of gratitude; it is so beautiful to cry in love.

One who has cried in love knows the taste of surrender and of devotion. And when that happens, the entire creation rejoices in it.
When Krishna was leaving his body, he spoke to Uddhava. With tears in his eyes, Krishna said, “These Gopis are so beautiful and I can’t stand the amount of devotion they have; go and tell them, that only they can free me of their gratitude and of their love. I am not in heaven, I am not in temple, but where my devotees sing, I am right there.”

Devotion is something that can move even the rocks. Love is something that even the Divine rejoices in it. The Infinity longs for you as much as you long for it. It is waiting to receive you. So when a devotee flowers in this planet, God is very happy.

That is why Guru Purnima is the day of the Devotee.

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