[Advaita-l] Shankaracharya on 'Guru'

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jul 8 22:27:19 EDT 2017

A nice incident on this verse of Shankara:

It seems a teacher of a Pāṭhaśālā of the Madhva maṭha headed by the late
Sri Vidyāmānya Tirtha in Udupi gave up on a particular student. The pontiff
told the teacher, 'I will not agree to what you say. Should you not do all
that is required to bring the student up to the mark?' and cited this verse
of Shankara.

Dr.A.V.Nagasampige, a noted Madhva scholar, who was present at that time,
shared  this incident in a recent seminar on Shukla Yajur Veda in

On Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 7:25 AM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>

> Gurupūrṇimā is a day to rededicate ourselves to the Guru-tattvam that
> alone is the guiding principle in our quest of the truth. Shankara pays the
> richest homage possible to the Guru in the opening verse of his Śataślokī:
> दृष्टान्तो नैव दृष्टः त्रिभुवनजठरे सद्गुरोर्ज्ञानदातुः
> स्पर्शश्चेत् तत्र कल्प्यः स नयति यदहो स्वर्णतामश्मसारम् ।
> न स्पर्शत्वं तथाऽपि श्रितचरणयुगे सद्गुरुः स्वीयशिष्ये
> स्वीयं साम्यं विधत्ते भवति निरुपमः तेन वाऽलौकिकोऽपि ।।
> शतश्लोकी १
> dṛṣṭānto naiva dṛṣṭa: tribhuvanajaṭhare sadgurorjñānadātu:
> sparśaścet tatra kalpya: sa nayati yadaho svarṇatāmaśmasāram
> na sparśatvaṃ tathā’pi śritacaraṇayuge sadguru: svīyaśiṣye
> svīyaṃ sāmyaṃ vidhatte bhavati nirupama: tena vā’laukiko’pi
> - śataślokī 1
> *Translation:*
> In all the three worlds one is not able to see anything that illustrates
> the role of a Sadguru (a true spiritual preceptor), one who bestows
> enlightenment to the disciple. The philosopher’s stone is considered to
> have the wonderful property of converting iron that it touches into gold,
> instantly. But the philosopher’s stone can at best convert iron into gold,
> and not into another philosopher’s stone (that is itself). But the Sadguru
> transforms the disciple, who surrenders at the Guru
> <http://www.narayanashramatapovanam.org/component/seoglossary/2-glossary/2-guru>’s
> holy feet, into one like Himself. Hence this is a transformation which far
> excels the other one, and therefore it is not anything worldly. Thus the
> Guru is incomparable in this regard. Truly, the spiritual role which the
> Guru plays in the life of a seeker is indeed supra-worldly.
> भव शंकर देशिक मे शरणम्

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