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Today, as we celebrate Guru Purnima, in different forms and formats across the country, let's revisit the basic definition of a Guru. Guru, by definition, is a spiritual Hindu teacher, a mentor or as I see it "a lighthouse which gives directions to the ships in the endless waters".
I am a Hindu by religion, come from a god-fearing family, married into in a god-fearing family, but for a unknown reason have never been able to acknowledge the presence of god in our lives. As we were performing the puja this morning, I asked myself, who was I worshipping today? Who is my Guru? I paused for a moment and asked, who has been that constant light which guided me throughout my life, through all the ups and downs, the twists and the turns. It is that light which would be my Guru, and that's when I told myself, my parents are my Guru !!
The surprising part is, it took my 32 years to acknowledge them as my Guru. Whatever I am or am not, I owe it to them. It doesn't matter to me how the world looks at me, what the world thinks of me. Even a silent gesture from them, is enough to tell me if I am on the right path ahead. I don't think I have learnt so much from anyone else except them.
By Hindu mythology, they are the most unconventional gurus I can think of. It was never about creating or changing my belief system but accepting mine. I remember as a child, my younger sister would regularly visit the temple, but me and my brother would not. But it was absolutely fine for them. We, as a family, did participate in the religious ceremonies but the end objective was to stay together as a family and not simply perform the ceremony.
My parents never preached us moral values, it was always about setting examples. My mother displayed the highest level of patience and courage in the roughest of circumstances, which held our family together. My father's generous and caring attitude ensured we did enough for others and still be humble and not expect a penny in return.
Every day of there life is about living life happily and looking ahead. It seems as if the first thing they tell themselves in the morning is, let's have a great day ahead and they literally live by it. I have seen them smile in the most difficult situations, being sad and yet reasonable, getting angry and yet forgiving. They have moved ahead in life while staying grounded, changed with time and are still simple, have worked hard and still enjoyed life, spent time with friends and still came back to family at the end of the day.
And they did all of this together, never as individuals. During one of our childhood train journeys, a little child referred to my parents as chess board (owing to the contrast in their skin colors). We did laugh it off back then, but if you think of it, it is the contrast which makes it a chess board, it is the difference and yet togetherness which sets the strong platform for others, without sacrificing their individualities.
As I acknowledge them to be my guru's, I can feel a sense of enlightenment, a spiritual connect, end of a search..Definitely a meaningful Guru Purnima !!