gurupūrṇimā

गुरुपूर्णिमा

Lesson 4: A Mantra for the Guru

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There are countless mantras – the simplest one being simply “Guru Oṁ” – as well as verses, hymns, scriptures, and devotional songs written in praise of the Guru.

However, some verses stand out and are widely used throughout the various lineages and traditions to honor the guru. The following verse is widely known, and often one of the first verses you learn as a child growing up in traditional culture.

It can be recited as a mantra and invokes the wisdom and blessing power of the guru. As we chant it, we align with the power of the guru, which, as the verse itself points out, is actually the power of God itself.

gururbrahmā gururviṣṇurgururdevo maheśvaraḥ |
gurursākṣāt parabrahma tasmai śrīgurave namaḥ ||

Word-by-Word Translation:

gurur: nom. sign. the guru

brahmā: nom. sign. Lord Brahmā

gurur: nom. sign. the guru

viṣṇur: nom. sign. Lord Viṣṇu

gurur: nom. sign. the guru

devo: nom. sign. god, Lord

maheśvaraḥ: Great (mahā) Lord (īśvaraḥ) = Śiva

gurur: nom. sign. the guru

sākṣāt: truly, evidently

parabrahma: Supreme Absolute

tasmai: to that

śrīgurave: dat. sign. resplendent (śrī) guru

namaḥ: salutations

The guru is Brahmā, the guru is Viṣṇu, the Guru is the Great Lord (Śiva); the Guru is truly the Supreme Absolute (parabrahman). Salutations to that resplendent guru.

Teachers: Dr. Maitreya Larios & Shambhavi Dandekar

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