Devotion to the Guru is often expressed by adoring and worshipping His form, garlanding His idol or picture, chanting His name and holding bhajans in praise of Him. However, true devotion is not in these external demonstrations, but in absolute faith in and acceptance of every thought, word and deed of the Master as Divine. Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara—Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, the Ultimate Reality—is the firm conviction of every devout Hindu. Since times immemorial, all the sects, sampradayas and religious groups including Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism which are part and parcel of the Hindu or Sanatana Dharma, have accepted the concept of Guruparampara—the lineage of Gurus from the Supreme Divine. Guru parampara as a representation of lineage is a unique tradition in the world in which a guru passes on his or her acquired knowledge to a chosen shishya or disciple. Along with knowledge, the Guru also energises the Shishya with the Divine Power which has come down to Him from His predecessors and which He has enhanced by His own sadhana. Bhagavan Sivananda calls this Shakti-Sanchar.
Great Acharyas like Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva have established maths and installed their shishyas to continue their lineage that has originated from the great rishis. Buddha is an avatara of Vishnu and Rishabhadeva, the first theertankara of the Jains is a rishi of Rig Veda. Sikhism is an offshoot of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya spread by Ramananda and Kabir in the north and Guru Granth Sahib of the Sikhs is a compilation of devotional hymns of Hindu saints belonging to the period of Bhakti movements in Northern India. Though all acharyas trace their lineage from the ancient rishis who proclaimed, ekam sat, viprah bahudha vadanti—the Ultimate Reality is one, men of wisdom call It by different names—in the course of centuries of its existence, Hindu race has forgotten this great truth and has faced disintegration due to disunity and mutual recrimination springing from ignorance, jealousy, urge for domination and superiority or inferiority complexes of the later leaders and followers of the sampradayas or institutions. Shankara who systematized the six great religious streams—Shaivam, Vaishnavam, Shaaktam, Gaanaapatyam, Kaumaaram and Souram—and sang hymns in praise of all the deities was condemned as pracchanna baudha—a Buddhist in disguise and a nihilist as he proclaimed that God, world and soul are ephemeral truths whereas Brahman alone is true in the transcendental plane. In later days, even the followers of the different maths set up by Shankara could not see eye to eye and were at loggerheads. The Vaishnavite followers of Ramanuja were divided into ten kalai and vada kalai who fought a court case up to Privy Council in London during British rule in India to determine whether the naamam or religious mark to be put on the forehead of the elephant of Kanchipuram Varadaraja temple shoud be ‘Y’ or ‘U’. They came to fist fight against each other in a temple procession at Tiruvallikkeni on the issue whether the hymns in Sanskrit or Tamil are to be sung. Differences of opinion among the mutt heads of Madhva Sampradaya have also come to public domain. All these differences and disintegration among the followers of one and the same acharya has nothing to do with religion or devotion, but are all products or crass selfish and materialist urges, struggle for possession and domination and mutual hatred among the followers. Even religious institutions and organizations that have come into existence in the modern period have found split and division due to the urge for domination and mutual jealousy among those in authority. No greater insult could be sprung on the Gurus and the sacred institutions that they have established than disintegrating and destroying the mission of the Great Masters by the spurious followers who exploit the name of the Masters for their crass material interests and selfish urges. If only the devotees had any respect and regard for the Gurus and the Guruparampara, these internicine quarrels and squabbles would not have sprung up. Not only religious institutions in Bharat, but all religious movements and institutions that have sprung up in different parts of the world like Christianity and Islam have also faced disintegration in course of time.
Religion is that which links man to his creator and spirituality is the pathway to realize one’s oneness with the Divine. However, when religion is institutionalized and reduced to a bundle of rites and rituals, blind and superstitious beliefs, customs and practices and directed by leaders who are more interested in material acquisitions and power, it becomes an instrument of division and disintegration in the society and deterioration of the whole mankind. Addressing the Parliament of Religions at Chicago, Swami Vivekananda, the Patriot Monk of India, proclaimed: “Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.” The great rishis of yore propounded the ideal of vasudaiva kuthumbakam—the whole world is one family. How can this be achieved if people belonging to different religions, societies and nations do not realize that they are all children of one Father. My Deeksha Guru, H.H. Yogi Ramsuratkumar used to proclaim day in day out: “My Father alone exists, in the past, present and future! Nothing else and nobody else!” If this thought takes deep root in the heart of each and every human being, then that is the culmination of all religion and spirituality. Our ancient rishis wanted the children of Bharatavarsha to spread this ideal in every nook and corner of the world and thereby install Mother Bharat as the loka guru—the preceptor of the whole world.
Bhagavan Yogi Ramsuratkumar’s centenary is now celebrated all over the country and abroad by His devotees. Bhagavan never wanted to create a cult or sampradaya or a mission or math after Him. His Guru—Papa Ramdas whom He used to refer always as “My Father”—initiated Him into the sacred mantra, Aum Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram, and wanted Him to spread it. Bhagavan in turn chose this humble writer as His disciple and initiated him, turning him into a sadhu and His instrument to spread the work of His Father everywhere. In the eighties, when some youth wanted to set up an association named after Him, He gave them permission on condition that they would launch a world movement to spread Ramnam Japa Yagna started by His Gurubhagini, Mataji Krishna Bai of Anandashram, and commanded the youth to work under the guidance of this sadhu. Yogi Ramsuratkumar Youth Association was inaugurated by one of His ardent devotees from United States, Sri Lee Lozowick of Hohm Community of Arizona on December 8, 1988. By the grace and blessings of Bhagavan, this sadhu has travelled all over the country and also gone to various countries fifteen times in the last three decades spreading the message of Bhagavan. Bhagavan wanted this sadhu to be physically present by His side only on certain occasions when some thoughtless acts of some of those who claimed to be His devotees created some crisis and Bhagavan wanted this sadhu to be His instrument to set things right, but He always assured this sadhu that He was with this sadhu every moment wherever this sadhu would be, and this sadhu would be in Him all the time.
To all those devotees of Bhagavan inside the country and abroad who have been showering their respect and regard to this sadhu as the disciple of Bhagavan, we make this humble appeal: Respect all devotees of Bhagavan as His children. Do not make any distinction among them. Strive to create unity and brotherhood among the children of Bhagavan. A hundred institutions, temples and satsang samitys may spring up in His name inside the country and abroad, but there should always be the realization that all are His instruments to spread the universal message of the sages and seers of this sacred land of Bharatavarsha—vasudaiva kutumbakam—the whole world is one family. This sadhu is proud to belong to a great Guruparampara in which Yogi Ramsuratkumar and Papa Ramdas are his Guru and Paramaguru respectively. We are all children of the great Vedic Rishis of this Holy Land of Bharatavarsha, Whenever this sadhu was in the presence of Bhagavan in the midst of His devotees, and whenever some important function was taking place in the Ashram, Bhagavan used to command this sadhu to make speeches and He would always like this sadhu invoking the Guru parampara:
“Veda rishaya samaarabhya, Vedaantaachaarya madhyamaah,
Yogi Ramsuratkumara paryantam, Vande Guru paramparaam”
–“Salutations and adorations to the great lineage of preceptors of the holy land of Bharatavarsha, beginning with the Vedic Rishis, through the great Vedanta Acharyas up to my Deeksha Guru, Yogi Ramsuratkumar Maharaj!”
Aum Namo Bhagavate Yogi Ramsuratkumaraaya! Aum Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram!
Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan
[Founder Trustee, Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram &
Yogi Ramsuratkumar Indological Research Centre,
SISTER NIVEDITA ACADEMY, ‘Sri Bharati Mandir’,
Srinivasanagar, Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore 560 036
Phone: 080-25610935; Cell: 94482 75935]