Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P-Q R S T-U V-W-X Y-Z
see also Panch Mahaa-Bhoot; Shiv Tattwa;
(1) Gist. Main points.
These are the following 24 Tattwa
Beyond these 24 Tattwa, Paramaatmaa
is the 25th Tattwa, that is why He is called Panchvinshak (who has 25).
11/19 there are 28 Tattwa
5 Karm Indriyaan - Hands, Feet, Speech, Reproduction organs, Anus
5 Gyaan Indriyaan - Skin, Tongue, Eyes, Ears, Nose
5 (Panch) Tanmaatraa - pleasures of Gyaan Indriyaan (Touch, Taste, Seeing, sound, Smell)
5 (Panch) Mahaa Bhoot - Earth, Air, Fire, Sky, Water.
1 Mahat Tattwa
3 Gun (Sat, Raj, Tam)
[Bhaagvat, 11/16, For full description of Tattwa read Bhaagvat Puraan, 11/19]
A Tattwa can be understood as an essential element of the manifest universe. The Guru Tattwa could best be described as the tendency of God to Self-liberate. Just as the manifest universe becomes more dense as it comes into being, ending with earth, the densest state of matter, there is an opposite tendency as well, the tendency of that which has been separated to rise and return. The Guru Tattwa is everything that encourages this process of rising and returning to God. It reaches its pinnacle in the Sat Guru - the being who will grant you "final liberation." However, before you meet the Sat Guru, you will meet many Gurus who are useful on the path to ultimate liberation.
In Kali Yug in the West, much confusion persists over what the nature of,
and relationship to, Guru ought to be. People yearn to do the right thing
and go by proper procedure, but under-informed in the philosophies, the
texts and the mores of the culture to which they are appealing, they go
astray willy nilly. They are convinced they need to locate their sat Guru
before they have even learned to sit in a proper meditational asana for
the needed length of time, or they abjectly surrender to the first person
labeled "Guru" that comes along and then blindly closing their
eyes to any further information that might be helpful in advancing them
spiritually. Fortunately, God is able to use even these mistakes to encourage
the process of liberation in sincere individuals, although it doesn't usually
end looking anything like the imagination declares it to look like.
A further investigation reveals several things about Guru. While it is declared that a Guru is absolutely essential along the path, what form or forms Guru takes will vary from person to person. If a person is desirous of liberation and unable to locate a Guru, one very valuable suggestion is to take Lord Shiva as one's Guru and then trust that whatever shows up is an emanation of Him. Lord Shiva is the Adi-Guru, the root Guru of all Gurus. If you self-initiate in this way and sincerely envisages whoever shows up as an emanation of Lord Shiva, you are very likely to be protected even if the being that shows up still has substantial limitations. Those very limitations may, in fact, inform and aid your enlightenment process.
Gurus can come in many forms. Dattaatreya, the father of Aghor, who was supposed to be a triple incarnation of Brahmaa, Vishnu, and Shiv had 24 Gurus, none of whom even knew that they functioned as his Guru. Just so, a person may receive spiritual help and guidance from many different beings. Sincerity is all that is required and God will locate the ways and means for transcendence to take place. A Guru may come to teach you for a while and then be on its way, or you may be on your way. As one of my teachers used to say, "You don't need to defecate in the living room to have a reason to get up and go to the kitchen." Your further evolution may take you away from a Guru that helped you. Nonetheless, you can remain grateful even if their limitations drove you away.
It is not necessary to get in a big entanglement over loyalty issues, because everything proceeds from the One and returns to it. It is true that at a certain point on the path, it may become necessary to limit incoming data since it may only confuse the dedicated mind, but this should be after adequate understanding is obtained, not before. Otherwise, one runs the risk of developing a needless fanaticism and of propagating a dogmatic conviction that may be very limiting for other beings. In general, any system that is unwilling to embrace the validity of other systems, is probably limited. As the saying goes, "It takes one to know one."
In the final analysis, surrendering to Guru is absolutely essential in order to achieve liberation, because how can you let go of you? Like Chinese handcuffs, in which the process of trying to extricate yourself binds you more tightly in the handcuffs, there comes a point on the spiritual path where all effort amounts to a further exercise in Chinese handcuffs and surrender is essential. However, such surrender will only work when it is appropriate. Such a surrender is both monumental and utterly natural and arrangement for its occurrence will be handled by Nature in the due course of time. In the meantime, in the words of Teddy Roosevelt, "do what you can with what you have where you are." It is sure to be enough.
Relationship to Guru can be analyzed by looking at the ninth house and lord, the fifth house and lord (ninth from the ninth) and Jupiter, although you may have to do a broader analysis of the chart to determine whether there is enough spiritual inclination for the person to have an active path. Here are some examples. See the charts at: http://jyotish.ws/materials/chartad.html
Swami Niranjan - Bihar
School of Yog
Professor KN Rao
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 12/15/11