The Teaching and the Guru Sishya Parampara
The Vedas have a vision or a ‘view’ of life and also they show the ‘way’ to live. They help us to discover the wholeness that exists in each one of us, by following a life style filled with right attitudes and values.
There is a method of teaching, a method of communication, by which the vision of the whole can be imparted to the Sishya. This traditional method of teaching began from Lord Siva and was handed down to us through the Rishis. This tradition has not undergone any change; it cannot undergo a change, because it deals with the whole. This certainly does not apply to the knowledge of the parts. All studies connected with worldly knowledge and subjects related to it, is subject to change according to advancement in research. The study never ends and is ever changing. What is considered as right at one time may not be considered so at another.
But, the knowledge of the whole differs. It is the only knowledge that can be handed down intact without the need for any amendment. Thus creating a parampara or a tradition.
Mystics do not create mystics-because they are mystics. A mystic cannot make another one equally an eloquent mystic. If he can, then there is a means of communication and therefore there is nothing mystic about it. Mystics have no tradition whereas when teaching is involved, there is communication. There can be a tradition-a teacher, a student and his or her student; Guru-Sishya parampara. Then the flow is possible.
In this world there is nothing more sacred, more purifying than knowledge. This knowledge, Arsha Vidya is like a river that flows from the teacher to the student and to his or her student and thus it goes down. And knowledge being what it is, it is always true to the object. There cannot be a second version about knowledge.
The word guru can be used for anyone who imparts us knowledge; be it the knowledge of music, dancing, language or any other subject.
Guru means the one who removes ignorance. But nobody removes ignorance completely in any subject; everyone removes ignorance only to a certain extent. In fact, in all disciplines of empirical knowledge, we find that the more we learn, the more we we do not know. So none of the teachers of empirical knowledge can be acclaimedas a guru in the real sense, because none of them removes ignorance totally. Hence if any one can remove ignorance totally, it is only the one who teaches the whole, because the ignorance of the whole is the one single ignorance-there are no parts in the whole.
Therefore, only the one who removes the ignorance of the whole, and reveals the only one means of knowledge, can be called a Guru. This knowledge of the whole does not stand contradiction; it cannot be falsified. Once known, it is known for eternity.
To remove the ignorance of the whole is the job of the guru. The first guru is the lord, the creator. We know the parampara only upto the Rishis and then we simply connect it to Lord Sadasiva or to Lord Dakshinamurti. The knowledge is first revealed to the Rishis and from them it flows to us. Therefore this Vidya is called Arsha Vidya, the vision of the Rishis.
Arsha Vidya, the vision of the Rishis is an evolved vision. It cannot be bettered by anybody because the Rishis have the last word about you. Others can regard you as a part of the total, they can describe you as little, you as mortal, etc. but the Rishis say that you are the whole, you are complete. They have the last word about you and they say that you are the last word in the creation! And so this vision Arsha Vidya can never be bettered. It is also not available for any kind of criticism and hence, it cannot be falsified. The whole is not subject to time and hence it does not come under any kind of contention. And that is why it can be handed down by a teacher to a student in its entirety. This is the only knowledge which qualifies to be called knowledge because it cannot be falsified, it cannot be improved upon, it cannot be amended. Everyone must acquire this knowledge because there is no choice in becoming anything but the whole.