… everyone and everything is (or can be if paid attention to) a Guru / Teacher!
Here’s what prompted me to write this article: I do listen to various spiritual leaders and motivational speakers on YouTube and I do volunteer in a particular spiritual organization’s events and drives that are meant for the betterment of the society and world at large. I do post links to interesting and inspiring discourses and quotes on my social media handles with the hope that such shares will inspire / help someone.
A few people who see my shares asked me if I have switched my loyalty from one spiritual leader to another!! I was a bit surprised by this question as we listen to such spiritual discourses to inculcate right values such as treating everyone equally, developing unbiased viewpoint, objective thinking, and so on in our lives and now we are talking about limiting ourselves to one person’s ideas.
In fact, all these leaders do respect each other’s work and in fact there is a commendable camaraderie among them. All are working towards the same goal of inspiring / leading people to a better, healthier, and happier life by removing wrong notions about life. Their approaches will obviously differ; some people might find one leader appeal to them better than others; it is entirely those people’s prerogative. That shouldn’t stop us from taking in good things / learning right values from everyone / everything around us.
In Rig Veda, one of the great scriptures of Hinduism, there is a saying…
आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वत्व् अदब्धासो अपरीतास उद्भिदः |
देवा नो यथा सदमिद्वृधे असन्न-प्रायुवो रक्षितारो दिवे-दिवे || 1.89.1 ||
ā no bhadrāḥ kratavo kṣyantu viśvato adabdhāso aparītāsa udbhidaḥ |
devā no yathā sadamid vṛdhe asanaprāyuvo rakṣitāro dive-dive || 1.89.1||
Meaning: May noble thoughts come to us from every side,unchanged, unhindered, undefeated in every way. May the Gods always be with us for our gain and our protectors caring for us, ceaseless, every day.
In Swami Vivekananda’s words,
“If you want to be religious, enter not the gate of any organised religion. They do a hundred times more evil than good, because they stop the growth of each one’s individual development…. Religion is only between you and your God, and no third person must come between you. Think what these organised religions have done! What Nepoleon was more terrible than those religious persecutions? If you and I organise, we begin to hate every person . It is better not to love, if loving only means hating others. That is no love. That is hell! If loving your own people means hating everybody else, it is the quintessence of selfishness and brutality, and the effect is that it will make you brutes”
So, to conclude, if we have an open mind, we can learn from everybody and everything that we come in contact with / interact with.
Below is a list of YouTube channels I follow regularly:
- Brahmakumari BK Shivani
- Chinmaya Mission (It is its founder Poojya Acharya Swami Chinmayaanada who popularised BhagavadGita through the great initiative Geeta Yajna)
- Vande Guru Paramparaam, Kuldeep M Pai
- Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
- JK Yog
- Sounds of Isha
- BnD (Bawa & Dinesh of Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living)
- Date with the Divine, Soulful Spiritual Music