Guru Deva Maheshwara
Guru Sakshath Parambrahma
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha.
Guru is the creator Brahma
Guru is the preserver Vishnu
Guru is the destroyer Shiva
Guru is the Absolute Truth
I surrender and bow to the Guru.
This mantra, made famous in the West by George Harrison, was written by Adi Shankara, an Indian philosopher in the late 700s. Shankara built schools centered around the idea of nondualism, that our souls are united with God and that we are, in fact, God.
Just as the Guru of Gurus Dattatreya is the embodiment of the Trimurti, our spiritual guides are our connection to the Divine without attributes and can provide us with these gifts:
Freedom from ignorance. The Guru can give you the knowledge to help you see beyond distorted thinking and illusion to reality.
Freedom from expectation. The Guru guides us between choices to free us from conditioning, expectation and obligation so that our natural state of inner grace can remain constant regardless of what happens in life.
Freedom from ego. The Guru enables us to see that there is unity in all things. We are both in the world and the world is inside of us – the macrocosm and microcosm of life.
As we recognize the divinity in our teacher, we come to see the spark within ourselves. According to the 15th century mystical Indian poet Kabir, one salutes the Guru before God because s/he is our pathway to God.
Read more about Gurus here.