Loon Lake, British Colombia

Guru Poornima is called the day of the Master, but it is actually the day of the Devotee. It is the New Year for a spiritual seeker.

There are three types of people who come to the Master:
1. The Student
2. The Disciple, and
3. The Devotee

A student goes to a teacher and learns something, gets some information and then he walks out of the school. There is no more information to be given or taken.
It is just like looking at a guidebook, or going to a tourist guide. You go with the tourist guide to see a place, and he shows you all the places and leaves.
Or sometimes, you ask someone, 'Where is the station?' they give you the information, you take it and you say, 'Well, thank you', and there it is finished, isn’t it?
You went to primary school, or middle school, you collected information; you learned about computers, you learned about mathematics, and you learned how 2+1 is 3.
A student is one who collects information, but the information is not knowledge, it is not wisdom.
If just by having a lot of information, one's life would change then it is not just information. Or that information cannot effect a big change.

Then there is the disciple. The disciple follows the example of the Master. But the disciple is with the Master for the sake of learning wisdom, for the sake of improving his life, for the sake of attaining enlightenment. He has a purpose, a cause, so he is not just collecting information but he is trying to look a little deeper. He is trying to bring a transformation in his life. He wants to make sense out of his life. That is a disciple. A disciple is still centered around himself.
So disciples take some time of their own, according to their capacity they grow, and one day they may get enlightened.

Then there is devotee. A devotee is not there even for wisdom. He is simply rejoicing in love. He has fallen in deep love with the Master, with the Infinity, with God.
A devotee does not care whether he gets enlightened or not. He doesn’t care whether he learns a lot of knowledge or not. But that very moment and every moment, he is immersed in Divine love and that is enough for him or her. A devotee is very rare to find.
Students are all over, disciples are a few, but the devotees are rare.

It is nothing great to become God or be God. Whether you want or not, all of you are already Gods. A stone is also God, you are also a God, and everything is God. There is nothing great in wanting to become God because God is already there. But it is great to become a devotee. Do you see this?
Everything, whether you want it or not is already God. But where love has flowered totally, that is a devotee. Attraction is everywhere, love is somewhere, but devotion is again rare.
Devotion is very beautiful.

A student comes to a Master, Teacher, or Guru with tears in his eyes, because there are so many problems. And when he leaves, then also he is carrying tears in his eyes, but the quality of the tear is different. It is of gratitude.
Still tears flow, but they are of gratitude; of love. It is so beautiful to cry in love.
One who has cried even once in love, knows the taste of what surrender is and what devotion is, and the entire creation rejoices it. The entire creation is longing for only one thing, transformed tears; from salty tears to sweet tears (of love).

One of Buddha’s disciples named Sariputra got enlightened. When he got enlightened, Buddha told him, 'Now you go ahead, go into the world and teach. Carry on my work'. Now Sariputra left Buddha but he was crying and crying and crying. People asked him, 'You are enlightened now, why are you crying?'
He said, 'Who cares about this enlightenment, it could have waited. I didn’t even bother about it, neither did I ask for it. The joy of being at the feet of Buddha was so great, being a devotee was so great that now I am missing it. I would have preferred that to this enlightenment'.

There is no separation, there is no difference, there is no distance, yet it has a different flavor, a different joy. That is a devotee. A devotee will never fall, he cannot fall. There is no chance for it.

When Krishna was leaving his body, he spoke to Uddhava. With tears rolling out of Krishna's eyes, he said, ' These Gopis (refering to the group of cow herding girls famous for their unconditional devotion to Krishna), they are so beautiful. I can’t stand the amount of devotion they have.'
He tells Uddhava, 'You go and tell these devotees of mine that only they can free me of their gratitude, and of their love'.
It is so beautiful that he rejoices.
He says, 'Go and tell them that I am not in heaven, I am not in temples, but where my devotees sing, I am right there'.
So devotion is something that can move even the rocks.

There once was a Zen Master who thought that he was enlightened. He went around saying, 'I am enlightened'.
One day he happened to meet one of his Masters, and the Master gave him a puzzle called ’koan’. The koan was 'The statue has eyes, and tears roll down silently'.
Hearing this the Zen Master was shaken and he said, 'There is some depth in it'.
Love is something that even the Divine rejoices in it. The infinity longs for you as much as you long for it. It is waiting to receive you. God is as anxious as you are to be near.
So when a devotee flowers on this planet, God is very happy. That is why Guru Poornima is the day of the Devotee.

Like fatherhood and motherhood, there is Guru-hood. We all have to play Guru-hood at least to somebody. We do play! Consciously or unconsciously you are all Guru to somebody. You keep giving advices and guiding people, giving them loving care! You all do this, but do it 100%, without expecting anything in return: that is living the Guru principle.
There is no difference between the Divine, the Self and the Guru. They are all one.
Think of all the things to be grateful for and ask what you want for the future and bless everyone. We receive so many blessings and we should also bless all those who are in need.