Friday, September 25, 2015

Shlokas for kids - Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu

In continuing with the shlokas for kids series, the one that I am focusing on today is also an easy one. With just two lines, it praises and reveres the one that is instrumental in imparting knowledge and wisdom - a teacher. In ancient India, young boys were sent off to live with their peers and their teachers or gurus, away from their families so that they could learn everything that they would need to carry out their duties and responsibilities later in life. In this regard, the Guru took on not only the role of the teacher, but also that of a parent, a friend, a  guide and much more.
Even though the tradition of sending one's children away to an ashrama is no longer observed, teachers are still highly respected and admired for their role in the lives of people.

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णु गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः
गुरुर्साक्षात परब्रह्मा तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नमः

ಗುರುರ್ಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಗುರುರ್ವಿಷ್ಣು ಗುರುರ್ದೇವೋ ಮಹೇಶ್ವರಃ
ಗುರುರ್ಸಾಕ್ಷಾತ್ ಪರಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ತಸ್ಮೈ ಶ್ರೀ ಗುರುವೇ ನಮಃ

Gurur brahma gurur vishnu gurur devo maheshwaraha
gurur saakshaat parabrahma tasmai shree guruve namaha

The teacher is Brahma (the creator), he is Vishnu (the preserver), he is also Maheshwara or Eeshwara (the destroyer). He is the absolute( divine) and (I) pay my obeisance (homage / respect / salutations / veneration) to that teacher. 

Whether you believe in the divinity of a teacher or a spiritual leader, that depends on your world view and your faith and beliefs. But any person who is capable of guiding others, of teaching them to distinguish between right and wrong and of leading them towards knowledge is worthy of respect, in my humble opinion.

Sanskrit has a lot of sandhis (संधी ), a way of joining two words together to shorten the pronunciation.
For e.g. Guruhu (गुरुः ) Brahma (ब्रह्मा ) becomes Gururbrahma (गुरुर्ब्रह्मा )
              Tatha (तथा ) Eva (एव )  becomes tathaiva    (तथैव)

Most of the shlokas, if not all, make use of this word combining rule in Sanskrit. For a beginner,  especially for children,  Sanskrit words can seem intimidating. They are much more pronounceable if they are broken down into the component words and nothing is lost in the essence of the shloka.
So definitely try that before you give up on a particular shloka as too difficult!

Wishing you a happy and a peaceful day!

No comments:

Post a Comment