“O Supreme Lord! We are both — Guru and disciple — together please protect us and amiably maintain us together at the same time. Please bless both of us with spiritual power, potency, and brilliance. Whatever spiritual knowledge we have jointly acquired let that become so potent that no one can face us in an argument. Please bestow Your blessings by which we both — Guru and disciple — do not develop envy of each other and let us forever remain tied with the strong rope of affection. O Lord, please remove the three categories of miseries and reward us peace in every way.”

om saha navavatu saha nau bhunaktu
saha viryam karavavahai, tejasvi
navadhitam astu, ma vidvisavahai
om santih santih santih


There are many categories of knowledge in this world but that knowledge, which removes the covering of ignorance of the soul, called the Upanisad, are orders to everyone about what to do, how to do it, and why it should be done. By studying the Upanisads one develops the transcendental vision to be able to see the Supreme Lord. The Yajurveda states, tam tv aupanisadam prcchami, “I look for and seek earnestly that knowledge which removes all my ignorance and allows me to know the Supreme Lord and to realize that He is person transcendental.” By knowing transcendental knowledge from which one establishes subtle communication with the Lord then there remains no more problems of life. As it is stated in the Isopanisad, tatra ko mohah kah soka ekatvam anupasyatah, “After knowing the Supreme Lord in truth one becomes free from ignorance and lamentation.”

One may wonder after one becomes devotee of the Lord do all the miseries subside? To this Chandogya Upanisad states, na ha vaisasa-rirasya satah priyapriyayor apahatir asti, “Certainly, as long as one possesses a material body external miseries and external happiness cannot not be mitigated.” One may then wonder why should one be a devotee if it does not mitigate problems? To this the Vrhadaranyaka Upanisad states, vijhanam anandam brahman, “Material miseries and happiness are temporary and ultimately end with the degradation of the soul, therefore seeking spiritual advancement and realization of the Supreme Lord should be the topmost goal of everyone because knowing the Supreme Lord rewards lasting happiness and removes miseries forever.”

Just as the source of milk is a cow and the source of sugar is sugarcane, similarly the source of transcendental knowledge is Vedic scriptures, which include the Upanisad. Just as sense objects are experienced through senses and senses are controlled by the mind and the mind’s demands are supplied through intelligence similarly ignorance within the heart is removed when one surrenders to a genuine Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master must be fully conversant in scriptural knowledge and self realized in order to impart transcendental knowledge to his disciple so the deeply rooted ignorance from the heart is removed. A disciple can realize the knowledge received from the Spiritual Master when the disciple is truly dedicated to the commands of Guru and has firm faith in him. As Lord Siva states to his wife Parvatl in the Kularnava Rahasya thus:

naravat pasyate loke sri
gurum papa karmanam

sivavat pasyate loke
bhavani punya karmanam

“O wife, those who are still sinful they see their scripturally authentic Guru as if he were an ordinary human being but those who have become free from sins and filled with merits they see that same very Guru as the Supreme Lord manifested in a human form.”

The relationship between Guru and disciple is not material. It is fully transcendental and spiritual therefore is eternal. A genuine disciple always wishes well for their Guru becaudese whatever transcenntal knowledge the Guru imparts to the disciple cannot be repaid by any material means. Therefore a disciple remains indebted to his Guru forever. Feeling obliged to his Guru a sincere disciple prays to the Lord for the Guru’s well being in every way and at the same time prays for a blessing from the Lord to remain an honest follower of their Guru. That is why this prayer includes blessings for both, Guru and disciple. Unless a disciple has spiritual potency the Guru’s instructions cannot be followed and without following Guru’s instructions one is unable to reach the spiritual world thus remaining short of fulfilling the debt to the Spiritual Master.

[Svetasvatara Upanisad, Ancient Secrets for Self-Realization, Invocation, KBS0039]

PHOTO: Svetasvatara Upanisad, Backcover