Who should one honour or worship first – God, or the Guru?
We just now sang a bhajan about this which says – “Do not see any difference between God and the Guru”. You should not see any difference between God, Guru and your soul. Despite knowing this, in our country, whenever we start any good work or do any Puja, the first thing that we chant is “Sri Gurubhyo Namaha, Hari Om!”
One cannot truly worship God without first honouring and worshipping the Guru. This is how the tradition has been since the ages.
Do you know how the Vedic mantras are chanted? Even before we start the chanting, we first recite, “Sri Gurubhyo Namaha, Hari Om!” Only after properly honouring the Guru and Lord Ganesha can one proceed to start anything. The Guru comes even before Lord Ganapati. Lord Ganapati is worshipped before all the other deities at the start of any ritual. But even before one can worship Lord Ganapati, one has to remember the Guru with honour and devotion. This is how the tradition has been woven in our culture since time immemorial.
After this comes Atma Puja, which is honouring the divinity within. It means to deeply remember that the divine dwells within oneself. Remembering that all the divine gods and goddesses reside within you is to be in a truly meditative state. Meditation is the pinnacle or the ultimate state of any Puja. After honouring the Guru and the various deities, you should sit in a meditative state. And after that, take your attention to different parts of the body and remember that all gods and goddesses reside in different parts of the body. Then you can go deep into meditation and experience the joy within.
Note – Its an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s satsung at Art of Living.