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Written by Bhagwan Sri Adi Shankaracharya

Even if you have a handsome body, a pretty wife, are blessed with great fame and have huge piles of money… But, if your mind is not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
शर�रं सरूं तथ थ कलं ु यश�थर �लं रंं नंर ुरयन ु ् नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥१॥

Even if you have a wife, wealth, children, grand children, house, relatives and are born in a great family… But, if your mind is not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
कलं रंं ूलूतलथपौ स ा ु ंहं बथनर थः स नं ेत दथ न ु ् व ृ नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥२॥

Even if you have studied the Vedas with its six limbs, have the knowledge of the scriptures at your command, have great literary acumen and can compose exquisite prose and poetry… But, if your mind is not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
षडोंथपौ ंौु नुं शथाे वथ ु े त थपौ ंवं सुूवं रुर ् नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥३॥

Even if you are honored in foreign lands, have great wealth in your homeland and you are known for righteous conduct… But, if your mind is not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
े ौं शषु नथनयः ं ौं शषु रनयः ं सौथ�थर �ंषु न�ु ं �थनयः ् ृ नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥४॥

Even if the great kings and rulers of the whole earth attend and serve at your feet… But, if your mind is not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
�नथनणडकं ू ूथक नौ् ः भ भ ृ सौथ संे ं य य ूथौथरे नौन ु ् नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥५॥

Even if your fame has spread in all directions because of your charity and there is nothing in the whole world that you can’t obtain… But, if your mind is not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
यशु नं ं ं पौ�ु ौथंप थूथपदं् ु स ा रं यतपसथौथ ु ् नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥६॥

Even if your mind is not attached to worldly pleasures, kingdoms, your wife, family, wealth and thus, you have developed renunciation and aversion… But, still if your mind is not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
ुंं ं युंं ं थ थिदरथदत थन थनुुं ं् े �ंषु ��न ु ् नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥७॥ ं ं

Even if your mind doesn’t dwell upon the forest or the home, nor in doing actions or on the body or in great thoughts… But, if your mind is still not attached to the Lotus Feet of your Guru then What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? and

What is the use?
अरणयं ं थ य ंंहं ं थयक ं ौं हं नंु व ं नं त ंवयक ् नं�ंनं कलंं ंुरुरोरङू�ं : � ं : � ं ः � ं ः � न ु ॥८॥

That blessed one who reads this octet on the Guru, Be he a sanyasi, king, bachelor or householder, and, attaches his mind to the words of the Guru, He would get the great gift of

realization of Brahman.
ंरुर� ं यः ूठं तूणयौं ह� ु ु यर ूर तव्�थर� � ंंह� ् भव क ं्थिा� थतव ूौं त्संबं ंरुरु थुयं नंु य य कलंन ु ॥९॥ ु

1. Translation was based on the following resources: • http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/gurvashtakam.pdf • http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/guru8mean.pdf • http://www.celextel.org/adisankara/guruashtakam.html 2. Vocals taken from the album ‘Sacred Chants’ sung by ‘Kosmic Music’ 3. Sanskrit text created using http://www.baraha.com/

Even disgust for the world and a burning desire for God are not sufficient. Initiation by the Guru is necessary. Why? Because it is the bringing of yourself into connection with that great source of power which has been handed down through generations from one Guru to another, in uninterrupted succession. The devotee must seek and accept the Guru or spiritual preceptor as his counsellor, philosopher, friend, and guide. In short, the Guru is the sine qua non of progress in the path of spirituality.

Swami Vivekananda in the lecture ‘What have I Learnt?’ delivered at Dacca, East Bengal, India (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) on 30th March, 1901 (Complete Works, Volume 3)

Whom then shall I accept as my Guru? शुरलयु् िदंु् थनह ु यु त्थे �नः "He who is versed in the ृ Vedas, without taint, unhurt by desire, who is the best of the knowers of Brahman.“ Shrotriya - he who is not only learned in the Shâstras, but who knows their subtle secrets, who has realised their true import. Then he must be without a touch of taint, must be Akâmahata - unhurt by any desire, should have no other motive except that of purely doing good to others, should be an ocean of mercy without reason and not impart religious teaching for gaining name or fame. And he must be the intense knower of Brahman, one who has realised Brahman even as tangibly as an Âmalaka-fruit in the palm of the hand. Such is the Guru, says the Shruti.

Swami Vivekananda in the lecture ‘What have I Learnt?’ delivered at Dacca, East Bengal, India (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) on 30th March, 1901 (Complete Works, Volume 3)