More Than One Guru
Jambavan came up from Michigan with his good wife Samvit and their great children, which adds up to 7 kids. Jambavan is an accountant. He’s also a pakha Brahmin, meaning, an exemplary priest. After our evening gathering of devotees from the Mississauga area, I chose to walk a distance from Bristol Road to Mavis and then Eglinton toward Toronto before being picked up by a party of our downtown devotees. I had time to contemplate on the greatness of this Michigan family.
What makes them great or at least unique? The proof of the pudding is in the eating, the offspring. They are not only orthodox in attire with dhoti and sari, and also hairstyle (the boys are shaven except for a tuft of hair in the back) but they all look like angels.
I guess ‘old school’ would be the best way to describe the bunch. Mom and dad are revered because they offer a soft line of discipline and a whole lot of love. Whenever the family comes up to Toronto, they seem to win the hearts of the community by dint of their simple, sweet behaviour.
Personally, I’m glad to see the sizeable number of siblings. It’s like an old Irish or French catholic family. By the way, Jambavan himself is part Polish and Italian and grew up in America. At the evening’s event, held at the home of a Punjabi family, the Grovers, he spoke a few words on the well-known verse which honours the guru, vande ham sri gurun… an invocational mantra. We find the word gurun which in reference to the guru in plural sense. He went on to explain that the spiritual master in realistic terms does not refer to one person only. In most people’s lives, your first spiritual teacher is plural. For instance, father and mother are the early ones to give guidance on the physical and spiritual path. It is often thought that the person who awards you diksa, or initiation, is the one and only guru. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The second speaker, Subhavilas, a spiritual peer, also spoke and pointed out the relevance to our founding guru, teacher for Krishna devotees worldwide, whose name is Srila Prabhupada. He is everyone’s guru. The book Bhagavatam canto 11 brings to the reader’s attention multiple gurus which includes the dog whom we learn loyalty from, and a bee whom we learn frugality from.
My walk in the dark was truly light and bright due to the fact that I have been in the presence of angels and was reminded of the gratitude that must be channeled to the multiple gurus in my life. In my own personal life I’ve been blessed with the help of several mentors who by their words and behaviour have provided inspiration.
Jaya to the many gurus and jaya to the many kids.