In ancient Indian tradition, a ceremony is performed prior to instruction. This is known as a guru puja. The ceremony recognizes the tradition from which the teaching comes. Such a puja typically has three parts: the lineage, offerings you would make to a guest in your home, and a celebration of the wisdom. It also serves to raise the consciousness of the teacher prior to instruction.

At the beginning of the guru puja is an invocation:

Apavitrah Pavitro va
Sarva Vasthan Gatopi va
Yah Smaret Pundari-kaksham
Sa Bahya-Bhyantarah Shuchih

“Whether pure or impure, whether all places are permeated by purity or impurity,
whoever opens himself to the expanded vision of unbounded awareness gains inner and outer purity.”

I explored this process in The Importance of Actual Yoga.


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  1. Terry Ferguson

    Thanks, David – but it’s much more than that, as was revealed to me the last time I initiated a student in the Tradition.
    Hope you’re doing well. Maybe we can chat sometime and catch up on the nuances of our Journeys.
    All the best, Terry

  2. Erin Smith

    I recently finished a course learning how to perform Guru puja and I’d love to hear more on your perspective about the subtler effects of puja on ourselves and the environment.

    1. Hi Erin
      The full process includes multiple layers – the words, the performance, the meaning, and the feeling thus incorporating multiple layers in the action.

      The integrated performance and invocation of the tradition raises consciousness and connects us to the lineage and its support.

      When teaching is then done in this context, it plants the seed deeply and gives the student a good start and deep support.

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