I am pleased to offer a few words on the significance of guru diksha and its importance spiritually, educationally and socially to the child and his quest for development.
The Guru, Spiritual Guide or Preceptor is a unique individual in the Hindu tradition. He transmits wisdom to the disciple, instilling in him duty, discipline, devotion and dedication as He guides him along the spiritual highway to self-awareness or self-discovery.
The Guru is referred to and honoured as Brahma, the energy of creation, entrusted with the role of inspiring ambition and self-development. As Vishnu, with responsibility for Preservation and Protection of Dharma and the values of religion and spirituality, and finally, as Maheshwara, entrusted with the responsibility for Destruction of arrogance, greed, hate and other negative energies and vices.
Great care must be taken in the selection of a Guru. The wisdom, knowledge, humulity and personal and social awareness must be considered and not merely academic qualifications alone. One must find a level of comfort and pure attraction towards the Guru of choice.
The first Guru is the Mother, who by her example, her advise, her love and tender guidance, affects man deepest and longest emotions. The second Guru is the Father, wo is admired by the child for his strength and knowledge and feared for the punishment he inflicts. Next is the Teacher, who leads him and guides him into the path of material knowledge. Indeed, the entire Cosmos itself, all of Creation is our Guru for we learn invaluable and permanent lessons of life from Nature around us.
But, even the best of Gurus is merely like a guide-post along the highway. A sign-post indicates the road to be followed but does not indicate anything about the ups and downs, pitfalls and obstacles on the path or road. Similarly, the Guru is only a guide. He transmits his experiential wisdom to the disciple and his duty ends there. It is the duty of the disciple to receive, to respond to and to be transformed by his Master's spiritual wisdom.
The Guru-disciple relationship is a bondshared by love and humility. There must be a special bond between the Guru and the disciple, who in turn, must be willing to engage in "guru seva" or service of the preceptor. Most importantly, the student must be attached to "guru charana kamal" or the lotus-like feet of his Guru. One needs to understand the significance of the Feet of the Guru. The feet are the lowest part of the body, which comes into contact with the ground. Bowing to the feet requires one to bend low down in an act of submission or humility. The lesson is that if we are to receive the knowledge or wisdom of the Guru, we must sit at his Feet with an attitude of deep humility and reverance. We must surrender the ego and we must give up our pride as a pre-requisite to gaining spiritual knowledge.
"If Wealth is lost, nothing is lost
If health is lost, something is lost
If Character is lost; Everything is lost"