It is an age old custom to offer coconuts at the feet of the
Guru. The holy man blesses the coconuts and returns one
of them to the devotee. There is a meaning behind this
practice.

There are many similarities between an ascetic and a coconut.
The third eye of the coconut symbolizes the eye of jnâna
and the divine eye of Lord Shiva. The Guru is also endowed
with the eye of jnâna or spiritual knowledge.

The human body can be divided into two parts – the field of
senses which is below the eyebrows and the field of
knowledge which is above the eyebrows. Our physical eyes
are directed towards the outer world and work at the level of
senses. It is only the eye of jnâna, which gives us the spiritual
vision and directs our sight towards God.

When we offer the coconut to the Guru and receive a coconut
from him, we seek this gift of spiritual vision.
There is another similarity between the coconut and an
ascetic. The hard, dry shell of the coconut can be compared
to the harsh external life of an ascetic which is devoid of
any worldly comfort. But the holy man enjoys an inner
bliss which is very sweet like the kernel of the coconut.
When the coconut dries completely, it detaches itself from
the shell, even though it is still within it. Similarly, living in
this world, a sanyâsi detaches himself from samsâra. It is not
the rejection of the world, it is non-attachment. He is like
the lotus which is immersed in the water, yet remains dry.
When we offer coconut to the Guru or God with an attitude
of detachment, it will save us from the illusion of samsâra.

When we offer the coconut to the Guru and receive a coconut
from him, we seek this gift of spiritual vision.
There is another similarity between the coconut and an
ascetic. The hard, dry shell of the coconut can be compared
to the harsh external life of an ascetic which is devoid of
any worldly comfort. But the holy man enjoys an inner
bliss which is very sweet like the kernel of the coconut.
When the coconut dries completely, it detaches itself from
the shell, even though it is still within it. Similarly, living in
this world, a sanyâsi detaches himself from samsâra. It is not
the rejection of the world, it is non-attachment. He is like
the lotus which is immersed in the water, yet remains dry.
When we offer coconut to the Guru or God with an attitude
of detachment, it will save us from the illusion of samsâra.

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