Contemporary Issues

May 22, 2017

How mankind can be benefitted.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 1:30 pm

Book 8: Chapter 14 Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana:

Functions of a Manu and other functionaries holding office in his administration.

(Collected by mprnair.)

In answer to Maharaja Parikshit’s question as to, the Functions of a Manu and other functionaries, holding various offices in his administration, during the different Manwanthras, SukaBrahmam told him, that the Manus and their sons, the sages and the Indras, as well as the diverse orders of gods, were all under the direct command of the Supreme Power in the form of His part manifestations in each Manavantara. The Manu and his whole team, carry on the administration of the universe under the orders of the Avathara of Bhagavan, in each Manwanthara. At the end of each round of Chathuryuga or  One thousand Equinoctial Cycles- or four yugas, such as Krita yuga/ Satya yuga, (avatharas- Malsya; Koorma; Vraha; Narasimhavatharas); Treta yuga,(avatharas_ ParasuRama, SreeRama avatharas); Dwaparayuga, (avatharas- Sree Krishna, Sree Balabhadra avatharas); and Kaliyuga,(avathara as Budha born in Gaaya, Khadgi/Kalkki). 1000 Chathuryugam = 1 crore and 20 lakhs (1,20,00000) Celestial years- Divine years(Divya Varsham)-or- 432 crores of Solar years or Human years.

The seers by virtue of their asceticism and austerity, discover as they are, and teach the collections of the Vedas, which are the most precious texts, carrying the details of Dharmadharma and also which forms the Eternal Sabda-Pramana in the world, studied by Time, with the help of which the truth of the eternal religion, that is really the Sanatana Dharma, Eternal Wisdom-the Road-Map to every religion in the world, is perceived. It withstood all the invasions for thousands of years, from within and out. The 4 Purusharthas and the 4 Ashrama Dharmas, coupled with Chathurvarnyam, are the 12 strongest pillars of the edifice of Sanatana Dharma, which knowingly or unknowingly we follow as Bhagavata Dharma, through the very simple Kali Santhrana Mantra (Reciting the God’s Name in devotion to Him). Further, our ancient seers and sages and many of the present Spiritual Masters like H.H. Sree Maharanyam Muraleedhara Swamigal, have given us high-end Philosophies as simple tablets, like Maha Matra Keerthan, Kali Dharma Undhiyar, besides hundreds of sweet songs. What else we need in this Kaliyuga to lead us towards the path of God, the one and only source of Eternal Peace, the pure Conscience and the Supreme Bliss.

Instructed by Sri Hari, dwelling in their heart, and fully alert in their mind, the Manus then directly propagate on the earth, in their own time piety, with all its four limbs (asceticism; purity of mind and body; compassion, and truth (they can be put together as Saddharmma). The sons of Manu of each Manwanthara, along with their descendants, from generation to generation, protect SanatanaDharma, as well as the earth. And the demi gods also, along with those others, like the Rishees- (Saptharshees), the Pitrus, human beings and other living beings, that are connected with the performance of the five great sacrifices (Pancha Maha Yajnas as Brahma yajna; Deva yajna; Pitr yajna; Bhootha yajna and Manushya yajna) enjoy a share in the sacrificial offerings and thus they too help protect SanatanaDharma. In the end of every Chathuryuga, decline happens to Vedic dharmas (VedoktaDharma) and again it is uplifted by the sages and seers, in the beginning of next Chathuryuga. Thus Eternal Dharma (Sanatana Dharma) is again propagated from these Sruti Ganas or Vedas. Sanatana Dharma will stand the test of time; it is eternal, because of its magnanimity to add values, modify the contents and delete those obsolete ones as time changes and circumstances demand, without any prejudice to our Spirituality or Culture. In due course perhaps everyone will recognize this fact, accept and imbibe the good ideals of ‘Vasudaiva Kudumbakam’, (the World is one family),enshrined in Sanatan Dharma. It is for the whole Humanity and Humanity is not separate from Divinity.

Enjoying the limitless wealth of all the three worlds (heaven, earth and the intermediate region), conferred on him by the Lord, Indra Deva protects those three worlds and sends down profuse showers in the world according to his will. Assuming the form of Siddhas, perfect beings like the sage Sanaka and his three brothers-Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara, Sri Hari imparts wisdom in every Yuga; taking the form of Rishees (seers like the sage Yajnavalkya), He preaches the cult of rituals and, appearing in the form of Masters of Yoga (like Dattatreya), Sree Hari teaches the methods of Yoga to the world. Appearing in the form of lords of created beings (like the sage Mareechi), He carries on creation; taking the form of an independent ruler, He destroys robbers; and assuming diverse characteristics such as heat and cold in the form of Time (Kaala roopam), He sometimes annihilates all. Though depicted diversely by these so-called liberated intellectuals- whose understanding is as a matter of fact deluded by Maya Illusion), consisting of so many names and forms- through different systems of philosophy, the Lord is actually not perceived by them. But Bhagavan goes on with His Srishti by Rajoguna, Sthithi by Satwaguna and Samahara by Tamoguna. Truly speaking the purpose of Avathara of Bhagavan is not only for ‘parithranaya sadhoona, vinashayata dushkrita and dharma samshapanarthhaya’, but also to spread among the people so many different kinds of yoga margas, as envisaged again in Gita etc., and to mix and mingle with His sweet devotees, enjoy their unalloyed love towards Him and in return, through His love, He reveals to them the secret of Jnana, Karma and Bhakthi to the world. More than anything else, He likes most, the Padarajas (the dust from the feet) of His Bhakthas. He is so loving and merciful to His Bhakthas.-(Karuna-sagaram). We cannot even dream of the untold sufferings He had already undergone, still undergoing and yet to undergo in future, for the welfare of His created beings, especially for the Manushyarasi (Human race). He even took the form of a boar, for us.

One Brahma Kalpa is One Cosmological Cycle, which covers a day of Brahma (4.32 billion years) and it forms part of a Mahakalpa, covering the whole lifetime of Brahma. The Aayus (longevity) of the Present Brahma is determined as 2 Parardhhas, comprising a total of 100 Divine Years, of which 50 years are over and the 2nd Parardha has just started. It means that now we are on the 1st day, of the 1st Kalpa of the 2nd Parardhha of Brahma Deva. 1 Parardhham = 1017 (Power of 10 raised to 17). Brhmaji comes with Vedas, on the 1st day of the 1st Kalpa. This is the 5116th (five thousand one hundred and 16th year) of the 28th Kaliyuga. In this Kalpa, those well-versed in the ancient lore say, there are fourteen Manvantaras. They are beautifully described in Srimad Bhagvatam, as six Manwantharas as already over, 7th as the present Manwanthra, and the remaining 7 Manwaantharas as to come in the remaining yugas.

It is good the Rulers of our World, emulate those good examples of the Manu System of Administration, with a broad perspective of the welfare of the  whole Humanity.

Jai Hind.

God Bless America.



October 2, 2015

Rukmini Kalyanam, based on Srimad Bhagavatam.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 6:12 pm


Rukmini Kalyanam.

The more we hear the glories of Lord Krishna, the more will be fortunate we are. We desire more for Him. Rukmini Devi’s Swayamvara, with Lord Krishna, is one of the best illustrations of this very fact. It is awesome.

Lord Krishna created Dwaaraka in the middle of the sea. He brought all his people there to protect them from all evils and He looked after them well. The marriage of his brother, BalaramaSwamy, with Revathi was also over, and it was time to get Lord Krishna married.

Bhishmaka was the king of Vidharba.  He had 5 sons – Rukmi, Rukmaratha, Rukmakesa, Rukmabaahu, Rukmamaali, and a young and beautiful daughter, Rukmini.  She got a lot of satsang through Sadhus, in the palace.  They talked about the creation of the Universe, about the Matsya, Kurma, and all other Avataras including Ramavatara of Bhagavan Sri Hari, Dhruva Charita, Prahlada Charita, and so on, along with singing the glories of Bhagavan.  They said, the very valorous Lord Rama has now incarnated as Lord Krishna.  They talked about the Lord’s birth, Puthana Moksha, Shakatasura Vadha, Navaneetha Lila, Brindavan Lilas, Vanabhojanam, Uddharana of Yagna Patnees, Kaliya Nartana, Govardhanoddharana , Murali Gana, Rasa Kreeda and Kamsa Vadha etc. She was enamored by the stories about Krishna, description of his bewitching beauty, strength, and his other fine qualities. She made up her mind that if ever she had a husband that would be Krishna only. The very same Lord Krishna, is now ruling Dwaraka, not so a faraway from her place.

Rukmini looked at her dad, with this intention in her mind. Her dad, very loving and affectionate to her, knew his daughter’s mind well. The 5 sons never had a chance to have satsang, so these stories didn’t interest them. Bhishmaka thought, ‘Will I be fortunate to have Lord Krishna as my son-in-law?’  The next day, in the court, he expressed this wish.  Everyone except Rukmi, the elder brother of Rukmini Devi, was happy about the decision.  Rukmi opposed to it and said, ‘Dad! Are you a lunatic? Krishna’s status is no match to us! He is pitch dark, while our Rukmini is golden. He is a cowherd. He has no education! He went to school only for 64 days!  His parents were in prison!  He is hiding from his enemies and lives inside the sea!’

Bhishmaka stopped him and said, ‘You talk nonsense, because you lack Satsang. You cannot talk bad about someone, if you don’t know him well. Go and do whatever you like.’

Rukmi decided that Sishupala, his close friend and the son of Dhamagosha (king of Chedi) was the right match to Rukmini and accordingly, he sent invitations to everyone for the wedding.   Rukmini was in the ‘kanya mantapam’ and when she learned of this news, she was

depressed and broke down.  ‘Who will meet my Gopala and convey my message to him! There is just one day to go’, she thought.  ‘Can I send the cloud as the messenger (mekha sandesa)? No! the cloud will be busy drinking the waters of the seas.  Can I send the bee (Bhramara sandesa)? No, it will be lost in the honey of the Lord’s Vyjayanthi Mala, beautiful famous Vanamala, with five different kinds of flowers.  How about my companions? No, it’s not possible in a day.  Mind is the fastest!

(Do you think it is true? Is there anything faster than wind, light and mind? Yes, there is it; we enjoy it almost every day, sometimes quite unknowingly.  Yes, it is the Karunya Vega of Bhavan. Nothing in this world can beat it’s speed. Within a split second it reaches us.)

Mind is the fastest Rukmini Devi thought. So why not I send it? If my mind goes to Sri Krishna, how can it ever return?’

One should not go in search of a Guru.  We do not have the intellect to judge a Guru. If our thirst for God is true, the Lord sends a Guru.  That was what happened here, when the Guru came in the form of a Brahmana Bhagavata, singing, ‘Kshemam kuru Gopaalaa…’. Rukmini Devi was happy. She invited the Brahmana and the girls, after paying respects, conveyed this information.

The Bhagavata said, ‘Lord Krishna would certainly be a great match to you. Don’t worry, these invitations of Sisupala’s marriage with you, are only man-made.  Don’t bother about them.  I am on my way to Dwaraka, I will take your message.’  The Guru takes the message of the devotee to the Lord.  RukminiDevi, wrote, crisp, sharp, sweet and most beautiful seven slokas, only 7 slokas,  as her message to Lord Krishna. (I think this may be the most beautiful love letter in the world, to Lord Krishna).

The Bhagavata appeared at Lord Krishna’s court in Dwaraka in no time. The Lord paid his respects and inquired. ‘I am coming from Vidarbha and I have a message from RukminiDevi.’, said the Bhagavata.  ‘Go on, read it yourself ’, Krishna asked the Brahnana.

The sum and substance of the 7 slokas in the letter is :

‘Ever since I have heard about You, my Lord, I have become completely attracted to You. Without fail please come before my marriage with Sisupala and take me away. In accordance with the family custom, on the day before marriage, I will visit the temple of goddess, Ambika (Parvathi Matha). That would be the best opportunity for You to appear and easily take me. If You do not show me this favor, I will give up my life by fasting and observing severe vows. Then perhaps in my next life, I will be able to obtain You.’

After reading Rukmini Devi’s letter to Lord Krishna, the Brahmana, took leave from there.

At the very start of writing the letter, RukminiDevi, had a debate in her mind as to how she would address the Lord.

“  ‘Swami’ ? No, he would think I am a saint.  How about ‘Raaja Raja Sree Yadukula Raja, Sri.Krishna Marthanda…’  No. it would seem like a citizen with a petition!   How about ‘Prabhu’? no it would mean I am a beggar expecting money.   How about ‘Praananaatha’? No! Krishna might think, how dare this girl address me as her saviour even before marriage!”.

Finally she picked up the word ‘Bhuvanasundara’ – a word that describes the sum and substance of the Lord’s beauty and it would prompt Lord Krishna to read further.

The letter contained answers to all of Krishna’s questions if he read the letter.

Krishna: ‘Bhuvanasundara! Hmm!  Are you entranced by my looks? Do you know about my character?’

She says: ‘Shrutvaa Gunaan!’ – I have heard all about Your character.

Krishna: ‘What have you heard about me?

Rukmini Devi:  ‘Your character is such that all the worldly miseries are lost by merely listening to them.  Only one misery (‘thaapa’) is left behind – and that thaapa is the longing to attain Your Feet. ‘

Krishna:,‘Now that you have heard about me, have you seen me?’

RukminiDevi: ‘Roopam – akilaartha laabham’ – Your form is the essence of the world.  The more I listen to Your glories, the more I get Your form in my Dhyana and that is how I have seen You. I am not an expressive girl. I am a shy gal by nature.  Now I overcome my shyness and write this letter. Please understand how desperate I am to reach You, Oh Krishna!  Not only me, any one who listens to Your glories and gets Your form in Dhyana, will long to attain You!’

Krishna: ‘You desire to attain me! Have you done enough merits to attain me?’

RukminiDvi: ‘poorthe ishta datta dharma..’. Yes Indeed I have done all the merits. But Krishna! You are not the one that can be reached by accruing merits, are You?  How can You be reached? You can be reached only by ‘aatma samarpana’ (surrendering oneself to You- Total Sharanagathy-Utter Concecration).  Here I surrender myself. Please accept me.’

Krishna:, ‘Well, If I do accept you, you are going to be in the women’s harem (Palace Cottage) and I am a king. How am I to meet you?’

RukminiDevi: ‘My marriage with Sishupala has been arranged. In our family custom, the bride will perform Gauri Pooja, before the wedding and so I will be in the Gouri Temple, and you can take me from there.’

Krishna: ‘Should I elope with you?’

RukminiDevi: ‘Nay! Only a coward does that.  You are a man of courage and valor.  Please bring Your bow ‘shaarnga’ and defeat all who oppose You and rightfully take me as ‘kanyashulkam.’

Krishna: ‘Okay, If I don’t show up at the Gauri temple on the day of the wedding, are you going to marry Sishupala?’

RukminiDevi :  ‘I will take hundreds of births to attain you. Not in one birth shall I get wedded to anyone other than you.’

Saying so, Rukmini signs ‘-Yours Rukmini Devi’.

The Lord is extremely pleased with this surrender of Rukmini Devi, gets His chariots ready and goes to Vidarbha desa followed by BalaramaSwamy.

RukminiDevi is dressed like a bride in a magnificent silk saree with borders of swan-designs. Her hair was beautifully plaited and decked with ornaments and flowers. Her earrings were moving back and forth.  She sported a beautiful ‘kasturi tilaka’ on her forehead and wore different kinds and sizes of ornaments on her neck. Her fingers shone with rings and wore a toe ring too, on her toe.  Her head was bent down and she walked at the pace of a swan, holding a lotus in one hand and her friend’s hand with the other.  She gets the blessings of all elderly women there.

Suddenly, she heard the sound of Panchajanya and sensed the smell of Tulasi. She understood that her Lord was already reached there to take her. At that moment, she saw the Brahmana – her eyes welled with tears of gratitude and she folded her hands, towards him, in all respect.  After all, can we ever repay a Guru who takes us to the Lord? No, never.

The princes waiting to see Rukmini are blinded by the glitter on the gems in her finger-rings.  As her head bent down in shyness, her curly hair fell on her forehead.  In the pretext of setting it right, she raised her forehead and her eyes met with those of the Lord.  The moment their eyes met, the Lord took her on His chariot and rode her away in a flash.  The enemies saw this with awe and wonder- the divine couple.  One of them from the enemies, shouted, ‘Hey! Krishna had taken away the bride. Let’s chase him!’.  The other, still unable to come out of the awe, ‘Oh! What a wonderful sight it was!’

When Shishupala heard the news that RukminiDevi had been taken by Krishna, he screamed aloud at Rukmi in anger, ‘I trusted that you would get me married to her.  You betrayed me!’.  Rukmi waged a war against Krishna and the Yadava, but eventually he lost the war, and out of shame, run away to a place called Bhojagatam.

Lord Krishna brought Rukmini to His parents – Devaki and Va’sudeva.  On an auspicious day, when all the Mahans, Rishis, Sadhus, Bhagavatas, Devas and other elders were present, the Divine Couple were united in wedlock. There was a grand wedding
Guruji always says that whenever somebody asks you what is the philosophy behind this story, we should tell him the truth that, Rukmini Devi here represents the Jivatma which longs to attain the Paramatma, and Lord Krishna is the Paramatma. The 5 brothers of Rukmini represent the 5 senses.  These five senses always try to get us into worldly matters and away from God.  When the quest for God is true, the Guru comes by Himself and takes the message of the devotee to the Lord. If the message is delivered by the Guru, the Lord Himself comes.  We usually imagine that it is up to go to temples to see the Lord. But the fact is, the Lord Himself comes right to our place and takes us and rescue and gives us protection. ‘Rukmini Kalyanam’ is indeed the merger of the Jivatma with the Paramatma. It illusdtstrates the Philosophy of Atma Tatwa.

Jai Sri Guru Maharaj,

OHM Sree Haraye Namaha

December 13, 2014

Serving God

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 2:18 am

Real enjoyment in life starts when you realize that the purpose of human birth is to serve God.

December 5, 2014

Some of the Balaleelas (pranks) of Krishna and the message they convey

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 7:30 pm

Krishna’s Balaleelas are innumerable. Even the thousand tongued ‘Anantha’ cannot describe them in full. Each story,when we go deep into it, conveys a secret message that the Spiritual being with in us is Real Bhagavan. We have to realize it. When we discover our own self , we find our own Lord. The Self is all and nothing exists beyond and apart. We do not search anything else, because all other things are Maya.

Putana for instance, the most fierce demoness, Kamsa sent to kill baby Krishna, attained Moksha in the last. That is the beauty of it. Even the very sinner becomes pure with the contact of Paramathma.

Yasodama was fondling child Krishna in her lap. Suddenly the child became very heavy in weight like one made out of iron. She was unable to bear the weight and so she laid down the child on the ground and went to some household work. As directed by Kamsa, a fierce demon Thrinavartha suddenly came there in the form of a whirlwind and carried away the child.The whole Gokula was filled with dust and darkness. As the demon reached the sky, he could not proceed further because of the heaviness of the child. He became powerless and since the child was holding on the demon’s neck tightly, the demon fell flat breathless on his back, carrying the child on his chest. All his limbs were scattered here and there.The Gopees and Gopaas watched the scene with awe and wonder.He was also given Moksha in the last.

Baby Krishna was very naughty. He would untie the calves of the Gopees before the milking time . He would steal their milk, butter and curds and divide them among monkeys, after eating , what they want. He made wholes in the pots hanging in the tripod. With the help of a mortar, he reaches them. The dark rooms were illumined by the glitter of his own body and jewels. Once a Gopi took hold of him red-hand and went to Yasodamma, about this mischief. Surprisingly she found child Krishna standing by his mother’s side. She felt ashamed and went home.

On another day, brother Balaramaswamy and some other boys complained to Yasodamma that baby Krishna had eaten earth.She got afraid that this will impair his health. When asked why he did so, he replied that he didn’t eat earth and if she wanted she could examine his mouth. Baby Krishna opened his mouth and Yasodamma saw the the whole universe of sentient and insentient objects , the sky, the cardinal points, the mountains, continents, seas, the whole earth, air, fire, the Sun, the moon and the stars , the seven dweeps, planets, Devas, the mind, the senses, Karma and seeds, even Brindavan and herself in his mouth. She was really surprised and understood the truth that it was Paramathma, standing before her. She lost her memory of the vision by His Yoga Maya.
She knew Krishna to be her own son and put him on her lap.

The above story exhorts the four Sidhanthas enunciated in our Sanathana Dharma Shasthra , known also by other names like the breath of Lord, our religious constitution, the strong edifice of Indian Philosophy and the like.
The Sidhanthas are:
1. The entire phenomenal world we see around us, is the manifestation of Brahman
2. With the process of continuous, contemplation, profound and repeated meditation and internalzation (Nithidhyanam) , one can commune with the Universal Force (Prapancha Shakthi) or Brahman. Other examples from Srimad Bhagvatham, are Prince Dhruva talking with Lord Sri Hari, Prahladakumara taliking with Lord NrisimhaMoorthy and Naradarshi communicating with all Devas.
3. There are two kinds of egos ( aham bodham) in man: a) the .phenomenal ego or normal ego b) higher ego (nithanda ahambodham) or eternal ego. With the blessing of a Sad Guru, using the higher ego, a true disciple can realize his identity with the Brahman.(Swaswaroopa Sanddhanam), and ,
4. The ultimate aim of human birth is none other than realizing his identity with the Eternal Self and attain Brahma. It is the only way for ‘Brahma Nirvana’.
Child Krishna liberated two Arjuna trees , in Brindaban, who were the sons of Kubera- Nala koobara and Manigreeva – and who were cursed to become trees on account of their pride by Naradarshi. Krishna got the name ‘Damodara’ from that incident.
Child Krishna’s escape from Shaktasura, Vatsaura, Bakasura, Aghasura, Dhenukasura, Pralambasura, Chanooran, Mushtikan, Arishtan, Keshi, Bhouman, Vani, Narakasura, Gardabhasura, Vyomasura, to name a few, killing all of them and giving Moksha in the end are few other stories of great interest.
He suppressed the pride of Kaliya and saved the people around the place.
He killed the huge Elephant ‘Kuvalayapeeddam’ of Kamsa and later Kamsa.
He swallowed the whole Forest Fire two times, that occurred in Vraja and Bdharika, and saved hundreds of thousands of people and cattle.
Stealing of Clothes of Gopikas is a very interesting story and the Gopika Geetham is very sweet and melodious.
His charming Music from his Flute was so wonderful that every thing in the world seemed to listen to it and enjoy.
Govardhana was blessed by Him, in a story of a conflict with Indraji.

Likewise hundreds of thousands of Balaleelas are there in Srimad Bhagavatham and in many Scriptural texts. Iscon has an exhaustive repository of them. Still, even in these days, new stories are pouring in from almost every where and they flourish ubiquitously. I am certain that Krishna is among us and that is why new stories are coming out every day. In Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple, which is known as ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntam’, miracles are happening almost every day; sometimes only few stories come out.
Do you think that we can evaluate Krishna’s immense potentiality and power from these stories, and His similar Avathara Leelas? They are really only a very minute part of His Supreme Power,which is beyond our imagination.
Srimad Bhagvatham testifies to it in Verse 21, Chapter 87, Canto 10 (Utharardham) as:

“duravagamaathmatatvanigamaaya thavaathathano :
charitha mahamruthaabdhi parivartha parisramanaa :
na parilashanthi kechidapavarggamapeeswara the
charanasarojahamsakulasangavisrushtagruhaa :

(While reading the above verse, kindly pronounce all syllables as such)

Please see even the first word used is ‘duravagam’, meaning so difficult to realize (in the sense unimaginable, immeasurable, immensely strong and voluminous). We cannot even dream of His power. The verse continues to say that some people who got over there tiredness due to the cycling of births and deaths, by immersing into the ocean of nectar-like stories relating to Him, who assumed numerous personal forms for revealing the truth about His own Self, which is very difficult to realize, and who renounced their home as a result of their company with devotees, do not aspire even for liberation. We should never try to evaluate His power. It will end like the story of the salt doll, tried to measure the depth of the sea.

His power is Anantham, Ajnatham, Avarnaneeyam. The only way out is total and unconditional surrender (sampoorna sharanagathy) at His Lotus Feet.

“Padaravindame sharanam, Guruvayoorappa Sharanam”

October 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 10:32 pm

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Kerala, India.(Phone 0471-2541716 or mobile 9847661716)

Srimad Narayaneeyam, a little introduction.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 10:25 pm

Srimad Narayaneeyam, A Little Introduction

                                           Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya:



The story goes that one day lord Vishnu gave Brahma Dev an image of Narayana. The image was made of a very rare material called Pathala Anjana Sila. Lord Brahma gave it to Sage Sutapas. The Sage handed it over to Kasyapa Prajapati. He gave it to Srimad Vasudev, the father of Sree Krishna. Sree Krishna got it from His father and it was installed and worshipped at Dwaraka. Just before Swargarohana, at the end of Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna told His minister and devotee, Srimad Udhava, that this image would come floating in the sea that would engulf Dwaraka. Srimad Udhava was instructed to request Brihaspati, the Deva Guru, to install the image at a suitable place so that it would help the spiritual uplift and salvation of people suffering from the adverse effects of the coming Kaliyuga. Accordingly, Deava Guru Brihaspati collected this Divine Image and along with Vayu, the Wind-God, went all around the world to select a suitable spot. Finally, at the direction of Lord Siva, installed it at a place twenty five kilometers to the North-West of Trissur, in Kerala State in India. Since Guru and Vayu installed the image together, the place came to be known as Guruvayoor.

According to the story told in the ‘Guruvayupura Mahatmyam’, this Temple of Guruvayoor had thus its origin in the beginning of Kaliyuga, that is about 5, 100 years ago. King Janamejaya, the son of King Pareekshit, the grandson of Pandavas, was afflicted by leprosy, as a result of the curse of serpents. It is said that that he got his disease cured after long years of worship of the Lord of Guruvayoor as advised by Sage Atreya. Later, a Pandya King built a good temple for the Lord of Guruvayoor, as he escaped from a snake-bite as foretold by Astrologers during his pilgrimage to Guruvayoor. Historically, the temple dates back only from the 17th century, by which time the temple came into great prominence. The glory of the temple of Guruvayoor came into more lime light mainly due to five great saintly devotees. These five devotees, who lived in the 16th or 17th century, were Vilwamangalam Swamiyar, Kurooramma, Poonthanam Namboodiri, Mana Vikrama Raja and Melppathoor Narayana Bhattathiri. Panamaram, Manjula etc., were also there to add their own share to the saturated devotion at Guruvayoor. Of all these, Melppathoor Narayana Bhattathiri , born in Melppathoor Illam situated on the east of Chandanakkavu Temple near Ponnani in Malappuram District, 450 years ago, in the year 1560 C E (Malayalam Year-735), by his great and scholarly poetical hymn, the NARAYANEEYAM, and his miraculous recovery from a crippling paralysis , has immortalized the temple of Guruvayoor. He was the second son of Mathrudathan Bhattathiri, a great scholar and priest. The father taught him Mimamsa and various other Sasthras. His elder brother Damodaran taught him Logic or Tarka Sasthra. He also learned Vedas, Astronomy, Maths etc., from one Madhavacharya. He married around the age of 20, the niece of Trikandiyoor Achutha Pisharodi, a celebrated Grammarian. The young Narayana, after marriage lead a profligate life of sensual enjoyment for some time.

One day, the great Achutha Pisharodi scolded him in the presence of his students for his irreligious life. It touched his heart very much and as a result he, then and there, accepted Pisharadi as his Guru. He learned Sanskrit Grammar from him. This was a turning point in Bhattathiri’s life. He was in his prime youth but his outlook in life was completely changed. He became a serious student and never cared for his physical comforts, though he was very young. During this time Achutha Pisharodi fell a victim to a serious attack of paralysis and suffered unbearable pain. Bhattathiri, the devoted disciple, could not bear the sufferings of his Guru. He therefore fervently prayed that the disease of his Guru, may be transferred to him and his Guru freed of the sufferings. The Lord was pleased and Bhattathiri accepted the ‘karam vipaka dana’ by which the sins of his Guru were transferred to him. It happened as he prayed and soon, while Pisharodi recovered, the disease made Bhattathiri a crippled person. The pain was excruciating. Sitting ‘Bhajanam’ in the temple of Guruvayoor was considered as a sure cure for paralysis and so Bhattathiri went to Guruvayoor for ‘bhajan’ along with his younger brother. During the 100 days of Bhajanam at the temple of Guruvayoor, he summarized the entire Bhagavatha Purana as ‘Narayaneeyam’. Every day he composed 10 verses and since he was severely debilitated, each composed verse, when recited was written down by his brother. Almost every verse, except the first two dasakas, until his Darshan of Bhagavan, ends with a prayer to the Lord of Guruvayoor to cure him of his illness. He requested his Lord to remove his disability so that he might walk to the temple with his legs and do pooja to the Lord, with his hands. It was with complete dedication, total surrender at the Lotus Feet of the Lord and with full Divine Providence, he began his poem. In the very beginning, the author introduces the subject to readers by establishing the identity of Lord Guruvayoorappan with Brahman, and invokes that Supreme Power. The first verse itself extols, how it is couched in a ‘samajjasa sammelan’ of beauty and devotion, equally mixed together to make it truly nectarine and sublime:

“ Sandranandavabodhathmaka manupamitham kaldesavadhibhyam……..jananam”, meaning:

There shines in grandeur, in the temple of Guruvayoor, the Lord, in truth and in reality, in the form of joy of ecstasy and jnana. It appears at first as a mere image, but on contemplation reveals itself to be the condensed essence of Consciousness- the Supreme Brahman, the ‘Sakshal Parabrahma”. HE is the ultimate end of all human endeavors. HE is non-comparable, ever beyond the limitations of time, space and measure. HE is extremely free from Maya, and whose nature, the numerous texts of Vedas seek to reveal. HE is the source of liberation through Purusharthas, to seekers. Wonderful indeed, is the fortune of mankind (to visit HIM at Guruvayoor)- ‘Hantha Bhagyam Janananm’. The last 3 words of the first verse, ‘Hantha- Bhagyam- Jananam’, are immortalized since they are inscribed at the entrance of the Shrine and we can see them there even now. All the remaining verses, one by one, are equally or even more beautiful. It may be noted with the deepest indebtedness in this context that while 330 billions of gods (muppathimukkodi devathakal) are waiting in queue in Vaikuntam, the original colorful abode of the Lord, to have a glimpse of a His Darshan for a moment, we can have it here at Guruvayoor, lavishly in abundance for hours together, if you want even almost always. Even the gods feel jealous of us. It is really, ‘Hantha Bhagyam Jananam’!!!! . We are lucky. Since it is the original Image that is kept in Guruvayoor, Guruvayoor is famed as ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntam’.

Narayaneeyam is his masterpiece. It is like a condensed form of famous Bhagavatha Purana. The subject matter of the extensive Bhagavatha is summarized and re-cast in Narayaneeyam, in his original, inimitable and elegant style. Srimad Bhagavatham carries 18, 000 verses, but they are condensed to 1036 verses in Narayaneeyam, divided into 100 dasakas in 12 Catos. Each dasakam carries approximately of 10 slokas. Both as a poem (kavya) and as a devotional hymn, Narayaneeyam occupies a very high and top place in Sanskrit literature. Unlike other hymns, it also exposes more great truths of Vedanta. It is a rare literary masterpiece in Sanskrit, using as many as 18 meters, and poetic devices for creating sound effects through Anuprasa, Yamaka, different allegories etc., and also using effective figures of speech, puns, witticisms and the like.

‘Kaliyamarddanam’, ‘Rasacreeda’ etc., are some of the examples of his marvelous pieces of poetic beauty. It is also a rare hymn of devotion, probably the longest hymn in Sanskrit. As a literary piece it is pre-eminent. As a unique hymn, saturated with Divine Bhakthi, it is unparalleled. In addition to being a devotional work, Srimannarayaneyam contains the gist of all Upanishads and is therefore a work of great significance from the Vedantic point of view also. He has transformed sublime philosophy into scintillating poetry. We cannot imagine the audacity of a young man in his twenties, attempting a summary of Devarshi Vyasa’s Srimad Bhagavatham in Sanskrit hymns, with such a literary beauty, devotional content, and Vedantic insight.

On the 100th day Bhattathiri had a vision of the Lord in the form of Venugopala, with exquisite beauty and grandeur. The 100th Dasaka composed on that day gives a graphic description of the Lord, as he saw in his vision, from Bhagavan’s head to foot. It really defies description. It is known as the famous ‘Kesadipada Varnana’ of the Lord. The 100th Dasaka starts beautifully with the verse:

“Agre pashyami thejo nibidda thara kalayavalee……..mandalaischa.” , meaning:

I see before me with my mortal eyes, a bluish radiance excelling the beauty of kayampoo flowers. It is like a most attractive ‘teja punjam’-radiant light; I feel like bathed in nectar or amrt. In the midst of that radiating luster, I see the Divya Tejas of a child, a budding youth, with resplendent beauty and grace. I feel really astonished and wondered to see His ornamented and most beautiful ‘anga-prathyangas’. I also witness Naradadi Rishis, (1008) Upanishads in the form of Apsarasses, around His ‘Prabha Mandalam’. Until that time he was appealing to the Lord at the end of every verse to cure his disease. After the wonderful Darshan, he forgot that request throughout the slokas in the last and the 100th Dasaka, not knowing himself that he was free from the incurable disease and was hale and healthy. He submitted his precious gift of Narayaneeyam, at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, in November 1586 (28th Vrischikam 762, Sunday, Malayalam Year), as denoted by the kaliyuga samkhya word, ‘ayurarogyasoukhyam’, seen as the last word in the last sloka of Narayaneeyam, at the young age of 27. In commemoration of this great event, we celebrate ever since gratefully, 28th Vrischikam of every year as ‘Narayaneeyam Day’. Somehow or other, the book reached readers’ accessibility only in the year AD 1851. It is believed that he lived a healthy life at the ripe old age of 106 and wrote many more Sanskrit works on Grammar and Devotional hymns and acclaimed by many Scholars as ‘Abhinava VedaVyasa’. Some historians affirm that he must have lived at least up to the age of 86. The immortal composition Narayaneeyam is so named for two reasons, as mentioned by the poet himself in the last verse of the last dasaka. First, it is due to glorifying Lord Narayana, and secondly it is composed by Narayana Bhattathiri.

Unlike in Vyasa Maha Bhagavatham, here the poet himself is the speaker, who sings before Lord Guruvayoorappan, in a sublime tune about His glories and prays to Him, in person. It is unique that in a temple within our reach, witnessed by hundreds of people like us, Bhagavan cured an incurable disease of His devout Bhaktha. This proves that He is Immanent and Omni Powerful. The temple is full of saturated Divine Power. It is no wonder that every day Bhakthas are getting new experiences from there. Hearing the ‘Parayana’ or reading of Narayaneeyam is also believed to possess the wonderful power of healing of illness, both mental and physical, of Devotees. The ‘Nithya Parayana’ of Narayaneeyam is supposed to give ‘ayurarogya soukhyam’ to its listeners. Dedicated to the ardent service at the Lotus Feet of Narayana, the presiding Deity of Guruvayur, Brahmasri Melppathoor Narayan bhattathiri, who gave the world this great devotional Hymn, ‘Srimad Narayaneeyam’ is really a ‘Maha Purush’. His devotion is unshakable. He is affectionate to his fellow beings. He wants to reveal to them, the greatness and superiority of his self-chosen path of Devotion to the Lord, so that they are also encouraged to adopt the same path for God-Realization. Inspired by an incessant flow devotion to the Lord, the poet’s thoughts and feelings find eloquent expression in theses holy verses in praise of His Sportive Incarnations, aswell. Narayaneeyam is truly an outstanding monument to Bhattathiri’s deep insight in Vedanta.

Narayaneeyam has been translated into different languages , including Tamil. Narayaneeya Sapthaham, like Bhagavatha Sapthaham, is conducted in Guruvayoor Temple by Devaswom invariably on every Narayaneeyam Day. Devotees also arrange to conduct Sapthaham and many other poojas based on Narayaneeyam, as offerings to God. In certain other temples and in many houses, they are used to conduct ‘Narayaneeya Parayanam’ in different places on several occasions. Besides being a general prayer, it also works in certain places as a panacea for all ailments mostly with impairment or loss of motor functions of nerves. Innumerable devotees flock at the Guruvayoor Temple and offer worship to the Lord, reciting this hymn of prayer in the firm hope, belief, and trust that they would be cured of all their ailments. ‘Narayaneeya Archana’ or even ‘Kesadipadavarna Archana’ is supposed to be a panacea for rheumatism. The increase in the number of devotees, day by day, in hundreds of thousands, in Guruvayoor, is clear evidence that Bhagavan answers their prayers favorably in time. HE will never leave His Bhakthas in trouble, who resort to ‘Sharanagathy’.

Bhagavata Dharmam

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 10:23 pm

Srimad Bhagavatham and Bhagavataha Dharma, a little Introduction.

                            OHMNAMO BHAGAVATHE VASUDEVAYA:

Srimad Bhagavataham, some light on it :

At the outset, before going into Bhagavatha Dharma, by this part of the Srimad Bhagavatham discourse , I intend to say a few words with a view to little acquaint ourselves with this great Purana, Srimad Bhagavatham, written by Krishna Dvaipayana Veda Vyasa, which is essentially the natural commentary of Vedanta Sutras, transcended from Lord Maha Vishnu. It includes the life and teachings of Lord Krishna, amidst His innumerable avataras and Leelas, wherein the Lord takes a particular form for a given purpose, at a given time and place. Indeed Srimad Bhagavatham is the path way to Reality, which can be defined as that which does not undergo any change whatsoever in all the three periods of time namely , the past, the present and the future. It takes us to Absolute Truth or Brahman. The most wanted prerequisite to spiritual advancement is Faith; we must be faithful to our word, deed and God.

Bhagavat Gita extols:

‘Dhanyathmani pasyanthi, kechidalmana,malmanad’,

Meaning :

We must meditate up on God, for only meditation refines our intellect and expands it to realize the Supreme Spirit, that dwells in every human being. It is meditation which can lift us from the mundane existence or Prakriti to attain one’s true self or Purush or the inner consciousness, which is nothing but the manifestation of Divine –Self. The Vedanta Sutras as enshrined in Srimad Bhagavatham, is based on 5 Principles. The first one is Iswara, Bhagavan or God or the Supreme personality of God-head. The second Principle is Jeeva, the individual living entity or Spirit-Soul. The third is Prakriti or matter. The 4th is Kala; or Time, and the fifth and last Principle is Karma or Action.

The word ‘Purana’ literally means ‘narratives of ancient times’. Puranas are books of mythology. They reflect the social, political, religious, and artistic culture ofIndia. The universal truth of devotion, justice and generosity portrayed by the role models in the ancient Indian context hold the same significance today. The narratives , therefore , create deep impressions in our minds. The puranic stories reveal that before every incarnation , there is a collective appeal to the Lord in the form of prayers from the good people aswell as Devas. They seek the Lord’s help to re-establish Dharma, after killing the wicked people. These prayers become the punya, because of which the lord assumes a particular form for a particular purpose. Ithihasas are epics or history. Really speaking both Puranas, like the 18 main ones including Srimad Bhagavatha, which is really mythohistorical, and ithihasas, like Ramayana and Mahabharatha, are the practical parts of Vedas. Vedas are truly theoretical. They both combine to make our Scriptures rich and great.

Puranas are expected to have ‘Pancha Lakshanas’ or 5 lakshanas or definite Parmeters, such as :

“Sargascha ,prathisargascha, vamso, manvantharanicha,

Vamsanucharitham, chaiva lakshananamthu panchakam”.

But Srimad Bhagavatham is ‘Dasa lakshana’. It has 5 more lakshanas.

Thus the total 10 lakshanas are :

1. Sargas consisting of creations, ie the uthppathi of Jagath, the origin of Jgath.

  1. Prathisargas, (Cosmogony)containing extension of subsequent creations and the Pralayas.
  2. Vamsas describing the details of lineage or family tree, so to say
  3. Sthanam or description of the sustenance or existence of the Jagath.
  4. Poshanam, describibg the Grace and Compassion of God in respect of prospects of Jagath or Abhivrudhi of Jagath. (Jagadabhivrudhi)
  5. Uthayas or Uthis, depicting the latent impressions leading to Karma, Karma Vasana, and its strength and sagacity.
  6. Manvanthara(Cosmology) or the origin of Manu and its description consisting of history of dynasties called Vamsanucharitham(Chronology)
  7. Ishanukatha are stories extolling the glories various Raja Vamsas and different Avataras of God
  8. Nirodh describing the various paths for getting Atma Jnana, by destroying the Ahamkaras that stand on its way, and finally,
  9. Mukthi or Liberation, the returning to God to become one with the Asraya or the Lord Himself. …‘Bhakthya Bhagavatham Jneyam

Bhagavatham is the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Bhakthi Mahatmya. It is also said to be the ‘Vedasarasarvaswam’. It is written in the form of poetry. Also, as we explore we can see great heroes and heroines of the Indian culture and tradition , like, to mention a few, Dhruva, Prahlada, Harischandra, Viswamitra, Bhagiratha,Krishna, Kunti, Bhishma etc. They are still the role models for the Indian people. The subjects treated are those of Devatas, dharma, cosmology, art etc.

Srimad Bhagavatham, as already said, is originated from Lord Sree Maha Vishnu. He gave it to Lord Brahma in the form of 4 Slokas or ‘Chathusloki’. We can still see these 4 Slokas from 33 to 36 in Chapter 9 of the 2nd Canto (Skanda) in our Bhagavatham. This Chathusloki is said to contain the quintessence of Vedas. Lord Brahma passed it on to Brahmarshi Narada. He handed over it to Brahmarshi Veda Vyasa, who made 18,000 slokas out of the original 4 slokas of Lord Sree Maha Vishnu. He divided these 18,000 Slokas into 12 cantos (Skandas), consisting altogether 335 Chapters. Brhmarshi Veda vyasa taught it to his son Shuka deva, who handed it over to King Pareekshit. Some more transfer stories are there regarding the origin of Srimad Bhagavatham, as said by Shuka deva in some other contexts, like, Sanmkarshana Moorthy, passed it on to Sanatkumaras, they in turn gave it to Maharshi Samkhyana, and Brihaspathy, who gave it to Sage Parasara , then Prasara transferred it to his disciple Mythreya, who gave it to his disciple Vidura etc. When the whole Bhagavatha is narrated to the listeners in the course of 7 days , it is called ‘Bhagavatha Sapthaha. Shuka deva conducted the first Bhagavatha Sapthaha, 30 years after Sri Krishna’s Swargarohana. After 200 years, Gokarna , a true Brhmin Devotee, conducted the 2nd Sapthaha. 30 years after that, the 3rd Sapthaha was conducted by

the Sanaka brothers. Hundreds of thousands of Sapthahas are conducted ever since and they are being still conducted in through out the world. ‘Sapthaha Vidhi’ lays down how it should be conducted and it narrates its Mahatmyam (merits) aswell.

It is also said that Adisesha spread Bhagavata in Patala (Present UP?); Brihaspathy in Swarga (Heaven); Sage Parasara on the Earth; and the 4 Sanatkumaras (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, and Sanatkumara ), beyond the worlds of Swarga.

In Vysa Maha Bhagavatham there are 18, 000 Slokas in 335 Chapters, contained in 12 Cantos or Skandas. The first 6 Chapters are earmarked to extol Bhagavata Mahatmyam, or the merits of Srimad Bhagavatham and the Sapthaha Vidhi etc. In the 12 Cantos (Skandas), various stories including the glories of Sri Hari are vividly described. Canto wise breakup with some important topics, can be summarized as follows:

The first Canto , known as Adhikari Skanda , consists, mainly among other things, of the details of Puranas, who made them and who are eligible to listen to them, Kunthi Sthuthi , Bhishma Sthuthi etc. This Canto has 19 Chapters.

The second Canto, known as Sadhana Skanda, describes Lord’s Leelas, the towards Bhakthi, the Cosmic manifestation etc. It has 10 chapters.

The third Canto describes the various principles and the immense diversity in the creations. It consists of 33 chapters.

The 4th Canto, known as ‘Purusharthas’ deals with Dharma, Artha,Kama and

Moksha, supported by the stories of Dksha Yajna, Dhruva Charitha, Pruthu

Charitha, Upasana of Nirguna Brahma and the story of ‘Pracheena Barhi’ etc.

It has 31chapters.

The 5th Canto, is the Rishabha Avathara, consisting of the story of Jadabharatha,

a very Sreshta Devotee of the Lord, the creative impetus etc. There are immense references of Astronomy and Geography in this Canto. This has 26 chapters.

The 6th Canto, which is the Central One of the 12 Cantos, and so treated as

most important one, deals with the prescribed duties of mankind, mercy of the Lord, also proving that HE is mercy incarnated through the story of Ajamilan; Narayana Kavacham, Vruthrasura Charitha etc. It has 19 chapters.

The 7th Canto contains the story of Bhaktha Prahlada, the Science of God etc. It has 15 chapters.

The 8th Canto conveys to us the stories of Gajendra moksham, Amrutha Mathanam, Vamanavatharam, Malsyavatharam, withdrawal of the Cosmic Creations etc, with 24 chapters.

The 9th Canto, consisting of 24 chapters, deals with the story of Ambareesha, Harischandra, Rama Charitha, Yaduvamsanuvarnana , Liberation etc.

The 10th Canto is voluminous and the longest Canto with two parts of 49 and 41 chapters each, carrying the stories of Krishnavathara, Kaliya marddana, Gopika geetham ,Kesi vadham, Rugminee vivaham, Bana yudham, Sruti geetha etc.

The 11th Canto has 31 chapters covering general history, the description of the multitude of more than 28 Avatharas of the Lord, the multi faceted forms of various types of worship to God, Devasthuthi, the relation between Atma and Samsara, the lakshnas of Bandtha and Muktha, the greatness of Satsang, Bhikshu geetha, Kriya Toga etc. A person singing singing this Canto is supposed to attain the transcendental devotional service of the perfect sages [the paramahamsas] for the destination.

The 12th and the last Canto, carrying 13 chapters deals with the age of deterioration, Kali Dharma Niroopana, Bhoomi geetha, description of the 4 types of Pralaya, Brahmopadesa, the famous Boon given to Makkandeya by Lord Siva, the greatness of Bhagavatha etc.

The above 12 Cantos are supposed to be the various parts of the Body of the Lord Himself.

“Srimad Bhagavatha-khyoyam Prathyksha Krishna Evahi”

Srimad Bhagavatham is the Bhagavan itself.

It is for protecting His beloved devotees from the clutches of Kali. It establishes the fact that there is only one scientific truth and that is Brahman, the only one Reality. Maya conceals Brahman and projects the universe. Just as everything seen in a dream ceases to exist as soon as the dreamer wakes up, the universe ceases to be real when Brahman is realized.

After the Dhyana Slokas in Srimad Bhagavatha, Brahmarshi Veda Vysa takes us to Naimisharanya, supposed to be the Brhmanda Kendra, the centre of this Universe, where Shaunaka and a number of great Sages were conducting a sacrifice on the banks of Holy Ganges, to be completed in the course of a thousand years , with a view to realizing the Lord, for the total welfare of the humanity, as a whole. The great Sage Shukadeva, who got Srimad Bhgavatha from his father, Brahmarshi Veda vyasa, happened to lead the team of sages doing the Yanjna. Shukadeva was a Pramahamsa, a self-realized soul, with tremendous spiritual power and devotion to Lord. On the humble request of King Pareekshith, to enlighten him about the highest Truth about God, Shukadeva narrates the story of Srimad Bhagavatham as Sapthaha. Shukadeva assures the King that he will soon be freed from all worldly anxieties and troubles. It so happened in the end, aswell. Tens of hundreds of stories like this are there in Srimad Bhagavatham, and each story conveys important messages aswell.

Bhagavatha Dharma is contained in these stories. All the devotees of the Lord are Bhagavathas. Bhagavatha Dharma is Bhagavan or Deva; Bhaktha or devotee and Bhakthi or devotion. It shows the interrelation among these three. It explains the Devotional duties through which mortal beings could be rid of all fears. The observance of this Bhagavatha Dharma is the very essence of Srimad Bhagavatham and it will take one to the ultimate goal of God Realization. The 1060 axioms on ‘Bhagavatha Dharmam’ is written originally in Malayalam, by Sadguru Srimad Abhedanandaji Maharaj, of the well renowned Ahbedasramam, atTrivandrum,KeralaStateinIndia. Sampoojya Swamiji underwent Samadhi and the present English translation is done by one of his chief disciples and a great friend of mine, Shri P. N.Balakrishnan Nair , retired Accountant General , an orator and writer of many spiritual books, including ‘Satsanga Peeyoosham’, a collection of Upanysas in Vedanta. The Bhagavatha Dharma contains 1060 Suthras (Axioms)which bring out the essence of Srimad Bhagavatham. They are not a verbatim interpretation of Srimad Bhagavatham, but they are precious gems from theoceanofSrimad Bhagavatham. As far as we are concerned, the thing is that the meaning of these axioms can be fully understood only when contextually applied as and when we study the hundreds of stories in Srimad Bhagavatham, one by one, and apply them then and there. We have only started the Dhyana Slokas, Kunthi Sthuthi, Bhishma Sthuthi etc. from the introductory chapters. There are six chapters in the introduction itself. The axioms can be meaningfully understood, only when studied simultaneously with the advance of our lessons. With out learning the stories, relevant contexts, environments , time periods and events, it seems not befitting to explain those axioms now. So, we may do it, according as our study of Srimad Bhagavatham, progresses, in due course.


Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 10:20 pm

The Story of an intimate friendship.

M P R Nair.
There is a saying that there is nothing in the world that is not n Srimad Bhagavatham. It may be a little exaggeration, but we know it is almost true. It is only true to say that what Sage Vyasa did not write about, does not exist. Amidst that multitude of subjects in Srimad Bhagavatha, there is a very beautiful story of a most intimate friendship between two identical persons of almost same age. They were like maternal twins, of the same age and almost difficult to distinguish one from the other. They were Krishna and Udhava. Uddhava was the closest friend and right-hand of Krishna since childhood. He was Krishna’s cousin, being the son of Devabhaga, who was the brother of Vasudeva, Krishna’s father. Udhava was born at around the same time as Krishna and sent from Mathura to Vrindavan as an infant to be a playmate to Krishna. From then, Uddhava became the most intimate friend and follower of Krishna. Their intimacy began to deepen from the day on which Krishna and Udhava arrived in Mathura, after Krishna’s 14 years of stay in Vrindavan and Gokulam. They went together to Sandeepan’s Ashram at Avantheepuram, for Gurukula studies. Their friendship went on with more and more intimacy, day by day, for more than a century till Krishna had his Divine Ascent (Swargarohana)at the age of almost 125, still both appearing as young as 16. Both of them were in Dwaraka, at that time. Udhava was also a disciple of DevaGuru, Brhaspati, son of Maharshi Angiras, for some time. Some texts show that Udhava has another name as ‘Pavanayadhi’; might be derived from the disciple-hood of Brhaspati, I don’t know how that name came. Very often Udhava was mistaken for Krishna, because of his true similarity.
The whole spiritual world is deeply indebted to Krishna for his two invaluable Gitas. One, the Bhagavat Gita, the crown jewel in Sree Mahabharatha and the other, the Udhava Gita, the crown jewel of Srimad Bhagavatha. Bhagavad Gita is a part of Mahabharata. It is the advice given by Krishna to Arjun on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It contains the essence of the Vedas and is the most popular of all the Hindu Scriptures. It contains 18 chapters. It is one of the most widely read and revered of the works sacred to the Hindus. It is their chief devotional book, and has been for centuries the principal source of religious inspiration for many thousands of Hindus. It is a dramatic poem, which forms a small part of the larger epic, the Mahabharata. It is included in the sixth book. please see more(Bhismaparvam) of the Mahabaharata and documents one tiny event in a huge epic tale.The Bhagavad Gita tells a story of a moral crisis faced by Arjuna, which is solved through the interaction between Arjuna, a Pandava warrior hesitating before battle, and Krishna, his charioteer and teacher. The Bhagavad Gita relates a brief incident in the main story of a rivalry and eventually a war between two branches of a royal family. In that brief incident – a pause on the battlefield just as the battle is about to begin – Krishna, one chief on one side (also believed to be the Lord incarnate), is presented as responding to the doubts of Arjuna. The poem is the dialogue through which Arjuna’s doubts were resolved by Krishna’s teachings.
Krishna gives nearly a two and half hours’ advice or instructions to Arjuna, standing in the midst of the Armies of Pandavas and Kouravas, coming nearly to 93 lakhs of people, at the Kurukshethra Yudha Bhoomi. In the latter, it was sermonized to Udhava at his private and personal meeting at the Prabhasa Kshethra, where Krishna was alone, preparing for his Divine Ascent (Swargarohana), after the war. Bhagavat Gita contains about 700 verses while Udhava Gita has nearly 1030 verses (to be exact, from verse 40 of Chapter 6, Canto 11 to Chapter 29).The Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of Hinduism. It teaches the non-sectarian universal spiritual philosophy on the metaphysical science of the highest Reality. It gives us the knowledge of the higher Self, and answers to two universal questions: Who am I, and how I can live a happy and peaceful life in this world of dualities. It is a book of wisdom, yoga or spiritual growth that inspired Thoreau, Emerson, Einstein, Gandhi and many others. Whereas Udhava gita is called the farewell message of Lord Krishna, a parting discourse, and is meant for those students who have first thoroughly studied both The Bhagavad-Gita and the Bhagavatham. Bhagavat Gita is kept as a hand-book of Manual for ready reference, by hundreds of thousands of people in India and in some part of the world abroad,irrespective of age, gender, caste, creed or color. Udhava Gita is a saga depicting the unique love and friendship that existed between Uddhava and Krishna. Both put together, paves way to ultimate Brahma Jnana. Our subject today is not either of the Gita; it is only regarding friendship.
For Uddhava, Krishna was his very life-breath and for Krishna, Uddhava was his dearest friend- ‘Atma Mitra’ or ‘Param Sakha’.In Krishna’s own words to Uddhava:
“na thathame priyathama, aathmayonir na sakara:
na cha sankarshano na sreer naivathma cha yatha bhavan.”(Bhagavatam-11-14-15) Meaning, my dear Udhava, neither Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Lord Sankarshana, the Goddess of Fortune, nor indeed my own self, are as dear to me as you are.
The following episode happens when Uddhava, sent on a mission by Krishna to Srigaalava Vaasudeva of Karavirapura. He was an impostor king claiming to be the only Lord Vaasudeva (Vishnu) on earth and forcing everybody to worship him. Udhava falls in love with the impostor’s niece Shaibya, a gorgeous young woman thoroughly devoted to her uncle. But Krishna goes and beheads him in front of her eyes and she is enraged at both Krishna and Uddhava. Before all this, Acharya Shvetaketu, the foremost disciple of Saandiipani (guru of Krishna and Uddhava) sees Shaibya near his guru’s Ashram and gets thoroughly infatuated with Shaibya, so much that he even leaves his Ashram to go after her to eventually become impostor Vasudeva’s sidekick, just for her sake. But she keeps waiting for her uncle’s permission to marry him, which never comes. After killing the impostor uncle, Krishna brings Shvetaketu to his senses by persuasion. That is the time when Uddhava also gets infatuated with Shaibya. Krishna was around 21 years old at that time. Invariably, same is the age Udhava too.
That night Krishna felt very concerned about Uddhava. During all the time that they had lived together from the days of their infancy, he had never seen Uddhava so constrained, and so absent-minded, behaving so strangely. Though a man of a few words, he had been open-hearted, quiet, self-effacing, always radiating warmth. With Damaghosha and Balarama, Krishna had travelled in the first chariot; Shaibya and her maids were in the next. The Acharyas followed in other chariots or on foot, while Uddhava, being in charge of the caravan, rode around all the time on the horse-back. At night, however, he came as usual to wherever Krishna happened to be waiting for him and, walking arm in arm or lying side by side as was their wont, they would exchange their impressions of the day. But a little after they began their journey, Krishna had sensed the change, though not clearly at first. As the days went by, a new mood seemed to possess Uddhava, and, during the last two nights, he had purposely kept away from Krishna, invariably avoiding his gaze even during the day-time. Because Krishna had insisted, Uddhava had promised to come that night and had done so. After a short conversation, both retired to sleep. Balarama was already fast asleep, breathing with heavy evenness. But Krishna, who usually went to sleep as soon as he closed his eyes, kept awake, for he found that his friend was tossing uneasily from side to side in his sleep. After some time, he sat up, drew closer to Uddhava and placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder with a gesture of infinite tenderness. Uddhava woke up with a start; Krishna enveloped him in his arms. Udhava hugged him only coldly. ‘Uddhava, I want to talk to you. Come,’ he said.Uddhava got up and followed his friend to a cool place nearby. Udhava was found nervous.’My brother, you have become different these days,’ Krishna said softly.Uddhava startled a little and Krishna noticed it. ‘Do I look different? You are mistaken’ he said with a forced smile. ‘Uddhava, what has come between us? Have I done anything to offend you?’ asked Krishna.’You would never offend me, and whatever you do, I will never take offence. Have you any doubt, Krishna?,’ he asked anxiously.’No, Uddhava. That is why I want to know what troubles you.’ Krishna felt a tremor passing through Uddhava’s frame.’I will try to understand it for you,’ said Krishna. ‘Since we left Karavirapura something has happened to you – something which had not happened to you before.”Nothing has happened to me. I was with you all the time,’ replied Uddhava again with a forced smile. Krishna smiled and said,’That is what I want to know. What happens to you and why, when I am with you? I see you feel a want, a sense of loss, a self-defeat – which you never did before. Tell me, Uddhava. Don’t try to conceal it.’ Krishna pressed Uddhava to his heart. Uddhava hesitatigly told.’If you want to know, I will tell you. I am tired of life. I want to give up this life and return to Badari Ashram,’ he said and paused as he found he was unable to express himself clearly.’Why turn an ascetic? We are here to affirm life, to rise above it, not to deny it,’ said Krishna.’You can do so, for you are a god. You are born to dominate life,’ said Uddhava helplessly. ‘I am not.’ ‘Life was meant to be lived. Even the venerable Parashurama said so. And both of us have lived it well so far,’ said Krishna.’I have no desire to live well, Krishna. Don’t make me more unhappy by having to confess it. I have made up my mind,’ said Uddhava, his eyes full of a silent pathetic appeal to Krishna not to probe into his heart any further.’Brother, you can’t be unhappy just because I want you to share your unhappiness with me,’ Krishna suddenly stood up and gathered Uddhava to his breast as a thought struck him. ‘Have you become infatuated with Shaibya?’ he asked.Uddhava hid his face on Krishna’s breast. ‘Krishna, don’t ask me.”I have gone mad. I have sinned. I have been untrue to you’. Krishna, finding his pathetic situation, comfoted Udhava with kind and loving words and advised him phylosophically. Their intimacy incresed double fold.
The next day Krishna asked him a for a favor. He asked Uddhava to visit Vrindavan, where Krishna’s soul mate Radha resided, and to give her a message. Uddhava gladly agreed. After all, getting to do a special assignment for no one else but Krishna, the divine one, was an honor. When he was ready to leave, Krishna smiled and waved him goodbye. Uddhava asked about the message and Krishna said he had none. Uddhava was surprised. He sat in chariot and started on his way, but he could not help wonder what would be Radha’s reaction. He was sure Radha would be very angry at this. He did not want to see a problem in Radha and Krishna’s relationship. So just before he entered Vrindavan, he got a parch-paper and wrote a hi-hello message to Radha and forged to look like it came from Krishna.
On reaching Vrindavan, he did not have problem finding Radha’s house. She gave him a warm welcome. After he settled, he handed over the message, hoping she would not examine the message in too much detail. For a moment Radha stared at the parch-paper and then she started laughing hysterically. Uddhava was confused. He asked Radha what was the matter. She said the message Krishna wrote was funny. Uddhava pretended surprise and asked what was the message. “The message says Uddhava’s study is still not complete.” replied Radha.On listening this, Uddava was stunned.‘How could she have known this?’ he wondered. Radha calmed him down.“I love Krishna and trust Krishna in ways beyond you can imagine.” She said “We are two bodies but same soul. There is nothing to be said in between us. We have walked the path of trust, love, devotion and sacrifices for so long that there are no boundaries in my being and his. He does not need to send me messages. He is my message. He is my love letter from the universe.”“But Uddhava, you have not learned to trust Krishna. You have not learned to give up your self, your ego, and stop your manipulating mind. You ego stands between you and the truth. Between you and the supreme awakening.”
“Erasing the sense of duality and being one with the universe, being one with the one who beholds universe, is this not the jist of the sacred ancient texts, Uddhava?”
Uddhava was speechless. Within a minute, Radha had explained the the deepest mysteries of life. He just wanted to stand there and listen.He spent the whole day at her house. She talked about life in layman’s terms of love and truth. But Uddhava found answers to his most profound questions in philosophies he learned all this life.Radha’s answers turned all of Uddhavas learning upside down and inside out and presented to him as a paradox, a paradox his doubting mind could never grasp. Uddhava’s ego surrendered. The constant chatter of thoughts at the back of his mind stopped and he saw a totally new world at the same place. An eternal, peaceful world where everything seemed OK.On reaching Dwaraka,Krishna smiled and said “So let’s talk about your title Maha-rishi.”“I am not that interested in the title anymore. ” replied Uddhava and bent to touch Krishna’s feet. Krishna rose from his throne. He hold on to Uddhava’s shoulders and smiled at him. ”Your journey is complete. You have arrived. Uddhava, I bestow you the responsibility of writing down my teaching in simple language for all those who do not have luxury of spending their life trying to be Maha-rishi. You will share the gems of knowledge that do not belong to any title such as Maha-rishi. “And for this great contribution to humanity, hereafter you shall be known as Maha-rishi.”
There in the end, as advised by Krishna, Udhava went to Badari Ashrama and spent the rest of his life in spreading and glorifying the name of his Atma-Thozhan.
His most important request to Krishna was:
“soham mamahamiti mooddamathir vigadda-
sthwanmayaya virachithathmani sanubandhe,
thathwanjasa nigaditham bhavathayathaham
sumsadhayami bhagavannanushadhi bhrthyam”(Bhgavatam-11-7-16)
Meaning, O my Lord, since my consciousness is merged in the material body and bodily relations, by Your illusory energy(Yoga Maya),I am thinking, “I am this body, and all of these relatives are mine.” Therefore, my Lord, please teach me,Your poor servant, how I can very easily carry out Your instructions to become detached from worldly affairs (sarvasanga parithyagi), and to attain Jeevan-mukthi.
Lord Krishna is the Supreme Being, mercy incarnate. The awesome personality of Sri Krishna even after playing down his Superhuman magics, is really wonderful and extremely strange to understand and analyze by anyone

The 24 Gurus in Srimad Bhagavatam.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mprnair @ 10:17 pm

The 24 Gurus referred to in Srimad Bhagavatham.

                                         Ohm Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.
                       The 24 Gurus referred to in Srimad BhagavatHam.
                                                                   (M. P. R. Nair)
The present day life calls upon us to have an unusual degree of courage, awareness, growth, happiness, and prosperity. But, it is not an easy joke. Loads of difficulties are increasing day by day in our life, in spite of all our efforts. Life has series of problems such as poverty, disease, broken relationships, unhappy marriages, loneliness, depression, and prosecution and so on and so forth, besides, global suffering and natural disasters like earth quakes, floods, famines and tsunamis and the like. Some of them are very difficult to solve. It may not be so easy to get a right Spiritual Master for all to show the right path, either. Here comes Srimad Bhagavatham to help us to a great extent amidst many other things, with the story of 24 Gurus from the open nature, whom we can keenly observe and learn from them many helpful hints to solve many of our problems. The process of solving problems may perhaps be augmented if we keep up some of the basic requirements such as our unconditional love towards God with the ultimate aim of attaining Brahma Gignasa through Dharma Gignasa, and then selecting the righteous path of Pravarthy Marga, through the proper Nivarthy Marga. Dharma Gignasa involves righteous living and Brahma Gignasa enables us towards achieving Self-Realization. Nivarthy Margas are like taking wise decisions after Sravanam, Keerthanam, Mananam, Nitidhyasam and Dhyanam etc., and Pravarthy Marga is in executing things in the most systematic, righteous and perfect way, without prejudice to anyone.
Canto 11in Srimad Bhagavatham teaches us about whatever we want in our lives. One of the reasons for the eleventh Canto to be known as the crown of Bhagavatam, is because it contains innumerable discourses and Upakhyanas, with simple illustrations as to how we could live a fearless life. Swami Vallabacharya beautifully expounds the uniqueness of this Canto since it talks about liberation to both the Lord and the common people or jivas. The Lord became Srimad Bhagavatham to play in the hands of normal mortals like us, and in due course liberate the jivas. This canto deals with Bhagavatha Dharma for a common man. It is Sage Shuka elaborating on Bhagavata Dharma.
Amidst them comes the beautiful story of 24 Gurus. It is in Chapters 7, 8 and 9 in Canto11. (Nearly 109 Slokas). The scene is just before Swargarohana of Lord Krishna. Udhava’s all efforts to retain Lord Krishna here in Bhooloka, during Kali Yuga, failed miserably. He was also in utter disappointment when he heard from Krishna that he was not taking him to Vaikuntam, either. He appeared for one moment as ignorant of the fact that Krishna is always there and that Bhagavan has just finished only His duties of one of His many Avatars. We know the truth, aswell as Udhava, that there is nothing as wonderful and sweet as Krishna’s name in this whole world. Udhava is a typical example of a common man though he is Krishna’s cousin and a Sishya of Great Brhaspati. So many instances are there in Srimad Bhagavatham, wherein he puts doubts regarding so many silly things to Krishna. I think Vyasa Bhagavan intends him as a representative of us. Every time you can see Krishna patiently describing to him the situation and clearing his doubt as if to a very close and intimate friend. If we closely watch, we can see that every time he is asking Krishna for a short cut also, as some of us do to our elders. However, finally Krishna advised Udhava to do ‘Sarvasangaparithyaga’ through ‘Sannyasa’. Spontaneously, as usual, he told Krishna, that he was ignorant and that he was always indulged in thinking about his body, created by Krishna’s Yogamaya, and all things related to the body such as his relations and his possessions. He added that his consciousness was merged with his body. So, he asked Krishna to kindly teach him the easiest method by which he could attain the Sarvasangaparithyaga through Sannyasa as He advised.
Bhagavan told him: “Those who do Tatwa Vichara to find out truth, by self and deep deliberations, gradually and eventually lift or raise his atma by his atma itself, from external sensory pleasures or mere worldly pleasures. Bhagavan exhorted him to liberate his soul from worldly pleasures or mere sensual pleasures.”
Gita puts this more nicely, like:
“Udharedatmanaatmanam, natmanamava sadhayel,
Atmaiva hyatmano bandhu , ratmaiva ripuratmana”, (Gita 6-5)
Let one raise the self by the self, and not let the self go down, for the self is the friend of the self and the self is the foe of the self.
Bhagavatham continues,
Guru of atma is atma itself, especially for man, he is his Guru, because by seeing, by observing and by inference, he clears his doubts and attains prosperity gradually. Those bold and brave ones, specialized in Samkhya and Yoga, recognize and distinguish, the omnipotent atma or soul, distinctly. Somany bodies are created here, with one to many legs and without legs, of which I like best, the body of man. Here Bhagavan makes the reference of the conversation, regarding 24 Gurus, between the Maha Tejaswi Dattathreya, Paramgnani Avadhootha , a wise, handsome and brilliant young Brahmin, wandering fearlessly, throughout the length and breadth of the world and the Dharma Tatwa Gnani King Yadu, son of Yayati, the forerunner of Krishna. When asked where did he get the extra ordinary intelligence and power , though he is wandering like a mad boy and doing nothing, the Brahmin said to Yadu, that he had many Gurus accepted by his own intelligence and they made him such a ‘jeevanmuktha’. He began to narrate the details of those Gurus and the lessons he learned from each of them.
The details of the 24 Gurus (Spiritual Masters) and the lessons learned from them as told by the Paramgnani Brahmin to King Yadu can be summarized as follows:
1.The Earth: (We feel smell because of the Earth; there is no smell, if there is no Earth)
From the earth I learned a sober person should never be distracted from progress on his own path even if he is harassed by other living beings, because they are acting helplessly under the control of God. He should consider it as his fate. He should be as steady as the earth. The earth teaches us ‘sahana shakthi’, (power of endurance). So the earth is called ‘sarvam saha:’ We should pardon others as Earth pardons. This is why it is called Bhoomimata, the mother earth. We have to learn ultimate ‘Kshama’ (patience) from Bhoomi. Like the mountain and the tree, he should dedicate himself to the service of others. We learn lessons by observing the way material nature, with its living and non-living components, functions.
2.The Air: ( We feel the sense of touch or ‘’sparsha’, because of the Air )
‘Pranavayu’(Breathing air) sustains our gnana, mind and words and so we must eat only that much required to sustain our pranavayu. A yogi or a transcendentalist may be surrounded by innumerable material objects possessing good and bad qualities. But like the wind he should never be entangled by them. When the wind carries different aromas, it never mixes with them. It is functioning only as a career and it is independent.
3.The Sky :(We hear because of the sky; if there is no sky, we will never hear any sound)
Though the sky extends everywhere and everything rests within it, it does not mix with anything. The soul and Supersoul have the same quality. The sky is never implicated or affected by the blowing action of the wind. In the same way the living entity or the Brahman in a Muni, is wide spread, indivisible, is never affected like the sky, though it may enter a body of material elements. Like the sky is not affected by clouds and wind, the atma or the soul, is not affected by the body, made of the ‘Panchabhoothas’ or the five elements like Prithuvi, Ap (water), Tejas, (fire) Vayu and the Sky.
4.The Water: (We feel taste or Rasam, because of water) It is a fact that one cannot live without Air and Water. 75% of the Earth is covered by water. Living being contains 70% of water. Since we cannot live without water, water is also known by the name ‘Jeevanm’.
The saintly person is like water , the most powerful detergent or cleaning liquid in the world, because he is free from all contamination, gentle by nature and when speaking creates a beautiful vibration like the flowing of water. By seeing, touching or hearing such a saintly person, the living entity is cleansed as if coming in contact with pure Ganga water
5.The Fire: (It is said that we feel the shape or form of things because of the presence of Fire.)
Even if a saintly person eats contaminated food by chance he is not affected, like the fire that burns up contaminated substances that are offered to it. Like fire, he is sometimes concealed and sometimes revealed. As the spiritual master, he burns up the past and future reactions of his disciples. The Supreme Soul is like fire in that He enters different bodies as fire manifests differently in various pieces of wood. Like the flickering fire, the waves of time flow constantly and imperceptibly bring with them birth, growth and death. But just as nobody can follow the changing pattern of a flame, no one can see the changes wrought by time upon them.
The Atma, with the help of maya created by itself, enters into different forms like devas and animals, and as if fire enters into different types of wood, it appears to simulate their ‘dharmas.’
6. The Moon:
Though the Moon waxes and wanes, it is not affected by this “change.” Similarly the living entity or atma, is not affected by the invincible changes of the body brought to it from the time of birth to the time of death.
7.The Sun:
A saintly person can accept a material thing with his senses and at the appropriate time he gives that thing to the proper person. So also the Sun evaporates water and returns it to earth as rain. Sun and saint are never entangled by this. A yogi accepting the sense objects renounces them at the right time. The sun is reflected in many objects but is never divided. Also the soul is reflected into various bodies but is always one and the same.
8.The Pigeon:
A certain pigeon once in the forest built its nest in a tree. He dwelt there for some years with a female companion and their children. As attached partners in their household they were with their hearts full of affection tied together. One day seeing his wife and children captured, by a hunter and thinking that without them life was not worth living, out of excessive attachment, the ‘madappura’ chose to be captured by the hunter. This teaches us that one should never lose oneself in excessive affection or deep and close association with anyone, because one thus indulging will have to suffer great distress. Man is not aware of the rarest human birth, by which one can liberate easily.
9.The Python:
He does not make arrangements for food, and he will not go in search of food either, but waits for food to come to him. It eats the food, without even looking for the quantity, quality or taste. A sadhaka should eat what he gets, sumptuously like this. He must be ready to starve for many days if such a situation comes, considering it as his ‘prarabdha karma phala’. People say that once the python takes its food, it can remain without food for six months. This exemplifies peacefulness and patience
10. The Sea:
Just like a tranquil sea, the saintly person, being full of knowledge, is never disturbed. He should be happy and pleasing in his external behavior. Internally he should be most grave and thoughtful, because his knowledge is immeasurable and unlimited. In all respects he is like the tranquil waters of the unfathomable and unsurpassable ocean. The sea has no change when rivers or streams come and join it. Similarly a saintly person should be calm and quiet, in pleasures and pain. Always ‘Shantham’.
11 . The Moth:
A silly man is captivated by a woman’s charm, gold, jewels etc., just like a moth is captivated by a flame and burns in it. It ends its life in the flame. A saintly person should realize that a woman is a ‘Deva maya’.
12. The Honeybee:
A renounced person who begs a little food from different houses is like a ‘madhukari’, or honeybee, or ‘Bhramaram’ (vandu). Also a honeybee takes nectar from different flowers, little by little. It is not greedy. So also an intelligent human being takes the essence of different scriptures. But a saintly person should not become greedy and collect too much of anything edible or food for future. In the same way, a saintly person should collect wisdom also little by little from various Scriptures. But, at the same time we should not hoard money in excess like the honeybee collects honey in excess, which is totally taken by other people later.
13. The Elephant:
A saintly person should remember how the great bull elephant is captured by the she-elephant; therefore he should never desire to touch the body of a young girl(with any bad intentin) even if it is made of wood. We should remember the story in Mahabharata, of Rishysringan, Son of Hirani, once happened to be in the track of women.
14. The Honey-thief:
When honey is stored in excess by the bees in honey combs, honey thieves take away them, killing all the bees inside. In the same way, when misers hoard money, robbers steal them, sometimes even killing them. A saintly person should never hoard money and go into danger. But, at the same time we must be austere and prudent also.
15. The Deer:
They are bewildered by the sound of a hunter’s horn, and thus are caught and killed. A renounced person should never become attracted by mundane sounds like sensuous music, especially the sweet singing and dancing of beautiful women. The deer is so beautiful. Really speaking seeing one such a beautiful deer itself is a most pleasant experience. One, who loves God, should love His creations also, not to speak of such an exquisitely beautiful deer.
So many things we can observe and study from the poor helpless animals, instead of killing and eating them. It is really a horrible herbicide (Killing of Guru).
16. The Fish:
They are caught on the hook by their uncontrollable tongues. A learned man should control all his senses by first controlling the tongue, which is the most powerful sense of all. If you win your tongue, you can succeed almost everywhere.
17. Pingala:
Once there was a prostitute lady in the Kingdom of Videha. She gave up her plans for earning money the bad way, out of frustration. Feeling satisfaction from her abandonment of material desires, she could remember Krishna and became peaceful forever.
18. The Kurara Bird:
One day a small hawk was holding some meat. A group of large hawks, who were unable to find any prey, attacked the small hawk. At that time, being in danger and out of fear for his life, the little hawk gave up his meat and experienced actual happiness. In the same way, a ‘Bhikshu’ should not also hesitate to give away, if one desires what he possesses, if the situation so warrants.
19. The Child:
A small child is happy due to ignorance, and a saintly person is happy due to having surrendered all to Krishna, without any attachment to anything.
20. The Young Girl:
Receiving a prospective bridegroom and his party, on a day when her parents were away from home, she went into the kitchen to prepare food for them. While beating rice, her bracelets jangled, and she was afraid that the young man would think her family was poor because she was doing all the work in the home. She broke all the bracelets except two on each arm, but these also jangled. She then removed one from each arm, leaving only one on each arm. Thereafter she worked in silence. All went well. So too, when many people live together, there will be clashing of interests and fighting. It is better to live alone. The Avadhoota studied this fact from that Kanya.
21. The Arrow-maker:
The devotee should be so absorbed in the Lord that he does not see duality, just as the arrow maker was so absorbed in his work of making a straight arrow that he did not notice the king passing by.
22. The Snake:
He makes no home for himself, but takes over the homes of others, having eaten them. A sage should similarly make no endeavors for his own shelter. He should be like a wanderer. You know, whatever you study, how much you learn from Scriptures or anywhere, it will never be as equivalent to getting knowledge by travelling and seeing the lives of people , all over the world. It will be the greatest experience in the world, because you are seeing and learning life in flesh and blood.
23. The Spider: (Oonanabhi)
God is like the spider because He creates the whole network of the cosmos from his own potency, and then withdraws the whole into Himself. This reminds me a small story. Robert Bruce was a King. He was defeated by his enemies many times. At last he ran away and hid in a cave. While in the cave, he watched a small spider repeatedly jumping to tie one end of the web at a point to make its nest. Really it was tired, but collecting all the remaining strength and power, it jumped again, this time tying the end of the web, at a point. It then made the net work complete. This opened the eyes of Robert Bruce and gathering all his forces he attacked his enemies and win the war in the end. The spider was his Guru..
24. The Wasp:
The wasp trapped a caterpillar in his hive. Inside the hive, out of fear and ‘vairagya’, the worm, in course of time took on the mentality of a wasp, and thus became a wasp in the end. This illustrates how one attains, what one’s mind is fixed upon.
The Avadhoota said to the Yadu King that from studying the life activities of the various animates and inanimates as narrated above, I have learned everything about the Self. The nature is an open book, who keenly observes it with providence. Let us not ignore anything in the nature as unimportant. The grass we tread mercilessly may perhaps contain the plants, ‘Mrtasanjeevani’, that can sometimes give back our life. Our culture is to see some ‘amsa’ of divinity in anything and everything

April 20, 2010

Sanathana Dharma, yet another perspective

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — mprnair @ 6:10 pm

M P R Nair.
Little Introduction:
The entire edifice of Indian philosophical thought, known as ‘Sanathana Dharma’ is founded firmly on Vedas. It is the perennial wisdom of ages. Vedas are the original Scriptures of Hindu teachings, and contain spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life, also for the mankind in general. They can be really supposed to be the basic constitution of all religions. Humans did not compose it and hence it is known as ‘apourusheya’. They have stood the test of time. ‘Veda’ means wisdom, knowledge or vision. The laws of Vedas regulate the social, legal, domestic, and religious customs of the Hindus to the present day. All the obligatory duties of the Hindus at birth, marriage, death etc. owe their allegiance to the Vedas. The Vedas are mainly compiled by Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana around the time of Lord Krishna.
Sanathana Dharma, embracing Vedas, draw forth the thought of successive generation of thinkers, and so from time to time according as the situation demands, essential things are added on to it, unnecessary things are made obsolete from it and requisite modifications suitable to the time are brought to it periodically to keep it always new, fresh and most useful to man, without even any damage to its pristine glory. It is handed down through generations by the word of mouth from time immemorial by ‘Mantradrashtas’ or Rishis of the yore, as ordained. It is very strong and everlasting. No one can destroy it. Since it is intended for the well being of all people on the mother Earth, hopefully one day the whole world will accept it, irrespective of caste, creed or color, as a panacea. If the world is to live in peace and prosperity, it is also absolutely essential to propagate and cherish Sanathana Dharma. I believe that as long as Sanathana Dharma is there, nothing will happen to Hinduism, whatever may be done against it by anyone, since they are one and the same. We need not worry much about that, provided we trust, imbibe and follow its doctrines strictly, and put it into practice truly, sincerely and with dedication.
Sanathana Dharma has numerous connotations. Literally Sanathana Dharma may mean eternal righteousness. It is really Vedic Dharma. Dharma denotes duty. Dharma also means virtues, righteousness, natural laws, giving alms, sa`th etc. There is also a famous axiom, ‘Dharmo rakshathi, rakshitha’, meaning, one who protects Dharma, is protected by Dharma. “Ahinmsā Paramo Dharma”, meaning, non-violence is the chief of all Dharmas. Any type of cruelty is also considered as Adharma. ‘Dharmam chara’ is used to mean Practice righteousness — act according to your Dharma. Now, Dharma is a complex word with innumerable meanings.

Sanathana Dharma is a perennial philosophy. It is supposed to be the breath of Lord, and hence it is natural and ubiquitous and hence people who love Sanathana Dharma, love nature also. It extols love towards God and hence it is Supreme Dharma, by which the heart of man achieves his highest welfare. It is Eternal Faith. It embodies all ancient Hindu Scriptures, and it is Vaidika Dharma, embracing Vedic injunctions. Though it is very vast and exhaustive, at the core of Sanathana Dharma, we can find four fundamental doctrines to follow, namely:-
1. The entire phenomenal world –the perceptible universe – Drshya Prapancham, with all its diversities consisting of every animate and inanimate object of creation, is only the manifestation of ONE single Divine Ground, known as BRAHMAN, and apart from that they are all nonexistent.
2. Human beings can, not only acquire knowledge about this Divine Ground by study of Scriptures, observation, reasoning and inference, but can also realize its existence by a direct communion with it through contemplation and meditation.
3. Man possesses a double nature of which one is a phenomenal ego confined to the body, mind and intellect, and the other is higher Ego, which is the Eternal Self, surpassing the limitations of all earthly concepts of self-identification. It is possible for man through spiritual practice, and Divine Grace through Guru’s blessings, to realize his identity with the Supreme Eternal Self, the BRAHMAN.
4. Man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose; and that is to realize his identity with the Eternal self and thus attain the undivided, unitive knowledge of the Divine ground –BRAHMAN, and act accordingly.
BRAHMAN is the only one Scientific Supreme Truth and it forms the Akhanda (Infinite), Nithya, Sathya, Shudha, Budha, Mugdha Swaroopa or the Omniscient and Omnipotent.
The word ‘BRAHMA’ literally means ‘to grow’ or ‘to expand’ or ‘swell’. Adi Shankara puts it as the quintessence of his philosophy: “BRAHMA SATHYAM; JAGAT MITHYA, JIVO BRAHMAIVA NA APARAH”- Brahman (the Absolute) is alone real; this world is unreal; and the Jiva or the Individual soul, is non-different from Brahman. The forces opposed to Vedic Dharma were more numerous and powerful at the time of Adi Shankara than they are today. We owe him so much on that account, because without him Vedas would have remained inaccessible to us. BRAHMAN is not an object, it is the Subject- the only Subject and the Essence. It is constituted by Sat-Chit-Ananda; Sat, that which exists eternally; Chit, is the light of knowledge; and Ananda is bliss. This is precisely the true nature of our spirit.
The electro-magnetic waves of the Scriptures contained in Sanathana Dharma are helping all of us, in our day today life, knowingly or unknowingly to a great extent in making improvements in various fields of our lives individually, physically, mentally and spiritually. Sanathana Dharma is really meant for all and it is above religion; it envisages that every individual should attain the Self and thus bring about the welfare of humanity. It is beautifully depicted in Manusmrthy that we should handle Sanathana Dharma, little delicately aswell:
“satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam apriyam

priyam ca nanrutam bruyat esha dharmah sanatanah”, meaning:

All that you speak must be truth, but you do not have to say all that is true. Speak truth in such a way that

it should be pleasing to others. Never speak truth, which is unpleasant to others. This is the path of

eternal morality or Sanatana Dharma.

All Scriptures of other religions put together will come to only half of the Scriptures in

Sanathana Dharma. Approximately 1280 foundation books are there, in hundreds of

languages, with more than 10,000 commentaries, and more than one lakh of sub-commentaries.

The Scriptures therein, reveal 330 million gods, hundreds of thousands of Rishis and a huge

variety of ‘acharas’, rituals etc, among many other precious gems of axioms, aswell.
Jai Hind. God Bless America
Dated: 20th April, 2010.

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