The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: SLakshmi on February 09, 2010, 10:18:14 PM

Title: temples and priests
Post by: SLakshmi on February 09, 2010, 10:18:14 PM
When we go to a temple, there is always a huge crowd. People standing in long queues, waiting long hours just for a glimse of the deity, whereas the priests are always near the idol, always offering puja-archana. Are they luckier than us? Do they get favoured more? why do they always hanker over the rich devotees and give better view and prasadam  to those...

..and then there are the beggars right outside the temple...whose proximity to the temple should also give them a better life...

I think of no better example than this for prarabdham...

Title: Re: temples and priests
Post by: Nagaraj on February 09, 2010, 11:17:13 PM
Dear I,

Not really, I have been staying in Bangalore since my birth and I myself have not been to several historical and famous places in the city, whereas, people who come from some foreign land, know much more of the city's heritage and have visited several places than myself!

This is a classic case of what kabir has sung:

Kasturi kundal base, mrig dhoondhe van mahi' - The kasturi - a fragrant is in naval of a particular specie of deer, but the deer having its fragrance runs in search of that in whole of forest!

In Udupi, Krishna turned backwards just to give Darshanam to Kanaka Dasa who was not allowed inside the temple.

Temples are commercialized these days, I do not say, Bhagavan is not there in those commercialized places, He is there and he is more nearer and so very near within ourselves. We really need not take it to heart about these days affairs in temples. We are all the time having the Darshan of Bhagavan, only we are not looking at him.

Like when you are reading the news paper, we only focus all our attention towards only the contents, the reports, the news content written, but we forget the very paper on which all the print matter is printed.

Bhagavan is very very near, so near to you, that He is You itself.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: temples and priests
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 10, 2010, 08:56:28 AM
Dear SLakshmi,

The priests in one way, are fortunate to be of service to God,
by washing God's image, adorning with flowers, silks, sandal
paste, vibhuti etc.,  This opportunity has given to them by
the Almighty, due to their merits of the previous births.  It
stops with that.  The mere functioning as a priest, shall not
confer deliverence.  They have to work it out, through meditation
and self enquiry.  Further, if as a priest, someone does some sins,
like asking money from devotees or giving priority to rich vis a vis
poor etc., it adds to their sins.

In Periya Puranam, the story of 63 Saints, there are only a few
brahmins and still a fewer were priests in the Siva temples. This
clearly shows that mere priesthood shall not confer deliverence.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: temples and priests
Post by: SLakshmi on February 10, 2010, 09:49:37 AM
I read somewhere that the idols in the ancient temples..such as meenakshi temple or made powerful by constant repitition of mantrams and vedams before the deity. So what is more powerful..the deity or the mantram?

Even a stone idol can be considered god through constant pooja and offerings. I had read bhagavan saying that the mandapam where keerai paati staye, there used to be many pillars of god. And there was a big oily black patch over those pillars.Keerai Paati it seems used those pillars of gods and goddess to make her offering of camphor and prayed! In the later years all those marks were cleared with white-wash. Devotees in bhagavan's era went and saw the black-patch! not sure if i am right, but i also read that even temples go through their destiny! Some temples which had become folklore are suddenly revived and repaired and given a royal kumbabhishekam!
Title: Re: temples and priests
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 10, 2010, 10:01:10 AM
Dear SLakshmi,

The images first start as stones or metals only.  But after the
sculpting, there is something called Prana-Pratishta, according
to Vedic rites.  This means that the stone images are given life
through this mantras.  Then, they become powerful.  Thus it is
the man, who gives power to the images also to make them fit
for worship.  As years pass on, when mantras are chanted and
pujas are performed regularly without any mistakes as per Agama
sastras, the power increases.  Some of these images like that of
Tirupati are said to have been installed by Gods and angels only.
They are said to be more powerful.  But the visits by genuine
devotees, regular pujas and chanting of mantras, no doubt, add
to the power of the stone/metal images.  Saints when they visit
temples and sing their songs, the power gets added to a great
extent.  In cases of Siva temples, when the Saiva Saints went
there and sang their songs, their power became more.  Eg.
Chidambaram, Madurai Meenkashi, Sri Vaitheeswaran Koil,
Sri Sailam etc.,  Similarly Sri Vaishnava Saints have added through
their songs the power to the temples of Tirupati, Sri Rangam,
Sri Gunaseelam Temple etc.,

The temples also go through the course of destiny.  Many Hindu
temples have been damaged by people of other faiths like Jains
and Muslims.  One cannot say anything about it.  It is also destiny.  Some temples like Thanjavur Big Temple, has fallen into disuse,
because of some innate deficiency in the original construction.   

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: temples and priests
Post by: ramana_maharshi on February 10, 2010, 01:03:38 PM
Letter 143

Last month, Niranjananandaswami sent a bull, born and bred in the Ashram to the Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, as a present. People there named it Basava, decorated it nicely and took a photo of it along with Sri Sambasiva Iyer who had accompanied it. Sambasiva Iyer returned with a copy of the photo besides an old fashioned silk-fringed shawl, some vibhuti, kumkum and prasad 1 given to him by the temple authorities.

Due to the great crowd of visitors since August 15th, Bhagavan has been spending the days out in the Jubilee Hall.

Sambasiva Iyer came into Bhagavan’s presence with the shawl, vibhuti, etc., on a large plate. The brahmins who had accompanied him recited a mantra while all of us prostrated before Bhagavan, then rose. Looking at me, Bhagavan said, “Our bull has been sent to the Meenakshi Temple, did you know?” “Yes, I knew,” I said. “On the day it was going, I saw it decorated with turmeric, 2 kumkum, etc. and came to know of the purpose when I asked the cattle-keeper.” Holding the plate reverentially and smearing the vibhuti and kumkum on his forehead, Bhagavan said, “See, this is Meenakshi’s gift.” And his voice quivered as he said it.

Sambasiva Iyer spread the shawl over Bhagavan’s feet, and when Bhagavan, deeply moved, removed it with evident feeling of reverence, the attendants took it and spread it over the back of the sofa. Adjusting the shawl properly with his hands, Bhagavan, looking towards us, said, “Mother 1 Vibhuti: sacred ash. Kumkum: vermilion powder. Prasad: any flower or food consecrated by being offered to the Deity.

2 Turmeric: a bright yellow powder of the turmeric root.

Meenakshi has sent this. It is Mother’s gift.” And, choked with emotion, he was unable to say more and became silent.

His eyes were full of tears of joy and his body became motionless. Seeing this, it seemed to me that Nature herself had become silent. When, as a boy, Bhagavan was in Tiruchuli and someone had been angry with him, he had gone to the temple and wept, sitting behind the image of Sahayamba.

He alone knows how the Mother consoled him and what hopes she gave him.

Three years ago, the Ashram doctor said that hand- pounded rice would be good for Bhagavan’s health.

Thereupon the Ashramites approached Bhagavan with a request to take such rice, which would be specially cooked for him. When Bhagavan asked them whether the same rice would be served to all, they said that it would not be possible, as the supply of such rice was limited. Bhagavan therefore would not agree to having it however much they tried to persuade him. At last they said that they would use the hand- pounded rice for the daily offerings to the deity in the temple, for which rice is usually cooked separately and they requested Bhagavan to partake of that rice. “If that is so, it is all right.

I will take it because it is Mother’s prasadam,” said Bhagavan.

And from that day onwards, they have been cooking hand- pounded rice separately and, after offering it to the goddess in the temple, have been serving it to Bhagavan, giving what was left over to all others in his company.

Last summer, Ramaswami Iyer’s son got married and for the occasion there was a feast here. That day, Iyer noticed that there was white rice on the leaves of all, whereas the rice on Bhagavan’s leaf was reddish, and he enquired the reason. Bhagavan smiling, said, “This is Mother’s prasadam.

What is wrong with it? It is cooked specially as an offering to Mother.” He then related the above incident. He once again said, “This is Mother’s gift; I have accepted it only because of that.”

Is this not a great lesson to those who say that they have given up visiting temples and such things?

1)Letters from Sri Ramanasramam by Suri Nagamma

Title: Re: temples and priests
Post by: SLakshmi on February 10, 2010, 10:05:42 PM

  Incredible stories. Thanks.

Who can dispute the power of temples, which is the source of strength for all. In those days, cities and villages used to be built around temples. South india itself is a temple state. So many temples...each very powerful. ..and bhagavan's bhakti only re-inforces our faith...