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Messages - Nagaraj

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General Discussion / Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« on: October 16, 2012, 11:01:13 AM »
Before the commencement of sandhyA kriya, one has to wash ones limbs and face, and preferably wear a dhoti (choice) with uttarIya (angavastram) to cover the torso, and sport vibhUti or a nAmam on the forehead. It is good, if there is a corner spot that is peaceful and free of all disturbances, where you can perform this kriyA.

Items Required:

  • A plank or a mat, to sit upon
  • panchapAtram (or tumbler) filled with water
  • udDharaNi (or the spoon)
  • arghya pAtram (the vessel into which, water will be poured as oblation)

General Discussion / Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« on: October 16, 2012, 10:46:46 AM »
Sri Ravi,

Thanks for this verse, bhAratiyAr is very close to my heart, even though i have not extensively read all his poems, but what ever i have read, really touches very deep in the heart.

General topics / Types of devotion
« on: October 15, 2012, 08:17:37 PM »
srI swAmiji went on to narrate the different forms of devotion:

Sage sukA expounded the bhAgavata to King parIkShit. sukA's words never deviated from the main topic, viz., divine play of the Lord. There are some who always remember IshwarA even when they are involved in activities like talking, eating, writing and walking. Contemplation on IshwarA is also a form of devotion. Another form of devotion is serving the lotus feet of Lord. There are many devotees who are ever intent on serving bhagavAn.

Some people are very keen on performing divine worship. They would be happy if they were allowed to remain in their worship for hours, without any disturbance. In contrast to this, there are some who are too impatient to sit for even ten minutes more in pUjA than the usual duration. They ask their purOhit to chant the sahasranAmam fast. During the pUjA, their minds think of the engagement they have to attend to after some time. They do not consider it important to focus their attention on pUjA even for a brief while. On the other hand, a true devotee is oblivious of the passage of time whenever he sits for worship. Performing pUjA is one form of devotion.

There are some devotees who do not feel satisfied even after they have prostrated many times before bhagavAn's idol. They keep doing namaskArams, while others may feel, "Why do these people repeatedly prostrate before the idol or the guru?" Offering salutations too is a form of devotion.

There are some who find delight in always functioning  as the servitors of the Lord. Such people would not be keen on performing any other activity. One example of this type of devotion is srI AnjanEyA. His only aim in life was to serve his Master, Lord rAmachandrA.

Some feel like associating with the Lord as a friend. Is this possible? Yes, it is possible. arjunA had the opportunity to have Lord kRushnA as his dear friend, arjunA submitted to Him.

सखेति मत्वा प्रसभं यदुक्तं
हे कृष्ण हे यादव हे सखेति ।

sakhEti matvA prasabham yaduktam
hE kRuShNa hE yAdava hE sakhEti

O, Lord, I dealt with You thinking of You as my friend. Please pardon me for that sin." Lord kRushnA blessed arjunA with shrEyas or higher good.

There are some devotees who wish to offer all their possessions, including themselves, to the Lord. One example of this is Emperor bali to give Him a piece of land covered by three steps. When bali casually agreed, Lord vAmanA covered the entire universe with His first step. The second step covered AkAshA. Immediately, Emperor bali bowed down his head to enable the Lord to place His third step on it. He thereby totally surrendered himself to the Lord. This is Atma nivEdana or self-surrender. If a person does not consider anything as his but considers even himself as belonging to the Lord, it is called Atma nivEdana.

Hearing about the Lord, singing His praise, contemplating Him, serving His lotus feet, worshipping Him, prostrating before Him, serving Him as His slave, moving with Him as His friend and surrendering oneself to Him are the nine forms of devotion spoken of in the shAstrAs. We shall attain shrEyas even if we practice any one of the above types of devotion. As we have already seen, the exmples for the various types of devotion are found in purAnAs such as bhAgavatA. It is our immeasurable good fortune that has enabled us to come across these descriptions.

If we conduct ourselves without being devoted to IshwarA in any manner, our life will serve no purpose whatsoever. All of us know that human birth is very rare to attain. Hence it is but imperative that we resort to a means like devotion to achieve the purpose of human life.

Just summarized for ease -

  • shravanam - Listening to the Lord's stories, Leelas and Mahimas.
  • kIrtanam - Singing the glories of the Lord's Name.
  • smaranam - Remembrance of Lord's Name.
  • pAda sEvanam - Service to the Lotus Feet of the Lord.
  • archanam - Worship of the Lord.
  • vandanam - Salutation of the Lord.
  • dAsyam - Master and Servant Relationship like the one between Sri Rama and Hanuman.
  • sakhyam - Companionship of the Lord.
  • Atma nivEdanam - Offering oneself to the Lord in complete self-surrender.

General topics / behaviour of great jnAnis and great devotees - 2
« on: October 15, 2012, 07:45:53 PM »
After narrating the incident of gOpi's, swAmijI, continued...

I am now reminded of an incident pertaining to the great soul srI sadAsiva brahmEndrA.

srI sadAsiva brahmEndrA was an exalted jIvanmuktA. People around him who wacthed his behavious thought that he was insane. They proceeded to his guru and reported, "Your disciple has gone mad". To this, the guru replied with grief:

उन्मत्तवत् सञ्चरतीह शिष्यस्तवेति लोकस्य वचांसि शृण्वन् ।
खिद्यन्नुवाचास्य गुरुः पुराहो उन्मत्तता मे नहि तादृशीति ॥

unmattavat  sancaratIha shiShyastavEti lOkasya vacAmsi shRuNvan .
khidyannuvAcAsya guruh purAhO unmattatA mE nahi tAdRushIti ..

I am only wondering when I can also attain that state. Even though I call myself his guru, I am yet to attain that state. He is a great soul." So exalted was the state of srI sadAsiva brahmEndrA in which he was absorbed, Likewise, the gOpikA girl was totally engrossed in her mental chanting. Reciting the divine names is a form of devotion.

General topics / behaviour of great jnAnis and great devotees
« on: October 15, 2012, 07:17:50 PM »
srI bhArati thIrtha swAmigal narrated this very passionately in one of his speeches:

विक्रेतुकामा किला गोपबाला
मुरारिपादार्पितचित्तवृत्तिः ।
दध्य्यादिकं मोहवशादवोचद्
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ॥

vikrErukAmA kila gOpabAlA
dadhyaadikam mOhavashAdavOcad
gOvinda dAmOdara mAdhavEti

The gOpikAs eked out their living by selling dairly products. They used to house the vessels containing milk and curd in baskets and carry the baskets on their heads. They then enetered street after street shouting, "Milk, curds,...", to attract the attention of their customers. One day, a gOpikA set out to sell the products. Her mind was so engrossed in chanting the divine names of Lord kRushna that she was head shouting, "gOvindA, dAmOdarA, mAdhavA...", instead of "Milk, curds, ...". The observers of this scene were surprised and thought that the girl had taken leave of her senses. However, the mind of that girl was thoroughly engrossed in the thought of her Loprd. Indeed, if we happen to witnmess the behaviour of great jnAnis and great devotees, we too may get the feeling that they are insane.

Dear Sri Tushnim,

when we take Sradha to mean srat-dadhati-iti-sradha ... that which leads to "SAT", srat is satya nama.. same as SAT. So SAT Buddhi is basically to say a "IS-ness" , "Being-ness". One has to have a attitude which allows one to "See" what the teacher is showing. if one does not "See" and just keeps repeating what the teacher is saying or even rejects what the teacher is showing its not sradha.

This very spirit is internalized in the gAyatri mantra, what is more special is that, gAyatri mantra itself is teacher as well, and gAyatri mantra  itself shows asking to be seen, perhaps, may be we can say, another name of gAyatri is also sradDha.

If this is well discerned, every sAdhanA itself is Self Enquiry.

Adi shankarA explains what is shradDha in vivEkachUDAmaNi

शास्त्रस्य गुरुवाक्य सत्यबुद्ध्यवधारणम् ।
सा श्रद्धा कथिता सद्भिर्यया वस्तूपलभ्यते ॥२५॥

shAstrasya guruvAkya satyabudDhyadhAraNam
sA shradDhA kathithA sadbhiryayA vastUpalabhyate 25

The True reflection and concentration on the words of the scriptures and the Guru is shradDha as told by the wise, by which alone the the true-objective could be gained.

shAstra - the scriptures
Guru - Master
vAkya - the words or expressions
satya - True
budDhya - intellectual exercise, the ability to grasp
dhAraNam - contemplation, understanding, reasoning, reflection,
sA - that is
shradDhA - faith
kathithA - as told
sadbhir - the wise
yayA - through which, or by which
vastu - the end objective, that is Truth in this case
upa - could be
labhyate - gained

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / A wounded Dove
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:27:28 PM »
Once somebody brought Bhagavan a wounded dove. Bhagavan held it in his hands for some time and then asked the devotees gathered in the hall, "Who will take good care of this bird until it is quite well?" No offer came. Some time back the Maharani of Baroda had presented a white peacock to the Asramam. and everybody was eager to take charge of it. Bhagavan looked around and started talking to the Dove, "What a pity you are not a peacock. You are a useless little thing, not a costly bird presented by a Maharani. Who wants you? Who will care for you?" The dove was kept in the Asramam in a clumsy cage, became well and flew away. But the lesson of universal compassion remained.


General Discussion / Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« on: October 15, 2012, 12:50:50 PM »
A devotee, who had received modern education and was carriedf away by modern school of thought, ame to receive blessings from HH. enquiring about him and his family, HH. enquired, "you come from a good family. Are you regularly performing sandhyA vandana and the gAyatrI japA?"

Surprised that HH. had known that he was not performing the spiritual practices laid out by the scriptures, he boldly replied that he was not performing them.

HH: "Why are you not performing them? Do you not have the time?"

D: "It is not the question of time. I do not know samskrit, I cannot understand the meanings of the mantrAs. It is of no use if you chant these mantrAs without understanding their meaning. I have thus given up performing the sandhyA vandanam"

HH: "You can learn the meanings of the mantrAs and perform the sandhyAvandanam."

D: "There was nobody to teach us the meanings."

HH: "You could have learnt them after your upanayanam."

D: "I hail from a remote village. There were only a few priests who conducted pUjAs by practice. There was none who could explain the meanings of these mantrAs"

HH: "What is the profession you have taken up now?"

Relieved that the topic of the discussion had changed the devotee explained the nature of his profession.

HH: "What is your education qualification?"

D: "I have completed BA and LLB."

HH: "Where did you study?"

D: "I completed my primary education in my village. I took up secondary schooling in the district headquarters. I obtained my BA degree from Madras. I studied law in poona."

HH: "You have taken a lot of pains for you education. You have travelled a lot. Why did you have to travel so much? Was it not possible to complete your education in your village?"

D: "No, pUjya gurudEva, there is only a primary school in our village. There are n9o other educational institutions."

HH: "Why, could not the teachers who have specialised, in those special subjects, come to your village and teach you those subjects?"

D: "How is it possible pUjya gurudEv? is it ever possible for someone to come to our village and teach, when there areonly a handful of studentds like me in the village?"

HH: "Why should it not be possible? You expected that after you had learnt the sandhyAvandana, the scholars and priests had to come tour place of stay and teach you the meanings of the mantrAs. Is it not the case with the other subjects also?"

The devotee was taken aback that the subject had suddenly changed the track. He was surprised how the topic of the discussion had been veered around to the original topic.

With a smiling countenance HH continued. "The secular knowledge required for your professional life was not available in your village. You searched and identified areas where it was available. You went there and gained the knowledge that was required. But, you discontinued the sandhyAvandanam which is required for your spiritual progress. That too, for a small reason that you did noty understand the meaning of the mantrAs.  Have you ever made an attempt, to understand their meaning? Just as you struggled to obtain secular knowledge, did you evince any interest and put in any effort to learn their meanings? While you were ready to travel to far off places to gain secular knowledge, is it right to expect that scholars who know the meanings of the mantrAs should come to you on their own to teach you? This s not the right attitude."

"This body needs food to sustain life and for obtaining the energy. Food is most essential. We also need the food to be wholesome and nutritious - with milk, curd, ghee, vegetables, fruits, sweets and savouries. But, do we get such wholesome food everyday? Do we not many a times satisfy ourselves with a frugal meals of rice and some buttermilk, or even porridge? Similarly, understanding the meanings of the mantrAs and performing sandhyA vandanam is most desirable, like having a wholesome meal. But even if we do not know or understand the meanings, it is our duty to perform the sandhyA vandanam everyday. It is like our partaking of at least a frugal meal for our survival. Without a meal there is no energy. Our sense organs cannot function properly. It may gradually lead to death. So, start performing the sandhyA vandanam from today itself, in the best possible manner. The Lord will surely bless you."

HH blessed the devotee.

(srI candrashEkhara bhArati swAmijI)

General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: October 15, 2012, 12:09:07 PM »
Sri Ravi, i keep visiting the sringEri maT here, these volumes are available in tamil. I am sure if they have an English rendering of the same.  Many other books have been out of publication for long time. At the blessings and instructions of srI bhAratI thIrtha swamigal, they are reviving and re publishing many books. I also heard many books are available at the vidyAtIrthA foundation, chennai. There could be a possibility, that it may be available there.

General Discussion / Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« on: October 15, 2012, 11:59:28 AM »

shAstrAs say (actually, shAstrA's are a collections of sayings of various mahaRushi's):

(gautama mahaRushi)

सन्धौ सन्ध्यामुपासीत​

sandhau sandhyAmupAsIta

the sandhyA upAsanA or worship, ought to be performed at the sandhi time. The conflulence!

आज्योतिषो दर्शनात् सन्धिः, ज्योतिषी भानुतारे
सज्योतिष्या ज्योतिषो दर्शनाद्वाग्यतः

AjyOtiShO darshanAt sandhih, jyOtiShI bhAbutAre
sayOtiShyA jyOtiShO darshanAdvAgyatah

When the Sun and the Stars are visible together is the time of sandhi, confluence. sandhyA has to be performed at such time. The Sage conveys the time at which this kriyA ought to be started in the morning when the stars are present. At the exact confluence when the Sun is rising, one has to perform arghya pradAnA, offering the water oblation and as the Sun completely is visible, ie. risen fully, one has to conclude the sandhyA worship.

In the evening, this kriyA ought to be started when the Sun is present and by the time the kriyA is concluded, the Sun ought to have set, and only stars should be present.

in the noon, one has to perform at the time when one is unable to see ones own shadow, that is the time when exactly when the Sun is upright above ones head.

General Discussion / Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« on: October 15, 2012, 11:57:22 AM »
Sri Ravi,

Thank you for providing the meaning for the sambandhar's verse. there are hidden meanings in these expressions, upon reading your post,  about எரி ஓம்பிக், it reminded me of the name in lalitA sahasranAmam, चिदग्नि कुन्ड संभूता chidangnikundasambhUtA (split as Chit Agni Kunda sambUtA - "That" coming out of the Homa Kunda of the burning of Chit of Mind) - "Who came out of the fire of Pure Consciousness" it also represents the same spirit as the expression of avvaiyAr, ஓதாமல் ஒரு நாளும் இருக்கவேண்டாம்(Do not let a single day pass  without chanting the vedas), keeping the fire for knowledge always burning within.

General Discussion / shUnya sampAdanE
« on: October 15, 2012, 11:22:46 AM »
The vIrashaivAs have this great saying, that in ones life one has to achieve shUnya sampAdanE - literally, meaning, one has to earn nothing, that is to become literally zero, which is the hallmark of humility, that is the real earning!

‘Anubhaava,’ or collection of experiences, is the foundation of Shoonya Sampadane. shUnya ” in Kannada (sanskrit) is zero or nothing. In the vachanas of sharanas, shUnya is ‘balayu’ – void or nothingness. However, shUnya encompasses everything. shUnya here, is equal to Shiva, the Universal Soul, the Absolute. ‘Sampadane’ means to earn (as in earn a living). In the context of this literature, then, sampAdane is the building of experiences to merge in sublime union with the Ultimate Soul. That is the entire purpose of jiva or individual soul according to the Veerashaiva philosophy. It is the union of individual soul and the Ultimate soul that is Shiva --- the Absolute, the Void, the Shoonya. The earning (sampadane) of that union with shoonya then, is Shoonya Sampadane. Shoonya Sampadane is the record of this attainment by the 12th century sharanas.

Even today, in traditional kannadA houses, they use this saying for those who boast of great life and achievement, what is achievement so long one is able to earn shUnyA, nothing.

The mighty God almighty, who shines like thousands of Sun's put together, puts me into absolute nullity, zero! when i think about others, how can i really know those, who are earnestly practicing and those who are not earnestly practicing their spiritual practice. what is one man's poison is another man's nectar, but for the one who sees God in everything, apart from one self, the whole world is filled with jIvanmuktA's. the whole world is gurU. To that visible and invisible gurU, i prostrate and surrender, and allow myself to be burnt.

General Discussion / ArAdhanA of srI candrashEkhara bhAratI swAmijI
« on: October 15, 2012, 10:52:33 AM »
mahAlayA amAvAsya day. The swAmijI was up at an early hour that morning. He woke up mahAbala bhatTA and told him, "Get ready. Let us go to the river for a bath". Even before the poor bhatTA got ready, the swAmijI had descended the steps of his residence and was waiting for him. As it was the rainy season and as it would be quite cold at the early hour, hot water for the saint's bath inside his residence had been arranged. bhatTA made this known to the swAmijI. But the jagadgurU replied, "Ins't today a punya divasa?". So saying he moved unmindful of the drizzle. The assistant ordered rAmaswAmi, the swAmIjI's attendant, to bring the saint's change of clothes and hurried along with a lantern in one hand nad the fan-pad umbrella in another.

By the time rAmaswAmi reached the river bank, the swAmijI was descending the river steps. He went slowly into the waters of the river, stood in waist deep water, had a dip and stood up. He went up the steps and sat in padmAsanA on a nearby stone slab for his prAnAyAmA. mahAbalA entered the water, turned his back on the swAmijI and started washing his clothes. Hardly had bhatTA started his task when he heard a loud thud and saw the splash of water. He saw the swAmijIin padmAsanA floating on the water. In a split second bhatTA jumped in, swam briskly, caught hold of the body and shouted for help. As he was swimming against the current with the swAmijI's body on his back he screamed and shouted over and over again. kEshavAchArI who had just arrived on the bank dived in and assisted bhatTA. On reaching the bank the swAmijI's body still in padmAsanA porture was deposited on the ground. The radiance of his face was still a glow and the smile on the lips and peace and contentment of the being were quite fresh and lovely. It was icChA maraNA, one he had achieved by arresting his prAnA.

The day was September 26, 1954, mahAlaya amAvAsyA day, which is today, the ArAdhanA of srI candrashEkhara bhAratI swAmijI, sRungErI.

General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: October 15, 2012, 10:29:49 AM »
What does the Gita say? Arjuna refused to fight. Krishna said, “So long as you refuse to fight, you have the sense of doership. Who are you to refrain or to act? Give up the notion of doership. Until that sense disappears you are bound to act. You are being manipulated by a Higher Power. You are admitting it by your own refusal to submit to it. Instead recognise the Power and submit as a tool. (Or to put it differently), if you refuse you will be forcibly drawn into it. Instead of being an unwilling worker, be a willing one. “Rather, be fixed in the Self and act according to nature without the thought of doership. Then the results of action will not affect you. That is manliness and heroism.”

(Sri Bhagavan)

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