Jan 09: Surest Path to Liberation

9 Jan

Blessed were those who attended this unique satsang which is conducted through the medium of telephone. About 18 families attended the satsang. The satsang began with Nama Sankirtan lead by Ramyaji from San Jose, CA. The lecture was given by Sri Narayananji from Boston, which was preceded by introductions.

He started with the Mahamantra
“Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare

Kalaye sundarAkAram sadaika priyadarshanam |
AgnAna nAshakam dEvam sadgurum muraLidharam ||”

Narayananji spoke on the glory and compassion of the Lord and described one of the easiest paths to attain Him.

“One cannot measure the compassionate nature of the lord.
If we see the sky, we see the stars, the moon and the planets. What a wonderful creation of the Almighty.! They are so synchronous to each other. If we look at the plant kingdom, we see trees with leaves in many different shapes, colors and in innumerable sizes. If we delve into the animal world, we cannot help wondering wonder on His adept creation right from micro-organisms to sharks and dinosaurs. The Lord is a beautiful Rasika. He is known for his ‘Raasikya’ (connoisseur).

If we ponder further on His creations, we can clearly see that no human is the same as the other. If we ask a painter to paint a picture, he can paint a unique painting. If we ask him to do another different painting, he does it. Perhaps after few paintings, he will tend to reuse the ideas of his previous paintings to create new one. That is the case with a novel author who may reuse his ideas in writing subsequent novels. When we take the case of human beings, God has created each one with not only a different facial identity but also with different taste buds, emotions, attitude and personality. The beauty of the Lord is that he possesses a shy nature and doesn’t want to show off His beautiful creation. He is omnipresent. He is present in the beautiful melody of the cuckoo, in the feathers of a peacock and in the beautiful sound emanating from the flute. The Lord is called “Paroksha Priya”. He likes to hide his great qualities. Such is the compassion and humility of the Lord Himself!

A great Sri Vaishnava Saint , Sri Vedanta Desika wrote a beautiful piece of literature called Daya Shatakam. It is a collection of hundred verses that extols the compassion of the Lord. In that, he goes to the extent of saying that the ‘Pralaya’ (the dissolution of the universe) is also an act of compassion of the Lord!

Let’s probe into this. If we are forced to work all the twenty four hours a day, without sleep, then it leads to total chaos, does it not? Can we imagine a world without the concept of sleep? ‘Pralaya Kaala’ is when everyone is in ‘laya’, just like a mother putting her baby to sleep and wakes it up again when the ‘Shrishti’ (Creation) begins. Is it not an act of compassion of the Lord?

But we as humans, fail to understand His very gracious nature. So the Lord to attempt again to shower His grace on us. So He gave us the Vedas. The Vedas are ‘Apaurusheya’. It is the only text that is not composed by a human. The moment a scripture is written by humans, it is subject to ‘Raga Dvesha’ and ‘Paksha Paata’ (prejudices of the human mind). The Vedas are the breath and the language of the Lord. It doesn’t contain any prejudice. The Lord showed us the means to attain him through the Vedas.

Our Swamiji beautifully says that we see many different deities in this universe. All these different forms of the lord have their own temples and have their own ways of worship. There is only one deity for whom worship is not prescribed at all. He is Lord Brahma. Why is this so? Our Swamiji gives a rational reason as to why it is so. Lord Brahma is Himself in the form of Vedas. The moment we give a form and temple to Him, we tend to ignore the Vedas and instead do processions and utsavs. Hence it is strictly prescribed that there is no temple for the Vedas and the Vedas verily are the Lord. What is the best way to worship Lord Brahma? The one who learns Vedas is verily worshipping him. Lord Brahma has 4 faces (Chaturmukha). The word ‘Mukha’ has two interpretations in Sanskrit. It means face as well as mouth. The right usage depends on the context. In this background, the word ‘Mukha’ means mouth. He chanted the four different Vedas through the ‘Chatur Mukha’. He gave the Vedas in which he showed two most important facts. The first of which is how one should lead a life and secondly, the means to attain the Lord’s lotus feet.

But then we human beings were not intelligent enough to understand this and we have been going in our own ways. It is said in Bhagavat Gita “Tasmaat Shaasthram Pramananthe Karyaakaarya vyavastitau”

Sri Veda Vyasa says that “Veda Shastram Param nasti” which means that the Vedas are the supreme Shastras and urged everyone to look into the Vedas to see how one should lead his life. So, the Lord out of his sheer compassion decided to show himself the path in addition to instructing the people through the Vedas. Hence He took the beautiful avatars of lord Rama and Lord Krishna. In Rama Avatar, he showed how a man should lead a life by following the path of Dharma. It is shown in Vedas “Dharmam Chara”. Coming in the human form, Rama showed how to lead a life. In Krishna Avatar, he clearly showed how to attain Him. By the virtue of the qualities of his devotees he showed the path to attain Him. All the Vrajavasis and Gopis in Brindavan showed the path to attain the ultimate feet of the Lord and that is ‘Sharanagati’. The Lord in Krishna Avatar shows how one needs to surrender unto Him. Our Guru Maharaj beautifully conveys this in his kirtan – “Kazhalai thookki thalaiyil vaithu gathi idhuvae endran” – Showing the path to Surrender, the path to Liberation.

That was an ideal example for all of us to follow. However the Lord’s nature was to punish the negative minded (‘asuras’ or demons). Taking exception to this act of the Lord, He Himself vowed not to look at any ‘asuric’ quality of humans.
And so he decided to take the form of Archavatara (form of a deity in the temple). Thus he promised not to look at negativities and will only keep showering His grace. But did this still show the compassion of the Lord?

When we go to a temple (which is nothing but a wish-fulfilling tree ‘Kalpatharu’ / Chinthamani), they can bestow us with whatever we ask, but they don’t suggest the right thing that one should ask for. And since the Lord had taken a vow to not to open his mouth, this form was also becoming counter-productive as people became more and more mean and selfish.

The Lord again started to ponder on how to take the humans to His feet and that was when he decided to send the Sadhus down to the earth as Avatara Purushas to show His grace. These Mahans speak the glory of the Lord, but only the Lord knows the glory of these Mahans! And Alas! The Lord does not speak! So the glory of the Avatara Purushas goes unspoken. It can only be experienced!

The Lord has been a little thrifty on the number of such Avatara Purushas on earth! It is by mere compassion of the Lord that one can get attracted to these Jivan Muktas.

There are three things that take us ashore but they themselves remain as it is. Firstly, it is the ladder that takes one up but stands in the same place. Secondly it is the boat that helps one to cross a body of water body but it itself remains in the water. Thirdly, the citrus fruit (Elimichangai in tamil). It aids to alleviate indigestion. It helps to digest all the undigested food in the stomach but it itself doesn’t get digested.

The Mahans/ Jivan Muktas are very similar to this. They take us ashore and they themselves remain there. Such is the Lord’s compassion. Why is that they don’t get liberated? It is because, they are always in the state of Mukthi and they don’t need to attain a different state.

To get a darshan of such Sadhus is indeed very rare. In Srimad Bhagavatam, when Sri Suka was wandering in the forests, there were some womenfolk who were bathing in the river. When they saw Him coming, they immediately circumambulated and prostrated unto him. When they were asked as to why they didn’t even cover themselves properly before prostrating to the great sage, they replied that getting a glimpse of these Jivan Muktas is very rare and that they didn’t want to miss it! So precious is the darshan of Mahapurushas.

One has attained the feet of such a Jivan Mukta as a Guru. What next?
There are four things that one needs to follow. 1. Pilgrimage. There is no more a need to take a bath in Ganga and Yamuna and go to pilgrimages. Just by merely drinking the water from the feet of a Guru is equivalent to going on a pilgrimage. The reason for a pilgrimage tour is to attain ‘Chitta Shuddhi’ (cleansing our mind). When our mind is faced with lot of disturbances, the first thing that one needs to do is to come to a calm state. A pilgrimage is a place that can accomplish it. In Srimad Bhagavatham it is said,
“Swayam hi theerthaani punanti santha:” It says that the Jivan Muktas are truly the pilgrimages. The drops of water from the feet of the Guru are verily Ganga and Yamuna.

Secondly one should stop worrying of his sins. A glimpse of his vision on us will wipe out all the sins. Sri Andal says “Theeyil thoosagum cheppaelor rembabvai”, which means that all the sins will be burnt to ashes the moment the Guru’s gracious vision falls on us. The moment when one’s sins are washed out, it is then we get the taste of the Lord. It is only then we get Bhakti.

Thirdly, one should partake the food left ofer by the Guru. (the Uchchishta). When we take in anything that is left over by our Guru’s consumption, it means to follow his Upadesa. Follow whatever he says verbatim. Never ask any questions. Chant the Divine Name that He has given as a Upadesa to you. That will give Bhakti.

And lastly, Surrender to His feet in order to attain liberation. Prostrating to him means that we are not only giving ourselves but also our family members and our possessions. It is under the supervision of the Guru that we take care of our family members and possessions but they essentially belong to him.
When we do the above mentioned four things in a repeated manner, then one is for sure to get his abundance grace.

The beauty here is that one is not directly attaining the Lord by any one of these means, but the glory is if it were a true Guru then it will automatically lead you to the Lord.

A beautiful example to this is Sri MadhuraKavi Azhwar. He was a disciple of Sri Nammazhwar. Being a very learned scholar himself, Madurakavi Azhwar served His guru. He only sang praises of his Guru. He wrote ten ‘pasurams’(verses) in which he has sung praises of his Acharya Namazhwar and not the Lord. And without even his knowledge, he alluded to the Lord!
In his pasurams, he starts off by saying –
“Kanninum Siruthambinal Katum na pannirpaeruvai” He refers to Sri Krishna’s leela and says Oh! my Acharya who fell for Sri Krishna’s Damodhara Leela, unto that guru, I prostrate!

When one prostrates to the Guru and follows the four steps as mentioned He is for sure to attain the feet of the Lord. We are all fortunate to be at the feet of our Sadguru Maharaj and for the Nama Sankirtan, which is a simple path that he has shown us. May the grace of Sadguru and the Lord be with all of us.

Sri Sankarji from San Jose mentioned about the second Bhagavatam Study Circle that was scheduled on 10th Jan at his residence.

The satsang was wrapped with Nama Sankirtan which was lead by Chitraji from San Jose, CA

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