Lord Garuda is generally considered the vehicle for the Lord since he always carries the Lord. Our Guru Maharaj would say that the form of Garuda represents the Omkara. Omkara is defined as akaara, ukaaraa and makaara, the pranava which is verily the essence of all Vedas. The entire essence of the Sanatana Dharma can be compressed in these three syllables. Garuda is the form of the three letters of omkara. Our Guru Maharaj in one of his kirtan sings,
“Akaramum ukaramum makaramum aana ooru ezhuthin saarathai iraga kondavanae”
In the above verse, our Guru Maharaj says that the whole Vedas form the wings of Lord Garuda. Two wings of Lord Garuda refer to Karma and Upasana and we see the Lord Garuda between these two wings. The Vedas are essentially Karma and Upasana. The beauty of Garuda is that he is quoted in various different places in all our scriptures. King Parikshit when comparing Lord Krishna and Rukmini Devi, he quotes the example of Garuda. Garuda’s mother was one imprisoned by the snakes [naagas] and that she would be released only if they were given nectar. Nectar is considered to be very sacred and was only served for the Devas. Garuda went into the realm of the Devas and took the entire pot of nectar against the will of the Devas and gave it to the snakes. This specific incident is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam. The manner in which Lord Krishna carried away Rukmini Devi is akin to how Lord Garuda came to the home of the Devas to carry away the pot of nectar.
Since Lord Garuda is present with the Lord always, he requests him to bring the Lord unto us as earliest possible. Garuda was born in the Swathi nakshatra akin to our Guru Maharaj and he is verily an incarnation of Vaayu [wind]. The 13th of August 2010 was the fourth day of Shukla paksha which is called as Naaga Chaturthi and the 14th of August 2010, the fifth day of Shukla paksha is known as Garuda Panchami.
After this, the satsang had a quick round of introductions and then Ramyaji from San Jose continued on the Uddhava Gita lecture –
Sindhu [Ocean] –
“samudhrakamo hiinova narayana paro munih
Nothasrpaetha na shushyaetha saridhbhiriva saagarah”
In summer the rivers dry up and there is no water draining into the ocean. In the rainy season, the rivers are overflowing and all the river waters join the ocean. The ocean however does not increase in their height and do not cross their limits when the river waters join the ocean during rainy season. Similarly the ocean does not completely dry up when it is devoid of river waters during summer. It is always in one state and is not perturbed in both summer and rainy seasons. Akin to oceans, Mahans always chant the Divine Names of the Lord Narayana and are oblivious of the surroundings.
Munihi prasabhagambiro dhurvigrahyo durathyahah|
Ananthaparo hyakshobyaha sthimithoda ivarnavah||
A Mahan is quiet akin to the sea and is unaffected by time, space and likes and dislikes. He cannot be conquered and is not troubled by anything. The ocean never desires that all rivers should flow into the ocean. It is verily the rivers who think that the ocean is their only refugee and gets eventually mixed in the ocean. Similarly even though one is destined to enjoy the pleasures due to the merits accrued in the past births, and when he goes behind the sensual pleasures, then it means that he likes to enjoy the pleasures. But when one is not bothered by the pleasures and since he is destined to enjoy them, they will come and seek him. There once lived a great Mahan known as Samarta Ramadasa Goswami and one of his disciple was Ranganatha Goswami. Samarta Goswami was very simple and led a very simple life. On the other hand, his disciple Ranganatha Goswami was very rich and led a very luxurious life. He had a battalion of people, horses which followed him wherever he went. The other disciples of Samarta Goswami however did not like the way Ranganatha Goswami came to meet his guru in a pomp manner and they slowly started to comment about Ranagatha Goswami which was also heard by their guru. The guru then decided to teach the other disciples a lesson. One day he called Ranaganatha Goswami and asked him to renounce all his materialistic wealth and asked him to stay with him. He implicitly obeyed his master’s orders and relinquished his riches the very moment. Days passed by and one day his guru and other disciples went around for biksha and Ranganatha Goswami was doing penance in a forest and King Shivaji crossed by Ranganatha Goswami. Shivaji immediately offered his salutations and prostrated unto his holy feet. King Shivaji immediately ordered his soldiers to build a tent and he also offered many riches with humility. In the meantime Samarta Goswami and his other disciples came back from biksha. That time their guru told his other disciples that even though Ranagatha Goswami was not inclined to any wealth, it was verily his guru’s orders to enjoy the opulence due to the merits that he had accrued in his previous birth even though he does not desire for any wealth.
Mahans never get deceived by objects that are glowing and the ones that are in vogue. Their clothes are very simple to cover their body and they consume food in small quantities that is needed to sustain a living.
Drushtva striyam devamayam thadbhavairajithendriyah|
pralobithaha pathathyanthae thamsyagno pathangavat||
A man who has no control over his senses is allured by all the gestures of his senses and falls into the darkness of hell akin to how a moth falls into the fire. A moth gets attracted by the bright glow of the fire and desires to get near to the fire. It slowly climbs the candle and when it is on the vicinity of the fire, the fire burns its hands. The moth is however not deterred by this loss and continues to go near the fire. The fire next burns the legs and the moth still determined to touch the fire, finally jumped into the fire and is eventually killed. Akin to moth is an ignorant man who is allured by the various sensual desires which is verily a creation of the Maya and he loses his discrimination [viveka] and is finally destroyed akin to a moth.
Madhukruth [ Honey- bee] –
Anubhyascha Mahadbhyascha shastraebhyaha koshalo naraha|
Sarvathaha saaramadhadyath pushpaebhya iva shatpadaha||
The honey bee lives and dwells in various flowers and plants. The flowers are diversified in both color and fragrance. It is also a fact that each flower is unique of its own. The honey-bee goes around these flowers and it extracts the same nectar from all these variegated flowers. Akin to this honey-bee, a person should gather the essence of all the scriptures and Vedas which is verily the chanting the Divine Names of the Lord. If one is unable to extract the essence of shastras and Vedas, which is Nama Sankirtanam, then what is the use of following the Shastras.
Saayanthanam swasthanam vaa na sangrinitha bikshithah
The honey bee gathers the honey and stores it with much difficulty. It is a ‘madhuvrata’. It does not consume honey daily. It only consumes honey on a full moon or new moon day and hence accumulates the honey for the upcoming days. Suddenly a honey-gatherer comes and lit fire to the honeycomb thereby killing all the honey-bees and carries away the honey. Akin to the honey-bees, if we keep on gathering wealth and other materialistic possessions, a thief may come one day kill us and take away our riches. Having realized this fact, Avadootar said to King Yadu that he doesn’t keep anything in store even for that night and hence he is able to lead a life in peace.
So the key take-away from honey-bee is as follows –
- Don’t store wealth for a long time
- Gather the essence of all the scriptures and Vedas which is verily the chanting the Divine Names of the Lord.
- Practice non-violence and don’t shoo away the person who is feeding you
- Be as gentle as a honeybee sucking nectar from the flower.
When one has weaknesses try to use it as a means to do service to the Lord. Adi Shankara in Viveka Choodamani [sloka 76 ] clearly expounded that one need to have control over his senses.
Gajaha [Elephant] –
“Sprushan kariva badhyetha karina anasangathaha”
Elephants are allured by touch [sparsha sukam]. There was once an elephant and was roaming independently and had lot of freedom in the forest. One day a hunter came to the forest to catch elephants. So he dug a big pit and attracted the male elephants with a female elephant as bait. This elephant which was roaming happily in the forest all by himself came running towards this female elephant and eventually got trapped in the big pit. He was not able to get out of the pit and was thenceforth chained and was tamed and was taken from one place to another by this hunter. Akin to this elephant are the jivas who are attracted by the materialistic worlds end up taking birth after birth and are bonded in this mundane world forever.
Madhuha [Honey-gatherer] –
“Madhuhaevaagratho bunkthae yathirvai gruhamaedhinaam”
A honey-bee works diligently to gather honey from flowers but a honey-gather comes and takes away the honey. Akin to this is a miser who tries to amass wealth and not do any charity but a thief comes and snatches away all the riches of the miser. A Mahan keeps roaming freely with his mind for ever immersed in the thought of Lord Narayana. He doesn’t worry about anything even for his biksha. But a noble man on seeing the Mahan cross his house will call him inside and offer his salutations and will provide food for the Mahan. By serving the Mahan with food his sins are all absolved.
Harinah [Deer] –
gramya geetham na shrunuyath yathihi vanacharaha kvachit|
shikshetha harinath badhanmrugayogeethamohithath||
One should never become attracted by mundane sounds like sensuous music as it will only spoil the minds. One should always listen to the keertans of Lord Krishna and also those kirtans that are sung by the devotees of the Lord. The Mahans always listen to the divine exploits of the Lord and chant the Divine Names of the Lord. Their ears are always tuned to listen about the Lord. Those who listen to the worldly music and have no control to sense of hearing eventually cannot come out of the mundane world akin to deer. Deer are so fond of music that the poachers use it as a bait to catch them. They are lured by the violin notes of the hunter and they are eventually trapped in the net casted by the hunter. The deer is considered to be a foolish animal. But this foolish animal becomes a candidate for the Lord’s grace by merely listening to the flute notes of Lord Krishna in Brindavan. It is said that –
‘Dhanyasma mooda mathayopi harinya yetaah’ When one develops pure and pristine bhakti to the Lord, then one will never have any interest to satiate their sensual pleasures in this mundane world.
Meenah [Fish] –
Avadoota shared with King Yadu his learning’s from the fish. He learned to control his tongue (taste) from fish.
jihvayathipramathinya jano rasavimohithah|
varjaithva thurasanam manirannasya vardhate||
A fish enjoys its life in the water. A fisherman in a quest to catch the fish, hangs out a piece of coconut and the fish comes out of the water to get the coconut and eventually gets trapped by the fisherman. The fish died since it was unable to gain control over its tongue. Akin to a fish when one is unable to control his tongue, he then becomes a victim for Lord Yama. One may have won over his other senses, but if he is unable to gain control over his sense of taste, then it means that he has not gained self-control.
The satsang concluded with prayers and Namasankirtan.