The 20th of August was auspicious indeed. It was Ekadasi, an auspicious day for our Thakurji and Varalakshmi Viratham, a holy day for our divine mother Mahalaskhmi. It is on this day that married women [Suhasinis] perform pooja to Goddess Mahalakshmi for the welfare of the family and everyone. The devotees of the satsang were indeed blessed to have this satsang on this very propitious day. It is said in Tulasi Ramayan that “binu satsang vivek na hoi.. Ramukripa binu sulabh na soi”, it is said that Viveka which is an attribute of discrimination is only found in humans and not in other living beings. Tulasidas Maharaj very lucidly says that this Viveka cannot be found in a person who does not engage in a satsang. His discrimination might not be based on logical reason and this type of discrimination can be termed as emotion. It is verily a satsang that can mould a person and will help him develop Viveka that will be very helpful for him in his day to day lives. Sant Tulasidas also goes to say that this satsang is the basis of humankind and is not possible without the grace of Lord Rama. The highest grace that the lord can shower on the mortals is to lead them to a satsang.
It is said that Ravana was bestowed with lot of riches. He was also one of the most knowledgeable people on all Vedas and scriptures. He had all the Parakrama and strength in the world but the Lord did not bestow him with a satsang. We see that Sita Devi pointed this out to Ravana in Sundarkand. The divine Mother who is filled with compassion, tells him that his mind is completely devoid of discrimination verily because he doesn’t have even half a second of satsang. On the other hand Sugreeva who did not have anything in this world, as he was deprived of his home, nation and his family, had the true grace of the Lord and hence he was bestowed with the satsang with our great Hanumanji. This divine association got him back all his wealth, family and nation and the Lord himself verily as a friend [Lord Rama]. The relationship between Lord Rama and Sugreeva started to grow and was strengthened by the divine association with Hanaumanji.
“Sugrivo hanuman rikshah gajo gridhro vanik patah” – Lord Krishna sings the following verse in Srimad Bhagavatam where all these great souls were delivered from samsara and attained great heights only because of satsang.
The basic prayer that one should have is to bestow us with more and more satsang.
After this wonderful introduction, Ramya fromSan Josecontinued on the Avadoota Gita lecture.
Kuraram [Osprey] – Once a small sparrow spotted a small piece of flesh and started to carry the meat in its mouth to fly back to its nest. On its way, the osprey spotted a lot of crows and eagles that also started to follow the osprey. An astute osprey having realized that the crows and eagles are following her for some reason, decided to drop the piece of meat that was in her mouth. As soon as she dropped the piece of meat, they went to eat the meat. The sparrow went and sat in her nest in peace. Akin to the osprey, when one has many materialistic possessions, there will be many people who want to par take the wealth.
“Saamisham kuraram jagnuhu balino yae niramishaha”|
“thadaamisham parithyajya sa sukam samavindata”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.2]
One who is really happy and contented in life is one who is totally devoid of any desires for any materialistic wealth.
Arbhaka [Infant] –
“Na mae Manavamano stho na chintha gaehaputrinaam”|
“Athmakridaha Aathmarathihi vicharamiha balavathu”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.3]
It is a known fact that the Mahans and Sadhus do not have any grudge or prejudice against anyone. There are two kinds of people who are free from any anxieties. The first of the kind is an infant who knows no honor or dishonor and the second of the kind are the Mahans. They are forever immersed in the supreme bliss since they have transcended the three gunas – Rajas, Satvik and Tamas and have realized the self.
Pingala [Coutersan] – There once lived a courtesan in the city ofMithila. It is said that she gained Viveka by merely living in the city ofMithila. She was known as Pingala.
“Pingalaa naama veshayaasith videhanagarae pura”|
“thasya mae shikshitham kinchin na bodha nrupanandana”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.8.22]
Courtesans typically live with one person every day and everyday she would decorate herself and would sell herself to a wealthy person. One day as she was waiting, she let go the men who approached her hoping that she would find somebody else who was even wealthier than these men. Unfortunately nobody else came and she was frustrated as she kept waiting until it was mid-night. Her mouth was parched and she was dejected that she was unable to earn any money that night. However that sense of frustration in her led her to eternal happiness.
Pingala thought –
“Aho mae mohavithathim pashyathavijithatmanaha”|
“Yaa kaanthadashathaha kaamam kamayae yaena baalisha”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.8.30]
She started to hate herself. She was pondering on her fate and thought that if she was married then she would have someone to take care of her. She spent the whole night contemplating on this fact and at one moment she developed dispassion and began to hate herself and the developed total dislike to the life that she was leading. That very moment a realization dawned in her that her eternal husband is none other than the real Lord residing in her heart. This clearly shows that even for a courtesan the rescuer is in only Lord Sri Krishna. She then decided not to lead such a life and realized the fact that she was not alone and that the Lord is forever residing in her heart. She decided to seek that eternal Lord who always bestows eternal happiness instead of seeking an insignificant man who can only give her infatuation and grief instead.
“Santham samipae ramanam rathipradam vithapradam nithyamimam vihaya”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.8.31]
“Aasha hi paramam dhukkam nairashyam paramam sukam”|
“Yatha samchidya kanthaashaam sukam sushtaapa pingala” || [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.8.44]
Having cut asunder her desire to go and seek wealthy men to earn money on a daily basis and getting rid of the hope to get a paramour, Pingala enjoyed a peaceful sleep. Materialistic desire is undoubtedly the cause of greatest unhappiness and freedom from such desire is the reason for greatest happiness.
Thirumoolar says –
Aasai paada paada thumbam daanae Aaasai vidaa vidaa inbam thanae”
Aasai arumin Aasai aumin isanodaahinum aasai aarumin”
Thirumoolar in the above verse conveys a beautiful precept. He requests all to destroy the desires. It seems one should not even have any desire to even see the Lord. One should develop unconditional love for the Lord only for the sake of love. One should think of being of some use and should never expect anything in return even from the Lord.
Pingala thus became one with the Lord. Even the Gopis reminisce her and that goes to show the greatness of Pingala.
Kumari [Maiden] – There once lived a maiden and she was at a marriageable age. Her parents were seeking alliances and she was not from a wealthy family. One day one of the prospective bride-groom came to see this maiden. Even though she was the bride, she had to help her mother to attend to the comforts of this prospective alliance. She wasn’t comfortable doing this but she did not have a choice. When she was pounding the patty to prepare food, the bangles that she was wearing started to make a loud jingling noise. It is generally uncommon that the bride does all the house-hold chores when the prospective bide-groom came to seek an alliance. She felt embarrassed of doing this humiliating task, broke the bangles one by one and only retained two each on her wrists. As she continued pounding the patty, the two bangles produced sound and she then broke one each from each wrist and then finally the remaining bangles did not make any sound. So when we dwell together, quarrel ensues even when two people live together in the same room. If one lives alone akin to the single bangle that makes no sound, there is no quarrel and Avadootar having realized this fact, was living alone in peace.
“Vasae bhahunaam kalaho bhaveth vartha dvayorapi”|
“Aeka Aeva charaeth thasmath kumaryo iva kankanaha|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.10]
Sharakruth [Forger of Arrows] – There once lived a hunter with a bow of arrows.
“Mana aekathra samyujaajithashvaaso jithaasanaha”|
“Vairagyaabhyasayogena dhriyamaanamathandhriyaha”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.11]
One should steady the mind on one thing by controlling the mind and the breath. This is verily possible with a stable pose and always being vigilant and being dispassionate and having full concentration in contemplating the self.
“Yasmin mano labdapadam yadaethachanaihi shanairmunjathi karmarenun”|
“sathvena vruthaena rajasthamascha vidhoya nirvaanamupaithyanindhanam”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.12]
The mind is steadied by controlling by slowly renouncing the desires of senses and by developing Sattva guna which will gain control over Rajasika and Tamasika impulses and will usher one into rapt concentration to contemplate on the lord.
“Thadaivamathman yavarudhachitho na veda kinchith bahirantharam vaa”|
“yathaepushkaro nrupathim vrajanthamisho gathatmaa na dhadharsha parshvae”|| [Srimad Bhgavatham 11.9.13]
The maker of arrows [a hunter] was totally engrossed in knocking down a bird and his total focus was to kill the bird. He was so focused in his work that he did not see the king pass by. After knocking the bird and when he was about to leave the place he spotted battalion just passing by. He enquired with the onlookers and learned from them that the king had just passed by. He did not notice the king as he was so absorbed in his bird hunt. Avadootar says that one should possess immense focus and concentration when one contemplates on the Self and when doing penance.
Sarpa [Snake] – A mahan or sadhu should wander alone and should possess no place [abode] for himself and he should completely focus on contemplating the lord.
“Aeka charya nikaethaha syadha pramatho guhashayaha”|
“Alakshyamana aacharaihi muniraeko alpabhashanaha”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.14]
Why is snake considered a Guru by Avadootar?
“Sarpaha parakrutham veshma pravishya sukamaedathae”| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.15]
The snake happily inhabits in holes borrowed by others and also the serpent does not know to build a house of its own. Akin to a serpent, a Mahan who wanders everywhere and fraught with Lord visits someone’s house without any prior notice. They feed the Mahan and the Sadhu takes leave from that householder without uttering a word. It is known that the house-holder’s sins are absolved once he feeds a Mahan. This whole universe is their abode. The crux is that in the path of Sanyasa dharma, the sages should not own any home and not to mislead the readers that Sadhus will dwell in other’s homes.
Oornanabi [Spider] –
“Yathornanabi hrudayadhoornam santhasya vaktrathaha”|
“thaya vihruthya booyastham grasathyaevam maheshvaraha”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.21]
A spider builds a web and dwells in that web. It does not build the web from any outside material. It spits the thread from its mouth and sports with the web. When it is bored with its web, it swallows the whole web. It lives in that small web to entice small insects and to catch them. Akin to the spider is the Lord who created the universe from his mouth. Similar to how the spider catches small insects, the Lord attracts people with a noble heart unto Him. When he is bored of his creation, he simply destroys it. The spider’s appearance is never changed when it created the web and at the time it swallowed the web. It never became thin or fat. Akin to this, the Lord also does not undergo any change when he created and destroyed the universe.
Supaeshakruth [A wasp] –
What did Avadootar learn from a wasp?
“Kithaha paeshaskrutham dhyayan kudyaam thaena pravaeshithaha”| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.23]
A wasp catches a tiny insect [kitah] and it brings it to its nest. Then the wasp goes out to get hold of another insect. In the meanwhile, the insect in the nest is contemplating on the wasp. The insect is very scared of the wasp and is of the opinion that it is going to be killed by the wasp and this thought is haunting the insect. Since the insect is constantly thinking about the wasp, it got wings and finally flew away. This is verily to show the power of meditation. The Bramaram [wasp, wandu in tamil], always depicts a guru-shisya bhaava. It is said that –
“Guror moorthi sadha dhyayeth”
“Guror naama sadha japeth”
If one always contemplates on his guru, then he finally becomes one with his guru. This union is termed as Sayujya. Then the disciple is no different from his guru. He speaks what his guru speaks and all his actions are akin to his guru. He attains the Sannidhya of his guru similar to Uddhava.
Avadootar after talking about his twenty-four gurus to King Yadu, also mentioned about the twenty-fifth guru.
“Daeho guruhu mama virakthivivekahaetuhu”
So what is the characteristic of someone who you don’t like? We normally tend to say that they create some disturbance or the other. Isn’t it? Can there be any big nuisance other than our own body? It creates so much trouble to us on a daily basis. We have to bear the pain our body creates and we just can’t shed our body. We tend to bicker with people surrounding us but can we ever wrangle with our body. If we tend to renounce our body and oblige to the needs of our body, Avadootar says one will develop discrimination [viveka].
“Avadoota vacha shutva purvaeshaam naha sa poorvajaha”|
“Sarvasanga vinirmuktaha samachitho baboova”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.9.33]
Lord Krishna said to Uddava that King Yadu, after listening to Avadootar’s discourse renounced all his material attachments.
Lord Krishna after elaborating the sanyasa dharma to Uddava, revealed a secret to Uddava
Na rodayati maam yogo na saankhyam dharma eva cha
na svaadyaayastapas tyaago neshtapoortham na dakshinaa
vrataani yagnaschandaamsi thirthaani niyamaayama:
yatavarunde satsanga: sarvasangaapaho hi maam ||
‘Oh Uddhava! It is only satsang that entices me. Yoga, Svadhyaya, penance, meditation, renunciation, sacrifices, charity, recitation for the Vedas and undertaking pilgrimages, observing strict austerities – none of these allure me as does satsang’
The satsang concluded with prayers and Namasankirtan.