May 3: Greatness of Mahatmas – 2

3 May

If there is one deity that we need to refer to it is verily Pandarinathan of Panadarpur. It is he who gave an indication to Sri Swamiji about his future devotees and this is recounted by Sri Swamiji in many of Sri Bhagyaji’s Madhurasmaranam. When Sri Swamiji was in Kumbakonam,south of Tamil Nadu, he had a divine call from Lord Panduranga  asking him as to why he has not come Panduranga temple in Pandarpur all along.  Sri Swamiji immediately traveled to Pandarpur and had a holy dip in Chandrabhaga (Bheema) river. He is very fond of Theertha Snana and definitely takes the holy dip in all Punya Theerthas whenever he is in the vicinity of the holy rivers.  Sri Swamiji at that instant of time, had a divine vision with a huge mass of people before him and Lord Panduranga indicated to him that they are all Sri Swamiji’s future devotees. Even Sri Swamiji could relate the mass of people to be very familiar to him, as if he had known them always and the streets of Pandarpur seemed very familiar to him, although it was Sri Swamiji’s first visit. He then had the darshan of Lord Vittala . We are able to enjoy and relate to all this only because of Sri Swamiji’s compassion that he has spoken about this divine experience of Lord Panduranga and his visit to Pandarpur in the form of a beautiful kirtan-’Pandari Vara Ennai’.

 

The satsang lecture was delivered by Sri Narayananji from Boston.

The mind-born  [Manasa Putra] son of Sage Veda Vyasa, Sage Suka completely bereft of any mundane needs and hence he became a sarva bootha hrudayam. In another episode, he had no distinction of male and femal – ‘na thu suthasya yathA drishtaE” and hence the divine ladies from Deva Loka [Devastris]  who were taking bath went to prostrate unto Sage Suka even though they were in the middle of their bath, but they felt a little shy to come in front of Sage Veda Vyasa who was following Sage Suka. Such was the divine state of Sage Suka, a Jeeva Mukta. Jnanis  are Bhavuka Bhaktas. Sage Narada says that ‘na shObhatE jnana malam niranjanam’. A Jeevan Mukta automatically becomes a Bhavuka Bhakta and when he is so it becomes very enjoyable. Sage Narada says that Jnana alone is not sufficient and cannot be relished but if Jnana and Bhakti come together, then Bhavuka Bhakti which is the supreme form of Bhakti becomes all the more relishable. An illustration of this precept is Jadabharatha Charitram. The fifth canto is about Jeevan Muktas and  begins with the charithra of Rishabha Yogishwara the greatest of the Yogishwaras who was filled with dispassion and a complete renunciant. Rishabha Yogiswara, who ruled the entire earth, had 100 sons and 81 of them were great kings and rulers. Nine of them were the Navayogis-’Kavi, Hari, Prabuddha, Anthariksha, Pippalayana, Avirhotra, Drumila,Chamasa and Karabhajana’. Nine of them ruled the entire nine Dweepas and the last son (hundredth one)  who was infact the  first of the hundred sons, was Bharatha. It is a general belief that if there is a Jnani or a Mahatma in the family, there will be Jnanis in the lineage all throughout and true to this precept was Bharatha who was a MahaJnani. Srimad Bhagavatam speaks about the chartithra of Rishaba Yogiswara where is talks about he had beautifully renounced his complete life , kingdom, wealth, affluence and power and how he led a life of an austerity because he was a Jeevan Mukta. He spent his last days in Kutakacala (now known as Coorg) in the foothills of Karnataka. The presence of Rishaba Yogiswara was felt by the divine smell. Even when he threw some dirt from his body,it would have carry the smell akin to an incense and the fragrance of it would be felt for more than hundred miles. The presence of a Jnani is very much reflected in the nature. All of us have infact felt the same divine fragrance wafting through the air when we reminisce Sri Swamiji. When we are in the divine presence of a Mahatma,our minds tend to become Sativka and all the negative tendencies gets absolved. The mind gets quietened when one is the presence of a Mahatma since the Rajo Guna is being silenced verily because Mahatmas are Satvikas and hence their very nature gets transferred to everyone around them thus silencing all the minds of those around the Jeevan Muktas. Srimad Bhagavatam also talks about Rishaba Yogishwara’s advice to his sons where he imparted knowledge or detachment by glorifying the path of bhakti.  He said – ‘mutkthim dhaadathi karhichith sma na bhakti yogam’ [Srimad Bhagavatam 5.6.18]. He imparted the precept to his sons that the lord would bestow anyone mukti or liberation when one chants the divine names of the lord, but he does not bestow bhakti to everyone. Jadabharatha was a mumukshu in his first birth but he was not a Jeevan Mukta. He was known as Bharatha the great king in this first birth. He would perform ‘thrivridh Bhramakshara Japam and Gayathri Japa’ three times a day, he would get up early in the morning and go to the banks of ‘Gantaki’ in a place called Pulahashrama and perform severe austerities. Srimad Bhagavatam doesn’t depict Jadabharatha as a Jnani or a Jeevan Mukta in his first birth but it does speak of him being a Jeevan Mukta in his third birth. His second birth was that of a deer verily because he kept thinking about it and fell for it and in his second birth, even though he was a deer, because of his worship to Lord Krishna in his previous birth, he knew his birth as a deer was a result of his slipping of his Sadhanas and so he remained secluded. Even though he was a deer, he was sequestered in the Phulashrama area and was waiting for his next birth and lo! In his next birth he was Jadbharatha, a Jeevan Mukta. He was insentient (Jada) and was born in Angirasa Gothra. He was once in a corn farm when people with demonic qualities approached him and took him for a sacrifice. When they took Jadabharatha for a sacrifice, he was unmoved and when he was about to be offered as a sacrifice, Mother Kali manifests and slaughtered the demonic people. Nature protects Jeevan Muktas when something wrong is being done to them and  Mother Kali comes as a prelude to show the greatness of Jeevan Muktas. Raghugana was a great king who was enroute to meet his Guru, Kapila and he accidentally [yadruchaya] met Jadabharatha through immense grace of Lord  Krishna. He first chided Jadabharatha as to whether he was alive or dead – ‘tvam jivan mruthO mAm’  and one would think that Mother Nature would have reprimanded Rahugana who had a condescending tone when he spoke to Jadabharadha. Interestingly Raghugana became a disciple of Jadabharatha. He fell at the feet of Jadabharatha and at that moment, he was completely under his shelter and no nature could come near him. Jadabharatha imparted the greatest precept that the greatest virtue is that of bhakti to have devotion unto the devotees of the lord.  He also shows the path that can lead one to that epitome bhakti which is verily listening to the lord’s glories and Kathashravanam-’yattrotamasloka yashOnugiyathE ‘

 

rahUgaṇaitat tapasA na yAti na cejyayA nirvapaṇAd gṛuhAd vA

na cchandasA naiva jalAgni-sUryair vinA mahat pAda rajo bhiṣhekam [Srimad Bhagavatam 5.12.12]

 

Srimad Bhagavatam shows that Jeevan Muktas are indeed the supreme of the devotees. Sri Swamiji also glorifies also Jeevan Muktas as true devotees in one of the kirtans, – ‘nija bhaktargalE jeevan muktharaE‘. He glorifies that true devotees are indeed Jeevan Muktas.

In Viveka Choodamani, Sri Bhagavad Pada gives a beautiful sloka, where the characteristics of an elevated soul  

kvachith mudo vidwaan kvachitapi maha raaja vibhavaha

kvachith brantha sowmyaha kvachith ajakaraha chaarakalithaha |

kvachith paatri bootahah kvachith avamataha kvaapi avidithaha

charad evam pragnyaha satata paramanada sukitaha  || [Viveka Choodamani sloka 542] “

 

These qualities are seen in Mahatmas from Purana times like Jadabharatha, Prahlada, Sri Suka even in contemporary Mahatmas. Srimad Bhagavatam says they are ‘unmatha’ which refers to Mahatmas who sometimes act as though they lost their senses. They  would remain still akin to Nammazhwar who was remained in the divine supreme state from the time he was born in a small hole in tamarind tree and no one could shake him up. Mahatmas are extremely vibrant scholars who wouldn’t exhibit it at all. CHaitanya Mahaprabhu was a scholar [vidwaan] beyond any comparison. One could perceive the same from the life of Mahaperiva Sri Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal in the recent past . The knowledge that he possessed in science was beyond any comparison. Once Mahaperiayava was camping in a place in Karnataka. It was pre independence days where the kings ruled the provinces and the king had come to pay his respects to Paramacharya. He humbly prostrated unto Mahaperiyava and was standing with folded hands in all reverence. Right next to him was his son who had the air of nonchalance and did not really pay the due respects for the Mahatma who was present there and was at ease. Mahaperiva out of his immense compassion called him and enquired about his well-being and he replied that he was in a foreign land  and did not give more details as to what he was actually doing in the foreign land in spite of Mahaperiva’s repeated inquires. After few more inquires, the boy mentioned that he was a reader  in mathematics and Mahaperiva immediately put forth more questions about  his Phd.  The boy on hearing Mahaperiya’s questions was stunned beyond imagination and started shivering. He gathered all his courage and told him that he was doing his research in quantum theory. Mahaperiva was seated on a pile of sand and bent down and marked a plus and minus sign on two circles on the sand and he asked the boy if he his research was on positive or negative quantum theory. The boy on seeing this was completely flabbergasted and didn’t really  expect this from Mahaperiva , a humble old man in Khaadi clothes. He immediately looked at Mahaperiva and informed him that it was positive quantum theory who immediately asked him why he did not pursue negative quantum theory. He then explained the reasons for not doing in negative quantum theory. Mahaperiva then summoned a few Patashala students and ordained them to chant a few mantras from the Rig Vedas.  When all the Rig Veda mantras were chanted, he told  the boy that the mantras recited speak about  positive and negative quantum theory. With a smile on Mahaperiva’s face he told the boy that Vedas contain everything. Mahatmas are very knowledgeable. One will not be able to perceive their scholarliness from their appearance.  

The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.

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