May 25: Greatness of Mahatmas – 5

25 May

 

May 25th 2012 Telecon Satsang Blog

 

The path of Bhagavata Dharma being the most relevant path for the current  age is chanting the divine names of the Lord and listening to the divine glories and stories of the Lord and his devotees. This beautiful path of Bhagavatha Dharma has been attested by many Mahatmas. Sri Swamiji says that  Srimad Bhagavatam gives the best attestation for Bhagavata Dharma because it is attested by none other than Yama Dharma Raja and says that one who does not chant the divine names goes to Yama Loka, whereas those who chant the divine names will not reach Yama loka but go to Vaikunta. He instructs his messengers – ‘jihvA na vakthi bhagavath guna nAmadheyam

                   chetas cha na smarathi tach charanAravindham
                    krishnAya no namathi yach chirA ekadApi
                 tAn Anayadhvam asatho krutha vishnu kruthyAn’ [Srimad Bhagavatam 6.3.29]

That tongue (jihvA) that does not speak and chant of the Lord’s divine names even once and that heart does not think of the Lord’s feet even once (chetas cha na smarathi tach charanAravindham), the head that does not bow down unto the divine feet of the Lord saying Krishnaya namah even once are the ones eligible for Yama loka.

Sri Bhagavan Nama Bodendral says even if one chants the divine names once, that supreme abode of Vaikunta is certainly reserved for that devotee. Srimad Bhagavatam at times is quite stringent in talking about the importance of human birth.

“Durlabho mAnusho Dehaha dehinAm kshana bangu raha”
“tatrApi durlabham manyae vaikunta priya darshanam”  

It subtly elucidates the greatness of human birth and that it is indeed very rare to be born as a human being with satsanga with a Mahatma. At times Srimad Bhagavatam severely reprmimands/cautions in talking about the greatness of human birth and what one is supposed to be doing in this birth. Second canto talks about the reason for the creation of different organs in the body. If the ears aren’t used for listening to the divine names of the Lord and to the divine leelas of the Lord, then the ears can as well be compared to a burrow that is dug by the rats. If the tongue cannot chant the divine names at least once, then there is no reason for having a human tongue and instead one can have the tongue of a toad or a frog which just sticks out for the sake of food. People wear hats, toppies and people are acknowledged for their stature in their society by tying certain clothes and bands on their heads but if that head does not bow down to the holy feet of the Lord, then that head is as good as any load that is tied on a cart and the head is considered as mere load on the body. If the hands are not used to perform Pooja to the Lord, in taking tulasi leaves and offering it to the Lord then there is no use of the blood flowing in the arms and the arms are as good as that of a corpse. People have different colored eyes. Some may have blue eyes, while some have black or brown eyes. If the eyes see all the things in this world but not the beautiful form of the Lord, then these eyes are no better than the eyes in a peacock feather which are colorful as well but cannot see- “Barha yathe nou nayanou naraanaam

If the legs fail to walk to the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord, then the logs can be merely substituted by the logs from a tree-’druma janam bhAjou’.  The one who does not take the dust from the holy feet of the Mahatmas and puts it on his head is as good as a walking dead man. Srimad Bhagavatam goes to say that the heart does not yearn to listen to the divine glories and stories of the Lord is akin to a piece of stone. Kulasekara Azhwar beautifully cries out to the sense organs, where he says that his mind is not in control. The mind controls the sense organs and he says that he would have become a Jnani by now, had his mind been under control. He further added that if his mind was in control by looking at everything around and concentrated the mind on the very beautiful form of Lord Krishna and attained him long time ago.  There is no use talking about mind control and all that one can do is to plead to the sense organs and so he addressed the sense organs to turn themselves to Bhagawan. He pleads to the tongue to attempt to sing the divine names of Keshava the benign Lord who slayed the demon Mura,then beseeches the mind and the heart to concentrate, meditate and sing on the form of the Lord Sridhara who is not alone and always carries the divine Mahalakshmi (Sri) along with him. He implored the palms to perform Pooja and Archana to that divine Lord who never leaves the hands of the devotee. Achyutha is the one who never lets his devotee to slip away from the Lord’s hands when his devotee offers even a dried tulasi leaves onto his holy feet. He then requested the ears to listen to the divine names and glories of the Lord, the eyes to behold the beautiful form of Lord Krishna and the feet to walk to the divine sanctum sanctorum of the Lord. He exhorted the olfactory senses to enjoy the divine fragrance of Tulasi emanating from the Lord’s divine feet and finally to the head to bow down to the infinite supreme Lord Adhokshaja, who is the controller of everyone.

 

jihvE kIrtaya kEShavam mura ripum cEthO bhaja SrIdharam
pANi dvandva samarcayAcyuta kathA SrOtra dhvaya tvam SRNu |
kRishNam lOkaya lOchana dhvaya harEr gacchAnghri yugmAlayam
jighra ghrANa mukunda pAda tulasIm mUrdhan namAdhOkshajam || [Mukundamala sloka 16]

 

Pleading to the sense organs is what one can verily so that we turn the senses to the Lord and the Guru who is no different from Bhagwan and to employ the sense organs in his service.

 

Sri Narayananji from Boston delivered the satsang lecture. The Lord out of his infinite compassion comes down as Sadhus in order to bestow his grace on every individual on this earth and to take each and every one unto him. These sadhus who come down as Jeevan Muktas and Mahatmas are indeed verily mobile temples and pilgrimages.

In Srimad Bhagavatam Uddhistira (Dharpaputra) speaks about the greatness of Sadhus referring to Vidura who came to visit Uddhistira. He said to Vidura that Bhagavatas like you are truly  the pilgrimages and holy places because they carry the Lord in their hearts  ‘svAntah  sthena gadhAbhṛuthA ‘  and hence when they go to a place of worship, they purify that place of worship  by their mere presence. That is the greatness of Sadhus.

 

bhavadh vidhA bhAgavathAs tIrtha bhUthAh svayam vibhO
tIrthI kurvanthi tIrthAnI svAntah  sthena gadhAbhṛuthA [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.10]

 

Ambarisha was a great king and he was a great devotee of the Lord and that is verily the reason why he developed dispassion [vairagya] . Srimad Bhagavatam says that he was not just a devotee of the Lord but was a great devotee of the bhaktas [devotees of the Lord] and that helped him develop dispassion and weighed his entire kingdom to mere soil [loshtavath vrutham].

sa vaI manah krishna padAravindayhor vacAhmsi vaikunta gunAnuvarnanE
karau harer mandhira mArjanAdishu shruthim chakArAchyutha sath kathodayE
mukunda liṅgAlaya darshanE drishaU tad bhrihtya gAthra sparshe anga sangamaE [Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.18-20]

 

Ambarisha’s mind was always fixed on the divine lotus feet of the Lord, his mouth always spoke glorifying the divine glories of the Lord [vacAhmsi vaikunta gunAnuvarnanE], his always were forever deployed in the service of the Lord in the divine abode (temples) of the Lord, his ears incessantly immersed in listening to the divine glories of the Lord. Srimad Bhgavatam says -’mukunda liṅgAlaya darshanE drishaU’ – Ambarisha used his eyes to not look at the Lord but to have the darshan of the temple gopuram [vimaana] of the Lord -’mukunda linga aalayam’. This phrase ‘mukunda liṅgAlaya darshanE drishaU’ can be interpreted in another way as well. ‘Mukunda linga aalayam’ is the place where the Lord resides and it is verily the Sadhus. The eyes are not used to behold the Lord’s beauty and not the temple structures (vimaana) but having the darshan of the Sadhus who are verily the temples [aalayam] of the Lord because they house the Lord in their own hearts and so Ambarisha would yearn to have the darshan of the Sadhus. Sri Swamiji says that there is a benefit of having the darshan of Sadhus when compared to having the darshan of the Lord. When we have the darshan of the Lord, the mind attains the tranquil state but humans always want an assuage in a language that he/she can comprehend and unfortunately one does get that in the Lord’s temple, whereas when one goes to the sanctum sanctorum of the Sadhus and be in their divine presence, they listen to the queries and problems put forth by the devotees in great detail and respond to the devotee in a positive manner which are not false assurances. There is no negative word or sign that comes out from the Sadhus. Whatever Mahatmas utter, they truly mean it. All auspiciousness are bestowed on anyone and everyone not by talking to the devotee or not by ordaining something to be done by the devotee but verily by his glance. It is beautifully said in Srimad Bhagavatam-’darshanadh eva sadhavaha’, one is bestowed with all auspiciousness by Sadhus glance verily because they carry the Lord in their hearts and are devoid of any selfishness.

Sri Swamiji very often cites this incident from Sri Yogiji’s life history. Once a devotee approached Yogiji and told him that Yogiji is indeed the best person who can utter the word ‘I’, referring to the true self without any ego and very spontaneously Yogiji asked which eye, the left or the right which clearly showed that he was absolved of the ego ‘I’.

A popular writer once had the darshan of Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar once and this writer was once called by Bhagwan and asked him to accompany Bhagawan to Oya madam. While they were travelling, Bhagwan began to converse with the writer and enquired if he had read a book by an English author Ayn Rand -’Virtue of Selfishness’. She came down heavily on all the Mahatmas where she quoted that all Mahatmas are selfish. Bhagawan gave a copy of the book to the writer and started to talk in detail about the book to the writer, who also started to take notes as ordained by Bhagawan. He explained each and every point that the writer had made and started to contest by giving fitting explanation explaining why each and every point made by the author was wrong. The writer was quite surprised by Bhagawan’s detailed explanation. After about three to fours of discussion on the book, Bhagawan went to take some rest and at that instant of time there was a knock on the door and there stood a foreign journalist who stood at the door and came to meet Bhagawan. He was carrying a book in his hand and it was the same book for which Bhagawan gave the detailed explanations. The journalist had few questions on the book and wanted to meet Bhagwan to clarify them. Bhagawan casted a glance on the writer and asked him to answer the questions, who then answered each and every question of the journalist. Bhagwan beautifully said that when Mahans have no self or individuality, where is the question for selfishness. Mahatmas identify themselves with the entire brahman. Adi Shankara beautifully speaks in ‘Kaupina Panchakam’, dEhadhi bhavam parivarthayanthaha,
Swathmana athmanyavalokayantha,
Naanthaha na madhyam na bahi smarantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha – [Kaupina Panchakam Verse 4]

 

Mahatmas don’t have the virtue of self. They perceive themselves as the supreme souls and the entire world is their very self. Their mere existence is not for themselves but for the general populace.

This incident was narrated by Sri Swamiji. There was once a Sadhu who was always clad in a coat. He also used to stuff a lot of items in his coat and never allowed anyone to even touch the items and whenever someone gave him some money he would immediately go to to the shop and buy some items and stuff them in his coat. He also instructed everyone around him to cremate him with his coat when he breathed his last breath. One day the Sadhu gave up his mortal coil and as ordained by him, he was cremated with his coat on his mortal coil. When the fire was lit was on his pyre, it started to explode and beautiful fireworks lit up the sky. All the pall and gloom was just casted away and everyone started to rejoice as though it was an independence day. Sadhu had buying and stocking fireworks with all the money he had and was stuffing it in his coat pocket so that even at his cremation it is celebrated as people go back with hearts filled with joy. That is verily how Mahatmas are who verily live for the happiness of others no matter how much suffering they endure.

Mahatmas are in state of supreme bliss that they don’t realize what they are doing at times. There was a great Mahatma called Polagam Vittobha Swamigal. Sri Swamiji speaks about Vittobha Swamigal quite often. He was a tailor in Mylapore on the streets close to the temple. He had a divine experience and was in that experience for ever. He was once spotted in a drainage in a place called Polagam. He neither uttered a word nor partook any food  in that supreme state of experience. He appeared as a foolish person to the mundane people around him and started to pelt stones at him for which the Swamiji never responded as well. At one point in time, there was a wicked soul who brought a red hot piece of iron and touched him with it. Unable to bear the red heat, he shouted Vittobha, which was the only word he spoke and then went back into Samadhi and since then people started to call him as Vittobha Swamigal. He was such a great Mahatma that he was in that supreme state of bliss.

There was a Mahatma who lived very close to Madhurapuri ashram. He used to live in a place between Thambaram and Madhurapuri. He used to be like a beggar and used to speak in Hindi. Once Sri Swamiji noticed this Mahan and requested a devotee in Madhurapuri ashram to go and feed the Mahan with rotis and other food items that he would partake. As ordained by Sri Swamiji, the devotee went to meet this Mahan who was in the garb of a beggar, but as soon he saw the devotee, the beggar ran away. He never allowed anyone come near him. At one point the devotee talked to him and assured him that he was not going to do any harm and he fed him rotis. The devotee continued to feed the beggar for a few days and then Sri Swamiji ordained the devotee to bring him to the ashram. When the beggar reached the ashram, he was outside and waiting for Sri Swamiji who had stepped out. While the beggar was waiting, he felt divine vibrations  and bliss at the ashram and told that he could see many Rishis, Devas and other divine souls doing tapas and meditation in the ashram. Sri Swamiji was later informed about the divine experience of the beggar. That’s the greatness of Madhurapuri Ashram. Sri Swamiji immediately identified this great Mahatma that he would not live under a roof and so Sri Swamiji requested him to visit Thriuvannamalai. Mahatmas are normally tortured by normal people. Papa Ramadas was once given the best in class comforts and was regarded as god because he cured someone and at another time, he was urinated and desiccated upon in a train. He saw both the events as the divine play of Lord Rama.  It is eventually their nature to bestow good on everyone.

In Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna goes to say ‘Oh Arjuna! Mahans and Me do not have to follow any specific rule to lead our lives.

“na mE parthastI kartavyam
trishu lokeshu kinhcana
nAnAvAptam vAptavyam
vartha eva cha karmanI” [Srimad Bhagavad Gita 3.22]

 

Mahatmas don’t have any karma to follow but they still act as normal human being and follow the normal ways of life  and this is clearly seen in  Sri Swamiji’s life and other Mahatmas lives.

 

“yath yatAcarati sresthasha
tat tadh evetaro janah
 sa yath pramAnam kuruthe
lokas tadanuvartatE” [Srimad Bhagavatam 3.21]

 

Krishna did follow all the rules in fact he baffled Sage Narada by meticulously following the rules and karmas. Mahans clearly show the path of life by themselves leading it, although they have no reason to follow it. People speak of different rules that a bhakta is supposed to follow but there is actually no rules for a devotee because Mahans embrace the devotees no matter how the devotees are.

Srimad Bhagavatam clearly depicts a beautiful precept where the Guru’s physical appearance is glorified in this sloka and lucidly shows how a devotee should care of a Guru.

 tatrAbhavath bhagavAn vyAsa putrO
 yadrucchayA ghAm atamAnO napeksah
Alakshya lingO nija lAbha tushtO
vratas cha bAlair avadhUtha vesah
tam dvyastha varsham su kumAra pAda
 karOru bAhv amsa kapOla gAtram
chArv AyatAksonnasa thulya karna
 subhrvAnanam kambu sujAtha kanTham [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.25 -26]

The Guru or a Mahatma is always serving the Lord and the devotee  needs to take care of his physical needs of the Guru’s body is taken care . That is verily how a true devotee should be whereas the Guru is the vice versa , where the Guru tries to remove the thought about the body [deha bhava] from the disciple’s mind where the  devotee should always be in constant thought about the comfort of the Guru and should always admire the physical appearance and gait of the Guru. The Mahatma and the Guru in turn makes the devotees’ vision turn inward and make sure the devotees attain Bhagawan.

 

The satsang concluded with Namasankirtan.  

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