Satsang delivered by Sri Narayanan from Boston.
In one of the Shanti slokas in Vedas, where one prays to the Lord to protect his, ears, eyes and limbs.
“Om bhadram karnebhih shrunu yAma devAha
Bhadram pashyemaa kshabhir yajatrAha
Sthirai rangai stushtu vAgum sasta nObhihi
Vyashema devahitam yadA yuhu”
The reason for having prayers is to request the Lord to protect the ears so that one can listen to the chanting of divine names and protection of eyes so that one can have the darshan of the Lord and also pray to the Lord for the limbs to be intact so that all the sense organs are employed in blissful service for the Lord and SadGuru. When such a prayer is offered to the Lord in order for one to render service to the Lord, then the prayer is by no means a selfish request.
There is a beautiful prayer composed by Sri Swamiji directed to Lord Ranganatha in Srirangam. It is in the prose form [Gadhyam]. It addresses the Lord who is in sleeping, but not sleepy on a serpent bed in Srirangam and requested the Lord to listen to a prayer which is a list of all wants and desires. The prayer may sound selfish since it is for worldly needs. But a prayer is indeed not a selfish prayer when one ends the prayer with a request to the Lord to bestow him with a thought and an act, which is verily how Sri Swamiji concluded his prayer. The thought being all the needs and wants are bestowed simply because of the Lord’s grace and not because of one’s merits or capabilities and this summarizes the entire prayer. Srimad Bhagavatam delineates on ‘Poshanam’ [Poshanam tad anugraham] which is verily the Lord’s compassion and grace [Anugraha] and Bhagavatam lucidly shows that one is bestowed with all goodness verily because of Lord’s grace and compassion and emphasizes it in every sloka, chapter, stories and all life-histories of devotees [Charitras]. Sage Narada perceived the course of events in his life as the Lord’s benediction [Anugraham Manyamana]. He was bestowed with a mother and a satsang. Even when Narada’s mother was dead, he took that also as a mere blessing of the Lord.
Towards the end, the Lord himself showers the precious gem of knowledge through a Gita called ‘Avadoota Gita’. He speaks about the story of a great king called Yadu to Uddava. King Yadu was a great king and had all the riches in the world and with all kind of paraphernalia and yet he was not happy. There was another person, Avadoota who was roaming around in the forest. He barely had any clothes on him and had no kind of schedule or routines. He was akin to a little child bubbling with energy and was extremely happy. King Yadu met Avadoota and enquired the reason for his happiness and Avadoota replied that he perceived everything to be the result of the Lord’s grace. When the whole world was seething in the heat of Samsara, Avadoota was basking in the cold waters and he attributed it to be the Guru’s grace [Anugraham] and talks about the 24 Gurus. He further added that even if one had many Gurus, the knowledge imparted by them will never dawn on that person if he/she didn’t have the grace of a Guru. If Guru’s grace is complete on his devotee, he imparts the knowledge in a fraction of a second and is irrelevant how he bestows that knowledge on him. The moral for all normal mortals is to perceive everything happening in one’s life as Lord’s grace and then the world will be a very happy place to live.
Sage Suka during his dialogue with King Parikshit gave him the supreme truth after revealing all the greatest divine truths from Srimad Bhagavatham. Oh Parikshit; “Look at your body! It is not you and if you consider your body as yourself, you are no better than an animal –
Pashubhudhi imAmjahi” Sage Suka after expounding on the truths walked away from King Parikshit. He never waited for him to respond. At that point in time, King Parikshit was unaware of the next steps. He was in Vratha called ‘Prayopavesha’; where he had renounced his entire kingdom, family and riches and had come to the banks of Ganges and was blessed to listen to the nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam by Sage Suka.
TatrAbhavadh bhagavAn vyAsa-putro
yadṛcchayA gAm aṭamAno napekṣaḥ|
vṛtas ca bAlair avadhuta-veṣaḥ|| [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.25]
When he saw Sage Suka walking away, King Parikshit fondly recollected how he rejoiced the arrival of his SadGuru, Sage Suka at the brink of his death and how he enjoyed doing service to his Guru, and was in a state of bliss when he sat beside his Sadguru and asked questions about the Lord, his divine plays and about the Lord’s devotees. He was in state of ecstasy when he listened to the answers given by Sage Sukha. Sage Suka is one who does not turn back when he is called as if there is no connection between him and King Parikshit.
putreti tan mayatayA taravo abhineduhu
tam sarva-bhUta hṛudayam munim Anatosmi [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.2]
He never turned back when his father, Sage Veda Vyasa called him.
King Parikshit looked helpless when Sage Suka walked away and he wanted to give him something. Unfortunately he had renounced everything and had nothing to give his Sadguru. He was also cognizant of the fact that one can never repay anything in return for the compassion showered by a Guru; ‘Karana rahita krupa nidhi rekhaha’. When Sage Suka expounded on Srimad Bhagavatam, King Parikshit was drinking the divine nectar of Bhagavatam and Sage Suka had asked him to keep his ears open [Sharavana Putaihi] so that he can pour Bhagavatam into King Parikshit’s ears. When Sage Suka poured Bhagavatam, Parikshit’s listening capacity grew more and so much so that he was able to accommodate the entire nectar of Bhagavatham within himself and he was truly a container of divine nectar of Bhagavatam “Amruthasya Putraha”. Even though he cannot repay anything in return for what his Sadguru had given him, he can verily give back the divine nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam that was imparted to him by his Sadguru and the way he returned the divine nectar was verily through his eyes. One may ponder how. The divine nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam that was absorbed by King Parikshit’s ears came out as droplets of tears of joy and dispassion [viraha] through his eyes. He showed his gratitude to his Sadguru by shedding few drops of tears and that is verily how a devotee can give back to his Sadguru. A gratitude that swells up the devotee’s heart expresses itself as tears in the eyes.
A devotee cannot thank a Sadguru. He can only show his gratitude. A greatest offering that a disciple can give to his Sadguru is few drops of tears and living with the thought that ever moment of one’s life is verily because of the grace of the Sadguru.
King Parikshit says – “Siddhosmi Anugrahitosmi”. He says he was in a wretched state seven days ago and that he is totally liberated by the grace of his Sadguru, Sage Suka and considers himself to be a blessed soul. One who is bestowed with Sadguru’s grace is indeed a truly blessed one –“Guruvin Arul Petravare IrupirapAlar Medhiniyil. ” Guru is not present in the vicinity when one is in a blissful state, but when the devotee is in a sorrowful state, he is with him taking care of him until he is relieved of the pain. That is verily Guru’s grace which is easily perceivable by his devotees.
The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.