Friday, April 30, 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam(wedding chapter 67-75)

Above are photographs of "Shamee Vruksham" which is the Kula Deivam of Lord Venkateswara and the Pandavas. Also known as Jhand (hindi), Jammi Chettu (telugu), Jambu Maram (tamil) and Prosopis Cineraria (Botanical name). According to epics, Pandavas hid their weapons on the Shamee Vruksham during the last leg of their exile in forest (AGNYAATHAVAASAM).Click to enlarge photos.

67)Thatho Niyukthavidhinaa Dakthvaa Thaambooladakshinaaha!
Vipraanaam Vedavidushaam Thadhaa Mangalavaadinaam!!

Afterwards 'thaamboolam and dakshina' (auspicious gifts like beetle leaves, nuts, vermillion and turmeric along with remuneration) was given to the vedic pundits and musicians who sang auspicious tunes.

68)Dadurdevaa Dhanam Vasthram Vaasudevasya Ye Priyaa!
Thathaha Samaapya Karmaani Shaasthrokthaani Yadhaavidhi!!

The near and dear of Lord Srinivasa presented gifts like cash and clothing to the Lord. After the presentation ceremony, they proceeded with other auspicious rituals.

69)Kuladeivamapruchchaththam Vasishto Vasudhaadhipa!
Sa Thasya Shruthvaa Bhagavaanaaha Vai Munim!!

Sage Vasishta asked Lord Srinivasa, " Srinivasa, Who is your 'Kula Deivam(God of His clan)?"


70)Sri Bhagavaan:-
Vasishta Mama Kalyaanee Kuladevee Smruthaa!
Mamaapi Paandavaanaancha Naathra Kaaryaa Vichaaranaa!!

Lord Srinivasa told Sage Vasishta:" O Vasishta, my clan as well as the Pandavaa clan have "Shamee Vruksham" (jammi tree) as our 'Kula Deivam', there are no second thoughts on this matter."

71)"Kva Chaasthi Sa Dhrumasreshtaha" Ithyuktheygasthya Oochivaan!
Athraivoththaradibhaagey Theerdhey Kowmaarasanjakey!!

When Sage Vasishta questioned regarding the location of "Shamee Vruksham", Sage Agasthya replied that in the Northern direction on the shores of "Kumaradhara Theerdham"...

72)Varthathey Vruksharaajashcha Thathra Gathvaa Thamaanaya!
Agasthya Vachaneynaivam Thathra Gathvaadha Tham Dhrumam!!

Shamee Vruksham could be found. When asked to go there and fetch the tree, Lord Srinivasa who is the incarnation of "Dharma Varaaha" went there...

73)Kruthvaa Pradakshinam Raajan! Bhagavaan Loukika Samaha!
Samshchakrey Shameevruksham Kuladeivam Vrushaakapihi!!

and like an ordinary mortal, the Lord performed the circumambulation and worship of the tree..

74)Sri Bhagavaan:-
Shamee!Paapam Shamaya Mey Shamee! Shathruvinaashini!
Arjunasya Dhanurdhaathri Raamasya Priyadarshini!!

The Lord said:-"O Shamee Tree! Please rid me of my sins! You are the destroyer of enemies! You became the armoury for Arjuna's weapons! You are dear most to Rama!

75)Maatharmey Kuru Kalyaanam Avighneyna Surapriye!
Kalahaha Sarvadevaanaam Raagnyasthasya Cha Nodbhaveth!!

O dear most of the entire Deva clan (Divine clan), please conduct my wedding smoothly without any obstacles. During the wedding, please prevent clashes between Deva clan (Divine clan) and Aakaasha Raaja (father of Goddess Padmavathi)!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Maha Periyava's message!

rAbove is a crown made of Tulasi beads, cardamom and 'lavangam' strewn around and shaped as "OM" (in sanskrit) on it. This is the crown which His Holiness, Pujyasri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi asked me to wear on my head while I performed in His Divine Presence (in Orikkai village, while He was observing Silence) when I was 11 years old.
Kumudam Bhakti
magazine (Issue:-April 16-30,2010) carried my photographs and interview. The interview though well presented had a few gaping holes (obviously due to a communication gap) which I thought I would fill up here.
The interview states that I had been to the Ashram of Paramahamsa Yogananda in Encinitas and I also had His darshan!!!! He had attained liberation in the year 1952,even before I was born!
The article also states that I do not go abroad due to my belief that Hindu Dharma is opposed to flying overseas. This statement is partially true. There was a long period of time (through the best part of the 80s and all through the 90s) when I had simply refused to go abroad as I firmly believed that my living God, Paramacharya was against Hindus crossing the high seas. In the bargain I had even rejected plum offers from abroad inviting me to perform veena. In the latter half of 80s to the best part of 90s, I was frequenting Kanchipuram, involving myself (for a brief period during mid-90s) in the fund raising of the temple that is being constructed for Paramacharya in Orikkai village, near Kanchipuram. In the bargain I had the great fortune of meeting and interacting with renowned vedic scholars and close associates of Paramacharya. In all our conversations, the one thing that struck a chord in me was His objection to Hindus crossing the mighty Oceans. I wondered whether the rule (not to go abroad) applied only to vedic pundits and sanyasis. I even knew of a few staunch devotees who not only travelled abroad frequently, but also raised funds abroad towards the construction of Paramacharya's temple. I was genuinely confused and no matter how much I discussed about this, I could never get a clear and concrete answer whether women and artistes could go abroad. After much introspection, I decided not to accept concerts abroad. My trips to Muscat in early 90s and Berlin, Germany in 2002 for unavoidable reasons were the only exceptions. I had rejected many offers all through till last year, when the mother got the better of the aritste in me.
2009 was the year I rushed to San Diego to be with my daughter, Haritha who works for Qualcomm.
In my interview I had mentioned all about the dreams I had while in San Diego. From day one in San Diego, I had dreamt of saints and great sages. The prophetic dream about Paramahamsa Yogananda got me trailing the path to His ashram in Encinitas (a half-an-hour's drive from San Diego).
I had semi-visions of Sri Vidyaranya Swami while in San Diego and Houston. I was taken aback that all these divine things were happening to me in the US!!!! While I was posting articles on Soundarya Lahari (mantras,yantras and text) in my blog, 'Jasmine Strings' while in San Diego, I had curious dreams of 'Kundalini' rising like a serpent!
The ultimate dawning (that I was all along wrong in believing that Paramacharya was opposed to Hindus going abroad) ascended on me in the form of a prophetic dream!
In my dream, Paramacharya, in His saffrons,smiled gently as He beckoned to me. I was pushing back my two plaits and more keen to play in the sand (which means I was a child of 6 or 7 when I used to wear two braids and loved to play in the sand!) I slowly walked towards Him and He smilingly made me sit on His lap. He started chanting a famous and most powerful mantra and asked me to repeat it. I repeated it and word by word He made me repeat the entire mantra. In between, when I mispronounced a verse, He smiled and asked me "Idu yaaru solluvaa?". I corrected myself and repeated the whole mantra to His satisfaction. I asked Him in english,"how many times should I say this everyday?" He smiled widely as though to a child and told me the number, allowing me to run towards the sand.
When I woke up the next day, I understood the implication of Paramacharya appearing in my dreams while in San Diego. His appearance in my dream not only reaffirmed the fact that He was "Sarvaantharyaami" (Omnipresent), He also let me know through the dream that He was not against Hindus travelling anywhere under the sun! He actually sought His child (myself) in the US to preach me the mantra! I also realized that while I was in India I had never had such powerfully divine dreams almost everyday! From the next day of my dream till today, I recite the mantra everyday as instructed and guided by Paramacharya in my dreams in San Diego.
The Kumudam Bhakti interview mentions my dream without mentioning the crux, that Paramacharya IS NOT opposed to Hindus crossing the oceans to go abroad.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Prayers as Affirmations!

Above is the photograph of Lord Vishnu (jalashayanam) at Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu, Nepal.(This temple has devotees from Hinduism and Budhism sects. The entire idol is carved out of a single stone. This temple is one among the 108 Sri Vaishnavite Divya Kshetrams).
Rhonda Byrnes' "The Secret" is all about the well-known law of attracting whatever we think. OUR THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS! So think positively!!!! Simple but tough! For instance, when someone abuses us right on our faces, we not only have to smile at them warmly in return, the warmth (here is the crux of the matter) has to originate from the bottom of your heart to fill your being, (better still if the warmth overflows!!!!). Now we know how tough it is!!!!!! We would be incensed and nothing would deter us from getting the final word or having the 'last laugh'?!
Modern philosophers and self-help experts (like Louise L.Hay)advise the practice of affirmations for the implementation of positive thinking. It goes like this-
Take a book and pen, sit down to write what you desire the most in present tense (at least 10 times a day).
A few affirmations,
1) I am beautiful
2)I am slim and I have a great body
3)I am surrounded by love
4)Divine energy flows through me to attract the best of people and opportunities.
5)The Universe is my home and everything belongs to me
6) I have a great life
and blah, blah, blah.......

Our "nithya parayanam" of slokas are nothing but affirmations and we know that the phrases mentioned above are no match to the slokas that sing the glories of God!
Whenever a paaraayanam (sloka recitation) is performed, it is important to visualize God in the centre of our heart region. Once this is accomplished, each and every naamam (name) of the ashtotharam or sahasranamam is automatically directed to the divinity within us, thereby strengthening and enhancing the Divine within us ( as consciously visualized and practised by us), transforming our prayer into an affirmation!!
The power of vedic affirmations :-
"Om Vishvam Vishnurvashatkaaro
Bhoothaathmaa Bhoothabhaavanaha!"

(Meaning:1)Vishvam-Universe or cause of Universe orOne who is full in all respects (Om Vishvaaya Namaha)
2)Vishnu-One who permeates everything, One who is inside every sentient and non-sentient being. One who surrounds everything (Om Vishnavey Namaha)
3)Vashatkara-One who controls and directs (not merely permeates)
4)Bhootha-Bhavya-Bhavath-Prabhuhu-The Lord of all things that exists in the past, present and future.
5)Bhootha-Krud-The Creator of all beings.
6)Bhootha-brud- The Supporter of all beings. One who supports all.
7)Bhavaha-He who exists in all splendour, always independent of everything else.
8)Bhoothaathma- The soul or life of all beings.
9)Bhootha-Bhaavanaha-One who nourishes and nurtures all beings He has created.

Sri Vishnu Sahasranama or Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam or the other ashtotharams/sahasranamams (slokas or stothra parayanam like Sri Subrahmanya Bhujanga stothram, Lingashtakam, Soundarya Lahari, Devi Khadgamala, Vinayaka Agaval, Srimad Bhagavatham, Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam, Srimad Narayaneeyam, Bhagavad Githa, Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatham etc. etc.............the list of our rich slokas are endless) if understood and implemented correctly as affirmations (because the Divine is within ) yield results beyond the proportions of nature!!!! It is important to understand that it is God we are invoking here and not merely a few material benefits for the sake of our jivaathma like the english affirmations mentioned above!
Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam combined with Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam are the most mind-blowing affirmations one could ever think of in our present times!
Likhitha japa (written affirmations like "Sri Rama Jayam", Sri Maathrey Namaha" etc. are absolutely potent too!)
If one has the time and energy, 'aakarshana mantras' of Lord Sudarshana or Goddess Raja Mathangi could also be used as written affirmations. The results are absolutely instantaneous and magical!
The western author, Thomas Ashley-Farrand has mentioned many mantras in his book, "Healing Mantras".
For health:
2)Ganapathy Mantra-"OM GUM GANAPATHAYE NAMAHA"(to remove energy blockages and obstacles).
The above two mantras are two examples out of the innumerable mantras given in his book that has mantras for health, wealth, prosperity, peace, joy, love and marital relationships.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam(wedding chapter 58-66)

58)Thadaa Muhoothakaalasthu Darshitho Deivachinthakaihi
Bhooshanaani Svaputhrasya Pouthrasthu Jagadeeshithuhu!!

After that, the divine authorities declared the auspicious time.

59)Yaachayithvaa Mahaaraja! Kubera Madha Saa Ramaa;
Aaadaaya Tham Dadarshaadha Bhagavaanaaha Thaam Nrupa!!

Pleading Kubera for goods, Goddess Lakshmi Devi displayed them to Lord Sreenivasa, and He said....

60)Sree Bhagawan:-
Sambhooshaya Varaarohey! Bhooshanairmaam Varaananey!
Evamukthaa Hasanthee Saa Bhooshanaisthamabhooshayath!!

"O Beautiful One! Please decorate me with those ornaments!" and the Goddess smilingly decorated the Lord as He wished!

61)Peethaambaram Dadhaaraashu Katisoothramanarghyakam!
Swarnairaabharanairvasthraihi Bhooshithasthu Thatho Harihi!!

After the decoration of ornaments, Lord Sreenivasa adorned Himself with 'peethambaram' ('dhothi' made out of pure gold) and invaluable waist bands.Lord Sreenivasa, adorning priceless jewels and golden attire....

62)Kashyapaathribharadwaaja Vasishtaadeen Mahaamuneen!
Namashchakrey Virincheysha Vinuthopi Vidambayan!!

And despite being worshipped by Lord Brahma and the enitre Universe, pretending and behaving like a common man, prostrated to the sages, Kashyapaa, Athri, Bharadwaaja and Vasishtaa!

63)Sandhyaamupaasya Vidhivath Kruthvaa Thaathkaalikakriyaaha!
Vasishtamaahooyovaacha Santhoshodrikthamaanasaha!!

After that, Lord Sreenivasa performed all the necessary rituals to carry out 'Sandhyaavandanam' and summoned sage Vasishta.

64)Sree Bhagavan:-
Munisreshtaa! Vasishtaa! Thvam Uththaram Kaaryamaachara!
Vaasudevavachaha Shruthvaa Vasishto Vadathaam Varaha!!

"O Virtuous sage! Kindly carry out all the necessary auspicious rituals!" thus spoke Lord Sreenivasa, and on hearing Him Sage Vasishtaa..

65)Virachya Vedikaam Thathra Moukthikaishchathurashrikaam!
Sreenivaasaam Prathishtaapyaa Sankalpavidhipoorvakam!!

Seated Lord Sreenivasa on a dais that was decorated with pearls on all four sides

66)Chakrey Punyaahakarmaadha Varayithvaa Dvijanmamaha
Ashtavargam Thathashchakrey Srushtikarthaa Pithaamahaha!!

where the naming ceremony of the Lord was conducted. After the ceremony, Lord Sreenivasa, with the assistance of the brahmin purohiths performed the vedic ritual for marriage known as "Ashtavarga."


RADHASHTAMI - 23rd September, 2023