Cherished Memoirs

Sri Swamiji continued…

“The main difference between bhaktisoukhya(the joy in devotion) and bhaktiprayojanaka(devotion done as a means to an end) is that if prayojanam is not obtained, then they will stop bhakti. In bhakti soukhya, such devoteescannot stop. Can anyone stop breathing? Why? Because it is inherent, natural.For great bhaktas, bhakti is inherent.

There are many granthas(texts) on the relish of devotion that explains about bhakti rasam (Relish of devotion), sukham,sugandham (fragrance of divine love) What is the necessity for books like these? When you want to dress well, you go to a fashion designer. You go to a 5-star hotel because the chef knows the intricacies of the palate and caters to it. You ask an interior decorator to decorate your house. Why?Because he is an expert in that field and can make your home look great. When you’re cooking, someone may advice you to cook in a particular way to make the dish tastier. Another person may advice you wear your dress in a particular way so it looks more becoming. Similarly, this granthaexplains how to do Krishna bhaktiin such a way that it becomes more enjoyable; what form, what approach of worship will make it more joyous to us.

Now you understand what is meant by bhakti sukham and bhakti prayojanam. Great bhaktaswill never keep the prayojanamin mind. Prayojanamis for ordinary people; for those who always think about their mundane matters. Even if such people come and sit in front of Premika Varadan for some time, whendhoopa, deepa, kirtana(offering of incense sticks, lamp and devotional music)is going, their mind will go towardstheir work, relationships, etc. Even when they are in the presence of this great divinity, they are unable to raise their mind to a higher level. Why don’t they think sometimes about Bhagavan’sface, the peacock feather, flute… and lift their mind to a higher level? Even if they sit here, their mind starts automatically roaming here and there.

The mind has different levels… sthoola, sukshma, (gross, subtle etc) etc.Only when your mind goes towards the upper levels it is possible to think of God frequently. When the mind is not dwelling in the higher levels, it is not possible for you to think constantly of God.

“How to make the mind go to higher levels? For that, as a practice, you have to chant, chant, chant (the Mahamantra) for hours together. It doesn’t matter if you chant with or without devotion. But you have to chant. Like a chanting box!And preferably with the association of a holy place.Slowly the mind will then be elevated and go to a different plane.”

Even then mundane thoughts will come, but the frequency will be less. And as these thoughts come, by vivekam(discrimination), the mind can be made to come up once again to the right path. As the mind keeps going up and up, finally we will attain samadhi! What does samadhi mean? It is a state from which one cannot get back into the world. The mind going to the upper state cannot be attained automatically. For that you should eat saatvikfood (harmonious simple non spicy healthy fresh food!), be in a saatvikatmosphere, should be very humble and cordial, and practice like a sadhana (spiritual practice) for a long time the means of bhakti that you like – listening, chanting, archana, and others.At that time, do not worry that it is not possible for you to chant with bhakti, etc.

So how to motivate yourself? See the world! You have come across so many people who are suffering from cancer, kidney problems and other diseases. There are people who are blind, mentally disabled. Some people don’t have anything to eat. Some people don’t know what they will do the next day! Some people work very hard for very small earnings. They work nights. They work in sewers and drains. But God has blessed you witheverything. Just saying thanks to Him is not enough. How to show your gratitude? Utilize your life! Utilize your birth! That is the real way of showing thanks.The real gratitude is to make your human birth fruitful and not be born once again, and go to Him instead.

If you want to come again and again to the world, you could become an elephant, a donkey, a dog. You will get beaten, they will chain you, you will cry, it will be painful and there’s no remedy. But now you know what the remedy is for it. You know how to come out of it. You know the way. But even if you know the way to come out of it, if you’re not doing something about it and are not working for it, then what is the use?

“When we eat food for taste, it fulfils our hunger also. So even if we are doing bhakti for sukham, it will free us from the bondage of birth and death. It will happen very soon.”

To experiencebhakti soukhyamyou should have the aesthetic taste (rasikatvam). But if you don’t have the aesthetic taste, at least you should do it mechanically. You cannot give it up saying that you do not have the taste.

Motivate yourself like this… so many others are not able to wear colourful dresses.But I am able to wear! If you were blind and come sit here where someone is reading Bhagavatam, what would you think? Won’t you think that if I had had eyesight, I too could have readBhagavatam?But now when you do have good eyesight, do you actually readBhagavatam?!One day if you are bedridden and someone goes to Brindavan or Badri, what will you think? If my legs were ok, I too could have travelled. But now when your legs are all right, do you go? That is the question.

“Human tendency is to think of everything after he loses the opportunity to do it.That is foolishness.”

We have to make use of the opportunity when we are fit and able to. When it is possible, do more shravanam (Listening to divine stories, lectures etc); when it is possible, chant more; when it is possible now, have more satsang. In all possible ways. You can throw the world away for anything. You should not throw divinity for anything. If you compare divinity and the world… the world is nothing!

On some days, we may feel like chanting all day, listening to Bhagavatam, etc. But on other days we just don’t feel like it. It is the nature of the mind. Some people are very good. If I ask them to read Bhagavatam, they will read Bhagavatamimmediately. If I tell them to listen to Bhagavatam, they will listen to Bhagavatam immediately. But if somebody comes and tells them, let’s go to a movie, they will go to a movie immediately. If somebody comes and tells them, “Let’s not go to the temple today, let’s go to a wedding,” they will go. This is called “chapalam”, “sanchalyam” (wavering mind yielding to worldly temptations). Even if there is an opportunity for you to go see movies or do something mundane; if it is avoidableand unnecessary, with a strong mind, you should choose not to do it. In Bhagavatam, you see Dhruva. How did Dhruva realize God?Was he a garbhashriman(jnani by birth) like Prahlada? For the first 5 years, he didn’t know what was meant by bhakti or Krishna or penance or forest! Only because of his strong mind, did he see Bhagavan.

“A strong mind is very important.If a strong mind is not there, any virtue will be of no use.”

It was not possible for Jadabharata to overcome (his attachment to the deer) because he was not strong-minded. It was possible for Dhruva to overcome because he was strong minded. Have you heard of the man who once walked a tightrope between the twin towers in New York? It was not allowed and he did it illegally, under a lot of stress. How many people were going to watch from below!What will be the air force on that day at that altitude! Even a bird flying near him could cause him to lose balance! For the last 2-3 days before the walk, he never slept day or night.But he completed it. It was because of his drive to do it!

“If you want to do something in your life, definitely you will do it. If you don’t do it, it means your intention is not strong enough.”

If you want to see Krishna in your life, you will. Howcan you go without seeing him! But if you keep saying “I want to see, I want to see”, just to show off to others, it won’t work. But if your desire is firm, it has to happen. Because of the will power, because of a strong mind. Take Vishwamitra for example. How many times he fell down! Yet his will was strong. Everytime when we fall down, only will power and a strong mind can make us rise again.

Use your will power to chant, to stay in the path. The path itself willlead you. And the grace will take you. It will take you to the state of longing. When somebody you love is out of the house, you will think of them day and night, anxiously waiting for them to return. You will constantly think about when they will come back. No other sadhana, not even chanting. What will be your stateofmind at that time? Just longing, longing with love. For a family person – mother, father sister, kith and kin – thelonging will be for one or two days. For Krishna, you should have the same longing until He comes before you. As you chant, the longing will start slowly and it will grow. It will start light; but always intensity will grow. Sometimes people will cry because of the longing. The quantum of anxiety will grow intense. AndGod will appear before themat that time.This is called faith.There is longing; there is craving; there is real love. It’s like the example of a chakorapakshi’slonging for the chandra, the moon. The chakorapakshi(a special kind of bird which is extinct now) always waits for the moon. Its entire life, it is alwayscraving for the moon. Like that, here, those longing for Krishna will always cry, cry, cry. This crying is not due to any pain or pity or self-sympathy; it is merely because of pure selfless love. I want to see Krishna. Why? Not becauseHe is the highest. But because He is one I love the most! TheGopiswanted to see Krishna. They longed and craved for Him, not because He was the Supreme! They don’t need bhakti for the “highest person.” They simply love Krishna. He’s very handsome. They would think of His curly locks, His kundala (his earrings), His lovely form; they would thinkof His flute, His music, His clothes, His style. All this will make them love Him and long for Him much more!

When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Tamil Nadu, he went to Rameshwaram through Madurai.At Madurai, he stayed in a house. In that house lived a Rama bhakta. This devotee would always fast and never take food. He would always cry. He would never go out. What was the problem with him? He felt very bad that a rakshasa likeRavanahad touched Sitamataand abducted her. He felt very bad. So he would cry, “O my Sitadevi, you were touched by that vile asura! How can I eat?How can I sleep?” Even Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself could not convince that devotee. Mahaprabhu went to Rameshwaram. There he happened to find a Ramayana, and in that book it was said that Ravana took only a ‘shadow’ (chhaya) Sita. Immediately Mahaprabhu made a copy of that book, gave the copy to the owner and took the original with him back to Madurai to the Rama devotee (because if he took the handwritten copy, then that devotee would not believe it and simply say that Mahaprabhu had written it only to convince him). Mahaprabhu showed the original book to the Rama bhakta and convinced him that his Sitadevihad really not been touched by Ravana, and set him to rest. What was the purpose of that bhaktacrying lifelong? Because of bhakti. What else could it be?Was he going to get any prayojanamout of it? Not at all. Something is unique about this. This is bhakti. There was a great saint called Vasudeva thatha. He had darshan of Lord Rama and Sitamata. During his last breath, he cried, “Oh Queen Sita, you walked intothe forest; stones touched your feet!How is it possible for you to go to the forest from this big palace?”

It is stated in Naradabhakti sutra, that the beginning of bhakti starts with chanting Nama. After going to temples, taking bath in holy rivers and doing other similar things, after some time you come to a satsang. That satsang should be a real satsang. You should get some benefit from that satsang. Your bhakti should flourish and grow in that satsang. You should not go to a satsang where people are not focused. In the world, there are many satsangs. But doesBhagavancome to that satsang? That is the question. It is said in the scriptures that Bhagavan is going to come to satsangs. But this is not happening. Why? Because even the goal of people who participate in satsang is often not to realizeGod. Their goal is something else – fame, money, etc. Wherever you go, your bhakti should grow. Otherwise‘ignorance’, the devil, will try to push you out. You should notget caught in the hands of the devil; you should stick to the divine. And try to grow devotion, bhakti, with patience. If you’re really progressing in life, not wishing for this and that in the world, the firstsign is that your mindwill not go to mundane matters. That is good. Slowly you are improving. That is good. You have not wasted today. That is good. Like this, you have to continue to pray. Then God will give you bhakti suddenly one day.”

The conversation also stopped suddenly. Reluctantly the devotees stood up and with mind charged with these inspiring words left for their rooms with a silent prayer to the master for blessing them with bhakthisoukyam alone.

 

A student, who was to appear for his exams, came to Sri Swamiji to seek His blessings.  And in the course of his conversation with Sri Swamiji, he told Swamiji how he had prepared for the exams and a few strategies that he had planned; He said that he had decided not to talk or discuss anything with friends after reaching the place where the exams were held. And also, that he would keep his cool and read through the question paper before beginning the exam. And that he had planned to answer those questions that he was confident about first, and he told of many other such plans of his to write the exam well.

Sri Swamiji asked him "Whom are these instructions for?" The boy replied, "They are for myself Swamiji!  I am telling all this to myself!"

To this, Sri Swamiji beautifully replied Do you observe that you get instructions and guidance from within? This is the Big 'I'. This 'I' in each of us, which is apart from the small 'I' or ego (which always deludes us), always guides us, in every step. We only fail to observe this. In every situation, we hear the voice of this 'I', 'do this', 'don't do that', 'be careful' etc. So it is clear that there is a distinct 'I' within us, (which instructs us and guides us in all walks of our life), apart from our little selves.

~ Janani Kumarasami

It was the auspicious Arudhra Day.  It was the day when Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja performed his ananda thandavam ‘cosmic dance’ which symbolically represents the magnificent cosmic work of the Lord.

Many years ago on this day, when Bhagavan Yogi Ramsurathkumar lived in Thiruvannamalai, his special disciple, Ma Devakiji submitted a very special request to Him. She said to her Master, in a voice that quivered with bhakti, “Bhagavan! To us, you are the very Lord Himself. You are that Shiva who performed the cosmic dance on this very day. Will you bless us all with the fortune of witnessing that blissful experience today?”

Bhagavan Yogi Ramsurathkumar rose like a lightning and led the disciple into the garden. “You want to see Shiva’s cosmic dance, don’t you?  Look at those lush green trees…that is His cosmic dance! Look at those twittering birds…that is His cosmic dance! Look at the beautiful blue sky…that is His cosmic dance. Look at everything around you…those are all His cosmic dance!”

As the auspicious Arudhra Day approaches beloved Guru Maharaj fondly recalled this lovely incident in satsang.

~ Dr A Bhagyanathan

About 500 years ago, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhorted all his devotees and disciples to go around in the streets not to propagate Nama, not to argue with people and convince them to chant Nama, but to actually beg people to chant Nama; thus ushering in a unique concept of Nama bhiksha, Nama as alms. All of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus disciples used to go street after street, village after village, city after city, state after state, to actually beg for Nama.

 

On Friday, March 17th morning, Sri Swamiji went to Thondivilagam village in Kallidaikurichi (in southern Tamil Nadu) along with devotees from Ambai Namadwaar and also local Kallidaikurichi devotees. There a unique event took place. Sri Swamiji actually sought alms of Nama from the people of the village! As soon as Sri Swamiji came in, the whole street was agog with people coming out, showing harathi, and being moved with tremendous love and melting hearts, seeing such a great Sadguru Maharaj asking for Nama bhiksha! They wrote sheets and sheets of Mahamantra, Rama Nama and waited to offer it to Sri Swamiji.

Sri Swamiji held a small bowl for seeking the alms of Nama. As he walked, people with tears in their eyes seeing such a great Master taking to the streets to seek alms of Nama offered the sheets of Nama that they had written, with mixed feelings. They were filled with joy on being blessed to offer Nama directly to this great Master, but at the same time were touched with a sense of melancholy that such a great Master had to come and seek alms. They all offered Nama.

It was a grand event. Sri Swamiji then went to a nearby Math and gave a lovely talk on the importance and the relevance of Nama sankirtanam in todays life and how Nama sankirtanam is 100% in tune with our scriptures and Veda mata.

In short it was a very moving and memorable day in the lives of all those who were present there. We pray that this Nama bhiksha spreads like benign fire, burning all the sins and negativities in people, while bringing the cool showers of divine grace on all!

On Vaikunta Ekadasi day, there was Garuda vahana purappadu (procession) for Sri Premika Varadhan in our Madhurapuri Ashram. During that, a child approached Swamiji and asked “Why do we do purappadu like this for Perumal? Why should such utsavs be celebrated for the Lord?”  Swamiji replied, “Every day so many devotees pray to Premika Varadhan telling Him their woes. Wouldn’t He be stressed to keep on listening to all that? We do all these purappadus and utsavs to give Him some relaxation.”

Hearing this, the child laughed. Not only her, we too!

~ Janani Kumaraswami

We all know that it is a practice to portray a Golu during Navarathri. We have also observed that the steps that form the Golu have a display of dolls that range from those of deities to cattle, people, Chettiar bommai, etc.

Some may consider this very amusing and absurd. But Sri Swamiji, on a discussion with us about this, explained to us with an analogy, the profound philosophy behind this practice.

He said, A potter makes a pot. One looks at it and says, What a beautiful pot!’, and then he looks at a jar made by the same potter and appreciates his craftsmanship. He then looks at an exquisite flower vase, and exclaims, Such a lovely piece of work!’”.

What he fails to realize is that, all of these are manifestations of mere clay molded into different forms.  Once he realizes that the basis or origin of all these is clay, all that he will be able to see is mere clay! The pot will look like clay, the jar will, and so will the exquisite flower vase”.

Similarly, everything we see is the Brahman. Once we realize that, all names and forms will go out of our perspective. And we will see the Absolute, Supreme Brahman only!”

 

~ Janani Vasudevan

It was an Ekadasi late evening. After Sri Swamiji sang a lovely song describing the divine sport of our Thakurji in Brindavan, Swamiji sat down in his seat in Bhagavatha bhavanam of Madhurapuri Ashram.

As Sri Swamiji gracefully signalled with his eyes for us to come closer, the dozen fortunate ones in the hall came close and around Sri Swamiji. Sri Swamiji looked at a devotee and asked if that devotee had any questions.

How to progress in the Krishna bhakthi rasa?asked the devotee with tremendous eagerness and humility

Sri Swamiji with a smile in his lips started to expound the intricacies of rasa (relish) in the next 60 minutes.

I have two phrases for you to mull on,began our beloved Master,Bhakthi sukham (the joy of divine love)… and Bhakthi prayojanam (the result/fruit out of devotion)…

Let us start with a simple mundane routine activity all humans do, like bathing for example. All do that dailyI hope(Laughter)

If the person has a nice spacious comfortable fragrant bathroom, and the water is warm and pleasing, the person would like to bathe for a long time as (s)he finds this very pleasing. In fact the person may feel a little sad when this pleasing bath gets over to carry on with other chores of the day!

But in the same token, if it were a cold water bath in a small bathroom, all the person would want would be to be quickly done with the bath so that (s)he can finish the activity off for the result of being clean. The final result alone would matter.

Now let us move to our clothing.  We need clothes only to cover our body. Yet, we find many of us want to adorn ourselves with a lovely dress, specially designed at times by a fashion designer, right colours and so onIn fact I think many of them wear clothes so that they can feel happy and make others feel jealous, making them feeling happier! (Laughter)

The same trend we can see in our food as well. We need food for our nourishment alone, right? But we want our food to be tasty and served in varieties of cutlery! And served by people well-dressed!

The house we staywe want to it be palatial, tastefully decorated with even assistance from interior decorators!

When it comes to work, most of us complain, fret and fume… ‘None appreciates me!’ ‘I am not compensated enough!!’ ‘I have to do most of the work at home!’ etc.

Now that you see both these scenarios, let me now bring you to Bhakthi

Any expectations we may have out of the devotion we do towards God, would make it like a job for pay! We would generally not relish it much and constantly be in complaining mode 

But when we listen to some music or watch our favourite sport event or a movie, do we fret or complain, Oh how long do I need to watch this movie!’ or It is very painful that I am listening to my favourite music!’ or No one shares this activity of watching my favourite sport event?

Is there any extrinsic motivation for these activities? Do we ask ourselves, What would I get if I listen to this music or that movie? Do we get any reward for these, like promotion or pay hike or well... Vaikuntam!? But if we say that for anything we do there needs to be some motivation, what motivation is there for these activities? When people tell us, we are not motivated to chant Mahamantra, etc. and they sing cinema songs or watch movies, what is the motivation for these?! Nothing!

If we do any activity out of an expectation of a reward - tangible like money and reward, or intangible like recognition and appreciation, it will always be painful; it can never be enjoyable.

When we are in the path of divine love, even before we start if we start asking what result do we get out of bhakthi etc., it is like getting into an interview for our first job and asking the boss at the very outset, What salary and other benefits I would get if I get the job!’

Whenever we do Bhakthi it should not be goaded solely by an extrinsic motivating factor like what would I get out of this, what is the result I can expect from bhakthi etc. It should also not be motivated by pride that I am following this path, I am passionate about worketc.

In a high-stake cricket match, the players get the money, the organizers may get money, the people supporting the event may get money, but the fans who come watch actually pay money to watch this! If you understand this, you can understand the fragrance of divine love!

The bhakthi itself gives the devotee joy in itself.

When you do bhagavatha parayanam what do get out of it?

Oh I feel so joyous doing it…’

This is the real fragrance of divine love

When you listen to Krishna katha, what is the use?

Oh I feel very joyful merely listening to Krishna katha!!’

This is the real fragrance of divine love.

When I bathe my divine couple, it gives me great joy…’

This is the real fragrance of divine love.

You dress up your Radha Krishna Yugala Sarkar so elaborately! Why?

Oh this tasteful decoration of my Yugal Sarkar itself is true joy to me!’

This is the real fragrance of divine love.

When I do archana, I feel so happy!’

This is the real fragrance of divine love.

In all these cases there is no question of expecting a result of an action.

This is Bhakthi Sugandham.

 

While blissfully engaged in such devotional service, a devotee would not even be conscious that (s)he is doing it without expectation of an extrinsic result! For example, when someone is relishing a favourite music album, (s)he does not keep thinking, 'I am not listening to this for any other result!’ and so on

Like we relish varieties of tasty food, like we enjoy living in a palatial lovely house, like we wear very fashionable designer clothes, we also relish the path of divine love as we are endowed with a fine taste and we are a rasika (connoisseur).

 

Now listen carefully. Even though you relish eating tasty varieties of food or wear expensive tasteful designer label clothes etc., it does fulfil the basic purpose of body nourishment or body protection also, doesnt it?

Likewise even though we relish the path of divine love for its intrinsic joy, it does also serve the purpose of liberation and spiritual elevation. But, this should not be in our mind when we do bhakthi!

 

We relish our Brindavana yatra and have a blissful Krishna darshanam there and come back. Then if we have some trouble in our life we should not complain that, I had come for Your yatra and had Your darshan, why is it I am having problems now?Do we after a vacation trip to a tourist spot like Singapore, say, I had been to Singapore for my fun trip and now why am I getting this problem after this!’

 

So we merely relish our Brindavan yatra, Krishna darshanam etc. When we love someone dearly, dont we want to know more about that person? His birthplace; his childhood sports; where he grew up; where his major life events happened etc. Like that, a Krishna devotee would be eager to know more about the person he truly loves, go to places of interested related to Krishna, etc.  That would be sole purpose of his Brindavan yatraNot for any other purpose

This is the path for bhakthi sukham

All great saints did bhakthi for bhakthi sukham and not for bhakthi prayojanam.

All these great devotees like Shukamuni, Sant Meera Bai or Saint Thyagaraja all wrote, sang and spoke only out of bhakthi sukham.

If a person does devotion for prayojanam, then if the purpose is not met, that person would stop doing bhakthi. But if a devotee does bhakthi for bhakthi sukham, come rain or shine in the life that devotee never stops doing bhakthi.

Can anyone stop breathing? Why cant a person stop breathing? Because it is involuntary, it is verily a vital part of that persons life! Like that these true devotees cannot stop doing bhakthi! For such great devotees, bhakthi is involuntary, as it were!!

Some of such Mahatmas have graced us divine works on Bhakthi rasa. So why do we need such works?

When we want to relish food varieties, we can benefit by a guidebook like a foodie guide, right? Similarly for clothes or houses to live in there are books and guides to help us relish these better. Likewise, Bhakthi rasa works guide us in the path of devotion to make it more relishable and joyous.

Now do you realize the difference between Bhakthi Sukham and Bhakthi Prayojanam?

 

The group of devotees nodded gratefully and enthusiastically!

It was a discussion none of the devotees would ever forget in their life!

Sri Swamiji started the dolotsavam song and walked towards the sanctum….

The path of bhakti is full of rasa and bhAva. These bhAvas are indeed very difficult to rise in the minds of ordinary man. Such bhAvas rise in abundance in the minds of MahAns, the great bhaktAs. It is due to the rise of such variety of bhAvas in the minds of such mahAns that there are so many commentaries for many bhakthi granthAs (texts extolling bhakthi). It is indeed a great blessing for ordinary men to live during the times of such bhaktAs and take delight in their company and enjoy such lofty rasAs.

The ThiruppAvai composed by Sri Andal is a work replete with such rasAs. And it is no wonder that it kindles great bhAvA in bhakthAs. And so, it was the immense fortune of a few Ashramites to witness and immerse themselves in this divine nectarine rasa. When Sri Swamiji decided to do the anukarana (or reliving) of ThiruppAvai.

One early morning, when devotees entered the BhAgavatha Bhavanam, they were in for a divine treat. The sanctum-sanctorum of Thakurji was decorated with lights all over and the smoke of sambrani clouded the whole area. The lights appearing diffused due to this cloud of smoke and the hazy silhouette of the Sri Yugala made one feel that 'This is indeed Vaikunta!'  But still, devotees didn't guess what this was all for, until Sri Swamiji asked a devotee to sing the pAsuram

 

தூமணி மாடத்துச் சுற்றும் விளக்கெரியத்

தூபம் கமழத் துயிலணைமேல் கண்வளரும்

மாமான் மகளே !  மணிக்கதவம் தாள்திறவாய்

மாமீர்!  அவளை எழுப்பீரோ?  உன்மகள் தான்

ஊமையோ?  அன்றிச் செவிடோ?  அனந்தலோ

ஏமப் பெருந்துயில் மந்திரப் பட்டாளோ ?

மாமாயன் மாதவன் வைகுந்தன் என்றென்று

நாமம் பலவும் நவின்றேலோ ரெம்பாவாய். (9)

 

 

Oh! How beautiful! Only then did it dawn in the minds of devotees. Sri Swamiji was doing Anukarana of the pasuram. All those present were transported to the very times of Andal.

 

Another pasuram 'உங்கள் புழக்கடை...' speaks of a flower called 'sengazhineer'. Sri Swamiji offered a garland made of these flowers to the Divine couple.

The 19th pasuram wakes up the Lord who is with His consort -

குத்துவிளக்கெறியக் கோட்டுக்காற் கட்டில்மேல்

மெத்தென்ற பஞ்ச சயனத்தின் மேலேறி

கொத்தலர் பூங்குழல் நப்பின்னை கொங்கைமேல்

வைத்துக் கிடந்த மலர்மார்பா!  வாய்திறவாய்

மைத்தடங் கண்ணினாய் !  நீ உன் மணாளனை

எத்தனை போதும் துயிலெழ வொட்டாய்காண்

எத்தனை யேலும் பிரிவாற்ற கில்லாயால்

தத்துவம் அன்று தகவேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்      (19)

In the light of the oil lamp,
On the ornamental four legged ivory cot,
On the soft bed filled with cotton,
Reclining on the busts of Nappinnai,
You sleep, Oh he who has a flower like heart,
Please open your mouth .
She who has, wide black eyes with collyrium.
We know that you will never allow him to wake up,
For you can never bear to be away from Him,
This is not that good,
And cannot be accepted by us.
Please allow us to worship our Goddess Pavai.

The whole sanctorum was lit with lamps (kuthuvilakku) all over. The divine couple, as we all know, always rejoice in a swing. But on this day, when the sannidhi opened, they were found on a bed-like structure that was cushioned, in lines with the pasuram 'கோட்டுக்கால் கட்டில்மேல் ' and stood closer than usual to each other which was a feast to our sight. This pasuram was sung melodiously, bringing out the full rasa of anukarana.

 

The pAsuram

முப்பத்திமூவர்  அமரர்க்கு முன்சென்று

கப்பம் தவிர்க்கும் கலியே !  துயிலெழாய்

செப்ப முடையாய்!  திறலுடையாய் !  செற்றார்க்கு

வெப்பங் கொடுக்கும் விமலா !  துயிலெழாய்

செப்பென்ன மென்முலைச் செவ்வாய்ச் சிறுமருங்குல்

நப்பின்னை நங்காய் !  திருவே !  துயிலெழாய்

உக்கமும் தட்டொளியும் தந்துன் மணாளனை

இப்போதே எம்மைநீ ராட்டேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.  (20)

 

Please wake up Oh, Lord,
Who removed sorrow and fear,
From the thirty three sections of Devas,
Even before they approached you,
Oh Lord, Who is glittering like gold,
Oh Lord, who has inimitable valour,
Please wake up,
Oh Lady Nappinnai,
Who has desirable busts like golden pots.
Who has little red mouth,
And who has thin narrow hips,
Please wake up, Oh Goddess of wealth.
Please give mirror and fan,
Just now to your consort,
And allow us to take bath,
And thus worship our Goddess Pavai

 

 

'speaks of the 33 main devAs (representing the 33 crore devas), and boys from our Sandeepani Gurukulam Vedapatasala, dressed like them, enacted paying their taxes to the Lord, who is their king. It was a very apt depiction since, our scriptures mention Vedic Pandits to be bhUsurAs (devas on earth). They were adorned with crowns and looked verily like Devas. Each Deva was holding a gift in a plate to be offered to Takurji. And while the pAsuram was rendered beautifully, they offered their gifts by placing them in the sanctorum in a very orderly manner. This was also reminding of the pAsuram'

 

அங்கண்மா ஞாலத் தரசர்   அபிமான

பங்கமாய் வந்துநின் பள்ளிக்கட் டிற்கீழே

சங்க மிருப்பார்போல் வந்து தலைப்பெய்தோம்

கிங்கிணி வாய்ச்செய்த தாமரைப் பூப்போல

செங்கண் சிறுச்சிறிதே யெம்மேல் விழியாவோ?

திங்களும் மாதித் தியனும் எழுந்தாற்போல்

அங்கண் இரண்டுங்கொண் டெங்கள்மேல் நோக்குதியேல்

எங்கள்மேற் சாபம் இழிந்தேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.   (22)

Like all the famous kings
Of the wide World, that is pretty,
Have crowded near your cot,
After surrendering their ego,
We also have come near.
Will not the sight,
Of your red eyes which is like the lotus
Fall little by little on us?
If you see us using those eyes,
Which are like sun and the moon,
All the curse on us will vanish,
And we can worship our Goddess Pavai

and hence that pAsuram was also sung.

 

கறவைகள் பின் சென்று கானம் சேர்ந்து உண்போம்
அறிவு ஒன்றும் இல்லாத ஆய்(க்) குலத்து உந்தன்னை(ப்)
பிறவி பெறுந்தனை(ப்) புண்ணியம் யாம் உடையோம்
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லாத கோவிந்தா உந்தன்னோடு
உறவேல் நமக்கு இங்கு ஒழிக்க ஒழியாது
அறியாத பிள்ளைகளோம் அன்பினால் உந்தன்னை
சிறு பேர் அழைத்தனமும் சீறி அருளாதே
இறைவா நீ தாராய் பறையேலோர் எம்பாவாய் 

Belonging to the ignorant family of cow herds,
Drive we would the cattle to the forest,
And there we would all eat together,
But We are blessed that you are one of us..
Oh Govinda who does not have any short comings.
None can ever break the ties that we have with you,Oh Lord,
We are but ignorant girls, who do not know the world,
And in ignorance and love we have called you by name.
So please be not be angry on us,
And please give us drums, Oh Lord,
So that we can worship our Goddess Pavai.
 

On the final day of Adhyayana Utsavam, Sri Premika Varadan and Madhura Sakhi were taken in a procession. just when the purappaadu reached the gate of ashram, we could see a large number of cows grazing here and there in the ground opposite to the Ashram. Just as we were looking at them...Sri Swamiji instructed some boys to fetch hay for the cows, and as the hay was brought, all the cows gathered around Sri Swamiji and then the Divine Couple too arrived amidst the huge crowd of cows. We were reminded  of the lines from Sri Swamji's song 'go mandala madhye sundara baalakam...'  We felt that this is nothing but Goloka...Sriyugalam and Gurudev surrounded by cows and all bhaktas taking delight all through. Only later did it dawn that this was the anukaranam of 'karavaigal pin sendru.....' pasuram. The very sight of so many cows had triggered such bhaava in Sri Swamiji.

Those present there during these anukaranas , no doubt enjoyed and savoured these bhAvas of Sri Swamiji , and it is needless to say that it was an experience to be cherished all through our lives . One woud always have the sweet divine memory of this while chanting the pAsurams henceforth.

~ Janani Kumaraswami

It was a blissful day at Madhurapuri Ashram. The serene early hours of a Margazhi Morning. It was the day Guru Maharaj brought in front of our eyes, the Divine, Tranquil, out-of-the-world scene, of the 9th pasuram of Thiruppavai.

 

tUmaNi mADatu suTrum viLakkeriya

dUpam kamazha thuyil aNai mEl kaN vaLarum

mAmAn magaLE! maNi-k-kadavam tALtiravAi!

mAmIr! avaLai ezhuppIrO! un magaL daan

UmayO? aNri-ch-chevidO? anantalO?

Ema-p-perum tuyil mantira-p-paTTALO?

mA mAyan, mAdavan, vaikuNtan, enrenru

nAmam palavum navinru-El Or empAvAi

 

Meaning,

Oh my uncle's daughter, who sleeps,

In the soft cotton bed,

In the pearl filled Villa,

Well lit from all sides,

And full of the smoke of incense,

Please open the ornamental door.

Oh aunt, why don't you wake her up,

Is your daughter dumb or deaf,

Or down right lazy,

Or she is in trance of deep pleasurable sleep,

Let us all call him the great enchanter,

Madhavan and he who lives in Vaikunta,

By several of His names,

And get benefited,

And worship the Goddess Pavai.

 

With the sanctum sanctum of Madhuri Sakhi Sri Premika Varadan lit by the beauty of hundreds of lamps, and Guru Maharaj in the midst in his dazzling brilliance, this was an experience that all of us who were present at Bhagavatha Bhavanam would cherish in Madhura Smaranam for a lifetime!

 

Bringing to you a glimpse of the same

 

~ Dr A Bhagyanathan