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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Moment Called Ananda

A Moment Called Ananda
 the Laksharcha at Sabarimalai

Moksha is not anywhere else and not an unknown thing.  It is the nature of unsurpassed Ananda. Every human being, irrespective of his caste, creed and belief prays for Liberation and this eternal Moksha from the cycle of birth and death.  
With   this little preamble, let me dwell upon some of my experience regarding the Laksharchana we did to Lord Sastha at Sabarimala, who has been the Only God to me.

My great grand Father Shri CV Srinivasa Iyer – knowingly or unknowingly have had a great impact in modelling my life and activities.  I strongly believe that because of His sincere service to the Lord, I am gifted with a priceless gem called Bhakti towards Hariharaputra.

More than forty/fifty years ago, my great grand father Shri CV Srinivasa Iyer started the Laksharchana to Lord Ayyappan at Sabarimala. Over a period of time the puja grew to great heights (even to Ati Rudram) during his age and came to stand still after his demise. Many others had tried to continue this and some could and some could not.

When I grew up, the desire to do at least the same Laksharchana to Lord Ayyappan started developing in my mind. Right from my childhood I did have to face that temptation.

What I heard from all quarters was only discouragement… But at that age I was not ready to accept that “something good is not possible…”

I am of the firm belief that whatever we do with full faith in the Almighty, we will never be let down.  Only with this believe I ventured into our Sastha Preethi, my book Maha Sastha Vijayam, Sasthalaya Sevanam and now the Laksharchana.

Throughout my life there are numerous instances, where I had the experience of the divine play of my beloved and these has only enhanced my faith in Him. 

Everything Sastha gives us is auspicious, if we will only wait long enough, with faith, for the final outcome.

I and numerous friends tried a lot for the laksharchana. We travelled, wrote letters met the officers… But nothing happened and finally at one stage I left everything to HIM and kept quiet.... Believe me.. Only at this stage by the grace of Bhaktaparipala things started coming in order... Certain things started happening even without any effort....

As the name suggests - I must thank Shri Ganesh from Chennai - who took the initiative on my craving desire. The blessings of all the elders and my Gurus stood with me…

We waited and the Lord gave us the chance for doing a laksharchana after a long time...
All our group members and Ayyappa devotees were in amazement thinking about the end result of our glowing hopes and expectations. But Iam a peculiar person (many call me alien to the present day trends... and a famous quote ???!!!  on me "a man belonging to previous generation with ideologies lagging behind 40 years") when I imposed a rule that anyone who is sitting for archana  should undergo 41 days vrutham - my fellow members, instead of being wonderstruck and delighted by this news, were outraged by it. "it is not practical.... You see we have office... etc etc "

I understand they must have been frightened off by something they'd find difficult to keep under their own control. At any rate, though there was an initial opposition... I said I would go along with it - even if we have 10 people.

But finally we had more than 60 people....  with more than 30 people ready for Archana with full Vrutham.

We started two days before the event and reached pampa by 5.00 Pm. The sky, which was clear during the day, and till that time, became suddenly and heavily overcast with dense dark clouds. Amidst heavy downpour, it should have been about 8 P.M. in the night, when our first batch reached Sabaripeetam after a very great difficulty. As is customary to, we paid our obeisance to the Sabaripeetam sought Samastaparadham by chanting Sharana Gosham…. After this some force started operating us… Shri. Hari started as if he were in trance and immediately I had the same feeling and we started moving and other came running following us… within 3-4 minutes we had reached Nadapanthal…

Immediately we saw the holy 18 steps and the Lord of the 18 steps waiting for us - It is because of his Karunyam we rise into His highest seat where we find waiting for us the Friend, the Beloved and Motherly Lord. This celestial joy is known as bliss. 

Since Bhakta paripala was also with us, we had a wonderful Sastha preethi next day at our Room. Enjoying the Lord by every means was indeed ecstatic and tears of happiness rolled from the eyes. This was truly a rewarding experience.

Throughout the yatra whenever we had few minor problems and hitches, the willpower and faith in the Almighty took precedence and took care of all the problems.

That evening we offered pushpabhishekam to the Lord – the Pushpanjali was a wonderful sight of life time… We had made a crown to the Emperor of the Universe… We did not have the exact size, dimension of the idol…. nothing… I just ordered it out of my own conviction and intuition. Many discouraged us that this is going to be very big…. But at the end of Pushpabhishekam when He was crowned– it was a perfect fit… In fact, the ecstasy got transformed into tears, when we saw the Majestic Lord accepting us in front of Him. I could understand that the entire clan of devotees at Sannidhanam had the similar experience… It was bliss emanating from the Lord and filling everywhere. The happiness is indescribable and beyond all conception and only the experience can tell.

The purpose of the human existence is God realization and we experienced it… Literally it took more than ten to fifteen minutes to realize that we have not been able to relinquish the links to the mundane part of life.

Next day was the laksharchana and when the pujas began, everybody felt themselves in a very elevated state. The young master - Lord of the universe was sitting majestically giving audience to everyone. We were right in front of Him. Literally every nama was roared in the divine presence and since the meaning of each Nama is understood, everyone enjoyed the majesty of the master.

The blissful state of mind was much more and I was getting lost and so held my mudra vadi very tight to control myself.

Sitting in front of the Lord and chanting his divine name is always a great experience and various visions come before the eyes at that time.  I have also had my share of the same

Finally the basmabishekam was made… The happiness and sense of fulfillment one gets with Ayyappan, after so much of ardor, effort, prayers, austerities, rigor and discipline are totally beyond description. 

Icing up this cake of Grace – the Lord accepted the Mudravadi for almost 4 hours with him – giving us an acknowledgement for the Laksharchana. When the Nada was re-opened there was a great revelation and tears of joy came to our eyes when we had the Darshan.

I can still enjoy the salubrious breeze with all herbal fragrance of the Lord which I could feel on the Vadi…

At Sabarimalai Sannidanam, we will never feel like asking the Lord for any boon, because, it is Place filled with nothing but Ananda.  On seeing Him, tears of Ananda surface and all thoughts get obliterated from the mind. Only Anandam prevails…

Gurum Poorna Lavanya Padadi Kesham Gareeyam mahat koti Surya Prakasham
Karamboruhanyasta Vetram Suresham Paranjyoti roopam bhaje Bhoothanatham

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Pranaams Anna

First of all, i would like to thanks for the great info sharing in Sanatana Dharma.i'm great fan of your blog.

what are your views on Namasankeerthana ?

Hope Iam not wasting your time
Why specifically about Namasankeerthana???

Many people have made up an opinion or they themselves have come to a conclusion about me that I have lesser interest in Naamasankeerthanam

Moksha is the ultimate goal of one's life and bhakti is a major lap in this.... and Shravanam and Keerthanam are important among the nava vidha bhakti

shravaNaM kIrtanaM viShNoH smaraNaM pAdasevanam |
archanaM vandanaM dAsyaM sakhyamAtmanivedanam ||

It is not the problem with the divine system called Naamasankeerthanam but the problem with human tendency involved in the divine system.
Iam very much uncomfortable with few practices that is being followed in the name of Bhajana Sampradhayam today.

The Dakshina Bharata Bhajana Sampradaya was formulated by the three Gurus Sri Bodhedral, Sri Sridhara  Ayyaval and Sri Sadguru Swamigal. An interesting point to be noted that all the Three are strong advaitis belonging to Shankara Sampradaya.

All the three acharyas used this bhajana sampradhaya as an easiest way for the public to attain this advaithic Gnanam(wisdom)... It is a marga - no doubt about that... But that doest mean one must leave his nitya karmas(bounden duties - both spiritual and family duties) and sing bajan

Non-performance of nitya karmas and duties in the name of bhajana is like performing Sahasrabojanam while your own mother is starving in the house.

Another main point is dancing in public...
Vishnor Gaanamcha Nruthamcha Natanamcha Visheshathaha
Singing and dancing to the praise of the lord Vishnu is prescribed...
So singing and dancing to the glory of the Lord by those who are in bhajana sampradhayam and doing deepa pradakshinam by way of dancing by bhagawathas is accepted...

Dancing out of ecstasy is a very noble state... but 90% of the people who jump for abhangs- dance for other's sake and for music and not by enjoying the meaning or enjoying the Lord.

And please understand Naamasankeerthana cannot directly grant you moksha... It will give the chitta shuddhi -which will further lead one to Moksha through spiritual advancement. So one must start enjoying the Lord by means of bhajanai - this habit should be enhanced by Naamasankeerthanam.

The main purpose of bhajanai is the momentary bliss you get... This comes very rarely - when you hear Prabho Ganapathe by Hairdhos Giri - you can literally feel Ganapathy Dancing in front of you... and on hearing Nrusimha Karavalambam by Balu Mama you will automatically understand how helpless you are and how the Lord Narahari is ever-ready to save you... "Adhwaitha Vasthuvai..." by Chellappa Mama makes you feel that you are right in front of Lord Ayyappan Himself...

Thus bhajanai helps in developing bhakti...   For developing this bhakti it doesnt require a star singer or number of musical instruments and pompous stage decoration and all of that sort... Once I heard a beggar in Anchaneya's disguise who came singing with a single thambura... by the merely listening to the his "Raama Bhadra Raa Raa", it took us to saketapuri....This is real Naamasankeerthanam

When this purpose is achieved at bhajanai hall, temple, your house, on road- that very moment is Naamasankeerthanam.

Kaalakshepo Na Karthavyaha Ksheenam Aayuhu Kashane Kashane
Yamasya Karunaa Naasthi Karthavyam Harikeerthanam

Japa at Night

Japa at Night

Can we do japam during nights? becoz some people say only day time is suitable for japam and there wont be any result if we do japam during night? some others say night is suitable only for evil spirits? 
According to me I name all these theories with one nine lettered word

One can very well do the japam throughout the day.. A person shall do the Japa not only at night but all the time -  unless when you are not breathing.. So all times are suitable for Japam

This doesnt mean that one need not follow any achaara or shuddi etc... Thats a different subject.

One must follow nityaachaaram and complete atleast a minimum count of all his nitya karmas and japams and then comtemplating the japam in the mind throughout the day shall happen.

Japam is of three types 

Vachika - loud recitation - effective
Upamshu - soft recitation - more effective
Manasikam - within the mind - most effective. 

Whether one is physically clean or not, or is walking, talking, eating, sleeping, a true devotee should never stop reciting the bhagawan naama and an upasaka his ishta devata's mUla mantra. 

But Shuddi and achaara has to be maintained for the first two types of japam. These rules do not apply for mAnasika japa, the superior among the three. 

Please Note, This is done only mentally and not even a single letter is uttered openly... Ive met people of both extremes.... Not even uttering the name of the upasana devata loudly and also people who chant out moola mantrams loudly sitting on bed(just to show off)

Apart from all these... the sastra itself prescribes chanting of certain moola mantrams during night... 

One classical example is Varahi... "Diva Na Smaret Vaartaaliim" - do not remember varaahi during the day...
Devatas like Ucchishta Ganapaty, Pulindini, VanadurgA, Kiratha Sastha etc. can be chanted during the night.. 

And for a true upasaka there is nothing called "No Result" 

The sole purpose of japam is to remove the mental attachment towards "Result" and turn it towards the ultimate truth.

Shri Maha Sasthre Namah

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lalithayin Kathai (New Edition)

Lalithayin Kathai (New Edition)

Lalitopakhyana of Brahmanda Purana describes the greatness of Lalithambika. This story was given by Lord Hayagriva to sage Agastya.

The story of Lalithambika is brought in Tamil as " Shri Lalithayin Kathai " , for the devotees of Lalithambika who are are interested in learning the divine mother's story but do not understand Sanskrit.

This book discusses precisely the story of Lalitha, with Shri Lalitha Sahasranamam as the base.

The first edition was released in 2009 and all the copies were sold within a span of 7-8 months... Though te responses from the devotees and upasakas encouraged us to bring out the second edition of the book, for some reason I was hesitating and now as per the Divine will - we've brought the next edition with few additions.

This was released during the Lalitha Trisati Sandarpana Maha Yagam at Chennai on 05-07-2011

Worshipful Acharyas of Kanchi and Shringeri has blessed the book with their Blessing Note.

Contemplating on the divine leelas of devi, gives one the taste of divine nectar itself .

Most of the copies we sold during the Lalitha Maha Yagam itself and we have only few copies left... Interested devotees may avail this opportunity and obtain the divine grace of Shri Matha.

A copy of Shri Puram - Devi's lokam is enclosed with the book

The cost of the book is Rs.100/-

Those who need a copy may contact:
V. Aravind, 94 B, Third Street, Tatabad, Coimbatore 12
Ph: 99946 41801 Email: aravindsai at gmail dot com

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Kireetam for Ayyappan

Om SarvEsatthva prakatana Kireeta vaibhavAya nama:
NamskArams to the SarwEswaran, Maha Sastha, who broadcasts His Supremacy through His resplendent Crown.

On the Occassion of  Laksharchana Mahotsavam at Sabarimala, my beloved gave a thought few days ago.... Why not make a crown for him ? Just as electricity and thought waves materialize into music and sound on your radio, when HE pressed the button on my thoughts, it became creative and it got materialized

This Kireetam made of silver is a humble offering to Hrudayaaravinda Vaasi - the in-dweller of Hrudaya - Aravindam (the Lotus of the Heart)

- Swami Sharanam
 Aravind Subramanyam

Friday, July 8, 2011

Vigrahams - without worshipping

Dear Guruji / Anna, please clarify my doubts. Can we keep swami vikragams without worshipping it? Some people say you should not  buy it from shops. Then how will we get?
Swamy Sharanam

For all puja Vigrahams made of metals like copper, bronze or framed pictures the presence of the Lord is invoked by avahanam and pranapratishta and in this case - the presence is there only till the end of the puja. 

But in the case of Ayudams like Shoolam, Vel and Mudravadi and vigrahams made of panchaloka, silver , Gold its nityam sannihitam - so the positive charge is more and will retain the sannidyam - presence of the Lord is always there... This may sound very nice to hear but please understand that this has its own implications . These days people keep all sorts of idols made of plastic, porcelain, rubber, glass, wood etc., but as per shastras even bronze is secondary when compared to gold or silver or panchaloha.

When you have a puja vigraham at home, please understand that you are having a supreme entity at your puja room. And understand each devata right from Maha Ganapati to Lalithambika or Maha Sastha, all are having their own parivara devatas! So even a single trace of act like neglecting the deities, will earn the displeasure of the Parivara. Unless you have the urge and craving desire for the Lord, do not keep on adding the vigrahams.

Question yourself whether you need the Vigraham first of all? For what purpose? If you are planning for something like marriage, promotion, health, financial crisis, happiness, gruha dosham, kalyana dosham, vastu dosham, power etc. etc.? without proper upasana, keeping any vigraham, even if it is made of Chintamani Stone, is useless.

Do we need to setup a CT scan machine at home so that we can get rid of ordinary headache? A simple amrutanjan or crocin would achieve the purpose! So, if one does not understand the significance of the Lord from Guru and does not receive it from him, buying the idol from a shop alone will not bring any good things by its mere presence.

I do agree that for those who are serious about upasana may have an interest in having the Lors's vigraham at home.. But for others there is no pramanam that allows one to keep Vigrahams without the eligible qualification(means mantra upadesham). Puja Vigrahams (even if you order or buy...) should come only through his Guru (with his acknowledgement) and one needs to continue his upasana till then, awaiting the grace.

For certain cases a vigraham may reach you unexpectedly - this is again happening only because of Guru Kripa and nothing elase...

Please understand... Bhakti itself is not upasana... But bhakti combined with upasana is what is expected. Upasana is both physical as well as a mental process where the pradhanyam or importance is to bhaava. Japa is necessarily a mental process and puja, (though done physically) is another great  mental process. The offering of various upacharams with the bhaava is what constitutes of puja. Thus when this bhaava is complimented by Bhakti, upasana is complete. 

Bhaava + Bhakthi = Upasana

Thus, without upaasana (involving bhaava and bhakti), one should not venture into vigraham and complex representations like mudra vadi, shoolam etc. A non-upaasaka who enjoys the Lord with bhakti always has approachable photos, small idols etc. definitely with this open approach he may progress towards upaasana.
If merely keeping the vigrahams is going you to fetch all luxuries, then all handicraft shops must have turned to Kuberapuri...

I met  person few days ago who has almost all vigrahams of all deities of hindu pantheon.(I gave a comment - Out of thirty three crore devatas, I think only one or two will be free from you). The pujas are done only once or twice a month whenever he goes home on vacation.  All other days they sleep inside the box.... What is the point is collecting these vigrahams?

(Ananya bhakti has no reasoning... he may see the Lord in Picture, Paper or any idol made of any material... thats a totally different subject... But we cannot assume ourselves that we have ananya bhakti)

So, unless one has the Guru to guide properly and firm faith in Lord, one should be careful in such things.