www.telugubhakti.com Digest Number 4808

11 Messages

Digest #4808
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sringeri by p_gopi_krishna
Sri Satya Sai Baba by p_gopi_krishna


Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:12 am (PST) . Posted by:


'The Watchman'
Mumbai Darshan Post 21- The Watchman
Harih Om. Whenever we visited my nani's (maternal grandmother) home, my father would find the building watchman constantly mumbling something under his breath, so he inquired into it out of curiosity.

The watchman responded: Main shvaas shvaas main bhagavan ka hi naam leta hoon (I recite Bhagavan's name with every single breath). He further revealed how in every stage of life the helping hand of ishvara was felt. Being a watchman is not a lucrative profession, but still his family managed to scrape together Rs.35 Lakhs for his son to be educated abroad. Today he has a master's degree and works in the US. When asked why then is he still continuing to work, he said there's nothing else for him to do and this job gives him time to remember Ishvara at leisure. This is the defining attitude of Sanatana Dharma and Bharatiya samskriti. Narayana Hari!
Prashant Parikh https://www.facebook.com/parikhprashant?fref=gs&__tn__=%2CdK-R-R&eid=ARBuPkJVGbWV0EPNHvQMnLLgZEkgKGzRnhJQvdDbFP96p7__a75XJJ0hDmdtq7ahoxwpDjdVBrD4USkQ&dti=624552704316163&hc_location=group <prashantparikh@gmail.com

Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:13 am (PST) . Posted by:


Sringeri Days : Part 22
Every one laughed at my declaration that I taught Hindi to myself in order to understand the movie Aradhana, released in 1969. It was such a big hit, talk of the town and ran for a year in Madras. It was the city that had witnessed huge anti-Hindi agitation by DMK party in 1965. I was 15 years old and in tenth grade, living in our grandfather's house after the untimely demise of my young father in 1963. We had to move from Bangalore to Madras to live in the shades of our grandfather. Obviously money was short supply and couldn't afford to join Hindi Pracar Sabha .
I borrowed books from my buddy Jayaraman who was doing third level and taught the language myself. I was adamant that I will not do anything that I don't understand.Umesha did not join the gaggle. He said, "Look at his commitment not to do anything without understanding, willingness to put in the effort to teach himself. If he did this even for a movie, no wonder he always talks of spirit and not just the letter. No wonder he is willing examine Dwaitha and Advaitha. More importantly it is wise learning from everything. This is the message from Srimad Bhagavatam in the form of Uddhava Gita ( also known as Hamsa Gita)"
We all pressed him to explain more of this. " Before departing from this Earth, Lord Krishna gives parting wisdom to his devotee Uddhava. Bhagavatam is a pure Vedanta sugar coated with Bhakti. In that Krishna says Self is the best teacher as it triggers one to infer and seek direct perception of truth.
आत्मनो गुरुरात्मैव पुरुषस्य विशेषतः |
यत् प्रत्यक्ष अनुमानाभ्यां श्रेयोसावनुविन्दते ||
He further elaborates through an interaction between King Yadu and an Avadhuta . When asked by the King who his teacher was, the Avadhuta replies he learnt from 24 different things like earth, sky , insects, hunters etc.,
एते मे गुरवो राजन् चतुर् विशति आश्रिताः |
शिक्षा व्रुत्तिभिर् एतेषां अन्वसिक्षमिहात्मनः||
He explains that by studying their behavioral traits he learnt his lessons". Needless to say that understanding Uddava Gita became my life long effort.
He turned to me and said , " you are like that avadhuta trying to learn from anything. But tell me what gives you confidence that you can learn something by yourself?"It was my turn to tell a story. I narrated the story of manku Venkanna, who later became the Diwan of Adhoni Nawab, from the life of Shri Raghavendra swamy.
Venkanna was a poor brahmin boy in a small village Adoni. Due to family problems, he was not tutored or taught any useful skills. He was assigned to the task of tending the family's herd of cows, spending his entire days in the countryside watching over the cows. He used to regret about his situation but could hardly do anything about it.
He had heard of the greatness of rAyaru and how he could cause miracles with his mantra siddhi. He was eager to meet Rayaru and seek his blessings. His prayers were heard and one day the retinue of rAyaru passed close by. RAyaru took pity on the boy and told him "When you are in real distress and need my help, put this akshate on your head and think of me". Rayaru's retinue moved on.
One day , as Venkanna was tending the cows , he saw the Nawab of Adoni riding by. Vey soon another man on horseback approached the Nawab and handed him a written scroll. Unfortunately neither the Nawab nor the rider were literate and needed somebody to read the scroll.The Nawab looked around, he saw Venkanna and beckoned him commanded to read the scroll. His assumption was that as a brahmin boy Venkanna should be literate.
Poor Venkanna was was also illiterate, but was sure that Nawab wouldn't believe him and punish him for refusal. Caught in this deadly trap, he remembered what Rayaru had assured. He prayed to Rayaru and opened the scroll and he could read!
मूकं करोति वाचालं पङ्गुं लङ्घयते गिरिं । यत्कृपा तमहं वन्दे परमानन्द माधवम् was the power of Rayaru.
"So, I always pray to Rayaru and Mathe Sharade grants me the power to understand", I explained. I use this method to this very day as everything is self taught for me.
Umesha was very pleased to hear the story and he brought us back to the task on hand, ie, managing Swarupananda Saraswathi Maharaj. "He is someone very special for us in Sringeri", he said and gave a detailed explanation of Shri Swarupanada Saraswathi and Jyotir Mutt.
"He comes with an unbelievable lineage - himself, Karapatri swamy, Maharishi Mahesh yogi were all sishya of the 'Lion among Saadhus', Brahmananda Saraswathi of Jyotir Mutt.Jyotir mutt has had difficult history and was without a Head for neatly 150 years during late 19th and early 20th century.
In 1880 a young boy of 9 , Rajaram Mishra left his home driven by Vairaygya. His family took the help of police and brought him back.;but seeing his determination, parents gave permission . Rajaram wandered on foot for 5 years and went all the way from Ayodhya to Rishikesh. After 'evaluating' several gurus, he finally accepted Swami Krishnannda saraswathi. Even then he would retire into a cave , coming out only occasionally. At the age of 34, he was ordained into the ascetic order and given the formal name Swami Brahmānanda Saraswati.
In 1941, at the age of 70, after repeated requests over a period of twenty years,and pressure from his disciple Karpatri swami, Brahmananda accepted the position of Shankaracharya . He saw it as attempt by the mandala to chain a Lion roaming around freely in a jungle. " If accepting the pitha serves the mission of Shankara, I will do it".The appointment of Swami Brahmananda was based on the endorsement of Shri Chandrashlkara Bharathi. He passed away in 1953 without appointing a successor.
The Jyotir mutt got into a turmoil; Karpatri and Narayananda Saraswathi were eminent scholars and yogis. Both refused and Shantanada Saraswathi took the pitha under murky circumstances. Mandali took to court. Finally jyotir mutt passed on to Swarupananda saraswathi, another disciple of the Lion among Sadhus Brahmananda"
It was a stunning narrative which put Shri Swarupananda Maharaj to a high level in my mind. Jyotir mutt seems to have produced giants of yogis whose vairagya made them spurn even the Shankaracharya position. What was more impactful was that Sringeri Acharyas have been the Touchstone, Guru for the gurus, whose endorsement rules all over India. Chandrashekara Bharati endorsed a fellow recluse Brahmananda saraswathi while his successor jyseshta mahasanndanam coronated multi dimensional Swarupanand Saraswathi for Dwarka mutt.
"You mentioned about Mantra Siddhi of Raghavendra swamy. You would be pleased to hear about Sachhidananda Shivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati, our parameshti Acharya", said Umesh. "He is the one who could cure any one seeking his help ; he was the one to determine where Adhya Shankara was born in Kaladi"
Waiting for the Chatur Amnaya Acharyas to arrive was becoming so interesting.
(To be continued)

Prashant Parikh https://www.facebook.com/parikhprashant?fref=gs&__tn__=%2CdK-R-R&eid=ARAbuvX9amIpbbk-mu-H0gdKVuZwF_LrZjSuBrfCsEm4mlK-8EyO-RNatigsnC8Ge04Sv9kZv6DkiU44&dti=624552704316163&hc_location=group <prashantparikh@gmail.com>

Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:15 am (PST) . Posted by:


Sringeri Days : Part 24, from the entries of Padmanabhan Venkatraman ji
When the Ratha Yatra was over, we all retired to the choultry, while Umesha rushed to Guru Nivasa to perform guru seva before he retires to bed. We were all tired but very charged. The experience was one of its kind and now looking back, very few in the whole world population of billions got that chance.
But the thought of what will happen to us in general,and me in particular, was nagging me in the back of my mind. I would be completing my masters in a few months and what should I do ? We were not in Veda patashala; we were not garelu brahmacari either-as we spent all out time in adhyatma , shunning social events. In fact, with my exception, other members in the group had restrictions on food habits, movie going, books reading, family events. None of us were spending any time thinking of married life, yearning to meet a dream girl. None of us did any nukkad halts waiting to see pretty girls who pass by. Umesha and jyeshta Mahasannidhanam were the only two people in the whole world who occupied our mid.
In short, we were totally ill-prepared for a potential married life, mentally or psychologically.
But, unlike Umesh, we were not accomplished Yogis, and this was leaving us in a lmbo stage. Shri Bharthi Theertharu was very keen to develop us into a Hanuman Brigade of brahmacharis , devoting entire life to adhyatma. But jyeshta mahaa sannidhanam was not totally in support; he felt that given the times, this might put heavy burden on us. He was always compassionate, looking at it not only from our point of view, but also from our parents. He would never do anything against the wishes of parents or that would bring them grief. Parents were walking Gods for him.
My case was more complicated too; with a young widowed mother, coming from a Maadhwa community with historical connect with Rayaru family. How would this work out ? Dr.Subbaramaiyya always used to point out that I should listen to jyeshta mahasannidhanam, not aspire for any mutt brahmachari life.He felt the days of Mutt oriented bidi sanyasis were over; either you are a pitadipati or a gruhasta. Wandering monks are anachronism. With a great sigh , I went to sleep.
With the day break, we all rushed to Tunga River and had a great Anhikam. With the Vedic Chantings reverberating from the patashala yonder, our Gayatri japa and dhyana was terrific. It was time for us to be ADCs for the visiting Shankaracharyas.
So, I went to the quarters of my allocated Swamiji, Shri Swaroopananda Saraswathi Maharaj. There were dozens of his disciples in the small hall and it was visibly over crowded. I went in and offered my pranAms. Swamiji blessed me and looked at his Assistant. The assistant rattled a big list of demands that he wanted me to fulfill immediately. I ran to the Sringeri Mutt administrator and explained what the camp was expecting.
He looked at the list and grimmaced. In a stern voice he said he would do what was possible. He surely won't be able to meet all that were in the list. "What do I do if the visiting swamiji's assistant pester me about it?", I asked with all my anxiety. I was scared what if Swarupananda were to get angry and curse me ? What if he were to convert me into a bumble bee and put me in his kamandalu ?
The administrator gave a big laugh. " Just give them whatever I am able to provide. As for the rest, just promise them and get busy into something else. If they really need something badly, they will escalate to me and I will see what I can do. Mostly they won't."
He was right. They just did not escalate at all. It was a lesson in political management learnt, strangely in a Mutt. Over years I got to learn that such institutions have two parts - Gurukul and Mutt; the former is all spiritualism and the latter deal with politics of things . We deal with jnAni in the former & and administrator in the latter. No wonder Karapatri, Brahmananda , Narayananda and our own SS Narasimha Bharati wanted none of it.
Umesha was like that too; for all his achievements and status as the gnAnana putra of jyeshta Mahasannidhanam, he would stay away from Mutt administration, as far as possible. As his disciples we also chose to do our humble seva for the Mutt but keep a distance.
All of sudden the whole thing was over and the visiting Shankaracharya's left the town. We were back to our blissful , peaceful, anhikas, discussions, and quiet darshan's of Acharyas. We walked in tip toe to jyeshta mahasannidhanam's room. He was there doing pranayama. Umesha beckoned us to sit down without making noise which we did and waited. It was a learning moment for us, watching jyeshta maha sannidhanam performing various types pf pranayama.
Umesha had taught us the importance of Pranayama in the practices of Ashtanga Yoga. He would often quote Hatha Yoga Pradipika
चले वाते चलम् चित्तं निश्चले निश्चलम् भवेत्
योगी स्थाणुत्वम् आप्नोति ततो वायुं निरोधयेत्
वपुः कृशत्वं वदने प्रसन्नता नाद स्पुटत्वं नयने सुनिर्मले
अरोगता बिन्दुजयो अग्निदीपनम् नाडी विशुद्दि योग सिद्धिलक्षणम्
"Respiration being disturbed, the mind becomes disturbed. By restraining respiration, the Yogî gets steadiness of mind"
"When the body becomes lean, the face glows with delight, Anâhatanâda manifests, and eyes are clear, body is healthy, bindu under control, and appetite increases, then one should know that the Nâdîs are purified and success in Hatha Yoga is approaching"
Triggered by this statement, I spent decades researching on why classical Bhakti geethe, particularly Dasa sahitya gives us near samadhi anubhava. After deep analysis and connecting multiple dots it became clear that various ragas simulate various pranayama techniques that causes laya . Laya depends on Nada and so is logically called naada brahma. Again Hatha Yoga Pradipika asserts this
इन्द्रियाणां मनो नाथो मनो नाथस्तु मारुतः | मारुतस्य लयो नाथः स लयो नादं आश्रितः||
"Mind is the master of the senses, and the breath is the master of the mind. The breath in its turn is subordinate to the laya (absorption), and that laya depends on the nâda"
On the physiological level, the Melakarta raga are structured in such a manner, the various notes hit and induce different chakras in the body driving us to meditative experience by merely listening to the sound. This is because while the Raagas simulate various style of Pranayama, devotional component of the song facilitates Dharana concentration and the object of the song helps dhyana. The singer sitting cross legged holding back bone erect is sukhasana. Hence naadopaasna is hatha yoga.
Sitting there , waiting for jyeshta mahasannidhanm to finish his anushtana did not appear a burden; rather we wished it would prolong for us to note and learn more.
He finished it , turned towards us and smiled. One of our group, Neelu, asked him with his typical humility, " When I meditate I have a problem of saliva accumulation and have to swallow many times. Acharyal should help me with a solution". We all fine tuned our ears as we faced similar issues too.
"What habit is this saliva swallowing during meditation?", Acharya laughed heartily. He became serious next instant and said, "This is a common problem. There is a technique in buddhist meditation which is based on Hatha yoga". He turned towards Umesha, "You should help them learn Hatha Yoga".
Umesha gave his usual benevolent smile and looked at us.

(To be continued)
Prashant Parikh https://www.facebook.com/parikhprashant?fref=gs&__tn__=%2CdK-R-R&eid=ARDc_XIlyylHthZOurqbmVJgJuknCyqpKV693TiHJ2ASCzwXEANhwWZ96g8EfEfdrjOT10oQjqmW-7W7&dti=624552704316163&hc_location=group <prashantparikh@gmail.com>

Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:31 am (PST) . Posted by:


Mumbai Darshan - Post 19 / 20
Revisiting Prempuri & Meeting Swami Pratyagbodhananda ji / Swami Dharmananda ji
Harih Om. I desired to go to Varanasi to be with the Vidvaans, to Rishikesh to be with the wise, but when I visit Prempuri ashram, all such desires collapse upon themselves because the representative Mahatmas from all these lands come stay and make Prempuri their temporary home. The sankalpa of founder Brahmaleen Shri Swami Prempuri ji (Kailash ashram) must be so tremendous that in 45+ years, not a single day has gone by in the ashram without prAtaH pravachans and svAdhyAya. No concept of "holidays" for satsanga! Every day is an opportunity to stay connected to one's nija svarUpa.

First image below is Sri Swami Pratyagbodhananda ji, a very senior teacher, and disciple of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji and Maharajshri Swami Akhandananda Saraswati ji. He was teaching the Shankara bhashya on Mundaka Upanishad upto the 15th of this month
Also happened to sit with Swami Dharmananda ji (second image) a few times. Swamiji is an expert on Vedanta and Nyaya shastras. He has been taking svadhyaya lessons on Panchadasi Chp 14 (book up front) at Prempuri ashram.
I was fortunate to have a private session with Swamiji where he guided me on my existing Upasanas and shared pointers to enhance them. Expected to stay for 30 minutes, we ended up sitting for 2.5 hrs :)Incredible level of scholarship.
If I am to settle permanently in Mumbai, Prempuri Ashram would be one of the top 5- if not top 3- reasons to do so.
Sw. Pratyagbodhananda ji at the start of his pravachan.
Prashant Parikh https://www.facebook.com/parikhprashant?fref=gs&__tn__=%2CdK-R-R&eid=ARBYXfCCioP5EuyZJH_PT0h_wM72w8wqjyqyjAedaknk7E4Ens3-RqKHDb5gl-IQOhAYuH2-e69UyLCE&dti=624552704316163&hc_location=group <prashantparikh@gmail.com>

Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:31 am (PST) . Posted by:


Mumbai Darshan Post 23- Swami Shuddhabodhananda ji
Two weeks prior I had given Swamiji a difficult to procure publication from Sringeri (The Multifaceted Jivanmukta, which Prasad Krishnan ji i and his wife Sharada ji had kindly gifted us) that Swamiji wished to read. I had also borrowed Swamiji's copy of his commentary on the Brahma Sutra Bhashya (Chatussutri) with notes on which topics are addressed where, which I in turn had to return. Since his residence was a few blocks away from where we were, I checked to see if Swamiji was available for me to pick up TMJ and drop off BSB. He was.

My father and I went to meet Swamiji and he shared with us beautiful snippets from the life of Sri Abhinava Vidyateertha Mahaswamiji, whom he hold in the highest regard.
Everytime I think of Jyeshtha Sannidhanam I cannot help but be inspired by his peerless jnana, vidvattam, karuna, siddhi and vinayam. How can a person of such accomplishment and learning even exist among us? It boggles the mind and fills the heart with Bhakti. I daresay looking at the Jagadguru inspires as much (if not more) awe than when I see an image of Adi Shankaracharya. Perhaps it is the temporal closeness that makes me feel that way. But one thing is certain, the existence of such individuals validate for us the kind offerings of Veda mata, since the essence of ShAstra culminates and finds the highest expression in their being. To me the Jagadgurus are bhagavAn. Bhava shankara deshika me sharanam!
Prashant Parikh https://www.facebook.com/parikhprashant?fref=gs&__tn__=%2CdK-R-R&eid=ARB2JqyQ6hRm3VKIqMEvEy2mNtntQlzj5_QdiCjm6kTjw12k-kHD6ffN4lezpWLQUnOsyd3Du5naHRMe&dti=624552704316163&hc_location=group <prashantparikh@gmail.com>

Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:38 am (PST) . Posted by:


Sringeri Days : Part 23, from the entries of Sri Padmanabhan Venkatraman
Umesha took time to tell us a details of jyeshta Mahasannidhanam's paramacharya, Sacchidanada Shiva Abhinava Narasimha Bharati (SSANB).
" SSANB Swami, like your Raghavendra swamy, had a very deep sense of Vairagya, master of Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and attained great Mantra siddhis He was barely eight years old when his guru Vrudda Narasimha Bharati went on a prolonged tour for 12 years. He was 20 by the time Vrudda Narasimha Bharati returned. He was able to ascertain the birth place of Aadhya Shankara in Kalady, had a temple built there and consecrated it."
The young SSANB Swami became apathetic to learning and worldly affairs. An intense desire seized him that he should wander forth alone into the wilderness and attain emancipation by the realization of jnana. He lost his cheerfulness and enthusiasm for work. He became indifferent to food and bodily wants and always appeared gloomy.
आशावस्त्र सदात्मन्य विरत हृदय त्यक्तृ सर्वानुरागः
काये चक्षु मुखेष्वप्य अनुदितमतः क्कापि कस्मिश्चकाले
शैलाग्रे अरण्यकोणे क्कचिदापि पुलिने रेवातटे वा
गङ्गातीरे तुङ्गातटभुवि च कदा स्वैरचारि भवेयम्
When shall I become a wanderer at will on mountain peaks or in the depths of the forests, on sandy banks or on the banks of rivers like the Narmada, the Ganga or the Tunga, with the four directions of the empty space for my only clothing, never for a moment dissociated from the Self, abandoning all attachments and never identifying myself with the body or the senses?
When questioned , he quoted Yoga Vasishta where Rama explains his despondency, as a consequence of wave of vasanas
प्राक्तनं वासनाजालं नियोजयति मां यथा
मुने तथैव निष्टामि कृपणः किं करोम्यहम् |
Finally his Guru Vrudda Narasinha Bharati had to intervene who reminded him of his responsibility as Head of the Mutt and also assure him that in due course he will get his opportunity to spend time in solitude as a great Yogi.Sringeri was a place eminently suitable for a life of solitude, jnana and tapas, that there were vast and beautiful forests close by and that he might engage himself in yoga at Sringeri when the time is ripe for it.
In his Sharada-shatashloki-stava, SSANB Swami writes :
आज्ञा सीद्गौरवी मे तव खलु करुणावारिधिः शारदा अम्बा
स अष्टाङ्गं योगमाराद् उपदिशति भावनौरसः सुनुरस्याः
"My Guru's authoritative utterance to me was-Your mother Sharada, the ocean of mercy, will definitely instruct you soon about yoga, which has eight limbs. You are Her own child."
The Mahaswamiji did end up mastering Hathayoga as predicted by his Guru. A bairagi master of Hatha Yoga from North India, Ganga Das arrived at Sringeri fortuitously. SSAN Bharati swamiji got initiated into the practice of Khechari-Mudra resorting to Chedana, Calana and Dohana. It called for cutting the bottom of the tongues so that it can be bent backwards.He gradually progressed to duly thrusting his tongue upwards through the opening at the back of the throat. However, not being enamored of the Khechari- Mudra, he finally discarded it and moved on, from Hathayoga, to Rajayoga. What is special about Kechari Mudra? It leads to Amruta Bindu dropping from the crown.
ऊर्ध्वजिह्वः स्थिरो भूत्वा सोमपानं करोति यः |मासार्धेन न सन्देहो मृत्युं जयति योगवित् ||
says Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
"If the Yogî drinks Somarasa (amruta bindhu that drops from crown) by sitting with the tongue turned backwards and mind concentrated, there is no doubt he conquers death within 5 days"
"I was fortunate to have experienced the drop of Amruta Bindu from my crown even without Kechari Mudra", said Umesh. This was an eye opener for me and I wondered if there was another way of Kechari Mudra without having to cut the tongue at the bottom. I was also sure that SSANB Swamy was not going to adopt any gruesome way. As I continued my Raja Yoga practice over years, I discovered that when meditation deepens, all the three bandhas - Jalandhara, Uddiyana, Mula-occur by themselves and the tongue starts 'swelling' internally blocking the top of the throat. May be this simulates the Kechari Mudra.
The SSANB Swamiji would get enormous mantra siddhi and his mere blessings or utterances would cure severe illness. People naturally flocked to him to have their problems solved-just as they do to Shri Raghavendra Swamy.This troubled him more-there he was waiting to hand over the reins of Mutt to someone else so that he can wander as digambara in solitude, far away from the maddening crowd, and Mathe Sharade made him cure peoples troubles that made him a magnet to the very same maddening crowds ! He would cry out to her :
आगतयास्चैव तत्तत्प्रशमन पटुताम् मन्यमान जनेस्मि
न्याचन्ते किं प्रकुर्याम् वद तुहिनगिरी शानपुत्री दुमौले
"People with all sorts of illness and under the bond of evil spirits seek me out to have them cured. What do I know , oh mother, you advice me"
Over the years this mood of solitude re-surface. He gave up eating salt, sour or pungent foods. Every evening, he would wander in the forests close to Narasimhavana or enjoy the happiness of Nirguna-Dhyana sitting under a tree. He still kept up his teaching of Vedanta to his pupils after the morning worship was over.
He was also very troubled that society in general and brahmins in particular, were moving away from Vedic culture. He established Sanskrit Patashala in Sringeri, advanced Shahstra college in Bangalore and incessantly talked about it. He felt all these actions were inadequate.He believed that unless the spirit of the great master, Sri Shankaracharya, again descended on earth, righteousness could not be re-established in the land. He could only pray for the descent. So, why not do something more to help 'the re-descent'! Why not build a shrine at the birthplace of Sri Shankaracharya ?
But the very birthplace had become a dim memory , and three places in Kerala with the name Kalady. Based on studies of manuscripts and yogic premonition in dream, Sacchidanda Shiva Abhinava Narasimha Bharati was able to pin point the location of birth place of Aadhya Shankara. With the help of Dewan of Mysore, Sir Seshadry iyer, he set forth a plan to establish the shrine and consecrate the temple.
The whole story is beautifully told in the youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaYfoghV-n8&feature=youtu.be https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DHaYfoghV-n8%26feature%3Dyoutu.be%26fbclid%3DIwAR0s_-AtBiSIGckQiDrG9wrj6q734RAtGU-F3oFyh6oR2Bb4NcOxk257BD4&h=AT3NirYLyjozXxYuGy9YRGiYKOMUFcRiEdG56hCUtA8js0hDQYIeYFvpd6T0CWwAds6BpOWkywlfAl84FjmKALmYGWx4sVEjO1RXN4i0i3zAj7hguD515iEm79WdC0CwC8UK5tUVuM7BzU6-PIWmDfeUVwTkZWEHoFY
Umesha continued, " His Guru Vrudda Narasimha Bharati himself was a great Yogi. We all know the remarkable life of ParamAcharya Chandrashekara Bharati. We are so fortunate to be at the feet of Abhinava Vidyatheertha swami. It is not a surprise that Sringeri Mutt has taken the lead in bringing all the four Amnaya Pitha Adhipatis for the first ever Sammelana in history. Aadhya Shankara established first pitha in Sringeri, SSANB Swamiji discovered the Shankara's birth place and now our Acharya is organizing the first sammelana"
All of a sudden, there was commotion and it was announced that all the Acharya's have arrived. We all ran to the hall designated for the Volunteers teams and awaited orders. First all the Shankaracharyas went into a room for a closed room meeting. Then they came out for giving a joint darshan to the public.
Every one in that audience was so thrilled that they were getting a chance of several lifetimes in meeting all the four Acharya's together. They were rejoicing, some closed their eyes even when the historic event was happening right in front of their eyes. Some literally cried, tears of joy flowing down the cheeks. Some were too stunned and remained silent. Some , who were probably brought in without any knowledge of Shankara didn't even understand the great boon that flowed their ways.
And then, there were some trouble makers too. Someone shouted some disrespectful thing about Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt acharya. Jyeshta mahasanidhanam would have none of it. He gave one of his famous Rudra face stare and that miscreant simply melted away from the crowd. Jyeshta Mahasanndhanam had made it very clear that he will not tolerate any mutt politics or any Yathi of any other Mutt or sampradaya being talked disrespectfully. It applied to every one. One of the visiting Shankaracharya's was not spared either; when he tried to indirectly refer to Kamakoti Mutt as 'the other branch mutt', Jyeshta Mahasanndhanam gave his stare and just walked away from the group.
It was pretty clear to every one around that they need to strictly focus on the stated agenda and avoid anything even remotely smelling of politics.
The evening fell and it was getting dark. It was time for the Ratha Yatra of Sharadamba. Umesha and all of us were the bearers of tube light poles that provided the illumination, as the procession wound through dark streets of Sringeri town.
" Do you know who these young lads are", asked Jyeshta Mahasanndhanam of the other three Shankaracharyas. " Don't take them as average guys. This one is a Phd, those fours are Masters in Engineering, the other two are Accountants and the other two are budding engineers. But most important thing is that they are all mumukshus , balancing the heavy burdens of nidhidhyasana and loukika. In this advanced Kali yuga, I am training them in the path of King Janaka". He beamed proudly.
We were stunned beyond words at these compassionate words of Jyeshta Mahasanndhanam. What great sukruta our forefathers have done that we are here at the great event, so close to the acharyas and fortunate even to have a tiny portion of his mindshare !
Where will all this lead us to in life ?
(To be continued)

Prashant Parikh https://www.facebook.com/parikhprashant?fref=gs&__tn__=%2CdK-R-R&eid=ARD3c_IWyhzaeuXYfXiT8hOo5BbfCyzCzdvK57kLvz7rPslO1xIXocctxYa7uH6a8QHGFQ4qF_TlaOnD&dti=624552704316163&hc_location=group <prashantparikh@gmail.com>

Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:48 pm (PST) . Posted by:


Sringeri Days : Part 25, from the entries of Padmanabhan Venkatraman

When we saw Umesha's benevolent smile, we understood that something life changing was waiting in store for us. Looking back some 40 years, I see this happen time and time again. This perhaps was the secret behind the concept of 'Darshan'. It is not mere seeing the person; it is more about seeing the percept that the person espouses. The mistake we do is that we don't see this fact. We rush to a great guru, fall at his feet, take photographs, post it on social media and declare we are blessed. I strongly felt it was not the case.

In fact, I was always almost disrespectfully amused to see some head of families come with big retinue and introduce each and every member of the family to jyeshta mahasannidhanam . Much to my surprise, jyeshta mahasannidhanm would smilingly acknowledge them, bless them and indulge in small talk with them.

Whenever I witnessed this, I would think, 'What is wrong with these people! Here we have a jnAna Chakravarti who has renounced everything, and these people come with entire clan ! They sing Bhaja govindam with great fervor and yet don't the see the meaning of what they sing –

yaavadvittopaarjana saktah, staavannija parivaaro raktah

pashchaajjiivati jarjara dehe, vaartaam koapi na prichchhati gehe

yaavatpavano nivasati dehe, taavatprichchhati kushalam gehe

gatavati vaayau dehaapaaye, bhaaryaa bibhyati tasminkaaye

punarapi jananaM punarapi maraNaM, punarapi jananii jaThare shayanam.h

iha saMsaare bahudustaare, kripayaa.apaare paahi muraare

"So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, affection all those around him show. But no one cares to even have a word when his body totters due to old age.

When one is alive, his family members enquire kindly about his welfare. But when the soul departs from the body, even his wife runs away in fear of the corpse.

Born again, dead again, only to be imprisoned in the mother's womb! It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsAra. Oh Murari! Redeem me through Thy mercy ".

It appeared to me that this vairagya enhancing composition was converted to Bhakti Geete by Smt.MS Subbalakshmi. To hear this song being played in all homes in the morning and yet see the family members go on with their life as usual is the best example for cognitive dissonance.

This type of behavior troubled me a lot. Why go to great jnanins and seek worldly boons? I could very well understand the lament of Shri Sacchidananda Shiva Abhinva Nrasimha Bharati:

आगतयास्चैव तत्तत्प्रशमन पटुताम् मन्यमान जनेस्मि

न्याचन्ते किं प्रकुर्याम् वद तुहिनगिरी शानपुत्री दुमौले

"People with all sorts of illness and under the bond of evil spirits seek me out to have them cured. What do I know, oh mother, you advice me"

I continued to be very critical of samsaaris who seek blessings for a successful marriage, a progeny, good job, promotion, a house, wealth.. the list would go on. But no one would seek help in getting away from the tugs of samsara. It looked as if the very purpose of aadya shankara establishing the institution was lost. Honestly I could not find one Advaithi among the hundreds who lined up. Aren't they better off accepting Dwaitha instead, I wondered. In my immaturity I did not realize the end goal is end and not the current situation; nor did I understand that aspiration is a commitment to struggle and not rub an Aladdin lamp and receive an instant gift.

More importantly, little did I realize all these negative thoughts about samsaaris were only waiting to come back , haunt me and sit on my shoulders like the demon of Vikramaditya. How could I guess that jyeshta mahasannidhanam would deliver a direction that would literally take away the ground on which I was standing?

This is where jyeshta Maha Sannidhanam demonstrated the Bhagvat Gita's dictum that those who have purified the heart winning over the senses may as well be engaged in all activities but are never involved in them

Yoga Yukto vishuddatma vijitaatma jitendriya

Sarvabhutaatmabhutaatmaa kurvannapi na lipyate (BG 5.7)

He had all the time and patience to speak to address all the members of the family who the devotes bring along. His entire life and conduct was a practical demo of what Krishna assured in Gita 5.25,

" those sages who have banished all blemishes of mind, firm in their convictions, compassionate to all beings, and always immersed in self are sure to be liberated "

Labante brahma nirvana rushayah ksheena kalmasham

China dwaidhah yataatmanah sarva bhuta hita ratah

The time to depart arrived and so we reluctantly offered our namaskara and left Sringeri. We all felt we received a joy in the visit that was perhaps million times we get in any marriage function.

Umesha decided that we all would meet in Bangalore so that we could be taught Yoga. After all Acharya had advised him to do it and he would not break one command of Acharya. Who would be the Yoga teacher?

"This is Paappaa Kannan", he introduced us to one of his disciples from Chennai. "He is a master of Yoga and he will be your teacher". Paappaa Kannan was a young man in our age group. He told us his real name was Ramasubramanian and he also went by Ram. It seemed to me that next to Vishnu, Paappaa Kanna had the most number of names!

"Hatha Yoga fosters the mind to be stable and when we seek the Truth with vairagya we are rewarded with Turiya anubhava. This state is also called unmanee among other names", Umesha had told me during one of our conversations.

tatva beejam kshetram audaaseenyam jalam thribhih

unmanee kalpalatika sadhya eva pravartate

"Tatva is seed; idifference is field and hatha is water

these three help the creepr unamanee flourish".

"Hatha Yoga protects a saadhaka from afflictions the way a house protects people from heat or the way a shell protects a tortoise" Umesha had quoted Hatha Yoga Pradipika " .

aseha Taapa taptaanam smashraya mato hatah

asesha yoga yuktanam aadhara kamto hatah

All these conversations flooded my mind as we stood in front of our Yoga teacher 'Paappaa Kannan'. He was an affable person and humble like all the disciples of Umesha. He first took us through sitting postures of sukhasana, padmasana, siddhasana ; helped us execute some complex ones Shvanasana, Veerabhadrasana, Bakasana; more difficult ones chakra, bhujanga, dhanur; regaled in laughter as we stumbled in adventurous ones; kapaal bhati made us bray like donkeys. And no trying nauli ! …He Taught us variants of pranayama too.

It was such a fun. I am forever indebted to 'Paappaa Kannan' for I continued to build on what he taught and been practicing for forty years. The benefits this gave me have been enormous. At 60+ , I don't have any health issues nor do I take even vitamin tablets. The only time I was hospitalized was for mandatory colonoscopy in US as you hit 50.

This complimented the dhyana regimen that Umesha taught us and has driven my immune system to be very strong. The Chakra system corresponds to endocrine gland system delivering healthy dose of protective hormones every day. "When you practice the Yoga coupled with dhyana for a few weeks, I will tell you how the sidhhasana can trigger Kundalini to rise. I will also tell you how to create a virtual sticky mat between eyebrows for you to hold the object of meditation for long", Umesha said when the training concluded.

" Of course you don't need it", he looked at me and smiled." Acharya has given you nirguna dhyana as method and so there is nothing to stick". There were peels of laughter.

But the blue wave materialized nevertheless and spread across my inner vision.

(To be continued)

Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:06 pm (PST) . Posted by:


Sringeri days ..Part 26, from the entries of Padmanabhan Venkatraman ji
What Umesha told us lingered in my thought for long . Wondered why we should force imagine anything at all , even as an aid for dhyana. Should we not take a witness bhava and wait for things to happen on their own? If we seek something and when it materializes, we would not know if it was a projection of mind or a natural occurrence. But the blue light thing was fascinating.
Umesha told us that Siddhasana was the best for meditation; with the heels aligned with genitals, and Maha Bandha done, Kundalini rises. This instruction can be found in any Raja Yoga book. What made it deep and insightful for us was his narration of how Jyeshta Mahasannidhanam was taught by Lord Shiva himself. He narrated it so nonchalantly as if Lord Shiva was an ordinary Yoga Instructor.
We all felt so undeservingly lucky to be instructed by a jnani who was taught by Lord Pashupathi Shiva who invented Yoga himself ! And that too with added benfit of mentorship by Siddha Purusha Umesha! The instrument in all this was none other than our dear 'Paappaa Kannan', who is so unassuming that he does not accept any credit in the whole thing even today- even after delivering 40 years of benefits to so many of us. My gratitude to him will hopefully travel with me when I breathe last.
Though Umesha joked that I don't need the blue wave help as I was given nirguna dhyana , I did not ignore it. I took it seriously for two reasons – one, I never accepted the dichotomy of nirguna and saguna, as both are mere characterizations. The Maadhwa in me would always remind me that nirguna is also a guna or why mention that? More importantly, every syllable of jyeshata mahasannidhanam was a treasure trove for me. That is why I hardly spoke otr asked anything in his presence. One sentence or guidance will need one lifetime to implement for a lowly life like me and so why ask for something that I can't handle in this life .So, I began the practice of Yoga as taught by our master Paappa Kannan.
This practice continued for decades and over the time would prove every word I read in Hatha Yoga Pradipika and every direction of jyeshta Mahasannidhanam. My dhyana deepened and the Maha Bandha happened by itself- jalandhara, Uddiyana and Mula locked itself. The blue waves spread across, starting between eyebrows and spreading around. Since I had no form to meditate on, the pranava resounded as if a rishi was was chanting in a deep well.
There are two causes of the activities of the mind: (1) Vâsanâ (desires) and (2) the respiration (the Prâṇa). Of these, the destruction of the one is the destruction of both.
When the Brahma granthi (in the heart) is pierced the anâhata sounds, like various tinkling sounds of ornaments, are heard . When Viṣṇu knot (in the throat) is pierced which is indicated by highest pleasure experienced, the Bherî sound (like the beating of a kettle drain) is heard. In the third stage, the sound of a drum is known to arise in tie Sûnya between the eyebrows.When the Rudra granthi is pierced the perfect sound like that of a flute is produced.
To experience all these theoretical statements of Hatha Yoga Pradipika was too stunning, given that I was still an ordinary gruhasta, doing my masters in engineering. From Umesha's tales we learn that this was what SSANB taught Shri Chandrashekara Bharati ; who in turn trained jyeshta Mahasannidhanam who mentored Umesha . And we lttle sparrows got drenched by this amruta even as we weren't seeking it nor did we realized the value..
Years later I would get stunned to get hear of the same in Pondicherry Manakkula Vinayagar temple. My wife and I just moved there from Lucknow on a new job ; we were told of this historic temple and we visited. As I stood there worshipping the Ganapathi, Sirkazhi Govindarajan was singing through the CD player and the words caught my attention. The beautiful rendering can be heard in the link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QC_NUbNX6M https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D7QC_NUbNX6M%26fbclid%3DIwAR1WVzyvjTOzCg8CFylcx8YY-N_HE_nftgO-ldJdhegwXrN6rN4T5lcv7yI&h=AT2n1KicklbASBp488j0cUU4TgpHNusabTjscVSwmLLTq4wFgAKxd84k4MHPfW3vydZB-qKWQWLu20pVfypg4ka6rOHzsV7F4t80gjiLfuni9rslWFvBSmdCkhx-lbIJj50wkX2zNRF5lEbx70E
ஒன்பது வாயில் ஒருமந் திரத்தால்
ஐம்புலக் கதவை அடைப்பதும் காட்டி
ஆறா தாரத்(து) அங்குச நிலையும்
பேறா நிறுத்திப் பேச்சுரை யறுத்தே
இடைபிங் கலையின் எழுத்தறி வித்துக்
கடையிற் சுழுமுனைக் கபாலமும் காட்டி
மூன்றுமண் டலத்தின் முட்டிய தூணின்
நான்றெழு பாம்பின் நாவில் உணர்த்திக்
குண்டலி யதனிற் கூடிய அசபை
விண்டெழு மந்திரம் வெளிப்பட உரைத்து
மூலா தாரத்தின் மூண்டெழு கனலைக்
காலால் எழுப்பும் கருத்தறி வித்தே
இடைச்சக் கரத்தின் ஈரெட்டு நிலையும்
உடல்சக் கரத்தின் உறுப்பையும் காட்டிச்
வாக்கும் மனமும் இல்லா மனோலயம்
தேக்கியே யென்றன் சிந்தை தெளிவித்(து)
எல்லை யில்லா ஆனந் தம்அளித்(து)
அல்லல் களைந்தே அருள்வழி காட்டிச்
சத்தத்தின் உள்ளே சதாசிவம் காட்டிச்
சித்தத்தின் உள்ளே சிவலிங்கம் காட்டி
The most interesting aspect was not that the Avvaiyar song was about Kundalinii Yoga, but it mentions how we can trigger Kundalini by the pressure applied by Heels on the muladhara chakra - மூலா தாரத்தின் மூண்டெழு கனலைக் காலால் எழுப்பும் கருத்தறி வித்தே.
I stood frozen, as the song went on explaining the entire Turiya anubhava.
This ability to realize and connect what I observe at different places and situations with what was taught by Umesha and jyeshta Mahasannidhanam was greatest boon that was bestwed on me.
This meant that Acharya was every where, any time, whispering the true import of things into my ears in the brain.
But this would happen over years. I went back to the routine after getting trained in Yoga, I was facing another life altering decision point. The Masters was coming to a close and what would I do next ? I had already gotten a class I officer job in central government and was trying to be selected as a Management Trainee at HAL. Will these jobs come in the way of my sadhana was a moot point.
I was keen on doing my Phd as I admired teaching profession. I had applied for phd in Tata Institute in Banagalore and hoped to follow the footstpes of Dr.Subbaramaiah. I was happy when I received the interview call and rushed to the Institute.
I never expected that James Clerk Maxwell , who I had challenged during the undergard days, would be biding his time patiently to strike. After a short period of pleasant Q&A, the interview panelists asked me to go to the black board and derive Maxwell's equations from the first principles.
The ground slipped away from my feet and I stared blankly at the board.
(To be continued)

Prashant Parikh <prashantparikh@gmail.com>

Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:13 pm (PST) . Posted by:


Sringeri days ..Part 27

I stared at the large blackboard and then at the professors who sat there staring back at me. It was obvious that they were enjoying my discomfiture. They were a bit bored too, having seen so many PhD candidates fumble. Tata Institute, almost appeared to be frozen for me, but for the sounds of chirruping birds in the lush woods.

I started hesitantly. " You take Gaus's electric and magnetism laws, look at Faraday's laws and Ampere's circuit laws.. Correct them for conservation of electric charge and rewrite in terms of Fields. You get it".

"Derive and show us", the professors chuckled. After all you want a phD in telecommunications and you better know this was their attitude.

I prayed to Rayaru ,Jyeshta mahasannidhanam and strated to derivations. I struggled for an hour to get to some acceptable level of derivation. The professors thanked me and let me go. I was so exhausted by the experience that I decided to take the train back same day to Chennai instead of lingering in Bangalore. I was very disappointed that as Umesha's disciple and pupil of legendary Dr.Subbaramiah, I gave such a dismal performance. All my pride for having hobnobbed with geniuses of Matscince Institute, corresponding with Dr.George Sudharshan and measuring up to the challenges of Umesha all dissolved like salt in fresh water.

With a heavy heart I alighted in Chennai and took an auto to my brother's home. It fealt very heavy and dreary, not only because of a potential rejection by IISc; all the difficult confrontations in the family that I evaded all these months of stay in Sringeri Shankara Mutt at Chamrajpet would be waiting for me. My mother would continue where we left, pressuring me to abandon my desire to follow the footeps of Umesha; my uncle would resume threatening to excommunicate me from family circles for going the Mayavaada way. How could I even think of it, having such a great connection with guru sArvabhouma Ragahvendra theertha would be the refrain.

I was banking on PhD to buy me a bye pass to the whole confrontation, but it was looking least likely happen.

As I entered the home with an apprehension, my brother welcomed me with gusto and joy. He was the first born in the family and always wished me well. There was excitement all around and I wondered why. " You are admiited to the phD course in Tata Institute", my brother cried out, waving a telegram .Every one was happy in the family except my mom. She wasn't keen on my doing PhD on two counts – one, for about 15 years since the death of our young father we have been living under the benevolence of our paternal grandfather and she wanted all of us start pulling our weight by earning. She was also troubled by my getting deeply involved with Sringeri and was afraid I will go the Umesh way. Like a typical mother she thought getting a job would lead to getting married. She rightly guessed that PhD enrolment would facilitate my going the Umesha way.

The very next week I got selected in the Hindusthan Aeronautics Management Trainee program. It was the most prestigious management trainee program in the country, conisidered to be next only to Tata Administrative services. With UPSC Class I officer post, I faced three choices. " What would you do", asked my mom. "I will ask Umesh and go by what he advises", I replied, much to her displeasure. "So, your give more value to your friend than your mother?", she demanded. "He is not just a friend. He is a siddha purusha whose guidance showered the grace of Vidyatheertha Mahswaminah. It is millions of janma sukruta that we get to receive the grace of such jnanis. So I will listen only to them", I replied angrily.

As happens always, she enlisted her cousin brother who lived next door. He was a devout maadhwa and virulently anti Shankara. He tried to push me around threatening that I will end up in deep hell following Shankara whose Advaitha was nothing but decorated Buddhism. I just ignored him. I reached out to Umesha instead.

" I will check with Acharya and let you know", Umesh said when I disclosed the options I had. As I waited, he telepathically chatted with jyeshta mahasannidhanam. He then gave his command that I should go to Sringeri and discuss with Shri Bharathi Theertha who would guide me on next steps. This was a demonstration of Patanjali Yoga Sutra's Vibhudi pAda that assures of ashta maha siddhi that are possible if once masters Samyama.

त्रयमेकत्र संयमः

श्रोत्राअकाशयोः संबन्धसंयमात् दिव्यं श्रोत्रम्

We continued to chat for some time and Umesha explained how amruta bindu dropped during his meditation. Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes how Kechari Mudra facilitates the Somarasa drop from the crown of the head.

दवा-सप्तति-सहस्राणि नाडी-दवाराणि पञ्जरे |

सुष्हुम्णा शाम्भवी शक्तिः शेष्हास्त्वेव निरर्थकाः || १८ ||

In this body there are 72,000 openings of Nâdis; of these, the Suṣumnâ, which has the Śâmhhavî Sakti in it, is the only important one, the rest are useless.

सुष्हुम्णा-वाहिनि पराणे सिद्ध्यत्येव मनोन्मनी |

अन्यथा तवितराभ्यासाः परयासायैव योगिनाम ||

The Prâṇa, flowing through the Suṣumnâ, brings about the condition of manonmaṇî; other practices are simply futile for the Yogî.

छलितो|अपि यदा बिन्दुः सम्प्राप्तो योनि-मण्डलम |

वरजत्यूर्ध्वं हॄतः शक्त्या निबद्धो योनि-मुद्रया ||

If the hole behind the palate be stopped with Khechari by turning the tongue upwards, then bindu cannot leave its place even if a woman were embraced..

ऊर्ध्व-जिह्वः सथिरो भूत्वा सोमपानं करोति यः |

मासार्धेन न सन्देहो मॄत्युं जयति योगवित || ४४ ||

If the Yogî drinks Somarasa (juice) by sitting with the tongue turned backwards and mind concentrated, there is no doubt he conquers death .

ऊर्द्व्हास्यो रसनां नियम्य विवरे शक्तिं परां छिन्तयन |

उत्कल्लोल-कला-जलं छ विमलं धारामयं यः पिबेन

निर्व्याधिः स मॄणाल-कोमल-वपुर्योगी छिरं जीवति || ५१ ||

He who drinks liquor of the moon (soma) falling from the brain to the sixteen-petalled lotus , by applying the tongue to the hole of the pendant in the palate, and by meditating on the great power (Kuṇḍalinî), becomes free from disease and tender in body, like the stalk of a lotus, and the Yogî lives a very long life.

"Don't you have to cut the tongue at the root to fold it back to block the hole at the back of the throat?" I asked. " There is always a hard physical way and a metaphysical way. This is the difference between Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga", he answered. "When Guru's grace is present in abundance everything happens".

He narrated the incident when a Hatha Yogi demosntarted all the powers of hard yoga to Shri Sacchidanada Shiva Abhinava Naraismha Bharati once.SSANAB Acaharya in turn demonstrated all the siddhis fof Kecharu Mudra without having to mutilate the tongue. (Smt Sumitra Ranganathan has sent a passage from gnaAnanda Bharati's Acharyendra Vaibhavam that provides detils in chapter 8)

With this additional piece of learning of 'virtual' Kechari Mudra I offered my pranAms to Umesha and left . After years of practice I discovered that the hole in the back of the throat could be closed by enlarging the throad end of the toungue, as my own version of Kechari Mudra.

An interesting video of yoga


As directed I travelled to Sringeri. I rushed to Narasimha vanam and prostrated to Acharyas. Jyeshta Mahasannidhanam said Bharathi Theertharu would help me decied on my career move.

Bharathi Theertharu listened to my description of the two jobs and PhD admission attentively. He then looked at me with his usual twinkle in the eyes and asked me, " What do you prefer – general desk job, spending lonely hours on research or interacting with people?"

(To be continued)

Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:46 pm (PST) . Posted by:


Sringeri Days …Part 28, from the entries of Sri Padmanabhan Venkatraman ji

Bharati Theertahru's questions were a bit intriguing but not surprising. He was recognized as the best tArkIka even at his young age. The way he built up his positions with logic, structure and syllogism was well known and every one trembled in front of him. Like a judo master, he would use opponents' arguments against themselves. He was stickler to rigor and discipline. His love for Sanskrit was legendary. His speeches in Tamil was always cute, heavily sanskritized and delivered with a Telugu accent.

"What do I like? Lonely research, desk job or interacting with people?", I echoed his question. I was very intrigued that as a person who dropped out of high school, left home to take refuge under jyeshta Mahasannidhanam with vairagya, he got to these points so easily. Logic is the knowledge of all knowledges. By his sheer logic expertise and structured questioning Bharati Theertha understood the nature of the professions.

None of this would diminish his great devotion to Lord Raama.His mastery of Sanskrit, chandas, vyakarana, nirukta ,nyaya, and Bhakti are in full demonstration in the simple devotional song 'Garuda Gamana' he wrote.


Bharati Theertharu is like Vysasa Raja theertharu of Maadhwa parampara for our times. With Vidhushekara Bharati slowly taking over the Administrative reins of the Mutt, He will probably write Tarka Tandava , Nyayamruta and Tatparya Chandrika of his own and will be responded by Shri Satyatma Theertharu of Uttaradhi Mutt. Our next generation is perhaps destined to witness another 'vyasa theertha- madhusudhana saraswathi' battled of words and thoughts.

"I like to interact with people ", I replied after a great deal of thought. "The choice is then pretty obvious. You go and join as management trainee in Hindusthan aeronautics'", Bharati Theertharu quipped. That was it. The decision made and verdict given. I went back to Banagalore and updated Dr.Subbaramaiyya. He was not at all pleased.

He was one of those rare kinds of scholar jnAnis, who don't hesitate to openly but respectfully disagree with even Acharyas. He was like Bhrigu Muni in a calmer version. He probably felt that Bharati Theertharu was overlooking he problems of worldly ways. "How can you join the management trainee program and yet maintain all the aanhika, achara etc ? You are from maadhwa sampradaya which is famous for its strict observance of Madi and Achara. You will not be able to do anything", he sternly told.

"Acharays have not given me any restrictions in my saadhana and I am not a perfect maadhwa either" I meekly told. My late father was a great fan of EVR Naicker Periyar. Dr.Subbaramaiah was not pleased at all. He was not a great fan of us trying to follow Umesha either. Every one can't be Umesha was his considered opinion. " Any way Acharya has asked to do join HAL and so you go and do it. But bear in mind your difficulties in following Umesha is only growing and not reducing".

My mother was the happiest person to hear this decision. For her, it was a win, being confident that once I get on to this job, she can slowly coerce me into abandoning Umesha, not just his ways. Little did she realize that Umesha would be with me forever and the best she can succeed was in getting me married.

So I went to Bangalore and joined Hindustan Aeronautics as Management Trainee. It was a residential program with first year at IIT Madras and next year at Management School HAL ran with IIMB. We were shipped to Madras and were allotted accommodation in Cauvery Hostel. The room mate allotted to me was Kaveri Renganathan , a pious Telugu brahmin. He was bright, calm, methodical and more importantly follower of achara anushtana. Both of us were a sight in IITM- doing sandhya vandane in the balcony overlooking sports yard and every one else ogling at us. He rose to become CEO of HAL Bangalorte and yet did not leave any of his anushtana.

But Dr.Subbaramaiyya was right . In the mess it was difficult to do the Nithya karma associated with eating. It became particularly bad when moved to Bangalore where it was all going properly dressed with shoes on into the mess and buffet system etc.

As I took my woes to Umesha, he would always say that when we are following Acharyas instructions, we should not worry. Achara Anushtana can be done anywhere the way circumstances allow. What is important is that we do. " After all you are the' spirit of the instruction and not of word' man. Acharya knows this and hence let you join this job" would be his response.

I diligently followed this advice and it served me well as I travelled all over the world; as I took sales job later that meant I on travel more than 60%. Hotel rooms in Hongkong, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shangai, Paris, Dusseldorf, London, all over US, India and Canada have heard my Gayatri japa and Rayaru Japa. Over the last forty years I have realized that we live in our heart and heads; not at all in this physical world. What happens to this body of ours in this physical world has no relevance at all.

Today we adorn this body and we don't know what we will get next. Why should what happens to one particular form of ours body have such a great influence on us? Let the karma play out for any body we assume and one day in this kalpa all will be over. The physical experience is very subjective, relative and hence Mithya. If we learn to dis-associate ourselves from this Mithya world , we do not get entangled. The world and experience is real, as Shrimad Anandatha Theertha says, but very subjective, relative having no serious consequence as Shankara says.

विश्वं पश्यति कार्यकारणतया स्वस्वामिसम्बन्धतः

शिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः ।

स्वप्ने जाग्रति वा य एष पुरुषो मायापरिभ्रामितः

तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥८

As part of training, we were mentored by a few seniors of the program. A few of us were hauled to the aircraft final assembly hangar. "Hello, I am S.C. Ratnam", he unassumingly said and gave an impressive talk. He inspired us in a short sixty minutes.

When we got out of the room, someone whispered "Do you know who he is? He is grandson of Mokshagundam Vishweshwaraiah".

(To be continued)

Prashant Parikh <prashantparikh@gmail.com>

Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:39 pm (PST) . Posted by:


You are most fortunate to participate in this (annual global) Akhanda Bhajan. Do not lose this great opportunity to lovingly sing the Lord's Name. Meera drank the cup of poison with the Name on her tongue and it turned into nectar. Bhartrihari bewailed his lot, "Lord, these pleasures are eating me up; they don't allow me to be myself. No! I will liberate myself from their clutches. I shall take refuge in the undiminishable bliss, the reservoir of joy, the Lord. I shall not crave for objects (padartha); I shall yearn for the Highest Good (Parartha)". Devotion and faith ensure the gift of knowledge of the Spirit which is the greatest prize for the great adventure of birth, life and death. Endeavour to remember this fact when you sing. Whatever you do, whoever you are, whatever work you perform, you will definitely succeed, provided you do not give up the recitation of His Name with love and devotion incessantly. Sri Satya Sai Baba.

www.telugubhakti.com  - A one stop Bhakti and Cultural portal.