View Full Version : Arvind's - Sat guru speaks
08 May 2007, 05:14 AM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Translated by S. N. Sastri
Bhaja Govindam is one of the most popular works of Sri Sankara. The essential teaching conveyed through this work is the need for cultivating an attitude of detachment towards all worldly matters and intense devotion to God. These two are necessary even for leading a happy life in the world. They are also the most important requisites for seekers of Self-knowledge.
1. Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, you deluded one! When the end is near, knowledge of grammar will not save you.
Note: The word ‘moodhamate’ used by Sri Sankara in this verse does not mean ‘fool’ or a person of deficient intelligence. It means ‘one deluded by maya into identifying oneself with one’s body, mind and senses’. We are all in reality the infinite Brahman, but, because of ignorance of this truth we think of ourselves as the body-mind complex. This wrong notion is what is called ‘bondage’ in Vedanta. In this sense even the most intelligent human being is a deluded person until he realizes the truth that he is none other than Brahman. The translation of this word as ‘fool’ does not bring out its real vedantic sense in the present context.
It should not be concluded that Sri Sankara decries the study of grammar. On the other hand, knowledge of grammar is essential for understanding the upanishads and Sri Sankara’s Bhashya. Here grammar stands for all worldly knowledge. The Mundakopanishad says that there are two kinds of knowledge—the higher and the lower. The lower knowledge includes the four Vedas, the science of pronunciation, the code of rituals, grammar, etymology, metre, and astrology (including astronomy). The higher knowledge is that by which the Immutable (Brahman) is realized. The lower knowledge is necessary for all worldly purposes, but it is only the higher knowledge that will deliver one from the continuous chain of births and deaths. This is the idea conveyed by the statement that knowledge of grammar, that is, mere worldly knowledge, will not save you from samsaara. So one should strive to attain Self-knowledge.
2. O deluded one, give up your craving for wealth. Make your mind free from desire and fill it with the thought of Brahman. Be happy with whatever you get as a result of your past actions (karma).
3. Do not be infatuated by the feminine body. Repeatedly remind yourself that it is only made up of flesh, fat and similar substances.
4. Life is as impermanent as water drops on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world is in the grip of disease, sorrow, and ego.
5. A person’s family loves him only as long as he is able to earn money. Afterwards, when the body has become weak, no one in the house even enquires about him.
6. As long as there is breath in the body, people in the house enquire about his welfare. Once the breath has left, even those who were dependent on him are afraid of his dead body.
The verb ‘bibhyati’ is in the plural. So the word ‘bharya’ means not only wife, but all dependents.
7. Remember that wealth is always evil; there is not the slightest trace of happiness in it. For the rich there is fear even from their sons; this is the rule everywhere.
8. The child is ever intent on play; the young man is infatuated with the opposite sex; the old man is ever immersed in his worries; None ever thinks of the supreme Brahman.
9. Who is your wife? Who is your son? This mortal world is very strange indeed. To whom do you belong? Wherefrom have you come? O brother, ponder over the truth of all these.
10. Association with the good brings about detachment towards worldly pursuits. Detachment leads to freedom from delusion. From freedom from delusion arises constancy of the mind (in meditation on the supreme Being). Constancy of the mind leads to liberation even while alive.
11. What lustful enjoyments can there be when one is very old? How can there be a lake when the water has dried up? What followers can one have when one’s wealth is exhausted? Once the ultimate Reality is known, how can there be worldly life any more?
12. Do not be haughty because of wealth or friends or youth. Time destroys everything in a twinkle. Give up attachment to this world which is nothing but Maya and attain to the state of Brahman through knowledge of the Reality.
13. Night follows day, evening follows the morning, winter and spring repeat themselves. Time plays and the life is running out. But the force of desires never lessens.
14. Through this bouquet of twelve verses was instruction given to a scholar in grammar by the learned Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada. (The twelve verses are those starting from the second verse. The first verse is an introduction).
02 June 2007, 02:10 AM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Shri V.B. Kher, a Sai devotee and researcher, conducted extensive research in 1975 to discover the birthplace of Sai Baba. His systematic study of all the available material pointed to Pathri, a small village in the Marathwada district of Maharashtra, as the possible birthplace of Baba.
Baba had referred to his family and birthplace in conversations with Mhalsapati and Swami Sai Sharan Anand, two of his close disciples. The well known saints Madhavnath and Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi have also indicated Pathri to be the birthplace of Sai Baba.
Kher decided to visit Pathri and conduct further research. He made contact with Shri Dinkarrao Chaudhari, a lawyer and farmer from the respected Chaudhari family of Pathri. In one of his conversations with Kher, Dinkarrao recalled how his late father had once pointed to one Bhau Bhusari and remarked at the sad plight of a descendant of Sai Baba! Later, some Muslim clients who came to see Dinkarrao stated that Sai Baba had been born in a Brahmin family in Pathri and had been taken away by a fakir when he was a child. Kher then visited numerous residents of Pathri and made lists of all the Brahmin families, with details about their sects, family deities etc. From all the information garnered, one very interesting fact emerged; only one Brahmin family had Hanuman as the family deity and that was the Bhusari family, a Yajurvedi Deshastha Brahmin family. Knowing Baba’s special fondness for Hanuman, it was an exciting piece of information. He began correspondence with Prof. Raghunath Bhusari, the only direct living descendant of the Bhusari family who provided information about the family tree. The circumstantial evidence indicated that Sai Baba was Haribhau Bhusari, who left home at the age of 8 in search of God. “The theory advanced is probable. I leave the matter to the readers to judge for themselves,” says Kher.
For further details refer to Shri V. B. Kher’s ‘Sai baba – His Divine glimpses’, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi.
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30 August 2007, 02:59 AM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sankara's philosophical conquests are unique in the world. He had his triumphant tour all over India. He met the leaders of different schools of thought. He convinced them by arguments and established the supremacy and truth of the religion that he expounded in his commentaries. He went to all the celebrated seats of learning. He challenged the learned men to discussion, argued with them and converted them to his opinions and views. He defeated Bhatta Bhaskara and condemned his Bhashya (commentary) on the Vedanta Sutras. He then met Dandi and Mayura and taught them his philosophy. He then defeated in argument Harsha, author of Khandana Khanda Kadya, Abhinavagupta, Murari Misra, Udayanacharya, Dharmagupta, Kumarila and Prabhakara.
Sankara then proceeded to Mahishmati. Mandana Misra was the chief Pundit of the court of Mahishmati. Mandana was brought up in the Karma Mimamsa faith and so he had intense hatred for the Sannyasins. He was performing a Sraaddha ceremony when Sankara somehow dropped down there. Immediately Mandana Misra became very furious. An ugly conversation was started when the Brahmins, who were present there for dinner, interposed and pacified Mandana Misra. Then Sankara challenged Mandana to a religious controversy. Mandana agreed. Bharati who was the wife of Mandana Misra and who possessed scholarly erudition was appointed as the umpire. It was agreed beforehand that Sankara, if defeated, would become a householder and marry; and that Mandana, if defeated, would become a Sannyasin and receive the robe of a Sannyasin from the hands of his own wife. The controversy began in right earnest and continued for days without any interruption. Bharati did not sit and listen to their controversy. She threw two garlands, one each over the shoulders of each of the disputants, and said: "He whose garland begins to fade first should consider himself defeated". She left the place and began attending to her household duties. The controversy went on for seventeen days. The garland of Mandana Misra began to fade first. Mandana Misra accepted his defeat and offered to become a Sannyasin and follow Sankara.
Bharati was an Avatara of Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning. Once the sage Durvasa chanted the Vedas before Brahma and his wife in a big assembly. Durvasa committed a small mistake. Sarasvati laughed at it. Durvasa became enraged and gave a curse that she would take birth in the world. Hence Sarasvati had to take birth as Bharati.
Bharati now interposed and said to Sankara: "I am the other half of Mandana. You have defeated only one half of Mandana. Let us have a controversy". Sankara objected to have controversy with a woman. Bharati quoted instances wherein there had been controversies with women. Sankara then agreed and this controversy also went on uninterruptedly for seventeen days. Bharati passed from one Shastra to another. At last she found out that she could not defeat Sankara. She decided to defeat him by means of the science of Kama Shastra.
Sankara asked Bharati to give him an interval of one month for his preparation to hold controversy with her in the science of Kama Shastra. She agreed. Sankara went to Kashi. He separated his astral body from his physical body by means of his Yogic powers and left his physical body in the hole of a big tree and asked his disciples to take care of that physical body. He then entered into the dead body of Raja Amaruka which was about to be cremated. The Raja rose up and all the people rejoiced at the astounding incident.
The ministers and queens soon found out that the revived Raja was a different person, with different qualities and thought. They realised that the soul of a great Mahatma had entered the body of their Raja. Therefore, messengers were sent out to search for a human body hidden somewhere in lonely forests and caves and to burn it when found. They thought that if they did so, the new Raja might remain with them for a long time.
Sankara was acquiring all the experience of love with his queens. Maya is very powerful. In the midst, of those queens, Sankara entirely forgot all about his promises to his disciples about his going back to them. The disciples began to search for him. They heard about the miraculous resurrection of Raja Amaruka. They immediately proceeded to the city and had an interview with the Raja. They sang a few philosophical songs which at once revived the memory of Sankara. The disciples immediately repaired to the place where the physical body of Sankara was kept hidden. By that time the messengers of the queen had found out the physical body and had just begun to set fire to it. The soul of Sankara just then entered his own body. Sankara prayed to Lord Hari to help him. There was a shower of rain immediately and that extinguished the flames.
Then Sankara returned to the residence of Mandana Misra. He resumed the old controversy and answered all the questions raised by Bharati satisfactorily. Mandana Misra gave all his property as a gift to Sri Sankara and Mandana was made to distribute it to the poor and the deserving. He then became a disciple of Sankara. Sankara initiated him into the holy order of Sannyasa and gave him the name of 'Sureswara Acharya'. Sureswara Acharya was the first Sannyasin who took charge of the Sringeri Mutt. Bharati also accompanied Sankara to Sringeri and there she is worshipped even today.
Sankara ascended the seat of omniscience after inviting Vedic scholars from all parts of India and answering their numerous questions. Sankara, by vanquishing all the religious opponents of his day-and they belonged to no less than seventy-two different schools-and establishing the superiority of the Vedic Dharma, had become the Jagadguru of all.
Sankara's success over the other religious sects was so complete that none of them have since been able to raise their head in the land. Most of them have disappeared altogether. After Sankara's time, although a few Acharyas have appeared, none of them have been able to vanquish those who differed from them as Sankara did and establish unquestioned supremacy.
31 August 2007, 12:57 AM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sankara was born in a very poor family in the year 788 A.D. in a village named Kaladi, six miles to the east of Alwaye, Kerala. Kaladi is a railway station, on the Kochi-Shoranur rail link. Sankara was a Nambudiri Brahmin. Rajasekhara, a Zamindar (a rich landlord), built a Siva temple in Kaladi and formed an Agrahara for Brahmins who were in the service of the temple. Vidyadhiraja was doing Puja (worship) in the temple. He had only a son named Sivaguru. Sivaguru studied the Shastras and married at the proper age. He had no child. He and his wife Aryamba prayed to Lord Siva to bless them with a son. A son was born to them in the Vasanta Ritu or the spring season at noon, in the auspicious Abhijit Muhurta and under the constellation Ardhra. This son was Sankara.
Sivaguru died when Sankara was seven years old. Sankara had none to look after his education. His mother was an extraordinary woman. She took special care to educate her son in all the Shastras. Sankara's Upanayana or thread ceremony was performed in his seventh year, after the death of his father. Sankara exhibited extraordinary intelligence in his boyhood. When he was only sixteen, he became a master of all the philosophies and theologies. He began to write commentaries on the Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras when he was only sixteen years old. What a great marvel!
Sankara's mother was consulting astrologers about horoscopes of suitable girls for her son's marriage. But Sankara had a firm resolve to renounce the world and become a Sannyasin. Sankara's mother was very much grieved that there would be no one to perform her funeral rites after her death. Sankara gave full assurance to his mother that he would always be ready to serve her at the death-bed and perform the usual funeral rites. Even then his mother was not satisfied.
One day, Sankara and his mother went to take bath in the river. Sankara plunged into the water and felt that a crocodile was dragging him by the foot. He shouted out to his mother at the top of his voice: "O dear mother! A crocodile is dragging me down. I am lost. Let me die peacefully as a Sannyasin. Let me have the satisfaction of dying as a Sannyasin. Give me your permission now. Let me take Apath-sannyasa”.
The mother immediately allowed him to take Sannyasa. Sankara took Apath-sannyasa (the adoption of Sannyasa when death is near) at once. The crocodile let him go unharmed. Sankara came out of the water as a nominal Sannyasin. He again repeated his promise to his mother. He left her under the care of his relatives and gave away his little property to them. He then proceeded to find out a Guru with a view to get himself formally initiated into the sacred order of Sannyasa.
01 September 2007, 12:54 AM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
In Search of a Guru
Sankara met Swami Govindapada Acharya in a hermitage in Badrikashram (Badrinath) in the Himalayas and he prostrated at the teacher's feet. Govinda asked Sankara who he was. Sankara replied: "O revered Guru! I am neither fire nor air nor earth nor water-none of these, but the Immortal Atma (Self) that is hidden in all names and forms". He also said in the end: "I am the son of Sivaguru, a Brahmin of Kerala. My father died in my childhood. I was brought up by my mother. I have studied the Vedas and the Shastras under a teacher. I took Apath-sannyasa when a crocodile caught my foot while I was taking bath in the river. Kindly initiate me formally into the holy order of Sannyasa".
Swami Govinda was very much pleased with the truthful narration given by Sankara. Having initiated him and invested him with the robe of a Sannyasin, Swami Govinda taught him the philosophy of Advaita which he himself had learnt from his Guru-Gaudapada Acharya. Sankara learnt all the philosophical tenets from his Guru Govindapada. Govinda asked Sankara to go to Kashi. Sankara proceeded to Kashi where he wrote all his famous commentaries on the Brahma Sutras, the Upanishads and the Gita and successfully met all the criticisms levelled against them. He then began to propagate his philosophy. Sankara had the greatest esteem for his Guru Govindapada and his Parama Guru or the teacher's teacher, Gaudapada.
02 September 2007, 11:38 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Mother’s Funeral Rites
Sankara received news that his mother was seriously ailing. He left his disciples and proceeded to Kaladi alone. His mother was then bedridden. Sankara touched her feet in reverence. He praised Lord Hari. Hari’s messengers came. Sankara's mother gave up her physical body and went along with those messengers to the abode of Hari.
Sankara encountered serious difficulties in performing the funeral rites of his mother. Usually, Sannyasins do not perform any of the rites or ceremonies which are enjoined on the householders. The Nambudiri Brahmins were all against Sankara. Sankara's relatives also did not help him. They did not come forward to assist him even in carrying the dead body to the place of cremation and refused to give fire for igniting the funeral pyre. At last Sankara determined to perform the funeral rites all alone. As he could not carry the entire dead body, he cut it into pieces and removed the pieces one by one to the backyard of the house. He then made a pyre there of stems of plantain trees and set fire to it by his Yogic power. Sankara wanted to teach the Nambudiris a lesson. He then made the local chief issue an edict that a corner should be set apart in each Illam or house of the Nambudiri Brahmins to burn the dead of the family and that they should cut the dead body into parts and then burn the same. This practice continues even today amongst Nambudiri Brahmins.
Sankara then returned to Sringeri. From there he went out on a tour through the eastern coast with a large number of followers. He preached his Advaita philosphy wherever he went. He established the Govardhana Mutt at Puri. He went to Kancheepuram and attacked the Shaktas. He purified the temples. He won over to his side the rulers of the Chola and the Pandya kingdoms. He went to Ujjain and put down the atrocities of the Bhairavas who were shedding human blood. He then proceeded to Dwaraka and established a Mutt there. He then travelled along the course of the Ganges and held religious controversies with great personages.
04 September 2007, 11:37 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sankara proceeded to Kamarup-the present Guwahati-in Assam and held a controversy with Abhinava Gupta, the Shakta commentator, and won victory over him. Abhinava felt his defeat very keenly. He made Sankara suffer from a severe form of piles through black magic. Padmapada removed the evil effects of the black magic. Sankara became quite alright. He went to the Himalayas, built a Mutt at Joshi and a temple at Badri. He then proceeded to Kedarnath higher up in the Himalayas. He became one with the Linga in 820 A.D. in his thirty-second year.
06 September 2007, 11:19 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
In the north-west of the State of Mysore, nestling in the beautiful foot-hills of the Western Ghats, surrounded by virgin forests, lies the village of Sringeri and here Sankara established his first Mutt. The river Tunga-a branch of the river Tungabhadra-runs through the valley closely touching the walls of the temple; and its pure and limpid waters are as famous for drinking purposes as the waters of the Ganges are for bath (Ganga Snanam, Tunga Panam). Sringeri is a place of great sanctity and its beauty has to be seen to be appreciated. The Mutt is 'still going strong' as the phrase goes. The homage paid to the Mutt by countless aspirants and devotees is as much due to the greatness of illustrious men like Vidyaranya who have been at its head ever since its foundation as to the renown of the founder himself.
It may not be out of place to mention here that it took thirty years for the well-known Sanskrit professor Max Muller to translate the commentary on the Rig Veda, written by Vidyaranya, also known as Sayana. The learned professor, in his preface, says that not a single day passed in the thirty years without his devoting at least ten minutes on the translation. There is also a little interesting incident that when the manuscript was found to be illegible in some places, he got an authorised transcription from the first original still preserved in the Sringeri Mutt, through the influence of the then Maharaja of Mysore.
The famous holy shrine of Sri Sarada is an equal source of attraction to the devotees. Many are the Mutts and monasteries in India where holy men or their successors sit, and where Hindus from all parts of India gather, but none so great or so famous as Sringeri, the original seat of Adi Sankaracharya. The Sringeri Peetha is one of the oldest monasteries of the world flourishing for over twelve centuries now. It is the first of the four seats of learning established by Sankaracharya, the other three being Puri, Dwaraka and Joshi Mutt, each one of them representing one of the four Vedas of the Hindus.
Sankara placed his four eminent disciples (Sureswara Acharya, Padmapada, Hastamalaka and Trotakacharya) in charge of the Sringeri Mutt, Jagannath Mutt, Dwaraka Mutt and Joshi Mutt respectively. The most famous Sannyasin in the succession of Gurus of the Sringeri Mutt was, of course, Vidyaranya, the great commentator on the Vedas and the father of the dynasty of Vijayanagar. He was the Dewan of Vijayanagaram. He became a Sannyasin about 1331 A.D. The eleven Sannyasins before Vidyaranya were Sankaracharya, Viswarupa, Nityabodhaghana, Jnanaghana, Jnanottama, Jnana Giri, Simha Girisvara, Isvara Tirtha, Narasimha Tirtha, Vidya Sankara Tirtha and Bharati Krishna Tirtha.
The historic and sacred pontifical throne of the Sringeri Mutt is known as Vyakhyana Simhasana or seat of learning. Tradition has it that this seat was given to the great Sankara by Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning, in appreciation of the philosopher's vast scholarly erudition. Thirty-five Acharyas had sat on the pontifical throne before his present holiness in regular and uninterrupted succession.
07 September 2007, 11:27 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sankara organized ten definite orders of Sannyasins under the name 'Dasanamis' who add, at the end of their names, any one of the following ten suffixes: Sarasvati, Bharati, Puri (Sringeri Mutt); Tirtha, Asrama (Dwaraka Mutt); Giri, Parvata and Sagar (Joshi Mutt); Vana and Aranya (Govardhana Mutt).
The Paramahamsa represents the highest of these grades. It is possible to become a Paramahamsa by a long course of Vedantic study, meditation and Self- realisation. The Ativarnashramis are beyond caste and order of life. They dine with all classes of people. Sankara's Sannyasins are to be found all over India.
10 September 2007, 05:01 AM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sankara was going along the street one day with his pupils to take bath in the Ganges when he met a Chandala who was also passing along the street with his dogs by his side. The disciples of Sankara shouted and asked the Chandala to clear off the road. The Chandala asked Sankara: "O, venerable Guru! You are a preacher of Advaita Vedanta and yet you make a great difference between man and man. How can this be consistent with your teaching of Advaitism? Is Advaita only a theory?". Sankara was very much struck by the intelligent query of the Chandala. He thought within himself, "Lord Siva has assumed this form just to teach me a lesson". He composed then and there five Slokas called the ‘Manisha Panchaka’. Every Sloka ends thus: “He who learnt to look on the phenomena in the light of Advaita is my true Guru, be he a Chandala or be he a Brahmin”.
In Kashi, a student was cramming the Sutras in Sanskrit grammar. He was repeating again and again "Dukrin karane, Dukrin karane....". Sankara heard it and was struck by the perseverance of the boy. He immediately sang a small poem, the famous Bhaja Govindam song, in order to teach the uselessness of such studies in the matter of the liberation of the soul. The meaning of the song is: "Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, O fool! When you are about to die, the repetition of these Sanskrit Sutras will not save you".
Once some mischief-mongers offered meat and liquor to Sankara. Sankara touched those items with his right hand. The meat turned into apples and the liquor into milk.
A Kapalika came to Sankara and begged for his head as a gift. Sankara consented and asked the Kapalika to take his head when he was alone and absorbed in meditation. The Kapalika was just aiming with a big sword to sever the head of Sankara. Padmapada, the devoted disciple of Sankara came, caught hold of the arm of the Kapalika and killed him with his knife. Padmapada was a worshipper of Lord Narasimha. Lord Narasimha entered the body of Padmapada and killed the Kapalika.
23 October 2007, 10:47 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sringeri Jagadguru Speaks:
Some people have a complex that they do not posses any merit;that they do not have any status in society.Such persons should seek the blessings of Mahans(Self-Realised Souls).
Association with Mahans bestows a number of benefits.First,they see that the person does not tread the wrong path.They show the right way to him and develop a spirit of devotion.
Above all,they see that the person gains respect in society.Have we not seen many people,though devoid of merit,accomplish things by proclaiming their association with Mahans?
Take the example of an ordinary thread.Nobody notices it or gives any respect to it.But when it strings flowers into a garland,it is offered to God.People wear it on their heads.By being with the flower,the thread gains respect which it did not posses earlier.
Similarly,people can lead an honourable life in society by associating with great persons.Therefore,all should seek the company of Mahans
26 October 2007, 11:09 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sringeri Jagadguru Speaks :
Lord Krishna’s conduct during the Mahabaratha war makes some wonder if he,too,had raga-dvesha (likes and dislikes).For Example,when the time came for Saindhava vadha(killing),Krishna hid the Sun with his Sudarsana Chakrs,creating an illusion of sunset for the Kauravas,and made Arjuna behead Saindhava.Some people may view this as an act of partiality.
In reality,the Lord sees to it that the ordained fate of persons and the grace or curse bestowed by Mahapurushas do not clash.This is what he did here.
Arjuna had vowed to kill himself if he did not kill Saindhava by sunset.Saindhava’s father had cursed that the person at whose hands Saindhava’s head fell would have his own head blown to pieces.
Earlier,when Arjuna was born,an incorporeal voice had predicted that he would perform three Asvamedha Yajnas along with his brothers.This too had to be fulfilled.
Now, let us look at the turn of events.If Saindhava was not killed before sunset,Arjuna would kill himself.If Saindhava died at Arjuna’s hands,Arjuna’s head will be blown to pieces.If Arjuna died under these circumstances,it would falsify the celestial prophesy.If Arjuna lived after killing Saindhava from his hands,the curse of Saindhava’s father would be falsified.
Considering all these,Krishna so manoeuvred that Saindhava’s head fell from the hands of his own father.There is no room for raga-dvesha here.God alone can bring about such a reconciliation.Therefore,we must understand that each act of God is correct and fully justified.
28 October 2007, 11:34 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sringeri Jagadguru Speaks :
When we look into the history of Hanuman in the Sundara Kanda,we see clearly three distinct qualities in him.They are : His Sharp intellect,his Valour and his devotion to his master.
Hanuman’s sharp intellect came into play when he started to cross the ocean.Surasa, a demoness,opened her mouth to swallow him.But Hanuman assumed a form larger than her mouth.The demoness however,opened her mouth wider than his figure.That way,he became bigger and bigger and she opened her mouth wider and wider.At a point when she opened her mouth extremely wide,he transformed himself into a tiny figure and,before she could close her mouth,dived into her stomach and came out.
Similarly,Hanuman did not present himself directly before Sita in Lanka.He thought that if he did so,she would not talk to him out of fear or suspicion.So,perched on the tree under which she was sitting,he started singing in praise of Rama and his qualities.Sita was pleased.Only then did Hanuman come down and converse with her.
Many such instances of his quick wit abound in the Ramayana.
As for valour,we know that he exhibited an extraordinary strength when it came to the annihilation of the Rakshasas,in Lanka.
Finally,his devotion to his master was limitless.While in Lanka,he claimed himself as a servant of Rama.
Only because of these three qualities,Hanuman was able to accomplish his master Rama’s mission very efficiently and became worthy of Rama’s unbounded grace.Even if one of these qualities was missing,he might not have been useful to his master.
30 October 2007, 10:54 PM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
Sringeri Jagadguru Speaks :
Man keeps committing a variety of sins.There is according to our Sastras,redemption from all of them,except ingratitude.Ingratitude means doing harm to people,forgetting the help rendered by them.Nobody should commit such a sin.
There is a story in the Mahabharata relating to this subject.
Once,in olden times,there was a Brahmin who wanted to earn money.He joined some merchants who went in search of wealth in a distant place.
While going on a jungle path,they were confronted by a mad elephant,charging at them.It trampled to death all of them,except the Brahmin,who managed to escape.After running for a long distance,he saw a huge tree and took rest under its shade.
At that time a crane came over there.Hearing the plight of the Brahmin,it took pity on him and extended hospitality.The man stayed there for the night.The next morning when he resumed his journey,the bird said,”There is a demon nearby,named Virupaksha.If you approach him he will give you enough wealth”.
The man went to the demon and said he had been sent by the crane.Virupaksha was happy and gave him a lot of wealth.The Brahmin took all of it and went back to the tree.He narrated everything to the bird.
That night,when the crane was sleeping,the Brahmin killed it and took away its meat,thinking he would not get anything on the way to eat.On knowing this,Virupaksha killed the Brahmin and asked his servants to eat its meat.They declined,saying they would not take the meat of such an ungrateful man.They were told to give it to dogs and foxes,which also refused to take it.
Ingratitude is such an ugly sin.Hence nobody should indulge in it.
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