As it Strikes Me

Senganur Sri Srinivasa Perumal blissfully adorned the spectacular, white yaanai vahanam (white elephant carrying the Lord) during the recent Brahmotsavam. The procession was a beautiful spectacle amidst bhajans, auspicious rendering of nadaswaram (a traditional wind instrument), and recital of Vedas and Divya Prabandhams. That night I was fondly reminiscing the purappadu (divine procession). I had a splendid dream in which I had a vision of the seven hills of Tirupati.

It was a dense forest. A full moon shone brightly in the sky. I could hear celestial melodies from Devaloka (land of the Devas). Flowers showered down from the heavens. Through the path in the forest, came a magnificent elephant on which the enchanting Sri Srinivasa Perumal, whose beauty surpassed a million manmathas, rode majestically. How do I describe His flowing hairlocks, His beautiful lips that flashed a graceful smile and His glorious Lotus Feet! The tusks of the elephant touched the ground; he was spotlessly white, with large ears and masthaka (forehead). Many men walked in front holding fire torches. Some of them had wings like angels. Some were flying above, holding a divine umbrella for Perumal. Some were dancing ecstatically while others were singing mellifluously. The elephant walked regally amidst this divine ambience. It was a blissful sight to behold! I was dwelling in these moments even after waking up the next morning.

 

Radhe Radhe!!

May this New Year bring in bountiful goodness and prosperity your way!

The Kalpatharu Day Mass Prayer took place in a very grand and festive manner at the Kotai Mariamman Temple Ground at Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. More than 10,000 devotees took part in this grand gathering. As the entire audience raised their hands and clapped blissfully to the tunes of the melodious and sweet Mahamantra, it was a sight to behold! It was as sweet as honey to the ears and my heart was overjoyed.

500 years back, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, 'He is indeed the most fortunate, who chants the Mahamantra even once in his lifetime.' He said 'Nama is the only way'. There are many suffering till date without understanding the truth in these words. We are extremely blessed and fortunate that we are treading this path.

My kith and kin in all parts of the world, have risen early every Margazhi dawn, and chanted Mahamantra in the streets of their cities and villages, gathering and motivating everyone in their neighbourhood, with the sole intent of making me happy and pleased. My blessings to each and everyone of you!!

Periyakulam Namadwaar, due to the sincere yearning of Smt Latha and Smt Vijayarani, was inaugurated on 8th November 2017. Incessant Nama chanting has been taking place here since then. The devotees are served prasad everyday. Chaitanyadas and Padmavathi have been serving this cause relentlessly. This Namadwaar shines beautifully and magnificently.

Madurai Namadwaar is in the making with the support of Sri Swaminathan Iyer's family and devotees at Madurai. Sri Nehruprakash of Tuticorin has been working on this day and night. Kariapatti Namadwaar is also in the making with the support of Sri Lakshmikanthan. Sri Gandheesan of Virudhunagar has devoted his entire time to this purpose. Two Namadwaars are functioning at Senganoor. A plot of land has been purchased at Udumalpettai by the support of Smt Premila and other devotees, and another at Ambasamudram for the construction of Namadwaar. Sri Sivaram Ganesh of Arupukottai has been earnestly wishing for Namadwaar to be constructed at his own land. Namadwaar devotees of Arupukottai led by Sri Kannan are working towards this. Sri Vijay of Thanjavur has purchased a piece of land with his hard earned money and has been insisting that the space be used for building a Namadwaar.

Due to the efforts of Subbuji and Vidyaji, Melbourne Namadwaar was inaugurated on 8th November 2017 and is functioning very well. Atlanta Kishoreji was dreaming of a Namadwaar night and day. By his efforts, Atlanta Namadwaar became a reality on 8th November 2017.

Namadwaars are coming up at Dallas, Virginia, Fiji, and New Zealand too. Mayaji of Dallas breathes Nama every second. He has begun the efforts for a Namadwaar at Dallas. Muraliji, Malathiji and Ramanji of Virginia, spend sleepless nights working towards a Namadwaar in their region. Sri Deepak Vinod, Sri Nilesh-Smt Eshwin, Sri Raj, Sri Aman and Sri Swastika have Namadwaar Fiji as their sole objective in life. I cannot express in words the longing that New Zealand Smt Kavitha-Sri Venkat and Smt Pavithra- Sri Vijay have, towards making Namadwaar New Zealand a reality.

We will now strive to make Namadwaars of all their dreams come true!

Finally, an interesting mention - Ramuji has already reserved a place in Moon and Mars for Namadwaar, with his hard earned money!

 

No matter what anyone in this world says, I have absolutely no worries!! I have you all....and we all have Nama!! Let's incessantly chant Nama, and make others chant too!!

 

Generations to come, will benefit by all your sincere service to Namadwaar!

All glories to the Guru's Grace!!

- With Love,

Head of the Family,

Muralidhara Swamiji

 

Devotee: Dear Sri Swamiji, can you please summarize our sampradaya in a sentence?
 
For Answer Click Here
Sri Swamiji: Our Guru is Paranur Mahatma Sri Sri KrishnaPremi Maharaj. Our Guru Maharaj is himself a sampradaya sthapakacharya (an Acharya who has established a sampradaya). The sampradayam is PremikaSampradayam.
 
If you want to summarize our sampradayam in one sentence, it is
 
“To Love, To Help.”
 
To love Bhagavan Sri Krishna and to help people by way of giving Mahamantra to each and everyone for their liberation.Bhagavanholds ‘jnana daanam’ (gift of divine wisdom)as the supreme. If we do anna daanam (charity of food) it is for a day;clothes, a few days;education is for a few years… all are benign and good;and the best daanam is Mahamantra as it empowers the person to take care of his worldly needs here andhis spiritual needs thereafter.
 
First and foremost, all need to do Mahamantra kirtan daily, regularly. It is an absolute must. If some are knowledgeable in and have taste for worship (pooja) we can have the Divine Couple (yugalam) for daily pooja; if possible we can do parayanam of Srimad Bhagavatam – at least two to three chapters daily; if possible we can do Sri Brindavana yatra and stay. Absolute minimum and most essential is Mahamantra kirtan.
 
RadheRadhe!
 
Devotee: RadheRadhe and humble pranams, Sri Swamiji!
 
The devotee, with his heart overflowing in gratitude, soul free from concerns, mind calm as the path is simple and clear, left for his home. His gait showed the joy and renewed inner strength. He softly murmured, “Guru krupaanjanpaayo mere bhayee…” as he crossed the ashram gate.
 
---Concluded---
 
Devotee: Respected Sri Swamiji, many people who are in the same path of Krishna bhakti call Sri Adi ShankaraBhagavadpada as a ‘mayavadi’…
 
For Answer Click Here
Sri Swamiji: They speak this way because they have not understood the great Acharya properly. I believe that they have not gone really in depth into the works of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. One of his important Vedantic works is PrabhodaSudhakaram. Of all his Vedantic works, this work has harmonized the Saguna Brahman (Divinity with attributes) and Nirguna Brahman(attribute-less Divinity). He talks about the supremacy of Bhagavan Sri Krishna clearly in this.
 
So Sri Bhagavadpada is not a mayavadi but a brahmavadi.
 
He proclaims that Brahman alone exists and not Maya. Hence he is a brahmavadi.
 
His works like PrabhodaSudhakaram, Hari stotram (Hari meede) clearly show that Sri Adi ShankaraBhagavadpada is an ardent Krishna bhakta and a clear Vaishnava. Only few have realized this. In the village of Tiruvisainallur there was a mahan by the name, Sri Rama SubbaShastri. He has pored deep into the various works of Sri Adi Shankara and come to the clear conclusion that Sri Adi ShankaraBhagavadpada was an ardent Vaishnava who was truly devoted to Krishna.
 
Is this clear?
 
Devotee: Pranams to Sri Swamiji! It is amply clear now! How much apacharam (divine offence) would it be to belittle or disrespect this great Acharya, Sri Adi ShankaraBhagavadpadacharya! I have heard Bhagavan may even tolerate His apachara but not a vaishnavaapachara. I realize now that his detailed commentary on Vishnu Sahasranaama, his Krishnashtakam, Govindashtakam, BhajaGovindam, Pandurangashtakam, Yamunashtakam, Gangashtakam, Rama Bhujangastotram… all clearly proclaim his love for Krishna and the Divine Name. I have been truly blind all along!
So always, at all places, and at all cost, the praise of Lord Krishna has to be sung with a firm belief, without entertaining any idea of finding fault with different Sampradayas.
 
May Krishna forgive me if I had even thought ill of other great acharyas!Pranams with gratitude, Sri Swamiji.
 
Sri Swamiji, I just have one last question if Your Holiness would permit…(Sri Swamiji nodded with a smile.)
 
(To be concluded)
 
Devotee: Is our sampradaya in line with Sri Adi ShankaraBhagavadpada’s or Sri BhagavatRamanujacharya’s or Sri Madhvacharya’s sampradaya?
 
For Answer Click Here
Sri Swamiji: I totally understand what you are asking. All these, at the current time, are very big precepts (“periyavishayam”). If you ask what our sampradayam is, let me explain. There is jnana (spiritual wisdom). That jnana can be realized simply by the Divine Name itself (kEvalamnAmamAtrEna). Sri Adi Shankara or BhagavatRamanujacharya or Sri Madhvacharya – none are against the Divine Name. In fact, they all have exhortedeveryone to chant the Divine Name. So the path of the Divine Name is acceptable to all Acharyas. Sri Adi ShankaraBhagavadpada’sAdvaita philosophy, Sri BhagavatRamanujacharya’s broad, inclusive outlook and his path of kainkaryam to Bhagavan, Sri Madhvacharya’s Krishna bhakti, all are acceptable to us.
 
Our Acharya,Paranur Mahatma Sri SriKrishnapremiSwamiji, has given this as the final word in the Vaishnava Samhita:
 
sAdhyamvishNupadamnityamsAdhanamnAmakIrtanam
sarvEshAmsampradAyAnAmsArOyamnahisamshayah
 
The goal is the eternal abode of Lord Vishnu. Singing in praise of Him is the means of attaining the goal undoubtedly. This is the essence of all Sampradayas.
 
tasmAtsankIrtayEtkrishNamsadAsarvatrasarvathA
sampradAyAntaradvEshamvinaivadruDhanishThayA
 
So always, at all places, and at all cost, the praise of Lord Krishna has to be sung with a firm belief, without entertaining any idea of finding fault with different Sampradayas.
 
Have you understood this?
 
Devotee: Oh yes Swamiji! Our path is that of the Divine Name, which is Shruti/Smriti/Itihasa/Puranasammandam (acceptable to the Vedas, other Shastras, Puranas/Itihasas); it issarvamathasammandam (acceptable to all the Vedic philosophies) andsarvaMahatma sammandam (acceptable to all Saints/Acharyas). In fact, I see this path’s universality now. Also, I see the beauty of universal acceptance in this path. I now understand what Your Holiness always insists: ‘Admire all, Adopt one – the path of Krishna Bhakti and the Divine Name.’
 
Sri Swamiji! Can I submit another question?
 
(To be continued)
 
In a freely flowing conversation, Sri Swamiji answers four vital questions on our sampradayam (tradition) to a devotee, who questions ‘pariprashnena sevaya’, with humility and simplicity.
 
Devotee: Sri Swamiji, I have a question... it is about our sampradaya. Should we, as Krishna bhaktas, go only to Krishna temples or can we go to other temples as well?
 
For Answer Click Here
Sri Swamiji: Humans should love and respect other humans and not hate one another. We need to see Krishna in every individual being. Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself says in the Bhagavad Gita (6:30):
“yO mAm pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyati
tasyAham na praNashyAmi sa cha mE na praNashyati"
 
The one who sees Me everywhere, and sees all in Me, to that person I am not lost, nor is that person lost to Me.
 
So when Sri Krishna tells us to see Him everywhere and in all beings themselves, what to say about higher deities?
 
We worship Krishna; we do smaranam (joyful meditation) of Krishna. If it so happens that you need to go to any temple due to some circumstance or by chance, certainly you can go. At times when we go for an upanyasam (discourse), for example, there happens to be a sanctum there of some other deity (a deity which is praised by the Vedas). We should never disrespect Vedic deities. Even these deities have Krishna alone as their Indweller (antaryami); we pray to these deities also for Krishna bhakti alone. This is our sampradayam.
 
At the same time, we will not start worshipping other deities in our Ashram. We will always stick only to Krishna bhakti. We will never speak low of or belittle or demean any other deity.
 
In a joint family, the wife loves her husband with her heart and soul. Towards all others who are related to her husband, she holds respect. The love she has for her husband is different, and the respect she has for others who are related through her husband is different. The respect she has for others is because of their relation with her husband.
 
We will always have respect for all deities.
 
Likewise, we Krishna bhaktas shall never rebuke or disrespect any deity. Do you understand?
 
Devotee: Yes Swamiji, it is so clear now. When we Krishna bhaktas are directed by our Bhagavan in the Gita to respect every other life form and to see Krishna everywhere, how much respect should we have for deities who are praised in the Vedas! (Bhagavatam says “vEdO nArAyaNa sAkshAt”)
 
Of course, we adore our Thakurji – Sri Radha Krishna – with all our heart and soul. But this does not mean that we should belittle other Vedic deities or criticize or speak ill of them. Respect all deities; love our Krishna! This is very clear now.
 
Sri Swamiji: Very good. You have truly understood. Krishna blesses you!
 
Devotee: Swamiji, now can I ask a second question?...
 
(to be contd...)
 

A man once set out to the temple. On the way, his slippers tore. He did not find a cobbler to fix them. He was skeptical about leaving them outside the temple, for fear of someone stealing it. He removed his slippers, and put them inside the bag he was carrying.

As he entered the temple, he was very disturbed thinking if he was doing the right thing by taking the slippers inside. As he reached the sanctum, the priest asked him for the bag, assuming that it contained the offerings for archana. Guilt gripped him.

Holding the bag in his hand, he received theertham. His mind was in total unrest.

He circumambulated the Lord, and when he was given prasad, he received it with the bag in one hand. Guilt gripped him further.

He finally prostrated in front of the temple pillar, and was torn between keeping the bag down, and holding it. Holding the bag in one hand in a manner that it does not touch the ground, he half heartedly prostrated, and walked out.

He was left with the feeling that the bag tuned out to be such a burden and such an obstacle that did not let him pray in peace at the temple. He was so guilty that he did not even have darshan of the Lord properly.

This scene applies to us too.

Carrying the baggage of our past, will only leave us with guilt, regret and remorse. Let us unload the baggage before stepping into the new year. Let us begin new. Let us forget the past and leave it behind. Let us move into the New Year with positivity. Let us march enthusiastically towards a successful year, where only joy and peace will prevail and we will celebrate our Lord whole heartedly every single day.

We all know what Dharma Sankatamis. When there are two Dharma-sor righteous acts that need to be done, and if a confusion arises as to which needs to be done, then that goes by the name Dharma Sankata’! In Srimad Bhagavatha, King Ambarisha undertook the Dwadashi Vrata in Mathura. Sage Durvasa arrived there as his guest at that time. Ambarisha Chakravarthy welcomed Sage Durvasa very courteously with pleasing words. He said he would come to have his lunch after a dip in the holy Yamuna river and left. According to our Dharma, one must not eat without feeding the guest who has agreed to have a meal. At the same time, Dharma also states that one must finish his paaranaor mid-day-mealon a Dwadhasi day even when the Dwadashi thithi is there. Since both of these are Dharmas, now arose a confusion as to which one Ambarisha must follow. This is precisely what is known as Dharma Sankatam’.

Similarly, I was recently faced with something new which I named as Apachaara  Sankatam’ (Apachaaram is an offence to god). In my pooja, along with my RadhaKrishna Yugala, my Gurus Padhuka is also present. Once when I happened to take a garland in my hand to offer to the RadhaKrishna Yugala, it suddenly slipped and fell on the Padhuka. When I went to lift that garland and offer it again to the Yugala, a slight doubt crept in my mind if I can offer this garland to the Yugala which has slipped and fallen on the Padhuka. ‘’ I only look upon my Guru as god himself very earnestly, and also tell the same to others too. Then what is wrong in me offering this garland to the Yugala?’’ – I thought. Not only that, I felt shameful about this doubt having arisen in my mind and I also detested it. My mind sneered at me saying,’’ Oh! Your Guru Bhakthi is only this deep!’’. ‘’Alright! Will my Guru like it if I offer this garland to Bhagawan?’’, this question too rose in my mind. For sure, he would not accept the garland fallen on his Padhuka go be offered to the Yugala. ‘’Will it not then become an Apachaarato do something that he doesnt approve of ?’’ – my mind reasoned. Finnaly I put an end to the oscillation in the mind thus, - ‘’It befits my Guru not to accept that, but these thought processes should not have been there in me if I had possessed strong faith!’’

This indeed is my Apachaara Sankatam’!

The path shown by great sages and bhaktas like Prahlada, Narada, Parasara, Pundaleeka, Vyasa, Ambareesha, Shuka, Saunaka, Bhishma etc, is the path of Bhagavatha Dharma. A river takes its own course as it flows towards the infinite ocean.

Some people come to the river to quench their thirst. Some sit by its banks to enjoy the cool breeze, some set up their home in the banks, some use its water and current for agriculture, some play in the current and end up drowning themselves, while some take a boat and travel safely from one side to the other.

The life of a Mahatma in the path of Bhagavatha Dharma is similar to this river. Few come to them seeking a solution to their problems or questions, and thereby quench their thirst. Few come and take what they want for their personal benefits just like those who use the river for agricultural purposes. Few come and stay with the Mahatma and enjoy His Divine Company just like those who sit to enjoy the cool breeze. Some try to play with the Mahatma and meet their end just like the ones who drown in the current. Only a few follow the Mahatma everywhere till the end and reach the infinite and get liberated, just as the river reaches the ocean.