Sri Ramanujamji’s UK Satsang Tour 2018
Sri Ramanujamji touched the shores of the United Kingdom on a chilly London night of the 27th of November 2018, UK devotees were all becoming ready to bathe themselves in a blissful shower of nama rain that would pour down from the divine clouds of Srimad Bhagavatham which were already piling up in various parts of the United Kingdom. Who could fathom the depth of the blessings of our Guru Maharaj, that were to be showered upon us in the form of our beloved Sri Ramanujamji as he delivered unto us an outpouring of pearls, secrets and enthralling wisdom from the Srimad Bhagavatham, after having drenched in the bhakthi and bhavam of his presence made us all transcend into the world of the Gopis and verily into the leela land of Sri krishna kanhaiya.”
It all began in London with a “Satsangh in Stressful times” at Sri Anandji’s home. About a dozen devotees were present to hear from Sri Ramuanujamji (some of them on Skype), the pearls of wisdom from the Gita, Bhagavatham and practical wisdom, the rapt attention and silence were sure testimony to the experience of bliss that seemed to reverberate within all our hearts.
London Trinity Center – A practical approach as Sri Ramuji worked on enriching and enlivening the personal side of our lives and empower all of us with the much needed empathy, “The Power of Empathy” at the Trinity Center in East Ham. Around 25 Participants attended, having battled a journey from their workplaces in extremely wet weather to make an effort to listen to this golden opportunity. Session was very interactive and almost everyone present had questions to ask Sri Ramuji.
London Mahalakshmi Temple “Srimad Bhagavatha Charithram” at London Sri Mahalakshmi temple, the foundation was laid with powerful pillars of wisdom – Vedas, puranas and itihasas and woven with intellectual examples to illustrate the power of our ancient seers, the rishis. All of us listened with spellbound attention as we were enlightened by Sri Ramuji on how science, wisdom and religion were all blended together within the broad and universal vision of our rishis. Ramuji so wonderfully brought forth the relevance of modern scientific discoveries and what was woefully lacking in its depth and clarity against a backdrop of what was already laid down with deep insight by our seers of ancient rishis well over thousands of years be it medicine, engineering etc.
London Tamil Sangam – “Anbirkum Undo Adaikkum Thal” at London Tamil Sangam was received well by members of the tamil Sangam and the tamil community who listened to this practical wisdom from the kural woven with sacred couplets from the Thirukural.
BIRMINGHAM & LEICESTER :
Sri Ramanujamji gave an introduction about Hindu scriptures, 18 Puranas and how blessed the satsanghis are to participate in this satsang, as it is a rare opportunity for any human. Ramuji explained the greatness of Srimad Bhagavatham. He mentioned how one is prepared in the first nine chapters to listen to Sri Krishna Leela / Kathai in the 10th skantham. He mentioned that our Jeeva undergoes metamorphosis from Sarga to Ashraya to obtain Sri krishna Bakthi / Leela / Keerthana as quoted by Sage Maithraeya. Great Sage Veda Vyasa wrote Srimad Bhagavatham after a discussion with great Naratha. Veda Vyasa taught Bhagavatham to his son Maharishi Suka who reiterated it to King Parikshit. SriKrishna says He is Bhagavatham and Bhagavatham is Him. Ramuji quoted references from Srimad Bhagavatham about the calculation of time i.e., Vaivaswatha Manvantra and if light is a particle or wave. Then he mentioned about the recent revised explanation from NASA / University of Berkeley on the “Big Bounce Theory” – how this universe came into existence, with reference to “Varaha Avtar”. He also said the composition of water is explained as it is made of one part of pranan (oxygen) and two parts of other (hydrogen). He mentioned that science and spirituality were revered equally in traditional India.
Ramuji explained “the bhava” is important for us, listening to Srimad Bhagavatham purifies us. He stressed the importance of Gnana Bhakthi and Dispassion/vairagiyam. Bhagavatham explains the importance of Namasankeerthanam and said we do not disrespect Saivam or different sect of followers in Hinduism. Ramakrishna Pramahamsar explained to Swami Vivekananda, showed him how to speak with “Matha Kali ”. Swami Vivekananda then asked for undivided Bhakthi Gnana and Vairagiyam. Now we were taken through the meticulous background of King Parikshit and his Pandava lineage.
Ramuji gave succinct details of Mahabharata war and about Ashwathama’s actions. He explained about Draupathi’s feeling when she lost her children and how she changed her mind considering Ashwathama’s mother who is living for the sake of her son. Ramuji explained how Lord Krishna saved King Parikshit when he was in his mother’s womb from Ashwathama’s weapon. Then we heard short explanation of Kunthi Sthuthi. Then Ramuji continued about great King Parikshit’s day to day running of his kingdom and how unfortunately he was caught by “Kali, when he went hunting”. Hence he was cursed by a sage’s son to die in seven days bitten by godly serpent Thakshakan. King Parikshit called his ministers explained his decision to handover the kingdom to his son and take leave of abeyance under great Maharishi Sukkar, who agreed to take him as disciple on the bank of Ganges. King Parikshit explained his situation to Maharishi Sukkar asked for his advice. Suka Maharishi then gives him the chance to listen to divine nectar Srimad Bhagawatham in his last seven days before death.
Maharishi Sukkar takes King Parikshit through elaborate preparation for the 10th Skantham. He mentioned Charithras of Ajamila, Dhruva, Prahalatha, and King Ambarisha. Sukkar also enjoys answering King Parikshit’s various appropriate queries. Our Ramuji gave us a vivid explanation of the above stories, emphasising that listening to stories of Bhagavatha is equally important and makes us understand and takes us close to SriKrishna Leela.
“The Secret of Bhagavatham” at Medway Hindu Mandir”
Listening to Ajamila Charithram obviously makes us understand very clearly that Nama, uttering Narayana Nama saved him. Ajamila was caught by the maya of kali and lived in a forest with an unknown woman, leading a life by committing various sins for many years. He was away from his original family. However as he was a vedic scholar in his younger days, hence Krishna’s thinks about him and ultimately Ajamila names his 10th child as “Narayana” and keeps calling him for every little matter. We know the story that when three Yama dhoothars came to Ajamila, in his eighth decade, he called “Narayana” for his personal needs, however immediately four Vishnu parshadas came straight away to save Ajamila from Yama dhoothas. Exciting bit is Ajamila was able to listen to the conversation between Vishnu parshadas and Yama dhoothas and saw the Yama dhootas returning to their place without him. He then left that place went to Haridwar did penance for the rest of his life and attained SriKrishna padam. Ramuji stressed the importance of removing “I and mine” and chant from happiness and gratitude.
To begin, 10th Skantham, in Mathura, King Kamsa organises the wedding of Vasudev and Devaki matha. King Kamsa heard an asarerai / divine voice from the space that said: the 8th child born to Vasudevji and Devakiji would kill him. Hence King Kamsa was scared thinking about the eighth child (SriKrishna) all the time. He made various plans to kill this 8th child and imprisoned Vasudevji and Devakiji. King Kamsa was not sure when the 7th female child was not seen, which was Durgamathaji was made to grow in Gokulam within the womb of Yasoda Matha, later born to Yasoda matha on the very same day when Sri Krishna was born as 8th child in Mathura prison. Then we heard the birth of Sri Krishna and details of what happened on that night; How Sri Krishna created a very amicable situation in that prison, facilitating the Himself to be carried across Yamuna river to Yasoda matha’s home in Gokulam and bringing back “Sakthi” in his place to cell in the prison. Then Kamsa comes to kill this female child (Sakthi), However when he threw this baby, “Parvathi matha appeared and said that Sri krishna is born and He is in Gokulam and that He will kill him”. So Kamsa was even more scared and fear increased in Kamsa’s mind and he thought of new plans to execute Krishna. Ramuji gave Vishnu Sahasranamam verse, in the context of “fear” – how He creates fear of samsara and relieves it. In the meantime, we are blessed to hear many of Krishna’s bala leela.
“Govardhanagiridhari – Leela”
Lord Krishna accomplishes his objective by playfully lifting Govardhana Mountain as a seven year old child along with his parents, friends and Virandavan community. Krishna finds his parents and all of the Virndavan community trying to satisfy (deva) King Indira . He questions why they need to do that and instead why not offer the same yagya (sacrifice) to Govardana Mountain. Krishna explained that our life happens according to our karma and everyone accepted his words. Then they performed the big yagya offering prayers and food for him, which is also this Govardhana Mountain.
King Indira (deva) was unhappy and caused havoc by flooding Virandavan with heavy rains. Then Krishna gave shelter to everyone and cows by lifting this Govardhana Mountain by the finger tip on his left hand. It went on for seven days; his friends and gopis were very concerned and wanted to offer help. Krishna told his friend to use their small sticks to support the mountain on one side, enabling them to think they also supported him. When Indira understood “it was not a just a human child, but Lord Krishna” he stopped the rain and floods receded. Then he came down with shame apologised to Krishna . He showed that the pooja offerings should be done with utmost love from heart.
The people of Virndavan offered to Indira out of reverence and love, but he mistook it as worship. Krishna shows one should not expect or demand respect or gift from anyone. He shows subtly how anger / pride/kamam/blinds one‘s mind . Govinda controls our senses and controls Indra’s ego. We should offer anything with a sense of gratitude and affection and without pride. The sacred cow Kamadhenu comes to thank Krishna and says he is the protector of cow, called him “Govinda”. (Deva) Indira came down to apologise and explained that his anger and pride were causing this problem. He says Krishna is his guru and the Lord of universe. Hence Govinda Pattabishegam happened. Every one of us have a Parikshit/Kunti/Arjuna in himself who needs to be woken up. We need to fulfil the fundamental needs, financial security, Dharma, then focus on liberation which is supported by our sanathana dharma.
“The Power of divine Name /Nama”
Ramuji mentioned about how difficult it is to practice Gnana Yoga – Gnana is son of Bhakthi, but it involves devotional enquiry which includes rituals on nama jabam, control of mind, diet control, murthi dhayan and then with passion “unravel who am I” also doing prana yamam, i.e., control ego and surrender to Bhagavan (Gajendra charitham). Ramuji explained how Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi explained it.
Karma Yoga – how much “purity” is necessary to do each activity in Karma Yoga using pure ghee, pure water etc., and to pronounce mantra recitation / intonation carefully. Also at the end they say “Govinda, Govinda, Govinda” in case any mistake has happened when they performed that particular karma / yagyna. Bhakthi needs nama chanting. Ramuji stressed why we should not “accept anything given free of cost to us, even spiritual matters; with example of vedanta story and how one has to be re-born and has to payback. Ultimately he stressed the benefits of “Nama Japam”.
“Divine Name, The Path and Goal”
Ramuji explained about chanting lips and serving arms. The common path between Nirguna and Saguna is “Rama” nama. Chant Rama nama and serve everyone. Serve out of abundance, happiness and gratitude to Bhagawan and human. Bhagawan gave us intelligence and smartness, through genes from parents and great grandparents. Dissect “I and mine” and serve with gratitude. When somebody does not have love, they will question everything – about temple worship, doing havan, various Pooja offerings . If one has love there are no such queries. We have many forms of Gods according to each person/group of people’s love. Bhagwan has name and form, i.e., Shivji for dispassion, Krishna for love and bhakthi. Nama and “sabtha” will show divinity. The divine nama – Rama / Krishna/ Hari are spiritual, hence called mantra. When your mind is silent for few seconds, one is happy. All of us should hold onto any pleasing divine name / nama, which originated from Rishi.
LONDON, BIRMINGHAM, LEICESTER, COLCHESTER & BEXLEYHEATH :
Various Home Satsanghs were conducted by Sri Ramanujamji at locations in London, Birmingham, Colchester and Bexleyheath. Importance of Satsangh, benefits of nama chanting, entertaining children with quiz programmes and Krishna pastimes were the highlights of these satsanghs. Many devotees shared experiences and the satsanghs were quite interactive and many were blessed with the satsanghanubhavam based on the feedback provided to Sri Ramuji. Many devotees joined the nama chanting group and showed interest in nama chanting and bhagavatha parayanam. There was joy all around.