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Siddipet: DECEMBER 18, 2012

Essential Qualities of a True Bhakta

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji reached Siddipet on the evening of December 18th. After a traditional welcome, Dhuli Pada Puja was performed. Sri Dorbala Prabhakara Sharma read the Swagata in Sanskrit; the Telugu Swagata Patrika was also read. Later, the Jagadguru graced the gathering with a Anugraha Bhashanam.

The Jagadguru said that Srimad Bhagavad Gita that carries the essence of the Upanishads, was given by the Lord using Arjuna as an instrument. That is why it is said:

सर्वोपनिषदो गावः दोग्धा गोपालनन्दनः ।
पार्थो वत्सः सुधीर्भोक्ता दुग्धं गीतामृतं महत् ॥

Here, Arjuna is compared to a calf that drinks the milk of Gita from the cow of the Upanishads, with Bhagavan Sri Krishna being the milker. Arjuna is called the calf because the calf is the first to get milk from its mother. Subsequently, the cow gives milk to everyone else. Similarly, every Astika is capable of savouring the milk that is nectar of the Gita.

We must all try to understand the message of the Gita and try our best to adhere to its instructions. Who is to blame if we do not adhere to what our elders have said? No one but oneself. Similarly, it is up to each person to understand the teachings of the Gita and act accordingly. Even if we understand one instruction of the Gita properly, it will bring about great welfare. It is important to have a proper understanding. For instance, Bhagavan says in the Gita:

या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी ।
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः ॥

Some people misunderstand this verse literally, as referring to that person as a Yogi, who sleeps in the day when everyone else is awake, and remains awake at night when everyone is asleep.

We have to be wary of people who misinterpret the Gita in such ways. That is why Lord Parameshwara, incarnated as Sri Adi Shankaracharya, and wrote Bhashyas on the Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras. The above Gita verse refers to night and day metaphorically. The words night and day actually convey ignorance and knowledge – Ajnana and Jnana.

The essential teaching of the Gita that everyone must understand and follow is how Bhagavan describes His true Bhakta. A true Bhakta would be full of empathy as he would always have in mind the injunction: आत्मनः प्रतिकूलानि परेषां न समाचरेत् – Never do unto others what you would not want to be done to you. He would always maintain a friendly association with people, as such a quality brings a lot of joy and peace to the mind. The Yoga Shastras state this as: मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षाणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातः चित्तप्रसादनम्. A Bhakta will be devoid of असूया is defined as परोत्कर्ष असहिष्णुत्वं – intolerance when others prosper or advance in life. The Jagadguru also said that the Bhakta would engage in charity out of compassion, be free of ego and pride, and will be equanimous in happiness and sorrow. The Jagadguru pointed out that these qualities are ideals for everyone, and ended the Anugraha Bhashanam expressing joy at arriving at Siddipet for the third time. The Jagadguru then blessed the assembled devotees.
 

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Anugraha Bhashanam at Siddipet

 

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Visits

On the morning of December 19th, the Jagadguru graced the Sri Bharati Tirtha Veda Pathashala. Adjacent to the Pathashala, the Jagadguru laid the foundation stone for the Sringeri Shankara Math at Siddipet. The Jagadguru then blessed the teachers and students of the Pathashala.

In the afternoon, the Jagadguru started from Siddipet towards Lingannapeta. The Jagadguru first graced Sri Sahajananda Gita Bhavanam at Siddipet. After having the Darshan of the beautiful Vigraha of Gitacharya Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the Mahaswamiji blessed the gathering of devotees at the Samajam praising them for their Shraddha towards the Bhagavad Gita. The Jagadguru instructed everyone to follow the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and referred to His Anugraha Bhashanam given the previous evening on arrival at Siddipet. The Jagadguru’s message is that the Gita was given through the instrument of Arjuna for the Shreyas of one and all. The Jagadguru pointed out the teaching of the Lord describing a true Bhakta as in the following verse from the 12th Adhyaya.

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च ।
निर्ममो निरहङकारः समदुःखसुखः क्षमी ॥

According to this verse, the Jagadguru Mahaswamiji stated that a true Bhakta would not hate anyone, would be friendly and compassionate. He will neither have ego nor call anything his own. He will remain equanimous in joy and sorrow and will be tolerant under all circumstances.

The Mahaswamiji was immensely happy to see the way how all the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita has been carved on marble on the inner wall of the Mandiram, and blessed everyone belonging to the Samajam to cultivate the aforementioned qualities of a true bhakta.

The Jagadguru also visited Mustabad and graced the Sri Vasudevashramam at Bandanakal, Mustabad.

 

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