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Tirupati: NOVEMBER 3-5, 2012

Jagadguru Enters Andhra Pradesh at Tirupati

The bond between Adi Shankaracharya, His Parampara and Andhra Pradesh is ancient.

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji entered the state of Andhra Pradesh on 3rd November 2012. The Jagadguru was received at the border by various dignitaries of the state including Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Executive Officer Sri L V Subrahmanyam.

Arriving at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Tirupati, the Jagadguru was received with Poornakumbha and given a reverential welcome. Smt. Chitra Ramachandran, IAS, Principal Secretary to Government Revenue (Endowments) was amongst the notable dignitaries to welcome the Jagadguru.

Prof. Sannidhanam Sudarshana, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Venkateshwara Vedic University rendered the Swagata Bhashanam in Sanskrit and mentioned that in accordance to the dictum – पितृदेवमनुष्याणां वेदः चक्षुः सनातनम् The Vedas are the eternal source of wisdom to the Pitrus, Devas and humans – the Jagadguru focused only on the Vedas and their teachings while travelling through the nation and expounding the message of Sanatana Dharma to the masses. Prof. Ramamurthy, Dharmadhikari of the Math, welcomed the Jagadguru in Telugu.

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada incarnated to revive Sanatana Dharma and spread the message of the Upanishadic philosophy of Advaita (non-dualism) to the masses. He finished the purpose of His incarnation in a short span of 32 years and established the four Amnaya Peethams to carry on the work of spreading Dharma. He directed that the Peethadhipatis must show people the right path and teach them the Tattva. The Peethadhipatis in the unbroken Guru Parmpara of the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham at Sringeri, beginning from Sureshwaracharya have conducted themselves accordingly. As per the directive – “स्वस्वराष्ट्रप्रतिष्ठित्यै सञ्चारः सुविधीयताम्”- in the Mahanushasanam given by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the Peethadhipatis have been undertaking Yatras to spread the message of Dharma. In the same Mahanushasanam, the great Acharya has stated that the Southern states including Andhra, Dravida Desha (Tamil Nadu), Karnataka and Kerala fall under the jurisdiction of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in matters of spreading Dharma.

आन्ध्रद्रविडकर्नाटकेरलादिप्रभेदतः ।
शृङ्गेर्यधीना देशास्ते ह्यवाचीदिगवस्थिताः ॥

The Jagadguru then spoke about the recent connections between Sringeri and Tirumala Tirupati, mentioning that the 32nd Acharya in the Sringeri Parampara, Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji had come to Tirupati about 150 years ago and had Darshan at Tirumala. The records highlight the details of His arrival, the ceremonial welcome accorded to Him, the way His Darshan was arranged, the Seva offered to the Lord by the Peetham as well as the honours showered on the Guru by the temple authorities. The Jagadguru said that His Guru, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji had come numerous times to Tirupati and that His first visit had been in 1960, when Sri Annarao the then Executive Officer had made excellent arrangements and had arranged and conducted a Vidwat Sadas with the Jagadguru presiding over the Sadas. The Jagadguru also remembered His visits to Tirupati along with His Guru, and by Himself on later occasions.

The Jagadguru continued that the time to conduct a Vijaya Yatra in Andhra Pradesh had not come during the past 20 years, and the disciples had been longing for His arrival. The Jagadguru remembered that even during the times of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the people of Andhra Pradesh had come of their own accord, and most reverentially invited Him and served Him.

निजपादसरोजसेवनायै विनयेन स्वयमागतानथान्ध्रान् ।
अनुगृह्य स वेङ्कटाचलेशं प्रणिपत्याप विदर्भराजाधानीम् ॥

The great Acharya had condescended to their request and had come to Andhra, and had worshipped Sri Venkateshawara Swamy.

The Jagadguru said that Sri Venkateshwara Swamy is the Pratyaksha Devata in the Kali Yuga – कलौ वेङ्कटनायक: and that He had come to Tirupati with the Sankalpa of beginning the Vijaya Yatra in Andhra Pradesh by offering prayers to Sri Venkateshwara Swamy.

The Jagadguru had words of praise for the educational institutions in the Kshetra, in particular for the preservation of the Vedas and Shastras. The Sri Venkateshwara Vedic University served to support the propagation of the Vedas, Vedangas and the Veda Bhashyam and hundreds of students are studying the Veda, Samskrita and Agamas in the Pathashala run by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).

TTD was also honouring Vedic scholars by giving them monthly stipends. The Jagadguru pointed out that TTD had begun the this scheme of honouring scholars from the time of Sri Uppuloori Ganapati Shastri. Sri Shastri had suggested that some portion of the amount being offered to the Lord be sent in the sustenance of the Vedas and Shastras. Accordingly, schemes for supporting the Vedic scholars and fostering Vedic education such as the Veda Parayana scheme, and Kumaradhyapaka scheme came into place. The Jagadguru also expressed joy at the publishing of books and other activities towards Dharma Prachara.

The Jagadguru opined that His primary message was that everyone must be engaged in Svadharma.

श्रेयान् स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात् स्वनुष्ठितात् ।

स्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिमतः संसिद्धिं लभते नरः ।

Everyone must remember these verses uttered by Bhagavan in the Bhagavad Gita. One must realize that one has to perform the duty prescribed for himself by the Shastras. Indulging in any other duty and performing it even in an excellent fashion is secondary. The second statement says that you will derive benefit if you perform your own duty.

The Jagadguru stressed that one must not perform duties with Ashraddha (lack of faith and sincerity). Bhagavan states that anything, be it a homa or charity or an act of austerity, performed with a lack of Shraddha will fetch no fruit, either in this world nor the next.

अश्रद्धया हुतं दत्तं तपस्तप्तं कृतं च यत् ।
असदित्युच्यते पार्थ न च तत्प्रेत्य नो इह ॥

Shraddha has been defined by Sri Bhagavatpada as complete faith in the words of the Shastras and the Guru.

शास्त्रस्य गुरुवाक्यस्य सत्यबुद्ध्याऽवधारणा ।
सा श्रद्धा कथिता सद्भिः यया वस्तूपलभ्यते ॥

Many however do not have this faith and feel, “The Shastras say do this or that for your own good. We are not sure what will happen if we do it. Let us see.” This is not the attitude of one who has Shraddha.

The Shastras refer to the Vedas, which have come out of the omniscient Ishwara. Hence the Shastras can never state what is not true. So if we do not perform our duties with the necessary Shraddha, we will not get the results. Daksha Prajapati performed a Yajna but he did it with a view of insulting Ishwara. His ego led to the destroying of the Yajna and his own downfall.

Hence Bhagavatpada stressed the need for Shraddha, when He said “वेदो नित्यमधीयताम् तदुदितं कर्म स्वनुष्ठीयताम्. Using the prefix “सु”, He conveyed that duties enjoined in the Vedas are to be performed with Shraddha. The Jagadguru said that the the purpose of our lives would be fulfilled only if we perform our Svadharma with Shraddha. This message has been given by the Shastras and echoed by Mahatmas. The Jagadguru blessed that this message be imbibed by all and everyone attain Shreyas.

During the night Chandramoulishwara Puja, at the instruction of the Jagadguru, Veda Brahmasri Prava Ramakrishna Somayaji explained the Veda Bhashya of the mantras in the Krishna Yajur Veda pertaining to the Kooshmanda Homa after the Rudra Abhisheka.

On the morning of 4th November, the Jagadguru arrived at the Sringeri Shankara Math at Narasimha Teertham, Tirupati and had Darshan of Goddess Sharada and Adi Shankaracharya. After blessing the assembled devotees, the Jagadguru returned to the Math in Tirupati and gave Darshan to the devotees.

On the morning of 5th November, the Jagadguru visited Tirumala and was received with Poorna kumbha by Sri L V Subrahmanya, Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams and religious authorities. The Jagadguru first had Darshan at the Bedi Anjaneya Swamy temple and was then given the special ceremonial Istikapal Swagatam by the Archakas of the temple. The Jagadguru was then led into the temple and had Darshan of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy. The Vastram offered by the Jagadguru was placed on the Lord and the Jagadguru then performed Chamara Seva to the Lord of the Seven Hills. The Jagadguru then spent nearly half an hour in front of the Garbha Griha and then later descended to Tirupati to give Darshan to the assembled devotees.

A few days after the Jagadguru’s visit, it came to be known through the TTD authorities that prior to the Jagadguru’s visit, Tirumala had been suffering from acute water shortage for many months due to a drought. However immediately after the Jagadguru’s visit, heavy rains descended upon Tirumala and the reservoirs now had sufficient water for more than a year.

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Anugraha Bhashanam at Tirupati

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