Mandya: March 10, 2017

Jagadgurus at Mandya

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahasannidhanam arrived at Mandya from Hassan at around 10:30am to a reverential welcome by devotees led by Dr. Narayanaswamy. Sri Mahasannidhanam had Darshan at the Vidyaganapati temple and then inaugurated the Sri Sharada Chandramoulishwara Prarthana Mandiram.

In His Anugraha Bhashanam during the public function organised on the occasion, Sri Mahasannidhanam praised the authorities associated with the Vidyaganapati temple for the developmental activities, and expressed joy over the construction of the Sri Sharada Chandramoulishwara Prarthana Mandiram.

Adherence to Dharma

Sri Mahasannidhanam said that man must achieve something in his lifetime and make his life purposeful. This achievement must be in compliance with Dharma, for it is man alone who can adhere to Dharma as expounded by the Vedas. Even in worldly life, no one questions the law of a land. Likewise, in matters of Dharma, laid down as injunctions by the Vedas, it is our bounden duty to adhere to Dharma. It would be improper to ask “Why is this (act) Dharma? Why can’t this (act) be considered Dharmic?” and so on. Our Shastras state –

श्रुतिस्तु वेदो विज्ञेयो धर्मशास्त्रं तु वै स्मृतिः ।
ते सर्वार्थेष्वमीमांस्ये ताभ्यां धर्मो हि निर्बभौ ॥

The Shruti or the Vedas and the Dharma Shastras of the Shruti are the beacon lights of Dharma and are beyond analysis.

Helping Others is Dharma, Harming Others is Adharma

Instead of questioning the tenets of the Shastras, we would do well to understand that in simple terms, the Shastras term Dharma and Adharma as helping others and causing harm to others respectively – परोपकारः पुण्याय पापाय परपीडनम् ।

The extent of Paropakara — i.e. helping others — is left to the capacity of each individual. If a person can afford, one can build a temple, a Dharmashala, a Pathashala or an Annadana facility. Those who cannot engage in such major charitable work must not feel that they can never engage in helping others. The Shastras do not state that only the wealthy can engage in Dharma –

अर्था न स्युर्यदि विजहिमो धर्ममर्थैकसाध्यम् ।
कायक्लेशैः कति कति विधः साधनीयो न धर्मः ॥

Going to a temple, offering Namaskara, and chanting the Divine Name is itself a Dharma. That is why Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada has said – गेयं गीतानामसहस्रं ध्येयं श्रीपतिरूपमजस्रम् । – Chant the Bhagavad Gita and the Names of the Lord, and always remember the Divine Form of the Lord.

Lord Bestows Grace on All

The Lord bestows grace on all. When we look at the Puranas and Itihasas, we find that the Lord protects all who surrender unto Him. Even when Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana, comes and seeks refuge, Sri Rama states His resolve –

सकृदेव प्रपन्नाय तवास्मीति च याचते |
अभयं सर्वभूतेभ्यो ददाम्येतद् व्रतं मम ||

He who seeks refuge in Me just once, telling Me that “I am yours”, to him I shall give the assurance of protection from all harm. This is My resolve!

Sri Rama also said that even if Ravana himself were to come and seek refuge, He would definitely grant it. Sri Rama was verily the personification of Dharma – रामो विग्रहवान् धर्मः.

Hence it is essential for us to remember the Lord who is impartial to all and bestows grace equally upon all. Spending our precious time by chanting the Lord’s Names makes our life purposeful. Even the lame can engage in Dharma by remembering God from the very place of his stay.

The importance of pronouncing the Divine Name is so ingrained in our tradition that children are given the Lord’s names. This is done to ensure that we pronounce the Divine Names at least when calling or addressing them. Such is our faith in Dharma and in Bhagavan Nama Smaranam.

Sri Mahasannidhanam blessed all devotees led by Dr. Narayanaswamy in constructing the Prarthana Mandira.

Later, Sri Sannidhanam also arrived at Mandya from Hassan, had Darshan at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Mandya, and graced the Brahmana Sangha in Mandya. Thereafter, Sri Sannidhanam arrived at the Vidya Ganapati temple, had Darshan and blessed the devotees.