Aruppukottai: MAY 15-16, 2012

Direct Your Life Towards Ishwara

Arriving at Aruppukkottai on 15th May evening, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji was welcomed by a large gathering led by ardent devotee Sri Dinakaran. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that our ancestors had great faith in the fact that the Cosmos is created, sustained and annihilated by a Supreme Power called Ishwara, who is also responsible for giving us the fruits in accordance to our actions. The human birth is considered precious as it is only in this birth that one can adhere to Dharma. So we must not fail to make use of this opportunity. Everyone has a duty to perform depending on who or she he is. We must have faith in Ishwara and do our duty sincerely.

We must have faith and devotion towards Ishwara because such a faith is one of the two wheels that drive a man’s life. Both Divine Grace and one’s own effort must be present to take forward the cart of life. That is why we remember and worship the Lord before undertaking any task. This practice has been there in this land since time immemorial.

The thoughts harboured by a man must be pure and appropriate. Let us take the case of an idol of God in a temple. While one feels that the idol is the Lord Himself, another feels that the idol is a mere stone. Despite the differences in feelings, there is no change in the Lord. The Lord does manifest in the idol for the benefit of the devotee. If someone feels that it is a mere stone, he gets no benefit out of it. That is why the Shastras say यादृशी भावना यत्र, सिद्धिर्भवति तादृशी (the results are in accordance to one’s feelings). So if you can see the presence of the Lord in the idol, you will be benefited.

Truly speaking, the Lord is omnipresent. There is not a single place where the Lord does not exist. If you can realize the Lord’s presence everywhere, you need not go to a temple. However, how many of you have such a realization? Hence you must go to a temple. Some ask, “When the Lord is omnipresent, why do you constrain Him to a temple?” We are not binding the Lord’s presence to the sanctum of a temple. We only state that the omnipresent Lord is also present in temple. Can anyone deny that the omnipresent Lord is not in the temple? Of course, you can even worship the Lord where ever you are. But can you focus your mind and worship right here? Hence, in accordance to your spiritual maturity, temples have been consecrated in accordance to the Shastras as places of worship. Hence prayers offered in such places fructify.

The Jagadguru also state that the Lord is an ocean of compassion. There is no limit to His compassion. Whoever you may be, the Lord showers His grace when you approach Him with devotion. The Jagadguru quoted the following verse from the Bhagavad Gita conveying that the Lord accepts anything, be it a leaf, flower or even water provided it is offered with devotion –

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति ।
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः ॥

The Jagadguru then spoke about what could be a real offering to the Lord who is ever-fulfilled and has no wants. In one of His Stotras, Sri Adi Shankaracharya poses the question as to what can be offered to the Lord who has everything. The only offering is to place the mind at the Lotus Feet of the Lord. You may wonder as to how you can take the mind and place it at the Lord’s feet when the mind is not an entity that can be caught hold of. Placing the mind at His Lotus Feet only means that one must always remember the Lord.

The Jagadguru instructed the devotees to shun indulgence in unnecessary talk, listening to unnecessary talk, looking at unnecessary scenes, and the performance of prohibited actions. Focus your mind and senses on the Lord, talk about and listen to His Lilas, engage in His worship and remember Him. This is the path to make our lives purposeful.

The Jagadguru also explained that it is natural for man to desire that he must remain happy and avoid suffering. The only course is to approach the Lord – the ocean of compassion – with faith and devotion. Let us not forget that the Lord is One and that His forms are many. Hence do not worship with a sense of differentiation between the various forms of the Lord – be it Shiva or Vishnu or Devi. The Shatras clearly state the identity of Shiva and Vishnu –

शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय शिवरूपाय विष्णवे ।
शिवस्य हृदयं विष्णुः विष्णोश्च हृदयं शिवः ॥

Hence it is essential for the present generation to cultivate the sense of Aastikyam that our ancestors had, and pass it on to the next generation.

The Jagadguru then remembered the Vijayam of His Guru, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji to Aruppukkottai and commended the devotion of Sri Dinakaran.

On 16th May morning, the Jagadguru had Darshan at the Goddess Sharada temple in Aruppukkottai. The Jagadguru also graced Sri Shivananda Vidyalayam school, and the Ramalinga Mills and blessed the workers. After blessing the devotees with Phala Mantrakshata, the Jagadguru started for Ramanathapuram early in the evening.


Anugraha Bhashanam at Aruppukottai