Hyderabad: NOVEMBER 25 – DECEMBER 15, 2012

Jagadguru Arrives at Nallakunta Sringeri Shankara Math

On November 25, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji arrived at the Sringeri Shankara Math, Nallakunta to a reverential and large reception. Seated a picturesque “Hamsa” chariot, the Jagadguru was led in a procession from Barkatpura Chaman towards the Math accompanied by hundreds of devotees, decorated horses, nadaswarams, Bhajana Ghostis, and Vedic chanting by eminent Ghanapatis. Upon arrival, the Jagadguru was offerd the Poorna Kumbha Swagata by Sri R Prabhakar Rao, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. The Jagadguru then had Darshan of Goddess Sharada and Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Dhuli Pada Puja was performed by Dharmadhikari Sri RD Sharma. Mahamahopadhyaya Sri Pullela Ramachandrudu read out the Sanskrit Swagata Patrika. Darshanalankara Vidwan Sri Vishwanatha Gopalakrishna Shastri offered Swagatam in Telugu. In his address, CEO & Administrator of the Peetham, Sri V R Gowrishankar spoke about the origin of the Nallakunta Math, and its development. The Jagadguru released a book titled “Spoorthi Nandinche Aadhyaatmika Kathaalu” – a Telugu translation of “Edifying Parables” of Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji.

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru praised the devotion of the residents of Bhagyanagaram. The Jagadguru referred to an illustration in Mimamsa Shastra where each day is considered equivalent to a year, and said that while He had been away from the city for 20 years, He had decided to stay and bless the devotees of Hyderabad for 20 days, as if equating each day to a year. It was evident that the devotees were overjoyed with the presence of the Jagadguru. Devotees later witnessed the Jagadguru performing the Sri Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja.



Laksha Deepotsava Program

On November 26, the Jagadguru graced the Laksha Deepotsava festivities organized by Bhakthi TV. Tens of thousands of devotees took part in the function organized at the NTR stadium grounds. In his address, Swami Paripoornananda recounted his experiences with the Jagadguru stating that he sees Sri Adi Shankaracharya Himself in the Jagadguru. The Swamiji said that the Jagadguru is an inspiration for all Sadhakas as the Jagadguru is an embodiment of Vairagya.

The stage was elaborately decorated to resemble the magnificent setting of the Himalayas. The Jagadguru initiated the Laksha Deepotsava by lighting the first lamp. Devotees followed enthusiastically to light a total of hundred thousand lamps. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagdguru highlighted the significance behind lighting a lamp, which is a symbol of knowledge in the tradition of Sanatana Dharma. The Upanishadic supplication – तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय – thus means “Lead me from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge”. The practice of lighting a lamp at the beginning of any venture is to remind ourselves of this supplication. Many have forgotten this tradition behind the significance of lighting a lamp and instead resort to cutting ribbons to inaugurate new ventures. Everyone must know our tradition and realize the symbolism.

The Jagadguru also said that the Upanishads state आत्मनैवायं ज्योतिषास्ते – that Jyoti represents the true nature of the Atman. They also state that the brilliance of all that we understand to be self-luminous, including the sun and the stars, have their source in the Atman, that alone is truly self-luminous:

न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोऽयमग्निः ।
तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति ॥

The Jagadguru had special words of praise for the Chairman of Bhakthi TV, Sri Narendra Chowdary and blessed the tens of thousands who had attended the event. The program was watched live by millions of people.



Karthika Somavara Pujas

The Jagadguru performed the Karthika Somavara Puja on 26th November, 3rd December and 10th December at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Nallakunta. On each of these days, devotees turned up in large numbers to witness the Jagadguru perform the elaborate Puja to Sri Chandramoulishwara Sphatika Linga from noon until 2:30 pm. The Jagadguru offered worship to Lord Chandramoulishwara by performing Panchamrita Abhisheka followed by Abhisheka to the chants of Sri Rudram, Purusha Suktam and hymns from the Mahanarayana Upanishad.



Prathishta Kumbhabhisheka of Shakti Ganapati

It has been a long felt desire of the devotees that a Ganapati temple adorn the Shankara Math premises in Nallakunta. What could be a more fitting occasion than the Vijaya Yatra of the Jagadguru to Hyderabad to have this desire fulfilled?

On 29th November 2012, Sahasra Moduka Ganapati Homa was performed in the Math premises in the morning to invoke the grace of Sri Mahaganapati for the successful conduct of Shakti Ganapati Pratishta & Kumbhabhishekam functions.

On the morning of November 30th 2012, Kalashasthapanam, Vigraha Shuddhi and Prathishtaanga Homas connected with Pratistha of Shakti Ganapathi & Kumbhabhishekams of Shakti Ganapati, Sri Adi Shankaracharya and Goddess Sharada took place.

On December 2nd 2012, the Jagadguru performed the Vigraha Pratishta of Sri Shakti Ganapati Temple and Abhishekas & Shikhara Kumbhabhishekas of all the three temples: Shakti Ganapati, Goddess Sharada and Adi Shankara. It was a memorable day for the devotees of Sri Sringeri Shankara Math, Nallakunta,Hyderabad. More than 5000 devotees witnessed the event.

In the evening function to commemorate the event, Administrator and CEO of the Peetham, Sri V R Gowrishankar addressed the joyous gathering of devotees and mentioned that Nallakunta’s Sringeri Shankara Math closely adhered to all the ancient traditions of the Goddess Sharada Temple at Sringeri. He pointed out that the Hyderabad devotees had come together many times in the past to offer Ratha for the Goddess, and various jewels including Trishatimala, Ashtotramala just as they had all been offered in Sringeri.

Sri Chandrashekhar Limbekar (son of late Raja Venkata Rao Limbekar, who donated the land and had the temples for Goddess Sharada and Adi Shankaracharya constructed) informed the gathering of the divine origin of the Nallakunta Math. Devotees who were closely associated with the Kumbhabhishekam function were then honoured and received the blessings of the Jagadguru.

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru explained the importance of worship of Lord Ganapati. The Jagadguru also spoke about Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s mindset of national integration in placing His Shishyas in regions different from their native land. The Jagadguru also stated that it was quite fitting that just as Shakti Ganapati was installed adjacent to the main temple of Goddess Sharada in Sringeri, a similar installation had taken place at Hyderabad.



Veda Sammelan

On the morning of 3rd December, the Jagadguru inaugurated a Veda Sammelan. Sri Yegnasubramanian, Chairman, Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, USA gave the inaugural address explaining the need to continue the Vedic tradition. About 150 Vedic scholars; Ghanapatis and Kramapatis from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad participated. The Valedictory function held in the evening started with the scholars chanting a Varna Krama at the behest of the Jagadguru. At the end of the Veda Sabha, the Jagadguru gave an Anugraha Bhashanam and blessed the Vedic Pandits. The Pandits were then honoured. The function ended with Sri Yegnasubramanian being honoured in the Jagadguru’s presence for his efforts in spreading the Vedas.



Golden Jubilee of Telugu Shankara Kripa Magazine

On the evening of 4th December, the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Telugu Shanakara Krupa magazine took place in the divine presence of the Jagadguru. Chief Guest Sri IYR Krishna Rao, principal Secretary & former Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Administrator & CEO of the Peetham, Sri VR Gowrishankar Administrator and Chief Editor of the magazine, Sri Harihara Sarma Editor spoke on the occasion. The Jagadguru then released the December edition of the magazine. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru detailed the history of the magazine that has been carrying the news and message of the Peetham in Telugu for over half a century. The Jagadguru immensely praised Sri Manikyala Rao (Publisher) and Sri Harihara Sharma (Editor) for their dedication to the cause of the magazine. The function ended with the completion of the Jagadguru’s Anugraha Bhashanam & honoring of devotees connected with Telugu Shankara Krupa.



On 6th December, a well attended Ashtavadhanam (Literary Performance) was organized from 3PM in the presence of Jagadguru. Eminent scholar and poet, Sri Rallabandi Kavita Prasad gave a presentation of Ashtavadhanam. Sri Jonnavithula Ramalingeshwara Rao, poet and lyricist, coordinated the Ashtavadhanam with the 8 Prucchakas (questioners) posing questions to test the poetic skill, memory and concentration of Sri Rallabandi Kavita Prasad. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru blessed the efforts of the poets and stated that the practice of Ashtavadhanam has been prevalent in Andhra Pradesh for centuries and it has been well preserved and passed on to the present generation. Even scholars and poets in Kannada and Sanskrit have taken up Ashtavadhanam to highlight their skills and to present the beauty of the language and culture in an inimitable style. The program ended at 6:30PM and the attendees throughly enjoyed it.



Special Anugraha Bhashanams Delivered


In this Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that every Astika knows that this human birth, that is difficult to obtain, must be used properly. How must we live our lives? What will bring about our Shreyas? Our Shastras give detailed answers for these questions. However, not everyone can study the Shastras to know the answers to these questions. Hence, Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada has given us the fundamental tenets of Vedanta succinctly in His works. For instance, we have to ever remember the following words of Sri Bhagavatpada:

त्यक्त्वा ममाहमिति बन्धकरे पदे द्वे मानावमानसदृशाः समदर्शिनश्च ।
कर्तारमन्यमवगम्य तदर्पितानि कुर्वन्ति कर्मपरिपाकफलानि धन्याः ॥


The Jagadguru spoke about the Sadhana Chatushtayam describing the four-fold qualifications that form the prerequisites for the study of Vedanta.


Anugraha Bhashanam at Hyderabad (Nov 29)

Anugraha Bhashanam at Hyderabad (Dec 5)


Temples and Institutions Graced

On the evening of November 27th, the Jagadguru visited three temples affiliated to Sri Sringeri Peetham: Sri Panchamukha Anjaneya Temple at R.T.C. Cross Road, Sri Satyanarayana Temple at Ashok Nagar and Sri Vijaya Ganapati Temple, Indira Park.

On the evening of November 28th (Karthika Pournami day), the Jagadguru lit a silver lamp in the evening and had Darshan of Goddess Sharada in the Nallakunta Shankara Math.

On 30th November 2012, the Jagadguru graced Veda Bhavan at Malkajgiri and Sri Vijaya Ganapati Temple, Sainikpuri.

On 1st December 2012, the Jagadguru visited two temples affiliated to Sri Sringeri Peetham: Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, Balaji Nagar and Sri Ramalayam Temple, Vidyanagar. The Jagadguru also graced Sri Subramanya Samajam at Nallakunta.

On 7th December, His Holiness visited two temples affiliated to Sri the Peetham: Sri Prasannajaneya Swamy Temple, Maruthinagar at Kothapet and Sri Chandramoulishwara Temple, Dilsukhnagar and blessed the devotees.

On 8th December, His Holiness visited a few temples affiliated to the Peetham. The Jagadguru had Darshan of Sri Vijayaganapati temple, Vinayaknagar, Saidabad and then went to Hastinapuram and laid the foundation Stone for an Ayyappa Temple. The Jagadguru then proceeded to the Sringeri Shankara Math at Alakapuri, having temples for Goddess Sharada, Sri Adi Shankara, Sri Dattatreya and Sri Ramachandra. The Jagadguru blessed the devotees with an Anugraha Bhashanam talking about the greatness of Sri Adi Shankaracharya and conveying His teachings succinctly. The Jagadguru also graced the Alkapuri park, where Shankara Jayanthi Celebrations are being conducted for many years, and blessed the devotees.

On 11th December, the Jagadguru again graced a few temples affiliated to the Peetham. The Jagadguru first had Darshan at Jnanasaraswati Temple, Musheerabad. The Jagadguru then visited the Kanaka Durga Temple, Vidyuth Soudha and Sri Rajarajeswari Devalayam, Mehidhipatnam. After that, the Jagadguru arrived at Sri Kanakadurga Nagalakshmi temple at Basheer Bagh. In His Anugraha Bhashanam in the premises of the temple, the Jagadguru stressed that we must follow the path set forth in our ancient Parampara and tread by our ancestors. If we deviate from this path, we would be akin to the moth that seeks out fire and perishes. All our Puranas and Itihasas are to instruct man to follow the path of Dharma. When even animals naturally live their lives in the way their earlier generations lived, why should man deviate from the principles and values that his ancestors have been adhering to, since time immemorial? The Jagadguru then spoke about the greatness of the Goddess and praised the efforts of the temple trustees to construct and maintain the Kanakadurga and Nagalakshmi temple against all odds.

On 13th December, the Jagadguru proceed to Uppal, had Darshan at the Sri Rajarajeshwara temple; another temple affiliated to the Peetham. In this temple, Ishwara is consecrated as a beautiful Sphatika Linga. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru pointed out the significance of the name of Ishwara “Rajarajeshwara”. Explaining that “Rajaraja” is an epithet of Sri Kubera, the god of riches and the king of the Yakshas, the Jagadguru said that Ishwara is called as “Rajarajeshwara” as He is the Lord for Rajaraja or Kubera. This signifies that Ishwara is beyond all needs and riches and blesses the one who prays with true devotion. The Jagadguru returned to Nallakunta after blessing the devotees.



Guru Vandanam Programmes


On 12th December, a Guru Vandana Program was organized by the devotees of Hyderabad in the premises of the Nallakunta Sringeri Shankara Math. The function began with Veda Ghosha and prayer. Sri R Prabhakar Rao, IPS Retired and Chairman of the Hyderabad Vijaya Yatra Organizing Committee welcomed the gathering and recounted the fortune of the citizens of Hyderabad and remembered every important event over the previous couple of weeks during the Jagadguru’s stay. Chief Guest, Justice Kodanda Ramaiah and senior devotee, Sri Akella Satya Narayana Murthy spoke on the occasion on the greatnesss of the Jagadguru along with their personal experiences. Several devotees offered garlands, flowers & fruits at the Lotus Feet of the Jagadguru.

The Jagadguru then spoke about the importance of following the teachings of Lord Krishna as told in Srimad Bhagavad Gita.

भगवद्गीता किञ्चिदधीता गङ्गाजललवकणिका पीता ।
सकृदपि येन मुरारिसमर्चा क्रियते तस्य यमेन न चर्चा ॥२०॥

Jagadguru further explained the importance of performing one’s duty (Karma) with sincerity and concentration without attaching importance to the results. The Jagadguru stressed that one should not expect anything in return while helping the needy and doing one’s duty. The Jagadguru gave an illustration saying that while Rama was pleased by Hanuman’s role in finding Sita, He however said this to convey that Hanuman should forget all his deeds:

नरप्रत्युपकारार्थी विपत्तिम् अभिकाङ्क्षति ।
मय्येव जीर्णतां यातु यत्त्वयोपकृतं हरेः ॥

The reasoning is given in the first sentence of the verse which states that a man who worships to repay the help received from another will be looking for the right opportunity to help the other. However, help can be rendered only if the other is in some need or suffering or danger. Hence if Rama were to desire that He repay Hanuman’s help, it would amount to the fact that Rama will be looking for an opportunity when Hanuman will need to be in distress, after which help can be rendered. However Sri Rama did not wish that Hanuman be in any distress; hence out of genuine affection for Hanuman, Sri Rama said: Let (the fruits of) all you have done be absorbed in me. Hence, Hanuman need not be helped again, and hence He would never be in a distressful situation.

The Jagadguru underlined the importance of charity by quoting the Vedic verses:

मोघमन्नं विन्दते अप्रचेताः । सत्यं ब्रवीमि वध यित्स तस्य । नार्यमणं पुष्यति नो सखायम् । केवलाघो भवति केवलादी ।
If one does not use his wealth in the service of man or God, he incurs sin.

At the end of the Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru expressed great joy a the Shraddha and Bhakti of the thousands of devotees who came everyday to have His Darshan. Subsequently, the Jagadguru blessed the committee members, volunteers & the Math staff. The police and security staff received special blessings from the Jagadguru for efficiently and cleanly coordinating the movements of the Jagadguru during His numerous visits inside the city.


On 14th December, a Guru Vandana Sabha Public Function organized by Darshanam Telugu spiritual magazine took place at Lalita kala thoranam, Public Gardens. Many distinguished speakers, poets expressed their feelings of Guru Bhakti. The distinguished participants included Dr. Dorbala Prabhakara Sharma (who welcomed the Jagadguru in Sanskrit), renowned Pauranika Malladi Chandrashekhara Shastri, Mahamahopadhyaya Pullela Ramachandrudu, Darshanalankara Vishwanatha Gopala Krishna Shastri, Gandluri Dattatreya Sharma, Akella Vibhishana Sharma of TTD, Jonnavithula Ramalingeshwara Rao, Sri N.V.R.Sarma of Darshanam Magazine, among many others. Sri PVRK Prasad, former IAS and former Media Advisor and Additional Secretary to Prime Minister, also spoke on the greatness of the Jagadguru remembering that in the mid 1990s, it was the Jagadguru who had been accepted by all religious leaders of Sanatana Dharma as the leading representative to unite the thoughts of all followers of Sanatana Dharma. The Jagadguru released a special Guru Vandanam edition of Darshanam magazine and also a book titled “Wheels Behind the Veil” authored by Sri Prasad.

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru emphasized the need to accept the authority of the Shastras in matters of Dharma. The Shruti or the Vedas and the Dharma Shastras of the Shruti are the beacon lights of Dharma and are beyond analysis:

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

Just as it is said that you are not a disciple if you keep arguing against and disrespecting your Guru – अन्तेवास्यनन्तेवासी भवति गुरावनैपुणम् आपद्यमानः – so too would one fail to be a follower of Sanatana Dharma if he does not revere the Shastras as the sole authority in matters of Dharma.

The Jagadguru illustrated that Go-Mata is given a high pedestal amongst animals because the Vedas themselves state – मा गामनागामदितिं वधिष्ट – Let the cow that is naturally calm and peaceful never be harmed. The Jagadguru also said that it can be established by reason that the utility value associated with a cow, given all the diary products as well as uses of the urine and dung of the cow are so unique that such a utility value cannot be associated with any other animal. Thus do the Shastras remain authoritative in matters of Dharma.

The Jagadguru had words of praise for Darshanam magazine for bringing to the masses aspects of Dharma while expressing happiness at the expressions of devotion by various scholars. The Jagadguru ended His Bhashanam expressing that it is natural that He grace Bhagya Nagaram (Hyderabad) once in a few years, as the city that had so many thousands of sincere devotees.

After gracing the city for 20 days, the Jagadguru started from Nallakunta on 15th December evening. The Jagadguru had Darshan of Goddess Sharada, Sri Adi Shankaracharya and Sri Shakti Ganapati at the newly installed temple, and started towards Secunderabad.