Kavali: NOVEMBER 8-9, 2012

The Jagadguru at Kavali

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji arrived at Kavali on the evening of 8th November. After accepting the Dhuli Pada Puja and the Swagatam offered to Him, the Jagadguru gave a Anugraha Bhashanam.

Why Should You Follow Dharma?

The Jagadguru said that the Dharma in our land is called Sanatana Dharma because it is ancient. As it is propounded by the Vedas, it is called Vaidika Dharma. The greatness of this Dharma has been extolled by the Vedas themselves:

धर्मो विश्वस्य जगतः प्रतिष्ठा । लोके धर्मिष्ठं प्रजा उपसर्पन्ति । धर्मेण पापमपनुदति । धर्मे सर्वं प्रतिष्ठितम् । तस्माद्धर्मं परमं वदन्ति ।

Hence Dharma is Supreme. Such is the importance of Dharma that God Himself descends to protect Dharma. Our ancestors adhered to this Dharma and have passed it on to us. It is our duty to follow Dharma. We should not slip into laxity when observing Dharma. Performing one’s own Dharma, or duty, is praised by Bhagavan Himself in the Bhagavad Gita:

श्रेयान् स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात् स्वनुष्ठितात् ।
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः ॥

Everyone attains Shreyas by adhering to Sva-Dharma. One must never resort to Dharma that is not his own, even if he is able to perform it very well.

Remember that your true friend at all times is the Dharma that you have performed. We may consider many as our friends and relatives. We undergo many hardships for their sake. We distribute what we have earned amongst them. However we must reflect upon the extent to which they can support us. In this context,Sri Adi Shankaracharya has said:

यावद्वित्तोपार्जनसक्त: तावन्निजपरिवारो रक्तः।
पश्चाज्जीवति जर्जरदेहे वार्तां कोऽपि न पृच्छति गेहे ॥

As long as you have the strength to earn, your so-called friends and relatives will be around. Once you stop earning, people will begin to stay away. Why speak of others, when even your own son would feel: “How long will this old man stay alive?”. Such is the state of affairs in this world today. Hence it is only the Dharma that you have performed that will really help you.

मृतं शरीरमुत्सृज्य काष्ठलोष्टसमं क्षितौ ।
विमुखा बान्धवा यान्ति धर्मस्तं अनुगच्छति ।

Once you leave the body, will anyone accompany you? Are your relatives and friends going to be with you? They merely offer the body either to Agni or to Bhumi and walk away without turning back. So who accompanies you? Only the Dharma will accompany you on your journey into the next life. If you do not show Shraddha towards Dharma now, you will repent later. Do not get into a situation where you regret not having adhered to Dharma in the past. Follow Dharma now, when you have good health and a strong body and are blessed with wealth.

Some people are so greedy that they do not wish to give their wealth to anyone. Rather, they wish to take their wealth even after they die: मृतोऽप्यर्थं न मोक्ष्यामि बद्ध्वा नेष्यामि मूर्धनि । Is it possible to do so? Interestingly, a way does exist: इति चेत् सुदृढा बुद्धिः पात्रे देयमशङ्कितम् । If you have donated to a worthy person, it will come along with you even after death.

This does seem difficult to believe for the people today. However, you need to ask yourself: Are you able to withdraw the money that you deposited in your bank in your town from an ATM in a different city? If we ordinary humans create such a facility, what to speak of God’s ability to bring in such a system where Dharma performed here in this lifetime will reap you rewards even in future lives. Is it possible to comprehend the power of the omniscient God, who can create and annihilate the worlds in a trice? Hence people need to reexamine themselves and be Astikas with faith in the Vedas, God and rebirth.

येनास्य पितरो याताः येन याताः पितामहाः ।
तेन यायात्सतां वर्त्म तेन गच्छन्न दुष्यति ॥
We will not falter if we traverse the paths taken by our ancestors.

The scriptures go to the extent of even addressing people who are not sure of the existence of the next worlds. It is better for you to adhere to Dharma. This is because if you do not adhere to Dharma and the next world does exist, you will be doomed. If the next world does not exist, then you lose nothing by adhering to Dharma now. An interesting illustration is given to drive home this fact. Suppose two men walking along a path find an anthill in the middle of the path, and doubt if a snake lives in it. One man mustered courage without much forethought to walk directly over the anthill while the other avoided going near it completely. It turned out that a snake did live in the anthill and it bit the first man who chose to walk over it. The second man who took the precaution, just to be safe, escaped unhurt.

सन्दिग्धेऽपि परे लोके कर्तव्यो धर्म एव हि ।
नास्ति चेन्नास्ति नो हानिः अस्ति चेन्नास्तिको हतः ॥
Follow Dharma even if you doubt the existence of the next world. If the next world does not exist, you don’t lose anything. But if the next world does exist, the Nastika is doomed.

Hence we should not forego the path of Dharma under any circumstances. Dharma will lead to your good in this world and the next, in this life and the next. It is usually true that Dharma usually fetches fruit only in the next world or the next life. However, the Shastras say that if the Dharma or Adharma is very strong, then the rewards will occur in this very lifetime: अत्युत्कटैः पुण्यपापैरिहैव फलमश्नुते

The Jagadguru also stated that only if you perform your duty will you be contented. The duty of all of us is to adhere to Dharma. The Jagadguru ended His Anugraha Bhashanam pointing out that in simple terms, the Shastras term Dharma and Adharma as helping others and causing harm to others.

परोपकारः पुण्याय पापाय परपीडनम् ।
एतत्विद्यात्समासेन लक्षणं पुण्यपापयोः ॥

On the morning of November 9th, the Jagadguru visited the Kavali Shivalayam and had Darshan of the Shivalinga and Goddess Durga. The Jagadguru graced the adjoining Shankara Matham and offered Mangalarati to Lord Adi Shankara, Goddess Gayatri, Lord Dattatreya and Sri Chandramoulishwara. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru praised the efforts being done at the Matham in celebrating Shankara Jayanti and organizing various programs and discourses to spread the works of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The Jagadguru also graced the Venkateshwara temple under construction in Brindavan Colony, Kavali and blessed the temple trustees for a quick completion of the temple construction.

The Jagadguru then gave Darshan to the Kavali devotees and started for Ongole in the evening.


Anugraha Bhashanam at Kavali