Salem: MARCH 7 – 10, 2012

Guru Vandana Program

A Guru Vandana Program was organized by the Mrigasheersha Committee in Salem to honor the Jagadguru. In the program, the Jagadguru released the second edition of the Tamil book “Guru Mahimai” containing experiences of devotees with the Jagadguru. The book contains experiences of devotees with the Jagadguru. The Jagadguru blessed many physically challenged people with equipments and gadgets to improve their lifestyle. Needy womenfolk were blessed with sewing machines to help better their livelihood.

The Jagadguru then blessed the gathering with an Anugraha Bhashanam that commenced with highlighting the greatness of Sri Adi Shankaracharya who incarnated to rejuvenate Sanatana Dharma. The Jagadguru explained that one must be amazed at the fact that the Acharya had mastered the Vedas at the age of 8. In the present days, people do not even perform Upanayanam for their child when he reaches the age of 8. Even if the parents take interest and get the Upanayanam of the child performed at the age of 8, it is not common to see that child perform even Sandhya Vandanam. Supposing that the child does do Sandhya Vandanam, it is rarer to see such a child study the Vedas. Even in such a rare case, the 8-year child has only begun the study of the Vedas. However, Sri Shankara had mastered the Vedas at that young age. By the age of twelve, He had mastered the Shastras. How many twelve-year olds can even name the Shastras these days? By the age of 16, Sri Shankaracharya had written His Bhashyas. These include the Bhashyas on the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Sahasranamam, Lalita Trishati, Hastamaleekya, Adhyatma Patala etc. Today, it appears impossible to master His Bhashyas irrespective of one’s age. New insights dawn every time one reads the Bhashyas. After the age of 16, the Acharya travelled the length and breadth of the country and spread Dharma and the tenets of Vedanta. With great foresight, the Acharya felt that His efforts may prove futile if there were none after Him to carry on the mission. He hence established four Amnaya Peethams in the four directions of the country. He ascended the Sarvajna Peetham not because He desired to do so. The Sarvajna Peetham has four entrances in the four directions and Sarvajnas (all-knowing) from the other directions had already opened the respective doors earlier. Sri Adi Shankaracharya ascended the Peetham only to open the southern door to the Sarvajna Peetham.

Sri Adi Shankaracharya stresses on the need to realize the importance of the human birth. The Shastras say that there are 8.4 million different species in existence. What if you were to take birth as a lifeform belonging to any of the remaining 83,99,999 species? Would it be possible to work towards fulfillment in life then? Realizing thus the importance of human birth, the Jagadguru stressed upon the need to start performing actions without any desire for their results. This kind of attitude of Nishkaamya Karma destroys the impurities of the mind and makes one fit for understanding Vedanta. Even to get this attitude one needs God’s Grace. The Jagadguru also underlined the importance of Japa Yajna by pointing the verse from the Gita (यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि) and asked everyone to chant the names of God.

The Mahaswamiji then said that His Guru has graced Salem many times and even observed Chaturmasya 47 years ago in 1965. The Mahaswamiji also mentioned that Salem was unique in having the Mrigasheersha Committee that has engaged in various Dharmic activities over the last 20 yrs.

The following morning, he Jagadguru had Darshan at the Ayyappa Swamy temple and graced the Chinmaya Mission, Salem and blessed the devotees at the Sringeri Shankara Math with Phala Mantrakshata.