Shamshabad: NOVEMBER 20-24, 2012

Jagadguru Arrives at Shamshabad

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji arrived at Shamshabad (a suburb of Hyderabad) on the evening of November 20th. The Jagadguru was received at the outskirts of Shamshabad by ardent devotees and then proceeded to the newly constructed grand temple for Goddess Sharada and Lord Chandramoulishwara in Sharada Nagar, Shamshabad. Poornakumbha was offered by Sri MVS Prasad, Dharmadhikari and the Sanskrit Swagata Patrika was read by Mahamahopadhyaya Sri Pullela Sriramachandrudu. Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister, Sri C Ramachandraiah welcomed the Jagadguru and expressed that it was a pride for all citizens of Andhra Pradesh that the Jagadguru hails from their state and occupies the most respected position as the Peethadhipati of the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham at Sringeri. He also said that the Jagadguru’s Anugraha Bhashanams are a great source of inspiration for everyone to follow the path of Dharma and live in peace.

Remembering Prior Visits

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that His Guru Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji had arrived at Bhagyanagaram (Hyderabad) 52 years ago for performing the Prathishta of Goddess Sharada and Sri Adi Shankaracharya and it was divine will that He too had come to Shamshabad on the occasion for the same reason. The Jagadguru remembered His visits to Hyderabad accompanying His Guru in 1974-75 and then again in 1982. The Jagadguru said that He had also observed Chaturmasya at Hyderabad in 1985, Shankara Jayanti in 1989 and celebrated the birth centenary of His Paramaguru, Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji in 1992.

Guru’s Grace

The Jagadguru recounted that a number of developments had taken place in the Peetham during the 20 year period since His last visit to Hyderabad in 1992. These developments included the very large Nityannadana Bhojana Shala serving thousands of pilgrims everyday, a separate premises in Narasimha Vanam for the Sadvidya Sanjeevini Samskrita Pathashala, a Research Centre in the name of Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada, a large Guru Nivas for enabling devotees to have Darshan of the Jagadguru, pilgrim amenities and guest houses for devotees, and as a crowning glory to all these, a beautiful temple for Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The Jagadguru also said that it was ordained that the Centenary of some very important structures and institutions built during the time of His Parameshti Guru, Jagadguru Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji had occurred during His time, and He had celebrated their Shatamanotsava – Centenary Celebrations. The hundred year old institutions or structures include the Sadvidya Sanjeevini Pathashala whose Centenary was celebrated in 1995, the Sringeri Shankara Math at Bangalore in 2007, and temples for Goddess Sharada and Adi Shankaracharya at Kalady in 2010. The Jagadguru pointed out that all these events have happened only due to Guru Kripa. The Jagadguru also recalled the words of His Guru, when He received Mantra Diksha. His Guru had said, “The Math will will flourish during your time”. The Jagadguru emphasized the Guru’s Grace by quoting His Parameshti Guru:

गुरुवरकरुणां हित्वा को वा स्वेष्टं लभेत लोकेऽस्मिन् ।
तस्माद्गुरुवरचरणं भज चेतः सर्वसौख्यमूलं त्वम् ॥

Who in this world can fulfill his desires without the Grace of the Guru? None. Hence O’ mind, be attached to the lotus feet of the Guru which are the source of all welfare.

Three Kumbhabhishekams

The Jagadguru expressed joy that He would begin His stay in Bhagyanagaram (Hyderabad) by performing the Prathishta Kumbhabhisheka of Goddess Sharada, Adi Shankara and Sri Chandramoulishwara at Shamshabad and that He would also perform Kumbhabhisheka at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Moti Nagar where temples for Goddess Sharada and Adi Shankaracharya had taken shape and had been consecrated. He would also perform Kumbhabhisheka at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Nallakunta as it had been 52 years since the Kumbhabhisheka had been performed by His Guru.

The Jagadguru ended the Anugraha Bhashanam invoking the grace of Goddess Sharada and blessing the devotees.

Governor Has Darshan

On 21st November, Andhra Pradesh Governor, His Excellency Sri ESL Narasimhan came to Shamshabad and had Darshan of the Jagadguru. Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Sri Pinaki Chandra Ghose had Darshan of the Jagadguru on 23rd November.



At Puppalaguda

On November 22nd, the Jagadguru visited Puppalaguda, a suburb of Hyderabad. The Jagadguru arrived in the morning at the recently consecrated Sharada Chandramoulishwara Venkateshwara Swamy Devasthanam, Puppalaguda, Manikonda (Hyderabad suburb) and had Darshan of the deities. The Jagadguru offered a golden crown to the Goddess and then graced the Poornahuti of the Chandika Homa.

In the public function in the evening, Jagadguru gave a Anugraha Bhashanam. The Jagadguru said that everyone naturally desires happiness and detests suffering. However are these desires satisfied? We cannot say so because many keep on suffering and remain unhappy. We can reason this out as follows: people desire happiness but do not go after the proper means to obtaining it. People detest sorrow and suffering but hold on to actions that lead to suffering. This is equivalent to a student failing to touch his textbooks and desiring to pass his exams in flying colors. The Shastras state that Dharma leads to happiness and Adharma leads to sorrow. Our ancestors have stated that it is man’s nature to abstain from good deeds though desiring Punyam and willingness to engage in actions leading to sin despite the aversion to suffering:

पुण्यस्य फलमिच्छन्ति पुण्यं नेच्छन्ति मानवाः ।
न पापफलमिच्छन्ति पापं कुर्वन्ति यत्नतः ॥

This strange behaviour is seen in many of us. This is the reason for our aforementioned desire to not fructify. This truth must be realized and the nature to hold on to Dharma and give up Adharma, must be cultivated.

Many hear discourses but fail to grasp the values conveyed in the discourse. For instance, many hear Ramayana. However, one does not realize that one must follow the example of Sri Rama in our life for He was verily Dharma personified. Even animals came to Sri Rama’s help while his own brother deserted Ravana.

यान्ति न्यायप्रवृत्तस्य तिर्यञ्चोऽपि सहायताम् ।
अपन्थानं तु गच्छन्तं सोदरोऽपि विमुञ्चति ॥

Even the animals help those who tread the path of Dharma and Nyaya, while one’s own siblings desert those who tread the wrong path.

The Jagadguru pointed out the greatness of Dharma saying that the omniscient omnipotent Lord Himself incarnates to protect Dharma, and called for everyone to follow one’s own Dharma: Svadharma. The Jagadguru remembered the first visit of His Guru, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji to Hyderabad 52 years ago. The Jagadguru noted that His Guru had subsequently graced Hyderabad many times and He too had come to Hyderabad along with His Guru and by Himself a number of times to bless the devotees. The Jagadguru had words of praise for Sri Chaturvedula Chandramouli for building the Chandramouliswara Venkateshwara Sharadamba temple, in accordance to His instructions. The Jagadguru ended His Anugraha Bhashanam blessing the devotees to strive along the path of Dharma.

The Jagadguru then returned to Shamshabad to perform the nightly Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja.



The Grand Kumbhabhisheka at Shamshabad

At 6:30 am on the morning of November 23rd, the Jagadguru proceeded to Sampath Nagar in Shamshabad and performed the Prathishta Kumbhabhishehka of the Prasanna Vinayaka temple.

Returning to Sharada Nagar, the Jagadguru then performed the Prathishta Kumbhabhisheka of Sri Chandramoulishwara, Goddess Sharada, Mahaganapati, Adi Shankara, Subrahmanya, Gopala Krishna and Navagrahas. The Jagadguru then performed the Shikhara Kalashabhishekas atop the Vimanas of Sri Chandramoulishwara and Goddess Sharadamba.

In the evening function organized late that day, the Jagadguru expressed in His Anugraha Bhashanam that a great opportunity has been created for the Astikas in the region for receiving the Anugraha of God by the Prathishta of Goddess Sharada, Chandramoulishwara, Mahaganapati, Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada, Subrahmanya Swamy, Gopala Krishna, and Navagrahas.

Existence of God is the Fundamental Tenet of Sanatana Dharma

The existence of God is the fundamental tenet of our Sanatana Dharma – the existence of Paramatma responsible for the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the Universe. We have to accept the existence of God. Who else can create such a vast Universe? Our abilities are limited. His power is Acintya (unimaginable) and Aparimita (limitless). Such a vast Universe cannot come to be without such a power. Even though the creation of such a vast universe is no ordinary task, it is a trifle for God. Bhagavatpada Shankaracharya expresses this fact in His Brahma Sutra Bhashyam as: यद्यप्यस्माकमियं जगद्बिम्बविरचना गुरुतरसंरम्भेवाभाति, तथापि परमेश्वरस्य लीलैव केवलेयम्

Do Not See Difference in the Forms of the Lord

The Jagadguru added that the Paramatma is only one and we must never forget this. We should not see difference in the forms of God. The Upanishads say – त्वं स्त्री त्वं पुमानसि त्वं कुमार उत वा कुमारी त्वं जीर्णो दण्डेन वञ्चसि त्वं जातो भवसि विश्वतोमुखः – that the Supreme Being is indeed the Masculine and the Feminine. Hence arguing over the relative greatness of the divine forms such as Shiva and Vishnu is foolish. There is a text called “Karma Vipaka” that correlates sins committed in the past to sufferings being endured in the present, along with Prayaschittas to alleviate the suffering. The text discusses the cause for a person who suffers from stomach ache in this life through the following verse –

यो ब्रह्मविष्णुरुद्राणां भेदमुत्तमभावतः ।
साधयेत् उदरव्याधियुक्तो भवति मानवः ॥

He who argues and tries to establish that Brahma is greater than Vishnu and Shiva, or that Vishnu is the greatest or that Shiva is the Supreme, suffers from stomach ache in his future births.

The Jagadguru then recounted an incident that occurred at a place during a previous Yatra. A (Vaishnava) scholar suggested that the day being Sri Rama Navami, a committee be formed for the celebrations of the birth of Sri Rama in a grand manner throughout India, and the President and the Secretary of the Committee be accepted as Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Jagadguru in His Anugraha Bhashanam replied to the suggestion that the next time Mahashivaratri needs to be celebrated, a similar all-India Committee must be formed and Sri Rama and Mother Sita be appointed the President and Secretary of the Committee. This however did not seem acceptable to the scholar as he saw differences between the forms of God. The Jagadguru emphasized that when the Shastras unequivocally proclaim that God is One, there is no reason to argue or exert effort in establishing the relative greatness of any of the forms of God over others.

The Jagadguru pointed out that it is imperative to remember that the forms of God are for gracing various types of devotees, and do not differ in their essence. Sri Bhagavatpada said:

स्यात् परमेश्वरस्यापि इच्छावशात् मायामयं रूपं साधकानुग्रहार्थम्
Paramatma sports different forms out of His own volition to grace the Upasakas (devotees).

Worship God with Steadfast and Focused Devotion

Hence we must never argue one form is greater than the other. Neither must we reject the existence of such a Supreme Conscious Entity that creates and assumes many forms to bless devotees. Instead, it is our duty to celebrate God with steadfast devotion for He is pleased only by it and not by any external paraphernalia, be it a show of worship for a long time or offerings of many kinds – भक्त्या तुष्यति केवलं न तु गुणैः भक्तिप्रियो माधवः. Nowadays people sit for worship, but keep attending calls on their mobile phones and get distracted by activities going on in their homes. Yet they proclaim to others that they worship for many hours together. Instead, focus completely on God even for a short period of 10 minutes and offer worship. This is better than the former kind of worship.

Worship God with Complete Faith

Many have a doubt that despite having worshipped in multifarious ways and also having performed many rites, their desires have not been fulfilled. Bhagavan Himself answers this question by referring to their lack of Shraddha:

अश्रद्धया हुतं दत्तं तपस्तप्तं कृतं च यत् ।
असदित्युच्यते पार्थ न च तत्प्रेत्य नो इह ॥

Whatever you perform with a lack of Shraddha, it neither fructifies in this world nor the next.

Shraddha is defined by Bhagavatpada as:

शास्त्रस्य गुरुवाक्यस्य सत्यबुद्ध्या अवधारणा ।
सा श्रद्धा कथिता सद्भिः यया वस्तूपलभ्यते ॥

Unshakeable faith in the Shastras and the words of the Guru is Shraddha, through which all welfare is obtained.

However people feel, “The Shastras have said something, and it may or may not be true. We performed the rites hoping that it would probably give some result, but we did not receive the desired result.” This sense of probability attached with the securing the result of a devotional act or a ritual, is an indication of how much Shraddha people have. How will the desired result accrue then?

Hence it is essential to worship God with Bhakti. God does not see the background of the devotee. Prahlada was an Asura. Draupadi was a hapless woman. Gajendra was an elephant. Dhruva was a little ignorant child. Yet, all received the Grace of God when they called out to Him with Bhakti.

Even the Jnanis who have no wants, have a natural devotion towards God for no apparent reason. आत्मारामास्तु मुनयः निर्ग्रन्था अपि उरक्रमे कुर्वन्ति अहैतुकीं भक्तिम् इत्थंभूतगुणो हरिः – Such is the greatness of God and Bhakti towards Him. Shuka Maharshi expounded Srimad Bhagavatam to Maharaja Parikshit. Maharshi Shukha’s status is such that even when we study Vedanta, His name is the first that is taken as the illustration of a Mukta – the liberated one – शुको मुक्तः वामदेवो मुक्तः. Yet, He expounded Bhagavatam with utmost devotion revelling in the exposition. Let us consider Sri Adi Shankara Himself, who despite being all-knowing, penned so many Stotrams brimming with devotion. Even proficiency in the Vedas and the Shastras are of no use in the spiritual sense, if one does not have Bhakti.

Why Do We Construct Temples?

We construct temples to express our Bhakti. The Jagadguru recounted a question that was posed by a devotee the previous day: “God is said to be Sarvavyaapi – All-pervading or omnipresent. How can we limit His Being to the confines of four walls. Is this not outright wrong?”

The Jagadguru said He had replied as follows: “If you are like Prahlada, who could see the Supreme Being in every atom, there is no reason for you to come to a temple. For you would then feel the Divine presence all the time. In fact, the Avatara of Narasimha happened for two reasons – to make true the words of Prahlada who had said, ‘God resides in this pillar too’, and to establish the all-pervasiveness of God. Hence there is no question about the all-pervasiveness of God. However, how many of you have such a realization? Hence a temple exists for the majority who have not realized the omnipresence of God, so that they can come here and focus their minds on a deity. Until you get the realization that Prahlada had, it is essential to come to such temples that have been consecrated in accordance with the Shastras. The consecration must be done in accordance to the Shastras for the divine energy to flow through. Thus, the construction of a temple does not imply that we are limiting the all-pervasive God inside four walls.”

Various forms of God exist to satisfy the likes of various people. When his mother, Aryamba was on her deathbed, Sri Adi Shankara invoked Lord Shiva and the attendants of Shiva appeared to take Aryamba’s soul to Kailasa. However, mother Aryamba was frightened by the forms of Lord Shiva’s attendants. Hence Sri Adi Shankara sang in praise of Lord Vishnu and mother Aryamba consented to go with the attendants of Vishnu whose forms appeared pleasing to her. Hence the Jagadguru said that many deities had been consecrated on this Kumbhabhishekam day, not with a sense of difference between the deities but with the notion that every person may be naturally attracted towards a deity that pleases him or her the most. The same result accrues whether one prays to Chandramoulishwara or Goddess Sharada or Mahaganapati or Sri Adi Shankara, all of whom have been installed here.

The Jagadguru then said that just as Bhagavan had told Arjuna – “मया हतांस्त्वं जहि मा व्यतिष्ठा – “It is Me who has annihilated all the enemies. Do not feel that you are the cause for this destruction. Realize that you are the instrument”. The Jagadguru added that Bhagavan places someone as the instrument in every noble act, and went on to praise Justice Nooti Ram Mohan for his noble Karma of having a temple constructed in this region. He further felt that the purpose would be fulfilled only if the Sringeri Jagadguru consecrates the temple. Being a Judge, he could have stayed away from this activity. However, due to his noble nature, he took personal interest in the matter and desired that this Dharmic act must be performed by the hands of a Mahapurusha. Justice Ram Mohan then received the special blessings of the Jagadguru and was honoured on the occasion.

The Jagadguru also commended Sri MVS Prasad for his intense devotion towards the Peetham and efforts to make the temple a reality and the efforts of Sri Subrahmanyam Ravi, son of Vedantam Manikyala Rao. The Jagadguru concluded His Anugraha Bhashanam by blessing the devotees of Shamshabad and the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.


Anugraha Bhashanam at Shamshabad (Kumbhabhishekam)

Photos (Prasanna Vinayaka Temple Kumbhabhishekam)


Photos (Sharada Nagar Kumbhabhishekam)


At Sringeri Shankara Math in Rajendra Nagar

On the morning of November 24th, the Jagadguru started from Shamshabad and arrived at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Rajendra Nagar. The Jagadguru was received with Poorna kumbha and the teachers and Vidyarthis of Alamelumanga Sarvayya Smarta Pathashala of the Peetham, welcomed the Jagadguru with Vedic chants. The Jagadguru then inaugurated Sri Bharati Tirtha Asthana Mandapam after which Dhuli Pada was performed.

Sustenance of Vedic Studies is of Paramount Importance

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru stated that the Vedas are the foremost means of knowledge (Parama Pramaana). Hence, sustenance of Vedic studies is our primary duty. The adherence of the Dharma explained in the Vedas leads to our Shreyas. Hence those who have studied the Vedas are worthy of our utmost respect. This thought was expressed a millenium ago by Bhoja Raja, in his work, Champu Ramayanam. After offering his prayers to Sri Mahaganapati at the beginning of his work, Bhoja Raja offers salutations to those who are masters in Vedic lore:

उच्छैर्गतिर्जगति सिध्यति धर्मतश्चेत्
तस्य प्रमा च वचनैः कृतकेतरैश्चेत् ।
तेषां प्रकाशनदशा च महीसुरैश्चेत्
तानन्तरेण निपतेत् क्व नु मत्प्रणामः ॥

It is well understood that Shreyas or spiritual welfare is obtained only by following Dharma in life. The knowledge of Dharma arises only out of the Vedas. The Vedas are known to the world by the Brahmanas who study it and pass it on. Hence, who else should I offer my salutations to, if not to those who have studied the Vedas.

Our Dharma Shastras say that Dharma that is protected (adhered to) protects us, while Dharma that is overridden (by not adhering to it) causes our downfall:

धर्म एव हतो हन्ति धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः ।
तस्माद्धर्मो न हन्तव्यः मानो धर्मो हतोवाधीत् ॥

Vedas is the Supreme Teaching

This Dharma has its foundation in the Vedas – वेदोऽखिलो धर्ममूलम्. All the Smritis and Puranas have to be in consonance with the Vedic teaching. We reject those statements from the Smritis and Puranas that contradict the Vedas, because the Vedas are Apaurusheya (not arising out of any Purusha or person) while the Smritis and Puranas have known authors. Many faults can be present in a human even if he is knowledgeable enough to write an important text. Faults such as Bhrama (false knowledge), Pramaada (carelessness – say when one misses a particular letter when spelling or writing out a word, or chants a particular Svara incorrectly), Vipralipsaa etc. are present in every person and will get exhibited in their works. The Vedas however are free of such defects for they are not a product of a man.

Just as every living person breathes automatically and effortlessly, the Vedas stem out of Ishwara as His very breath – “अस्य महतो भूतस्य निश्वसितमेतत् यद् ऋग्वेदो यजुर्वेदः सामवेदो अथर्वः”

The Tarkikas (belonging to the school of philosophy called Tarka) associate Ishwara to be the source of the Vedas.

वेदस्य पुरुषः कर्ता न हि यादृशतादृशः
किन्तु त्रेलोक्यनिर्माणनिपुण: परमेश्वरः

The source of the Vedas is no ordinary being, but Parameshwara who is the creates the three worlds in an instant.

Our ancestors have done yeoman service by passing on the Vedic teaching and we must be indebted to them:

नाध्यापयिष्यन् निगमान् श्रमेण उपाध्यायलोकाः यदि शिष्यवर्गान् ।
निर्वेदवादं किल निर्वितानम् उर्वीतलं हन्त तदाऽभविष्यत् ।।

If the Vedas and the Karmas enjoined in the Vedas exist today, it is because the teachers of the past have taken great pains to hand them down to the succeeding generations.

Such being the greatness of the Vedas, it is our foremost duty to sustain Vedic studies. Everyone must participate in this sustenance in accordance to one’s qualification and ability; by studying the Vedas and by supporting those who are studying it.

The Jagadguru stressed the importance of Aachara along with Adhyayana and quoted the Shastras – अाचारहीनं न पुनन्ति वेदाः यद्यप्यधीताः सह षडभिरंगै: – Even if one one has studied the Vedas along with its six Angas (parts – namely Shiksha, Vyakaranam, Chandas, Niruktam, Jyotisham, Kalpa), the Vedas do not purify or protect him if he has no Aachara.

The Jagadguru blessed Sri Nendraganti Krishnamohan and Sri Vijayakumar for nurturing the Vedic students by running the Pathashala in the premises. A Veda Sabha was organized on the occasion. In the afternoon, the Vedic scholars were felicitated in the Jagadguru’s presence.

Later that afternoon, the Jagadguru proceeded towards Moti Nagar in Hyderabad.