Sri Kalahasti: NOVEMBER 5-6, 2012

Worship With a Focussed Mind

On the evening of November 5, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji arrived at the holy town of Sri Kalahasti from Tirupati. Upon arrival, the Dhuli Pada Puja was offered to the Jagadguru and the Executive Officer of the temple offered his respects. The Jagadguru then blessed the audience with an Anugraha Bhashanam.

The Jagadguru said that the Shiva Kshetram of Sri Kalahasti is famous as the place of the Vayu Linga out of the Panchabhoota Lingas.

The Jagadguru then rememebered an incident from the life of Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada, who had travelled throughout Bharata and spread the tenets of Dharma. Amongst His disciples, Sri Padmapadacharya was a recipient of Sri Bhagavatpada’s unbounded Grace. Sri Padmapadacharya once wished to undertake a pilgrimage by himself and sought Sri Bhagavatpada’s Anugraha for the pilgrimage. However, Bhagavatpada said that all holy centres are in present in the Holy Feet of the Guru and dissuaded him from undertaking a pilgrimage. Sri Padmapada accepted the Guru’s statement. At the same time, he expressed the desire to go visit various holy centres had arisen in him. Sri Bhagavatpada then give him permission.

Sri Padmapadacharya set out on His pilgrimage and first came to Sri Kalahasti and had Darshan of Sri Ishwara, who is in the form of a Linga adorned with the blessed serpent, bears the cresent moon on His head, is united with Goddess Parvati in the form of Jnana Prasoonambika, and is praised by the Gods led by Indra. This is described in the biography of Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada, namely the Madhaviya Shankara Digvijaya thus:

सोऽपश्यत् सुभगाहिभूषिततनुं श्रीकालहस्तीश्वरम्
लिङ्गे सन्निहितं दधानमनिशं चान्द्रीं कलां मस्तके ॥
पार्वत्या करुणारसार्द्रमनसाऽऽश्लिष्टं प्रमोदास्पदं
देवैः इन्द्रपुरोगमै: जय जयेत्याभाष्यमाणं मुनिः ॥

Thus this Kshetra has been well known since ancient times. The Jagadguru said that the residents of the town are indeed fortunate. Sri Kalahasteeshwara gave Mukti to even animals such as the elephant, serpent and the spider. If we worship with steadfast Bhakti, what need be said of His power to grant Mukti to us.

The Jagadguru emaphasized the necessity for Bhakti and quoted the Bhagavad Vakya, that whoever offers even a leaf, flower, fruit or even water with Bhakti is accepted by Bhagavan:

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

Hence, God sees only the devotion in our minds when we are engaged in Puja. Only a devoted mind will be blessed. That is why He blessed “Sri” “Kala” and “Hasti” and became famous by the very names as Sri Kalahasteeshwara. Hence even if you are unable to perform an elaborate Puja, if you can simply concentrate on the divine form of the Lord for even a few moments, it will be beneficial.

Many feel that they are poor and cannot perform an elaborate Puja. So can we become a recipient of His Grace? Bhagavan Himself has stated His equanimity when He stated – समोऽहं सर्वभूतेषु न मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति न प्रियः

Bhagavan is ever ready to grace us. We should take the steps to receive His Grace. Many engage in Puja and Japa but their minds wander everywhere during those times. They merely engage in mechanical worship. Their fingers go over the Rudraksha beads during Japa but the mind keeps wandering. Remove all other thoughts and worship with a fully focussed mind. Go to a temple and have God’s Darshan. Anyone (regardless of their physical capacity) can remember God wherever they are. The Shastras have given the path to Shreyas for all human beings.

It is true that everyone is engaged in some profession or the other for sustaining their lives. However you must focus at least for 30 minutes. These days, mobile phones have become a nuisance to disturb the mind even during Puja, Japa, or the performance of Veda Parayana, or even when hearing the Anugraha Bhashanam. One must keep aside all such disturbances, remove unnecessary thoughts, and realize the importance of worship with a focussed mind.

The Jagadguru then spoke about the works of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, in particular about the Stotras penned by Him, and said that the chanting of even a single Stotra leads to Shreyas.

The Jagadguru remembered His visit to Sri Kalahasti 27 years ago, in 1985. The Jagadguru said that after completing His Yatra in Dravida Desha (Tamil Nadu), He had decided to begin His Vijaya Yatra in Andhra Pradesh by having Darshan of Sri Venkateshwara and Sri Kalahasteeshwara Swamy. This is also meant to convey that in our Sanatana Dharma, there is no difference between Shiva and Vishnu.

The Jagadguru expressed joy over the devotion of the audience and blessed them.

The following morning, the Jagadguru was received at the Sri Kalahasteeshwara temple by the temple authorities and Archakas. The Jagadguru had Darshan of Lord Kalahasteeshwara and Goddess Gnana Prasoonambika and blessed the assembled devotees.


Anugraha Bhashanam at Sri Kalahasti