Vathalagundu: JUNE 1-2, 2012

The Jagadguru arrives at Vathalagundu

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji started from Theni on the evening of 1st June and arrived at Vathalagundu to a welcome by a devout gathering. After Dhuli Pada Puja and Swagatam, the Jagadguru blessed the gathering with a Anugraha Bhashanam.

The Jagadguru stated that adherence to Dharma laid down in the Shastras is the means to happiness in this world and the next. Adherence to Dharma is not difficult if one has the proper bent of mind. When asked about the performance of Sandhya Vandanam, an excuse is given that one is unable to find time as he has to rush to the office. If you have the bent of mind to perform Sandhya Vandanam, why can you not wake up a bit early and find time for it? This is due to the lack of Shraddha. Such being the negligence in matters of Dharma, there is no point in lamenting when misery ensues at a later point in time.

Sri Sadashiva Brahmendra has said, “O Mind, Why do you worry that such misery has befallen you now. You did not perform even a single good deed in the past life and merely engaged in sins. If you plant a banyan seed, how can you expect mangoes out of it. Similarly, if you have indulged in committing sins, how can you brood when experiencing the resulting misery.”

प्राक्कृतभोगावसरे ताम्यसि चेतो मुधा कुतो हेतोः ।
न्यग्रोधबीजमुप्त्वा शोचन्निव नाम्रमस्येति ॥

The results of Karma will be in accordance to the Karma. A student cannot attempt to secure a good standing in an examination if he does not study. Hence one must adhere to the proper means to securing our goal. When the proper means have not been adopted, what is the point in fretting over the result? Hence, have Shraddha in Dharma. This will happen only upon the realisation that Dharma is supreme. Instead, if Dharma is attributed to be a thing of the past and irrelevant today, how can Shraddha dawn? Hence, one has to adhere to Dharma with Shraddha for happiness to dawn.

The tenets of Dharma have been laid down only for our own good. The Dharma Shastras or the Maharishis who have laid them down or the Lord Himself do not stand to lose anything if we do not adhere to Dharma. For instance, we say that Bhagavan must be worshipped. If Bhagavan is not worshipped by us, does He stand to lose anything. He is ever-fulfilled and ever-satisfied. He needs nothing. So Bhagavan must be worshipped only for your welfare.

Incarnations such as Bhagavatpada arise only to protect Dharma. Such is the greatness of Dharma that the Lord Himself incarnates.

The Shastras declare “सत्य वद । धर्मं चर । स्वाध्यायान् मा प्रमदः ।” (Speak the Truth. Follow Dharma.

अहिंसा परमो धर्मः – Ahimsa is declared as the foremost Dharma. Ahimsa does not merely refer to refraining from physical harm. One should not hurt another’s feelings. Doing so constitutes sin.

When it comes to speaking the truth, it is unfortunate that some have the habit of lying at all times. Even lawyers express their inability to refrain from lying giving the excuse that lying helps them win a trial. However, let not people forget that this constitutes transgression of Dharma.

However, there are certain subtleties regarding speaking the truth –

सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयात् न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् ।
प्रियं च नानृतं ब्रूयात् एष धर्मः सनातनः ॥

Speak the truth. Speak sweetly. Avoid speaking the truth that hurts. Never speak a lie that is good to hear. This constitutes the eternal Dharma.

If you hide the fact that a friend of yours has failed in an examination and lie to him saying he has passed the examination with flying colors, that constitutes a sin. That is why it is said प्रियं च नानृतं ब्रूयात् – Never speak a lie that is good to hear. Similarly it is better to refrain from speaking the truth that hurts.

A man whose life was in danger by pursuing soldiers took shelter in a Rishi’s Ashram. When the soldiers came to the Rishi and enquired, the Rishi lied that such a man had not come. If the Rishi had spoken the truth, the innocent man would have lost his life. Hence speaking a lie in this scenario did not constitute a sin for the Rishi.

It is the general rule that you should not kill. However, it is the duty of a soldier in the military to kill his enemy in a battle. Even Arjuna who hesitated to fight his enemies just because they were his kith and kin, was instructed by Bhagavan that he was blessed to be in such a situation and must perform his duty.

यदृच्छया चोपपन्नं स्वर्गद्वारमपावृतम् ।
सुखिनः क्षत्रियाः पार्थ लभन्ते युद्धमीदृशम् ॥

The Shastras instruct us to engage in charity. Wealth has been bestowed upon us for engaging in charity and serving Bhagavan. How can we keep quiet when we see a person suffering from the pangs of hunger? This does not mean you must engage in charity even when a drunkard asks for money.

Hence the subtleties in Dharma must be learnt by us and we must act accordingly.

The Jagadguru said we are blessed that we have as our Guru Sri Adi Shankaracharya who incarnated to protect Dharma and spread the message of Vedanta. The Jagadguru ended His Anugraha Bhashanam expressing joy that the devotees of Vathalagundu had joined together to bring up a branch Math of Sringeri for Sri Adi Shankaracharya in Vatthalagundu.

At the Birthplace of the 25th Jagadguru of Sringeri

On the morning of June 2, the Jagadguru visited Kunnuvaarankottai, the birthplace of the 25th Jagadguru of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Sri Sacchidananda Bharati I.

The Jagadguru spent some time in the Sri Sri Sri Sacchidananda Bharati Swamigal Dhyana Mandapam and then had Darshan at the Vishalakshi Vishwanathar temple. Devotees conducted a public function in the temple premises to welcome the Jagadguru. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that Sri Sacchidananda Bharati I had reigned as the Peethadhipati for about 40 years and had brought great fame to the Peetham. The Jagadguru praised the efforts of the residents of the town for having constructed a Dhyana Mandapam in His name. The Jagadguru expressed that it was natural for the Acharyas of Sringeri to associate a special importance to the birthplace of their predecessors and remembered His Guru’s visit to the village in 1965 and His own visit in 1987. The Jagadguru conveyed that that though He was not making a Vijayam to many towns in Tamil Nadu during the current Vijaya Yatra, He had resolved to come to Kunnuvaarankottai and bless the residents. The Jagadguru gave His blessings for the proposed construction of a Mandapam in the Vishalakshi Sameta Vishwanathar temple and said that the Math would offer its help in the construction.

Later, the Jagadguru visited the ruins of the ancient Agrahara at Kunnuvaarankottai located a few kilometres away. According to the local residents, there was a temple here surrounded by about 300 houses and one of them was the Poorvashrama home of the 25th Jagadguru of Sringeri. Today, only the ruins of the temple remain. The Jagadguru visited the site and directed that the inscriptions on the stone structures of the temple be deciphered.

The Jagadguru then returned to Vathalagundu and laid the foundation stone for Sringeri Shankara Math. Devotees had Darshan of the Jagadguru, offered Bhiksha Vandanam, and performed Pada Puja. The Jagadguru started from Vathalagundu in the evening towards Melmangalam.


Anugraha Bhashanam at Vathalagundu