Vemulawada: DECEMBER 26-28, 2012

Chant God’s Name

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji arrived at the temple town of Vemulawada in Andhra Pradesh, on the evening of December 26th to a grand reception. Thousands of pilgrims and devotees joined together to welcome the Jagadguru. The Jagadguru first had Darshan of Rajarajeshwara Swamy. The residents of Vemulawada, led by Sri Shankarayya, the chief Archaka of the Rajarajeshwara Swamy temple, welcomed the Jagadguru and expressed their joy. They were elated because although the Kumbhabhisheka of the temple had been due for years, all the devotees had resolved to wait for the Jagadguru to perform it Himself; and that occasion had finally come.

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru mentioned that His Guru, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji celebrated the Shankara Jayanti Mahotsava here, 46 years ago in 1966. The Jagadguru also observed that His Guru had celebrated the 1965 Shankara Jayanti at Kalady and the 1967 Shankara Jayanti at Delhi. One can infer from this that He had a special reverence for Vemulawada Kshetram.

The Jagadguru said that it is the Sankalpa of Sri Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy in Vemulada that the Sringeri Sharada Peethadhipati must offer worship to Him. That is why it has become a practice for the Sringeri Jagadgurus to come to Vemulawada and worship Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy for the welfare of all mankind. It is for this same reason that the residents of Vemulawada, the Archakas of the temple, and even the Executive Officer of the temple have a natural sense of devotion towards the Sringeri Jagadguru.

It is the heartfelt desire of all these people that only the Sringeri Jagadguru should perform the Kumbhabhisheka of Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy. When such a desire exists, how can God not fulfill it. That is why Ishwara Himself had given Him the Sankalpa thus, “So many desire that You have to perform the Kumbhabhisheka. Hence come and perform the same”. The Jagadguru said that He would indeed perform the Kumbhabhisheka a couple of days later. And that the day by Divine Grace, was very auspicious as it would be on the forthcoming Friday, the Margashira Poornima marking the Dattatreya Jayanti, and falling on the Arudra Nakshatram. The Vedas state that the Arudra Nakshatram is most pleasing to Lord Rudra – आर्द्रया रुद्रः प्रथमान एति.

The Jagadgurua also recounted the founding of the Sringeri Shankara Math at Vemulawada. It had been a long felt desire to have a Sringeri Shankara Math at Vemulawada. All those who had held the post of Chairman of the Board of Trustees such as Sri Venkateshwara Rao, Sri Mohan Reddy had expressed that they would offer lands for the establishment of the Sringeri Math. Sri Navilukonda Kottaya had expressed that once the Math was established, he would render service to Sri Adi Shankara throughout his life. By the Grace of Ishwara, lands were allocated near the Bhimeshwara Swamy temple, the Math had been established and a temple for Sri Adi Shankara had been consecrated. True to his word, Sri Navilukonda Kottaya had also served the Math to his last breath.

With the establishment of the Sringeri Math in Vemulawada as at other Kshetrams such as Srisailam, Tirupati, Bhadrachalam, and Vijayawada (near Kanaka Durga temple), the relation between Sringeri and Vemulawada was strengthened.

The Jagadguru humorously remarked that the devotion of the people of Vemulawada towards Him was unbearable, as everyone had wanted to get close to Him and shower flowers on Him. The Jagadguru praised the devotion of the people, who considered the arrival of the Sringeri Jagadguru to Vemulawada as a Mahotsava.



Kumbhabhisheka at Sringeri Shankara Math

On December 27th, the Jagadguru performed the Kumbhabhisheka of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Chandramoulishwara and Sharadamba at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Vemulawada.

In the evening, the Jagadguru gave an Anugraha Bhashanam in the premises of the Rajarajeshwara temple. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that Bhagavan had protected the good, annihilated evil, and had graced devotees. The Jagadguru stated that it was the same Bhagavan who sported many forms and names.

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 explained the omnipresence of Bhagavan through the story of Prahlada, and Bhagavan’s nature of being at the service of His true devotee through the life of Raja Ambarisha, and Bhagavan gracing a true devotee through the lives of Vibhishana, the hunter Kannappa and Draupadi.

The Jagadguru underlined the significance of chanting the Divine Naama of Ishwara by quoting the following two verses:

यत्कृत्यं तन्नकृतं यदकृत्यं कृत्यवदाचरितम् ।
उभयोः प्रायश्चित्तं शिव तव नामाक्षरद्वयोच्चरितम् ॥

That which has been ordained has been neglected. That which has been prohibited has been done by me as if it was ordained. O Lord! It is the chanting of Your name that absolves both these sins.

शिवनामनि भावितेऽन्तरङ्गे
महति ज्योतिषि महनीयमयार्धे ।
दुरितानि अपयान्ति दूरदूरे
मुहुरायान्ति महान्ति मङ्गलानि ॥

When the Divine Name of Lord Shiva is held in the heart, all sins leave the chanter, and all auspiciousness arrives.

The Jagadguru also said that it is essential to abandon unnecessary acts and spend time usefully by chanting the Divine Name. Yet people seldom follow this. That is why it is said:

नमः शिवाय मन्त्रोऽयं वागेषा वशवर्तिनी ।
अहो मोहस्य माहात्म्यं नरकं येन पश्यति ॥

The Lord’s name can be chanted very easily. Yet wonder of wonders! Moha (delusion) is so powerful that people fail to chant the Lord’s name and are going to end up in hell.

The Jagadguru ended the Bhashanam stressing the importance of the Divine Name, and invoking the Grace of Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy for the welfare of all.



Foundation Stone for Dattatreya Temple & Shikara Kalashabhisheka at Rajarajeshwara Temple

December 28, 2012 was a historic day for the residents of Vemulawada. The Jagadguru had Darshan of Goddess Sharada and Adi Shankara at the Sringeri Shankara Math and then laid the foundation stone for a Dattatreya temple a few kilometres from the main Rajarajeshwara temple. The Jagadguru then arrived at the Rajarajeshwara temple to a devout welcome. Poornahuti of Rudra yaga in connection with Kumbhabhisheka first took place in the Jagadguru’s presence. The Jagadguru went for His Snanam and then entered the Sanctum Sanctorum of Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy and offered Puja. Abhisheka was offered with waters specially sanctified as part of the Kumbhabhisheka ceremonies. The Jagadguru then performed the Shikhara Kalashabhisheka atop Vimana of Rajarajeshwara temple as well as the Rajagopuram of the temple. The Jagadguru then blessed the Executive Officer of the temple and the Archakas of the temple and gave a brief Anugraha Bhashanam to bless the devotees.