KR Nagar: March 10-11, 2017

Jagadgurus at KR Nagar

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahasannidhanam and Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Vidhushekhara Bharati Sannidhanam arrived at KR Nagar in Mysuru district on the evening of March 10, 2017. Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji of Yadathore Yoganandeshwara Saraswati Math reverentially welcomed the Jagadgurus on arrival. Sri Mahasannidhanam proceeded to the Yadathore Math and had Darshan at the shrines of Sri Mahaganapati, Sri Subrahmanya, Sri Satyanarayana, Sri Rama, Goddess Sharadamba and Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Sri Sannidhanam was reverentially led to the Math premises in a procession by Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji. Sri Sannidhanam then had Darshan at the aforementioned shrines in the Math precincts.

After Dhuli Pada Puja by the authorities of the Math, Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji offered Phala Samarpanam to the Ubhaya Jagadgurus. This was followed by Veda Ghosha by Vedic scholars, and Prarthana by Vidwan Sri Madhava Bhat. MLA of KR Nagar constituency, Sri S R Mahesh welcomed the Jagadgurus and Hon’ble MP Sri H Vishwanath in his address talked devotedly about the Anugraha of Sri Mahasannidhanam. A Binnavattale (citation) was then read out and offered reverentially by dignitaries led by Sri H Vishwanath and Sri S R Mahesh. View Images


Vedanta Bharati, the research and publication wing of the Yadathore Math, brought out four books on the occasion. Sri Mahasannidhanam is the chief patron of Vedanta Bharati. At the request of Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji, Sri Mahasannidhanam released the books – “Shaankara Stotrani” (Stotras of Adi Shankaracharya in Devanagari script), “Vedanta Paribhasha” penned by late scholar, Vidwan Krishna Jois (in accordance to Sureshwaracharya’s Vartikas) and edited by Mahamahopadhyaya Swaminatha Shastri, “Hari-Hara-Bhavaika-Varnane” (describing the non-difference of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva with quotations from the Puranas, and translated into Kannada by Vidwan Sripada Bhat of Mysuru), and “Soundaryalahari Mattu Bhakti” by Vidwan Ganesh Bhat Hobli. The scholars involved were then felicitated.


Greatness of Guru Parampara

Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji of Yadathore Math in his Bhashanam said that Sri Adi Shankaracharya extols the Guru and reverentially salutes the Guru Parampara at a number of places in His Prakarana Grantha, Upadesha Sahasri. At one place, Bhagavatpada states that just as a lamp resplendent by itself throws light on the objects around it, the all-knowing Mahatmas, well versed in the Pada-Shastra (Vyakarana), Vakya-Shastra (Mimamsa) and Pramana-Shastra (Nyaya), throw light on the esoteric essence of the Vedas. Salutations to these Mahatmas in the Guru Parampara! –

पदवाक्यप्रमाणज्ञैर्दीपभूतैः प्रकाशितम् ।
ब्रह्म वेदरहस्यं यैस्तान्नित्यं प्रणतोऽस्म्यहम् ॥

Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji said that just as Adi Shankaracharya remembered the Parampara of Gurus preceding Him, all of us remember the Jagadgurus of Sringeri and offer our salutations to Them. The Jagadgurus are most proficient in the Shastras, and well-endowed with the power of immense Tapas and Anushthaana, while upholding the Sampradaya. Sri Mahasannidhanam is a beacon light of knowledge for all and has selected and trained Sri Sannidhanam to carry on the tradition in times to come. The Swamiji conveyed that it is a great joy and blessing that Sri Mahasannidhanam and Sri Sannidhanam have accepted the request to grace KR Nagar.

Relationship between Yadathore & Sringeri

Speaking on the relationship between the Yadathore Yoganandeshwara Saraswati Math and the Sringeri Math, the Swamiji said that there are historic records that state that in the 19th century, the then Mathadhipati of the Yadathore Math had received an Aashirvada from Sringeri conveying the blessings of the then Sringeri Acharya, Jagadguru Sri (Vriddha) Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji. This record, that was present in the Sringeri Math archives and has been given to the Yadathore Math by Sri Mahasannidhanam, states that the blessings are being conveyed to Sri Madhavananda Saraswati of the Ramabrahmananda Math. The Yadathore Math was also called by that name, after one of its Mathadhipatis, Sri Ramabrahmananda, who was well-renowned as a Jnani. Hence, it has been the practice of the Mathadhipatis to seek and receive guidance from the Jagadgurus of Sringeri in matters of Adhyatma and Dharma.

The Swamiji also added that Mathadhipatis like himself have to adhere to certain regulations and disciplines, and the foremost amongst them was adherence to Dharma. It is the Sringeri Jagadguru who the Mathadhipatis look up to. The Swamiji then mentioned that the Sri Mahasannidhanam is gracing the Math after 8 years, and requested both the Jagadgurus to grace the devotees with Their Anugraha Bhashanams.


Purpose of Adi Shankara’s Avatara — Paropakara

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, Sri Mahasannidhanam said that Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada incarnated to revive Sanatana Dharma, fulfilled the purpose of His incarnation by propagating the Upanishadic philosophy of Advaita, by penning commentaries on the Prarthana Traya, and propagated the tenets of Dharma and Vedanta to the masses.

न मे पार्थास्ति कर्तव्यं त्रिषु लोकेषु किञ्चन ।
नानवाप्तमवाप्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि ॥

{O Partha! There is nothing that I have to do or obtain in all the three worlds. Yet, I engage in work (to guide others).}

Yet, for Paropakara, the Lord incarnates, sustains Dharma, protects the good and annihilates evil.

Bhagavan Veda Vyasa in His Brahmasutras questions the purpose of creation for no one would engage in any motiveless activity – “न प्रयोजनवत्त्वात्”. Bhagavan Vyasa Himself provides the answer in the next Sutra that all of creation is but a divine play – लोकवत्तु लीलाकैवल्यम्. However, the compassionate Lord engages in Paropakara, descends whenever there is a decline in Dharma, and showers His grace for the benefit of all.

Likewise, all of Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada’s efforts; be they penning commentaries, protecting Dharma, or establishing Maths; are for the sake of Paropakara. Today, we understand the essence of the Prasthana Traya and know that the Siddhanta of the Prasthana Traya is Advaita because of His Bhashyas.

Sringeri-Yadathore in Recent Times

Sri Mahasannidhanam then mentioned that His Guru, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji, had graced the Yadathore Math during the time of Sri Shankarananda Bharati Swamiji (the Paramaguru of the present Mathadhipati, Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji) and that Ganapati Bharati Swamiji, in his Poorvashrama, had studied Mimamsa in the Sringeri Math’s Bengaluru Pathashala. Sri Mahasannidhanam also added that devotees of the Yadathore Math have an exemplary Guru in the present Mathadhipati, Sri Shankara Bharati Swamiji.

Mentioning that the Swamiji has received Mantropadesha from Him, Sri Mahasannidhanam expressed happiness over the fact that the Swamiji was ever intent on giving Upadesha to interested seekers, and spreading the tenets of Vedanta.

Sri Mahasannidhanam also expressed satisfaction over the publication of the books released on the occasion. Sri Mahasannidhanam also stated that the book “Hariharaika-bhaava-varnane” released on the occasion was originally compiled in Sanskrit and published with a Hindi translation. Sri Mahasannidhanam further added that the book was given to the Swamiji to arrange for a translation into Kannada and to propagate the oneness of Hari and Hari, as explained in the Puranas.


Constituents of a Math

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, Sri Sannidhanam expressed joy at the devout atmosphere prevailing in the Yadathore Math on the occasion of the arrival of the Sringeri Jagadguru.

While a Math is defined in simple terms as a place of study (मठः छात्रादिनिलयः), a Math has to have a Guru who is well versed in the knowledge of the Tattva and is able to teach those who surrender unto him. A Math must also have students who are ग्रहणधारणपटु – adept (पटु) in grasping (ग्रहणम्) and retaining (धारणम्) what is taught. The Math must inculcate noble Samskaras, and engage in worship of God (Bhagavad-Archana) and conduct Dharmic activities. Sri Sannidhanam explained that all of these aspects must be present in a Math and stated that the Yadathore Math is one such Math.

The Desire for Happiness

Sri Sannidhanam then said that in this world, man endears himself to various objects and pursuits. When man thinks that something can give him happiness, he desires it. The desire for happiness itself is independent of any other desire. That is why Sukha or happiness is defined as the object of desire that is independent of all other desires – इतरेच्छानधीन-इच्छाविषयत्वम्. While everyone desires objects to be happy, the desire for happiness itself is never questioned. No one asks “Why do you want to be happy?”. This desire for happiness for one’s own self arises because one’s own self is the most beloved. This leads us to the question, “What is the Self?”

Self — The Most Beloved

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, when Sage Yajnavalkya is requested by his wife Maitreyi to be instructed on That which confers immortality, he replies – न वा अरे पत्युः कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवति, आत्मनस्तु कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवति – It is not because of the love of one’s husband that a husband becomes dear. Rather, it is for the love of one’s own self that the husband becomes dear.

Eventually Yajnvalkya goes on to state that every entity that becomes dear is only because of the love of one’s own self, and not because of the love of that entity – न वा अरे सर्वस्य कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवति, आत्मनस्तु कामाय सर्वं प्रियो भवति.

Sage Yajnavalkya then states – आत्मा वा अरे श्रोतव्यो मन्तव्यो निदिध्यासितव्यः – that the knowledge of the Self (Atman) is to be had by Shravana (hearing the teaching from a Guru), Manana (reflection on what is taught) and Nididhyasana (contemplation).

And when the knowledge of the Atman is had, everything becomes known – आत्मनि खल्वरे दृष्टे श्रुते मते विज्ञाते इदं सर्वं विदितम्.

It is by knowing the Atman that all becomes known, for the Self alone is real. Explaining how this can be so, Sri Sannidhanam provided illustrations stating that we can, by a knowledge of clay, be aware of all objects made of clay. Likewise, by knowing gold, we can be aware of all objects made of gold, which is the the essence of all golden objects. Similarly, knowledge of the Atman, upon which all is superimposed, makes one aware of everything. This is because everything has the Self as its underlying essence. A person with such knowledge is termed a Jnani.

Jnana and Its Prerequisites

It is not easy for such knowledge to arise. One needs Guru’s Grace. One who is free of Kama (desire), Krodha (anger) etc., must approach a Guru and seek His Grace. For Jnana to arise in us directly (Aparoksha Jnana), we need to have a pure mind free of Rajo Guna (the mode of passion) and Tamo Guna (the mode of ignorance). Sattva Guna, the mode of goodness, must fill the mind because it is this Sattva Guna that eradicates our past sins, purifies the mind, helps us cultivate a sense of engaging Karma as an offering unto the Lord, and leads us to Jnana – सत्त्वात् संजायते ज्ञानम्.

When Nishkama Karma (action without desire for its result) is talked about, some tend to question, “How then would we be motivated to lead our lives?”. The reply is that when the person has acquired the maturity to engage in Nishkama Karma in totality, he will know that his life is driven by Prarabdha Karma (actions of the past that have begun to bear fruit in the current lifetime). Hence performing Karma without the desire for results and with a feeling of an offering unto the Lord – Ishwara-arpana-buddhi – brings about our Shreyas or spiritual good. Such is the teaching of the Shastras.

Qualities of a seeker

Sri Sannidhanam then underlined three important qualities for a spiritual aspirant:

The first is Astikyam — firm faith in the Vedic tenets. Quoting the Kathopanishad, Sri Sannidhanam explained that one devoid of Astikyam would attach more importance to materialistic possessions, would believe not in the existence of other worlds, would remain unaware of साम्परायः – the means to spiritual welfare – and end up remaining in the cycle of Samsara –

न साम्परायः प्रतिभाति बालं प्रमाद्यन्तं वित्तमोहेन मूढम् ।
अयं लोको नास्ति पर इति मानी पुनः पुनर्वशमापद्यते मे ॥ ६ ॥

The second quality that is essential for anyone in the spiritual path is Vairagya or dispassion. Someone once asked “I seek Moksha for myself and my family.” – this very statement indicates the absence of Vairagya that is essential for those in the path of liberation. Vairagya and the other three constituents of Sadhana Chatushtaya (Viveka or ability to discriminate between what is real and what is unreal, Shamaadi Shatka {the sextet of sense-control, mind-control, etc.} and Mumukshutvam – the intense longing for liberation).

The third quality is that we must persevere in our efforts amidst our duties, without losing focus on the objective of Atma-Jnana (Self-knowledge).

Sri Sannidhanam stated that it is hence imperative to put our human birth to good use. Quoting another verse from the Kathopanishad, Sri Sannidhanam said –

उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत ।
क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया दुर्गं पथस्तत्कवयो वदन्ति ॥ १४ ॥

Here उत्तिष्ठत means that one must engage in practice and make oneself ready for the knowledge of the Self; जाग्रत means that one must strive to awaken from the deep sleep of ignorance; and प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत refers to surrender to a competent Guru and with His Grace, knowing the Self. Walking along the spiritual path is akin to walking along a sharp knife-edge and has to be done after having attained purity of the mind and under the umbrella of the Guru’s Grace. Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada, while commenting on this verse from the Kathopanishad, states that that the Shruti (the Upanishadic verse) here instructs us in matters of knowledge, just as a mother would instruct her child for its wholesome good.

Sri Sannidhanam then expressed His reverence towards His Guru, who had taught all the Shastras personally to Him, and had blessed Him with Sannyasa a couple of years back.

Later that night, Sri Mahasannidhanam performed the Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja and Sri Chakra Puja in the Math precincts.

The next morning, Sri Mahasannidhanam and Sri Sannidhanam gave Darshan to devotees at the Yadathore Math and started from KR Nagar towards Mysuru in the afternoon.