Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Salutations to Mahaveera Vivekananda!!

ll ॐ नमो भगवते रामकृष्णाय ll नमो महावीराय  विवेकानन्दाय ll

We have heard the roar of the lion of Vedanta; yes, the roar that jolted our slumbering nation to throwing off the oppressive yoke of centuries, and breathe free...

Vivekananda, from whom emanated the words of fire... exemplified the prayer of the Vedic Rsis, in our times, "अग्निर्मे वाचि श्रितः","may fire be enshrined in my speech!

We know well how he wished that the youth of the nation may hold Mahaveera Sri Hanuman as their ideal, ideal in every possible way! In his own life, we get a clear image of the personality of Sri Hanuman! 

"Aye, I am ever the  servant of Sri Ramakrishna.." or, "out of dust he could produce a thousand Vivekanandas..", or "G.C., ask me to pulverise the mountains, or dry up the oceans... but how can I speak about Sri Ramakrishna.." (meaning, I am too small to describe my Master) -  describe his attitude as Ramakrishna-dasa, like Sri Hanuman exemplifies dasya-bhakti in this world as Ramadasa). Such self-effacing giants, who served their Masters with devotion exemplary, had so much in common. 

One performed Rama's work, and the other worked out Ramakrishna's command...

...and Mother Sita who blessed Sri Hanuman, blessed Vivekananda as Mother Sarada!

Despite stupendous accomplishments, where was Hanuman in his own reckoning, other than as Rama-dasa

Swamiji says, "our best work is done, our greatest influence is exerted when we are without thought of self"  or  "the world is in need of those whose life is one burning love, selfless. That love will make every word tell like a thunder bolt!"

Yes, for its own good, the world must know him (them) as " अतुलित-बलधामं and ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं and  सकल-गुण-निधानम् " , as also pray to him (them) for निर्भयत्वं and वाक्-पटुत्वम्  !!

A look at the figures of both these Mahaveeras would convince anyone of 'Strength' assuming a form! 

Look at the immortal words that emanate thence, "make your nerves strong. What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel....stand on your feet and be men!"

"If there is one word that you find coming like a bomb from the Upanishads, bursting like a bomb-shell upon masses of ignorance, it is the word, 'अभीः' fearlessness."

"This is a great fact: strength is life; weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery, weakness is death." 

" To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. "I will drink the ocean", says the persevering soul; " at my will mountains will crumble up." Have that sort of energy, that sort of will; work hard, and you will reach the goal."

In as many words, is Swamiji describing Sri Hanuman for us to emulate, to hold as the ideal - for a nation that needs just this elixir of life?

Words of fire that can only come from 'अतुलित-बलधाम ' 'निर्भय ' one of
extraordinary strength, wisdom, perseverance. The National ideal has to be Mahaveera Hanuman from Ramayana of yore, or Mahaveera Vivekananda from Ramakrishnayana of now, for they are non-different, the two names for the same phenomenon!!

​Salutations yet again!!

ll ॐ नमो भगवते रामकृष्णाय ll नमो महावीराय  विवेकानन्दाय ll
Swami Sheshadri


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Kalpataru Krpa

ll ॐ नमो भगवते रामकृष्णाय ll

Before we have dealt with the vagaries and pending struggles of the year 'just past', the 'new one' is here, 2018, opening with Kalpataru day!!

The accounts not yet settled, the mind still unsettled, the Jiva enters another set of 365 days Samsara, (thankfully one Samvatsara (year) at a time!).

"Kalpa-taru", we are told He is. 1886 began with that phenomenal day, just months before He wound up His Leela. The incident, or rather event, is worth reading again each year.

On a warm sunny day time of a cold winter, some Jivas, symbolizing minds as it were, were sitting or strolling in the garden-house (Udyan Bati). It was a pleasant hour, and the senses rejoiced at the sights and sounds, and the freshness in the air.

They were there, primarily just to be around in the vicinity of Sri Ramakrishna (who was unwell), and because it was a holiday, and so there were no other commitments - some relative freedom - if we may say so.

Unexpectedly, and to the pleasant surprise of those few gathered Bhaktas, Sri Ramakrishna arrived, walking towards them in the garden path, and they were overjoyed to behold Him right ahead.

They greeted him, and approached joyously. It is then that he suddenly posed the question to Girish Babu, as to what he understood of Him

Kneeling in surrender, and overcome with emotion, pat came Girish's clear and spirited reply, "How can my little self describe Him, in extolling the greatness of whom Valmiki and Vyasa fall short of words ...."

Charmed at those words of devotion, Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna, in a powerful gush of compassion, blessed them all like never before, with those celestial words, "What more can I say to you, may you all be awakened!" ....and He went into ecstacy. 

The profound blessing sent them into amazingly blissful state, an exalted mood, wherein, forgetful of all else, they prostrated at His feet in surrender, worshiping Him in various ways.... He had granted them without any reservation, their spiritual desires; it was in sheer abandon, all conditions thrown overboard!!

Revealing Himself, He had granted Abhaya - refuge to them all - all who sought Him there...

All those Jivas, the minds so to say, had one thing in common - He was the center of their being, their seeking! As against the deluge of all other desires, they sought the one, obtaining whom every other seeking ends...and it is in this very Kaliyuga!!

What is even more reassuring is the fact that it is Thakurji Himself who walked towards them, to grant them refuge! When the mind is intent upon the Lord, as against a billion 'desirables' in the world, His Krpa can not be held back..... it flows.

A Kalpataru may grant all kinds of desires, but here is the Moksha Taru that awakens any Jiva (mind) that lovingly seeks Him. They loved the Lord and the Lord loved them. 

What minds... what a day...and what a revelation!!

Kashi is 'Moksha Puri', and no wonder it was Kashi-pur where abahayam was granted!!

Let us too, keep our minds relatively free of entanglements, and be 'available' to love Ishvara!


Swami Sheshadri


Monday, December 11, 2017

ll मां पाहि श्री सारदे ll Sri Maa Jayanti

llॐ श्री मात्रे नमः ll  ll ॐ नमो भगवते रामकृष्णाय ll

भक्त्याssरभति  यो निःसार-संसार-दासस्त्वां सम्प्रपत्तुम् 
मायां  संहृत्य  स्वान्ते  तं तारयसि स्वदासं सारदा त्वम् l
साssनन्दा   वसतु   हृदि   मदनिशं   सारदा  ज्ञान-दात्री 
आर्त-त्राण-परायणे !   जननि हे !   मां पाहि  श्री  सारदे ll

The Mother is the Mother, is the Mother, as none else! The Father may shun the errant child perhaps, in some frustration, looking to the 'seeming incorrigibility'.....but how can the Mother who is the Mother!!

I might have chased the glitter of the world for all the best part of my life, and now, worn out, forlorn, and burnt by the very world, think of my Mother  -  so late for anything tangible for inner growth!

Yet it is She - the most compassionate one - The Mother, who still wishes to trust me in devotion to herself! Ah! It is the Mother, after all, to repose such faith even in the most worthless of her children ... because She is the Mother!!

She is Mahaamaayaa, and chooses out of compassion for the hapless child, to withdraw Maya's deluding power unto Herself, just a bit - enough to pull me out of the morass, to take me across Samsara - out of sheer compassion (... and not qualification); all just because this child did at last call out for her!

May that Sarada, the Dispenser of Jnana (Self-knowledge), joyously abide in my heart for ever and ever!

O Mother, ever-committed to saving those in distress, save me from this Samsara!

* निःसार-संसार-दासः slave of the 'worthless' world.
*स्वदासं सारदा can be read as 'स्वदा संसारदा ' Samsarada संसारदा  - one who grants the vagaries of the world and its entanglements, if that is what one seeks, or Svada स्वदा -  one who grants Herself, the only abiding truth, the cause of everything, सारदा , because she is Janana-daatri - giver of knowledge ज्ञान-दात्री !

Swami Sheshadri


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

सद्गुरुं तं नमामि

                 ll ॐ नमो भगवते रामकृष्णाय ll 

Yet another Guru Poornima to remind the Jiva, to wake us up from slumber, the over-powering tamas.... A reminder to seek the grace of Ishvara, to awaken to the only goal everyone really has, to be able to surrender at the feet of the Guru, to be able to pursue Brahmavidya unhindered.... commit to Sravana-Manana-Nididhyasana! .... all this, as precious time flows by, as the body ages, as the senses wear out and one is slowly, then acutely aware of the advent of the evening of life! 

Mahamaya has her total sway, powerful sway. 

'बालस्तावत् क्रीडा सक्तः, तरुणस्तावत्  तरुणी रक्तःl 
वृद्धस्तावत्  चिन्ता-सक्तः, परमे ब्रह्मणि कोsपि  न सक्तःll', says Shankara, exhorting the Jiva to seek Ishvara - Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam....', he shouts, trying to awaken us, our clouded minds (मूढ-मते). 

The Sadguru, exemplified by Adishankara, overcome with compassion, relentlessly prods the Shishya; for, who can love us more than the Guru? 'Uttama Vaidya', Sri Ramakrishna calls him rightly -  He doesn't give up! 

शान्ता महान्तो निवसन्ति सन्तः, वसन्तवल्लोकहितम् चरन्तः l 
तीर्णा स्वयं भीम-भवार्णवं  जनानहेतुनन्न्यानपि तारयन्तः....ll

But for these compassionate ones, where would we be? With our dull initiatives and feeble moves, where indeed??

Grateful salutations again and again at the Guru's feet - that grant liberation....

Prayer, and more prayer... to endow us with that unwavering commitment to freedom!!

Swami Sheshadri

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

शुद्धा बुद्धिः

ll ॐ नमो भगवते रामकृष्णाय ll

"..शुद्ध-बुद्धि-दायकं तं ईश्वरम् देवेदेवं रामकृष्णं नमामि !" says Sri Swami Virajananda in his Ramakrishna Tunakam.

Well, all our problem seems to be due to absence of this ​
शुद्ध-बुद्धि . An intellect that discriminates, one that is one-pointed towards the goal... is almost untraceable in us! "व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः is indeed one," says Bhagavan, एकेह - it is single and well ascertained, clear and unambiguous understanding - with respect to Moksha. The notions of those who lack discrimination are many-pronged and innumerable. Almost everything looks desirable, worth chasing, an endless wild goose-chase... till you are exhausted and old age overtakes you.. and you are done with one more precious birth! ... Possibly hoping that that you will hit the jack-pot in the next life ... and samsara goes on!

व्यवसाय means निश्चय, clarity with reference to what I seek and how I am to gain it - it is शुद्धि in the बुद्धि ! To see clearly that Moksha is the destiny or goal of a human being, which is exactly what I am seeking for, that it is in the form of freedom from the sense of limitation, and that it is centered on myself only and is not outside me - is शुद्ध-बुद्धि.

It is easy to discern how rare that seems to be. How many do we see endowed with this clarity? You need grace for this! From the very opening upadesha in the Kathamrta it is relentlessly made crystal clear - the aim of human life is to know Ishvara (non-different from the self). Sri Sri Guru Maharaj seems to hammer this truth in, coaxing and cajoling, sometimes endearingly and sometimes harshly, throughout - as if saying 'अन्यां वाचां  विमुञ्चथ !' This identifying the core of one's life's pursuit is THE most important step! And it needs कृपा  as Swami Virajanandaji reveals to us.

Clad in white, in the whiteness of His Sattva form he seems to point to this ! May Sri Thakurji grant us just that​. 
May this heart turn into a temple of worship to thee, where, at your feet, I may set my seat to behold you!

Having known only the outer world of
प्रवृत्ति , of endless seeking after security and pleasure ... and both consistently denied to me there, may I come to understand, as Swamiji's mellifluous verses sing to us the fact.. यस्मात् अहं तु अशरणो, for I am without any support here - helpless and hopeless, जगदेकगम्य - O Lord, (who is the only possible destination for all). It is clear to me hence, that thou art my sole support  तस्मात् त्वं एव शरणं मम , O friend of the helpless हे दीन-बन्धो !​

​May my heart become the offering of
Japa Pushpa at thy feet... grant me  शुद्धा  बुद्धिः !
Swami Sheshadri