Atirudra Yaga Day 5 - Jan 21, 2023 Parama Pujya Swamiji's discourse on Srisaila Kanda - Part 2/3
Jaya Guru Datta. Om Namaha Shiva.
As we learned yesterday, the entire Srisailam mountain is the head of Sage Parvata who prayed for the boon to turn into a mountain.
There is another story where Lord Vishnu is prayed to, to reside on the head, and that place becomes Pithapuram.
If you listen to the stories with keen attention, you will understand the underlying Tattva.
What Swamiji narrates are not stories, they are Upadeshas. You must keep listening to them. I am tearing up my vocal cords to give you Upadesha, but you do not remember what I am talking about. Only when you understand what I am saying will your pilgrimage be fruitful. If not, it is like punching air.
In our lives, we should learn the history of this land of Bharat. All the Devatas incarnated here. Go to all the continents, you will see for yourself - the lower half of Asia is a favorable region. We live near the Himalayas, therefore even though the land mass split in a lot of places, our land did not even though there may be some suffering during natural disasters like earthquakes. It is our great fortune to be born on this land and to die on this land. This is the land that Rama and Krishna were born in. Many medicinal herbs are found here. Sage Vyasa composed so many works about the various incarnations, all of whom incarnated on this land. We should learn about this land. This land is our mother. The more we learn, the better for us. That is the reason God takes an incarnation. God gave us this body as an instrument to learn. This body has intellect. God gave us a special sense called the sixth sense, that is not subject to heat and cold and other dualities. It awakens the other indriyas that are ruled by Karma. It shares knowledge with them. While this body has indriyas related to the vices, it also has the indriya that removes those vices.
All the Devatas incarnated in Bharat. That is why it is such a powerful land. Why are there so many kshetras and so much Jnana in this land? God has given us this instrument of body to help us get rid of our sins. When God gives us ways to commit sins, he also gives us ways to remove them. God is so compassionate. He gives us the Jnana to get rid of our sins. Each part of the body has its specialty. One Indriya is connected to another. They keep exchanging news, they are related.
Suicide is wrong, it is a grave sin. Do not talk or even think about it. Getting a human body is very special blessing. This body is a kshetra. God is in the temple in this body where he resides with great love. So, we should protect the body, just as we should protect the temple. It is because the body is there that we know of the Chaitanya (supreme consciousness) in the temple. It is to experience that Chaitanya that we strive. We undertake japa, tapa, homa, charity, dharma and other noble rituals only to experience the Chaitanya. We should contemplate on God 24 hours a day. Regardless of the state of your mind, you must always contemplate on God. When Saint Parvata prayed that the Lord reside on his head, the Lord granted his request. This may appear like just a story, but it is not. There is deep spiritual significance here.
Yesterday, we learned about how the Lord came to this mountain. Today, we will learn about how Mother Goddess came to this mountain. There are 2-3 stories to explain this, we will hear one of the stories in brief about how Mother came here searching for the Lord. In other words, we learn how Prakrti came searching for Parameshvara. If Prakrti and Parameshvara do not unite, the billions of beings in this creation will not exist
Bhajan (ID 639) aiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ śrīṁ hrīmaiṁ
O Neelakantha, the refulgent one! The Lord of all worlds! O all pervading one! Consort of Parvati! You are praised by the Vedas! O Maha Yogi served by Vasuki! O ocean of compassion! O Lord! The Lord of all three worlds, the three eyed one! Please protect me, I belong to you! We should always pray to the Lord in this manner.
May Srisaila Bhramaramba bless us with all auspiciousness. Now, let us learn about how the Mother came to the mountain. Sage Sanat Kumara said to Sage Vyasa: Mother felt it would be nice to hear her story from the Lord's lips. For the welfare of the worlds, she prayed to the Lord to narrate her story. Then, Lord Shiva narrated the story -
O Parvati, in the past was a cruel demon called Aruna. He undertook rigorous austerities and earned boons from Brahma and therefore not even the Trinity could harm him. The demon then unleashed his fury. Swamiji is reminding us of the story of Bhasmasura who earns the boon from Shiva that anyone he places his hand on would turn to ashes. As soon as Bhasmasura received the boon, he wanted to test his boon on Shiva first. He chases Shiva and finally Lord Vishnu saves him in the form of the beautiful damsel Mohini and tricks the demon into placing his hand on his own head.
If anyone of you wants to test your Guru, know that you are demonic.
Demon Aruna conquered all directions and chased all the Devatas away. He usurped Indra's throne. Then, all the Gods prayed to Mother Goddess for she alone was capable of subduing him. The Devatas went to the Himalayas and prayed to the Mother.
Bhajan (ID 7301): viśvamātā sadā pātu
O Goddess of all worlds! You existed before the creation, you run the creation and will exist after creation too. You are the creation. You are the form of the creation. It is not possible to even imagine your attributes. There is no difference between you and Parameshvara whatsoever. You alone are our refuge! The Devatas unable to bear the demon's torment prayed in this manner. Mother appeared in front of them and said: O Devatas, since you worship me and meditate on me, there is nothing you cannot attain by my grace.
Mother's grace bestows everything on us. When Maya comes in the way, we end up asking for petty, useless desires. So, we should keep doing good to the karma that comes from Maya. Then, our intellect will lead us on the right path. So, Mother asks them to be fearless, assuring them she would subdue the demon. Her words resounded in all the worlds. There is Patala Loka in the worlds above as well as the worlds below. The Mother's words shook all the worlds. The demon heard her words and immediately came to the battlefield to fight Mother Goddess. The Mother realized the demon was not getting subdued for a long time. She was resplendent, unable to be beheld. She then turned into a bee and all her armies turned into billions of bees. That sound from the billions of bees cannot even be generated by a supercomputer. With that army of bees, she attacked the demon. Mother jumped on his head and bit his head, split his body and sucked his blood. The demon unable to do anything fell to the ground and died.
The Devatas rejoiced and sang her praises. There is a long story, but Swamiji is narrating in brief.
The Devatas sang the Mother’s praises: O Mother praised by the Trinity! O Mother who has great desire to protect devotees, who grants devotion and liberation, who protects the needy, O Devi Bhramarambika, salutations to you!
Then Bhramarambika Devi was pleased and appeared in front of the Devatas and asked them to seek a boon.
Swamiji too sometimes asks us what we want. We do not know if he is prolonging our karma, or testing us. We do not wish to ask for anything. We get tongue-tied or it does not even occur to us what to ask for at that moment.
The Devatas were joyous and prayed: Mother, please protect beings in all three worlds. And, please reside in the place you like on earth. Beings on earth are bound by karma, due to which they commit sins. Therefore, reside on earth.
The Devatas seem to be in our favor (praying to Mother to reside on earth), as we pray to them from time to time. We pray to the earth, the stones, the sun, the sea - all these are Devatas' abodes. The Westerners initially thought Indians were crazy to pray to trees. It is only when they began praying that they realized the value of those deities. Science gradually learned why Indians pray to the sea, to the sun etc. They realized Indians are not mad and they started following suit. We worship Nature. That is why Indians worshiped trees, rocks, wind, rains etc. When we eat, we pray to Mother Annapurna.
Mother said: I like Srisailam very much. All Devatas and Teerthas are there.
(The water in every room here in Srisailam is from Krishna river. So if you did not dip in the river yet, do not worry, you are getting the river water in your rooms.)
The closest Jyotirlinga in the South of India is here in Srisailam. It is quite close to all the southern states, so not too many amenities have been provided. We should make some effort to come see the Lord. We should make physical effort to see the Lord in the Kshetra. Those who have legs should walk, those who have hands should do His work, those who have a tongue should sing His praises, those who have eyes should behold the Lord.
There is a particular aroma in temples, it is the combination of the aroma of vermilion, turmeric various flowers, incense sticks, coconuts etc. It smells so good. Therefore, in the Lord's presence we should put our Indriyas to work. When we finally have Darshana of the Lord after a lot of striving, we experience great joy. But if we get an easy, special darshan with a paid ticket, we do not care much for Darshana. We get busy talking on the phone and our mind is elsewhere.
You must not take photos of the deities in the temples where it is prohibited. We like to take photos of what we should not, we like to go where it is forbidden, we like to speak of what we should not. This opportunity to be with Swamiji here in this Kshetra will not come often. You must stay here as long as possible with Swamiji.
The Mother set out to the mountain saying: Innumerable medicinal herbs are found here. My beloved Shiva is here, so I will reside on this mountain.
The kinnaras sang and the gandharvas danced. The Devatas blared instruments. The Mother resided on the west side of the mountain. The Devatas offered all the worshipful rituals to the Mother.
Bhajan (ID 2113) śrīśaila bhramarāmbā
Then, all the Devatas said: Mother, all the humans will worship you and perform services and rituals for you. They will do Rudra Homa and also sing bhajans in your presence. Kindly be pleased and fulfill their wishes. On those who duly perform anushthana, please bestow mantra siddhi. Mantra chanted for one japamala in this kshetra, bestows mantra siddhi. Of course, you must continue chanting the mantra afterward.
The Mother agreed to reside with Shiva and fulfill devotees’ wishes while protecting all the worlds. Shiva narrated this story to Parvati. You may wonder who Shiva and Parvati are and how many of them are there. There are 11 Rudras - one Shiva in the form of 11. So, we should not see them as different form each other.
In temples, there is a main idol, an utsava moorti - used for processions, an idol for boons, an idol for kalyanam, etc. They are all various forms, but only one God. Swamiji is one, but appears in a sari in the morning, in a pancha in the evening and in a different robe some other time. Is he different each time?
The Mother then wanted to reveal how devotees could easily please her. She prayed to Shiva: Please tell me how I can fulfill the wishes of devotees quickly.
Shiva said: O Bhramarambika, some rules must be followed by devotees. Bathing every day, one must do the daily obligatory rituals. In this kshetra, one must give up anger and must restrain the senses. Devotees must stabilize their mind in you. They must not scold or beat anyone or steal from others. They must speak in moderation and be calm. They must give up envy and deception. They must be content and happy. They must gladly share and receive food. They must be happy in all states. One must eat only after the Devata is offered Naivedya. Only stipulated food must be consumed.
These days, houses have very big rooms for everything except for Puja. There is only a small shelf for God. And people cite vastu as the excuse for not having a room for Puja. They have big bedrooms and halls and massive bathrooms, but a tiny little space for God. Why not make other rooms small and make the Puja room big? It is good for you. Whenever the mind is troubled, you can sit there and feel better. In the old days, palaces used to have a big room for God and used it as “Alaka gruham” – or chamber for grieving and unburdening.
Also, in this Kshetra, one should respect Vedas and Shastras. We should not hate anyone even in our mind. We should stay away from violence and accept dualities with equanimity. Those who live in this manner will receive the full grace of Mother, said Lord Shiva.
Those who do sadhana near Bhramarambika will get the fruit of all mantras. Each one will see the Devata in the form that they worship in. Mother too appears in the form the devotee seeks. Those who listen to the Mother's history or do Parayana of her story will have all their wishes fulfilled.
Thus sage Sanat Kumara narrated the story of how the Mother came to be on the mountain.
The Mother is always ready to bestow siddhi for all mantra, japa, yaga, homa and any other ritual done sincerely.
Bhajan (ID 293) bhāvayē bhrāmarīṁ
Sing bhajans loudly and you all your mental anxieties will be gone.
Many are listening to this story everyday, in Srisailam. A person who drives an autorickshaw for a living here heard the story last two days and underwent great transformation. Many are experiencing inner transformation.
The auto rickshaw driver shared his experience at Pujya Sri Swamiji’s behest and said he heard Swamiji speak last couple days and is mesmerized. He is setting aside his auto and is sitting in Pujya Appaji’s presence in the evenings. He says Swamiji is making it so simple to understand the truth.
I was asked by the doctor to get rest today because the doctor found infection and swelling in the throat. But I brought the Lord yesterday and had to bring the Mother today to Srisailam. So, I treated my throat with some warm water and came here to be with you.