Atirudra Yaga Day 6 - Jan 22, 2023 Parama Pujya Swamiji's discourse on Srisaila Kanda - Part 3/3
Jaya Guru Datta
śrī mahã gaṇapataye namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyãya namaḥ
Bhajan (ID 1305) īśapatīśā jagannivāsa
Today is Day 3 of the Srisaila Kanda discourse. We learned that Sage Parvata prayed to Lord Shiva and earned his boon of the Lord residing on his head. Then, the sage turned into a mountain and the Lord resided on the body of this great sage. The Lord in the form of Jyotirlinga got established on this huge rock. We also learned about how Mother Goddess came to be on this mountain. When Lord Shiva and Mother Goddess established their abode here, all Devatas and all Teerthas followed suit.
When we visit a Kshetra, we should learn about the Sthala Purana (historical significance). There may be a few variations in the different accounts we hear, but we should take note of those and learn about the history of the place. The stories may change a little bit through various yugas, but God's shakti and maya are unchanging. The Tapas done by various great souls, their Darshana of the Gods - these kind of details may vary a little bit, but that is alright. These days, people are calling every Shiva temple a Jyotirlinga. We should not get into an argument over it. Real devotees will see the omnipresent Lord everywhere. Some temples that are barely 10 years old are being hailed Jyotrilingas. I feel there is nothing wrong with it, it gives us the good fortune of remembering the Jyotirlinga. Yet, even if we do not argue over it, we should share with them the knowledge of where the real Jyotirlingas are.
Similarly, when you go to Mathura, every household claims Krishna was born in that home. They will point to the cradle and tell you that was where he was Krishna slept. They will ask you for some money as you leave. It is okay, give them some money and tell them where Krishna was really born. If you do not know where Krishna was born, just offer prayers and leave. Do not hurt them. Many will point to their homes as the place where Krishna showed certain miracles. Why hurt them with your words? Krishna is omnipresent. There were thousands of Gopikas, they were in every household, and Krishna appeared in every household. Every Gopika thought she had Krishna to herself. There is nothing wrong with it. When they did Rasakreeda, all the Gopikas converged in one place. One cowherd would report to another cowherd that his wife was dancing with Krishna. Enraged, that cowherd would walk back to find that his wife was simply engaged in household chores. He would come back and report to the first cowherd that in fact, he saw the first cowherd’s wife dancing with Krishna that morning. Every cowherd had such experiences. This is all Maya. Krishna enveloped everyone in Maya. Who is the wife? Who is the husband? Everything in this creation belongs to God. The Lord who created everything sees no differences. We are all his children. Many doubted Krishna’s character, but that too is the delusion given by the Lord. The only way to transcend this delusion is to live with Satsanga, good conduct and detachment.
We see God in human form and we attribute human feelings to God because he appears like one of us. That is a mistake. The Lord looks like one of us to uplift us, but we should not compare him with us. A father when playing with a child acts like a child. Does that make the father a child? The teacher needs to come down to the student's level to teach him lessons. The student will not understand if the teacher teaches at his advanced level of understanding.
The mother too turns into a child when rearing the children. Same is the case with the Sadguru. When teaching the disciples, he turns into a disciple himself to help the disciple understand the lessons. If the Guru teaches at His level, the disciples will not understand. As the students advance, the teacher teaches at progressively higher levels to match the student’s incremental advancement. Every step of the way, the teachers match the level the student is at. Vedanta is the same way. Using a multitude of examples, the Guru unravels the knots one by one and slowly, anticipating questions by the students, will reveal the secrets of Vedanta. They do not just give a sermon and leave it to the students to figure out the lessons taught.
The teacher will repeatedly ask the student if the lessons were understood and will modify his teaching as needed. A real teacher will try to teach in various ways until the student understands. If after the teacher has tried teaching multiple different ways the student has still not understood the lesson taught, the teacher realizes that the student’ mind is elsewhere. A good doctor too tries various combinations of medicines to help the patient heal. He will not reject outright the patient’s chances of survival. Sometimes, we may think the doctor is experimenting on us because our pain has not subsided yet. But all the experiments were already done when the doctors were studying medicine. Your criticism may hurt the doctor’s feelings. The teacher too will not criticize the student saying the student is too dull to understand what is being taught. A teacher, a policeman, a driver, a photographer should have a lot of patience. For example, the policeman has to calm the crowd without using force, and only as a last resort pick up the baton. The doctor too will try various combinations of medicines before just giving some placebo as a last resort. But Sadguru will never leave the disciple no matter. People in all the other occupations we discussed so far may give up, but the Sadguru will not. The Sadguru will try various ways to reel in the disciple.
So, when we go to temples, people will claim those temples are Jyotirlingas or Shakti Peethas. It is alright, God is omnipresent, we will offer our respects there. Perhaps, in a different kalpa, that was a Shaktipeetha. If the temple is new, you can tell them it is not a Shaktipeetha.
All parts of the body are important. Even if we lose one body part, or its function, we struggle. We should use all body parts to see the all-pervading Lord. The Sthala Puranas (history of kshetras) may have a little variation. The various writers may have made a few changes, but they cannot change the Lord who is present. Swamiji has made a few changes to the story being narrated in the last couple days.
O Deva, victory to you! You, worshiped by this entire creation, victory to you! Wishing victory for God is wishing ourselves victory. What victory does God need, he is victory! O one who grants auspiciousness! Sarvesha! O God of Gods, victory to you! O one who looks at us with compassion, victory to you! O Lord of all worlds, victory to you!
Sage Sanat Kumara narrated the conversation between Shiva and Parvati to Sage Vyasa. Parvati asked Shiva to tell her the story of Nandi and Shiva Lingas on earth. How did so many Shiva lingas form on earth?
Lord Shiva: O Devi, first listen to the story of Nandi. This is a big story. In Krita Yuga was a sage called Shilada who was my devotee. He was childless and therefore did penance for me with great devotion.The sage did Tapas for a long time.
O Mahadeva, salutations! O consort of Parvati, O protector of devotees, salutations!
O one who destroys the triad, O Mahesha! Please protect me with alacrity!
Some people pray to God for a long time and when do not see God, will start talking like great devotees: O God have you no eyes or ears? Have you no heart? Are you Meerabai or some great devotee to lament in this manner? In the Ashram in the past, clothes laid out to dry on the clothesline were stolen sometimes. Some of the devotees would pray "Does Swamiji not know everything? Why is this happening?" So, is Swamiji is supposed to cook for them, clean their bathrooms, wash their clothes, nurse them when ill? You come to the Ashram to get Swamiji’s blessings to recover from some illness and then slowly start increasing your demands - you want a good room, continuous water supply, air conditioning etc. When we provide some amenities, you want more. If you visited the Ashram in 1966, you would know. Snakes and scorpions would crawl around the Ashram. There was no water supply or electricity. People would sleep where they could. Now, it always appears to be daytime in the Ashram. The Ashrama is always bright and well-lit. You want air conditioning in the rooms. Somebody recently asked for room service for food. The more amenities you are given, the more you ask. I wonder if I am teaching you wrong things by giving you some amenties. When you go on pilgrimages, you must bathe in cold water, sleep on the floor, eat only one meal etc. Now, in Ashram, you demand hot water all the time. You expect volunteers to carry hot water for you. Volunteers are people that serve Swamiji on their own, they are not your servants. But would you make such demands from the police? They will whack you with their baton. The more conveniences that come your way, the more you demand.
We are people that lack contentment. Yesterday, someone told me they were very happy with the food being served. Today someone said it would be nice to have pickle served during Annadana. Are we here to please the palette? In the past, there used to be no cell reception in Srisailam. I used to be happy then. People clamor for cell reception, will you die if you cannot use the phone? Even electricity was in premium here back in the day. The more comforts you get, the more you want. We used to be content with what little we had back in the day, but now, we want more, we hoard more as if we will take everything with us when we die. A wife was once working in the kitchen when the husband asked her what was for dinner. When he did not hear a response, he kept yelling his question louder and louder. Finally, he barged into the kitchen and yelled the question in her ear asking if she was deaf. The wife snapped back saying she already told him each time he asked that she was making chapati. It was him, not her that was deaf.
O Suresha! Maheshvara! Please grant me your protection soon, prayed Shilada.
Lord Shiva said: I appeared in front of him and granted him the boon to beget a son. I told him that his son will do Tapas like he did. The son will be known as Nandi and will receive worship from the Devatas.
In the story of Markandeya too, Lord Shiva asked the sage whether he wanted a son who will live long or a noble son who will only live up to 16 years of age. They prayed for the latter and gave birth to Markandeya.
Lord Shiva continued: Nandi was born and learned all the Vedas. He came to Srisailam and did penance for me. At that time, I appeared in front of him along with you and he prayed for the boon to do 1000 more years of penance.
I always remember Sage Bharadwaja who prayed to Brahma and repeatedly got the boon of living 1000 years more to study the Vedas. Finally, Lord Brahma told him that the Vedas were like a massive mountain while what the sage had mastered was like a stone. So, the Lord told him to be content with what he learned.
People think there are specific mantras for specific accomplishments in life such as begetting children, getting a visa, making money etc. That is not right, there is no such specific mantras. Your desires will be fulfilled when your karma is purified. You must chant mantras to purify your karma. Then, your desires will be fulfilled. So, we should understand that we chant mantra to purify karma, not to fulfill desires. When your karma is purified, desires will be fulfilled. If you keep thinking of desires when chanting, the japa will not progress.
Nandi prayed for the boon to do penance for 1000 more years.
A sage in Maharashtra prayed for another birth so that he could constantly do Divya Nama Sankeertana. He did not care for the burden of samsara, he only wanted to chant God’s names. It is only on earth that we can sing the divine names. In Vaikuntha, we need to keep silent and in hell, we will only moan, groan and cry.
How is Nandi doing Tapas? Listen to this song to understand.
Bhajan (ID 8204) aṇuvū aṇuvū nīvu śivā
That is what Tapas should be like (as explained in the bhajan). As we turn the japamala, we should be immersed in seeing the Lord. In this Kshetra, when you turn the mala, you attain Japa Siddhi, Moreover, doing it in Guru Sannidhi is all the more potent
If you are doing 1 lakh rounds of chanting, do atleast one or two rounds with japamala. This is recommended by the scriptures, as it gives energy to the indriyas. So, everyone should the mala. Many are getting the mala from Swamiji directly, you are blessed. Every day at home, use the japamala for mantra chanting. O one who is constant and omnipresent! You are the unchanging formless one! (The Lord is Purna Swarupa whether he is visible or not). When incarnations come to earth, do not assume God is only in the incarnation and nowhere else. He is always in the incarnation as well as everywhere).
O Shiva who is the cause of Parvati's joy! Parvati is happy when she hears the mantra Om Namah Shivaya. We should not think of Shiva and Parvati as a regular couple. They are Prakrti and Purusha. There is no creation without them.
Lord Shiva said: Nandi meditated deeply on Shiva. I appeared in front of him and lovingly touched his head, eyes, ears and all indriyas and asked him to ask for a boon.
Nandi said: I have no desires, I saw you that is enough for me.
Lord Shiva said: I picked him up in my arms and took him to Kailasa. I wanted a devotee like him.
Nandi represents our intellect. That intellect is constantly meditating on Shiva like the jeevatma is constantly looking at Paramatman. Same is the case with the lion gazing constantly at Mother Goddess. Nandi represents Jeevatman. Shiva represents Paramatman. Garuda in Vishnu temples, lion in Devi temples, peacock in Subramany Swamy temples – all represent the jeevatman. Jeevatman and Paramatan cannot exist without each other. We call the jeevatman the buddhi. Sometimes, the buddhi gets destroyed completely, but Paramatman continues to live within. The doctors will say that the buddhi has gone from the patient. When that happens, the patient slowly slips into coma and then may pass away. On rare occasions, the patient may come back to life.
In Maharashtra, the saints sing the praises of Lord ardently. When you turn the japamala, think about the God whose mantra you are chanting. As you do Yoga, gradually you will be able to attain karNa samadhi - you can arrest the sense of hearing so that you will not hear any distractions. Netra samadhi is where your eyes are open, but you will not see any other sights or distractions. But my devotees can sleep with their eyes open during Shivaratri.
We should gain Jnana with buddhi and with understanding.
O Devi, Srisaila is the Kshetra that gives the siddhi you wish for. But you must have devotion.
Even walking 2-3 steps with devotion chanting the name of Krishna or Shiva in Srisailam is enough to remove sins of crores of births. Do not walk with your eyes closed. Do not walk with anger and envy. You must walk with a pure heart, seeing God everywhere and believing all beings are his children. When you go to the temple, have Darshana of the temple Shikhara - tower. Anywhere in Srisailam, you can worship Shiva, you do not need to go to only the main shrine and do Abhisheka.
Srisailam is my body, said Lord Shiva. One who dies here first reaches Brahma Loka and then Kailasa. There, he becomes of my Ganas and then without rebirth will become a Devata and will be worshiped. Not only that, merely thinking of the festivals and processions here (whether you are here or not) grants you the merit of participating in it. You must mentally do Abhishekam to Sachchidanandeshwara in Mysuru, to Shiva Linga in Kasi.
Tripurasura was the cause for Shiva Lingas to be on earth. The three demons asked for impossible boons from Lord Brahma and lived in mansions made of gold, silver and iron. They got arrogant and began tormenting the Devatas. Beings in all worlds could not bear their atrocities. I then fought them and destroyed them with my third eye, and their mansions shattered into 60,000 crore pieces and became Shiva Lingas on earth. First, Brahma, Devatas and the saints established the Shiva Lingas on earth. That is how the crores of Shiva Lingas came to earth.
Lord Shiva will live in the homes of those who listen to these stories. Listen to these stories again and again. Shiva will be in your house. Those who have Darshana of Srisailam, of the deities in Srisailam, who do charity, who participate in the sevas here will have their wishes fulfilled. We are doing pujas, charity, dharma etc for Shiva. When we offer prayers to Shiva, we offer all the fruit to Shiva. Then, the God will give us infinite fruit. But if we keep the fruit to ourselves, it will always be limited. We should only pray for the Lord's compassion. If we take pride and delight in the pujas we have done, the Lord will not take responsibility for us, we have to take care of our own joys and sorrows because this will lead to ego. Everyday, we should offer to God the fruit of whatever services we offer to him. Each day we are alive is a new birth. Never give into ego that we are doing services to the Lord. That will lead to ego and rebirths.
Nothing you offer to God belongs to you, it belongs to the five elements. Even the Naivedya we offer to God comes from the grains grown on earth. Everything comes from Shiva, we are only offering to him what he gives us.
Bhajan (ID 1279) nī sēva yērīti cēsēdayā
You will understand the relationship between you and the Lord. Everyone that performed any kind of seva should think: You gave me birth, brought me up and gave me everything that i am offering as Seva. This is all yours. When you think in this manner, ego will not find room in you. Then, the Lord will bless you fully.
Inculcate strong faith in Shiva. Even if devoid of mantras, or ignorant of japa or yoga, one who has great faith will bring Shiva into his sway. Lord Shiva promised that he would adore and protect the devotee who has faith. Devotion for Shiva is not a small thing. The Lord causes a lot of fickleness in us. It is the merit of crores of lifetimes. The Lord accepts even you trivial seva offered with faith, as if it is a great offering.
Your Swamiji's desire is you all be blessed and your families and lineages be blessed by the Lord.
New bhajan on Malleshvara and Bhramaramba (ID 8245) idi podariṇṭi valapu katha
The entire story of Srisailam that has been narrated so far is in this song.
New Hindi bhajan (ID 8247) bōl bōl bōl bōl ōṁ namaśśivāy
Pujya Bala Swamiji says:
It was as if Patala Ganga here is overflowing. We now experienced how Swamiji used to sing back in 1966 or 1977.
Perhaps it is a test for doctors. The doctors said last night and this morning that Swamij's throat was swollen and infected. Does this sound like an infected throat? Swamiji suddenly picked up Vitthala Nama and Tumace Nama Sankeertana and then the Namavali Om Namah Shivaya.
Perhaps this is how the bees chanted in the end with Bhramaramba Mata. If we put our mind to it, we will always hear this voice of Appaji. Those watching online and in person, have all chanted Om Namaha Shivaya as well as Omkara. Wherever we go, we should inquire and learn about the history of the kshetra. Priests might sometime share the history, but nothing can match hearing it directly from the Guru.
We heard about how the mountain came about, how the Lord and Mother Goddess came to reside here. We heard all this in the place that Pujya swamiji received his Deeksha Vastras.