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Thursday, April 06, 2017

English translation of 67th Vardanti Guru Vandana Anugraha Bhashanam by His Holiness Mahasannidhaanm Jagadguru Bharathi Teertha Swaminah..at Madurai



Vardanti Anugraha Bhashanam of Jagatguru Mahasannidhanam.. at Madurai..
Translation of Speech made in Tamil


                                                                translation attempted by K V Ananthanarayanan


Sharadindu vibhaasi mandahaasaam
Sphurad indeevara lochanaabhiraamaam
Aravindasamaana sundaraasyaam
Aravindaasana sundareemupaase

(शरदिन्दु विभासि मन्दहासाम्
स्फुरदिन्दीवर लोचनाभिरामाम्।
अरविन्दसमान सुन्दरास्याम्
अरविन्दासनसुन्दरीमुपासे॥)



It  was indeed with the most benevolent  hope and foresight that  the tenets of Dharma should be spread for ever far and wide all over India that the Acharya Shankara Bhagavatpada established the Chaturaamnaaya peethas  and his  solemn desire was that people  should always be blessed with an unbroken line of  gurus who will effectively guide them in the path of virtue  and that by following the path of Dharma the people with prosper from welfare and divine grace to greater welfare and divine grace..

And among these four peethams the Bagavatpatha established  Dakshinaamnaaya Sharada Peetham at Sringeri  specially for that purpose and  He directed that the principles and messages of dharma should be spread  be spread all over South India through such madam. 
In eternal obedience to the solemn orders of the Bhagavatpada  the Peetathipathis of Shringeri Sharatha peetam are  ever engaged   in spreading the message of Dharma  all over  the South, right from the establishment of the madham
When we talk about dharma, many people wonder aloud  that all is being spoken of is already known to most of the people  for a long time  and that hardly anything new or novel is being spoken.
Yes, we have nothing new or fresh to present before you when it comes to Dharma.. We can only explain what is ordained in Dharma Shastams.  If we say something new that is not found in Shastras,  it would be rather adharmam.. because  dharmam is just what is found in Shastras. 

If we are to present before you and explain something which  you have not heard till now, we would have to deal with ideas and things which are not already available in Dharmasastras .
 If we do that that would be adharmam.

Sankarabhagavatpada has not created our order to talk about and spread adharmam.  He has employed us with the sole expectation  that we should reiterate only what is already available in Shastras.

Therefore, it is our duty to repeat again and again what is known and accepted as dharma and you should be patient enough and willing to hear that again and again.
  I would caution  you all that none of you should take my words as mere repetition of what has already been  explained and reiterated many times over
While speaking of Dharma, the Shastras divide the duties and codes for us into two categories.
 The first set of rules,  are  meant for all who are born as human beings and which are expected to be followed by all eternally. 
The second set of rules  comprise of dharma to be followed by  particular types or classes of people  according to their stauts or avocation or function.
The first code of conduct is  called Saamaanya Dharmam.  The second one is called Vishesha Dharmam
Vishesha Dharmam  refers to the code of conduct  prescribed for a particular sect or type of people..
If one is a brahmachari, he has to follow certain unique rules.
A grahasta or Sannyasi  would have to follow  certain other rules..

 What applies for a Brahmachari will not apply for a Grihasta .
 What applies for a Grihasta would not apply for a Sannyasi. 
 Rules applicable for a Sannyasi would not apply for a Grihasta.
 These are all Vishesha Dharmas unique for each category.

But the Samanya Dharma would apply to all people.  Such rules are binding on Bramacharis, Grihastas, Sannyasis, Men, Women,  Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and all others.
No one can ever say Saamaanya Dharmam is not applicable to him

Such exceptions can however be claimed for vishesha dharmas.
 One who is not a Sannyasi may say  about the Sannyasa Dharma ,
 “ Why, that rule is not  for me.  It applies only to a sannyasi.”
Grihasta would ask “ why should Sannyasa rules apply for me?’
But no one can ever ask about Samaanya Dharma..
” Why should it apply to me?”
  Every person should follow such rules without any let up or interruption.  If someone gives up  or transgresses such Saamaanya rules,  grave sins will visit him, grief will be his due,  he will go to hell or narakam..

Shastras have underlined five cardinal principles  as the Saamaanya Dharma.
If you ask what are these,  they are,
Ahimsaa Satyam Astheyam Shaucham indriyanigraham  etam saamasitam dharmam saadhurmanvevamabraveet.
(अहिंसा सत्यं अस्तेयं शौचं इन्द्रियनिग्रहं एतं सामासितं धर्मं साधुर्मन्वेवमब्रवीत्।)
In all moral codes, Ahimsa .. non violence or avoiding harm to others,  is given a place of pride.  In every moral code, Ahimsa takes precedence over all other rules.
Even in our Hindu systems there are two distinct types of philosophies.
  Aastika Dharma and Naastika Dharma

Aastika Dharma is the dharma which accepts  Vedas as pramanam  and the primary guiding principle for conduct of life .
 Nastika Dharmam is the school of thought which does not accept Veda as pramanam or authority. 

Both these, irrespective of whether they accept Vedas as authority,  accept ahimsa as a binding dharma.  
On this issue there was no difference of opinion. 
Even those who followed nastika dharshanam accept ahimsa as a guiding tenet that must be followed  by all.
Not only the Hindu sects of Astika an Nastika darshanams  accept ahimsa as dharma but  other religions too  give a prime position for non violence  as an important  aspect in their  codes for living.
No one should harm anyone else.  “Anyone else” would mean not only human beings but would mean all living beings and things.  
Ahimsa should be the approach of every human being to any other living being and not merely to fellow human beings.
Praani Himsa or causing harm to other living beings is  a grievous sin
Praani Himsas Should be stopped

Even among living being other than humans, special  care should be taken to ensure that cows are not harmed.
Cow is an animal which deserve our utmost respect and  devout worship. 
Vedas Say
GauH dheer vidyaa maathaa rudraanaam duhitaa vasoonaam swasaa aadityaanaam amrutasya naabhiH
(गौः धीर् विद्या माता रुद्राणां दुहिता वसूनां स्वसा आदित्यानां अमृतस्य नाभिः।)
So saying the cow is declared by the scriptures as most sacred and  subject  of  great reverence.
Maathaa, amoghaa, atithir vasishtaa..
(माता अमोघा अतिथिर्वसिष्टा)
Cow does no harm to anyone and she blesses each and every one with benefits only.. She should not be harmed at any cost.

(Harm to other beings occurs due to our tendency to eat flesh too.)
We talk about eating flesh.. which is called Maamsam मांसं  .. 
Maamsam is defined by two words.. Maam मां  meaning  me  and 
SaH  सः meaning  He

Manusmriti says

Maam sa bhakshayitaamutra yasya maamsam ihaatmyaham
Etan maamsasya maamsatvam pravadanti maneeshinaH

(मां स भक्षयितामुत्र यस्य माम्सं इहाद्म्यहम्।
एतन् माम्सस्य माम्सत्वम् प्रवदन्ति मनीषिणः॥)
 In essence,  it means “whose flesh I eat now  will eat me on a later date’.

If the meaning of this belief is understood properly, will anyone do harm to any living beings.
?
When it is prescribed that we should not cause harm to any living beings, is it not  all the more relevant that we should never cause any harm to the Cow?
The cow is completely harmless and she gives us so many benefits
and  so much of welfare..
Sashtras call her as maathaa or mother. 
When it is so , how can we harm her?

 We do not call any other animal as mother.
 We do not have Aja matha, Ashva maatha or gaja maatha  like Go maatha..
We call cow alone as Go maathaa. 
This is because, cow is blessing us with so much of benefits and she is just like our own mothers for us..

If someone does harm to the sacred Go matha,, the cow,  he becomes a grave sinner, a mahaapaapi.

We cannot allow such grave sin happening in any manner  in our Sacred Land of Bharatavarsha. 
This is OUR  well considered view.  
The reason  why  I am expostulating my view in the matter  very clearly is that people in India should form a crystal clear opinion in this matter.
Many people may be eager to know  and may be awaiting  to know  the views of their Acharyaals in this matter.
 I am making a declaration in very clear terms here  in this place ( Madurai)  at this time (occasion the Vardhanti celebration)  as above about our approach to cow, the Go mathaa.
The reverence for cow is self evident because, the most important tenet of Samanya dharmas is ahimsa, is it not? 
This is my saamaanya dharmam.

The next saamanya dharmam is Truthfulness or Satyam.
If you are trying to achieve benefits by telling lies or untruths, you do not know or you are not aware that if you tell lies a lot of sin will accrue to you. 
Satyameva Jayate Naanrutham  satyena panthaa vitatho devayaanah
(सत्यमेव जयते नानृतम् सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः)
This was so declared in Upanishads  so many years ago. 
Lakhs of years ago. 
When people of the current generation hear about this, they may say that such principles are not relatable or compatible to the present day.
They may think so.
  They may think that progress in life today is possible only through telling lies and indulging in misrepresentation. 
They may ask “ Who can come up in life these days telling truth alone?  They have to tell lies if they have to prosper.”
True, one may reach heights of prosperity and pomp telling lies.  But then they will surely fall from such heights  abruptly and steeply.
Shastras have dealt with adharma extensively.
The one who treads the path of adharma and the one who tells lies are on the same footing.. Same level.
Adharmenaidhate poorvaiH tato badraani pashyati  tato sapatnaan jayati samoolastu vinashyati..
(अधर्मेनैधते पूर्वैः ततो भद्राणि पश्यति। ततो सपत्नम् जयति समूलस्तु विनश्यति॥)

The one who does unrighteous things will come to the forefront  very quickly.  He will be victorious over all.  He will think  that no one else is superior to him  but finally he will be destroyed and uprooted completely.
The examples for this course of events  are those of  Ravana in Ramayanam and Duryodhan in Bharatham.  
Both of them became prominent by following unrighteous means. 
But finally both were destroyed and  razed upto the roots.
Do you need any more examples  other than these to  prove this?

If one thinks that he will come up in his life telling lies, doing injustice to others and treading unrighteous path,  Ravana and Duryodhana  who faced destruction on that count should be the witnesses for the futility of such thoughts.  
Will anyone who have  read  about  the fall of these two will ever think that they can come up in life by doing adharma? 
No, definitely not..
Both adharma and untruthfulness would produce the same results.
Therefore, no one of us should follow the path of untruthfulness in life.

We have dealt with ahmisa and satyam now. 
The third of the dharmas is Astheyam.  
Stheyam is the tendency  to  rob from others what is theirs..
The action of unjustly  divesting others of their rightful possession or wealth against their wishes  is a grave sin. 
There is of course nothing sinful in accepting something that  someone gives you as a gift.
 But if you steal  something from someone else all by yourself without  the owner’s consent  then you are incurring great sin..
You should never do that.

Then comes brahmacharyam.   
What is defined by Shastras  by the word brahmacharyam is that a grihasta or a householder should discharge his dharmas in the company of his wife whom he has married  in the manner prescribed by dharmas. 
He can perform all his grihasta functions in the company of the woman he has married  but he is prohibited even from casting a glance  on any other woman.  This is real brahmacharyam.
In our Dharma all women are considered as the manifestations of Ambaal.
vidyaassamasthaastava devi bhedaaH striyaH samastaaH sakalaa jagatsu
(विद्याः समस्ताः तव देवि भेदाः स्त्रियः समस्ताः सकला जगत्सु)
All arts and knowledge are the manifestation of the Mother of the Universe
All women are the physical manifestations of the mother of the Universe

Therefore when one looks at any woman, he should feel and behave only as if the is seeing the Devi Herself in that woman, and he should never entertain and wrong, improper or sinful thoughts about the women.
This attitude and action is the real Brahmacharyam.
If any attitude contrary to what is said  above arises in his mind,  the person becomes the worst sinner.

Was that not this the mistake committed by Ravana?
 He had Mandodari  as his wife  wedded to him in the dharmic way. 
He was living in all splendour and glory in her company too.
But then he abducted Sita the wife of Rama  and committed a sin which is  not pardonable. 
This action led to his abysmal fall and destruction.  

In fact, many well wishers advised Ravana against the wrong action. 
They told him .. “You have your Mandodari as dharmapatni.. And there are many others who are attached to you.  Then why are you going after that lady Sita?”
Ravana scoffed at their advice  and chose to ignore them .
He told them.  “ You people better keep quiet. This matter will be dealt with according to my own wishes.’
But what happened.?  Finally he was finished.

Therefore life following brahmacharyam is  to be followed very strictly and it is all the more so for Grihastas or householders..

Immediately after Ahimsa, Satyam and Astheyam comes Shaucham or cleanliness and then Indriyanighgaham too.

Shaucham particularly  means keeping the mind free of all blemishes and ill feelings. 
That is precisely called aanthara shaucham or internal purity.
 Keeping the body neat, clean and trim is baahya saucham or external cleanliness. 
It is definitely not sufficient that we should keep our body clean by bath etc.but we should keep our mind too clean. 
If your mind is not clean and pure  you will not be clean even if you keep the body clean. 
If the mind is to be kept clean there should not be any feelings like Kama.. lust, Krodha.. rage or anger etc arising   and residing there.
If the mind is free of Kama, Krodha and such negative tendencies, then it is clean

It is stated

Dadhyaat naavasaram kinchit  kaamaadeenaam manaagapi
(दद्यात् नावसरं किञ्चित् कामादीनाम् मनागपि)
Kaamaadeenaam  manaagapi  avasaram na dadhyaat..
Kama, Krodha etc are the evil influences  which affect the mind very badly  and therefore such influences cannot be permitted or entertained even to  a very little extent. 
Do not give any opportunities for such aberrations to influence your mind.
There should not be even traces of Kama and Krodha  in the mind. 
The mind should be kept completely unaffected by them.
Finally we should practice Indriya Nigraham.  
That means  we should keep  our organs (sense organs as well as  action(karma) organs)  under complete control. 
What is meant by control? 
We should not desire or covet  for anything and everything that comes to our  attention.
  If such desire for everything around us persists,  that means we have no control over our Indriyas.  
We should realize that we will get what God has ordained for us. 
It is  meaningless to desire or covet for more than that. 
Therefore there should  be no room for greed or avarice. 
We would definitely get what is ordained for us.
It should always be remembered that God is there to protect us  and take care of our interests. 
If we ask ourselves  as to when did God start protecting us  we would realize that such protection by God was there even when we were just growing  in the wombs of our mothers.
 Who else did protect us then? 
What strength of our own did we have  at that time? 
Now we think that we are having a lot of strength, but surely we did not have any strength  when we were just growing in our mother’s wombs.
 Who was it that protected us at that stage giving us life and growth ? 
Was it not Easwara the Supreme one?
 That very same God is  present even now  in all his glory.

Yo vai garbhagathasyaapi  vrittim  kalpitavaan prabhuH
Sheshavritti vidhaanepi suptaH kim vaa mritodhavaa?
(यो वै गर्भगतस्यापि वृत्तिम् कल्पितवान् प्रभुः।
शेषवृतिविधानेऽपि सुप्तः किम् वा मृतोथवा?)

So one should have faith  that God is ever there to protect him. 
One should never covet for things that belong to anyone else.

Duryodhana  faced doom  just because  he was greedy for the wealth of others.  He wanted to possess the wealth of Pandavas without any justification.
He divested them of their  wealth through unfair means and finally faced total annihilation. 
Seeing that we have to realize that avarice and greed are wrong propensities  that would ultimately lead us to our doom.

A person practicing Indriyanigraham would never fall prey to such avaricious tendencies.

Thus  Ahimsa, Satyam,Astheyam, Saucham and Indriya Nigraham… these five qualities are to be achieved and practices by each and every human being.
These dharmas are to be practices by all.  Be it Brahmacharis, Grihastas, Sannyasins, Brahmins, Kshatriyas or anyone else—all have to follow these dharmas.
If these  Saadhaarana Dharmas are not  followed  by all,  then what is the use of even  talking  about Vishesha dharmas..
kimastyanupaneetasya  vaajapeyaadi  yastibhiH
(किमस्त्यनुपनीतस्य वाजपेयादि यष्टिभिः)
If one is not  even initiated to the religious practices through upanayanam,  then what is the meaning in his talking about Vajapaya Sacrifice?   First let him  have upanayanam, practice Sandhyavandanam and then talk of Vajapeyam.
First, let us have a full understanding of the Samaannya Dharmas  and practice them.  This view is nothing ne.  Thousands of years ago  these  have been discussed in detail in Manusmriti.
Manusmriti has a special place of pride among all the  Dharmasastras.
Yat kinchit manuravadat  tad bheshajam
(यत्किञ्चित् मनुरवदत् तद् भेषजम्)
Whatever Manu has said is oushadham.. medicine.. elixir
We require medicine when there is any illness .  Medicine protects us and brings us relief from illness. What Manu said is just like medicine
Yat kinchit manuravadat  tad bheshajam
Therefor Manusmriti  has a special place among Dharmasastra texts  and Manu has expostulated the Saammannya Dharmas and has directed that everyone should follow these  eternally.
Then  alone can we observe Vishesha Dharmas effectively.

I had pointed out even at the beginning that whatever I tell here are all already known and discussed many a time.
Yes, these are all known to everyone. But such  knowledge does not manifest  in our day to day aachaarams or practices. We have read many books, listened to many discourses but when it comes to putting the principles into practice   nothing comes to our memory.  We continue to do wrong things.
Then what  purpose is going to be served by reading so many books and listening to so many upanyasams?
The Administrator was discussing about our Yathras. 
I asked him,  “Maybe, we will hold discourses on dharma but how many people do really listen and how many out of those listen practice what is imparted to them?  Can you give me the figures if you have them? “    He was baffled.
Therefore, even though you may think that I am repeating again and again only what is known to all, I am keeping on repeating the same thing  just to remind you all  that you  should not forget what I say, you should practice what  I  have been telling you repeatedly.
  Saamanya Dharmas should be scrupulously applied in our day to day  activities.
I am therefore repeating the same thing again and again.
You should not deviated from the path of Dharma at any time. By following the path of Dharma all should attain Divine Grace,  and welfare.  This has been the wish and advice of all our predecessors.
We are giving the same message to all of you.

In this city of Madurai, this year, this celebration has been conducted in an elaborate and exemplary manner  and the Satachandi Yajnam and Easvara Aradhanam  were conducted in a solemn manner .. May the bhagavan be pleased and bless this Madurai and all of you and the entire south, with  prosperity and welfare and especially with lot of rains. 
May all live with Divine Grace, prosperity and plentitude ..  I am making repeated prayers in the Sannidhi of Bhagavan.  May God bless us with plenty of rains.

The Upanyasam  concludes with  Aasheervadams and  Hara Hara Mahadeva..

the speech was in Tamil.. the video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzxk_1MkRsI