Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamiji
But why do people wrangle saying that one deity is superior to the rest, that the deity whom they worshi...p alone is the highest? A bridge across a river has a number of arches To a man standing under one arch, all other arches will appear smaller than the one he stands under. This arch will appear biggest to his eyes. Even so, to a votary of a particular deity, all other deities will appear inferior. But the truth is that deities are manifestations of the One God. All arches are similarly constructed and have the same dimension.
WHY DEVOTEES HAVE PRAYER ROOMS IN THEIR HOUSE
By Stephen Knapp,
Many devotees and Hindus will make space for a prayer room in their homes. These are meant to ha...ve their own sacred atmosphere and will contain holy pictures, prints, utensils, Deities or images, lamps and burning incense. Nothing is to be done in this room without a spiritual purpose. Thus, the atmosphere in the room never becomes contaminated by any other activity or selfish consciousness. It has its own special atmosphere. Thus, it becomes a means to get away from everything else, or free from the common thoughts of the day. In this way, it is easy to enter into meditation or engage in chanting japa for mantra meditation or worship of the Deity, offering prayers, or sing bhajans, without other thoughts causing distractions. Such a room also indicates that the Supreme is the proprietor of the house, and our very lives, whom we respect and honor in this way. Therefore, this is the way that we continue to live our spiritual life whether we go to a local temple or not because we have made our own house into a temple. So we commune with God and invoke His grace everyday and on special occasions in the prayer or temple room of our house.
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Jai Sri Krishna
Om namaha shiva
NATURE OF BHAKTI
By Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamiji
What really is the core of bhakti? It is the condition of mind which is continously drawn to and ...anchored in the feet of the Lord of all creatures, the Pasupati. Sri Sankara has a verse which brings out the nature of bhakti by a few beautiful examples from Nature and human relations.
‘Ankolam nijabeejasantath' It is traditionally believed that there is a tree called the ankola tree. Its seeds fall down from the full-grown tree. By some internal compulsion of its nature, it moves of its own accord towards the foot of the parent tree. Having reached it, it gently ascends clinging to the trunk and enventually becomes one with it.
'Ayaskaantopalom soochikaa'. The needle is drawn to the lodestone, gets magnetised by it and becomes itself a magnet.
'Saadhvee naijavibhum'. A pativartaa woman intensely longing with all here heart and soul for the company of her lard who is all the world to her.
'Lata kshitiruham'. A creeper meandering on the ground is on the look out for a tree to twine itself round. Having found it, it envelops it on all sides and cannot be separated from it even with great force.
'Sindhussaridvallabhuam'. The rivers which take rise in distant mountains rush forth with turbulent avidity to flow into the sea. The rivers become one, with the waters of the sea and their water also becomes salty even as the sea water.
The attraction in all these cases is natural and spontaneous, not a calculated or artifical one. At the start they, feel separated from that to which each of them is attracted. But they cannnot subsist in their separation. The seed, the needle, the saadhvee, the creeper and the rivers find the fulfilment of their being in the union and eventually, in their identity with that which alone makes for their completion. To the saadhvee i.e. the pativrata, the true wife, her husband is her all. He is her very life. Separation from him even for a second causes her intense anguish. The rivers rise on mountain tops, where clouds pour out what they took out from the sea, their original source and the ultimate goal. They flow in torrents and fall ill cascades, roaring with fury betraying their eagerness to meet their lord, the saridvallabha and then they merge in its bosom.
DEVOTION TO GOD
By Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamiji
God may be the creator of the world and also the dispenser of the fruits of our actions. But why s...hould we have devotion to Him? Why should we show bhakti to Him? The answer to this question is provided in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Yoga is defined as 'Chittavrttinirodha'. It is the control of the mind's activity. But how to control the mind? This can be brought about by worship of God. The world is full of things which distract the mind, which make it shake and waver. To keep our body in balance without being tossed about we hold fast to a strong pillar. Even so, to keep our mind steady, we should make it stick to something unchanging and unshakable It must be something that is fixed, sthaanu, unmoving and permanent among the unstable things of the world. God who is the all knowing Intelligence is the One Permanent in this world of impermanent things. We should hold Him before our mind to control it and steady it like a flame in à place where there is no breeze.
Lord Brahma at Bramhapureeshwarar Temple, Thirupattur
One of the temples that is seldom mentioned on the list of India's few Brahmadev temples is Bramhapureeshwarar Temple in Thirupattur, 30 kms from Trichy, Tamil Nadu. While this is predominantly a Shiva temple, it is very closely associated with Lord Brahma, and an ancient shrine for Brahma resides within the temple complex. Regular worship of Lord Brahma is conducted here. In modern times, this temple only became a well kn...own pilgrimage destination over the last few years, but throngs of devotees now come to offer worship to Brahmadev. Mondays and Thursdays are the most favoured days for getting darshan.
During a pastime in which Lord Brahma is said to have lost his fifth head and his potencies, he realized he had erred in carrying out his duties of creation. Being thus affected, he proceeded to go on pilgrimage to worship Lord Shiva at various holy sites. Along the way, at a place called Thirupidavur (now Thirupattur), he worshipped Shiva with a lingam under a Magizha tree, offering water from the nearby tank, so this place is known as Brahma Theertham.
Lord Brahma installed 12 lingams around the Bramhapureeshwarar site and worshipped Shiva here for a very long time. Being moved by Brahma's affections, Shiva gave him darshan under the Magizha tree and liberated him from his punishment so that he could resume his privileged activities of creation. In honor of these pastimes, Shiva is called Brahmapureeswarar. Shiva is said to have blessed Brahmadev with the power to change the ill fate of anyone who worships Brahma here.
The 12 small shrines of Lord Shiva which comprise the Bramhapureeshwarar temple complex are Sri Bhramapureeswara, Sri Pazamalainathar, Sri Pathalaeswarar, Sri Sudharaneeswarar, Sri Thayumannar, Sri Sabthagereswarar, Sri Kalathinathar, Sri Jambukeswarar, Sri Kailasanathar, Sri Arunachaleeswarar, Sri Ekambreswarar, Sri Manduganathar.
In the temple's main sanctum sanctorum, Brahmapureeswarar resides in the form of Swayambu lingam. In a separate inner praharam beside the main sanctum is the shrine of Lord Brahma. It is an unusually open and accessible shrine, and one can get very close darshan of the Brahmadev Deity there.
The four-headed Deity is sitting in Padmasana pose, on a lotus. Brahmadev's magnificent form is 6 feet high, with a circumference of 6.5 feet, which is sometimes decorated in manjal (turmeric) kappu, as shown above.
The jeeva samdhi of the Sage Patanjali is located in an inner praharam, just opposite to Lord Brahma's shrine. A Badhala lingam (a lingam recessed in the ground) is also found there.
Outside the temple is a beautiful tank, with steps leading down all four sides. This is known as Brahma Theertham, because Brahma came here for water with which to offer worship to Lord Shiva. A Bahula theertham is also found here.
(Sankaracarya's Vivekachudamani 540)
The knower of Brahman wears no insignia and is unattached to sense-objects; like a child, he remains in this body without identifying with it and experiences sense-objects as they come, by the wish of others.
A devotee who surrendered to the Supreme Lord Hari never carries pride and he is not interested in the material world. Just like a baby who is never enjoy the body and never intend to enjoy the senses, unless someone try to makes the baby happy by material objects. Such great devotees live only to think about the Lord.
PREDICTION OF SHIVA APPEARING IN KALI-YUGA AS SHANKARACHARYA
Another interesting prediction is that Lord Shiva, one of the great devas, would appear in Kali-yuga as Shankaracharya. In the Padma Purana (6.236.5-12) Shiva explains to his wife, Parvati, that he will appear in the age of Kali to proclaim that the Buddhist doctrine is a false religion and illusory. He also said that he would propound the mayavada or impersonalist philosophy, emphasizing the indefinable nature of t...
Lord Brahma at Uttamarkoil
A few kilometers from the town of Trichy (Tiruchirapalli) in Tamil Nadu is Uttamarkoil Temple, one of the 108 Divya Desams, or important Vishnu temples mentioned in the works of the Azhvars. Of the 108, 105 are located in India, 1 is in Nepal, and 2 are in the non-physical world.
The Vaishnavas aspire to visit all 106 of the earthly Divya Desams in their lifetime. Many centuries ago, devotees would make special pilgrimage to a group of four Divya De...
चिन्ताशून्यमदैन्यभैक्षमशनं पानं सरिद्वारिषु
स्वातन्त्र्येण निरङ्कुशा स्थितिरभीर्निद्रा श्मशाने वने ।
वस्त्रं क्षालनशोषणादिरहितं दिग्वास्तु शय्या मही
संचारो निगमान्तवीथिषु विदां क्रीडा परे ब्रह्मणि ॥
cintāśūnyamadainyabhaikṣamaśanaṃ pānaṃ saridvāriṣu
svātantryeṇa niraṅkuśā sthitirabhīrnidrā śmaśāne vane |
vastraṃ kṣālanaśoṣaṇādirahitaṃ digvāstu śayyā mahī
saṃcāro nigamāntavīthiṣu vidāṃ krīḍā pare brahmaṇi |
(Sankaracarya's Vivekachudamani 539)
Free from anxiety and humiliation, the wise ones have their food, and drink the waters of rivers; they live, free and independent, sleeping without fear in a cemetery or in forest; their robe is the space, which needs no washing or drying, or some bark etc, the earth is their bed and they roam in the avenues of Vedanta while they revel in the supreme Brahman.
क्षुधां देहव्यथां त्यक्त्वा बालः क्रीडति वस्तुनिः ।
तथैव विद्वान् रमते निर्ममो निरहं सुखी ॥
kṣudhāṃ dehavyathāṃ tyaktvā bālaḥ krīḍati vastuniḥ |
tathaiva vidvān ramate nirmamo nirahaṃ sukhī ||...
(Sankaracarya's Vivekachudamani 538)
Forgetting his hunger and physical pains a child plays with toys. In the same way the wise person is happy and revels without the ideas of "I" and "mine."
This is a fabulous example, a child will focus on his/her toys without thinking hunger, similarly a self realized person always happy without thinking that he needs to fulfill the desire of the body. Many of us are indicating 'I' and 'me' as body but actually it is designated to the Atma(soul).