Srimate Ramanujaya nama:
(A drop of gratitude)
We often come across Bhajan groups being severely criticized. The reason would often turn out that there are many members who are ignorant of the rules of pronouncing the names of Lord and hence utter the names violating the grammatical rules of the language. In this context, a beautiful and simple shloka is worth examining.
“ Moorkhaha vadati vishnaaya
Vidwan vadati vishnave
Ubhayosthu phalam tulyam
As per the Sanskrit language, nouns have cases-endings like Nominative, Acquisitive and each noun has them different based on the ending of the word. For example, the word Raama: ends with ‘a’ and hence follows certain ways of being used in the language under different contexts. When someone addresses Raama in the context “for Raama”, the word ‘Raamaaya’ (4th case ending) is to be used. But the word Vishnu is different. It ends with ‘ UHh’ and hence has a different set of case-endings and hence an address to Vishnu in the tonality of “for Vishnu” would be ‘ Vishnavae’ (4th case ending).
A learned scholar made his entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the beautiful temple of Poori and stood before Lord Jagannatha in great veneration. Since the Lord standing there as Jagannatha is none other than Vishnu, he addressed the Lord “ Vishnavae namaha” (Namaskaaram for Vishnu). This happened every day. Standing just opposite this learned pundit was an uneducated villager who too appeared there every day. He did not know the grammatical rules of Sanskrit. His faint knowledge indicated that the Lord standing as a wooden structure along with Balarama and Shubadra was Lord Vishnu incarnate. But he had learnt only the grammatical forms of ‘Raama’ as a child. So he erroneously addressed the Lord “ Vishnaya namaha”. The learned scholar observed this every day.
In a few years, both of their mortal bodies fell and both of them reached the Supreme Abode of the Lord. Standing before the Lord, the scholar was astonished to see the ignorant villager a companion here too. He asked the Lord “Oh Lord! I understand that I have attained your Abode. I am a learned scholar of all the sastras and have been at Your service all along. But this villager had been constantly misspelling Your Divine names every now and then. How could he attain this glorious abode?” and the Lord said “I don’t read what comes from your lips. I read only your heart. If there is a spot of true love in it for Me, I grant the spotless SriVaikuntam”. Hence both of you are here to serve Me for eternity.” The Lord absorbs the Bhaavam of the person uttering His name. After all, any word and any letter that exists in the atmosphere is His. But the person uttering the Lord’s name needs to take care while chanting His name.
The excellent “Prasanna Venkatesha Perumal Koil Sahasranama and Bhajana Mandali” has been in the kainkaryam of spreading the SriVishnusahasranama and Naama sankeerthanam for the past several years. It consists people of different age groups. From 7 year old children to 70 year old elders, each of them participate in the chanting sessions with great fervour. These people also join hands and collect money for temple renovation and repair works.
It was a pleasure honouring them. The photos of a few of them are here :https://picasaweb.google.com/