Sunday, September 18, 2016

Breaking


Sri:
Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:
Priya arangan adiyars,

We live in such a tumultuous world today that hardly a day passes without someone trying to “break-free” and “revolutionize” things or events. There is a short-lived excitement in breaking with the norm. Elderly voices might chide such actions as rank indiscretions. But, the young at heart need not feel that all is lost.

The most enduring memories of Krishna involve the breaking of something or the other. We can find solace that the master mischief-maker is well and truly at work. If there is anyone who can get busy just at mischief, it is Krishna.

Be it the breaking of shackles that bound His parents in prison, or the breaking of pots as a child, or the breaking of the promise to not lift a weapon in war, it is a sequence of something breaking. Unlike the revolutions humans are capable of, which eventually lead to despair and confusion, it becomes a cause for joy when Krishna breaks something.

We gasp in wonder when the shackles of prison drop off. We are filled with mirth and awe as He runs around as a small kid stealing butter and breaking pots. We are moved with disbelief and belief, sentiments equal in measure, as He breaks His own vow to protect His devotee.

What could be special in the act of God, born child, breaking pots for butter?

For our times, it contains a profound message, and it is a message that acts at both levels of legend and life.  It moves our saints to states of deep spiritual experience. The Master of the universe decides to incarnate, and allows Himself the simple pranks of a child with an intention to charm His devotees.

The breaking of fetters will keep recurring a thousand times in the world if the inner fetters of the ego are not broken. When they are broken, what remains is the pure soul, enjoyable to Krishna as butter.

The self-fulfilled being is trying to seek out His butter which is all of us. In what can lie our fulfillment than to be consumed and enjoyed by Krishna?

As the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says (through the voice of Gopīs), “akṣanvatāṃ phalamidaṃ na paraṃ vidāmaḥ” – “We know of nothing greater for those with eyes (than the sight of Krishna)!” Likewise, what can be greater for each of us, who exist, than to be offered to Krishna? Can there be any other worthwhile purpose to exist? What results then but pure joy!

The act of breaking the pot is captured in the tradition of uriyaḍi enacted during Śrī Jayanti. During the celebrations of Krishna Jayanti this year, the students of Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam as also from Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham enacted this great tradition with festivity.

The students of Gurukulam conducted Thiruvaymozhi ghoshti on the days leading to the Śrī Jayanti. They performed Thirumanjanam and conducted procession for their Krishna.

While understanding the purpose of existence is vital, it is even better when it comes young. Many saints consider themselves truly born only after realizing this purpose. An early awakening saves one from regret of losing out on the joy of living with a clean svarupa.

Śrī Jayanti is a time for joy and celebration. The festivities carry with them the invitation to each of us to be born again with Krishna on this day, as we remember our purpose.

The link to the pictures taken during these celebrations can be viewed at :


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SriJayanthi Celebration 2016


Sri:
Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

Kainkaryam is the highest wealth of a devotee. A devotee awaits the opportunity to engage in service. Performing service is not an artificial imposition on any person. A deep reflection upon the scriptures would reveal that to serve is natural. In fact, we are ever in service of someone or something. Sometimes, we think we are in control of other objects which serve our purpose. But, a little experience and insight would reveal that, to the contrary, we are under the control of these lures. When this analysis proceeds in this direction, we will end up understanding that we and our faculties find purity of purpose only in service of the Lord. That is the natural state of all souls and matter; everything else is confusion.

The great seer Nārada, who was enlightened in all scriptures, realized that śeṣatvam or service is the true nature of the soul. The Bhāgavata Purāṇa says that Devarṣi Nārada, who had no desires otherwise, was haunted by one desire. It might surprise us that such a sage would be desirous of something. The scripture says, “nāradaḥ kṛṣṇopāsanalālasaḥ” - Nārada was ardently desirous of serving Krishna.

Here the word ‘upāsana’ does not mean passive devotion or meditation. It means service. This can be understood by noting that the Purāṇic verse says “abhīkṣṇaṃ dvāravatyām avātsīt”. Seer Nārada used to stay frequently in Dvāraka as he was desirous of serving the Lord. It is only to serve that one needs to be present close to the recipient of service (śeṣi). Passive forms of devotion or meditation do not demand intimate physical presence such as that between Lakṣmaṇa and Rāma. Is it not this intimately close presence that was referred by Āzhvār as ‘uḍanāy manni’! Hence, here upāsana means service. No less a seer than Nārada, who has been celebrated in Sri Ramayana as tapaḥ-svādhyāya-nirataḥ, vāgvidāmvaraḥ and munipuṅgavaḥ, bore great interest in serving Krishna after all his study, penance and meditation.

This message is reinforced by Śukācārya, who is himself a great devotee of the Lord. He asks Emperor Parīkṣit, “Rājan! ko nu indriyavān mukundacaraṇāmbujaṃ na bhajet?” Which person, O King,  possessed of the faculties (of senses and body), does not engage in kainkaryam at the lotus feet of Mukunda? The word ‘indriyavān’ indicates that the faculties of our body are provided for the purpose of engaging in service of the Lord.

Excited to serve  Krishna, aren’t we?

Though the vibhavāvatāra of Krishna is over several hundreds of years ago, He continues to present Himself out of grace in numerous shrines through the mode of Arcāvatāra. He creates the opportunity for people of all times to serve Him in this image form.

The lore tells us that the great devotee Akrūra cherished the time when he went to fetch Lord Krishna in a chariot car. The ​"Thanga chapara vaahanam" was restaged on the occasion of Sri Jayanthi by the students of Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam. The students relived the service of the Lord by decorating Him beautifully and celebrating Sri Krishna jayanti​. The procession went through the uthira and chiththira veethis of Periya Perumal.  


ko nu indriyavān mukundacaraṇāmbujaṃ na bhajet?