Thiruaadipooram is the most important festival celebrated in Srivilliputtur lasting for 10 days. After several years , She left Her sanctum (Garbha graham ) and rushed to welcome Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja as Her elder brother for fulfilling Her pledge to offer 1000 vessels of akkAra-adisil to Lord SundararAjan of ThirumAlirum ChOlai. After that reception to AchArya RaamunjA , the ThiruppAvai Jeeyar , She never went inside Her sanctum and stays even today at the ardha manTapam . and later for Swami Desikan times She engineered to arrive in front of the house outside Her Thiru MaaLikai Veedhi , where Her parama bhakthan was staying during his visit to Her city. Moved by that extraordinary display of Vaathsalyam and daya of Mother ANDAL , the LOka MaathA , our Kavi Simham poured forth in rapture his eulogy of Her anantha KalyANa guNams .Thus originated the GodhA sthuthi and its 29 slOkams .
Millions of devotees all over the world gather at Pandharpur on the eleventh day of the waxing moon in June -July ( Aashaada Suddha Ekadasi) and in October -November ( Karthik Suddha Ekadasi ) . The lovely devotees mostly are Varkaris . Kari means one who undertakes .. Vari means periodical piligrimage ..
Varkaris are advance devotees of Lord Vittala . The devotees form society ( mandalies) for spreading the love of Lord among the people by story telling , singing devotional songs and preaching Holy name . Walking in groups accompany the palanquin in which are placed the silver paadukaas of the liberated saints on their Annual piligrimage . Trekking on foot for almost 41 days helping each other , singing together , Singing Kirtans and dancing together repeating ………………………….. Vithobaaa.. Rakhumai .. Jai Jai Rama Krishna Hari …. making the place Golokaa…
Fortunate souls get this oppurtunity to serve the Lordships amongst the advanced devotees .
The annual Pandharpur yatra to the famous Vithoba temple at Pandharpur in Maharashtra culminates on this auspicious Aashada Ekadasi day ( Apperance day of Lord Vittala) on July 20 , 2021 . A vast sea of humanity seeking the Supreme Lord is seen at this holy place . The saints have shown their merciful favor. Several devotees and several saints have given us a path for devotion and surrender which takes us out of the material world which is temporary .
Santh Gynandeva laid the foundation and erected the temple of devotion . Santh Namadeva built the wall surrounding . Santh Ekanath erected the pillar in the form of commentary on Srimad Bhagavatha Purana . Santh Tukaram became its pinnacle . Now the worship in this temple should be our goal .
Few hundred years back , there lived a devotee Kurmadas in a village called Paithan . about 450 kms away from Pandharpur . He desired to have darsanam of the Lord on HIS appearance day-Aashada Ekadasi.
As he had tiny limbs, he couldn’t walk . But the strong desire to have darshan was making him anxious . Whoever he met , he used to ask the form and beauty of Lord Vittala . He wished to join few devotees to have darshan . But was feeling shy to ask them as his trekking along with them would delay their yatra .His prayers was sincere . Repeatedly thinking of the beautiful form of the Supreme Lord the desire to have darshan became more and more serious . He decided he would make it If Lord wishes . He took leave of family and undertook his pilgrimage by literally crawling .
Many villagers discouraged him and mocked at him for this tedious task. But he was firm in his devotion, he started off thinking of the Supreme Lord . Every day, he could crawl for few kms and take rest.
Every step was filled with the chant Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari ….filled with unconditional love to Lord . Many watching him crawl laughed at his movements .
Lord appeared before him in the guise of a business man and asked, ‘
My dear friend , where are you going?
Isn’t it difficult for you to crawl thus without feet?’
When he heard about his mission, the business man said, ‘Oh! That’s fine. I too am proceeding to Pandharpur.
I am a business man there. My name is Vitobha. We make good company.’
Kurmadas laughed and said Sir How can we make good company?
You can walk very fast, while I cannot even walk.
Vitobha assured him, ‘Don’t you worry. I’ll take care of you.
So saying he provided him food, clothing and shelter for the night. Next morning Vitobha asked Kurmadas to proceed slowly. He said he would wait for him in the next village with food and shelter.’ I serve the poor pilgrims on their way to Pandharpur. That is my duty he added.
Kurmadas with great difficulty reached nearby village by evening.
Vitobha used to eagerly wait like a affectionate mother for her child . He used to make delicious food and served him food . Later he would make a nice bed for him sleep to comfortably for the night there. This practice continued for nearly four months. His food and accommodation was taken care of all throughout the journey. If there was no village en route by the evening Lord created one for him to make his stay comfortable.
Kurmadasa crawled like a lizard on the road continuously for four months … Finally , he reached a village called Laul which is 5 kms from a town kuruduwadi . By then, his body was totally scratched with blood oozing out everywhere. He couldn’t move an inch any more. Totally exhausted and understanding he cannot make it any more to Pandharpur , he mentally offered his prayers with tears saying he could not make it for Aashadaa Ekadasee.
He stayed back at the village Laul . He called few varkaris and sent a word to Lord Panduranga Vittala about his pitiable condition . They were touched by his pathetic story and offered to convey his message specially . Will Lord be unmindful of such staunch devotees?
When his devotee could not reach him, Lord reached him.
He went personally to Laul accompanied by three more devotees Jnanadev, Namadev and Savithamali.
Lord appeared in the same form he was meditating . Lord’s eyes were long like petals of a blooming lotus, and His charming lotus-like face made all the more charming by His extremely beautiful and sweet, nectarous smiles. His profuse curling hairs , the golden flute in his hand, and his blue-colored skin glowing with innumerable moons around ….
Can words describe the joy of Kurmadas on seeing his Lord Vittala with his close devotees, come down to personally bless him?
Tears gushed from his eyes like torrent ….
Oh My Lord !!!!! my life purpose is fulfilled. Your divine darsan liberates me from the cycle of life and death.
Oh Lord …Sorry for this trouble …Kurmadas was crying like a small child for disturbing the Lord Of Lords ..
Oh Lord !!! Instead of me reaching your lotus feet …You have walked down to see this sinner
He was uncontrollable .
Lord Vittala was moved by the Ananya Bhakti of his devotee. He embraced his devotee like a mother and behold the child regained his arms and limbs
Lord looked at him with bewitching smile and wanted to grace him further .. He asks him , my child I want to give you anything you wish …..
‘Oh My saviour ..Vittala..Vittala
! Why do you divert my attention? Why do you want to tempt me with desires?
You have imbibed in me that desires lead to sorrow.
Desires arise out of ignorance Do you want me to fall a prey to them once again ?
Oh My Lord , I do not seek any thing ,,anything
My mind has become blank. My senses have come to a stand still. My eyes which are blessed with the sight of your celestial divine beauty will not be compromised for any lesser beauty. My ears which were blessed with the nectar like sounds emanated from you are deaf to any other sound, however interesting it may be.
A honeybee, if it is dropped into a big vessel of honey, enjoys the honey to its maximum and remains there itself. Presently, I am like that. I am dead for the rest of the world. I have a new birth into your Kingdom my Supreme Lord . I don’t have any more desire! My life’s purpose is completed.
All the same, I can’t deny your grant of wish. It is not fair on my part to refuse a boon offered by you in the presence of my manasika gurus . Let me seek a small favor from you. There may be many more crippled and handicapped people like me who may not be able to have darshan of Pandharapur where you reside . Kindly stay back here in this village for many many souls to have your darshan
. As per his wish, Lord Vittala turned out to be an deity there and disappeared with his three saints .
Even today, this holy place where LORD personally visited is treated on par with Pandharpur. The devotees who go to Pandharpur in Ashad and Kartik months go for darshan at this place after the special festival at Pandharpur .
Jai Jai Bhaktha Kurmadasa
All glories to the great saints and the devotees
Your servant offers countless dandaavats pranaams to the mahasants who were able to please the LORD to remain here in the wonderful dhaam .and
All glories to the devotees who are in Pandharpur dhaam serving the Supreme Lord
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics & Videos : Courtesy from afvance devotees who have uploaded in social web sites
Few years ago , Meera was living a very happy married life with her family which included her husband, four sons, their wives and children. She had served the family with full devotion. Her husband was a wealthy jewel merchant and the sons had also joined the family business.
Everyone in the family was very respectful to their parents. It so happened one day Meera saw a small boil on her foot . She applied some turmeric to heal and continued with her daily house chores . However the boil eventually turned out into real shape. She had developed the germs of leprosy. There was no cure and she had to accept the reality .There was a sudden change of attitude among all the members of the family towards her. Everyone including her husband who loved her dearly tried to avoid sitting next to her. She was thus isolated and spent her days in a secluded room. Her utensils were kept separately which she washed herself.
She could understand that for the welfare of her family this was to be carried out . But one day she got a rude shock when all her sons came with their wives and wanted to say something to her. The eldest son on behalf of others came with the proposal and said
Amma ………You should go and stay in some place of pilgrimage away from all of us .
We will send money for your daily needs Amma please understand ..
.After all this is an infectious disease and even you will not like it if any of your grand child gets infected. We care for you Amma .Please accept our proposal .The choice of Old age home OR pilgrimage spot is yours .
Each son had a different proposal . Meera kept on listening and just nodded.
The sons went away leaving her to wonder if they were the same sons who would not eat before amma started eating her meal.
That night Meera skipped her dinner which, the maid servant had left for her in the room.
The whole night she was tossing and turning and could not have even a wink of sleep. She went on thinking what to do.
Should I jump in a well?
Should I leave home?
All types of thoughts came to her mind. At last in the early hours of morning she quietly packed a few clothes and took what ever meager money she had and left home without telling any one.
She had no one to share her plight.
One poor lady used to come to her previously and she used to give her many things in charity to help her. She knew her house . She landed at her doorstep and woke her up. On opening the door she saw a old slightly torn photograph of Lord Krishna hanging on the wall .
The poor lady was shocked to see her . She invited her , but she politely ignored her invitation . She expressed her inability to enter her house and shared her plight . Looking at the photograph she enquired which temple deity he was .The poor lady replied the pic is of Lord Bankey Bihaari and he is at Vrindavan.
She advised her to go to vrindavan where she could get help from one of her relative who had gone there and had become a Meera serving the Lord
The lady offered to go with her and leave her there with her relative and soon they reached vrindavan. For a few days the relative of that lady shared the food she used to get from temples as prasad . She was old and died in few months . Now Meera was again left alone to fight for her survival. She felt embarrassed to go to temples and ask for prasad in the beginning but soon got used to it. Vrindavan became her home . She started naming every temple in Vrindavan as her Uncles home , Aunts home and Parents , grand parents house . She made every temple deity as her family member and shared her daily experiences going close to them .
Immersed in Satsangh true to her name got Meera bhakthi .
One day Meera went to bathe in the yamuna river along with few devotees . It was a special day as Sri Sri Bankey biharee had arrived . Amongst the crowd , looking at the merciful eyes of the Supreme Lord , suddenly , her foot slipped and she fell in the river and was on the verge of drowning.
Suddenly , something strange happened .. The crowd gathered around She was in an unconscious state and all she could remember was that a very attractive blue eyed boy had dived into the river to save her. When she became conscious she was surrounded by some brajvasee . She looked every where to find the charming diver but he was no where to be seen. The people around her told her that she had a very lucky escape. She looked at her foot and was astonished. She found that there was not a single wound, her leprosy had disappeared.
One person from the crowd advised her to go to Sri Sri Bankey Bihariji’s temple and thank the Lordships for saving her life. She had never been here before so now that she was no longer infected by leprosy, she wanted to thank Lordships , she entered the temple and was looking at Lord Bihariji spell bound because it was this charming boy only who has dived in the Yamuna river and saved her life. With tears in her eyes and a shiver of excitement going through her entire body she vowed that she will depend only on Sri Sri Bankey Bihariji who had brought her to vrindavan. Leprosy was just a temporary excuse to detach her from her family. Now she does sewa of the Supreme Lord Bihariji in her small way by helping many devotees who are in need near the temple
Swami sri haridas ji says in one of his padas roughly translated in English …
Oh My dear brother!If you want to love, then love only Bihariji or love his bhaktas who are always engrossed in Bihariji’s bhajans only.The worldly love is temporary made out of faded colours of flowers which is finished the moment you are of no use to your so called loved ones, but Bihariji’s love is permanent which is made out of the scent of flowers. It is Lord alone who will by your side when you are in pain or trouble, your relatives and friends will run away the moment they see approaching for help. Bihariji will wash away all your sins and take you in his arms. Such is the love of our Sri Sri Bankey bihariji.
Shri Shri Banke Bihari Mandir is located at Vrindavan. The Lordship presented themselves for the ardent devotion of Sri Haridas
Elders believe Swami Haridas was the reincarnation of Lalita ‘sakhi’ , of the close companion of Lord Krishna. Haridas left his village for Vrindavan, which was a dense forest at that time and choose a secluded spot, which is now known as Nidhivan, to practice his service to Supreme Lord with music and to enjoy eternal bliss . He constantly and continuously meditated on Nitya Ras and Nitya Bihar of Lord at Nitya Vrindavan. His way of Saadhna was to compose and sing songs in the praise of Lord. While on earth, living in a mortal state, he facilitated his regular unobstructed entry in the Nitya Bihar and always enjoyed the pleasure of closeness of Lord always in the ocean of eternal bliss.
His disciples were curious about this place and one day with permission of Swamiji, they all entered the kunj. But instead of seeing anything they were almost blinded by bright, intense light, which seemed to fill the whole place. On knowing of their plight Swamiji himself went there, and then after his requests, lord appeared in person with his divine consort, pleasantly smiling and in a playful mood and casting a spell of charm on every living being present there. Those who witnessed this, were so spell bounded by the beauty of the Lord and his consort, that they couldn’t even blink their eyes, it seemed that all of them had turned into stone statues.
The legend as handed down to the generations of Goswamis, says that the beauty of the divine couple was such that no one wanted to loose the sight and proximity of divinity, but then what kind of divinity is it, which cannot make a mere mortal swoon and charmed enough to forget and give up the world and its luxuries? The beauty of the divine couple was so much that lesser mortal would not be able to bear such a heavenly beauty. Sensing this Swami Haridas ji prayed the Lordships both of them to take a single form, as the world won’t be able to bear their image. He submitted to them to take a single form like Ghan (cloud) and Damini(lightning) thus giving a perfect metaphor to the combined beauty of dark Lord and his fair consort, Radhaji. Also he wanted his beloved lord to be in front of his eyes always. Granting him his both wishes, the couple turned itself into one single black charming deity , the same one can have darshan in the temple today. The charm and beauty of Shri Banke Bihariji is the only reason why the ‘darshan’ in the temple is never continuous but is broken by the curtain drawn on him regularly. It is also said that if one stares long enough into the merciful eyes of Shri Banke Bihariji, the person would lose his self consciousness. Thus came into existence the physical form of Lord Banke Bihari, popularly know as Bihariji.
The sewa of the Bihariji is unique in its own way. Three parts of Seva is done every day ie Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan. While shringar (which includes bath, dressing and adornment with jewellery like crown and necklaces) and Rajbhog(feast) is offered in the forenoon, Shayan Sewa (shayan means sleep) is offered in the evening. The temple doesn’t have a tradition of Mangala (early morning) sewa. Swami Haridas did not favour Mangla Sewa as he wanted his child like Lord to take complete rest and did not want to disturb him out of deep slumber so early in the morning.
So, the temple today stands with its full glory, inside which the Lord himself resides. It is thronged by thousands of visitors everyday.
This real incident was shared by a Goswamee in the temple
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pic & Videos : Courtesy ..Uploaded in social media by several advanced devotees
Santh Narsingh Mehta was very much engrossed always in singing Lord Holy names . The neighborhood did not like his behavior . His own siblings avoided him . Narsingh Mehta was very simple and did not take their criticisms seriously , instead prayed Lord for their upliftment .
As a customary ritual to perform the shraaddha ceremony of his father , he used to go to his brothers house as he did not have anything to perform the same .
Once ,when Narsingh Mehta’s wife and his brother’s wife one day came together, his elder brother’s wife cursed her, “You don’t have anything. Your husband just goes on singing kirtans and every year we have to spend money for shraaddha.”
Narsingh Mehta’s wife felt sad .
She replied ..Sister , “This year we shall perform the shraaddha, ceremony ….. much to her surprise .
..Oh really . replied her sister in law …… let me see how you perform”.
Santh Narsingh Mehta’s wife told her husband about her determination to perform shraaddha ceremony .
Santh Narsingh Mehta was very pleased as he wanted to serve the devotees who attend the ceremony .
Mehta did not have anything to eat . But as soon as he imagined they are going to perform the shraaddha ceremony he was elated.
He started inviting the whole village for the shraaddha ceremony as Hari Naam along with Hari Bhaktaas was the only motto in this life …
The Shraaddha ceremony date was approaching and his wife was worried.
She said . ….
My dear …. It was my strong feeling to perform the Annual rites this time at our place as your Sister in law insulted us . But dear ……
Am afraid as “You have invited the whole village little knowing we do not have anything to eat for the evening …
Santh Narsi Mehta smiled and replied
Did we ever plan for the next minute ,,, …
.Lord knows …. “Don’t worry, Just relaxxx .. It is HIS plan .something will come out.”
His wife was worried as the entire village folk was eagerly waiting for the ceremony date .
The date arrived .. It was gloomy … She overheard her neighbors discussing about the big feast at Nasi Mehtas house and there participation …
His wife rushed to Santh Narsi Mehta and said I can know understand .. We must do something ..She said ..
You do one thing. I have golden bangles given by my father during marriage which I kept in safe custody . . Please sell them and bring all the groceries so that we can cook for everyone. Forget about dakshina, as they must have at least some plate of prasad offered.
She prepared the list of the groceries to purchase and requested him to bring the same soon..
Santh Narsingh Mehta went to the market, sold the bangles, and bought all the groceries . But he forgot to buy ghee.
Santh Narsi Mehta’s wife started to cook , however was searching for the ghee which was the main ingredient for the dishes .
She immediately asked her husband to please buy ghee as the preparations cannot be started without ghee.
Narsingh Mehta did not have any money left with him to buy ghee . He once again went to market. Approaching the ghee shops he pleaded to give him ghee for his immediate sevas to bhagavathas . He assured he would repay once he had some money . The merchants ignored his pleas by giving false reasons . Being a simple man , he was prepared for any service in lieu of the ghee ….
As many of the shop keepers avoided his entry .. slightly upset he walked down towards Lord Dwarakadeesh temple side . He was taken back when he saw a lustrous boy in the shop with blinking eyes . Rushing to the shop he said ..Jai Dwarakadeesh
My son … Can you please give me some quantity of ghee for my fathers ceremony … I do not have any money to pay you but believe me …On name of Dwarakadeesh I promise to repay you …
The boy was smiling and said . Who ? … Dwarakadeesh …..Will he pay ?
Santh replied …. Yes !!! He will pay ..and please be assured ….HE only can pay
The boy mischievously said I dont know who will pay but on one condition I can spare the ghee to you …. I am told you sing wonderful kirtans …. If you can sing Kirtans I will give this ghee ..free of cost ….
Santh was overjoyed …. Looking at the temple gopuram … Praying the Supreme Lord …. he began …. his soothing and heart melting kirtans ….Fully immersed in the satsangh and kirtan he completely forgot his wife and the feast at home and his wife who was waiting for his arrival to begin cooking …..
In the mean time, Lord Krishna went to Narsing Mehtas home exactly like Narsingh Mehta
His wife asked …so late …. Where is the ghee ? Krishna replied ..why do you need ghee ?
She said, Are you mad ? “We have to cook, as you have called many people …
Krishna said ..Don’t worry . Come with me …..
He took her to the kitchen .. To her surprise all the bhogas was already cooked and was ready to serve.
She couldn’t believe …
He said, “Today, everybody will come and eat in golden plates.”
She asked, “How many golden plates you have got?” He replied, “As many as you want!”
So the golden plates were there. She was completely elated and surprised, “I gave you only 2 bangles, from where have you brought all these gold?”
He said, “Don’t talk now, let them eat.”
Then He said, My dear Can we honor “those who come for eating, they eat in the golden plate and take away the golden plate as a dakshina.”
The whole village was very happy. Immediately the word went out that Narsingh Mehta is giving out golden plates. Everybody in the village came over
And then He said My dear for “Ladies who come, they get new sarees.”
So all the ladies came with torn sarees and got new sarees.
Whole village was very happy. Narsingh Mehta (Krishna) finished the whole thing and went away.
And after the kirtan , Narsingh Mehta came home a bit scared.
Looking at the crowd coming out from his hut , he was shy and feeling low for not attending them …
Each guest thanked him profusely for the hospitality and blessed him .. en route …
All of a sudden the pawn broker rushed to Mehta returned the gold bangles and fell at his feet asking forgiveness for taking the those golden bangles in exchange of cash not knowing his devotion and sath sanghat
As he stepped in his wife offered obeisance’s and said, My dear “This time you proved it ..
By the by tell me from where did you buy the gold plates ? I just gave you two golden bangles
He was surprised to know what all happened .. With tears he submitted
Hey Dwarakaseesh .. I have really troubled you ..Please forgive me …
True … Lord answers ..
Those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form–to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pictures& Videos Courtesy : Thanking all the advanced devotees who had shared in the social media
No one can be able to know about Life of Eknath without receiving an inspiration for a higher and better life that delivers us from this repeated births in samsara as per a scholars words ….
Few hundreds years ago , Pandharpur was plagued in gloom when neighboring countrymen carried away the deity of Lord Vithoba to Vijayanagar and Bhanudasa the great devotee risked back his very life to bring back to Pandharpur . Lord pleased with his devotion , assured to appear in his family lineage.
Accordingly Lord appeared as Eknath great grand son of Bhanudasa . Maha Santh Eknath’s grandparents went to Sri Janardhan Swamy and requested to shower his mercy on the lad . We are glad Lord has bestowed abundant mercy on him . We are getting old and anytime we may leave this world. We are worried that our lineage will not continue if he remains single. We request you to kindly advise him to get married .” As per his Guru’s advice, Eknath got married. His wife Girija Bai also a nice dvotee . The couple spent almost 40 years serving Lord Vittala Bhajans.
Eknath had a nice disciple named Udhava . Eknath wanted to celebrate a grand Hari Naam sankirtana on Janmashtami which was approaching . He wished to invite all the village members and celebrate the festival with HARI NAAM SANKIRTAN and later serve prasad sumptuously to every devotee . However, as usual he did not have money for the same . He expressed his desire to his disciple. Uddhava wanted to fullfill his Masters wish .He also did not have money .He decided to go and raise the required money for celebrating Janmashtami and feed the devotees . Uddhava approached a pawn-broker who used to lend money to people with interest.
He approached him and said … Maharaj ..Kindly lend us some money for the feast to be conducted at Eknath Maharajs place . Initially , he refuses .However as he referred Santh Eknaths name he agrees to hand over cash but with a condition the amount must be returned in a weeks time with interest .
The Janmaashtami feast went off very grandly . All the devotees who attended felt so elated .Few villagers who could not attend requested Santh Eknath to re do one more HARI NAAM SANKIRTAN as they were not blessed to attend the first event .
Eknath was overwhelmed . The next day he arranged for a AKHANDA HARI NAAM SANKIRTAN The villagers came in large numbers .The HARI name reached every corner of the village ..It was VITTAL …VITTAL …VITTAL … everywhere …
Meanwile , the pawn broker waited for one week and finally went to Eknath’s house. The VITTAL NAMA SHOWER was repeated by all .The mood of the devotees was in elixir as LORD VITTAL had already reached them
The hari bhaktas were asked to partake the prasad and they were enjoying the feast Eknath and his wife personally were serving the food items to them and as usual, they planned to eat the left overs after feeding the devotees .
The pawn broker entered the house and looked at Uddhava and started abusing him in presence of all the devotees for not returning the money .
Uddhava requested him to wait till the function was over and not to disturb Eknath but the pawn broker approached Eknath.
Eknath was unaware of all the happenings . Assuming that the pawn broker too was a devotee, he gives him prasad . After finishing eating his food, the pawn broker meets Eknath with folded hands and says “Swamiji ! You look like a very pious and honest person. Since you have not returned money on time, I have suffered a loss. I also have to survive.
And If you are a true devotee of LORD VITTALA , without returning my money, you should not eat”.
Eknath was confused but he agreed to check what was the matter with Udhdhav and promised ” Sure! My dear ..I will not partake any thing without repaying the loan ….
I give you my word on Vittal. I will do as you say. I shall eat only after returning your money”. From then on Eknath fasting started.
Where would he go for money. He surrendered to Vittal and said LORD this is your divine leela .
You decide what is in store …May all my senses surrender to your HOLY NAME ….. Will hunger , thirst scare a HARI BHAKTA ..
.When VITTAL the real treasure for me .. Why must I be worried …More HARI NAAM ..is my motto now …
Meanwhile ,all efforts to raise money failed.
Eknath did not have water or food till then. It was just HARI VITTALA …HARI VITTALA …HARI VITTALA …
Lord couldn’t see his devotee starving . It was raining heavily and in midnight someone knocked at the front door of the pawn brokers house. The pawn broker was sleeping . He suddenly woke up and shocked as at this dark night who was disturbing him . He opened the door with a lamp in his hand. He saw Uddhava standing in the front yard. But there was something special in Uddhava . He had a benevolent smile and his voice could make any one fall.. His eyes was glowing with compassion … Any one would have been drawn into those eyes …He couldn’t move his eyes
Am sorry Sir !!! Couldn’t wait seeing my Master starving hence had to disturb you in this night .Please take this money with cumulative interest and kindly give me a receipt that you have received the money for my master to partake food .Please make it fast before I get drenched completely .
The Pawn broker was spell bound . He continued , My master is fasting since the day you asked them not to partake food till money is returned . I had to collect the same for this
The pawn broker completely forgot what he said momentarily and regretted. He quickly ran in and brought the receipt book and gave a receipt saying that the debt had been settled.
Uddhava returned thanking him … The pawn broker was in trance watching him ….
The pawn broker felt very bad that he was the cause for the elderly couple to starve . He felt offended that the ones who fed him nicely that day were still starving .
He wanted to appreciate Eknath for his honesty and apologise for the inconvenience. He also wanted to know whether Uddhava was a realised soul .
He quickly got up the next day and rushed to Eknath’s house and fell at his feet.
He said Maharaj ….“Please forgive me. I was very rude to you “.
Ekanath replied …Hey “Vittal! What is this? Sir! You have not done anything wrong. I told you I would return the money but have not done so. So I am the one who did not keep up my promise to you. I shall try my best to settle the debt as soon as possible. I assure you that I will not eat until then as you instructed sir.”
” Maharaj What are you saying? Your disciple Uddhava came to my house last night and returned the money. He took a receipt also. Didn’t he tell you? Have you not eaten yet?”
Udhdhava who was there with his guru Eknath was startled.
He pleaded immediately that he doesnt know any thing .
He replied “Sir! I did not come to your house. I am still trying to get money”
The money lender raised his voice in emotion
Maharaj …. this man Udhdhava is lying before you.
He came to my house last night at midnight and handed me the money due with huge interest and took my written receipt for same in full settlement of the dues”
He took the receipt and said he will show it to you as you were not partaking food.
Eknath silently prayed to Vittal and went in to check his account note book where all receipts and bills were usually preserved.
There he saw the receipt given by the moneylender on the previous night.
”Is this the receipt you gave Udhdava? last night asked Eknath to the money lender
“Yes Sir”. Yes …the same receipt
Eknath was in tears. He said “Who else can do such a thing other than my Vittala”.
The money lender and Udhdhava too were shocked.
The money lender cursed himself for scolding VITTALA the previous night for disturbing his sleep. He begged Santh Eknath to forgive him.
Jai Jai Ramakrishna hari
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pictures & videos : Courtesy From devotees who uploaded in social media
Few hundred years ago the King of Puri, Purusottama Deva, was to marry the princess who was the daughter of a king, Maharaja Salluva Narasingha, from the southern state .
That was the period the Annual Ratha-Yatra festival was to take place . The King of Puri invited the father of the princess for the great festival . However , the King sent his minister Chinnu bhatta Godaranga instead.
The Minister carefully observed the kingdom to give the inputs to his King . The Rath Yatra date arrived . The King of Puri along with his ministerial staff went to the temple performed pooja and with the permission of the Supreme Lord the tradition of sweeping the road in front of the carts was done by the King .
The visiting minister was shocked to see the King hold the broom , Rather , being impressed with the devotion of the King for Lord Jagannatha, he did not agree of him sweeping the road, even if it was for the Supreme Lord.
He took leave and reported this incident to King Salluva Narasingha. The king too was unhappy and objected to the idea of his daughter marrying the King of Puri as he was merely a street sweeper. He informed through his counsel about his ejection for the alliance .
Purusottama Dev was extremely angry that he, as the servant of Lord Jagannatha, would be insulted for his service to the Supreme Lord . He gathered his army troupes and went to the southern state to teach King a lesson.
Unfortunately, King Purusottama Dev was badly defeated.
Upset , with a downcast mood, he approached “Saikatacharya”, who was a great ascetic, and a householder devotee of Lord Jagannatha.
The Sadhu said , My dear King You had forgotten to ask permission from Lord Jagannatha before you went to Southern state . It was your mistake . You are King but Lord Jagganath is Emperor. Please take his permision before waging a battle
With this realization, the King returned to Puri and rushed to the temple of the Lord, crying over his defeat, asking why the Lord had let this happen. He spent the entire night in the temple, and with doors closed, before the night came to an end, the King heard a voice asking why he was so distraught over such a simple thing.
The divine voice said … my dear Purusottama Please go and gather our troupes again, and we two brothers, Jagannatha and Balarama, would go along to fight on the your behalf.
The King was astonished . He did all that as Lord commanded . As the news spread, many people, both old and young, joined the King’s forces to fight along with their Lordships. However, as they proceeded , the King was filled with some doubts whether their Lordships were really coming along with him.
While the King along with his army went onward, far ahead were two soldiers who rode , one on black horse and one white horse.
They were looking majestic from behind . They stopped to quench their thirst at a small village near Chilika Lake by buying some yogurt from a devotee named “Manika”.
Manika offered them yogurt looking at their beauty . She was awe stuck and just could not move her eyes away from them . The soldiers looked at Manika and smiled . They said they did not have any money to give her . She just kept looking without uttering any word . The dark soldier shook her and said , Manika ..we don’t have money but I have my ring that will be your payment for the sweet yoghurt . Please give this to your King and collect the gift he gives . Both of them smiled and proceeded
The King was fast approaching behind them . Curious he was , he caught up to the lady, who flagged him down to give him the ring and asked for payment for the soldiers’ drink.
The king was shocked to see the ratnamudrika ring of Lord Jagannatha and then regained his confidence that, indeed, their Lordships had certainly come along with him.
Overjoyed , In payment for the ring, the king gave her the whole village, which is still named “Manikapatna”.
The king and his troupes effortlessly won the battle and as planned he also took King Sallowo’s daughter back to Puri.
The King did not marry her after the insult her father had given him.
He instructed his minister to see that she get married to a most qualified sweeper.
Exactly after one year, Ratha-Yatra date was announced . As per traditional guidance , the King again took blessings from Supreme Lord and performed his sweeping of the ground before the Rath .
The king’s minister felt pity for the princess and announced that the king was the most qualified sweeper, since he swept for Lord Jagannatha, and that the princess, Padmavati, should marry him.
Amongst the crowds Maharaja Purusottama Dev married the princess and she later gave birth to “King Prataparudra” the great devotee of Lord Chaitanya Maha Prabhu .
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pictures& Videos : Courtesy from advanced devotees who uploaded in social media
Atmaanam rathinam viddhi shareeram rathamevatu
Buddhim tu saarathim viddhi manah pragrahameva cha
The Rath yatra on June 20 2023 …..
The body is the Chariot and the soul is the deity installed in the chariot. The wisdom acts as the charioteer to control the mind and thoughts. Rath Yatra is celebrated in Puri in the month of Aashadam(June-July) on the second day of the waxing moon (After Amavasya) in Sukla paksham with great pomp.
The Lord of the seven hills is the Lord of the universe. The special significance of Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala lies in the fact that it is the oldest religious institutions in the world where unbroken religious worship is being carried on for over 1,500 years by revered Acharyas and millions of pilgrims reach the holy abode more than any other temple in the world .The temple is held in high veneration by many devotees.
There is no place in the entire universe that equals Venkatadri ,
the place where …
Lord resides ……..
.and there is no Lord,
either in the past nor in the future…….
who shall equal our Lord Venkateswara.
The most prized darshan at Tirumala is Abhisheka Seva on Friday to Moola Viraat also glorified as VastraAlankarana Seva ” Thurumanjanam seva . The next seva a devotee wishes is to participate in “Sahasrakalasabhishekam an arjitha seva performed every Wednesday inside the main sanctum of Tirumala temple .
A brief note about the various arjitha sevas performed to utsava murthis in Tirumala is mentioned below
Every day Sri Vari kalyana utsavam, arjitha brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, unjal sevas are performed to our utsava murthi-Sri Malayappa Swami , Sridevi and Bhudevi. Apart from this, on other days, the following sevas are performed.
Monday:- Visesha pooja (Snapana Thirumanjanam) performed to Sri Malayappa Swamy,Sridevi and Bhudevi in Kalyanautsavam mandapam before Kalyana utsavam
Tuesday:- Ashtadala pada padmaradhanamu :- 108 golden lotus flowers placed at Moola Viraat lotus feet (thiruvadi) while reciting Sri Venkateswara Ashotharam and Mahalakshmi Ashtotram
Wednesday :- Sahasrakalasabhishekam to (1) Bhoga Srinvasa murthy, (2) Malayapa Swamy with Sridevi, Bhudevi and (3) Vishwaksenar in Thirumamani mandapam (the hall where Garuda sannidhi is situated )
Thursday:- Thirupaavada seva (huge quantities of tamarind rice preparations , sweets , ) offered to Moolavar in Thirumamani mandapam.
The participating devotees are supposed to report at Vaikuntam Queue complex -I by 5 A.M. After verification of our identity cards, they are allowed to enter the temple through the assigned route.
We were blessed to participate in this seva few years back . Before proceeding further, Adiyen ( Your servant ) wish to share with readers the divine details of deities worshipped in the garbagriham . Apart from the Moola Viraat , we can have darshan of “shat berams” (6 utsava murthis inside the garbagriham .
The Lord of SevenHills-Kaliyuga pratakshaya deivam-Lord Srinivasa (Lord Venkateswara ) Moola Viraat who is Swayambhu (not carved by any sculptor) is the principal diety. Other utsava dieties in the sannidhi are :-
BHOGA SRINIVASA MURTHY:- deity is the exact replica of the Moola Viraat . Bhoga murthy accepts all the upacharams on behalf of moola viraat . Lordships darshan can be had near Moola Viraats ‘s lotus feet and both are connected with a golden chord. Daily abhishekam during Thomala Seva amidst recitation of Thirupalliezhuchi and Thirupaavai is performed to Bhogha murthi only. Moola Viraat is given abhishekam( holy bath) only on Fridays. Other days, thirumanjanam to the lord’s lotus feet along with Bhoga Srinivasar is performed. Likewise, all the food offerings including laddus are offered to Bhogha Srinivasar only. Moolaviraat is offered only butter, big specially made laddus and curd rice.. During Ekantha seva also known as “Pavalimpu seva” when the Lordships are laid to rest,, bhogha murthy relaxes on a silver cradle . This is done for 11 months except Dhanur maasam .
KOLUVU SRINIVASAR:- utsava murthi grace the devotees daily. He takes the throne in a silver chair (koluvu) and in HIS presence, every day Panchangam is read out and the accounts of previous day (hundi collection, expenses etc) are read out. A special offering made up with jaggery and Til is offered to the Lordships
UGRA SRINIVASAR:- diety was the processional diety few hundred years ago . Once during Brahmotsavam, the Lord expressed HIS unwillingness to come out from his divine abode . A divine voice was heard saying that HE would be gracing them through another form along with HIS goddesses and informed about his manifestation with Sridevi and Bhudevi nearby the Seven Hills and declared hence forth they would be the processional diety whom we worship today as Malai kunia nindra perumal which became as Malayappa Swamy. However , Lord Ugra Srinivasar comes out of temple only thrice in a year on Uttana Ekadasi, Kaisika Dwadasi and Dwadasa Aradhana and returns before sunrise.
MALAYAPPA SWAMY WTH SRIDEVI,BHUDEVI:– are main processional deity for whom all the utsavams-Brahmotsavams, nitya kalyana utsava, Sahasradeepalankarana seva, Visesha pooja, arjitha brahomotsavam, vasantothsavam, pakshotsavam, maasa utsavam, teppotsavam, azhwar,acharyar thirunakshatra utsavam, adhyayana utsavam etc, are performed with pomp and show much to the liking of zillions of devotees .
LORD KRISHNA :- as a deity gets Pavlimpu seva (resting the lord) for 30 days in Dhanur maasam. This lord gives darshan to public on every Rohini star during Sahasra deepalankarana seva (oonjhal seva)
SITA LAKSHMANA SAMETHA SRI RAMA:- Lord graces to give darshan on every punarvasu during oonjhal seva.
SAHASRAKALASABHISHEKAM :- ABHISHEKAM WITH 1008 KALASAMS- A BRIEF DESCRIPTION
SAHASRAKALASABHISHEKAM seva is performed on every Wednesday in Thirumamani mandapam (the hall where Garuda shrine is located ) moving further , we have darsan of Jaya and Vijaya-the eternal dwarapalakas on either sides who guard the entrance to the main shrine . All the barricades, the raised wooden pedestal on which we throng which enables us to have darshan of the Supreme Lord right from Garuda sannidhi are removed. The whole place is sanctified . Sarva darsanam for enabling the seva to proceed uninterruptedly
The Lordships arrive into “Bangaru Vakili”(the golden doorway) from the altar and alight over decorated thrones for their majesty to accept the Abhishekam Seva . Bhoga Srinivasa murthy represents Moola Viraat takes the throne in the center and is connected to the Katihastha (lower left hand) of the Main diety with a golden chord thus establishing a relationship between Moolaviraat and Bhogha Sreenivasa On the right side, clad in white silk with golden border, Lord Malayappa Swamy with HIS consorts Sridevi, Bhudevi alight in another well decorated throne facing Garuda in eastern direction. On another smaller pedestal facing south, Viswaksenar the chief commander of the Supreme Lord who oversees all the activiites stands gaurd .
Holy Water from Akasha Ganga is brought by the priests in golden pots for the seva with full temple honours accompanied by mangalavaadyam. Various dhravyams like pachai karpooram, elachi, saffron , sandal etc. are added with Udakashanthi mantraas and the 1008 silver kalasams are filled with this holy water. Apart from this another 8 huge vessels and a big golden pot(kudam) are filled with this holy parimala water . The vessel is kept near the homa kundam. Lucky devotees waiting in the queue get a chance to carry the kalasams for the seva. On the left side, a yaaga kundam is kept ready for performing homam. The seva starts after the second bell.
Once the stage is set , the arjitha seva donors are allowed inside. As mentioned earlier, 6 members are allowed for this seva, out of which the main participant along with his wife is directed towards left side and the remaining four devotees who accompanied are directed towards the right side and are allowed to sit on the right side facing south (towards the place where theertham is given).
The main grahasta along with spouse is asked to sit on the left side where homam is performed. The priest utters sankalpam mantras by mentioning our names, gothram, nakshatram and ties kankanam”(rakshai” – yellow thread) to our wrist thus signifying our participation in this divine seva. WE were fortunate to sit in the first row itself right in front of homa kundam. A team of about 10-15 persons comprising of priests and sevaks were present .
Few priests perform homam by reciting specific mantras offering ghee and samith . After completion of homam, the golden water pot which is now sanctified by vedic mantras is brought to the presence of the Lordships. Pancha suktham and pancha shanthi mantras are rendered during Sahasrakalasabhishekam performed to all the deities simultaneously. We considered ourselves very fortunate for being a recipient of Lord’s abundant mercy and thanked my ancestors and acharyar because of whom we got this opportunity of reciting Pancha suktham along with learned scholars in the presence of my Lord .
Thirumanjanam for all the Perumals started simultaneously .. Snapana Thirumanjanam with milk,curd, honey, coconut water etc. were performed to Perumal’s lotus feet (thiruvadi and sataari ) which was followed by abhishekam with 1008 kalasams. Pancha suktam, Upanishads was being recited during the seva . The emptied kalasams are immediately removed with the help of few TTD employees.
This was followed by Abhishekam from the bigger vessels . The golden pot that was the main vessel amongst the 1008 small silver vessels which was kept near Bhoga Srinivasar was taken around the temple . Amidst chanting of vedic mantraas starting from Dwajasthambam, sembangi pradakshina amidst vedic chanting and mangala vaadhyam. The golden pot was taken inside the main garbagriham and curtain was drawn. A priest who was officiating the homam informed me that this holy water would be sprinkled on Moolavar Lotus feet followed by archana to the Supreme Lord.
Once the curtain was removed, we were allowed to go inside to have darshan of Supreme Lord from close quarters near Kulasekara padi. WE could have darshan of Perumal who was clad in orange and maroon colour silk cloth to our heart’s content . Thanked Perumal for HIS abundant mercy on us and left the sannidhi with a prayer for this memory to remain forever in our hearts.
As part of prasadam, a small upper cloth and a blouse piece along with 6 big laddus, 12 small laddus were collected by us.
Words cannot fill our experiences .
.. Praying Lord on behalf of all my blog readers to be blessed with this splendid darshan
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
videos and pictures courtesy : Thanks to all the advanced devotees who had shared in social media
Few hundred years ago at Sri Rangam , One day, Swamy Nampillai along with his disciples were walking on the shores of Cauvery river . They saw some boys playing on the banks of the river .The boys were building houses of sand. They divided their sand houses into different portions and said one was the living room, one was the dining room, one was the kitchen and so on. One of the boys pretended to be a mother. Another acted as a father, and a few others were as children.
Swamy Nampillai watched them while they played. After some time, the boys demolished the houses of sand, which they had built, and began to play some other game.
Swamy Nampillai walked towards them, and said My children …
“You were so long playing the roles of father, mother, children etc. But now, suddenly, you have forgotten those roles.”
The children innocently said, Swamy We are bored with that game hence “Now we are playing a new game, and so our roles have changed.”
Swamy Nampillai used this simple game and explained his disciples to explain how, in life, we merely play roles. A person is daughter to someone, wife to someone, mother to someone. But when life ends, all this comes to an end, in the same way that all the role playing of the children ended. That being the case, is attachment to people or things in life justified? Our attachment must be only to Lord Narayana, for there is none equal to or superior to Him. This is what the Upanishadic statement,
Ekam eva adviteeyam, stresses. LORD remains the only constant, and we must focus on Him
Ekam= The One; Eva= only; Advitiyam= without a Second
One disciple said “Swamin, all vaishnavas say in one voice that all celestial beings other than Lord Sriman Narayana are not to be worshipped. But are they not worshiping them in their daily rituals during Sandhyavandana and Amavasya tharpanam , Grahana (eclipse) tarpana as prescribed in sastras. What is wrong in worshiping these deities in their respective temples dedicated to them?”
Swamy Nampillai answered, My dear child ……
“Though the fire in Agnihotra (the daily fire worship ritual) and the fire used for cremating the corpse in the crematorium are one and the same, the former one is considered to be holy and the latter one unholy.
Same is the case with the worship of the deities prescribed in the veda sastras and divinities consecrated in their respective temples. The underline is upaya and upeya in performing the act .
Having absolute faith in Acharya and Supreme Lord Narayana is a very strong appetite for the covetable virtues of the Lord are the most requisite essential qualities of a Sri Vaishnava which would ensure him liberation from worldly bondage at the end of his life.
As they were walking on the shores one disciple requested Swamy to brief about the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya on which all could repose their confidence. Swamy looked at the shores and imagined the sea shores and told them My children Please remember always “The magnificent sea shore”.
Surprised at this answer, the disciples exclaimed, Swamy “Are we expected to remember the sandy hillocks and huge regions on this sandy seashore?” Swamy Nampillai smiled and said , My child Lord Rama accompanied by a huge host of monkey army encamped on the sea shore before crossing it.
The night came. As all the monkeys were very much attached to HIM , they kept a close watch over securing his safety even at the cost of their lives. Lord Rama slept while the monkeys were keeping awake and guarding him. As the night darkened , Lord woke up and saw the little monkeys had gone to sleep in their own position .Lord along with his brother, Lakshmana fastened the quiver at the back of their shoulders, strung the bow and holding the sharp arrow in their hands, went round the entire army of vanaras throughout the night in order to ward off any catastrophe that may befall on them. This proves that there is no other protector except Lord Sri Rama. This is what you have to remember always.”
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Videos & Pics : Courtesy Uploaded in social web sites by advance devotees