Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sustaining Devotion

Devotion is giving up one’s mind to the worship of God, and it is characterized by ardent attachment or faith towards the religious thoughts and piety, constant remembrance of the supreme.

It is very easy to get attracted to a deity or God by listening to the stories/miracles or by miracles happened in our own life. But sustaining the same level or further increasing the level of devotion is very difficult.

Consider a small lamp which burns brilliantly with the help of wick and oil.
There can be more reasons for the flame to be put off. If there is no oil in the lamp, the flame will be off. Or if the wick becomes thick with black soot, the flame will be off...
Only if we tweak the wick with our fingers and remove the black soot ,we can make the wick burn again.If wick is compared to our mind,flame(jyoti) can be compared to our devotion.

Maya or illusion, bad thoughts, lack of faith, company of atheists can influence our mind and make it waver like a see-saw and may make us falter from our devotion and may lead to a faithless state.All above mentioned reasons are causes for formation of black soot on our devotion.

Problems and hurdles in a devotee’s Life may make him/her doubt the presence of Almighty. Troubled mind questioning the Self whether God is there or not is a very common thought arising even in ardent followers.
“In spite of my unwavering devotion why I am facing severe problems “

“I don’t know what sins I ve committed for such a problem to befall on me”

“If not in this birth, did I commit sin in my previous births?”

“Why my prayers are ineffective in destroying my sins?”

“Why I am lacking behind many of my contemporaries in spite of my knowledge, hardwork .God! Are you with me? Who is behind my bad luck?”

All such thoughts and doubts crop up in a person's mind when he is in trouble.
Mind is like a monkey which jumps to various branches in a trice, our mind wavers in various directions doubting God’s powers...searches for new sources of peace, wanders here and there ,get trapped in some false promises of a fake Guruji.

When mind loses concentration and devotion, puja or reading scriptures are done mechanically just for the sake of prescribed duty.

Pushed under the emotional stress, tears flowing down, mind starts questioning the presence of God, a sense of disbelief sprouts in a corner of our mind like the black soot of wick which developed further,will put off the flame. Because of overwhelming situations, as the doubts increase, our devotion decreases and one fine day devotion may cease to exist.

Is there a Life without troubles? problems? Can we single out such a person?
There is not a single being without problems, illness...Then what is the big fuss?

So before the flame of our devotion dies out due to various storms, Let us pray to God
to grace us with the power of sustenance of our devotion.
Remember!He is the one who can grace us with sustenance of devotion.
Pray to Him to tweak the black soot of the wick, remove the hurdles and make the flame of devotion burn with brilliance .
Pray to Him to bless us with strong unwavering mind which can withstand all problems.
Pray to Him that our devotion should be like a flame of Hurricane lamp which burns even amidst a storm steadily to spread light and to remove darkness around it.
He, the most merciful, will listen to us. If not today, certainly tomorrow he will bless us with a strong mind which will ever sustain pure devotion.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hindu Gods and Untouchability-Part 1

In this series ,I will try to clarify the misconception about Hinduism and Hindu Gods regarding one of the black mark of Hinduism...Untouchability..

The self proclaimed rationalists of Tamilnadu have always held Hindu Gods responsible for formation of varna system and thus imposing the cruel Untouchability on the lowest sect of Varna system. I would like to put forth many incidents as a proof against their wrong accusations..and atlast will conclude that it is we Hindus ,who practice our religion without knowing about it thoroughly are to be blamed for this atrocious practice and not Hinduism and our Gods.

Udupi Krishna and Kanakadasa
Saint KanakaDasa was born as Thimmappa Nayaka in Kuruba community in kaginele in Haveri district.Kuruba community was not considered as Upper class of the varna system even though it was a community of chieftains of tribes.Kanakadasa took to the path of devotion and resorted to the feet of God when he was defeated in a battle..He was a great warrior but inspite of that he was defeated and while recovering fom severe wounds ,he heard the spiritual call , abandoned his chieftainship and became an ardent devotee of Mahavishnu.

The deity he worshipped was Adikeshava (Mahavishnu 's form) in Kaginele ,hence all his compositions have a mudra (signature) 'Kaginele Adikeshava'..Kanakadasa became the follower of Shri Vyasaraja of Madhvacharya's Dwaita cult.Dwaitha siddhantha's influence still made him rock hard vaishnav devotee and he started touring many vaishnav sacred places.
He reached Udupi ,the holy place where Lord Krishna's temple is located.This was the time when untouchability and discrimination were at its full peak and the brahmin priests who were obsessed with the false pride of their caste refused to allow him inside the temple to have darshan of his beloved God,as kanakadasa belonged to lower class and in those days lower class people were forbidden from entering temples.

Udupi Krishna

Kanakadasa who was sad on this denial sang heartrending songs on Krishna ,and was completely drowned in the devotion of God ..He could have the vision of The Supreme with his inner eyes ,but physically he was prevented from having the darshan..Naturally he was pained ,he held his tambura in his hand and continued his pradakshinas of the temple because that was the only service he could do to his Lord.

Not withstanding this cruel separation from God once he started singing" bagilanu teredu seveyanu kodo hariya" meaning "Oh Lord open the doors and let me serve you"..On hearing his ardent devotee's plea Lord Krishna miraculously created a crack on the westside wall and the statue turned around to grant the wonderful devotee's wish..Now Kanakadasa could have the darshan of his magnificient God in his lovely little form..When the brahmin priest entered the sanctum sanctorium he was shocked to see the statue which had turned to bless his devotee.After coming to know the reason ,the stunned priests realised the greatness of this devotee and allowed him into the shrine..

Later this crack was made as a small window through which devotees can have a darshan..and this window is known as kanakana kindi and even today devotees have darshan of the supreme God through this window..

This wonderful and amazing incident remains a testimony for proving that Lord Krishna is beyond all this ruthless practice of Untouchability and values only the loving devotion..and serve as a remainder to us to treat everyone with equality and justice...

CU in Next post..
If interested,Can visit Part 2 of this series.

Reference :Shri Raghavendra mahimai by Amman Sathyanathan.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Saints and prophets

This world is blessed with many Saints and Prophets.These great souls incarnate in this world to help the humankind.

What is the necessity for these incarnations or descents?
First of all,we should understand that the the power of Almighty,his supreme power is so enormous and magnificient that we,ordinary mortals cannot withstand this glorious supreme energy..

In Mahabharat there are 2 incidents which highlights this point..When Krishna was about to take Vishwarupa, displaying the wonderful magnificient cosmic form, he had to bestow Arjuna with a Divya Dhrishti meaning special power to the eyes enabling them to see his amplified universal form..
In one more incident,Blind king Dhritharashtra gets Divya dhrishti power to see the vishwarupa when Lord Krishna takes the resplendent cosmic form in the gauravas court..
These emphasizes the fact that with our ordinary eyes we cannot see the Omnipresent God.Our human body is not designed for such a wonderful sight.We dont have the capacity both mental and physical to face the omnipotent supreme power.

This is one of the major reasons behind the descents of Holy messengers.
I like to equate this with a well known theory in physics.Electromagnetic waves which carry the signals are present everywhere,but we cannot see them..only the antenna which is tuned to that particular frequency can receive the signals and the visuals and audio can be broadcast with help of TVs and radios.

Similarly,the power of the supreme God who is present everywhere but cannot be seen with our naked eyes can be sensed only by the holy messengers who have the potential to receive such a magnificient energy and their physical and mental designs are different from ordinary mortals like us(even though they look like us) and they are the conductors of the holy energy .They act as both antenna and broadcasting equipments.They receive the message from the God and broadcast to us..This is why they are called as Holy Messengers.

Striking similarity in all these holy men are, they never called themselves as God..Jesus christ always called God as Holy Father,Prophet called the Almighty as 'Allah' and our own Hindu messengers like Adi Shankaracharya called the God as "Paramathma"..Holy Prophet was the conductor of energy who could receive the wonderful revelation from "Allah The Almighty" and spread it as Holy Quran.

India ,I would like to call it as a Holy country, has given birth to numerous such saints like Ramanujachar,Madhvachar,Lord Mahavira,Buddha...countless of this holy men have blessed our country with their holy feet.Each of these saints had their own mission and were able to succeed in their mission of uplifting the mankind..

Here ,I would like to mention about my beloved sadguru Shri Sainath of Shirdi who spreaded the message of oneness of God barring all the religions.His mission was to unify all the religions and remove the difference of mindset in the Indian subcontinent which has seen turbulent times because of these numerous different philosophies..

I sincerely Bow to all these holy messengers whole heartedly because they descend to this painful earth for our sake and to remove our miseries..
I would like to write in similar lines in my coming posts .Cu in my next post..