30th Sept 2014 – Acharya’s Speech on the occasion of Sarannavarathri
The Glory of Divine Mother
The celebrations of Sarannavaratri are going on and as a part of that, the divine shower to Mother Lakshmi is being performed every morning. Along with that Sri Ya:gam is conducted to get the blessings of the divine Mother. Every evening, Mother Lakshmi De:vi is dressed up and decorated in a particular get up that is followed by a procession around the area. The divine Mother Lakshmi arrives inside the temple and placed in the swing for the “U:njala Seva”. Her grace is blessed to all the devotees for some time and then returned to the sanctum. We are in the fourth day of the celebrations. All the devotees are participating in the celebrations, especially in the evening procession celebration, with vigour.
The period of nine days starting at the beginning of the year is called “Vasantha Navara:tri” and now these nine days being celebrated are called “Devi Navara:tri” where Mother Lakshmi is prayed prominently. The divine Mother promises that she is always prepared to support us for receiving the grace of Bhagava:n. According to Ve:das, Bhagva:n also has accepted the only way for any living being to obtain Him or His grace is to take the shelter of Mother Lakshmi. The living being could be anything either an animal or a human being and etc. Bhagva:n stated that He wholeheartedly accepts only those devotees no matter how low they could be in life but that are being recommended by the divine Mother. This was declared by great personalities and accepted by the Lord. If we approach Bhagva:n directly, He might just ignore and not even notice. The “Sasthra:s” also do not recommend going directly to the God. One should first approach the feet of the divine Mother and then receive the Grace of the Lord through Her. The Sastra:s are declaring clearly that one should have the divine Mother leading the path to receive the Lord and His grace. So, those who have Sri Lakshmi supporting in the front and leading will only be able to receive the Lord’s Grace.
The Ve:das about the divine Mother and Her grace
The manthra from the Vedas also goes like this… “Sri:manna:ra:yana Charanau Saranam Prapadye:” while approaching for the grace and “sri:mathe: na:ra:yana:ya namaha” while receiving the grace. Here the divine Mother fulfils two steps, one being a means to make the beings reach the feet of the Lord and then accompanies the Lord receiving the services of the approached beings. Bhagva:n has the divine Mother joining Him for making the devotees reach the grace of the Lord. So the first step of being a means is called “Upa:yamu” and the second step of receiving the prayers along with Baghv:an is called “Upe:yamu”. The means role of the divine Mother is like the taxi or vehicle used to reach the station to catch a train to travel to a destination. The means is called “Pra:pakamu”. Once the being (soul) is made to reach the feet of the Lord, the divine Mother then joins the Lord to receive the services from the being (soul). This is explained in the line “Sri:mathe: na:ra:yanaya namaha”.
Sri Ramayanam- An epic becomes divine with the saga on the compassionate divine Mother Si:tha
The manthra has two parts together and is called Dwaya Manthra. Baghava:n Himself came in an avatha:ra to demonstrate to us its meaning and show us its practice. The avatha:ra is “Sri Rama” avatha:ra which is depicted in the divine epic Sri Ramayanam by Valmiki Maharishi. Valmiki Maharishi submits to the readers with the quote “si:taya:h charitham mahath”, revealing the moto of Sri Ramayanam is to show the divinity of Mother Si:tha through the gracious saga of Mother Si:tha. If the epic is saying the saga of Si:tha then it is a divine epic else it is only a history of Rama. How can it be taken so? It is so because the epic reveals from the beginning to the end, how Mother Si:tha has made in various ways the souls approachable to the Lord and receive the protection. Our Purva Acharyas have explained in detail the events of Sri Ramayanam portraying this. Firstly, the form in which she accepts the services from us is shown in the Bala Kanda, Ayodhya Ka:nda, half of Aranya Ka:nda and Uttara Ka:nda(Chapters in Sri Ramayanam). This depicts the “Sri:mathe: na:ra:yanaya namaha” part of the manthra. If we get a doubt that when the Lord who comes like this then knowing His divinity how would one understand the practising ways to approach Him, is explained by Mother Si:tha in Aranya Ka:nda by undergoing the separation from Rama, going to Lanka and while being there moulding everyone accordingly with her grace until returning back. This depicts the “Sri:manna:ra:yana Charanau Saranam Prapadye:” part of the Dwaya Manthra with examples of various surrenders.
In the later part of Aranya Ka:nda, Hanuman surrenders, further more in Kishkindha Ka:nda Sugri:va surrenders , when the armies sent to all directions searching Si:tha were back and after the return of Hanuman from Lanka, Vibhi:shana surrenders. The hardships faced by each of them were not easy experiences . All of them had a hard time. If we take our situation, we face difficulties from a couple of rulers hardly for five years or until the Government changes. But, the hardships by the Rishis in Aranya Ka:nda was for some hundreds of years. Sugri:va and Vibhi:shana were also in struggle for hundreds of years. Also the life span of ours is short compared to that of Vibhi:shana or any other of that time. But those times the life span was thousands of years. The struggle faced by Sugri:va or Vibhi:shana or Rishis in the forests was not ordinary. But, Mother Si:tha accompanied Rama to the exile and took the hardships herself to free the struggles of Rishis, Sugri:va and Vibhi:shana. She went to any extent to free them of their struggle and make them happy. So, She took the pain and Rama took the pain as they wanted the happiness of those who took their refuge. If we observe the epic, Mother Si:tha is not required to go through the hardships at all but She did and Rama as well for the sake of Sugri:va and Vibhi:shana who took their shelter. She went and found their hardships and made them understand the ways to practise to approach Rama and receive His protection. For that sake she even let Ravana abduct her. She made the struggling beings take the refuge and receive the protection. She always thinks for the welfare of the refugees. Aranya Ka:nda shows how Mother Si:tha’s compassion in making the struggling souls realise the ways to surrender to the Lord and receive the grace. Also equally how Rama obeys to the request of Mother Si:tha and blesses the surrendered souls. The compassionate Mother Si:tha only could calm Rama when He was furious to the extent of destroying everything when there was no response from the surrounding Mountains upon asking the whereabouts of Mother Si:tha.
The two parted Dwaya Manthra essence was explained in the epic Sri Ramayanam. From the half of Aranya Ka:nda to the end, explains one part and coming to the beginning chapters Bala Ka:nda, Ayodhya Ka:nda, Aranya Ka:nda explains the other part of the manthra.
To make us realise the ways to surrender to the Lord, the divine Mother takes various forms. The first day She was decorated as Veera Lakshmi, Second day form was Dhana Lakshmi, Third day form was Santha:na Lakshmi and today on the fourth day as Vijaya Lakshmi to bless us victory. She would accept various forms to grace us in the required way. This is Her compassion to grace us. We are enjoying Her forms these Dasara days. The first eight days She would take the eight forms and then She would take the form as required to grace us and we would approach the Lord formed by Her grace. Today the way you all enthusiastically participated and supported the glory of the divine Mother is appreciated and we offer our managalasasanams to you all. Now, the “Havana” program is going to be conducted. Following that we all can go to the Mahamantapam and participate in the Thadiya Aradhana goshti. Again in the evening at around 5:30 or 6:00 pm, after the completion of the decoration of the divine Mother, we will have the evening procession and devotees can participate in the Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam parayanam, Bhajana goshti and U:nzala Seva. Devotees can swing the divine Mother in the seva and receive the grace.