Horseback-riding is a very interesting, fun and rather expensive activity people take up on holidays. Every year on  Vijaya Dasami or Dussehra, God also rides a horse and reaches the Shami tree. Is He doing this for fun?

The nature of God is joy (aananda) and wisdom (jnana); therefore, he is always joyful. Horseback-riding is not only joyful but in addition serves a meaningfull purpose that aligns with His wisdom. He reaches Shami tree on the horse. He then worships the tree, and sets on His journey. After this prayer, whatever direction He takes, the power that rules that direction clears the path. God Himself worships the Shami tree for such successful journey in His divine endeavours. What is the speciality of this Shami tree? What is God trying to teach us through this activity?

Exploring at the history, Sri Rama Chandra worshipped the Shami tree prior to handing His ring to Hanuman which Hanuman was to used when needed. Hanuman (with the ring) embarked on the important journey to rescue Sitha Devi. He did so with flawless intellect, complete presence of mind, unmatchable physical strength, unconquerable courage, undivided attention towards goal, all of these were are driven by his devotion to Sri Rama. Shami tree has the power to give one the abilities to attain a goal successfully, by cleansing one from all type of obstacles (mental, physical, intellectual, etc).

The - Horse - Ride- to- the- Shami- Tree-Pandawas

In regards to a recent historical event, Arjuna and his four brothers sought the support of the Shami tree in guarding their weapons during their exile while remaining incognito. They worshipped the tree and reclaimed their weapons with increased strength and abilities for the upcoming journey towards victory.

Yet another even more recent event? – Sri Venkateswara Swami Himself worshipped Shami tree prior to marrying Sri Padmavati. In fact, he recollected the earlier described two incidents from Sri Ramayana and Mahabharatha and thus sought support from the Shami tree for success. Look at His glory now!

So, what makes Shami tree special?

Shami tree is known as ‘Agni Garbha’, one that holds fire in the core. Every tree holds some element of fire, however, only Shami tree named as ‘Agni Garba’. Other trees produce fire upon friction with each other during hot summers in the presence of high winds. Whereas, a Shami tree log when churned with Peepal (ashwatth) tree log produces fire that is rightly apt to be used in all Vedic rituals involving Yajna. Yet, not all Shami trees can be used in this purpose. Only the Shami tree that gives birth to Peepal tree within itself can be used. Both of these trees must both be growing together as one unit. The logs from such two trees become the right inputs to the desired output of the ‘Yajna’.

Every ritual described in Vedic science has environmental, moral and spiritual aspects embedded into it. When we understand the spiritual connection to the ritual being performed, the other aspects fall in place.

Environmental: ‘Go green’ is an ancient concept. We have not only respected, but worshipped the plant kingdom in various ways, ranging from offering Tulasi and flowers to the Deity to the trees as our saviors on such auspicious days. The Shami tree becomes extremely rich in its power on this day of Dasami in the month of Aswija on Sravana Star (Nakshatram). Thus, it is recommended that we obtain the association of the tree on this day, via mantras.

Moral: The driving force behind any task shapes the way we carry it out. This ritual teaches us to worship Shami tree, an embodiment of eternal mother (Lakshmi Devi) before beginning a journey towards accomplishing a task. The mere involvement of that divine power inculcates a sense of love and righteousness. This ritual inculcates collaboration, communication and cooperation with each other as we carry out our tasks.

Spiritual: The soul (yourself) has a goal, a goal to be free from suffering and eternally immersed in the bliss of seva. The root cause of suffering is the ignorance of our true, natural state. This is of due to the innumerable sins we have committed and several inabilities that we have acquired. This did not happen in a day but over many births. It is Lakshmi Devi (in the form of Shami tree) who will help reduce the impact of all such sins and cleanses us to approach God for the desired upliftment. Her grace makes us less sinful. God Himself approaches Lakshmi Devi to give Himself the boost He needs to set out for His journey in protecting the souls (us). Her association makes Him more forgiving.

Sami : Samayathe : pa:papam Sami: lo:hitha kantaka: |
dhara:riny arjuna ba:na:na:m ra:masya priyava:dini: ||
karishyama:na ya:thra:ya:m yattha: ka:lam sukham maya : |
thathra nirvighna karthri : thvam bhava sri:ra:ma pu:jithe : ||
amangala:na:m samani:m samani:m dushkruthasya cha |
dussvapna na:sini:m dhanya:m prapadye:ham sami:m subha:m ||

– From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– October 8 th 2019, Vijaya Dasami

The Horse Ride on Dussehra- Pedda - Guruvu gaaru
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