2012 Sep 19: Vighna Niva:raka Chathurthi!
The Agama priests start the thirumanjanam to Lord Vishwaksena chanting the hymns as a part of aradhana. He looks magnificent draped in a thin white dhoti under the veil of milk, curds, juices, sandal water, ghee, honey etc. A thulasi mala adorns him. The red rose petals all over his divine body gives the impression of gem studded ornaments. HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji will chant Neera:ttam with soft, love-laden and devotion filled heart.
After the abhishekam the priests will engage in the Lord’s decoration.
‘We do not want any obstacles in our way, whatever may be the work, whichever field we are in. So we pray to Vishvaksena to remove the obstacles.’
Later HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji narrates the story of Lord Siva’s Vighneswara and Lord Vishnu’s Vishwaksena.
Vina:yaka is the commander in chief of God Siva. One who worships him naturally has to go to his appointed chief who eliminates the obstructions. So they pray to him. He is ‘eka dantha’ (has one tusk), Gaja:nana (having an elephant’s face),Ganapathi (leader of the forces), Vinayaka (head of the forces), Lambodara (a big stomach). Since an elephant is a ‘sa:kha:hari’ eats the branches of trees, he is worshipped with different leaves and fruits.
Some days have a special power like the ekadasi, dwadasi, vijayadasami etc.
Likewise this day is empowered to grant us with our wish if we pray to lord to remove the ‘vighnas’ (obstacles).
While devotees of Lord Siva Siva pray to his chief commander Ganapathi, the devotees of Lord Vishnu pray to Vishwaksena, the Chief commander under Lord Srimannarayana.
Vishwaksena – Vishwa means – ‘the whole’ and Sena means ‘the followers or attendants’. Vishvaksena is the one who manages the whole lot of followers. He is the one who can eliminate our obstacles.
‘sukla:mbaradharam vishnum sasivarnam chaturbhujam
Prasannavadanam dhya:ye:th sarva vighnopa sa:nthaye:’
He is a chaturbhuja, showing his right fore finger, holding a cane in his left hand, clad in a white cloth, fair like the moon, with pleasant looks. He is also all pervading because he takes care of each and everything of this whole universe.
In Stho:thra Rathnam , Ya:munacharya says, ‘thvadi:ya bhuktho:jghitha se:sha bho:jina:’
Vishwakse:na always takes the ‘se:shaprasadam’ of Lord Srimannarayana.
‘thwaya: nisrushta a:thma bhare:na’- he has the responsibility of administering both ‘Vibhutis’ given by You.
Thus Vishwaksena bears the whole responsibility which he carries on with utmost devotion and commitment and there never occurs any disapproval from the Lord for any of his decisions. Sri Pancharathra Agama and Vaikhanasa Agamas regard him so. Today is the day when those who want to get rid of the obstacles pray to the ONE who can remove them. This day we have to pray to him to give us the mental strength and strong will to solve and remove the hindrances. Our actions which are responsible for the hurdles have to be wiped off. This Chaturthi is the special day we have to pray to the god who has the power to remove our hurdles and grant us with success.
Vishvaksena’s subordinates are all of elephant faces with two tusks. So they are offered ‘undrallu’ and Vishvaksena is offered ‘appalu’ in the naivedyam.
There are three types of elephant faced celestials – Siva’s parivaram with single tusks under the leadership of Gajanana, Vishvaksena’s parivaram with two tusks and u:rdhva pundras.
Upanishads mention about a particular form of Narayana who has to be contemplated on while in the ‘ja:gratha avastha’ (waking time) . He has an elephant face (with two tusks) in the middle with nine different faces on either side. He has Sri Mahalakshmi on his side. He has altogether 19 faces with ‘u:rthvapundras’ He is called ‘Lakshmi Ganapathi’.
Whoever takes birth on this earth has to face problems and hurdles. Life means hurdles. Even Lord Krishna had to face it. He faced it and solved the issue with determination. This is ‘Samanthakamani upa:khyanam’. HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji will also briefly narrate the story of Lord Krishna covering:
Sathra:jit getting Samanthakamani that gave him gold everyday, how his brother Prasena wore it and disappeared with it, how all the people suspected Sri Krishna, how he went to the forest, followed the leads and went into the den where Jambavan was having the ‘mani’, how Lord Krishna fought for 27days and got the gem and his daughter Jambavathy as bonus and returned the mani to Sathrajit and got rid of the accusation. Sathrajit ashamed for doubting innocent Krishna and offered his daughter Sathyabhama in marriage and the Samanthaka mani as a gift to him.
So we need to remember the story this day and pray to Vishvaksena to give us the strength to remove the hurdles that come in our way and move forward. We should never sit folding our hands doing nothing. We have to work hard and strive sincerely to reach the goal. HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji will bless all the devotees present in the puja to receive the grace of Vishvaksena.