Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Jagadguruttam Jayanti

Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Maharaj is the fifth original Jagadguru in Indian history. He is renowned for his exquisite mastery of the Hindu scriptures. He has written thousands of bhajans that exude Vedic philosophy in general and love for God in particular.

Maharajji appeared in this world in 1922, on the full moon night called Sharad Poornima. This was the night, when five thousand years ago, Lord Shree Krishna performed His famous Raas Leela dance with the gopis. Maharajji was born in a small village called Mangarh, near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, India. 

Maharajji's childhood was spent in fun and frolic with friends. Yet, he amazed everyone by displaying his mastery in every subject that was taught in school. His answer papers in examinations would always be perfect, but his teachers would hesitate to give him a perfect score, and would award him 99 marks. His friends would be so impressed by this feat, that they had given him the name " Mr. Ninety Nine." He would often take his young village friends to sit under shady village trees, and engage them in singing loving keertans to God. 

At the age of fourteen, he left his village Mangarh to study courses from three Universities, at Kashi, Delhi and Kolkata. In those days in India, students were given the facility to register for courses, and study them at home. Due to his exceptional ability, Maharajji completed eighteen years syllabus in a short span of just two-and-a-half years. He received three degrees -Vyakaran Acharya, Sahitya Acharya, and Ayurved Acharya.

At the young age of sixteen, he gave up his studies and entered the dense forests of Chitrakoot, where he remained absorbed in intense love of Shree Radha Krishna. During that period, he would rest in caves and eat fruits from the trees of the forest. Often having no awareness of his body, he would go without eating and drinking for several days at a stretch. His mind would remain immersed in Mahabhav, the highest state of devotion to Lord Shree Krishna. This elevated state of Mahabhav devotion was also manifested by another great Saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, about five hundred years ago.

In January 1957, Maharajji was invited to give a series of lectures to the Kashi Vidvat Parishat. This was a body of 500 foremost Vedic scholars of India, each of them was a master of one or more scriptures. Maharajji spoke in Sanskrit for ten days, giving innumerable quotations from the Vedas, Puranas, Mahabharat, Ramayan, Vedant, and other scriptures. He showed the wonderful unity in the teachings of the previous jagadgurus and revealed the true path of God realization.

When the entire body of scholars was convinced that Kripaluji Maharaj's knowledge was deeper than the combined knowledge of all the 500 scholars put together, they honoured him with the title of Jagadguru, or the Spiritual Master of the world. They also declared that he was Jagadguruttam, or supreme amongst Jagadgurus, and Bhaktiyog Rasavatar, or the descension of the Bliss of Divine Love.

(An excerpt form Saints of India: Bal Mukund Character Building Series)

नाचो गाओ सब साधक समुदाय, आज गुरुदेव जन्मदिन पुनि आय।
हम सब की उमर इन्हें लग जाय, युग युग जीयें ऐसे साधना कराय।

Friday, October 19, 2018

Important Lessons of Vijaya Dashami

Ravan was...
a great scholar,
a master of Vedas,
a great chanter of Sam Ved,
a scholar of Astrology and Ayurved,
a controller of the planetary system,
a great musician and a prolific Veena player,
an efficient king who built a Golden Lanka,
a highly intelligent person,
an excellent warrior,
a great performer of severe austerities towards Lord Shiv,

However, he did some irreversible and unforgivable mistakes...

After pleasing Lord Shiv and having got blessed with His boon and powers, out of arrogance, he (failingly) tried to move the residence of Lord Shiv Himself that is Mount Kailash.

He underestimated the glory of Shree Ram as God Himself and considered Him as an ordinary man, just because He was in exile and was roaming in the forest with saffron clothes to fulfill the promise of His Father.

He tried to kidnap and torture the Mother of Universe and Adya Shakti Sitaji, considering Her a helpless and an ordinary woman.

He could not recognize Lord Shiv whom he used to worship, when He came as a messenger of Lord Ram; in form of Hanuman. Not only that he ordered to burn His tail and tried to give Him immense pain.

He could not even comprehend the sign of God who built a bridge over the huge ocean and crossed the ocean with the large army and finally reached Lanka, which is next to impossible for an ordinary man.

He could not understand the repeated requests from his maternal grand father, wife and younger brother, "to return Mother Sita and surrender to Shree Ram as He is a God Himself". He laughed at them thinking they are foolish.

These are the major mistakes he did because he was arrogant. Despite such great skills and powers, he kept on doing such major mistakes throughout the life and the only one reason for this was an absence of devotion to God in his life. Due to that absence of devotion, he was obsessed with his powers and considered himself invincible.

God does not please with skills, achievements, knowledge, opulence, powers, strength, reputation, austerities, etc. which are not accompanied by pure devotion. He sees only inner sentiments. The only things He doesn't like are arrogance and hypocrisy.

When Shree Ram returned to Ayodhya, Mother Kaushalya asked Him, "Have You killed Ravan?" 

Shree Ram gave a very thought-provoking answer, "Mother, I haven't killed the great scholar, a highly intelligent, a master of sciences, an excellent warrior, a great musician and a sadhak of Lord Shiv, Ravan... But, ...his "I" (ego) has killed him!"

On this victorious festival let us learn these two important lessons of Vijaya Dashami. 

1. No skills, achievements, knowledge, opulence, powers, strength, reputation, austerities, etc. which are not accompanied by pure devotion and surrendering, can please God and His eternal energy or even His associates.

2. One saintly philosopher has very nicely explained... 
"In Sat Yug, good and evil were in two different worlds-Dev lok and Asur lok. 
In Treta in the same world-Ram and Ravan. 
In Dwapar, in the same family-Pandava and Kaurava. 
In Kali Yug,in the same person.
As the Yug changes, the line between good and evil thins and blurs down."

Kill the ego residing within us and surrender to the ocean of mercy and compassion, Shree Ram!