Archive for category Short stories

As this occurred over and over again the knowledge dawned on Naraharisonar that it was only Lord Hari Himself who was present in everything.

Nama Article 7th July 2013

 
Naraharisonar
 

Naraharisonar, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, lived in Pandaripuram. Though living in Pandaripuram he had never once visited Pandarinathan's temple. He held the principle of not to look at any god but Lord Shiva. However, the chant of Lord Hari's names always echoed throughout Pandaripuram. Naraharisonar had tied two bells to his ears to avoid the chant falling in his ears. The moment he learnt of anyone chanting "Hari" he would ring the two bells tied to his ears and thus ensured that the name of Lord Hari did not fall in his ears.

 

In this Pandaripuram there was a dilapidated Shiva temple. Daily he would go there and conduct abishekha, pooja and offer naivedya. He felt saddened that none in this Pandaripuram bothered about his Lord Shiva. Seeing the dilapidated state of the temple he used to weep out of grief.

 

Naraharisonar was a very smart goldsmith. Once a very rich man who was childless vowed to offer a gold kavacha to Lord Panduranga if he were to be blessed with a child. As his prayer was answered, to fulfil the vow he had taken, he looked out for a goldsmith who could make the best kavacha. As everyone recommended Naraharisonar he approached him for this purpose.

 

But, Naraharisonar bluntly refused to make the jewel for Lord Panduranga who was none other than Lord Vishnu. The rich man, however, pleaded with Naraharisonar,"You need not enter the temple. I shall bring the measurement for the jewel. You can make it accordingly. If you would make this jewel I shall renovate the Shiva temple and conduct its kumbabishekha." Just on this condition Naraharisonar agreed to make the jewel. He made the jewel to the exact measurement provided, but when it was offered to Lord Panduranga it turned out to be very small. The measurement was taken once again and the jewel remade and offered. And this time it turned out to be too big. The temple priests then declared that the goldsmith himself should come and take the measurement for the jewel.

 

Naraharisonar stubbornly refused to enter the temple premises. But then he was somehow pacified by the others. He said,"whatever happens my feet should not touch the temple ground. Never will I look at Panduranga with these eyes". Blindfolding him,two persons carried him upto Panduranga in a dholi (palanquin). It was then decided that he should take the measurement for the jewel by feeling Panduranga with his hands. When at first he touched Panduranga's head he felt the matted hair, the flow of the Ganga and the crescent moon. "Aha", he said,"isn't this Lord Shiva whom I worship?" He quickly untied the cloth. But the great Magician Panduranga stood there with his two hands held at the waist and and an enchanting smile playing on his lips. Naraharisonar quickly tied up the cloth to his eyes and touched the chest only to feel the rudraksha and the garland of skeletons. He once again untied the cloth only to see Panduranga.

 

As this occurred over and over again the knowledge dawned on Naraharisonar that it was only Lord Hari Himself who was present in everything.

 

Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

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Constantly, he advised his kith and kin to mend their ways and about how it was very easy to win the grace of God by simply chanting his Divine Names.

Nama Article 27th June 2013

 

Source: Bhakta Chokamela

 

Long ago, in the holy Kshetra of Pandarpur(in present day Maharashtra), there lived a great devotee of Lord Sri Panduranga (who was none other than Lord Sri Krishna himself) by name Chokamela. Sri Chokamela’s hailed from a slum and as was customary those days the inhabitants were not permitted to enter the temple. Though Lord Panduranga saw no difference between his devotees based on their birth, colour, race, wealth, region or religion, the selfish world did! To the Lord, the only thing that mattered was the depth of one’s devotion.

 

The friends, relatives and neighbours of Chokamela led lives without any values, orderliness or sense of direction. They ate whatever they wanted; slept whenever/wherever they wished and were addicted to all sorts of bad habits such as alcoholism. Like a beautiful lotus that blooms in a stinking marsh, Chokamela though, led the life of a pure Vaishnava. He would wake early in the morning, have a bath, wear Tulsi maala and Gopi chandan and chant the divine names of the Lord. As he was not permitted to enter the temple of Lord Sri Panduranga, he stood near the compound wall and sang the divine names joyfully.

 

Constantly, he advised his kith and kin to mend their ways and about how it was very easy to win the grace of God by simply chanting his Divine Names. Though they all mocked at him in the beginning, gradually his purity and goodwill won their hearts and they gave all their vices. Following his example, all of them woke up early in the morning and accompanied him to the temple where they all stood outside the compound wall chanting the lord’s glorious names. Lord Panduranga Himself relished every nama they chanted, much more than the puja offered by the priests. Like Nandanar, the great devotee of Lord Sri Shiva, Chokamela too, had transformed the entire slum. They were all a group of pure-hearted bhagavatas now.

 

On a particular Dwadasi day, Chokamela was seen beating and cursing his wife. The priests from the temple who had come to the river witnessed that scene and felt sorry for the poor woman. ” You have lost all your respect and commitment. Is this the way to serve the Lord? You have committed a great sin by spilling curd on his robe, careless woman!” Chokamela screamed.

 

These words of Chokamela shocked the priest. They told each other “Oh! What is he saying? He is saying that the Lord has come to take food in his place. How can that be? He is definitely mocking at us. The punishment has not taught him a lesson. He has become more arrogant! We should report him to the king again’

 

Saying so, they went to the temple and opened the doors. What they witnessed was the most unbelievable sight. The robes of the Lord were drenched in curd. They could not believe their own eyes. “Chokamela was right after all. Lord Panduranga had been to his place. Oh! What a blunder we have committed by insulting and ill-treating a true Mahatma. Let us all go and seek his pardon. Only then the Lord will accept us” they all said in one voice and rushed to Sri Chokamela’s hut. They all narrated the happenings and fell at Chokamela’s feet. Chokamela though, was embarrassed by this act of the priests. He said with tears in his eyes ‘Great Priests! I am just a humble servant of Panduranga. Please do not fall at my feet. I am speck of dust!”

 

The entire town and the king realized the greatness of Sri Chokamela and hailed his bhakti. The Lord had once again enacted a divine play to make the world understand true devotion. 

 

Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

 

Let the one who cannot do Bhakti go out to do tapas!

 

What is there in this world that devotion to the Lord cannot do?

 

Man feels that only the most difficult is the highest, the most difficult way is the best way. This is a very wrong notion

 

That love, can sprout only by his grace. His grace descends when we chant the Mahamantra.

 

When can one earn Guru krupa? When God decides to bless a person, he receives Guru's grace. One has to be blessed with Bhakti; and that is blessed only by God/Guru.

 

Reciting the Divine Names of Lord Hari, one can overcome the most formidable delusion of mind.

 

There are many ways. But the simplest and the easiest way is by chanting the "Hare Rama.." Mahamantra.

 

They are for those who don't believe in simple prayers.

 

Bhagawan Nama Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal puts forth his findings in the following words, "Since it is so easy and simple, none takes to it!

 

Would it not amount to grave injustice if one shows a difficult path to the world?

 

God gives whatever is required (by His devotee), removes whatever is not needed, leads the devotee in the path suited to him/her; Since Bhagavãn takes utmost interest in the devotee's needs the latter will not earn/attain any 'siddhi'

 

Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

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God is enslaved not by external extravaganza but only by true inner devotion and worship

Nama Article 26th June 2013

 

Poosalaar Naayanaar, an ardent devotee of Lord Siva, lived in the sacred town of Thiruninravur. His mind and heart was forever fixed in the Lotus Feet of his beloved Lord.

 

This devotee of Lord Siva was an adept in Aagama, Veda shastras. He had a deep desire to build a temple for his Lord Siva in Tiruninravur. But he was unable to collect the funds required for this and this disconcerted him. It was then that a thought struck him. "I may not be able to build a temple for my dear Lord in my town but I can build as big a temple as my heart craves in the cavern of my heart." He then set about collecting mentally all that was needed for constructing a big temple.

 

On an auspicious day Poosalaar Naayanaar sat in a place, controlled all his senses and started building the temple mentally, within his heart cavern, as per 'aagama shastra'. He took that number of days to build this temple in his heart as would take to build one physically in the external world! He then fixed a date for conducting the 'Kumbabhishekam'! (holy consecration of the temple)

 

It was at this time that the Pallava King had completed the construction of a big temple for Lord Siva in Kancheepuram and had fixed a date for conducting its 'kumbabhishekam'. On the eve of the 'Kumbabhishekam' the Lord appeared in his dream and said, "Poosalaar, a dear devotee of mine, living in Tiruninravur, is conducting 'Kumbabhishekam' tomorrow for the temple that he has built for me. Fix another date for the 'kumbabhishekam' of the temple you have built for me as it is my Will to be present in Poosalaar's temple tomorrow!" With this instruction the Lord disappeared.

 

On waking up from the dream the King felt dumbfounded. At the same time he deeply desired to visit this temple of Poosalaar, where the Lord Himself longed to be. On reaching Tiruninravur the King searched for this temple but in vain. It was not to be 'seen' anywhere. And none knew of its existence!

 

The King then searched out the home of the Lord's devotee, Poosalaar and met him. The King narrated his dream to Poosalar and asked him, "Where is this temple of yours which is attracting the Lord's Presence?" Poosalaar, too, was dumbfounded. He then spoke, "Oh! King! The Lord has been so kind to pour forth this much love on this slave! Though I entertained a deep desire to build a big temple in this town for my dear Lord I could not go about it due to lack of funds. So, I built one in the cavern of my heart and have decided to conduct the 'kumbabhishekam' tomorrow."

 

The King marveled at the deep devotion of Poosalaar and realized the power of true worship of the Lord. He fell at the feet of this true devotee of the Lord and returned to Kancheepuram.

 

The Lord presented Himself in the Sanctum Sanctorum of Poosalaar Naayanaar's temple at the time fixed for the 'Kumbabhishekam'! From that day onwards Poosalaar worshipped His Lord, all the five 'kaalaas' (times), in this temple in his heart and attained the Lotus Feet of the Lord.

 

Children, do you now understand that God is enslaved not by external extravaganza but only by true inner devotion and worship ?

 

Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

 

Let the one who cannot do Bhakti go out to do tapas!

 

What is there in this world that devotion to the Lord cannot do?

 

Man feels that only the most difficult is the highest, the most difficult way is the best way. This is a very wrong notion

 

That love, can sprout only by his grace. His grace descends when we chant the Mahamantra.

 

When can one earn Guru krupa? When God decides to bless a person, he receives Guru's grace. One has to be blessed with Bhakti; and that is blessed only by God/Guru.

 

Reciting the Divine Names of Lord Hari, one can overcome the most formidable delusion of mind.

 

There are many ways. But the simplest and the easiest way is by chanting the "Hare Rama.." Mahamantra.

 

They are for those who don't believe in simple prayers.

 

Bhagawan Nama Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal puts forth his findings in the following words, "Since it is so easy and simple, none takes to it!

 

Would it not amount to grave injustice if one shows a difficult path to the world?

 

God gives whatever is required (by His devotee), removes whatever is not needed, leads the devotee in the path suited to him/her; Since Bhagavãn takes utmost interest in the devotee's needs the latter will not earn/attain any 'siddhi'

 

Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Leave a comment

It was Nandanaar who first propounded ‘Nama siddhanta’! He gathered the people in his neighborhood and pleaded with them to sing the Name of the Lord

Nama Article 24th June 2013

 

Source: Nandanaar

 

Deeply devoted to Lord Siva, the Divine Name of his favorite Lord constantly played on his tongue. How deep was Nandanaar’s yearning for his Lord! Today, we speak of ‘Nama Siddantha’. It was Nandanaar who first propounded ‘Nama siddhanta’! He gathered the people in his neighborhood and pleaded with them to sing the Name of the Lord

 

He pleaded, “Chant Namah SivAya! Namah SivAya! Chant Umapathe! Chant SAmbasivAya!” The people of the slum objected and refused to chant the Name of Lord Siva while they had their own deities.

 

They said to him, “Nanda! Why do you insist on our chanting tongue twisting Names?” But Nandanaar was not to be bogged down by their disinterest and opposition. Amidst them lived a dumb girl who everyone called ‘Oomacchhi’ (dumb girl in Tamil language).

 

Nandanaar advised the people, “Say ‘Oomacchi vA’!” (oh, the dumb! come!). So, they all called out to her, “Oomacchi vA! Oomacchi va!” and it sounded as ‘Uma Ch(S)iva!’ Nandanaar thus succeeded in making the Lord’s Divine Name play on the tongue of those who could not even utter it! In this way all the people around began chanting the Name of the Lord.

 

Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

 

"Even the dog eats food. But can it chant 'Bhagavan Nãma' – the Name of the Lord? ('Nãyum kooda soru thinnum Nãmam pãdumo?')

 

Mere chanting of the names of the Lord would not fetch you food………but what really happened?

 

That is why it is said that don’t live without chanting.

 

Kabir says: He on whose lips the Name of God is not there that mouth is a litter bin.

 

Therefore, just as we bathe, wear clothes, eat food, etc. whether our mind is involved in it or not, so too, should we do a certain amount of Năma japa, părayana, kirtana, vandanam every day

 

Food is the first need of Man. While Krishna has taken care of all worldly necessities why should one seek another deity's help? Sri Krishna whom you worship will bless you with all round welfare.

 

Those who Chant the Divine Names of Hari, Udupi Krishna blesses them with adequate food.

 

Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God

 

Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

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The priest was totally awe-struck and broke down witnessing the deep devotion of the hunter. He realized that his own devotion to the Lord was only superfluous compared to the hunter’s

Nama Article 25th June 2013

 

Kannappa Nayanar

 

Kalahasti is a holy Saivite (worshippers of Lord Siva) place in the state of Andhra Pradesh. There are five temples of Lord Siva in five different places representing the five elements, viz. fire, water, air, ether, and earth. This holy shrine represents air (vaayu). The purana (history) of this place says that a spider worshipped Kalahasthinathar, the presiding deity. The holy river Swarna Mukhi runs in this place. Atop the mountain in this holy place there is a Siva temple. In the ages gone by a hunter lived in this mountain forest. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Siva of this temple. After spending the whole day in hunting, at nights he used to visit this temple to worship Siva.

 

A deep desire developed in him to do pooja and abhishekha to Siva. But he did not have in his possession any pot to carry water, any basket to carry flowers or any vessel to cook food for offering to Lord Siva. So, he would place the flowers on the matted locks of his hair, carry as much as water as possible in his mouth and the meat of the animals hunted during the day in his hands. Arriving at the temple he would just spit all the water onto the Siva Linga, shake the flowers off his hair onto the Linga and offer the meat as Naivedya. At day-break he would leave the temple.

 

In the mornings when the priest of the temple came up to do pooja and abhishekha he found that someone had offered fresh flowers and meat for God every night. This upset him greatly. He would clean the whole place, do pooja and abhishekha and leave the temple sorrowfully. Since this strange night worship continued, the priest not knowing how to stop this , prayed intensely to Lord Shiva to give him an answer. That night the Lord appeared in his dream and instructed him to hide himself in the temple the next night and watch all that would take place. The priest hid himself in the temple and anxiously awaited the night happenings.

 

The hunter arrived at the temple as usual and conducted the abhishekha and pooja. Suddenly one of the eyes of the Linga started bleeding. Immediately, without a second thought, the hunter plucked out one of his own eyes with the help of his arrow and fixed it onto the Linga. He was happy to find that the bleeding stopped. However, blood started oozing out of the other eye. Immediately he decided to fix his other eye there but stopped a while wondering how he would be able to locate the right spot to fix it as with both eyes gone he would be blinded. The idea then struck him to place his foot on the bleeding eye. He plucked out his other eye and fixed it on this spot.

 

The priest was totally awe-struck and broke down witnessing the deep devotion of the hunter. He realized that his own devotion to the Lord was only superfluous compared to the hunter's. Just then Lord Siva appeared on the Rishaba (bull) and blessed the hunter. The priest felt a sense of fulfillment of his life being blessed with Lord Siva's darshan. The hunter was none other than Kannappa Nayanar, one of the sixty-three Nayanmars (Saivite Saints) who are worshipped by all.

 

Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

 

Let the one who cannot do Bhakti go out to do tapas!

 

What is there in this world that devotion to the Lord cannot do?

 

Man feels that only the most difficult is the highest, the most difficult way is the best way. This is a very wrong notion

 

That love, can sprout only by his grace. His grace descends when we chant the Mahamantra.

 

When can one earn Guru krupa? When God decides to bless a person, he receives Guru's grace. One has to be blessed with Bhakti; and that is blessed only by God/Guru.

 

Reciting the Divine Names of Lord Hari, one can overcome the most formidable delusion of mind.

 

There are many ways. But the simplest and the easiest way is by chanting the "Hare Rama.." Mahamantra.

 

They are for those who don't believe in simple prayers.

 

Bhagawan Nama Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal puts forth his findings in the following words, "Since it is so easy and simple, none takes to it!

 

Would it not amount to grave injustice if one shows a difficult path to the world?

 

God gives whatever is required (by His devotee), removes whatever is not needed, leads the devotee in the path suited to him/her; Since Bhagavãn takes utmost interest in the devotee's needs the latter will not earn/attain any 'siddhi'

 

Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Leave a comment

Does our Heavenly Father not love us a million times more than we love our children? Would He not plunge into the murky waters of the samsara-sagara to save His children?

Nama Article 1st June 2013

 

One day Akbar said to Birbal, "I marvel at some of the fantastic beliefs that you Hindus hold. You believe that the Lord comes to this earth in the garb of a human being – what an absurd notion this is!"

 

"What is so absurd about it, sire?" asked Birbal. "The Creator of the cosmos is also the Father of us all. Is it so fantastic that the Father should come down to earth to save His children?"

 

"Of course it is fantastic and absurd," Akbar insisted. "Why should the Creator of the cosmos soil His Divine Form and plunge into the samsara sagara – the ocean of material existence?" Birbal made no reply.

 

A few days passed. Akbar and Birbal were taking a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Yamuna. A pleasure boat was sailing on the river; the Emperor's infant son sat on the knees of his nurse, and was enjoying this leisurely boat ride. When the nurse saw Akbar and Birbal on the bank of the river, she was so startled that she tried to stand up in the boat and the child on her knees fell into the river!

 

Emperor Akbar was astounded! Without a moment’s hesitation he plunged into the cold waters of the river to save his son. Swimming fast, he reached the child – only to realize that it was but a doll that had been thrown into the waters!

 

Birbal swam after the king to meet him mid-river. "Even as an earthly father, sire, you plunged into the waters and did not in the least bother about your royal robes getting soiled and wet." he said to Akbar."Does our Heavenly Father not love us a million times more than we love our children? Would He not plunge into the murky waters of the samsara-sagara to save His children?"

 

The Emperor made no attempt to answer his Minister.

 

Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

 

The Lord is attracted only to devotion.

 

Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Leave a comment

May these pictures draw many unto Thee, O Lord! But may my name be forgotten

Nama Article 30th May 2013

 

May my name be forgotten

 

There was once a gifted artist who painted truly beautiful I pictures. The people who saw his pictures would be drawn towards them as if by magic. They admired his talent, " What is there in these pictures that when we look at them, we feel blessed and purified. It feels almost as though we are being drawn closer to the heart of God.

 

But oddly, not a single picture bore the artist's signature. His friend asked him the reason one day, "Your pictures are so beautiful and naturally are admired by so many people! But, why is it that not one of these pictures bears your signature?" In answer, the painter took his friend to his studio. There, in a corner of the studio was a wonderful picture of the Lord Sri Krishna and underneath were written these words. "May these pictures draw many unto Thee, O Lord! But may my name be forgotten." 

 

Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

 

Chant the Divine Names until you forget your name

 

Chant the Mahamantra Nama kirtan :

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Leave a comment