Param Sadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj
Param Sadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj
Param Sadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj of Akkalkot, India (1918 - 1987)
known universally as Shree.
SADGURU means PERFECT MASTER. PARAMA SADGURU means highest among the PERFECT MASTERS. Before a great Divine Incarnation graces our planet by manifestation, the parents are informed by some instrument of Divine Will. Similarly, at the time of birth, intimation is given. Again, at a later date, the same thing is announced.
Four years prior to the birth of Parama Sadguru, a great Yogi informed the (mother that she would "give birth to the Light of the world". The "Son of Man" was born four years later.
On Christmas day, 25th December 1941, the allotted task of the Son of Man was revealed by the Will of the Almighty Father. He was further informed that the time for unfoldment was yet to be. It is interesting to note that in the revelation the words used by the Divine were "Son of Man".
P.S. Shree Birth Chart
The mother of the Son of Man was a great Yogini. Yogini is feminine for Yogi. The father was a great Nada Brahma Yogi. Nada Brahma means the "Word that was in the beginning, which was with God, which was God and by which everything was made that was made".
His personal needs were extremely limited. He wore an unstitched white dhoti around His waist and carried another piece of white cloth on His shoulders. He spent most of the time in His meditation room sitting on a small square wooden stool, where He received disciples and visitors from all over the world.
Along with Creation, Almighty Father gave the first revelation, i.e. the Vedas. All incarnations, all Divine Messengers come to reiterate the message of the Fivefold Path given through the first revelation. The Messengers lay stress on certain aspects of the message in view of the conditions in which they manifest.
Parama Sadguru has stated that Self Realization, Liberation, comes only through total surrender to the Almighty. All spiritual practice should lead us to this goal. Surrender implies an egoless state. The highest attainment of human existence is "Not my will but Thy will be done". This is the end of all Yoga.
On 27th September, 1944 (Dassera according to the Indian calendar) Parama Sadguru took the most potent vow at the feet of His Guru, Lord Parshuram, the Eternal Avatar:
"I will resuscitate Vedas."
Param Sadguru once said,
"Whatever Almighty has willed to be done through our instrument shall be done. Our whole life is totally dedicated to Him. He who revealed to us our allotted task shall grant us the necessary strength to fulfill it.
"It is not for us to advise people to follow any particular individual.
"If it is the will of the Almighty to convey to the world any message through us He will do so. We are merely his slaves.
"We are not votaries of any religious denomination. Whether it is the Bible or the Quran or the doctrines of Hindus we will convey the message with equal yearning.
"We have asked people not to call us GURU. Many have imposed Guru-hood on us. Many have experienced super-human powers with us. Many have witnessed miracles. We are mere witness of, not the doers of these things.
"We surrendered totally to the Almighty and He started utilizing our body as His instrument. Each one has to tread his path of Self-realization."
In January of 1986 at Akkalkot Shree said:
"Once you inculcate the attitude of TOTAL SURRENDER no other special discipline is necessary as this attitude itself is the culmination of all religious practice. Similarly the Bhagavadgeeta states, 'All religious practices you can do away with if you approach ME with an attitude of TOTAL SURRENDER. I shall redeem thee of all sins.'
"Cultivate the attitude of TOTAL SURRENDER. All your sins wither away.
"Holy Bible gives the same message. Jesus the Christ was made to know about the danger to His life. He thought, "Be it so, if through my sacrifice the message of Almighty Father spreads all over the planet.
"Prophet Muhammad always walked with head bent down indicating TOTAL SURRENDER to the Almighty. His message was TOTAL SURRENDER. Prophet Muhammad was given a vision. He saw LIGHT in the cave where he was in meditation.
"Buddha, the Blessed One, was given BODHI (Illumination) that He was the LIGHT of the world.
"The mystical power of regular practice of sunrise/sunset Agnihotra leads to this state of TOTAL SURRENDER."
Sunrise Agnihotra Mantra
SOORYAYA SWAHA SOORYAYA IDAM NA MAMA
PRAJAPATAYE SWAHA PRAJAPATAYE IDAM NA MAMA
Sunset Agnihotra Mantra
AGNAYE SWAHA AGNAYE IDAM NA MAMA
PRAJAPATAYE SWAHA PRAJAPATAYE IDAM NA MAMA
"Around these words is woven the thread of life. This is what life is for. It is the ultimate goal."
Soorya does not refer to the physical sun of our solar system. There are countless billions of suns in our universe alone. "Soo" means to create. Hence Soorya refers to the creator. Prajapati also refers to the creator. "Idam na mama" means 'this is not mine.' It is equivalent to "Not my will but thy will be done," of the Bible.
" 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' You have found the path which takes you to Bliss Eternal. Convey this message to thy neighbor.
"Convey to the whole world this message of LOVE given by Almighty Father.
"Say, 'Repent. The Kingdom of Heaven is near at hand; nay, the Kingdom of Heaven is right in your palm.' " (Translated from original Marathi.)
Shree was born on May 17, 1918. On Christmas day, December 25, 1941 Shree’s allotted task was revealed to Him by the Will of Almighty Father. Lord Jesus’ birthday is celebrated on December 25th. The only sermon He gave to His disciples, known as "Sermon on the Mount" was given on May 17. So one can say that Jesus’ birthday, 25th December, is Shree’s Bodhi day (illumination for the sake of the world) and Shree’s birthday, May 17, is the day on which Jesus gave illumination to the world by conveying His message. Both these days are celebrated every year in Tapovan.
Shree often stated, "I am not come to destroy but to fulfill the law and the prophets."
Shree’s message of Agnihotra for purification of the atmosphere and for doing away with the effects of pollution, including thought pollution, has come in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy about sunrise/sunset fire given in the Bible:
"This vision about the evening and morning sacrifices which has been explained to you will come true. But keep it secret now, because it will be long time before it does come true." (Daniel 8:26, The Good News Bible, American Bible Society, 1976.)
Shree’s Message—July, 1975:
"Showers of love to all, oh seekers of Eternal Truth, oh travellers of Divine Path.
Grace of Almighty Father, which is in heaven, always be with you.
Kingdom of Heaven is nearing now.
Om Tat Sat."
Shree’s Message—May, 1979:
"Grace be with you all, oh travellers of Kingdom of Heaven.
Light of the world has descended on earth.
Divine light is spreading throughout the whole planet.
Kingdom of Heaven is near at hand.
Blessed are who saw the light, fortunate are who walked in light, for they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Shree’s Message—April, 1982:
"Oh travellers of Kingdom of Heaven, travel on Fivefold Path, the Path of Almighty Father.
Light, everywhere light.
Showers, showers of bliss all over.
No fear, no anxiety no danger of judgment.
Freedom ever freedom.
Kingdom of Heaven is near near at hand.
Grace of Almighty Father be with you all."
Gurus » Shree Gajanan Maharaj
Shree Gajanan Maharaj Submitted by Naradananda on Fri, 02/20/2009 - 11:31.
Fast FactsOther Names and Nicknames:
Agnihotra, Homa. Vedanta
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06/12/1987 BiographyTeachingsLocationsLinks Biography
Shree Gajanan Maharaj is recognized as the mythological incarnation 'Kalki'. According to the ancient scriptures, it is stated that a divine incarnation will manifest on the planet to destroy 'Kalka' meaning pollution, and resuscitate the Vedas. He will re-establish Satya-Dharma (Eternal Religion). The message of Shree delivers the planet from all types of 'Kalka'. The process of Agnihotra revived by Shree purifies the atmosphere and human mind. Thus the epithet kalki is befitting.
Shree, is the harbinger of the message of humanity. He fulfilled the great task of resuscitation of the Vedas and bestowed upon mankind its birthright to follow the eternal Vedic principles.
Word 'Veda' means knowledge and knowledge is always for the benefit of humanity.
He threw open the gates of Vedic knowledge to all and announced that a common cosmic energy pulsates through all humanity. He stated explicitly that all people irrespective of their sex, age, caste, creed, colour and language are worthy of becoming true followers of the ancient most Satya Dharma (Eternal Religion). That the basic religion of mankind has always been one and could only be one was asserted.
He clarified that the preaching of all prophets, messengers, 'Avatars'
'Paigambars' and saints owe its origin to Vedas.
The practice of religion was made so simple by Him that even the commonest of the common could adopt it without any difficulty. He taught His principles with the love and compassionate care of a mother feeding her child,
The work of Paramsadguru is extraordinary. During past thousands of years many misunderstandings regarding Satya Dharma have cropped up. There was confusion caused by mushrooming of various sects and creeds. Instead of understanding and following Eternal Religion people debated over as to whose creed was inferior. In fact the religion should arouse love and compassion in individuals but in reality impiety proliferated. The essence was obliterated and the Truth was clouded. Paramsadguru cleared these dark clouds of doubts by reiterating the fundamental Vedic principles. The religion was presented precisely in the same form as Vedas prescribed it. He ordained the essential religious disciplines in minimal measure by practice of which separated and egoistic minds became healthy and came close to each other.
GURU AND PARAMSADGURU
There is a fundamental difference between two words Guru and Sadguru. Guru is a guide and bestower of the knowledge. It is rare to find a person of Sadguru status. Those who have had the divine vision of Ultimate supreme (Tat sat) state and those who can also show That (Tat) to others are Sadguru. Shree is referred to as Paramsadguru - the highest among the Sadgurus - i.e. Divine Incarnate. Such Supreme Masters descend in human form only after ages, even to obtain a sight of whom is the rarest of the rare occasions. Their actual company is still rarer. They enjoy universal status.
Swami Shivananda, the incarnate of Lord Shiva himself, a great Yogi who perpetuated the Mantra Yoga of sound 'Om' (Nadabramha) & Yogini Sonamata were Shree's parents. They belonged to the noble family of Rajimwale, the chieftains of an area of 84 villages like Rajim,
Raipur, Ratnapur & Pendra etc. of the present Madhya Pradesh (India).They were Yogis and even though they lived amidst riches they were totally unattached to worldly matters.
Swami Shivananda - Nadabramha
Sarvamangala Bhagavati Sonamata was incarnation of Goddess Gayatri, while father Shivanand Swami was Lord Shiva incarnate.
By the grace of a Yogi it was revealed to Sonamata that her pure womb was to give birth to the 'Light of the Universe' or 'Son of Man'.
Sarvamangala Yogini Sonamata
INDICATIONS BEFORE BIRTH
Preparation for the arrival of an Avatar (incarnation) is done at various levels and places prior to His birth. Several people are given indication before the actual manifestation of the Divine.
Mother of Shree, Yogini Sonamata had, prior to the birth of Child Gajanan, revelations that, "The Light of Universe was to take birth through her womb". She had fourteen indicative visions before the conception. Elephant, Bull, Lion, Goddess Lakshmi, Garland, Moon, Sun, The holy flag, Kumbha (A pitcher filled with water on top of which are few mango leaves and a coconut on the mouth of this pot) , Lotus, lake, airplane, heap of jewels and fire without smoke were some of the visions. Trishaladevi, mother of Lord Mahavira also had similar fourteen visions before his birth.
The divine power in the form of child Gajanan was to manifest through the womb of Sonamata in order to show the path of light to the world. Satya Dharma was to dawn on the horizon of universe. While Sonamata was aware of the divine child that was growing in her womb, Sadguru Upasani Baba (Sakori, Dist. Ahmednagar - Maharashtara), moving from place to place reached Kharagapur during the same period. There he was engrossed in the service of poor and downtrodden people. Even today one can visit a place called 'Plinth of Upasani Baba' in a scavenger's locality in Kharagapur.
DESCENT AT TRANSITIONAL MOMENT
Paramsadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj was born on 17th May 1918 at Kharagapur (near Kolkata in West Bengal, India). To be precise He was born during the transition of 16th and 17th May, i.e. 00.42 hrs. at midnight. The event occurred as 16th May ended and 17th May began. Supreme beings are usually born during transitional moments such as sunrise, sunset, mid-noon and midnight. Even Lord Jesus, Lord Krishna were born in the midnight. Kharagpur has now become a place of pilgrimage because this divine child was born here.
Kharagapur is famous since the mythological times. This is the place where king Bhadrayu was offered the Khadga (Sword) by great sage Shivayogi, hence the name Khadagapur. It is the same place where holy Shiva temple of Khadageswar is situated. In addition there is also a temple of Pradhyumna - the son of Shri Krishna in the same locality.
Tatyaji Maharaj, Shree's grandfather, was a gifted astrologer. On getting the news of Shree's birth, he immediately prepared His horoscope and prophesized "the boy has 'Pravarjaya yoga' (stars indicating future as a wandering mendicant).
DIVINITY MANIFESTS IN CHILDHOOD
Born in a noble family, the child was destined to fulfill the divine wish. Shree had the stars of a sovereign King or Supreme Yogic Master in His horoscope. According to the Buddhist tradition similar was the positioning of stars in the horoscope of Lord Buddha.
Victory over death :
Even in a very tender age the divine power in Shree had already started manifesting.
He was merely three years old and was with His parents in Raipur in their paternal mansion.
Umakaki, wife of Shri Gangadhar Maharaj, had come here from Akkalkot, to nurse her niece Sonamata during her second maternity.
At the time of this particular incident Shree was in the arms of Umakaki. She had just returned after attending a religious function in the town. As she needed to wash her feet before entering the house she alighted Shree from her arms and made Him stand and went to the washroom.
Standing there Shree just suddenly saw a big, fierce mouse on the wall. Instinctively He felt that the mouse was following Him.
Recalling the whole incidence Shree said, " the mouse looked at Us and so did We at him. We both stared at each other. In the meantime Umakaki returned. She took Us again in her arms and entered the house. The mouse was now in the attacking position. Watching his advance We reacted instantly saying, "See, he is now on My shoulder, now, now he is on My back and look, here he is on My stomach." The mouse continued to advance. It was aiming to position itself on the top of Our head. Our incessant complaints continued. People in the house thought this to be some kind of black magic or a certain bad spell because the mouse was not visible to others. Immediately We were taken to a nearby temple. Sorcerer, conversant with overcoming charms and evil spells were summoned. Soon they began their efforts. However nothing worked.
The mouse was not confronting Us. He was trying to attack from hind-sides in his attempt to reach the summit of Our head. His victory lied only in attaining that position. Second day passed. So also the third.
Now another sorcerer was summoned. To begin with he showered lots of cloves spelled with Mantras all over Us. Having done this he now took some more cloves in one of his hands and began chanting mantras again. He would now take one single clove at a time and holding it in one hand would bring the end of the other closer to it while chanting the mantras. The effect of the mantras was such that after each chanting the single clove used to get stuck to the other without any external adhesion. In this manner he prepared a garland of such cloves which were glued to each other only with the power of the mantras. He then put this garland in Our neck."
"At night the mouse once again resumed the attack. However, this night We perceived that where We fixed our gaze that particular place or spot glowed with bright shining light. The light remained only in the sphere of Our glance, the rest of the place remained in dark. This night the attacking mouse suddenly came before Us, in the sphere of our light. Three days ago We had seen him exactly like that in front of Us. Now once again he appeared before Us in the same manner. But this time he was arrested in the glow of Our light. The effect was instantaneous. He just could not move even slightly. Seeing him thus completely immobilized and in a desperately helpless state we felt sudden pity for him and hence removed our gaze. Not losing the moment he grabbed the opportunity and retreated immediately and never appeared before us again. People thought the Sorcerer's clove were wonderful. Actually what worked was the glow of our light which had appeared where ever we had fixed Our gaze. This had made it impossible for him to successfully attack the top of Our head because he became motionless when arrested in the glow of Our light. It was because of this reason that it disappeared at the first available opportunity.
The mouse is considered a rodent bestowed with the power of total annihilation. In a slow but consistently methodical manner it destroys anything that attracts its fancy. It is a synonym for time. The function of time or period is also the same. It slowly but consistently eats away life out of all matter in this universe and makes it worthless and dead. The scriptures depict mouse as the vehicle of Lord Ganesh. This suggests that the Lord has attained victory over this destructive element of Time and has made it his vehicle. The lord has full command over it. Similarly, the above incident in Shree's life shows that at an early age itself he had attained complete victory over death. Watch is a symbol of 'Time'. It's consistent ticking reminds us that steadily time is running out. To show the control of Time over us we find that our wrists are gripped in the clutches of death. But because Shree had attained victory over death, He normally held the symbol of time i.e. watch easily in His palm and not on His wrist.
Holy Fire engulfs Shree
Next year in 1922 another revealing incident occurred in Shree's life. It happened on 1/12/1922. Then Shree was just four years old.
During the days of winter once Shree was sitting near a small fire to ward off the cold when suddenly His jacket caught fire and was soon ablaze. Everybody around was alarmed. Child Gajanan, crying loudly started running around. Soon someone extinguished the fire. On removing the coat people saw that the coat had almost entirely burnt but child Gajanan was absolutely unhurt. This was a miracle. Child Gajanan Himself was an incarnation of 'Agni' (Holy Fire) how could He ever be harmed by fire!
Presence of Lord Ganesh
After the samadhi of mother Sonamata, Shree spent a few years in the holy presence of Sadguru Upasani Maharaj at Sakori. Here He was staying with His maternal grandfather Shri Shri Bahusaheb Shingwekar. Once Shri Bhausaheb had to leave the house for some reason. When he returned, the door was open but child Gajanan was not to be seen in the house. On returning from outside, Shri Bhausaheb asked Him, "Dear son, why did You not lock the house when You had to go out?"
Child Gajanan replied "How could I lock the door when Lord Ganesha was present inside?"
On another occasion child Gajanan drew the letter 'Om' all over the floor
Seeing this, grandfather Bhausaheb asked Him ' You have drawn Om all over the floor. Now where should I step and put my foot?"
Child Gajanan remarked "Is there a place where 'Omkar' is not present? It is all pervading."
On 27th August 1924 a remarkable thing happened. On this day Maharaj Krishnaprasad of Hyderabad state was visiting Sakori along with His entourage. Here he saw, for the first time, six year old Shree. The sight of this young ascetic inspired him deeply. He was overcome by a feeling of devotion. Instinctively he felt a strong desire to worship the child with all his heart, like he would worship a saint. His feeling was so genuine that promptly he laid a special decorative seat for Shree and seating Him over it ceremoniously worshipped Him. All present were deeply touched by this unique incident.
The worship over, Shree happily ran straight to Baba and said unto him, "the prince who is here today has worshipped Us."
Prophesizing Shri Baba said, "Why talk about one prince alone, all will worship You. He is a king. Nevertheless You too are a king!"
Upanayana (Thread ceremony) of Paramsadguru was preformed by the sage of Sakori Shri Upasani Baba. who was a disciple of Sai Baba - a highly evolved master of village Shirdi. It is not just a coincidence that the thread ceremony of Shree was performed by a spiritually evolved person. It was verily a matter of indication that Paramsadguru was associated with Shirdi and Sakori. After the thread-ceremony child Gajanan sincerely led a life regulated by various spiritual disciplines prescribed in the scriptures as the Brahmacharya vratas. He followed the religious observances so strictly that He appeared to people like a young ascetic. Carrying a staff of Palash-wood in hand, bathing three times a day, practice of daily Fire worship, practicing asanas especially suryanamaskara (solar salutes) was His routine.
He stopped sleeping on comfortable mattresses and instead began using a coarse blanket. As prescribed He also took the discipline of collecting food in alms for self subsistence. He used to wrap the food received in alms in a cotton cloth and would first dip it in the flowing canal of Pravara river to wipe out the vibrational effects and the taste of cooking This rendered the food satvik. Having done this He would then take the food to Shri Baba and laying it at his holy feet thereafter would consume it.
Bhausaheb Shingwekar was a renowned Vedic scholar. He used to teach Vedic mantras to students in his room everyday at Sakori. The teaching involved chanting of Vedic mantras with proper accents and clear voice. Shree used to hear these lessons from out side the room. This was the only formal education He received about the Vedas. For Him, It was sufficient to grasp all of it and become a Vedic scholar.
Shri Bhausaheb Shingwekar Shree Gajanan Maharaj grandfather
Even in journey He used to be particular and strict about the disciplines. About a year after the thread ceremony He was once travelling to Akkalkot by train. He was in an attire of young yogi. Included in His small luggage, He had a Ganesh idol which was most dear to Him. He stood in a corner of the coach carefully guarding Himself from the touch of other people. The co-passengers vacated one berth completely to offer it to Him. It was a unique sight. Paramsadguru alone sitting on the berth along with His Ganesh while other passengers standing and looking on with reverence.
Right from childhood Suchitavrata (disciplines observed to maintain cleanliness, purity and sanctity) had become essence of His life. The culmination of this discipline was evident in His daily routine. He was stickler for purity and sanctity having natural inclination towards extreme purity and rigorous observance of sanctity. His style of taking bath, arrangement of His bed, the particular fashion of drying His clothes, His sitting room, His seat, the low stool for resting His feet, not only these but also His every step used to be in accordance with Suchitavrata. He used to ensure highest kind of purity and sanctity in all His actions which is generally difficult for a normal person to follow. He never used to touch anything or anybody or allow any one to touch Him during His worships. In case He was touched by mistake then He would take bath at the earliest possible moment. What was unimaginable and impossible for a common man to follow had become His daily routine.
Later, Shri Bhausaheb Shingwekar decided to send Shree to Akkalkot, to stay with his younger brother Gangadharrao, who was the head of a monastery. Then Sonamata was no more in this world and Swami Shivananda was leading life of a recluse in Dirgah. Accordingly Shree came to stay in Gurumandir in 1926.
Shree was admitted in Shahaji High School of Akkalkot. He would keep to Himself and not freely mix with everyone. Only one fellow student with whom He was affectionately associated was Mahadevappa Shabade. Both used to share a bench. Even if Shree would be absent on a particular day no one would sit on His bench Even during those early days, His fellow students maintained a respectful distance from this young and reserved schoolmate. This is the same Shabade kaka who followed Paramsadguru, later like His shadow. He followed and obeyed Paramsadguru's every word like a command.
During these days one thought with which Shree was continuously preoccupied was that, what was being taught at the school was not worth calling Vidya (knowledge). It was mere bookish and worldly training enough to enable one to earn his living. Real knowledge would lead to realization and liberation. This was the knowledge, seeking which even the kings had chosen to renounce their riches and surrendered at the feet of Rishis (seers) in the forest ashrams. He was yearning for the real self-realization and pure knowledge and naturally the school curriculum did not attract His attention. However according to some of His school teachers Maths and History were His favorite subjects.
HEAD OF MONASTRY
In 1938, at the age of 20, He became the Peethadheesha (Head of the Monastry) of Gurumandir of Akkalkot. This Holy lineage of Masters had issued from Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj, who is respected as the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya.
Formerly it used to be called 'Sadguru Balappa Math'. It is now known as Gurumandir. Sadguru Gangadhar Maharaj, the brother of Shree's maternal grandfather (Bahusaheb Shingavekar), assumed the charge of Peetha in 1910. At the end of his career Sadguru Gangadhar Maharaj had only one nagging worry as to how and where he will find a spiritually advanced and able person to carry forward the mission of Gurumandir. It is out of this burning urge that he had a vision about a divine child who would be born to reiterate the Satya Dharma, protect the good and destroy the evil. That child was none else than Shree.
INITIATION BY AN INVISIBLE MASTER
This was in the early half of February in the year 1938.
Like everyday in the morning Shree was occupied in the religious services in the main temple of the math. As the hour was about 9 in the morning there was a marked silence all around. And it happened! Suddenly there echoed near Him very distinct sound of a mantra with 32 syllables. Instantly Shree became attentive and wondered who could be uttering the mantra at this hour. He looked around but there was nobody. A few moments passed and again He heard the same mantra for the second time and again very clearly. Now, to satisfy His curiosity, He came out of the sanctum sanctorum to see if Shri Gangadhar Maharaj was chanting the mantra. But no. Shri Gangadhar Maharaj was unwell and at this time was in deep sleep on his bench in the central hall. There was no other person in the hall or anywhere around. Shree returned to His seat and was about to resume the work at hand when once again He heard the same mantra for the third time in the same enchanting, clear voice. This time He became very alert because He realized that the mantra was being chanted very close to His ears but without touching them.
Instantly He realized that some highly enlightened divine being, some great Master is initiating Him with this Guru-mantra.
He accepted the Mantra. This established the holy relationship of disciple and Master between Him and His invisible master. The identity of the Master however, remained a mystery for the time.
This incidence opened new vistas in Shree's life. The happening, however, was of such subtle nature that even if He so desired He could not reveal it to anybody. The secret remained guarded in His heart for many years. Four years later, this so far invisible Master appeared before Him in person and disclosed His identity. He was none other than Lord Parashuram!
One year after becoming head of the Math He entered into matrimony. Things were as if being forced upon Him without His consent or involvement
According to the Divine plan, His marriage too must have been preplanned He found himself acceding to it although His mind was never in favor of it. In fact He was not interested in entering the normal material and worldly life like everyone else just as He was not interested in pursuing academic education. However, Mother (Shri Gangadhar Maharaj's wife) strongly desired that He should get married now. His reluctance about it had reached to the extent that the thoughts of adopting sanyasa-discipline in which one formally renounces all worldly attachments and possessions, loomed large in His mind
With the initiative of the Mother a young girl was introduced to Shree. The girl came along with her family and took darshan like any other devotee. Shree did not give any special attention or thought to it.
That same night Shri Gangadhar Maharaj appeared in His vision and said, " The girl which is introduced to you today is approved by us."
Shree hailed this approval of the Master as his command and next day conveyed to the Mother His readiness to marry the girl. Soon the marriage took place.
Ma Sharada became His wife. Once again the heavens proved right and consequently showered grace upon the disciples of Shree.
Ma Sharada, was a mother in the truest sense, compassionate, loving, considerate, ever caring, innocent as a child and always caring for her sons and daughters. (The innumerable disciples of Shree) making them feel important and the most loved ones. Ma Sharada was not only a spouse to Shree but a great aide in His mission. Soon Shree's life's routine was to take drastic turns involving difficult yet tenacious disciplines and Ma Sharada was the only one who could singularly take care of all that efficiently and with a smiling face all the time.
LORD PARASHURAM VISITS GURUMANDIR
"One evening, during the time of singing evening prayers in the Math, a sage with an imposing figure was standing in the middle of the hall. Nobody had seen Him coming in. He was fair complexioned, with white beard, matted locks of hair, tucking a black antelope skin under His armpit He was wearing a white muslin cloth wrapped around His body. At this moment Bapu Joshi a priest of the math, was going towards the kitchen to fetch something for the on going evening prayers.
Waving one of His fingers the visitor beckoned the priest to come closer and said "We will be dining here."
This was said in a commanding tone. The priest could say nothing, neither did he make any inquiries, just nodded in acceptance of the command and started proceeding towards the kitchen.
While going he casually turned his head once again to look at the visitor. Again the finger waved beckoning him. Almost shaking the priest came and stood near the sage. Now he was told " We require rice cooked from one seer (about a kg.) of grains." Again he simply nodded and going to the kitchen informed the Mother (Shri Gangadhar Maharaj's wife) about the visitor and His demand. By the time the evening prayer was over, rice and semi liquid preparation of gram-floor called 'Besan' or 'Pithale' was ready. This was now brought out to serve the yogi. Tree leaves were spread and soon the sage began eating. Shree was pacing up and down close by.
He was asked as to where He stays. In answer He said, " I keep wandering to holy places of pilgrimage." True. Wherever He goes that place must transform into a holy place! There was no other talk. Quietly He dined.
Dinner over, He went out and stood under the Audumbar tree in the courtyard of the math.
Those days it was the practice to close the Math's main door latching it from inside exactly at 8 p.m., that is immediately after the evening prayers were over. Shabade used to do this job.
The holy man called Shabade near Him and said " I will be resting here under the Audumbar tree. No one amongst you should come in the patio at night as long as I am here. I will leave some time in the night."
In response Shabade quietly nodded His head. The sage's imposing, appearance coupled with the majestic authoritative voice was so effective that even a hot-headed person like Shabade could utter nothing and neither could he dare to inquire anything. Quietly Shabade retreated. The command was obeyed. Nobody went in the patio at night. Early morning at 3 a.m., when Shabade, like every day, went to open the main door the sage had left. The latch on the main door was still in its place just like Shabade had fixed it at night while closing the door.
POORNABHISHEK : 12th March 1942
Later manifesting in actual human body Lord Parashurama identifying Himself initiated Shree with the most esoteric Tripuri Mantra. This is the supreme and ancient mantra handed down in most esoteric guru-disciple tradition. Actually according to Tantric scriptures the knowledge of this mantra is merely with divine beings like Lord Shiva, Lord Dattatreya and Lord Parashurama.
After initiation into TRIPURI MANTRA, Lord Parashuram performed a special Tantric rite termed as Purnabhishek ( Anointment ) on Paramsadguru. It is the rarest of rare ceremonies occurring after the lapse of eras. It is stated in the Tantra scriptures that to perform such purnabhisheka-initiation rite the guru and the disciple have to be both of a great spiritual stature. By performing this rite the disciple readily attains the highest spiritual goal and becomes siddha.
The ceremony took place in the hall outside the main sanctum sanctorum of Guru Mandir. Shree was sitting in front of Lord Parshuram. In front of them was a pitcher filled with holy waters, with a coconut placed on top of it. There were leaves of holy trees like mango and Banyan covering the mouth of it. A yellow piece of cloth was wrapped around it. Lord Parshuram then performed the marriage ceremony of Shree with this pitcher which represents the power of 'Tripuri Mantra'. During the ceremony Lord Parashurama invoked divine beings, ancient seers, deities, manes and incarnations, all of whom became visible in space as they were being invoked. These were being invoked as witnesses to the great rite Then He started blowing air with His mouth in Shree's right ear. The shaft of the air being uninterruptedly blown by Him was very strong, to the point of being unbearable. But Shree could not remove His ear away from it. Instantly every atom of Shree's body became charged with divine energy. With this act Shree was equipped with the amazing power of the most esoteric Tripuri mantra.
Shree had the privilege of making six pilgrimages along with Lord Parashuram. Normally these travels used to be always early in the evening and they used to return to the Math say about 15 to 20 minutes before 7 p.m. To and fro journey was always by celestial path. However they used to land 50 to 100 yards ahead of the place that was to be visited and covered the remaining distance on foot in the normal way. Both of them had traveled using the aerial routes with their physical body and not on the astral plane. Striking feature of this extraordinary travel appears to be that a considerable distance from Akkalkot to inaccessible peaks of Himalayas was covered in almost no time .The whole incidence has occurred in such a spellbinding manner that none has noticed the absence of Shree from His abode. The locations like the ashram of sage Vyasa are on the physical plane but nevertheless they are somehow hidden from the eyes of normal human beings. It means that these places mentioned in the epics do exist on the planet along with the immortal beings engaged in practicing the Tapa(austerities). In later years Shree used to narrate these journeys with minute details. These moments were His most treasured memories.
Following is an account as narrated by Shree.
"One evening, in the twilight hours, Lord Parshuram took us to a place which was like a plateau. We were told this is Sahyadri (a mountain range in Maharashtra) Plateau. After ascending three steep terrain's we reached a place where there was a small grass hut in which He and following Him We entered. We had to bend considerably low before we could enter it. Coming out from there looking towards the ravine from the top we saw a small river flowing. All around was lush greenery, chirping of birds was ringing in the ears. The atmosphere was heavenly. After some time we returned. No conversation took place.
Twenty years later, in the month of January, we visited a place of pilgrimage called Parashuram Kshetra (near Chiplun in Maharashtra). During this trip we were following a discipline of silence On seeing the surrounding atmosphere, instantly we realized that this was the same place we had visited earlier along with the Lord".
"Our second journey was to Himalayas. This time we visited the hermitage of the ancient sage Vyasa. On our way we saw a natural cave. We peered inside with observant eyes and saw an old sage sitting in deep meditation. A woman was sitting on one side of the cave with a musical string -instrument in her hands . Observing we kept walking ahead. We presumed that the lady was going to use the instrument to announce the evening Agnihotra time to the meditating sage or may be this instrument was played in joy, on completion of the sage's meditation. Those thoughts were looming in our mind when the hermitage, situated about 20-25 meters away, came into our sight. At this very moment we noticed a fierce tiger approaching us from the hermitage. Before we could think of anything we were told by the accompanying sage that he is non- violent. The tiger came and turning back began walking towards the hermitage along with us. The ashram was now only 5-6 meters away when a mongoose like animal was seen going inside it. Spotting this the tiger leapt after it. Spotting this we surmised that the animal, after all, is demonstrating its natural instinct.
When both of us entered the hermitage Sage Vyasa was in the process of wearing a garment made of barks. From the wet beard and the matted- locks it appeared that he had just taken an evening bath. We were introduced to sage Vyasa in these words " He is the one about whom we had told you." Sage Vyas said nothing, only expressed sheer bliss on his face. Behind him was a small group of immortal beings and sages appearing in epics and mythological accounts. Turning to the assembly of these holy beings, around a dozen in number, sage Vyasa , introduced Us to them in a mute language gesticulating with his hands. We heard the voice of one of these persons joyfully saying, "Oh, so You are the one." A second voice said, " we knew that You are coming." The third voice echoed, "Your coming has pleased us immensely." We departed hereafter. Fire was lit and ready in the Yajnya altar of the hermitage for the evening Agnihotra time. Then we returned to Math. "
"In yet another travel with Lord Parashuram we saw the entire area all around us covered with snow. We were told this is Himalaya. Later we learnt correctly that this was the mountain peak of Gnadhamaadan which is located near holy mountain Kailas and Manas sarovar Lake. These places are at extremely high altitude and are very difficult to climb.
The atmosphere over here was very pleasant. Land being fully covered with snow we had to walk on snow but this was not causing any problem. At one spot where we stopped while walking we saw a small hut (called 'Chatti') close to the place where we were standing. We did not look inside but from outside estimated that its interiors must be as big as the size of a small room. The moment our eyes rested on this hut Lord Parshuram told us, reading what was in our mind, "Travelers stop here for rest"
Shree could experience a fact that it was not necessary to ask any questions to Lord Parashuram. He is referred to be 'Poorvabhibhashi' meaning "a divine being capable of answering your query even before you begin speaking about it". He could actually understand the thoughts of others even before thy were verbally expressed. He read other people's minds clearly.
"The sunset was about 1 to 11/2 hours away because from where we were standing we could see the sun in front of our eyes. The feel of the sunlight at this hour was so pleasant as if it was the soothing cool light of the full-moon.
The overall effect instinctively inspired us to chant the esoteric Tripuri mantra as long as possible.
In front of the place where we were standing we saw a few strange animals which we had never seen before. Spotting them now we thought that they might be some milking animals. The moment this thought came in our mind, we were immediately told by Lord Parashuram, actually this was the Yak-animal of Himalayan mountains. The hilly people use it for all transport and agricultural activities as also use its milk.
Just then we saw a carriage passing. Our gaze was glued on the person sitting in the passenger seat of the carriage. The appearance of this person was so strikingly amazing that we could not remove our eyes from him. This person was enormously chubby. A round face, a very big round head. On this round head he was wearing a small bowl shaped cap, yellow skinned he was wearing a very thin moustache on this huge round face, so thin as if a thin line is drawn by a pencil. This was how he looked. A bit strange but attractive appearance. We saw this scene for a few seconds as the carriage passed in front of us."
A little while later we returned to the Math."
"During yet another aerial journey we were taken to the most holy mountain top of Kailash."
"Our fifth pilgrimage was late in the night. This time we found ourselves standing in front of the idol of Lord Vitthala in the sanctum sanctorum of the Vitthal Mandir of Pandharpur (Maharashtra State, India)
The doors of this sacred room were locked from outside and as the wee hours were approaching the thought that a priest or somebody might open the locks and enter suddenly was bothering us. However nothing of the sort happened and soon we were back in the Math."
"Our sixth travel too was late in the night or rather it was in the wee hours. This time we went to Shri Shailam (in Andhra Pradesh). Here the first worship early in the morning is performed by divine beings. Even at this time we were standing near the Shiva-lingam for a while. We saw fresh flowers offered to the Lingam in worship."
"We returned to the Math after some time."
In a vision the present pitiable condition of Satya Dharma on the planet was shown to Shree .He was shown four utterly sick and diseased dogs lying in a most pitiable condition These dogs were the symbolic representation of four Vedas and their message. Shree could see that these dogs were on the threshold of death. There was no signs of life in them other than faint appearance of breathing. Shree's heart was filled with immense compassion. towards those dogs
Lord Parashuram pointing towards the dogs remarked "Such is presently the condition of ancient most Satya Dharma of Veda."
On hearing the words of the supreme master, Shree spontaneously said "If this is the case then I will resuscitate the Veda."
Pleased on hearing this affirmation Lord Parashuram said "Verily this is my Gurudakshina (fee) "
Later on Shree, repeated the vow ceremoniously touching the lotus feet of His Master, Lord Parshuram. Shree uttered the words
" I will resuscitate the Vedas ".
The date was 21st September 1944. Ashwin Shuddha 4, Saka 1866. It was the auspicious day of Vijayadashmi.
This historic moment changed the course history of mankind. The vow put an end to the era of Kali Yuga symbolized by ignorance, evil and darkness. The 'New Era' was named by Shree as Satya Vikram Samvat.
On the same day Sapta Shloki (Seven Verses) were revealed unto Shree.
Sapta Shloki is chanted every day throughout the corridors of the world by numberless followers of Satya Dharma. It depicts the fundamentals of the Vedas in the form of 'Five Fold Path' consisting five eternal Vedic principles i.e. Yajnya(Agnihotra), Daan, Tapa, Karma and Swadhyaya'. It is a divine revelation and not a human composition. It is an astonishing verse, lucid, precise and full of meaning.
REKINDLING THE HOLY FIRE
One of the important events in Paramsadguru's life is rekindling of the Fire in Goa. It is situated in the land regained by Lord Parashuram from the sea. It lies to the West of the mountain ranges of Sahyadri.
Sakha Hari Apte hailing from Mapuca in Goa reached Akkalkot in the year 1945. In reality he was drawn towards his destination. He hailed from a Vedic family following spiritual practices in line with the Yajurveda tradition. Immediately after alighting at Akkalkot Road Station, he saw one horse-cart to travel to Akkalkot town which lies at a distance of about 7 miles. All happenings thereon can be classified only as inconceivable! Actually at that time no such horse-cart existed in the town. Apte was not aware how far he had to travel and how much time it would require but he certainly remembers that he was driven to his destination within almost no time at all! He was brought at the lotus feet of his master by divine will.
He says, "I remember the day very clearly when I first came to Gurumandir. A young radiant yogi was standing in the main hall door of the math. He welcomed me with these amazing words "Come. I have been waiting for your arrival!"
Apte was immediately attracted by the divine luster on Shree's face and he accepted Him as his master. Apte was asked by Shree to learn the chanting of Veda. He had resolved in the presence of Paramsadguru, that he would commence Agnihotra as described in Vedic scriptures. This formal Vedic rite was performed on the no moon day of Vaisakh month in the year 1963. The three altars were built and three sacrificial fires called Garhapatya, Ahavaniya and Daksinagni ie.Tretagni were churned from two pieces of woods amidst the chanting of Vedic mantras and firmly installed in his house never to go away. Shree had specially come to Goa for this function. He later revealed referring to this episode that it was a predestined day and only to rekindle the dormant Fire of Lord Parshuram he had visited Goa. And it so happened that the visit of Prime Minister of India Shri Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Goa coincided with the same day on which Shree was reestablishing the lost tradition of Agnihotra. Goa was granted freedom from the Portuguese rule and Nehru's visit was to celebrate the occasion. As if when the science of Yajnya was being revived by Shree, the entire city of Goa was in jovial state. The land of Parashuram was filled with joy. The reason for this being, the Yajnya system - the backbone of Vedic religion was taking roots.
This same 'Ahitagni' Apte played the chief role of Yajamana (sacrificer) of Somayaga that was performed at Shivapuri in 1969. This was a unique yajnya in itself. On this occasion, because the lost tradition of pure Vedic yajnyas was being reiterated by Shree. Vedic pandits who were well versed and trained under the guru-hood of great Vedic scholars, were summoned from all over the country A great cause was served by the Somayaga of 1969. In the annals of history of Vedic religion, after thousands of years, totally 'violence free' Yajnya was performed precisely according to the injunctions of Vedas. Shree insisted that no animal may be sacrificed in this Yajnya as this was in accordance with Vedic teachings. Referring to the 'violence-free' Yajnya Paramsadguru announced later, "Hence forth only Satvic Yajnyas will have to be performed. Even to offer a symbolic Pista Pashu (replica of animal prepared out of dough) amounts to committing nothing but violence. As such people offer Pista Pashu just because they are helpless, not being in a position to carry out actual animal sacrifice. That too is totally wrong. Violence in any form is unacceptable to Vedas",
YEARS OF SPIRITUAL PRACTICE - SADHAKAVASTHA
Once during a severe winter time, Shree was sitting in the sanctum sanctorum, wearing a full neck pullover. At this moment a regular visitor to the Math, who was earlier during school days, His teacher, remarked, "Is this how you perform worship, wearing a flashy garment? " The remark stung. It was enough for Shree to decide from that very moment never ever to wear stitched clothes. And all His life He never did. He used to wear a simple white cotton "Dhoti' around His waist and used a white piece of cloth as an upper garment. During winter times He often used woolen shawls.
In the year 1941, during the period of His rigorous spiritual practices, He spent, a full year facing mysterious odds.
In Yogic parlance, it is cited that with the awakening of the 'Kundalini' (awakening of the occult cerebrospinal centers or chakras- the astral lotuses) one has to undergo facing some or the other adversity for a definite period. In Shree's case this period was exactly one full year, starting from a particular Lunar day to exactly the same Lunar day one year after. All through the year Shree suffered from some or the other physical ailment. Almost everyday He used to encounter a new disease. Normally a completely healthy Shree, was suddenly attacked by a number of diseases one after the other. Regular treatment of physicians from Akkalkot, Solapur, Pune, Bombay became a routine. All possibly known diseases attacked Shree one after the other. In the morning a disease is diagnosed, medicine taken for its cure and by evening there used to crop-up a new one. No sooner medicine for this is taken the next attacked immediately thereafter. In this manner He ailed all the time. Home calls of the local physician named Dr. Rajopadhye was a familiar sight for the whole year. This strange phenomenon, however, did not shake Him. His innate 'Prnayam' (method of controlling life force- Prana- through regulation of breath) helped keep the flow of subtle vessels of the body Ida, Pingala and Sushumna in perfect order. He passed the year with out facing any critical situation
Gold and Money Untouchables
Shree stopped even touching gold and money. An incident prompted this change in Him.
Once He had to pay a bill of the local grocer for some material supplied by him to the Math. Shree asked this person to come on a particular day to collect the amount as some funds were expected from out station on that day. He gave His word about the day thinking the monies will arrive in time and the fellow can be paid as per the commitment. However, on second thoughts He became a bit apprehensive about the timely arrival of the expected funds. If that happens, He thought, it will certainly put Him in a very embarrassing situation. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, He told mother Umakaki to mortgage any one item of Jewelry belonging to Ma Sharada for a while so that the cash thus available can be kept ready and used, if necessary. This way He wanted be assured of keeping His commitment.
Umakaki however did not approve the concept of using her daughter-in-laws gold in such a manner. The news greatly pained Him. Musing over the reaction He surmised that gold is such a thing that it can lure anybody, however great that person may be and its attachment is almost unavoidable. This realization made Him totally disgusted about both Gold and money from that very moment. 'Gold is such a thing that even your own people part with you for its sake. All other relations weaken and fade because of its influence'. He thought..
Right away He took a decision never to touch both these alluring objects. On the same day He removed from His neck the sacred gold-chained rare 'Rudraksha' -bead and kept it aside. Earlier this sacred Rudraksha was worn in a plain cotton string and was originally worn by Shri Swami Samartha. After Him Shri Balappa Maharaj and later Shri Gangadhar Maharaj had worn it with great devotion. Subsequently Shree also was wearing it. It was woven in a thin gold chain in later years by some devotee.
Abstinence from use of Footwear
As footwear Shree used 'Padukas' (Wooden sleepers or shoes). He was wearing since many years, as is the practice of ascetics. However due to an incident He abstained from their use. It was since 1946 or 47. Once He was in Bombay for His annual visit in the month of Shrawan. On the day of His return He was to reach the railway station after visiting various houses of His devotees. Since morning He was wearing the Padukas. At the last house, before taking His seat, when He removed the 'Padukas' and kept them aside and didn't put them on. After the visit He came out of the house without wearing them and sat in the car. He told Shabade to take care of them. Shabade put them in a carry-bag and accompanied Shree to the railway station. Shree was travelling first class and Shabade was in the adjoining compartment. Once again Shree told him to keep the Padukas carefully. After reaching Akkalkot Shabade took them out from the bag and kept them in front of the worship room in the math. Somehow Shree did not wear them and they remained just where Shabade had kept them. After two or three days Shabade saw in a vision the familiar Padukas of Shree. The Padukas were the same but the feet wearing them were that of Shri Swami Samarth. Five days before this vision Shree had already stopped wearing them. Now after hearing about the vision from Shabade, Shree thought why should He wear the Padukas of Shri Swami Samarth and thus permanently discontinued use of them. Since then they have been kept aside, now in a closed wooden box in His personal room upstairs in the Math.
Discontinuing use of Padukas and now walking bare-footed caused no difficulty to Shree. Whether it was severe winter, scorching summer or muddy pathways in the rainy season, He walked with the same ease and stride, with out ever wincing or expressing discomfort. Even when visiting difficult terrain like hills or country-side roads, strewn with thorns and sharp edged stones etc. where even accompanying people wearing footwear used to falter, He kept up His brisk pace. Shree's normal walk was so agile and brisk that the accompanying persons had to literally run to keep pace with Him. All this was a real wonder to watch because Shree's feet were so soft, tender, beautiful and they always looked so sparklingly clean and fair that nobody would believe He has been walking bare-footed for years on all sorts of surfaces and places.
Siddhagni-Holy Fire Appears.
During the initial period of His rigorous spiritual practice Shree used to cook His own food. One day, before commencing the cooking, He was in the process of lighting the earthen stove in His kitchen. He put a few fresh sticks of wood in the earthen stove and taking a match-stick in hand was about to strike it when He saw smoke emanating from the cold stove. Surprised, He checked the stove for any smoldering remains of fire from the previous night but found none. The earthen stove was cleaned of any earlier remains just a few moments before and fresh cow-dung paste was applied to it all around and inside. There was no question of any living embers remaining inside. The fire had manifested the moment He had thought of lighting it. It was an automatic action.
Next day after finishing all the chanting of mantras, He began to light the wooden-stove, but to His great astonishment before He could do so once again the fire appeared from the cold stove. Surprised again He checked but found no cause for the smoke. Now when the same incidence repeated on the third day,
He immediately realized that Holy Fire is appearing before Him no sooner He thinks of preparing a live one. This means it is 'Siddha' fire and hence the cooking on such fire would be like getting 'Siddha' food. He cannot consume such food as it is ordained not to do so. Eventually He stopped cooking from that day and allowed mother Sharada and a few disciples to cook for Him. Thus, Holy Fire appeared before Shree in His kitchen room which later became His sitting room. A sign board to this effect is hanging on the wall of Shree's sitting room in the math which reads -
" This is the most holy place where the Divine Fire appeared before Paramsadguru. It is well known that similar incidence occurred in the life of Holy prophet Moses."
Vow Of Alms
Amongst the various disciplines adopted by Shree the most awesome was the 'Bhaikshacharya Vrata' that is subsisting on the offerings from the devotees. Incredible!! Imagine the son of a landlord with vast estates who is also the Head of a monastery which itself has its own assets opting for such a hard living. The discipline primarily signified that He would not accumulate any material possessions. He would not take any thing from is His ancestral properties nor that of the Math's for His own subsistence. Whenever and whatever He needed would have to come to Him from voluntary offerings from His disciples.
First of all His needs were very few and secondly these were of such simple nature that it was hard to believe that anybody could sustain with so little. Yet He opted for this discipline for life. This discipline imbibes the feeling of total surrender and non-attachment.
VEDIC MESSAGE SPREADS AROUND THE PLANET
During the later years we witness a visible unfoldment of divine plan.
An extraordinary mission of impregnating the atmosphere with the message of Satya Dharma was carried out by Mahanubhav Madhavji Potdar of Bhopal. He was called Sandeshta (messenger) by Shree .He was an ideal disciple with incomparable devotion and faith towards his master and mission. Until 1954, when he first came to Akkalkot, he was working as a General Manager in a cardboard factory in Bhopal.
Later Shri Vasantraoji Paranjpe was blessed by Shree and ordered to deliver the message of Fivefold Path of Vedas. Crossing the boundaries of seas he was asked to deliver the Vedic message to all the five continents. He traveled around the world many times and propagated Shree's message of Agnihotra in a language and manner which suited the modern thinking pattern as a super science
Today Agnihotra revived by Shree is being practiced in almost all the countries of the world. Literally thousands of families are performing it since many years, some for more then two decades!
Rejuvenation of Vedas, implies that the era is transformed. The period prior to Shree's vow was kaliyuga ie. dark era. After establishment of Satya Dharma, the darkness gradually went on waning.
Illustrating this point Paramsadguru had once made a remark, the purport of which is
"You are witnessing and experiencing a unique transformation which has been prophesied since thousands of years and which was awaited since long.
Whenever the Divine power incarnates in human form, while descending, it moves down from the celestial planes gradually charging the five primordial elements with the divine message. Later on these elements now newly impregnated with the divine will, bring about the transformation of the nature and the human minds in line with the divine will. You are presently going through this experience. At this time a process of mutation in the global thinking is underway.
If you wish to trace the same kind of age in the past, then you will have to go back thousands of years in the annals of human history. Whatever is now being ordained will be everlasting in its effect. From now onwards this alone will be the universal religion."
Paramsadguru used to explain the goal of His life in these words, "Once the vow was taken, every moment thereafter had to be employed for that purpose. Our breathing, eating, travelling or whatever else we do has to be only for that cause."
Once He observed, "Geeta was narrated by Lord Shri Krishna to Arjuna in a corner amidst the tumult of battle. Arjuna was the only listener of that message. Today innumerable translations and commentaries are available on Geeta. The message which was given in a corner of the world has spread through out the world. Even now our message of Agnihotra is progressing in the same manner"
The moment the vow of resuscitation of Vedas was announced by Shree, it was instantaneously fulfilled on a different dimension however its manifestation in a way that it becomes visible in a practical manner still continues. Great souls are Satya Sankalpa (the potency arising out of the practice of Truth, whereby every word they utter turns into reality). Their making a resolve is nothing short of fulfilling it. Once Shree said "Whenever a great sankalp (resolve) is pronounced by Divine incarnations, the Divine power works in the direction of the fulfillment of that resolve. For the upliftment of your own self if you want to participate in this mission, you may do so. Otherwise the Divine does not need it. Divine incarnations by virtue of their Yogic powers establish their message the very moment they resolve to do so. They do not need help from any one in this work. Hanumanji crossed the ocean and reached Lanka. He brought about the destruction of Ashok Vana, killed the demons and set Lanka on fire. Finally he even burnt the beard of Ravana. After all these feats, was there anything left for Shri Ramchandra to conquer? But by doing all this Hanumanji has indirectly driven home a message: I can do all this but I cannot establish Satya Dharma. It is Shri Rama alone who can do that "
He further remarked "The day we took the oath of rejuvenation of Vedas, that very same day it grew to be a giant tree. It pervaded the whole planet. Only an earthly manifestation remains to be witnessed by all. Satya Dharma is not propagated by any lectures but because the seeds of divine will are sown that one can give lectures about it and people listen to them".
Regarding the progress of the mission He remarked, "The mission of propagating the message of Agnihotra is gathering momentum day by day. Yesterday's situation is no longer visible today.".
MISSION PERMEATING THE UNIVERSE
Followers of the Fivefold Path are spread throughout the world today. They practice Agnihotra regularly at Sunrise & Sunset. As a result their lives have become disciplined. They have discovered a new life style.
As part of His mission Shree performed a Somayaga from 28th Feb to 4th March 1969 at Shivapuri. A whole new township was established by Shree primarily to fulfill the command of His father Swami Shivananda and for the performance of this great Yajnya. In future this Yajnya Nagar was to serve as the center from where His message was to spread through out the world. It was a great event. Learned Vedic scholars conducted the proceedings of the Somayaga. It was for the first time since 2500 years that a Somayaga was performed strictly as per the disciplines of Vedas in which there was no sacrifice of animals, no flesh oblations, not even suggestively. As a symbol of Somayaga a massive Yajnya pillar, which ushers in the New Era of Satya Dharma, was erected at Shivapuri.
Shree propagated the doctrine of universal peace and brotherhood. He preached the teaching of Ahimsa (Non Violence), Daan (Sharing of our assets with the feeling of humility), Love, compassion, forgiveness etc. His teachings inevitably transcended the barriers of caste, creed, colour, religion, cult, nationality or language and such other manmade distinction. He showered unlimited love and blessing on the downtrodden, poor and ailing of the world. He often taught His disciples that service rendered unto the needy and suffering is in true sense 'Divine worship '.
He attacked the caste system prevalent in Indian society and advocated equal rights and respect to women.
Shree promoted research and teaching of ancient Vedic language Sanskrit in which the fathomless treasures of humanity are preserved.
SHREE ATTAINS MAHASAMADHI
On 4th of May 1984 coinciding with the auspicious day of the birth anniversary of Lord Parashuram (Parashuram Jayanti) Shree came over to reside in Shivapuri. He intended to develop it as the center for the propagation of Satya Dharma. Development activities in Shivapuri were progressing with His blessings since many years. Shivapuri, already a serene and peaceful place now became a center of activity.Shree continued to reside here till His Mahasamadhi in 1987.
As His chosen time was coming near, He had given hints to many of His disciples saying " Our life's mission, for which we had come, is presently over. Now we are only awaiting the appointed time and the day of our Mahasamadhi" However, as it turned out, the hints were never understood clearly by anybody. Shree's magnetic bearing, spirits, observance of the daily hectic routine, denoted only perfect health. Every thing was sound and normal. No one was prepared to imagine or think in the remotest of his thoughts that the last moment could be so near, a reality to be faced so soon!. Even on the fateful day Shree went through the whole routine just as usual.
Sunday, 6th December, 1987, 8.45 p.m. Shree chose this moment to discard the bonds of physical existence on this earth.He suggested His close followers who were present at the moment to support Him sit on the bed. Thereupon, in a sitting posture He half closed His eyes meditatively and began the process of resigning the body to attain Mahasamadhi state. Shree looked peaceful, calm, emotionally unattached and was without any agony or pains. Moreover He seemed to be extremely contended as the one who had done His work, obtained His objective and fulfilled His mission. Now there remained nothing more to be said to anyone and no more obligations or duties to be fulfilled. The light of Universe disappeared.
Thousands thronged for the holy glimpse of their Master. All the assembled devotees witnessed, without exception, that there was a Divine splendour, an eye soothing bright glow on Shree's face. There was no sign of death. It seemed as if He was sleeping comfortably relaxed.
Thirteen years prior to this Shree had already contemplated about the Mahasamsdhi and had asked Mr. M.S. Parkhe (Pune) to prepare a document. Shree Himself had dictated the contents of this letter. He had authenticated this document by imprinting His right hand impression, duly immersing it in kumkum (Vermilion). He named this document His 'Mrutyunjay Patra' ( The Will of one who had attained victory over death)
As per Shree's wish and directive the place indicated by Him was finalized for the funeral rites. This is the place in Shivapuri where Shree had stayed during the performance of Somayaga. This is the place where Lord Shiva himself had appeared in person before Shree during the Somayaga and asked for a 'place for himself in Shivapuri'. This is a place of Shree's meeting with His master Lord Shiva. This is the place from where Shree gave His message to the atmosphere :
" THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BE ESTABLISHED ON THIS PLANET.LET THERE BE HAPPINESS, PROSPERITY AND PEACE EVERYWHERE.THIS IS MY ONLY WISH."
Earth from various countries, sand and clay from the most important and distinguished sacred places of India and other countries of the world, was, on one occasion spread on this land by Shree Himself. Enlightening the disciples about it Shree had said " Characteristically the attitude of any person from any where in the world, while looking at our memorial, will be that of very high regards. In the first place he will be enthralled because this (the memorial place) will consist of a part of his motherland. More over, this will have a part of his country's sacred land too. Secondly, in future, even the smallest particle of dust of this place is going to be highly consecrated due to the last rites that will be performed here on our body."
Sandalwood was used for the last rites. The altar on this land was raised by arranging the wood of various Yajnya trees especially brought for this purpose. Frankincense and Cow's ghee were used for lighting the fire. Vedmurthy Shri Vishwanath Shastri Shrouti, the most learned and knowledgeable Vedic priest performed the appropriate rites as propounded by the Vedas for cremation of Yogis after they had discarded the body.
As per the directives given in the will (Mrutyunjay Patra ), all the mortal remains, each and every piece of it , were collected carefully. The sacred ashes were also collected separately. A portion of the ashes was taken and smearing it on the Atma-linga established in front of the samadhi of Swami Shivanand the worship was performed in the accompaniment of the mantras. This was the marked highlight denoting the greatest respect the son offered to His revered father. This was His last wish.
The remaining ashes were taken by the devotees and these were spread at the roots of various plants and trees all over Shivapuri. That same evening there was a heavy downpour. The rains completed the job perfectly. Nature also paid its torrential respects by shedding incessant tears.
MOTHER SHARADA ATTAINS MAHASAMADHI
By choosing to discard His body our dear Paramsadguru had left us all alone. Probably this was not enough.
Jaganmata Sharada, known to all as 'Vahini' or the 'Mother' said, "I am Shree's shadow. I have always stayed by His side. He too, on His part, never went anywhere without me. How it happened other wise this time? Anyway. my mission is also over. I say unto you all my dear children to come together, be united, and live together in peace, harmony and pure love. Keep on observing the religious duties at proper times and be happy."
Determined that her mission in this world is now over the Mother abstained from food and water with a firm resolve. Exactly on the 10th day of Shree's transfiguring Himself in to the image of fire The mother also attained the Mahasamadhi.
It was difficult to contain the grief that came over every one. It was at this juncture everybody strongly realized, in the truest sense, how it feels like to be an orphan.
IMMERSION OF MORTAL REMAINS IN SEVEN HOLY PLACES
The last rites of the Mother's body were performed close to the place where Shree's body was consigned to the fire. The mortal remains were carefully collected. And look! The blessed marriage ornaments, which were on her body at the time of placing her on the funeral pyre, were found intact inspite of the extremely high temperature of the fire.
After this, seven copper vessels (urns) each for Shree and Mother were arranged, each individually containing the mortal remains of the two separately. On these urns the names of the seven places, indicated in the Mrutyunjay Patra (Will) were engraved. These were Haridwar, Jagannath Puri, Rameshwarm, Prabhaskshetra (near Somnath, Sourashtra), river Narmada (Gujrat), Kurukshetra, river Vashishthi (Chiplun, Maharashtra). This done seven groups of followers were formed. Each group was to go to one particular place out of the seven indicated. On 25th December, 1987 these seven groups left Shivapuri in, their separate vehicles. On the way these groups passed many cities and towns and let the devotees of these places offer their respects to the mortal remains. The groups stayed for the night at various fire-temples and Satya Dharma centers where they received appropriate reception and warm hospitality. Subsequently they reached their destination in time. On 30th December, 1987 exactly at 10 A.M. in the morning, with the first chanting of Vyahruti Mantras the mortal remains of the Divine Duo were immersed in the water at all the seven places.
This heart-rending episode, which began on the 6th of December, 1987 at last came to a halt on 30th December, 1987. During this period, time seemed to have come to an abrupt stop.
" If We so wish we can depart along with this body but on that route the arrow has been directed (or implanted) .**(See note at the end of Mrutyunjay Patra). In normal life too all along we have avoided the aerial route. The mystery behind this is already unfolded to you. You know about our earlier travels (along with Lord Parshuram by air route in subtle form). However, now some part of our mortal remains is expected in the waters of Narmada (river). This has obliged us to take the obvious decision to discard this body here on earth itself. Considering this we derived the conclusion that we should adopt the image of Fire. This will enable our dedicated followers and faithful devotees to meditate on our image in the Fire. On basis of this thought the decision about discarding the body has been resolved. Whatever may be the reason, the body is to be resigned here on earth was the decision finalized.
The issue about the body now so settled, the next most dear and equally valuable to our Prana (Life energy force) is Fire. We have preached, initiated and instituted the worship of the sacred Fire. Obviously, therefore, perform the last rites by consigning our body to the Fire because our body is not merely the outcome of five earthly elements. Now, since you are asking about the place where the last rites are to be performed we may suggest some thing. In fact, we had no intention of putting you in any embarrassing situation by talking about it. See if the place where we used to stand during the performance of the Somayaga is possibly available. (at Shivapuri where the Somayaga was performed in 1969). If not, then any other convenient place can be selected. You know about the sanctity and importance of that place (where Shree used to stand all the time signifying His presence during the course of performance of Somayaga) and the 'Three sentences' to which the successful completion of Somayaga is attributed. The sentences were -
" We have come from Kashi" ( Varanasi, the holy place in Northern India)
" Aham Kashi to Agataha"
"Do we have a place for us over here?"
Swami Shivananda himself is Siva, the Lord of the Universe - 'Vishwanatha'. He is Someshwar -Siva himself. Lord Siva appeared on earth and came here (to Shivapuri). Somayaga was instrumental, the reason for Kashi to appear here in Shivapuri. If possible perform the cremation rites on that spot of land or other wise where ever convenient."
After the cremation collect all the mortal remains. Do not leave even a single piece. There is to be no memorial erected over the collected remains. The ashes should be collected separately. Take this ash, all at a time, and smearing only once the Shivalinga and its Altar with it perform the worship. Subsequently when the Linga will be given the necessary shower this smeared ash is naturally going to be washed down. Do not ever forget that we have tremendous love for this spot of land where the funeral rites will be performed. Even after collecting the entire pile of ashes from here the remaining each and every particle of dust and clay of this place will still remain highly consecrated. How much will you collect?
After this the mortal remains are to be taken for immersion.
1. First of all a part of the remains are to be taken to the foothills of the Himalayas where it is to be immersed in waters of the Ganga at Haridwar. This is the Northern direction.
2. After this go to Jagannath Puri. Lord Krishna got percepts of advice from Lord Parashuram. His (Krishna's) mortal remains too were immersed here. At this place the immersion is to be done in Sea. This is East.
3. Rameshwaram is the holy place because of the holy bridge. King Dashrath's son Rama was the manifestation of Lord Parshuram's power. That Rama constructed a holy bridge here. At this place also a part of the remains are to be immersed in the sea. This is South.
4. After this, immerse some remains in the Sea at Prabhaskshetra (near Somnath, Sourashtra) at the confluence of three rivers and the Sea. This is the Western direction. The place was chosen by Lord Krishna for discarding the bonds of his body. Krishna too was cremated at this place.
Going to all the four directions is like completing a circle around the
earth. Also the message to the atmosphere was given through these
four directions (Through Patdarsaheb).
5. After this pour some remains in the water at Sangam where the Narmada (river) merges with the sea. This is the place that is mainly instrumental for consigning the body to the Fire on this earth. Lord Parashurama had performed penance for some time here.
6. The next place is Kurukshetra where Ramrhid is situated, the spot where all the Yadavas had gone.
7. The remaining are to be poured in the Vashishthi river which, when we were looking down from the hills of Sahyadri was visibly seen at the foothills of Mahendragiri (during the travel with Lord Parashuram).
Why the last immersion at the foothills of Mahendragiri was shown by us in a vision to Potdarsaheb. Dattatreya, Parshuram and in the third place a person present was the vision shown to him. The identity of that third place (person) is thus clarified when the remains are poured in the Vashishthi.
There are seven very small boxes. Names of places are written on top of each of them. These contain our teeth. These are also to be immersed along with the mortal remains at the directed places.
Note the figure of Seven. On that day (the historical day o which Shree took the supreme vow) we started composing the verses. These too are seven. That is the Saptashloki (the seven verses). Now also Seven places have been notified for the immersion of the mortal remains."
After the above authenticate document Shree got an Appendix added to this Mrutyunjay Patra on 2nd April 1977. In this enclosure to the original document Shree ordered to incorporate a few more details. It is like this :
" On the memorial place at Shivapuri we have spread the clay of different places. There is also the clay, sand and stones brought by Sudhakar (Mr. Parkhe's deceased eldest son) from Renuka Jheel, Jamadagni Thibba and Dehotsarga (place where Lord Krishna left his body). Caly from Holland also have arrived. If similar things like clay etc. are brought from America, Europe, Africa and Asian countries then these too, in the first place, should be spread all over the memorial place. After doing this spread the above mentioned things brought by Sudhakar on top of it to form the upper layer. When this land is so sanctified for laying the final bed before the arrangements start on this plot for raising the sacred altar for the cremation pyre the clay brought from our birthplace Kharagpur should be spread on this purified spot of land. This clay can be found kept in a container which is placed before the idol of Sonamata at the time of the periodical Hara Rama mantra recitation on every thirteenth day after no moon day. After the cremation, collect thoroughly all the resultant pile of ashes care fully. Smear the Atma-Linga of Swami Shivananda with these ashes. At the time of this Linga worship take due care that not even a pinchful of ash is left unused. If any person out of sheer devotion, requests for a small quantity of the Ashes for worship do not give it. Our memory and worship is prescribed in the Fire in which We will disappear and dwell hereafter. Even for memory's sake no body should take this ash. After the worship, by smearing the Linga of Swami Shivananda with the ashes, the Linga should be given a shower. However, before starting this, arrangement should be made to collect at one place, in a big container, the flowing ashes and the water from the Linga. To achieve this, hold the container under the Linga at the time of the shower. Make thoroughly sure that all the ash is properly collected. It should not be left lying here and there on the floor. The shower finished, take out the container filled with all this ash-mixed water. Pour this ash mixed water in the roots of various Yajnya trees, Rudraksha and Ashoka trees and other fruit and flower plants blooming at different points in Shivapuri. After pouring the water make sure that it is thoroughly mixed with the earth so that it becomes one with that clay."
** Note :
The scriptures based on Ramayan described an incident in which Dasharath's son Rama and Parashurama meet each other. The incident is very suggestive and, in an important way, linked with the future course of the history of religion.
Dasharath's son Rama had already broken the Bow of the Shiva and won for himself his bride Sita in the choice-marriage. Breaking the Bow of Shiva was considered an act of great valour. However, this was not enough. There was yet more powerful Bow, the Bow of Vishnu, which no mortal could have set an arrow onto. At the time of this Rama and Parashurama meeting the destined incidence took place. Parashurama asks Rama to lift the Bow of Vishnu (which Parashurama possessed and was considered the most powerful) and set an arrow on to it. This Parashurama said would prove Rama's valour in eternity. Rama accepted the invitation. Offering his regards to Parashurama, very devoutly Rama came forward to perform the unique deed. He lifted the Bow of Vishnu and set an arrow on to it. Parashurama was pleased with this presentation of Rams' regal power. However, now Rama asked where he should plant the arrow. It was necessary to do so because otherwise the string of the Bow will remain stretched as it is. It was this particular moment that was to set the course of future history. Parashurama on a meditative thought, asked Rama to plant this arrow towards his (Parshuram's) aerial routes to various Divine, celestial abodes attained by him by means of ardent penance. By this act it was evidently made very clear that Lord Parashurama had himself allowed to plant a barrier on the aerial routes to various celestial worlds attained by him as future abodes.
It was for this reason Shree too denied himself these routes.
· 1892 : Birth of Swami Shivananda
· 1899 - June 4th : Birth of Sonamata.
· 1914 : 14 visions shown to Sonamata
· 1918 -May 17th : Birth of Paramsadguru Shree Gajananmaharaj
· 1921 : Birth of Shree's sister Kamalabai: Incidence of "Victory over death": Swami Shivanand attains highest spiritual goal.
· 1921 : Arrival and stay at Sakori with parents.
· 1922 : Child Gajanan engulfed by holy Fire. (1/12/1922): Sonamata initiates the chanting of "Hare : Rama" Mantra (2/12/1922).· 1924 6th&7th of bright half :of month Jeshta : Samadhi of mother Sonamata.
· 1924 -27 August : Shree's first padyapooja.
· 1925 : Shree's thread ceremony.
· 1926 : Shree arrives in Akkalkot.
· 1938 : Swami Shivananda comes to stay in Gurumandir.
· 10th day of dark half of month Magh : Initiation by invisible master into 'Krishnashakti mantra'
· 10th day of bright half of month Phalgun (11th March 1938) : Shree becomes head of monastery.
· 1938 : Lord Parshuram visits and accepts meals in Gurumandir.
· 1939 -May 7th : Shree and Shardama get married.
· 1942 -12th March : Poornabhishek - initiation in to the esoteric Tripuri mantra by Lord Parashurama.
: 1944 -21st September. : Vision of the dying dogs symbolizing the pathetic condition of Vedic Satya Dharma.
· 1944 -27th September : Shree proclaims the vow "I will resuscitate the Vedas" and the subsequent revelation of Sapta Shloki.
· 1954 -April 16th : Samadhi of Swami Shivananda.
· 1969 -28th Feb to 4th March :The unique Soamyaga performed in Shivapuri.
· 1984 - 4th May : Shree shifts residence to Shivapuri.
· 1987 -6th December : Shree's Mahasamadhi.·
· 1987 -15th December : Samadhi osf mother Sharda.
· 1987 -30th December : The mortal remains of the divine duo immersed in water at the seven places indicated by Shree in Mrutyunajaya patra.
TeachingsCommon man finds himself confused about the path to be followed. For the benefit of mankind Shree has bestowed us with Fivefold path. It is the essence of Vedas. These are the fundamental principles of Satyadharma of Vedas. They are presented in simple, lucid, eloquent and easily practicable manner. Fivefold path consists of five principles. However, these are not to be dissociated from each other. In fact, all five disciplines put together makes one single unit. It is an ideal way of life in which one strives to practice all these disciplines at one time. The essence of Vedas is offered to you in the most simple manner at your doorstep. There is no chance for confusion.
Let us understand the five principles in short.
Along with creation the Almighty father ordained the practice of Yajnya (Agnihotra) to mankind. He commanded, " O man behold, Yajnya is Kamadhenu (All giver). Practice Yajnya with utter devotion using your body, speech and mind. Yajnya is for your happiness and welfare. Your life is dependent on the five elements of the nature. By the practice of Yajnya the cycle of nature is balanced. Thus, even your life will be happy. If nature bestows abundance upon you, you must repay it with a feeling of gratitude in the form of Yajnya. One who does not perform Yajnya is selfish ".
Yajnya is first principle of Five Fold Path. It is the process of purification of atmosphere with the agency of element fire. Yajnya involves offering of specific organic substances into the fire accompanied by chanting of mantra vibrations and nurturing the feeling of total surrender to the will of Almighty. This is the secret of practice of Yajnya. Yajnya are based on various rhythms of nature. They are divided in to two types.
(1 ) Nitya (Daily) and (2) Naimittika (coinciding with special occasion). Some Yajnyas are performed on full moon and no moon days or on the advent or rise of various stars (Nakshatra Ishti) or the advent of specific seasons such as summer etc. During some Yajnyas the juice of the medicinal herb Soma is offered to the fire, which has tremendous purifying and healing effect on the atmosphere. Agnihotra is to be performed daily and hence it is Nitya Yajnya. It is performed at sunrise and sunset times which are the two most important circadian biorhythms of of nature. Agnihotra is ordained to be performed to coincide exactly with these vitally important transitional movements. The performance of Agnihotra creates pure, clean and medicinal atmosphere. It cleanses the negative effects of pollution on Prana. It relaxes the mind and unburdens the mind of all stress and strain. Regular practice of Agnihotra activates a healing cycle, making plants, animals happy and peaceful in it. Agnihotra is the simplest and easily practicable discipline for nurturing Total Surrender (Ishwar Pranidhan). Ishwar Pranidhan has been regarded as an alternative to the practice of Yoga and all other disciplines aimed at liberation. This is stated by the great seer Patanjali.
The performance of Agnihotra involves actually little time and expenditure. Exactly at local sunrise and sunset timings a small fire is prepared out of dried cow dung cakes in a semi-pyramid shaped copper or clay pot. Two offerings of raw rice smeared with a few drops of cow`s ghee are offered into the fire with the chanting of following mantras.
1) Sooryaya Swaha , Sooryaya Idam Na Mama
(Make the first offering)
2) Prajapatayae Svaha, Prajapataye Idam Na Mama
(Make the second offering)
1) Agnaye Svaha, Agnaye Idam Na Mama
(Make the first offering)
2) Prajapatayae Svaha, Prajapataye Idam Na Mama
(Make the second offering)
Daan is the second aspect of five fold path. It means sharing of ones assets in the spirit of service and humility. Attachments to material possessions burdens the mind. A man continuously clings mentally to his worldly possessions. This burdens him physically and mentally. A poor man does not have wealth and riches so he perpetually thinks about acquiring that object and for that purpose physically strains himself. This carving puts a lot of negative pressure on his mind and body. Having acquired he does not rest. He strives to retain it and acquire more. This is true also in the case of a rich man. The mind is never satisfied. Wants and attachments continuously keep everybody on the strenuous move and keep the mind strained and stressed. Daan develops a feeling of nonattachment to worldly possessions thus it is a great aid for unburdening and reliving stress on the mind. Daan should be practiced for helping our own mind and not for obliging others. It should not be practiced with a feeling that you are doing it for some one else's benefit, but for your own sake. Daan should be practiced without the expectation of name or fame. One should not expect anything in return out of the act of Daan . A pure act of Daan is practiced with the feeling of humility. Otherwise, it becomes a commercial donation or advertisement.
Lord Jesus describes Daan in a perfect way " But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. That thine alms may be in secret and the father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly " - T. Matthew 6-3 & 4.
Daan should be practiced with wealth accumulated by sincere efforts and earning. The wealth should not be accumulated by immoral means. Daan should be given to a needy person. Giving food to a hungry being or allowing shelter to a homeless or sharing water with a thirsty is Daan. You should share your assets with a needy person who is not likely to spend the asset for indulgence in negative acts (Akarma). This is called Satpatra Daan. Daan is universal act because attachment is universal. It is the duty of both the rich and poor alike. Attachment gives rise to stress and creates hindrance to the state of happiness. A rich man is attached to his abundant wealth so is the poor man to his tiny fortune. Daan is necessary for both of them. Bhagwat Gita ( Chap 17, 20-22 ) describes Daan in a lucid manner.
" To perform Daan is my pure duty - a Daan practiced with this idea, in a proper and fitting place and time and to a worthy person without expecting any returns from him is known to be Sattvika Daan.
That Daan which is practiced with a view to receiving in return or looking towards its fruits or practiced grudgingly, is said to be Rajasika Daan.
The Daan that is practiced at a wrong place and time to any unworthy person, without regard or disdainfully is said to be Tamasika Daan. "
(Self Discipline):-Tapa is the third aspect of Five Fold Path for happy living. Tapa is a self-imposed discipline over body, mind and speech. Tapa is the mental and intellectual fire burnt by continuous and strenuous effort in which the six crocodiles, passion (Kama), anger (Krodha), pride(Mada), attachment (Moha), envy(Matsar), greed(Lobha), etc. which harass our mind are burnt. Our mind and body are like spoilt children. Actually their basic wants and needs for functioning are minimal. How much food does our body require to live? How much space does our body need for protection? Is there any special cloth that our body needs to continue breathing? All these basic need are minimal and simple. A poor man lives in a simple hut and rich person having physically the same make-up lives in a palatial house. What is the difference? It is our mind that creates the difference. If we develop a habit of living in a palace. Sleeping on soft and smooth beds,eating sumptuous food, our body and mind will continuously crave for it. If denied these perks, the body and mind will revolt against the condition and make you unhappy, sad and miserable. Think, are these things really necessary? Your mind is acting like a wild animal, like a spoilt child. It is undisciplined. It needs training and imposition of rules and regulations. The need of disciplining our mind and body is our own choice, it is a self imposed task and endeavor. It is born out of personal necessity. This self-disciplining is called Tapa.
Each and every person needs to follow tapa in one own way or another irrespective of class, sex, creed or anything. To be happy we must decide who is the master. Is it our body or is it our mind or is there a third entity residing in the body which is the master? Yes, the atman (soul) is the master. Body and mind are its slaves. These slaves have exploited their master and have started acting like wild animals. They have started harassing and unnecessarily burdening their master by creating stress and strain. Tapa is the means to tame them. Sincere desire and efforts to discipline ourselves, hard work and intellect are our weapons. Absolute concentration in using these weapons is necessary.
A common man has a peculiar impression about the word Tapa. They feel that to practice Tapa you must go to a forest, wear loin cloth or tree bark, live in a hut, grow a beard, have a sad look on your face etc. No. This is not true. The enemy is within your body. It is so close to you, then why go to a forest? Close your eyes and you will be in solitude. There are no prerequisites for the practice of Tapa. It can be practiced in your own house while fulfilling your worldly duties without even allowing others to know it. The idea is to minimize wants and needs of the body, control the outgoing tendency of the mind and discipline your sense organs. The reason is simply because these things burden our mind and create hindrance in attaining the state of happiness.
Illustrations of Tapa are difficult to quote. What act in context of one person is Tapa, may not be Tapa in case of other person. If a person is attached to food then he may think of disciplining himself by following food Tapa i.e., controlling the intake of food. But the fellow next door may be poor or sick and may be naturally consuming less food. Thus can we say that this person is also practicing food Tapa ? No. The idea is to eradicate attachment and carving. The other person may be addicted to alcohol. Food may not be his problem. The point is that the weakness and targets for practice of Tapa should be identified and decided by the person himself. According to Gita ( 17, 14 - 8 ) there are three types of Tapa:
" Nurturing devotion and regard towards holy persons, teachers etc. purity, straightforwardness, non indulgence in sex, nonviolence are physical Tapa.
Speech that does not hurt others and which is truthful, agreeable and beneficial, as also study of Vedas are said to be Tapa practiced with speech.
Serenity of mind, kindliness, silence, self-control, and purity of heart are said to be mental Tapa. This three fold Tapa practiced with great faith by men who are not desirous of fruit is said to be Sattvika Tapa.
That Tapa which is practiced to gain respect, honour, adoration, and that with ostentation and which is unsteady is said to be Rajasika Tapa.
That Tapa which is practiced out of foolish notion, with self-torture or for the purpose of ruining others is termed as Tamsika.
The practice of Tapa should be continued with courage. The battle between the mind and intellect is perpetual and unending. The mind is very powerful and cunning. It harps on a person's weakness and shortcomings. It knows how to shatter the fortress of our plans. One has to fight the battle of Tapa with endurance, strong will power and strenuous efforts. If your mind deceives you and breaks you down, even then you must start afresh with out feeling sad, march towards the goal, the practice of Tapa should be continued.
Tapa will unleash potent powers of your mind. It will make your mind strong and free it from the bonds of six - fold vices called shadvikars. Tapa generates love and bliss. It makes you feel satisfied and self-confident. This the processes of character building through self discipline.
Even in the past without Tapa no one has attained knowledge of the self. By practice of Tapa will power is developed and nourished. It improves our perception and grants a special insight to see beyond the material world.
Desires are unending. It is like a vicious circle. The circle never ends. One keeps revolving around trying to satisfy them. One sensual desire fulfilled triggers another. By resorting to Tapa we can get out of this circle. It is by eradication of desires that happiness is achieved and not by gratification. One has to perceive the difference between need and desire. Tapa purifies the body and makes it a suitable instrument of the Divine.
Karma is the fourth aspect of Five Fold path of Vedas. Karma means right action performed with out attachment. Its purpose is self-purification. Cause and effect is the universally accepted, elementary law of physics. Each result or action has a cause behind. If you create friction it will give rise to heat. If you create collision of two objects it will give rise to noise. If this principle is transposed to the realms of philosophy it takes the shape of ' Law of Karma '. It is described as " reap as you sow ". Each action begets its fruits. Right action naturally begets good fruit; on the contrary, wrong action begets bad or miserable fruit. A good action is called Karma and bad action as akarma. Resultant to good Karma one experiences love, peace and happiness opposite to which Akarma creates misery and sorrow. Naturally if you sow good, tasty and healthy seeds, you will expect good fruits. You cannot expect tasty and good fruits from bad, diseased and poisoned seeds. All that has been stated here is pure sense and logic. This the simple but important law of Karma of the Vedic Fivefold Path. Vedic scriptures state in concrete, unambiguous and clear words what is good action, what is bad action. For that matter all scriptures, revelations, sayings of prophets, masters, avatars, saints, etc. based on the Vedas clearly state the right actions. One should follow these directions in day-to-day life. It is easy and there can be no confusion.
For even a single fraction of a moment one can never remain without committing an action. Action is ever present. You move, speak, laugh, hear, eat, run and breath every moment of your existence.
A living being is compelled to perform actions continuously. Vedas state that one must perform all necessary Karma. One should thoroughly and mindfully perceive the difference between good Karma and negative Karma. Because Karma creates bondage it is not practical to avoid performing actions. The ancient Yogis and Sages like Janaka, etc. have attained perfection while performing their ordained duties. They have never run away from duties due to fear of Karmic bondage. Having shunned your sense organs from exterior action, if you mentally indulge in pleasures of sensual organs then it is clear hypocrisy. It is better to perform the actions of your body without being attached to them. The Vedic secret of Karma is that a person must undertake all necessary and ordained Karmas in his life. The only thing is that he is to alertly follow the injunctions of Vedas to reason what is good action and what is bad-action. While performing Karma one has to stay away from expectations of the fruits of one's Karma.
Practice of truth (Satya), non-violence (Ahimsa), compassion (Daya), pondering on holy or pure thoughts (Shiva-sankalpa), Sharing with needy
(Daan), pure way of life, celibacy or non indulgence in sex (Bhramacharya), abstinence from anger, alcohol, theft, etc. are some ideal Karmas ordained by Vedas. At every step Vedas guide us as to what is good Karma and what is an evil Karma. There is a list of such " Do's and don'ts " handed down by our scriptures. One has to follow them with alertness and mind fullness. When we achieve this state then all our actions or Karma yields self-purification. It then ceases to be bondage. This is the state of Karmayogi.
Vedas ordain performance of Yajnyas ( Agnihotra ) as the first and foremost action. It is stated that if you indulge in Karma for the performance of Yajnya you are not bound by the resultant bondage. The Karma involved in the performance of Yajnya leads to surrender and self-realization. It is such because the Almighty Father has ordained Yajnya simultaneously with the creation of the Universe.
Swadhyaya is the fifth aspect of Five Fold Path. The word Swadhyaya comes from the combination of two Sanskrit words i.e. ' Swa ' ( self or pertaining to self), Adhyaya ( study ): hence, it means self study for attainment of liberation. The Yoga tradition of Patanjalii includes Swadhyaya in Kriyayoga.
Swadhyaya means the study of " who am I ". It is the understanding of and experiencing the true nature of the self (atman) and the cosmic- self
(paramatman). It is the study and meditation of whom we call ' me ' or ' I ' in its real sense. Is the body ' me ' or is my mind ' me ' or is there an additional entity in the body governing my thinking pattern and impeding me towards indulgence in action ? Which is ' I ' in the real sense ? Is my body and mind the master of my ' self ' or is it my ' self ' that is the main entity which has assumed the human form with body and mind ? What is the purpose of my assuming the body and mind ? How can I liberate my 'self ' from the bonds and cycles of birth and rebirth ? What is the real nature of the universe ? Is it real or unreal ? Is it eternal or perishable ? What is the aim of my life ? All these questions are dealt in the personal Swadhyaya. Meditating on these themes is Swadhyaya. Perfect guidance on these matters can be authoritatively given only by Vedas. Thus Swadhyaya means study and meditation on Vedas and the scriptures relating to Vedas handed down by masters, yogis, prophets and messengers.
Swadhyaya means understanding the real nature of Karma. We have to apply our power of discrimination to differentiate between right and wrong, good and evil. Meditating on this is Swadhyaya.
Our sense organs give us a tremendous pull towards their objects of enjoyment. We are forced by our mind and body towards objects of sensual pleasures. But once having attained that experience do our organs feel satisfied or gratified ? No every satisfaction of desire gives rise to many more carvings. Then what is the means of controlling our needs and carvings of desire ?
This is Swadhyaya.
Swadhyaya can be practiced by means of repetition of any Vedic or Guru-ordained Mantra with absolute attention. It is not mere Mechanical recitation but is an effort of identifying with the purport of mantras simultaneously with repetition. This automatically unlocks abundant mental energies, Resultant to which one experiences peace and bliss. The Gayatri Mantra is a mantra, which has tremendous vibrational efficacy. One may recite this mantra as a part of his Swadhyaya. Continuous repetition of mantra unlocks subtle energies of the mind and answers to many questions of Swadhyaya are experienced.