Also an excuse for listening again and again to savour every pearl in the oysters of the words flowing from Sri Sri Anna's mellifluous voice while writing them down. Yet another reason for those folks who wish to read in English.
Namapankaga nethraya namasthe pankajankraye!
Gopika Jeevana Smaranam Govinda Govinda!!
With the divine grace of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, here are assembled many sadhus. Satsangham, the company of truth is possible only by the grace of God. If we have done crores of punyam in various births, the merit (punyam) will result in heavenly happiness or the worldly happiness but the satsangha benefit or bhagyam will only be got by the divine grace of bhagawan Sri Krishna. Otherwise it is not possible. Are there not sadhus in this world? There are many sadhus present, but the mind to use their company wisely is not present within the people. A sadhu will be close by, even present in our own home, yet we wont use them wisely. Bhaktha Prahlada was not understood by Hiranyakashipu, the gain that prahlada obtained was not got by Harinyakashipu. Kamsa never gained the satsangham that was with Sri Akrurar although he was close to him. But Kamsa never understood Akrurar. Likewise many people even being in the midst of the company of the sadhus wont understand them and wont use their satsangham. Only with the blessings of Sri Krishna, will the company of the sadhus have its merit and use. Whomsoever has the grace of Sri Krishnan will benefit from the satsangham and will have the use of the company of the sadhus. What will be the benefit from the sadhus, if we ask, then the answer is Sri Krishna kathai. Those who say Sri Krishna kathai are the sadhus. Those that perform the vaidheegha karma purohitars (conducting of family sacraments - priests), sastrigals are also sadhus, pandits who have studied the sastras are also sadhus, sathyasandhan (wedded to truth), sishtacharyas (righteousness) who dont stray away from the path of dharma are sadhus too, those that perform the ashtangayoga abhyasa (the 8-fold yoga) are also sadhus. Those who inquire into the atma and wish for it are also sadhus. But those who perform satsangham, bhagavannamakeerthanam, bhagavatha pravachanam, bhagavatha katha sravanam are called as the only sadhus as the bhagawan in the satsangha mahatmiyam and its significance, Sri Krishnan himself does the upadesham to Sriman Uddhavan in the bhagavatham.
na roDayathi maM yogaHa
na sanKyam dharma eva ca
na swaDhyayas tapas tyaGo
nesta-purtam na dakshina
vritani yajnas chandaMsi
tirthani niyama yamaH
yatha varunde satsangHa
sarva-sangapaho hi maM
Hey Uddhava, I am obtainable only by satsangham....na rodayathi maM yogaHa = just by yoga....I wont be obtained, not by dhanam (wealth) or dharmam (charity or service), nor by tapas, nor by soul awareness, nor by sanyasam but only by satsangHam, I am always obtainable. But this doesnt mean that the bhagawan is not obtainable either by dhaana, dharma, karma or sanyanas or association with them and obtainable only by satsangHam. The bhagawan doesnt say these practices are not the means. The bhagawan means that beyond these types of means, (thinking of a different type of sadhu), the bhagavan mentions that I am obtainable by satsangHa. Now who is that sadhu? The bhagawan says,
varada kathayanto guNakathAH
between the namam and roopam there is a synchronous relationship, when we say the namam, immediately the rupam will be remembered. When elephant is described as a namam, immediately the picture of the elephant is remembered isnt it!
thats what we should become, we should protect the nama. How we should protect, whether with or without ruchi, while for some, immediately the taste of nama will be obtained, whereas for others after lots of effort but the effort for getting the ruchi is prema (love).
jAtAnurAgo druta-citta uccaiH
hasaty atho roditi rauti gayaty
In Srimad Bhagavatham, Kavi Yogeeswarar says....
there is no other sadhana apart from nama
....evam vrattaha - to attain the bhagawan this is the only way.
nastyeva gatir anyathaHa!
We should protect the nama. Upanishad says,....
'etad alambanam param'....,
the namam is the alambanam (support/take hold of). Its hard to take hold of the parmatma, he is everywhere, what then is the procedure, the answer is in....'tasya vaachakaH praNavaHa' - Om!....is the vacHakam and the namam to take hold of. Amongst the many namas, praNavam is one of the namam and praNavam is the hold to get Brahmaswaroopam. What then is the mahimai (significance) between namam and praNavam? praNavam is the alambanam for obtaining brahmaswaroopam as shown by the upanishads and the same upanishad told the mahimai of the bhagavan which is the namam. More than 1 Lakh japam of praNavam is equivalent to saying "Narayana, Narayana" namasmaranam. For praNava japam there is a stipulated order, but for the namasmaranam there are no limitations, anybody can say it. Ajamilan chanted Narayana and attained Mukthi. Narayana namasmaranam has so much significance than the Omkaram....omkara lakSha adhikaM....
Such a namasmaran everyday morning in the sannidhanam of the bhagavan - NARAYANA SHARAS as its termed, to be drenched in the sharas early morning, bhakthas await here in the early hours of the morning for krishna darsanam is a great sight by itself. All these people say "Narayana, Narayana, Narayana, Narayana"....awaiting all night waiting for the early morning....nidra vasana ramaneeya mukaravindau....little kids still in their disturbed sleep, they were woken up by 3.00am or 4.00am....Uthishto Uthishta Govinda uthishta garudadhwaja Uthishta kamala kantha thrilokyam mangalam kuru....,people await the wakening of the bhagawan chanting "Narayana, Narayana". When the door is opened, now the people who have been saying "Narayana Narayana" so far will now suddenly exclaim "Krishna! Guruvayurappa!", "Krishna! Guruvayurappa!", Krishna! Krishna!. Why, more than a lakh praNavam is Narayana namam, more than a lakh Narayana namam is Krishna Guruvayurappa, Why, due to the love. If Narayana is said, there is fear and respect for the bhagawan's immense power as also because it is perumal, bhagavan, whereas the love for little kutti krishna, its our unnikrishnan, guruvayoorappan, we could rush and hug the bhagawan as the swaroopam is. We would not feel like saying "namo namaha narayana" then. We would like to parmalinganam krishna, hug and lift him up, such would be a desire then and therefore when they say Krishna Guruvayurappa, the upanishad's Om praNavam is being said to the prabhramham. Saying Narayana is told in the puranams, the same bhakthas say "Krishna Guruvayurappa" here in Guruvayur.
Everyone generally would think that Sri Krishnan is himself Guruvayurappan. But the truth is Our Guruvayurappan was born as Sri Krishna in Gokul. Guruvayurappan existed before Sri Krishna. Krishna came afterwards. Similarly it is said, in Srirangam bhagawan Ranganathar existed before Sri Rama. Bhagawan Sri Ranganathar himself then came into being as Sri Rama. Therefore for krishna an idol has been setup and this is a kshetram of krishna is what everyone generally thinks. But Guruvayurappan came into being as Sri krishna is a great surprising fact. Since Guruvayurappan is in Guru Vaayu puram, but actually once upon a time Guruvayurappan was in Madurai, this is told in Madurapuri, Kartikeya Mahatmiyam - Madurayam KartiKe masi poojeyam aDhikesavam. There is a sannidhi called Adhikesava perumal in the times of kamsa and before that its is present. This Adhikesava perumal temple even today exists in Madurai. But the Adhikesava murthi has left from that place. In Madurai, Devaki and Vasudeva were praying to the Adhikesava murthi that their troubles should be over. What their trouble was that, after their marriage they did not have Grihapravesam, instead they had Karagrihapravesam (Put into Jail). So in their lives within the jail, many children were born and each were done to death by kamsa who had slaughtered them. They had no peace and they prayed to the kshetram Murthi bhagawan Adhikesava -
gala shobhi kaustubham,
maharya vaidurya kiritakundala
tvisha parishvakta sahasrakuntalam
uddhama kanchanagada kankanadibhir
virochamanam vasudeva aikshate
martyanam kim utasisah
varada kathayanto guNakathAH