Dwarakanatha - 6

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dwarakanatha - 6
     Once some of the residents of Dwaraka became proud with ego. Sudarsana azhvar had the ego that he was the foremost among the attendants of Krishna. Garudazhvar thought that there was no one to equal his speed and power to carry Bhagavan wherever He goes.  The 16108 consorts of Bhagavan developed the feeling that Bhagavan liked them most. Bhagavan can never stand ego of any sort. He decided to subdue their pride. He decided to use Anjaneya the great bhaktha
      As antharyami He induced Anjaneya   to come to Dwaraka. Anjaneya entered a park in Dwaraka and began to destroy it. The security people came running and reported about a strange monkey which they couldn't control. Bhagavan first sent Sudarsana azhvar  to take care of the monkey.  Sudarsana felt very proud that Bhagavan knew his powers and dedication and so has selected him for this kainkaryam. He kept circling around Anjaneya for some time to scare him. Anjaneya noticed this strange thing whirling around him with a whistling noise. Disturbed, he caught it in his hand and kept it under his armpit. Bhagavan waited for some time but Sudarsana did not turn up. 
      The all pervading Bhagavan knew what had happened and now called Garuda towards Him. Garuda was happy that Bhagavan had some kainkaryam for him.Bhagavan told Garuda that a strange monkey had entered Dwaraka and was destroying a garden there. He instructed Garuda to tell the monkey that the King of Dwaraka was calling him. Garuda wondered why Bhagavan was sending him for such a trivial service. Anyway he went and called Anjaneya - "hey monkey! Our Lord of Dwaraka, SriKrishna  has sent for you." 
Surprised, Anjaneya retorted - "And who are you, a bird to call me like this?"
Garuda, irritated said "I am the topmost among the attendants of Bhagavan SriKrishna. People call me Periya thiruvadi."
Anjaneya:- Oh is it so? Well I am not concerned with that.
Garuda:- My swamy wants you to meet him immediately. 
Anjaneya:- Who is your swamy?
Garuda:- Sri Krishna, the Lord of Dwaraka.
Anjaneya:- Well I don't know him.
Garuda:- What? Haven't you heard about my swamy Sri Krishna 
               who killed Kamsa?
Anjaneya:- No
Garuda:-  Haven't you heard about the cowherd boy of Brindavan 
                  who lifted the Govardhana mountain with one finger?
        Anjaneya who himself had lifted heavy mountains looked 
                sarcastically as if what is so great in it and said "No".
Garuda:-  Haven't you heard about the lover or Radhika Rani?
  Anjaneya unconcerned said "No".
 Garuda:_ Don't you know about Brindavan?
Anjaneya:-  No.
Garuda:- Then what else do you know?
Anjaneya:- I know about Ayodhya, Rama, Sita matha, Lakshmana, 
                   Bharatha, Dasaratha, etc.
       Garuda could not force him further. Thoroughly defeated he came back to Bhagavan and told Him that he could not bring the monkey here. The monkey was a devotee of Rama and refused to come here he said. Then Bhagavan instructed him to go again there and tell the monkey that Rama calls him. Garuda felt humiliated when he was asked to go again. His ego got a big blow.  
      Second time he approached Anjaneya with more respect. He told him that Bhagavan Rama calls him. Anjaneya also showed respect now and said he would come immediately. Garuda thought that as Anjaneya was a monkey it would take much time for him to reach the palace and so asked him to hurry up. Anjaneya laughed at him and told him that he would go and meet Bhagavan. He asked Garuda to proceed. 
      Meanwhile Bhagavan was excited in the palace awaiting Anjaneya. Seeing His excitement everyone became inquisitive. Bhagavan replied them that His great bhaktha Anjaneya was coming and He was preparing to meet him. So Bhagavan now turned Himself into Rama and said that some one should come as Sita to meet Anjaneya. Bhagavan's queens hurriedly dressed up themselves as Sita and came.  Bhagavan could not find any one to equal Sita, who was without an iota of ego in her. She  had only Rama dhyanam in her. But all his queens thought they could become Sita and their ego defeated them. If they had prayed to Bhagavan for His grace to turn themselves in to Sita then they would have definitely become Sitas. Anjaneya came inside shouting Jai Sitaram! He prostrated before Bhagavan and stared at Sathyabhama who was sitting near him. 
 "Rama! who is this> Is this your maid servant? Why are you sitting near her? Swamy! where is my Sita matha?" asked Anjaneya.
Sathyabhama was thoroughly shattered to hear this. She was under the impression that she was the most suitable wife of Krishna and the blow she got was very heavy. Meanwhile the real Sita entered from somewhere. Anjaneya prostrated her happily. 
      Bhagavan enquired Anjaneya what he was holding under his arm. Anjaneya replied that it was nothing but a disc (chakram) - a play thing of kids which was whirling around him making noise and so he had kept it under his arm. Sudarsana felt blasted. He thought himself to be the topmost of attendants while Anjaneya degraded him to a child's play thing. When Bhagavan requested Anjaneya to give Him the disc Anjaneya released Sudarsana and handed over him to Bhagavan.
     Anjaneya now turned towards Sita matha. 
"Sita matha!  Please take care of our Swamy. Beware of these maid attendants. They take too much freedom with our Swamy which does not suit Him." After taking leave from Rama and Sita Anjaneya left. 
      Great men say it was none other than Radhika Rani who came as Sita matha because she never had any wish of her own. She always changed herself according to Bhagavan's wish. Great is Radhika Rani's selfless devotion!
     By this time Garuda reached the palace. He prostrated before Sri Krishna and informed Him that the monkey at last has agreed to come there and would be reaching there in a short while. Everyone laughed at him Garuda looked puzzled. Bhagavan smiled at Garuda and told him that Anjaneya had already come and left before Garuda could reach the palace. Garuda could not believe his ears. So far he was under the impression that there was no one to equal him in speed whenever Bhagavan wanted to go somewhere.  His ego was subdued then and there. Thus Bhagavan played this wonderful leela by changing Dwaraka into Ayodhya for a few minutes for the sake of the bhaktha Anjaneya and also for destroying the ego in His people. This Dwaraka is now called Pett Dwaraka .  Still more to hear about Dwarakanatha!! Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!

Dwarakanatha -5

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dwarakanatha -5
     Can anyone buy Bhagavan with gold? Only bhakthi can buy Bhagavan. Ramadasa looked  at his wife meaningfully. She gave him a consoling look and took out the only gold ornament she was wearing - her mangalsuthra, the icon of a married woman which is her most precious jewel. Ramadasa completely surrendered to Bhagavan. He prayed to Bhagavan that he was not a good devotee as Rukmini who with a leaf of Tulsi could equal the weight of Bhagavan where Sathyabhama failed with all her gold ornaments. But he requested Bhagavan to consider him too as His child and save him from this situation. Bhagavan looks only for the pure heart and not the riches we offer. He accepted the handful of rice flakes brought by Kuchela with great love.
     Now Bhagavan was kept on one side of the balance against the woman's mangalsuthra. Bhagavan became lighter than thelight jewel and his side of the balance went up to everyone's bewilderment. "Pathudai atiyavarkku elliyavan"!! Nobody could believe their eyes. Were they dreaming they wondered. The devas from the heaven too were watching all this. The pujaris tried to lift Dwarakanatha and check the weight. He weighed heavy. When they took the jewel it was light. But Bhagavan's side of balance remained up only.  They checked the balance again and again for any problem. But the balance was correct. Slowly the truth began to dawn on them.  All of them could now understand the poor couple's devotion and surrendered to them.  They told Dwaraka Ramdas that he had every right for the deity, so could take it with him. They decided to make another deity for their temple.  Dwarakanatha is an ocean of mercy indeed! Just for the sake of the poor couple he denounced everything including His temple, wealth, people and country and came with them. 
      Antal has sung in praise of Dwaraka in her Nachiyar thirumozhi. Antal brought up a parrot in her home. She taught the bird to call out Govinda! Govinda! She was in krishna viraham. Viraham is a feeling which hurts and pleases the heart at the same time. It cant be explained. Unless one has guru kripa one cannot experience it. It happens in a higher state of devotion. When Antal was suffering in Viraham the parrot sings in loud voice - Govoinda! Govinda! which only highterns her pangs of seperation. She feigns anger and tells the bird to shut up and not to repeat the name. Actually one side of heart ached to hear her lover's name repeated, but at the same time the name triggered the viraham in her. Just like the gopis who are very happy to see a messenger from their Krishna. But they pretend they are angry with Krishna and say that they don't want to hear anything about Him. But at the same time their hearts were singing His nama only.  Likewise Antal also is angry with the bird for singing Krishna's nama and reminding her of Him.  She closes her ear and scolds the bird not to utter the name of Krishna whom she hates. She warns the bird that she would not give it food since she was starving for Krishna. The bird now understood that Antal does not want it to repeat the nama Govinda. Then it started to cry out Ulakalanthaan Ulakalanthaan loudly. Antal became exaspirated. What spell Krishna has done to this parrot she wonders. She complains to her relatives that she has lost her heart to a truant who rant away from Mathura  to Gokulam when He was born, from Gokulam to Brindavan, from Brindavan to Mathura again and from Mathura to Dwaraka.  'So please leave me at Dwaraka which is full of sky scraping palaces and beautiful gardens. I hope Dwarakanatha will hear my cries then. I will be Krishna's Dasi along with the 16,108 consorts' says Antal. So deep was her devotion to Bhagavan that she imagined Bhagavan was still living there with his consorts!
     Once sage Durvasa visited Dwaraka. When Bhagavan heard the quick tempered sage was coming he called Rukmini and entrusted her the responsibility of entertaining him without evoking his wrath in anyway. Rukmini agreed  and made all arrangements. The sage was seated and honoured, then food was served to Him. Krishna was supervising the services and telling Rukmini to offer this and that to the sage. Rukmini obeyed Bhagavan in everyway and in that
hurrying she felt thirsty. As she took sometime to come out Krishna went inside and enquired. Rukmini complained to Bhagavan that He was pressurising her too much and that the sage was quite comfortable but for Krishna's pampering. She requested Him to stand aside for some time and just watch her do. Krishna agreed to that but asked Rukmini to take some water if she felt thirsty.  But Rukmini hurriedly refused saying that it was not dharma to take even water before the sage finished his meals. Krishna convinced her that there was nothing wrong in it and that Durvasa would not mind. At sKrishna's repeated telling Rukmini agreed to drink water. Just as she had a mouth Durvasa noticed that and instantly got angry. He blamed her of having insulted a sage like him. Krishna now turned sides and blamed Rukmini for doing so and pleaded with the sage to pardon her. Rukmini understood that Bhagavan had some plans and so this leelaDurvasa cursed Rukmini to remain seperated from Bhagavan. Rukmini could not  hear that and cried for  mercy. Bhagavan also interfered and the sage agreed that after doing penance for some time Rukmini can come back to live with Krishna. Till then she will be living in a corner of Dwaraka and do penance. So Rukmini had to stay from Krishna for some time. We can see the temple of Rukmini which is situated away from Krishna's temple. After some time she came back to live with Krishna.  We will be back with more of Dwarakanatha's stories! Radhekrsihna! Radhekrishna!

Dwarakanatha - 4

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dwarakanatha - 4
     Radhekrishna! Bhagavan's mercy is limitless. Nobody can predict to what depth it can go. For the sake of a true bhaktha like the old man Ramadasa, Bhagavan was prepared to leave even Dwaraka and go with him. Hearing Bhagavan's  instructions the old man was very happy. He hurriedly called his wife and asked her to pull with him the cart containing Bhagavan before anybody noticed. She didn't understand a thing. Bhagavan sat inside the cart and the couple began to pull the cart. This is the secret of life! Bhagavan should be made to sit in the cart called life and the couple should jointly pull Bhagavan. This is the great difference between the animal life and human life. Animals live for the sake of their body only. Humans must live for the sake of Bhagavan only.
      This blessed couple began to pull Bhagavan jointly. After sometime they became tired. They were old and not very healthy as to pull the weight of akhilanta koti brahmaanda naayakan!   They felt so sleepy that they didn't know that they had stopped the cart. Both of them sat there and slipped into a mild slumber. After some time they woke up with a start and saw the cart was moving. They were surprised to find themselves inside the cart and Bhagavan was pulling them with His four arms. The same Bhagavan who helped the devas and asuras during the churning of the ocean of milk. by holding the mountain- manthara parvatham with his four arms was pulling couple in the cart. The secret is once we start pulling Bhagavan in our life then He will take over and pull our life smoothly. The couple were bewildered to the core.  This is the greatness and kaarunyam of Bhagavan!
      Ramadasa cried out in agony in seeing the plight of Bhagavan. He couldn't stand the sight of Bhagavan bearing their weight. Bhagavan obliged and again sat inside the cart and the couple began to pull Him now with new energy. Meanwhile it was morning and the temple of Dwarakanath was opened for morning puja. The people were shocked to see the absence of Bhagavan's deity inside the sanctum. They began to search for Him everywhere. Their sorrow knew no bounds. Then somebody said that Dwaraka Ramadasa was seen sitting in front of the sanctum at  night crying. Then the people putting one and one together came to a conclusion that he would have stolen Bhagavan. So all of them started to catch Ramadasa red handed. 
     They ran and reached him. Seeing them approaching Ramadasa was bewildered and asked Bhagavan to hide Himself into a well on the road side. Bhagavan did so and prompted Ramadasa to lie to the people of Dwaraka. The people of Dwaraka reached and questioned Ramadasa again and again about the deity. Bhagavan was prompting him from inside to say 'I don't know! I don't know!' The old devotee was repeating what Bhagavan was telling him. But as he was not used to lying he kept glancing at the well again and again. Now the people began to get their own doubts and somebody peeped inside the well to find the deity inside it. For them it was the deity of Ranchodji. But for the old couple it was Bhagavan Himself. They took out the deity and the old man cried in pain. It pained him to know that they would take away Bhagavan from him.  
      Bhagavan consoled him and asked him to tell the people that he was prepared to give gold to equal the weight of Bhagavan. Then he can take the deity with him. The poor man was in a fix now. He was very poor. How can he promise gold equal to the weight of Bhagavan the Lord of the Universe? He looked at Bhagavan questioningly. Bhagavan assured him not to worry and carry on with his promise. So he requested the people to come to a compromise. He made the promise of giving gold to equal the weight of Bhagavan to get the deity for himself. The pujari and the other devotees laughed at him. Even the temple authorities were finding  it a great task to decorate Him with enough gold jewels. How can this poor old man give gold equal to the weight of Bhagavan? They sarcastically agreed to the condition thinking that the old man can never keep his promise. Was he able to fulfill his promise? Or was he punished by the authorities for stealing the deity? Keep chanting till the next issue to know that. Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna! 

Dwarakanatha -3

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dwarakanatha -3
      In the last issue we saw the different attributes of Dwaraka, and its origin, disappearance and rebirth. During the later years once upon a time the temple doors were closed and no pujas or oblations could be done for sometime. There was no way that the doors could be opened and pujas done. It was at the period of the great bhaktha Meera Matha. She left her palace and went to Brindavan and was living there happily. But rumours started that if Meera Matha would come then the doors of Dwarakanath could be opened. The rumour spread so wild and far that the people of Dwaraka utimately decided to approach her. They collectively went to Brindavan singing bhajans to meet Meera Matha. They met her and requested her to come and open the doors of their temple. Meera Matha refused saying that she had no such powers and also she had taken a vow to be only in Brindavan till her end. But the people insisted her saying even Radhika Rani had come to Dwaraka and at last she had to agree. Getting permission from her guru Raidasa she left for Dwaraka. All the people singing bhajans approached the temple entrance. Meera Matha with folded hands and closed eyes prayed to Dwarkanath that she was fed up with wordly life and that she wanted to mingle with Krishna. She cried out in the agony of viraham - seperation. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and she her pain expressed in bhajans which melt everyone's heart. "I have nobody else but you. Where else will I go" she sang. The; crowd sang with her full of emotions. They all cried out 'Giridhari Giridhari' along with Meera Matha. Their prayers pulled Dwarakanatha towards them. He couldn't hold on any longer and suddenly the doors burst open by themselves to the astonishment of everyone who had gathered there. If a temple is without any puja or prayers for some time the divinity of the deity will disappear gradually. But the deity of Dwarakanath even after being without any puja for a long time shined in full splendour hearing Meera Matha's bhajans. Bhagavan stretched His hands towards her and Meera rushed into his outstretched hands. Then she just disappeared. Ranchodji swallowed her as such. People were spell bound at the scene. Even today Meera matha's saannidhyam or presence is felt very much inthe temple. Those with the power of namajapam canfeel it. The place where Bhagavan had swallowed Meera Matha is known as Pet Dwaraka.
      Another devotee had great love for Dwarakanath. From his village he would go to Dwaraka whenever he got time. His name was Ramadasa. He was getting old but was immersed in Krishna bhakthi. One day he went to Dwaraka with his wife to have Ranchodji's darsan. Bhagavan smiled at him as if to say "Oh you have come at last. It is a long time since you came here. I was thinking of you only!" The devotee had darsan to his heart's fill. He was not sure whether he would be able to come back again. Anytime life would come to an end. Looking at Bhagavan his eyes filled with tears. His tears moved Dwarkanath. Bhagavan appeared before him and asked why he was crying. The old man told Him that he was afraid whether he would be able to have this darsan again in this life. Even if he was alive except his wife who too was old like him, his family people  would object to his coming here again. 
     Only those who help us to go near Bhagavan are the real relatives. But the world is  based on selfishness only. The old man told Bhagavan that he did not want to go back at all. He could not even think of not seeing Bhagavan again. Bhagavan laughed at him and said "Then take me with you". The old man was surprised at this. 
"Are you sure you want to come with me?" he asked.
Bhagavan replied "yes" and said without a bhaktha like him nothing  was there for Him. Ramadasa could not believe his ears. Bhagavan promised him that he would come with Ramadasa. The bewildered Ramadasa asked Bhagavan how he could carry the plump, well built Bhagavan to his village. He was old and frail. Bhagavan repllied that he had made ready a small cart for that pupose and that He would sit inside the cart. The old man and his wife could pull Him to their village. Ramadasa was delighted at this proposal. Radhekrishna! 

Dwarakanatha -2

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dwarakanatha 2
     Radhekrishna! In the last issue we saw that Bhagavan decided to move the people of Mathura to a safer place. The all powerful Bhagavan wanted to create a new country in the sea. On Bhagavan's request Samudraraja made space in the midst of the sea for a new country. He pleaded a boon from the Lord that once the Lord leaves the earth he would take back the country into the seas. He wanted to enjoy the place where Krishna lived for some time. Bhagavan agreed to his condition. Vishvakarma constructed a country in the most wonderful manner. There was no place to equal that. It was greater than Indra's Amaravathy.
     During that time Kalayavana who was a friend of Jarasandha chased Krishna. Krishna pretended to run away from him and entered a cave. The great king Muchukunta was lying there sleeping. Kalayavana mistook him for Krishna and kicked him unaware of the boon Muchukunda had got from the devas. He was instantly burnt down to ashes. Bhagavan then gave darsan to Muchukunda and blessed him. Jarasandha made another attempt again at Krishna. This time Krishna and Balaram left the battlefield mid way and disappeared. Jarasandha was searching for Krishna everywhere when Krishna along with his people entered Dwaraka, the place created by Krishna Himself! 
     This is supposed to be the door way - dwaar to Parabrahmam. It is called the golden city. All the devas offered whatever they could for this city. It shone like thousand suns. Andal in her Nachiyar Thirumozhi describes Dwaraka as a place sung in praise by the black birds in the woods. A holy place indeed with the presence of Lord Krishna! The Lord of Dwaraka is also known as Ranchodji - meaning one who ran way from the battle front!! The Lord of the Universe who is the assylum for everyone, ran away from the battle field and took assylum in Dwaraka. We can well imagine its greatness then !
     Dwaraka is a holy city where Krishna married His 16,108 queens. It was only after coming here that Rukmini sent message through a brahmin for Krishna, to take her away from her impending marriage with Sisupala. It was here that Bhagavan brought Rukmini and married her. Manmatha was reborn as Pradyumna in Dwaraka only. It was from here that Anirudha was taken away by Usha, Bana's daughter to release whom Bhagavaan had to fight with Bana.
     It was in Dwaraka that one day Bhagavan saw Sathrajith  wearing the Syamanthaka stone. The people of Dwarka thought it was Lord Surya who was coming to meet Krishna. Krishna explained to them it was not Lord Surya bu the Syamanthaka stone that Sathrajith had was emitting so much brightness. They were all astound at that.Bhagavan Krishna asked for the stone which Sathrajith refused. The stone caused Sathrajith the life of his brother. Later the blame was put over Bhagavan Krishna. In Brindavan Krishna was called a thief and He never contradicted it. But here in Dwaraka when he was blamed of stealing the stone from Sathrajith, He made every effort to prove that He was innocent. So again Bhagavan had to go in search of the truth and in the process married Jampavathi and Sathyabhama too. Bhagavan wanted to give Dwaraka the fame of His marriages. Lord Narada had a feeling that while his father Brahma had the fortune of seeing a number of Krishnas in Brindavan, he never had such a luck. It was as if to please him Bhagavan married the 16,108 queens in Dwaraka at the same time in 16,108 forms. 
     It was here that Narada could enjoy Bhagavan conducting His family life in various forms with his various consorts. At one house Krishna was taking oil bath, in another house he was seen doing sandhyavandhana -daily oblations. At one place He was playing games with Uddhava, in one hosue He was seen fighting with two boxers. He was taking care of cows insome place while was giving offerings to people in another house. Somewhere He was deep in thought and somewhere deeply engaged in marriage arrangements of  His children. Somewhere he was feeding brahmins with great respect and care. Somewhere He was doing jalakreeda with his queen, and somewhere He was discussing with the spies of His country. Saint Narada witnessed all these in Dwaraka only. 
     It was in Dwaraka that King Nriga got released from his form of chamillion due to a curse. It was in Dwaraka that Krishna feigned to quarrel with Rukmini and when she fell down in anguish and fear, took her in His lap with His four arms to console her. It was from Dwaraka that Lord Guruvayurappa and Udupi Krishna reached their places. Dwaraka is the base for many divine temples of India. It was in Dwaraka that Krishna's friend Kuchela was ushered into His bedroom and fully honoured by Him and His people. He forcibly took the rice flakes brought with great love and care by Kuchela
     Dwaraka had lofty buildings. It was from Dwaraka that Bhagavan took a brahmin along with Arjuna to Vaikunta for retrieving the brahmin's demised children. It was in Dwaraka that Radhika Rani came to Rukmini's palace one day. Rukmini ushered her inside and honoured her. Radhika and Rukmini kept talking for sometime and then Radhika left. When Krishna returned home at night with a shock Rlukmini noticed that His feet were full of blisters. Horrified at the sight Rukmini asked Bhagavan the reason for that. Bhagavan laughingly replied that it was because of Rukmini only He has burnt His feet. Surprised and pained at that Rukmini asked Krishna how she had burnt Him. Then Bhagavan said that Rukmini had offered hot boiling milk to Radhika Rani. Radhika immersed in her Krishna Prema did not at all notice that and accepted it. As Radhika has Bhagavan's Lotus feet in her heart always the hot milk she consumed burnt them. Hearing this Rukmini broke down and wondered at the bhakthi of Radhika Rani !!!! Radhekrishna!
      Here in Dwaraka Bhagavan played a divine drama to subdue the ego of Sudarsana the disk and his consorts using Anjaneya. For the great bhaktha's sake He assumed the form of Lord Rama too. It was in Dwaraka that Uddhava the great bhaktha surrendered himself to the Lord and got His divine messages exclusively. It is said that the population of Dwaraka was about 56 crores. Bhagavan came down  as Krishna in order to lessen the burden of Mother Earth. With that purpose He decided to destroy His lineage also without any partiality or prejudice. All of  them fought within themselves due to the curse of some sages and killed themselved by divine sankalpa. Just as Bhagavan shed His mortal form, the sea plunged Dwarka from all sides within minutes. It was Bhagavan's great grandson Vajranabha the only survivor of the lineage, who built the present temple on a raised sand dune. To this day Bhagavan's court, palaces, etc lie under the sea. Such a wonderful place is Dwaraka. The present temple is said to be around 200ft tall. Even this temple has been said to be rebuilt 7 times over the years. 
     Usually in almost all temples Bhagavan's deity stands with 4 arms,  holding Sudarsana  the disk, and Padma the lotus on the rightside.  He holds Panchajanyam, the conch and kaumodaki the gada on the left side. But here in Dwaraka it is exactly vice versa. Bhagavan holds the conch and gada on his right side arms and the lotus and the disk on the left side arms. Rukmini too has a seperate temple. Balarama, Pradyumna, Anirudha and Lord Shiva too have temples for them here. The flag on the dhvajasthambha is said to be 52ft long. It is said Dwaraka was divided into 52 divisions, entrusted with 52 ministers and  supervised by Lord Krishna. The flag is changed thrice a day in the temple. Flags are given as offerings by many people to Dwarakanath. Bhagavan is offered food for about 17 times a day. Starting from milk as the first offering in the morning it continues with varieties of sweets and dishess. Bhagavan's alankaram -decoration is also changed 17 times. Dwarka is indeed a very special holy place ! Though enemy countries such as Pakistan have tried to demolish the divine place many times, it has escaped the disasters. Even Tsunami could not do much damage to this temple. This is the greatness of this place. The people here believe that they are still ruled by Lord Krishna only. Radhekrishna!

Dwarakanatha - 1

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dwarakanatha - 1
'Amararay thirikindrarku aadi ser ananthapurathu
Amarar kon archikindru anku akappani seyvor vinnor
Namarkalo solla kelmin naamum poyi nanuka vendum
Kumaranar thathai thunpam thutaitha Govindanare!' 
     Radhekrishna! We will begin Dwarakanatha's attributes from  Ananthapathmanabha. According to swami Nammazhvar it is Govinda who is lying as Ananthapathmanabha in Thiruvananthapuram. He who saved Lord Shiva from his predicament raised the Govardhana mountain on his finger to save His people from a disaster. The same blemishless Govinda sees that nobody in this place has any complaint (kurai). This Govinda declared that under any circumstances it was His duty to protect His people who have surrendered unto Him.  If one surrenders completely to Pathmanabha saying 'I have none but you to protect me' He will definitely take their responsibility in His hands. We have to raise both our hands as Draupathy did and cry out 'Govinda! Pundareekaksha! Rakshamam saranaagatham!'  He saves all from the pangs of diseases, confusions in mind, scandals of the world, prarabdha karmas, and from all dwandwas or dualities of the world.      
     Just as we eagerly look at Him through the three doors, all the devas too are looking at Him with great devotion inside the sanctum, says swami Nammazhvar. They seem to say to us that we don't have to worship them serperately, and that if we worship Pathmanabha all the devas will  be pleased. Nammazhvar says Pathmanabha is their leader - 'Amararkon'. So it is better to worship Him. All the devas have gathered here to do service to Pathmanabha. At night when the temple is closed and nobody is around, the devas start their services - 'kainkaryam'. They discuss about the devotees who had visited Pathmanabha that day. They eagerly come out of the sanctum to see how it feels to look at Pathmanabha from outside through the three doors. They envy at us humans at our fortune! 
     The cats, rats, and cocroaches that run around the place are all some great sages - 'Rishis' who have come down in that form to enjoy Pathmanabha. There would be  Shri Sukabrahmarshi, or Ambarisha, or Dhruva or any other great bhaktha among them. Swami Nammazhvaar says we have more rights than those divine beings as Pathmanabha has come down to our place. 'So hey people of this world, go there, advises Nammazhvar. This Govinda once removed the suffering of Skanda's father Mahadeva when he was inflicted by an asura. The eighteen feet moorthy of Pathmanabha is an ocean of mercy only! The people of Thiruvananthapuram are indeed very fortunate! The great need is devotion or bhakthi for Him.
     The people of Mathura had such devotion for Bhagavan Krishna. They had heard about all the stories of asuras getting killed in Brindavan by a cute little blue boy. They had their mind filled with his leelas. They gossiped among themselves that the boy was none other than the son of Vasudeva that had come to kill Kamsa the evil asura. It was only because Nandagopa and Yasoda brought Him up He looked like a Yadava. So when Akroora brought Krishna from Brindavan, the people of Mathura were very happy. Krishna too behaved as if He was very familiar with the place. He went straight to the malakara's house and accepted his offerings. He blessed the hunch back Thrivakra by changing her into a beauty. He killed the big elephant Kuvalyapitam, the boxers Chanura, and Mushtika, broke the bow kept for worship byKamsa and ultimately killed him too. He fell at the feet of Vasudeva and Devaki as if He knew they were His parents. He made Ugrasena the king. In everyway He pleased the people of  Mathura
     After finishing His education at Sandeepani's gurukul, He was back in Mathura protecting the people. Only Jarasandha the father in law of Kamsa was very much angry with Krishna. He came with his 23 akshauhini sena or battallion to attack Krishna. Each and everytime he met with defeat at the hands of Krishna. But he was not prepared to accept the defeat and fought with Krishna for 17 times. Krishna killed all his battallion each time leaving him free to go to bring back more. It is said that the Mathura people were disturbed by the continuous wars. They prayed to the Lord to help them. So Bhagavan decided to shift the people of Mathura to a new safe place. Radhekrishna!

Sakshi Gopal -7

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sakshi Gopal

     In the last issue we saw that Bhagavan for the sake of his bhaktha left his abode in Brindavan and came to Vidyanagaram. Just to fulfill the promise made by His  bhaktha, Bhagavan in His deity form revealed the brahmin's promise to everybody. Now let us see what happened next.
     Everyone were astonished to see a deity open its mouth and speak. Brahmachari broke down at Bhagavan's mercy and began to cry. He said he did not want any marriage and that he only wanted to prove that Bhagavan is truth. He was happy now that Bhagavan has taken the pain of coming with him and at this moment he wanted to leave this life with Bhagavan's thoughts. The old brahmin realised his mistake and accepted before everyone that he had made the promise of giving his daughter in marriage to the brahmachari. Only because he was scared of his wife and son that he lied to everyone. The brahmin's wife and son too realised their mistakes and apologised with the brahmachari, the panchayath and Sakshi Gopalan. The people of Vidyanagaram also apologised with Kalyana brahmachari for being sarcastic and rude to him. Seeing all these brahmachari was melting at the mercy of Bhagavan. Malini was very happy that Bhagavan Himself has blessed her marriage.
     It was Kalyana brahmachari's bhakthi that brought Bhagavan Gopala from Brindavan to Vidyanagaram. One who was once an orphan became the pet of everyone in the town. Many people came forward to volunteer his marriage duties. Some offered to gift him clothes and other things for the marriage. One who is accepted by Bhagavan will be accepted by the whole world. The marriage was conducted in front of Sakshi Gopalan in the presence of everyone in the town. Bhagavan blessed the couple. Malini thanked Bhagavan for giving her such a pious and good husband. How many people have the luck of having Bhagavan at their marriage? How many people tend to invite Him for any functions in their family? If He is invited with love He will definitely be present at the occasion and bless us. Everyone who attended the marriage of Kalyana brahmachari could completely experience Bhagavan's presence there. Bhagavan pleased with His bhaktha's devotion decided to stay back there itself. He ordered Kalyana brahmachari to do the daily puja for Him. Malini and Kalyana brahmachari enjoyed endless happiness. All the people joined together and built a  beautiful temple for Sakshi Gopalan there. Radhekrishna!
     Bhagavan is an ocean of mercy.He will do anything for His bhakthas. We have to do our duties properly and think of Bhagavan always, rest Bhagavan will take care. Kalyana brahmachari's story is a proof of this. It is said in our sasthras that if a bhaktha is born in a family the lineage before and after his birth are benefitted. Mother earth also feels happy to bear a bhaktha. In the couse of time Sakshi Gopalan who came to Vidyanagaram left this town and went to Puri Jagannath for the sake of another bhaktha. He is still in Puri Jagannatha kshethra. The pilgrimage to Puri is complete only when this Sakshi Gopalan too is visited. Bhagavan got His name Sakshi Gopaloan as He stood witness to Kalyana brahmachari. He got the name Parthasarathy as He became Arjjuna's sarathi during the Kurukshethra war. In Tamil Nadu there is a place called Thiruvekka. There for the sake of a bhaktha called Kanikannan, Bhagavan left the place and stayed for a single night at a place called Orirukkai, meaning one night's stay. These stories of bhakthas show us the mercy of Bhagavan and the greatness of bhakthas. When this story was narrated to Sri Chaithanya Mahaprabhu by Sri Nithyananda, Sri Prabhu forgot himself and danced chanting 'Hare Rama hare Rama Rama Rama hare hare, hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna hare  hare'!  Hey bhakthas! Bhagavatha bhoomi is a place for bhakthi. Bhakthi is common for everyone. Anyone can attain Bhagavan through bhakthi. Whoever realises the true meaning of bhakthi from this story of Sakshi Gopalan will attain all happiness in their life  by the mercy of Bhagavan. Radhekrishna!  Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!

Sakshi Gopal -6

Monday, May 17, 2010

     Radhekrishna! In the last issue we read that Bhagavan agreed to come with Kalyana brahmachari to Vidyanagaram on one condition. Now we will see what happened after that. Bhagavan asked the brahmachari to proceed in front and that He would follow him. Brahmachari was surprised at this request of Bhagavan. That Bhagavan, behind whom the whole world is waiting to follow is ready to follow a bhaktha! It was really surprising for him. But he had no other option but to agree to Bhagavan's condition. The condition also insisted that at any cost brahmachari should not turn back to check whether Bhagavan is coming with him or not. Bhagavan also said that brahmachari can hear the tinkling of His anklets while he proceeded. Brahmachari agreed to this arrangement and proceeded. Who can relly understand the divine leelas of Bhagavan! Bhagavan gives ananda to those who obey Him completely. Brahmachari promosed he would not turn back and look. He felt guilty that he was making Bhagavan walk all the distance. At the same time he was overcome with emotions that Bhagavan agreed to oblige an ordinary devottee like him. The same Bhagavan who walked over the forests for 14 years as Rama and who walked over Brindavan grazing cows as Krishna was walking behind brahmachari. Brahmachari was hearing the sound of anklets as he walked.
      Bhagavan too was equally moved by this devottee's devotion. Isnt he like 'Akroora' who ushered Him to Mathura? Bhagavan playing His flute, with His anklets twinkiling the garland on His neck dancing, the peacock feather on his hear fluttering, walked like a bull, a lion or an elephant behind brahmachari. All the devas who were watching from heaven were surprised and debated among themselves whether it was Bhagavan's mercy or the devottee's bhakthi that was great. A great fortune for the brahmachari to be followede by Bhagavan for days together. If his marriage had been conducted without any hindrance he would not have had this fortune. So be happy when some problem or other rises in your life. It means another great fortune is waiting for you! Radhekrishna!
     Five year old Dhruva was denied the opportunity to sit on his father's lap. But that earned him Bhaavan's darsan ultimately. Only because Pandavas were denied theiru rightful country they had Bhagavan their side in Kurukshethra war. Because of that only Arjjuna had the fortune of hearing Bhagavath Geetha from the Lord.  Hiranyakashipu tortured his son Prahlada because he did Haribhakthi. But Prahlada had the fortune of having Bhagavan appear before him as Narasimha. Kalyana brahmachari had started realising the secrets of life now. He did not worry about his marriage or the insult he had to face anymore. Now his attention was completely turned towards the sound of anklets of Bhagavan. Radhekrishna!
     In the meantime in Brindavan the people were terribly upset because the deity in the temple was missing. Serious search was going on there to find out the deity. Now Bhagavan preferred to play with this bhaktha called brahmachari. Suddenly brahmachari felt that the playing of the flute and the tinkling of the anklets had stopped completely. Brahmachari got scared terribly. He didnt know what to do. He wanted to turn back and see what was happening behind his back. But did not have the courage to do so and continued walking further. They reached the outskirts of Vidyanagaram. From somewhere a doubt got into his mind that Bhagavan might have been lured away by somebody else mid way. What if he reached his place and Bhagavan were not there? Won't the people again laugh at him? He was confused now. He did not hve the courage too to look back. But the confusion going in his mind at last provoked him to turn back and look. He saw Bhagavan walking behind him quietly. As soon as he turned, Bhagavan stood mid tracks and laughed aloud. "So this is all the faith you have on me" asked Bhagavan.
     Brahmachari was ashamed of himself for doubting Bhagavan. Bhagavan told him that as he had breached the promise, he should bring everybody to His place now. He will stand as a witness from this place only. That instant brahmachari knew that this was all His divine sankalpa only. He immediately went inside the town and called everyone. They asked him sarcastically whether he had brought his witness. He replied with tears in his eyes that his winess was standing outside the town. Most of them could not believe his words. Some who knew understood his bhakthi were happy that he was at last successful in bringing Bhagavan. Anyway everyone followed brahmachari to see for themselves. They were all totally taken off by what they saw. Some non believers began to blame brahmachari that he had stolen some deity from somewhere and brought it here. 
     The panchayath asked the old brahmin whether it was the same deity in front of whom he had made the promise. The old man  scared as immediately told the truth. Now that the witness had come everybody expected the witness to tell the truth. While brahmachari saw bhagavan all others could see only a deity. Brahmachari now requested Bhagavan to tell the truth from his own mouth. Bhagavan opened his lotus lips and told that the old brahmin made the promise of giving his daughter in marriage to the brahmachari with Him as a witness. That Bhagavan who ignored the promise not to take any weapon in the Kurukshethra war to take His weapon for the sake of his great bhaktha Bhishma, now had come here leaving his abode in Brindavan for the sake of brahmachari.
  "Parithranaya sadhunam vinashaya cha dushkritham
    Dharma samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge"
 Krishna says that I take birth in all yugas to save my sadhu bhakthas. We must realise Bhagavan's great mercy from many bhaktha charithras. Let us see what happened later in our next issue. ?Till then Radhekrishna!

Sakshi Gopal 5

Saturday, April 17, 2010

                Radhekrishna! Kalyana brahmachari was overwhelmed by Bhagavan's leela. Once he wanted to visit Brindavan atleast once in his life and now Bhagavan has forced him to come again there. But for the situation he was in  he would not have thought of visiting Brindavan again. He was doing namajapam with full faith and reached Brindavan. He went straight to the temple and stood before the deity. He narrated all that happened at his town to Bhagavan and asked him to accompany him. The temple pujari also noted this and laughed at his innocence. For him he sounded as a lunatic. Kulasekhara Alwar in his Perumal Thiurmozhi says:-
Peyare enakku yaavarum, yaanum oar peyane 
evarkkum ithu pesi en 
Aayane arangaa endru azhaikindren peyaayozhinthen empiraanukke" 
'I am a lunatic for others and as far as I am cocerned all others are lunatics only, mad after worldly things. I would better be Krishna crazy than otherwise.' Bhakthas dont care what others think about them. Kalyana brahmachari was also in the same state. He stood in front of the deity and kept calling 'Gopala! Gopala! Come!' But for Gopala nobody else could understand him. At night the temple was locked and everybody left. It is said that the temple closes to give rest to Bhagavan. But brahmachari knew athat Bhagavan has no rest and he takes care of everyone even when they sleep. He chat in front of the tempe and kept crying for Bhagavan. Bhagavan had no other choice  but appear before him. We should have such a determination in bhakthi. But the pity is we have great determination in every other thing in this world than bhakthi. We have great determination to become a doctor, to attian riches etc. Radhekrishna! Kalyana brahmachari forced Bhagavan to appear before him. The doors of the sanctum opened at last and Bhagavan gavae his real darsan to brahmachari. Brahmachari drank the beauty with his two eyes and was very happy. He forgot everything and lost himself completely in Bhagavan's beauty. How can anybody put in words athe divine beauty of Krishna? From tow to top and from top to toe he was enjoying again and again. Radhekrishna!
     Bhagavan asked him what the matter was. He was immensely happy to hear Bhagavan's sweet voice. Recovering himself he told Bhagavan everything that  happened and asked Gopala if he remembered the brahmin's promise. Bhagavan agreed that he remembered his promise. Brahmachari requested him to come with him to Vidyanagaram as his witness. Bhagavan smiled beautifully and asked the brahmachari whether such things are possible in this world. Brahmachari replied that there is nothing that Bhagavan cannot do. Bhagavan then replied that he would invisibly come to Vidyanagaram and hep him. Brahmachari refused that and forced Bhagavan to come with him in His form. Bhagavan again asked him whether a deity can do all these. Brahmachari cleverly replied that whether a deity or not He is Bhagavan and so all powerful. Hearing his reply Bhagavan was very much impressed and agreed to start with him to Vidyanagaram on one condition. Radhekrishna! 
Want to know what Bhagavan said? Do visit this blog next month same date. Radhekrishna! Until then keep chanting like brahmachari. Radhekrishna!

Sakshi Gopal 4

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

     Radhekrishna! Kalyana Brahmachari was doing all his karmas with Krishna dhyanam.The old brahmin's family were thinking of getting the girl married.They were on the look out for a suitable alliance for her. The brahmin's wife was on the look out for a rich son in law while his son wanted a handsome well educated boy for his sister. The brahmin did not have the courage to tell him that he had promised to give his daughter in marriage to the orphan boy next door. It was true that the boy was good looking very pious and well behaved. But will they consider and accept him? One day he gathered courage and told his son about Kalyana Brahmachari and his promise to him. The son got so wild that he immeidately took a wooden log to beat his father. His wife also started showering abuses on him. They did not care for his age or his promse given to the brahmachari. People give respect only till a man is of any use to them. After that he is only ignored. The old man was ordered not to interfere in his daughter's marriage issue. His daughter Malini respected her father and was a pious girl. She kept consoling her father that Bhagavan will never let his promise go invain and that he would somehow fulfill his promise. What a staunch faith! Radhekrishna!
     The old man was relieved that at least his daughter understood his predicament. But he was reluctant to face the brahmachari. He avoided going out when brahmachari was around. If at all he happened to meet him he would not look at him. Brahmachari noted all these and started worrying for the brahmin. He had made the promise in Brindavan in front of Krishna. If he failed to fulfill it he would definitely become a sinner. He wanted the brahmin to realise this and went to meet him one day. He directly reminded him of his promise made before Gopala. Hearing this the brahmin's wife and son insulted the boy and drove him out of the house. The brahmin kept quiet throughout. The boy silently went away without retorting. Theythought that he got scared and ran away. Bhakthas are never afraid of anything in this world. However much Hiranyakashipu tried, he could not scare Prahlada. The great sage Durvasa couldnt scare King Ambarisha with his evil spirit. Bhakthas have deep faith in Bhagavan so they are unbeatable. Radhekrishna!
     Kalyana brahmachari was worried that the old man had broken his promise. He was also sorry that he was insulted by them. He kept thinking of the Gopala of Brindavan who only was the witness to everything. He had served the brahmin out of pure love only and it was definted by them as selfish motive. That hurt him very much. Insult is more painful than death. Bhagavan in Bhagavath Geetha tells Arjjuna that "Akeerthihi maranaath athiriachyathe". He was insulted in a mean way by the brahmin's family. Though he was deeply hurt by it he did not want to commit suicide for that. He knew committing suicide is a great sin and will have to suffer greater disasters for doing so. Instead he must win and live before the people who had insulted him. Brahmachari was very clear in his mind. He wanted to win and depended on namasankeertan to get a way. Whatever be the problem if we do namasankeertan with full faith the right way will come up. Bhagavan in Bhagavath Geetha tells Arjjuna that when anybody is in a confused state, should surrender at my feet, then I will show them the right path. Brahmachari also, keeping Bhagavan's words in mind sat and did namajapam for a while.
     At last with a clear mind he approached the village panchayath and presented his problem before them. The old brahmin and his family were summoned  before the panchayath. They put the blame over him saying tht he had wanted to marry the girl and was creating this drama in favour of him. They said that with this intention in his mind he had accompanied the old man, cheated him and taken the promise from him. Kalyana brahmachari did not worry about anything and kept chanting Bhagavan's nama continously. "Sarvadha, sarva bhavena nischinthaih bhagavan eva bhajaneeyah" says Narada maharshi is his Bhakthi Sutra. The panchayath asked the brahmin the truth. He in his hurry to escape his family's wrath said he did not remember any promise he had made. Truth always has to face test in this world. Radhekrishna!
      Now the panchayath asked the brahmachari if he had any witness to support his words, He said he had only Gopala of Brindavan to prove his words. They laughed at him and sarcastically told him to bring his witness there if he can. They said they cannot take a decision without proper enquiry. Heairng this the brahmachari got so determined that he declared he would bring his witness Gopala there to prove his words. Everyone laughed at him. Malini's brother immeidately said that if he could bring Gopala as a witness he was prepared to give her in marriage to him. Some people were astound at his deep faith. Brahmachari had unflinching faith in Bhagavan and was sure that he could bring Him over there as a witness. Everybody thought that Bhagavan will never come directly as a witness and so agreed to the challenge. Radhekrishna!
     Want to know how Bhagavan helped brahmachari? Wait with namajapam till next issue. Radhekrishna!


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