Below is translation of the pravachana of Sri Samyamindra Tirtha rendered on 16 Feb 2016, at Bangalore Kashi Math, on the day of Madhva navami.
[I have provided references at places possible in brackets, translations mistakes are all mine – Girish Prabhu]
We are Maadhvas!
Today is a great day for all of us. We are Madhvas and today is Madhva navami.
“Madhva sambandhinaH MaadhvaaH”. We follow Maadhva siddhanta.
“ante siddhastu siddhantaH” – this is the final philosophy. After this there has been nothing that has been made ‘siddha’. This is the ultimate philosophy, the concluding one. [ From Yukti Mallika of Sri Vadiraja ]
“anusrutya gacchanti iti anuyaayinah” “yaati iti anuyayina” “yaa gatou”
Since we follow Madhvacharya, we are His anuyayis. Our first guru is Madhva. Our parampara is Maadhva parampara.
Madhva navami is the day when Madhva left to Badari. After His avatara uddesha, the purpose of His incarnation, was fulfilled, He decided to leave this place. “Sumadhva vijaya” -the biography of Madhva- written by Narayana Panditacharya, ends with the description of pushpa vrishti on Madhvacharya, when He was doing pravachana of Aitareyopanishat at Udupi. Narayana Pandit was the son of Trivikrama Panditacharya, who was the disciple of Madhva.
[ इति निगदितवन्तस्तत्रवृन्दारकेन्द्रा गुरुविजयमहं तं लालयन्तो महान्तम् |
ववृषुरखिलदृश्यं पुष्पवारं सुगन्धं हरिदयितवरिष्ठे श्रीमदानन्दतीर्थे ||
Madhva is showered divine flowers from the heavens.
The great gods saying (praying) thus (“You have come down to earth for giving different blessings like knowledge, devotion, wealth etc to those who offer their prostrations to you. Salutations to you…”) and honouring the victories of the great preacher showered masses of sweet scented flowers visible to all people on the great beloved devotee of Hari, Srimadananda Tirtha.
(Madhva Vijaya 16.58) ]
On this day, Bhagavata has also started here. Bhagavata parayana. This parayana has happened multiple times at Bangalore; 3 times when we were studying here and also few times earlier too; In 1993, 2003, 2010, 2013, and even in our absence there are some Bhagavata pravachanas done.
What is there in Bhagavata to do parayana multiple times and listen to it multiple times? We eat daily, don’t we? It is the same rice we eat since we are born. We don’t get bored of eating it. Do we?
These days apparently kids don’t eat rice! When we were at Bombay, we were told that kids these days dont like to have jevan. They want ‘Fried rice’!
‘seeth phaNNa ghaalnu takka ek naav dillya – fried rice’
By the way, Chitranna is also a vihita naivedya to be done to Lord, there are sentences from smrutis which say so. In Tirupati too, there are different varities of chitranna naivedya done to Srinivasa. Similarly, at Puri Jagannath temple, there are many varieties of anna naivedya done to Lord. Jagannath puri is also popularly known as ‘anna brahma’, similar to Udupi. Nada brahma – vittala, veda brahma – srinivasa and anna brahma. We have heard that this serving food to all was started by Vadiraja at Udupi temple.
vidyavataam bhagavate pariksha
So we eat the same thing every day – rice or possibly chapati in the north. Similarly, we need to keep hearing the same thing. We never ask should we eat the same thing always; but we ask should we hear the same thing always?!
There is a saying ‘vidyavataam bhagavate pariksha’
It is the testing point for the intelligent. Vedavyasa has put in so many things in Bhagavata that for a person who claims he is intelligent, Bhagavata, is the testing point for him.
[ धनञ्जये हाटक-सम्परीक्षा महारणे शस्त्रभृतां परीक्षा |
विपत्ति-काले गृहिणी-परीक्षा विद्यावतां भागवते परीक्षा ||
“One tests gold in the fire, the wielder of weapons in battle, the wife in times of difficulty, but the test of the learned is in their mastery of the Bhagavatam.” ]
After writing Mahabharata, Brahma sutra and other puranas, Vedavyasa wrote Bhagavata. The work was made to take the people in the right path – in sanmarga; the work primarily shows the importance of devotion – Bhakti and the supremacy of Vaasudev.
Who is the adhikari for such a hearing and reading of Bhagavata? In 2nd canto, it’s mentioned, a person following his sva-dharma, is the adhikari to such a hearing. To get yogyata to hear Bhagavata, a person should follow sva-dharma; else it is useless.
So our people say, ‘anyway, we don’t do dharma, we will not listen to Bhagavata!’
Story of Gokarna and Dhundhukari
Listening to Bhagavata also has the fruit of ‘pretoddhara’. In the very beginning, Bhagavata explains the story of a person named ‘Gokarna’. We will not explain in detail here, as you are all aware of the story.
There will be a wicked person dhundhukaari, who involves in all types of sins – robbery, dacoity – and brings money to enjoy with his women; these women who realize that one day dhundhukari will be caught and punished by the king and that day all the money will also be taken away, decide to kill him; they set fire to him and his house and run away with all the money.
Gokarna, dhundhukari’s pious brother, does shraddha karya at many places, but when he returns back to his village, he sees Dhundhukari in preta form in the darkness of the night.
Next day, Gokarna worships Suryadeva for pretoddhara and decides to do Bhagavata parayana.
‘suryo pratyaksha devata’
Today doctors also recommend surya namaskaara, exposing our body to sunlight, etc., Earlier we used to work in the fields, and our body was getting enough sunlight. Today, we work inside the rooms, offices, we have ended up having deficiency of Vitamin D. With this deficiency, doctors say, calcium decreases in the body, bones will get brittle and we are asked to swallow D-rise and other medicines.
Earlier days, our elders used to ask us to go bathe in the sun, pray the Sun-God, because Sun is capable of giving anything that one asks for. ‘suryo pratyaksha devata’
Our worship is to the antaryami
Our worship is to the antaryami of Surya – to Surya Narayana- to the Lord controlling Sun God.
We should do sandhyavandana prior to sunrise. Our arghya which is given to Surya before sunrise kills the demons called ‘mandeha’ who block Surya. Sun is the lifeline for us, gives rain, provides food, and he is responsible for all our living. ‘aadityam upatishtati’ – all our yajnas, havis etc go to Surya.
Especially, we Brahmins, must always worship Surya, Surya Narayana.
Thus, Gokarna, worships Surya Narayana and does the parayana of Bhagavata for a week, in saptaha karma and the preta of his brother dhundhukari too comes and listens to the whole of the saptaha. Preta – prakarshena itou gatah
This preta of dhundhukari comes and sits in a bamboo shoot that has a 7 knots. Preta is the jiva which has left this body but has not yet entered any other body, and has its own ‘preta sharira’.
People these days ask if a ‘soul’ exists at all. If body itself is the soul, what is death? How does the body live without a soul? There is warmth in the body, there is breathing – only because there is a soul inside.
Scientists have failed to answer many questions and are still not able to answer how a body continues to live; how to prove the existence of soul? They have done some experiment inside a tunnel somewhere and figured out the existence of a ‘God particle’. But nobody knows how this God particle came into existence!
Bhagavata is the gist of Upanishads and Brahmasutra
Saptaaha practice for Bhagavata is very ancient. Earlier one sloka was recited and its meaning was explained – that was parayana and pravachana. A learned person can speak about one sloka for one full day; because the very first verse- mangala shloka gives the link to Brahmasutra. Bhagavata is indeed the gist of Brahmasutra and Upanishads.
[ अर्थोऽयं ब्रह्मसूत्राणां भारतार्थविनिर्णय।
गायत्री भाष्यभूतोऽसौ वेदार्थपरिबृंहित।।
Srimad Bhagavata is a the natural commentary on Brahmasutra, the ascertaining authority of the import of Mahabharata, the purport of Gayatri and is the import of the Vedas –Garuda Purana ]
Such a Bhagavata gets explained by Gokarna to many people in saptaaha. The preta of Dhundhukari seated in the bamboo shoot, gets released at the end of the seventh day – one knot broken every day. At the end of the 7th day, Dhundhukari’s preta deha gets removed and he gets a beautiful body. Vishnu dutas, with chaturbhuja rupa similar to Vishnu, come down from Vishnu loka to take Dhundhukari to their loka.
Aatma is similar to Paramatma, but both are different
A soul is also sacchidananda; Lord is sat-chit-ananda too. This aatma is not the same as Paramaatma. But there are some similarities. Based on the yogyata, a jiva may have a chaturbhuja svarupa too similar to how Lord is, after moksha.
[ There are 4 types of mokshas
a) Saarupya – a jiva gets the same form as Lord with 4 arms
b) Saamiya – jiva gets to stay somewhere close to the vaikuntha, in ksheera sagara etc
c) Saalokya – jiva gets to reside in one of vaikunta, shveta dvaipa, or anantaasana
d) Saayujya – jiva gets to do all activities through Lord’s body. I.e., holds with Lord’s hands, sees with Lord’s eyes, walks with Lord’s feet]
But because of his prarabdha, the jiva keeps suffering in the samsara; once he completes his sadhana, he will get moksha and gets his own swarupa. [Lord never has suffering in this samsara]
Bhagavata is enough for this life
When the Vishnu dutas were about take Dhundhukari to Vishnu loka, Gokarna stops them and asks ‘why is this partiality? I rendered the Bhagavata, there are many who heard here, but you are taking Dhundhukari to Vishnu loka and leaving us here? Why are we not getting moksha?!’
The messengers reply “You have only ‘said’ and others have only ‘heard’”
“are aatma dristvavyo.” “shrotavyah, keertitavayah, mantavyascha”
One should hear, and do manana of the same.
Dhundhukari did the same. He believed that Bhagavata can release him from this difficult situation. He trusted in Bhaagavata, in Bhagavanta. He did manana of all things that were heard. Thus he got relieved. ‘vishvaaso phaladaayakaH’
Bhagavata is not just a book, it does not have only verses there. Bhaagavata is Lord Vaasudeva Himself.
Similarly here, there have been many Bhagavata saptahas; everyone should be doing manana of the same, trust in Lord’s words, believe in Bhagavata’s capability.
Everytime we hear about Bhagavata, we get to know something new. Bhagavata is jnana saagara – its an ocean of knowledge. Here it is Punarpratishta of Partha sarathy and also utsava of Krishna. And Bhagavata, which is another form of Lord Krishna, is rendered in saptaha krama here.
Our swamiji (sudhindra tirtha) also was regularly reading Bhagavata; rarely would swamiji read other puranas; He would recommend the same to others too ‘Bhagavata is enough for this life’
Madhva’s doctrine is final!
Madhvacharya also mentions that Bhagavata is the best purana. He is the only one among the 3 acharyas who have written commentary on Bhagavata – bhagavata tatparya nirnaya
Other puranas mention stories of other deities in different ways, but Bhagavata is for Lord Vasudeva Himself. Madhva shows how to reconcile the meanings of different puranas. His commenting on Bhagavata purana, is an indication of how to reconcile the other puranas.
Om tattu samanvayaat Om [Brahma sutra 1.1.4]
Madhva explains on how to interpret Bhagavata and in turn other puranas. Only Madhva wrote about the ‘nirnaya’ because only He has the yogyata to do so. He is sakshat vaayu, the best disciple of Vedavyasa, only He can interpret Bhagavata and other puranas.
That is the reason for saying ‘ante siddhastu siddhantaH’
[ बौद्धजैनागमौ पूर्वपक्षौ सर्वागमस्य हि। ततः परस्ताज्जातेषु मतेषु च यथाक्रमम्।
पूर्वः पूर्वः पूर्वपक्षः यावन्मध्वमतोदयः। अंते सिद्धस्तु सिद्धांतो मध्वस्यागम एव हि।
निर्णेतुं शक्यते युक्तायुक्तपक्षविमर्षिभिः ||
“The Bouddha and Jaina doctrines being propagated before all others, are pUrva paksha(opponent’s view) to all. Among the doctrines which came later, every preceding doctrine is the pUrva paksha to its succeeding one, until the raise of the philosophy of Madhwa.
The Madhwa doctrine which is established after all these at the end thus becomes the ‘siddhanta'(the protagonist’s view or the correct view in this context).This is validated by those learned ones who study and discern that which is appropriate and that which is not.”
This brings out the fact that there has been no other full-fledged new philosophy to oppose the views of Madhwa philosophy, and thus this philosophy is a pUrva paksha to none and thus is the final perfect doctrine of Indian philosophy ]
‘Bhuvanendra Medical Mission’
Another important thing that is started today is ‘Bhuvanendra Medical Mission’ here at Bangalore on this very pious day. This is also the vision of our swamiji (Sudhindra swami). There was one more Medical mission started earlier by our swamiji at Mangalore 30 years ago.
There are questions raised by our own community members – what has swamiji done?
What has our swamiji not done? Our guru has done many things all by Himself, and also gotten many things done through others. Be it medical hospitals, institutions, trusts, organizations for social benefit – you name them and you will find one started by our swamiji.
Though the main purpose of our swamiji was Dharma prachara – Vaishnava dharma pratishtaapana acharya- that is the birudaavali to KM seers.
Swamiji’s main purpose is to do dharma prachara, not building hospitals, or running schools and colleges.
Before our shishya sweekara, people went to our swamiji and requested for taking a disciple. HH had asked ‘why do you need a swami’? Hardly people understood what our swami said!
People say ‘Mangalore chariot festival (kodial teru), gets a grandeur if swami is around’; but swami’s role is not just to bring you grandeur in your celebrations.
Swamiji is not there to collect money during the car festival. It is only because, it is a parvakaala, it is only because of the love towards the community, it is only because the community loves and respects swamiji; KM seers visit the mangalore car festival for the same purpose – the community should continue to love the samsthan; this is followed since 100s of years
That is also a way of binding the samaj. All members of the community meet at a place, pray for the welfare of the samaj.
Today, we see people are interested in only their own being – me, my husband/wife, my son/daughter- they don’t want others in the family, don’t want others in the community- how small have we become today!
So, the primary purpose of a seer is – dharma pratishtaapana.
Earlier to the independence of India, seers used to have control over the community; they would utilize their power to teach the community what is right and what is wrong, go to the extent of punishing the guilty who would deviate from the path of righteousness.
During the time of Sukratindra Tirtha, one guy committed a mistake -A very small one, negligible, rather, not a mistake at all, as per today’s standards -the guy had shaved of an ekadashi day!!
People complained to swamiji and HH ordered the guy to come over along with his purohit bhatmam. There was importance attached to kula purohit/purohit bhatmams in those days.
HH questioned the purohit bhatmam and later the person. The guy accepted the mistake and asked for forgiveness which was granted after he did some prayaschitta. He was socially banned till his prayaschitta was done. Such was the control a seer would hold on the samaj.
A purohit bhatmam’s importance can also be seen by this incident. One could not change his bhatmam as per his own wish. A person was supposed to take the permission of the seer before he could change his purohit. That was the importance of dharmapeeta.
Sudhindra Tirtha – the visionary
Our swamiji had started Bhuvanendra balakashrama at Basrur for the upliftment of our samaj. It is about to complete 50 years. Later, similar one was started at Ambalamedu – Varadendra Balakashrama. Today unfortunately, there is only one student in the ashrama. Sukratindra balakashrama was started at Karkala after a while. The purpose was all the same – for the upliftment of our samaj, for our kids to study shastras, for our kids to have good samskara – not for any other purpose.
Kashimath welfare fund was started in 1956 for the sake of providing loan scholarships to students. The students should also have the responsibility to give it back to the samaj. Even today many kids use this facility.
Sudhindra medical mission was also started by the prerana of swamiji. Padiyar homeo college was also started at by the blessings of swamiji. The person who started it, did the samarpana of the college to kashimath samsthan. It is the first private homeopathy medical college in Kerala and is ranked no.2 in India; (http://drpadiarhomoeopathicmedicalcollege.com/)
There are innumerable such institutions started at the behest of our Guru. There is a new idea to bring all institutions under one umbrella. There is a sammelan planned in April ‘Sudha sammelan’ (http://sudhasevaprathishthan.org/sammelan.php). Incidentally, this sudha sammelan is starting on the janma nakshatra of our swami.
That was also a vision of our swamiji. There are many instititions in Mumbai which provide scholarships upto 50 lakhs – many run under the guidance of kashimath samsthan. Our Guru’s vision was to ensure that there are no duplicates – a deserving student should always get scholarship for studies – it should not happen that the same student gets in multiple places resulting in a loss to some other deserving student. Since all the expenses for the studies is borne by the welfare funds and trusts, our swamiji wanted to ensure it is wisely distributed.
Once one of the trusts met our swami and mentioned that they have some excess money with them and would want to give it to samsthan; for which our swami replied instantly ‘let us know if you are falling short of money, we will provide it; use all the money from the trust for welfare schemes’ – such was our Guru’s love towards the community!
Our Swami started this kashimath branch at Bangalore for the same reason – it is a platform for community centre-for religious, social gathering. Would you have come from faraway places, were it a hospital today instead of math branch?
Udyavar ayurvedic college was started and handed over to Dharmasthala institutions; TD medical college was taken over by Government. Similarly, many medical dispensaries, were started at the behest of our Swami.
Many have ended because of ‘aarambha shuratva’. All the community members should get involved. Many of the community members don’t get involved saying they have no time, that there is lot of chaos, that there are multiple hands, and giving many such excuses. We urge you to give up such excuses and get involved.
Many of kashimath seers were very good at Ayurveda, including Bhuvanendra Tirtha. Bhuvanendra Tirtha had cured even Muslims by His medicine.
The goal of Bhuvanendra medical mission should also be the same – service – it may be allopathic today, but the motto is the same.
Doctors are very critical for the society. All doctors, though human, serve people with super-human dedication. Today 100s of doctors in our community have come forward to form this medical mission. Let it see success.
Let the Lord be pleased by the Bhagavata saptaha being done here; the punar pratishta of Lord Partha sarathi is planned in 2 days – let Lord get this done as per His wish and with His usual splendour, medical mission has started today – let it also see success and bring glory to the community
Today being the day of our first Guru – Madhvacharya- we pray to Him, to Sri Bhuvanendra Tirtha, to our Guru (Sudhindra Tirtha) to bless all of us.