Sunday, Nov 18 2018
Bharat- The Land of Great Sages - 05 Nov 2012
Bharat has been a punya bhumi (the land of merit), yoga bhumi (the land of Spirituality) and thyaga bhumi (the land of sacrifice). India is a homeland to many scriptures, holy books, saints and sages. Three such saints, who have contributed widely to the Absolute Truths of the Land are Adi Sankara, Sri Raghavendra and Lord Mahavira.
Adi Sankara was born in Kaladi, Kerala. God came in his parents dream and asked if they wanted a child, who would live for a short span but would be renowned in the world, or a child, who would live a long life with no achievements to his name. His father chose the first option and he was granted this child with special wisdom. His name Sankara means one who does good deeds. He is also considered to be an Avatar of Lord Shiva.
As a child, he mastered all the Vedas by the age of 8. He travelled to various parts of India to set up four major centres of spiritual studies.
He was the exponent of Advaita philosophy which says that God and We are all one. He composed many famous slokas like Mudhakaratha Modhakam (Ganesh Pancharatna Slokam), Kanakadhara slokam and also the famous song called Bhaja Govindam. He lived for 32 years.
From Advaita, here is another saint who propounded Dvaita under the Madhvacharyas school of Thought.
Sri Raghavendra was a Hindu saint and philosopher, who was born in TamilNadu, in 1595, as Venkatanatha.
After having his initial education under his brother-in-law, Lakshminarasimhachar, Venkatanatha was admitted to the Sri Mutt in Kumbakonam, where he took sanyasa and adopted the name Raghavendra Theertha. Raghavendra succeeded his guru Sudheendra Theertha as the head of the Sri Mutt. He travelled all over South India expounding Madhvacharya's Dvaita philosophy and is attributed with a number of miracles.
In 1671, after assuring his disciples in a speech that he will be in spirit with them for the next eight hundred years, Raghavendra attained Jeeva Samadhi at Mantralayam.
Lord Mahaviras life ensued commonalities with Lord Buddha. Lord Mahavira was born in modern day Bihar, India. He was more popularly known as "Vardhaman because, after his birth, his family prospered and got loads of wealth. Being the son of King Siddartha, he lived his life like a prince. However, when he turned 30, he left his family and turned into an ascetic.
After having left behind the pleasures of worldly life, he went into a state of deep silence without food, for a period of about twelve and half years. During this period, he learnt to control his feelings and desires. His search for Truth and the real virtues of life made people call him Mahavira. Mahavira is a Sanskrit word, which means great hero.
The philosophies of Lord Mahavira are based on the sole purpose of improving the quality of life by maintaining ethical behaviour and following proper code of conduct. He lived for 72 years. His birthday is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanthi.
Sages are many. The paths are many. But the final destination that these Saints choose is the attainment of Brahman. Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudah Vadanti. That which exists is One; Sages call it by different names. I hope, in the years to come, Swami will help me seek the Highest Truth that these sages have taught me, through the continuous practice of the SSE values in my daily life.
JAI SAI RAM
Bro Anand Narasimhan