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Start with boundless hope with the presumption that nothing is impossible for you.

If you work with earnestness and persist in your efforts, you can accomplish anything. Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal If we do not succeed in the first few attempts, it means that in the past we have exercised our free will just in opposite direction. So our present effort must be proportionate to that past activity to eliminate its effects. Thus the obstacles which we face in life are just the gauge by which we have to guide our present activities. Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal If you do not succeed even after your best effort, do not despair, for fate being a product of your free will, can never be stronger than free Will. Your failure only means that your present exercise of free will is not sufficient to counteract the result of the past exercise of it. But if you keep on trying you are bound to succeed. Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal

To err is human. Accepting ones error and correcting oneself is a mark of nobility. Humility is the primary path to achieving nobility. Jagadguru Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal

When tendencies nurtured in the previous birth are the same as those in the present birth then obstacles to a course of action are negligible. On the other hand when past and present trends are at variance the course of action is decided by the one which is more powerful. If one tries hard enough, one can certainly overcome the past tendencies. How hard one must try cannot be determined before hand. Only when obstacles are encountered one must try harder and harder till one succeeds. Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamigal When praying to Ishvara it is best not to ask for anything. Asking Ishvara for worldly things is not a good practice at all. Ishvara knows what is best and one

should leave everything to him. One should love Ishvara purely for the sake of love. By keeping the company of sages one develops pure devotion. Everything which one does should be completely dedicated to Ishvara. One should act for His sake and offer the fruits of all actions to Him. Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamigal

Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya points out THINKING ABOUT THE LORD is a must. One who spends his or her life without the thought of God is devoid of discrimination and is not wise. The Acharya points out:

One Muhurta consists of 48 minutes. The Acharya says that even if one such Muhurta period of 48 minutes is lost without the thought of the Lord, we have to feel sorry. How? What we see in our experience is given as an example in the verse. One might have acquired and stored a lot of material wealth in ones house. Suppose a thief enters the house and steals only a watch from the house, what would be the grief experienced? Eventhough all other articles and possessions remain intact, and only a watch has been lost, there is still a period of mental agony that is undergone due to this loss. Whatever material is lost in this world can be earned again. However, this is not the case with time. No amount of money can bring back lost time. And yet, people experience such agony for the loss of an object though can be earned again. But when time is frittered away, you are not sad about it. Sri Adi Shankaracharya says that it is lamentable that if even one Muhurta is lost without remembering God. How many remember God even for the time period of one Muhurta (48 minutes) each day? Everyone must hence keep this in mind and Yugadi - the ushering in of the new year is an auspicious occasion. One must remember the passage of time as we usher in the new year and fix some time daily for contemplating on God. On the auspicious occasion of ushering in of the new year Vikriti, may all strive to allocate atleast one Muhurta for prayer every day and attain Shreyas.

Continued from previous part It is hence imperative for the Sadhaka (the spiritual seeker) to analyse and realise the true utility of the desired objects. But how can objects that do have utility be ignored? This query can be raised at this juncture as to how an object with utility can be ignored as being inconsequential or worthless. The answer lies in the fact that the worthiness and utility are not naturally inherent in objects. They are but concepts related to the perceiver. For instance, sweet items may be liked by some. Yet, the very same sweet items may be regarded as fit to be abandoned by diabetics. Is then a sweet item naturally likeable or dislikeable? It is neither, for likeability and distastefulness are merely conceptions associated with it by persons. Such being the case, there is nothing inappropriate in conceiving an object, which we now consider likeable and worthwhile, as being insignificant and sans utility. In fact, such a conception leads to tranquility of mind. This is because an object longed for causes grief due to considerations of possible non-acquisition, while an acquired object causes due to fear of possible separation from it. For instance, the trouble associated with acquisition of wealth is wellknown. Likewise, acquired wealth is also a source of worry, for one fears its loss in part or full by way of theft, or taxation etc. Such a realization can be had for every object of consideration. The Sadhaka must hence be open to realizing the futility of possessions and objects that may seem necessary and useful in the immediate present, and continue to nurture contentment and detachment. Continued from the previous part Hence, to get rid of the feeling of daaridryam, eradication of longings leading to contentment is a sine qua non. It is this state that has to be coveted by a Sadhaka (a spiritual seeker) It is one thing to state that desires should be eradicated and quite another to effect the eradication of the same. However, the means do exist to annihilate desires. The Shastras propound such means but it is up to us to accept or reject these means.

To rid oneself of the pangs of hunger, one must eat. Consumption of food is the means to get rid of hunger. While a meal is served, it is up to us to eat or not. Similar is the case here. The means prescribed in the Shastras for the eradication of desires is the feeling of dispassionateness towards objects. Different people like and dislike different objects. For instance, to a group of people, going to witness motion pictures is unappealing. When asked the reasons for their dislike, they exclaim, What is the use of going there? It is an utter waste. To others, visiting places to watch others engage in sports may be a matter of dislike. They attach no utility to it. Hence, while the objects of disinterest may differ in each case, the motivating factor is the same it consists in the perception of non-utility. Hence to rid oneself of desires for a particular object, one should generate the feeling of non-utility in that object. When such a feeling is present, disinterest towards the concerned objects arises spontaneously. It is hence imperative for the Sadhaka (the spiritual seeker) to analyse and realise the true utility of the desired objects. Continued from previous part It is hence imperative for the Sadhaka (the spiritual seeker) to analyse and realise the true utility of the desired objects. But how can objects that do have utility be ignored? This query can be raised at this juncture as to how an object with utility can be ignored as being inconsequential or worthless. The answer lies in the fact that the worthiness and utility are not naturally inherent in objects. They are but concepts related to the perceiver. For instance, sweet items may be liked by some. Yet, the very same sweet items may be regarded as fit to be abandoned by diabetics. Is then a sweet item naturally likeable or dislikeable? It is neither, for likeability and distastefulness are merely conceptions associated with it by persons. Such being the case, there is nothing inappropriate in conceiving an object, which we now consider likeable and worthwhile, as being insignificant and sans utility. In fact, such a conception leads to tranquility of mind.

This is because an object longed for causes grief due to considerations of possible non-acquisition, while an acquired object causes due to fear of possible separation from it. For instance, the trouble associated with acquisition of wealth is wellknown. Likewise, acquired wealth is also a source of worry, for one fears its loss in part or full by way of theft, or taxation etc. Such a realization can be had for every object of consideration. The Sadhaka must hence be open to realizing the futility of possessions and objects that may seem necessary and useful in the immediate present, and continue to nurture contentment and detachment. What is it that everyone detests? The answer is daaridryam (the state of being a daridra). Nobody wishes to be a daridra. Who then is a daridra, and what is daaridryam? Daridra and Daaridryam defined The common view is that one who is possessed of wealth is not a daridra and one devoid of wealth is a daridra. However, when analysed logically, it will be seen that there is no relationship between daaridryam and wealth. In fact, he who has longings is the true daridra, while one bereft of longings is a bhaagyashali the fortunate one. This is the true import of daridryam Consider a man who has a hundred rupees. He feels that he would be fortunate and would be able to carry on his living, if he were to have a thousand rupees. On the other hand, one with a thousand may consider ten thousand to be a necessity. Likewise, one with a ten thousand would feel a lakh to be a necessity and so on. These never-ending longings indicate daaridryam, the state of being a daridra. Hence, it would be improper to say that only when a man has no wealth, he is a daridra. On the contrary, nowadays, even one with some degree of wealth regards oneself as a daridra. Consider the case of the Rishis of yore. Though not in possession of affluence, they never regarded themselves as daridras. What is the reason for this difference? The reason is that the Rishis were bereft of longings and were ever contented. Contrastingly, there flourishes a veritable kingdom of desires in the minds of

people. Even though possessed of wealth and power, there are some who experience misery as they have not been able to uproot their desires. Hence, to get rid of the feeling of daaridryam, eradication of longings leading to contentment is a sine qua non. It is this state that has to be coveted by a Sadhaka (a spiritual seeker). Continued from the previous part Hence, to get rid of the feeling of daaridryam, eradication of longings leading to contentment is a sine qua non. It is this state that has to be coveted by a Sadhaka (a spiritual seeker) It is one thing to state that desires should be eradicated and quite another to effect the eradication of the same. However, the means do exist to annihilate desires. The Shastras propound such means but it is up to us to accept or reject these means. To rid oneself of the pangs of hunger, one must eat. Consumption of food is the means to get rid of hunger. While a meal is served, it is up to us to eat or not. Similar is the case here. The means prescribed in the Shastras for the eradication of desires is the feeling of dispassionateness towards objects. Different people like and dislike different objects. For instance, to a group of people, going to witness motion pictures is unappealing. When asked the reasons for their dislike, they exclaim, What is the use of going there? It is an utter waste. To others, visiting places to watch others engage in sports may be a matter of dislike. They attach no utility to it. Hence, while the objects of disinterest may differ in each case, the motivating factor is the same it consists in the perception of non-utility. Hence to rid oneself of desires for a particular object, one should generate the feeling of non-utility in that object. When such a feeling is present, disinterest towards the concerned objects arises spontaneously. It is hence imperative for the Sadhaka (the spiritual seeker) to analyse and realise the true utility of the desired objects. Continued from previous part It is hence imperative for the Sadhaka (the spiritual seeker) to analyse and realise the true utility of the desired objects.

But how can objects that do have utility be ignored? This query can be raised at this juncture as to how an object with utility can be ignored as being inconsequential or worthless. The answer lies in the fact that the worthiness and utility are not naturally inherent in objects. They are but concepts related to the perceiver. For instance, sweet items may be liked by some. Yet, the very same sweet items may be regarded as fit to be abandoned by diabetics. Is then a sweet item naturally likeable or dislikeable? It is neither, for likeability and distastefulness are merely conceptions associated with it by persons. Such being the case, there is nothing inappropriate in conceiving an object, which we now consider likeable and worthwhile, as being insignificant and sans utility. In fact, such a conception leads to tranquility of mind. This is because an object longed for causes grief due to considerations of possible non-acquisition, while an acquired object causes due to fear of possible separation from it. For instance, the trouble associated with acquisition of wealth is wellknown. Likewise, acquired wealth is also a source of worry, for one fears its loss in part or full by way of theft, or taxation etc. Such a realization can be had for every object of consideration. The Sadhaka must hence be open to realizing the futility of possessions and objects that may seem necessary and useful in the immediate present, and continue to nurture contentment and detachment. A lamp dispels darkness. The Names and Lilas of the Lord are indeed a lamp of knowledge that dispels the darkness of ignorance. The light that emanates from this lamp brings about a lot of good. It removes the impure impressions in mans mind and generates Sattvic tendencies thus resulting in his welfare. This truth is time and again substantiated by the Lord who takes a number of incarnations and shows the path of righteousness to man. It is for this very reason that the incarnation of Lord Krishna occurred. The Lord had for His prime motives behind His incarnation the following: the defeat of evil (manifest as Narakasura, Shakatasura etc.), the protection of the benevolent (such as Sudama, Vidura, the Pandavas etc.) and deliverance of knowledge (to Arjuna, Uddhava etc.).

This has to be remembered well during the festival of Deepavali - on the occasion of lighting lamps, and performing Puja. A prayer done with this remembrance and for the removal of ignorance is sure to reap rewards. In order to bathe us in the brilliance of the light of Jnana, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji was born on this very auspicious occasion of Deepavali. It is our duty to remember and worship our Guru on the occasion. May you all be a recipient of His unbounded Grace and Blessings. The Glory of Lord Vighneshwara Friday, July 31st, 2009 Filed Under Upadesha Lahari Labels Chennai, Ganesha, Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswami.

Every one of us is always engaged in some activity or the other, none remaining inactive for even a moment. The Lord says in the Bhagavad Gita, Even a lunatic is always engaged in some activity. To us, what such a man does may seem foolish, but the fact is that he is engaged in some activity. In fact, he may even consider what he is doing as important. Similarly, everyone in this world is always occupied with some task or the other. After commencing an activity, we often find that numerous obstacles crop up, hindering the completion of the task. As such, anxiety that a task that we commence should get completed without impediments, is but natural. Our ancestors have aptly said: Impediments are much too common when it comes to noble activities that are aimed at doing good to people. We can attribute this phenomenon to the proclivity of humans to not only strive to earn fame for themselves but also to prevent others

from earning a good name. As a result of this tendency, one desires the successful completion of ones own activities, but when it comes to tasks commenced by others, this desire is reversed, for one resents others success. Since this mentality is seen in everyone, there will always be someone or the other to create problems in our path. If a person plans to construct a temple, there will be people who think on the lines of, I will send an anonymous petition full of complaints to the authorities concerned, and then watch the fun. If you ask them what they gain from such destructive activities, they will nonchalantly reply, We do it just for fun! Let us now see how he constructs the temple! The philanthropist who proposed to build the temple would never have imagined that obstacles of this kind would materialize. How does one tide over such unexpected obstacles that are placed on ones path? Is it possible to approach every potential troublemaker and appeal to him to abstain from causing problems? Even if we do, will such people oblige us? The answer to both these questions is No. Let us take the example of an institution with numerous employees. If there is a problem in regulating the activities of the employees or in enforcing discipline or rules among them, it will not be feasible to give instructions or make requests to each one of them individually. The way to solve the problem is to request the intervention of the chairman of the institution, for, when orders are issued from the top of the institutions hierarchy, the desired objective is achieved without ado. This world is an institution. God, the Paramatma, is its Chairman. Instead of wasting our energies trying to appeal to mortals around us to stop creating impediments to our good deeds, we should approach God and pray to Him to remove all hindrances in our path. In response to our prayers, the Supreme Lord will thwart the wicked thought in the troublemakers mind by inducing aprerana, which will cause him to muse on the lines of, It is true that I originally wanted to hinder this mans activity. However, I now realize that he is actually engaged in a noble task. Rather than causing problems, why dont I try to be of some assistance instead? Only the Lord can cause such a turnaround in peoples thinking. The Sastras declare,

What does the statement, Iswara protects us mean? Does it mean that Iswara handles us like a shepherd herding his cattle with a stick in his hand? No, what is meant is that the Lord protects us by entering our minds and inducing appropriate thoughts in it. The following prayer finds a place in the Vedas: May that Supreme Lord who is the sole cause of the entire cosmos and of even Hiranyagarbha, the creator, induce noble thoughts in my mind. Noble thoughts generate good deeds while sinful ones have harmful consequences. As such, it is clear that unhindered progress of what we have commenced is indicative of the presence of noble thoughts, which are in turn the effect of the prerana induced by God, otherwise known as Gods grace. Hence, prayer to God before commencing any task is a sine qua non. We must never forget that in reality, God is only one, though He assumes various forms such as those of Shiva, Vishnu, Devi and Subrahmanya. The Lord says in the Bhagavad Gita,

(Though I am actually unborn, am the immutable Self, and am the Lord of all beings, I take birth, as it were, through My power of Maya.) One of such numerous forms assumed by the Lord is that of Lord Vigneshwara. Before starting any task we must first worship Lord Maha-Ganapathy, to ward off obstacles. Even before we commence any worship, we perform Ganapathy Puja. Why, even on the day of Vinayaka Chaturthi, where worship of Lord MahaGanapathy is primary, we perform a short Ganapathy Puja in the beginning for the Puja to go on unhindered! It is our deep faith that any work commenced after worshipping Lord Ganapathy will definitely be successful, that drives us to do this. Bhagavan Veda Vyasa authored eighteen puranas and eighteen upa-puranas, the Ganesa Purana being one of the latter. In this work is contained a description of the various leela-s of Lord Ganapathy. The story goes that there was once a competition between Lord Ganapathy and Lord Subrahmanya. The quarrel between Them was over the possession of a particular sacred fruit, and it was stipulated that the fruit would go to the one who first completes a trip around the three worlds. Lord Subrahmanya wasted no time

in setting off on His peacock to complete the task. On the other hand, LordGanapathy simply circumambulated His parents, Lord Parameshwara and Goddess Parvati, thrice, only to be presented with the fruit as the prize for finishing the race first! Lord Subrahmanya questioned this decision by pointing out that Lord Ganapathy did not even leave the place, let alone go around the three worlds. The clarification given at that point is that since the three worlds are considered as being within ones parents, Lord Gan apathys circumambulation of His parents amounts to His circumambulating the whole world. Lord Ganapathy has, through this leela, taught us the importance of our parents and also demonstrated to us that they should in fact be considered our supreme Gods. All of us perform puja to Lord Ganapathy, all of us pay frequent visits to His temples. Yet, alas! We do not listen to what our parents say! There is another episode related to Lord Ganapathy. Lord Shiva blessed the demon Ravana with the sacred Atma Lingam. Petrified, the celestials approached Lord Ganapathy and prayed, If Ravana manages to take the Atma Lingam to Lanka and installs it there, he will become invincible. He must be prevented from reaching Lanka with it. Lord Ganapathy agreed to help the celestials. While blessing Ravana with the sacred Atma Lingam, Lord Shiva had cautioned him, saying, Once you place this Lingam on the ground, it will not be possible to remove it from that spot. Therefore, do not keep it anywhere until you reach the place where you want it installed. When Ravana was travelling to Lanka with the Lingam in his hand, the time for his Sandhya worship arrived. Ravana was in a fix, for he had to offer oblations to Lord Surya at that time, but could not place the Lingam on the ground. At this juncture, Lord Ganapathy appeared there in the garb of a small boy. Spotting the boy, Ravana called to him and said, Come here and hold this Lingam in your hands until I come back and collect it from you. This was precisely what the Lord had been waiting for! The lad agreed to oblige Ravana, but on a condition. The condition was that the boy would call out to Ravana only thrice, and if the latter failed to come after the third call, he would place the Lingam on the ground. Ravana agreed to the condition and left for his Sandhya worship. The boy called out to Ravana thrice, deliberately when the latter was offering oblations. As such, Ravana could not come, and as per the condition, the boy placed the sacred Lingam on the ground. Try as he might, Ravana could not remove the Lingam from the spot. Lord Shiva had chosen to reside there in the place that would come to be called Gokarna Kshetra.

The lesson that we learn from this episode is that an evil man must be prevented from acquiring great powers, for such prevention would only amount to protecting the virtuous. In the story, since Ravana was cheated, millions of virtuous people stood to gain. As such, it is not a sin to cheat an evil-minded person when the aim is to protect virtuous people. This is the subtle aspect of Dharma that was demonstrated by Lord Ganapathy. When we read the life sketches of great souls we learn that they do not have to explicitly spell out how we should conduct ourselves. Their lives themselves act as beacon lights to guide us and to teach us the way to lead a virtuous life. The Lord has mentioned this in the Bhagavad Gita:

Whatever a great one does, others follow.

Similarly, it is through His manifestations constituting His divine sport, that the Lord has taught us so many valuable lessons. Moreover, in His manifestation as Lord Ganapathy, He removes all impediments to the good deeds we undertake and bestows great good on us. This is why great saints worship Him. Someone once pointed out that the form of Lord Ganapathy serves as a perfect illustration of the Advaita philosophy adhered to by Sri Adi Shankara, according to which there is only One without a second. Though man and elephant seem like two different beings, the Lord manifested in the man-elephant form only to demonstrate the fact that both beings are intrinsically one and the same. May we sincerely pray to Lord Ganapathy, that He bless us with prosperity by removing every possible obstacle in all our undertakings.

Guru Parampara Divine Group Lord Sadashiva Lord Narayana


Lord Brahma

Semi-Divine Group Vasishta Maharishi Shakti Maharishi Parashara Maharishi Veda Vyasa Sri Shuka Acharya Sri Gaudapada Acharya Sri Govinda Bhagavatpada Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada

Jagadgurus of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham

Period of Reign (CE)


820 (videha-mukti) 820 - 834 834-848 848 - 910 910 - 954

1. Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada


2. 3. 4. 5.

Sri Sureshwaracharya Sri Nityabodaghana Sri Jnanaghana


Sri Jnanottama

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6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Jagadgurus of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham Sri Jnanagiri Sri Simhagiri Sri Ishwara Tirtha Sri Nrisimha Tirtha Sri Vidya Shankara Tirtha Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha Sri Vidyaranya Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati I Sri Nrisimha Bharati I Sri Puroshottama Bharati I Sri Shankara Bharati Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati II Sri Nrisimha Bharati II Sri Puroshottama Bharati II Sri Ramachandra Bharati Sri Nrisimha Bharati III Sri Nrisimha Bharati IV Sri Nrisimha Bharati V Sri Abhinava Nrisimha Bharati Sri Sacchidananda Bharati I

Period of Reign (CE)


954 - 1038 1038 - 1098 1098 - 1146 1146 - 1229 1229 - 1333 1333 - 1380 1380 - 1386 1386 - 1389 1389 - 1408 1408 - 1448 1448 - 1455 1455 - 1464 1464 - 1479 1479 - 1517 1517 - 1560 1560 - 1573 1573 - 1576 1576 - 1600 1600 - 1623 1623 - 1663

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26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36.

Jagadgurus of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham Sri Nrisimha Bharati VI Sri Sacchidananda Bharati II Sri Abhinava Sacchidananda Bharati I Sri Nrisimha Bharati VII Sri Sacchidananda Bharati III Sri Abhinava Sacchidananda Bharati II Sri Nrisimha Bharati VIII Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati III Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Sri Bharati Tirtha

Period of Reign (CE)


1663 - 1706 1706 - 1741 1741 - 1767 1767 - 1770 1770 - 1814 1814 - 1817 1817 - 1879 1879 - 1912 1912 - 1954 1954 - 1989 1989 - Present

The greatest memorial act Kerala has honoured samkaras memory with is the founding of the Kollam era inA.D. 825.The news of the master's disappearance in the far off Himalayas in 820 A.D. reached Kerala a few years later. King Udaya Marthanda Varma convened an assembly of learned men in Kollam (Quilon) and founded the new era in 825A.D., which is now the Malayalam Era prevalent all over Kerala and the adjoining Tamil districts. The rehabilitation of Kalady and the vast improvements carried out by the Sringeri Mutt will keep alive the resplendent Samkara in the hearts of all the sons of India and inspire them to even loftier and nobler endeavours.