SPEECH WELCOMING SRI GANAPATHY SACHCHIDANANDA SWAMIJI TO Hanuman Temple JULY 15,2019
Prakasarao V Velagapudi PhD
Chairman, Datta Yoga Center USA
Jai Guru Datta, Jai Guru Hanuman.
Please welcome Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji to Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple with a loud round of applause. It is my privilege and honor to welcome Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji to this Hanuman Temple. Sri Swamiji has been trekking the world for more than five decades all across the globe bestowing his unconditional compassion, absolute grace, and unrestricted love. His priceless discourses, his silent message, his invaluable meditation camps benefitted innumerable, countless devotees. His healing and meditation music, his championship to mold the personalities of the youngsters, his commitment to bring social justice through Community Services and, his abiding faith in rejuvenating the spiritual dimension, and his passion to preserve and protect dharma affected an untold number of devotees and non-devotees alike. As a Guru and Sadguru, he has been advising, prodding, guiding, counseling, chiding, molding the personalities of his devotees. Whether in the physical presence or in the subtle formlessness, Sri Swamiji gets connected with his devotees to help them remove the obstacles. In many of his Healing and Meditation concerts, he spoke about the depth in the nature of seven chakras in the body, how to open them up, how to remove the impurities and how to clean them to maintain harmony and balance in the body through music.
To reduce stress, to live with peace of mind, to receive the proper guidance, to awaken the consciousness, to throttle the ego and grow spiritually, Sri Swamiji's guidance, love and compassion are essential. Sri Swamiji is an embodiment of divine qualities such as detachment, contentment, forgiveness, scriptural knowledge, wisdom, and equanimity. Sri Swamiji is in a better position to assess and process the appropriate method to mend the minds of his devotees and render solution even about non-spiritual matters. Without a guru, there is no self-realization, self-examination, and purification.
Srimad Bhagavatham says, "Holy rivers, which are only water, and idols, which are made of stone and clay, are not as mighty as the sages. For, while they make one pure in the course of countless days, the sage's eyes by a mere glance purify at once." (Chapter 48, Verse 31)
Lord Krishna told Shrutadeva that "you should know that these sages came along for the purpose of blessing you. Wandering with Me, they purify all the worlds with the dust of their feet. (52) The deities, pilgrimage sites and sacred rivers being visited, being touched and being worshiped, purify gradually, but the same thing is attained [at once] by the glance of those [sages] who are most worshipable. (Srimad Bhagavatam, Chapter 86: Verses 51-52)
How can we describe the power, energy, might, strength, spike and valor of Sri Swamiji? Let us remember the words of ancient wisdom describing the nature of Guru.
Who has the power to praise His might?
Who has the power to measure His bounty?
Of His portents who has the sight?
Who can value His virtue, His deeds, His clarity?
Who has the knowledge of wisdom
Of His deep, impenetrable thought?
The Guru's word has the sage's wisdom
The Guru's word is full of learning,
For though it be the Guru's word
God Himself speaks therein.
Thy mind, wherein buried lie
Precious stones, jewels, gems,
Shall be opened if thou but try
And hearken (listen) to the Guru's word.
A devotee, who is interested in self-improvement and quench the thirst to tread the spiritual path, should approach guru with utmost humility and strong desire to learn the secrets of life. Sri Swamiji knows that the devotees encounter many impediments in life and through his grace, he removes hurdles by fulfilling their material desires only to sow the seeds of spirituality. A person may not reap any benefits by approaching guru if he is filled with pride, ego, arrogance and a desire to test him. There is no way any person devoid of proper knowledge and filled with ignorance can test a guru. A self-realized Sri Swamiji and divine embodiment can easily judge the devotee's real intent of approaching him.
Sri Swamiji's WORD is very powerful, is charged with energy, and filled with unlimited power. It never fails. Any word that comes from Swamiji's lips becomes a reality. Very rarely these words come randomly. They are divine words that cannot go wrong. Swami Sivabala Yogi says, "How can the word of the divine Guru go unfulfilled. It is immaterial whether Swamiji is in this form or that form. It is his all-pervasive and omnipotent tapas shakti, which acts, and it is not confined to any particular body. Swamiji still lives in subtle body." (Guruprasad, Laghu Guru Upanishad).
The concept of Guru is widespread in the scriptures of Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Mahavirism, and other Asian religions. The WORD of Guru has taken a central position in the Holy book of Sikhs, Adi Granth. Word of Guru is considered the cure for all cravings, underpinning all existence, supposed to tame the wandering mind, stop the cycle of life and death, and find meaning in life. Shiva Samhita talks about the importance of Guru's word:
[Only] knowledge imparted from the guru's mouth is productive [of liberation]; otherwise it is fruitless, weak, and the cause of much affliction.
He who makes an effort to please the guru [through his dedication to self-discipline and service] receives the [secret] knowledge. In due course, he will also obtain the fruit of that knowledge.
The guru undoubtedly is father, the guru is mother, the guru is a deity (deva). Therefore, one should follow him in all one's actions, thoughts, and speech.
By the guru's grace one obtains everything auspicious. Hence one should always follow one's guru, or else there will be no benefit.
Adi Granth admonishes the disciples to heed the words of guru:
O mind, you have not grasped the guru's teaching,
What use are shaven head and ochre robes?
By choosing lies instead of truth,
Your precious life has gone for nothing,
By using tricks, you have filled your belly,
And spent your time in beast-like sleep.
Not knowing how to worship God,
You have sold out to material things.
Caught up with worldly goods, you fool,
You have not thought of the precious name.
Unmindful ever of the Lord,
Your life has been quite purposeless
Nanak says: O Lord, recall Your grace
Your creatures always wander and lost.
Importance of Guru.
The importance of Guru in one's life is difficult to comprehend, understand and digest. Innumerable benefits are accrued by remembering Guru every time and any time. One should remember Guru and chant Guru Mantra even before one starts doing pujas to Gods and Goddesses. There is a story about the significance of remembering Guru before we embark any activity. A young boy goes to a Guru and humbly requests him to teach Vedas. Guru said that it would take at least ten long years and strict disciple and hard work is required to get a certification. The student learned the Vedas in 12 years and went to his Guru and requested him to conduct an examination. The Guru asked the disciple to go back side of the house and start chanting certain Anuvakas. The tree will shed one leaf for every mistake. Guru asked him to count the number of leaves and report him. The student went to the backyard and started invoking Lord Ganesh before he started the recitation of prescribed Anuvakas. The moment he invoked Lord Ganesh, all the leaves from the tree fell. Baffled by the incident, he narrated the whole incident. The disciple learned that meditation on the compassionate Guru and to be thankful for the gift of spiritual knowledge is of paramount importance.One should always remember and treasure Guru's image in one's heart. The way we hide our treasures such as gems, and wealth from others, we should store our Guru in our heart and let Him guide us to grow spiritually and reduce the ego that prevents our growth.
It means that all the devotees must be cognizant of the importance of remembering and reminiscing Sri Swamiji whenever we start any Puja, embark on a long journey, commence a business, begin a new school year and practice yoga and meditation. In fact, we should constantly chant Guru mantra given by Sri Swamiji to be part of our daily life in order to drench our body and soul with vibrations of chanting to avert oncoming hurdles and deter the negative attitude.
Swami Papa Ramdas says Guru and God are one. Guru is the spiritual Master that guides the disciple and awakens him to the realization of the Divine within him. Guru is the immanent and transcendent Reality, He is the supreme Deity – the great Beloved of the disciple's heart.
When the disciple comes under the redeeming influence of the Guru, his entire life is transformed. He becomes an illumined vehicle in whom God's power and glory are revealed in their magnificence. To attain this blessed state, the service of the Master is essential.
Guru's Role in Taming the Mind
Guru is the sole proprietor of mending and taming the mind. The mind is compulsive, always wanders incessantly causing more stress and more troubles. The only time we may trust the mind is when we are sleeping. It jumps from one second to another creating more turbulence in our life. It goes after sensual and material enjoyment. Lord Rama says in Yoga Vasishta, "Our minds are infested with evil passions and faults and fluctuate in their observance of duty and service to superiors, like the plumes of a peacock fluttering in a breeze. Minds eagerly and restlessly rove about at random from one place to another, like a poor village dog running far and wide in search of food … It is never at rest with itself but roams at large like a stray deer separated from its herd."
Sri Swamiji helped many of His devotees to tame and control their minds through his blessings, through His healing and Meditation Music and through Dhyanam. Sri Swamiji says as gold is purified by beating on the fire and scraping the impurities, the mind through meditation gives up its impurities and restlessness. Care must be taken to purify the mind by refraining from the Yamas and by observing niyamas. "Sri Swamiji's music, originated from the ancient tradition of Raga Ragini system, is aimed at shifting the level of consciousness of the listeners to subtler mind frequencies thus helping them to experience inner peace, harmony, and quietness of mind." Through His music, he can energize the nervous system, massage various parts of the body, balance the imbalanced chakras, and galvanize the energy centers to bring peace of mind. Once you control your mind, you control your thoughts, your anger, your stress, your decisions, your composure and your life itself. Swamiji through his music, meditation, and miracles, He assisted innumerable people. Sri Swamiji believes that if the mind is quiet, all is possible to lead a peaceful life.
How do we Come close to Sri Swamiji?
Sri Swamiji comes to us in many different ways to guide us and we must be vigilant and alert to receive the messages sent through discourses, through his smiles, through his looks, through his movements, and through his persona. Inspiration may come from his books and his songs when Sri Swamiji says that you take one step toward me, I will take ten steps toward you. Paramahamsa Yogananda talked about many techniques to come close to a Guru. He said, "If you do but a fraction of what I give you to do, you'll get there and get there soon." The first thing we need to do is to have darshan of Sri Swamiji as often as we can. Mere darshan can comfort you by removing your sorrows and stresses. The more frequently you have darshan of Sri Swamiji, better your life will be with his unconditional love and compassion. The powerful poem composed by Sant Kabirdas is worth remembering and following his advice:
The darshan of a Satguru is like monsoon rain, for spiritual wealth it gives to all around. Run, therefore, for the darshan of the Satguru, As often as you can.
The darshan of a Satguru protects you, Against Kal's ever-present terrible deceits. If thou canst not have darshan several times, Have it, Kabir, at least two times each day.
The darshan of a Satguru can take you safely and sound across this Ocean of great Dread. If thou canst not have darshan twice a day, Have it, Kabir, at least one time each day.
Mere darshan of a Satguru can give you human birth again, and this leads to salvation. If thou canst not enjoy it once a day, Have it, Kabir, at least each second day.
The darshan of a Satguru gives permanent salvation. If thou can't enjoy it every second day, Have it, Kabir, at least once in every three days' time.
The darshan of a Satguru is precious beyond description. If thou canst not enjoy it once in every three days, Have it, Kabir, at least once every week.
The darshan of a Satguru gives birth in human form again. If thou canst not enjoy it once a week Have it, Kabir, at least once every fortnight.
Be never slothful in your efforts to obtain the darshan of a perfect Satguru; If thou canst not enjoy it once a fortnight, Have it, Kabir, at least once in each month.
Never neglect the darshan of a Satguru; if thou canst not enjoy it at least once a month, b sure, Kabir, to meet Him each six months.
The darshan of a Satguru will save you from the dreadful struggle against the Eagle of Death. If thou canst not enjoy it each six months, Have it, Kabir, at least once every year.
It should be emphasized that mere following technically does not yield desired results. We need to combine the practice of following Sri Swamiji's guidance with the practice of full faith in Him to yield better results and achieve the highest spiritual potential.
Taitttireya Upanishad provides guidance for a disciple to follow: "The teacher is the first letter of the alphabet. The student is the last letter. Knowledge is the meeting place. Instruction is the link." (3.1.1) A disciple should be obedient, egoless and submit himself for the acquisition of knowledge that lifts him from the darkness. The recommended process to become a disciple of Sri Swamiji is to heed the words of Lord. "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth." (Bhagavad Gita 4.34).
Association with the Guru is Essential
How to associate with Sri Swamiji is explained in Mundaka Upanishad. "Surrenderance! Surrenderance by mind, speech, and actions – this is the true way of surrendering to the guru. It is not enough to merely go to him or sit near him physically. One must surrender and become engrossed. Angirasa explains this principle with a nice metaphor. He says, ‘O Somya! That immortal and ever-existing Aksharabrahman is our life, our mind, our all. This is the absolute truth. Therefore, we should penetrate through to him (veddhavyam), i.e., make him our goal and attain him. Therefore, make him your goal and obtain him (viddhi)' (Mundaka Upanishad: 2/2/2).
He then explains the method of attaining that goal, Mundaka Upanishad: 2/2/4). Pranava means Aum; Aum refers to Aksharbrahman. This is deduced from statements in the shastras. Aksharbrahman is described with the word ‘Aum'. According to Mundaka Upanishad (1/2/12) that Aksharbrahman is the Brahmaswarup guru. We must associate Sri Swamiji as Akshara Brahma and Brahmaswaroopa if we want to come close to Sri Swamiji. Being a Para Brahma, Sri Swamiji will be able to create, generate and cause conditions that are conducive for the realization of one's desires.
In the seventeenth century, Sant Ramadasa wrote in the Dasabodha on the absolute necessity of a guru:
Without the grace of a Guru, we can never attain real knowledge...Even though one may study the sciences and attain all kind of powers, both physical and mental, without the grace of the Guru one cannot realize the Self. Contemplation and concentration, devotion and worship, would be all useless without the grace of the Guru...Rama and Krishna, and all the Saints and sages of by-gone times devoted themselves wholly to the service of their Master (Dasabodha V, 1,19-43).
Forgive us from our Mistakes
We all know that Sri Swamiji is an ocean of compassion, ever vigilant to protect his devotees and never fails to provide the kavacham to repel the arrow of sorrows. Disciples should never take advantage of Sri Swamiji's ever-loving nature and keep repeating the mistakes. Sri Swamiji is Sahamaanaya – that means tolerant. He tolerates the mistakes of his devotees; sometimes he may punish them to teach a lesson to make sure they do not keep repeating the mistakes and to grow spiritually. He knows the disciple's past, present, and future. He knows when to be tolerant and when to be strict. A disciple should always seek the blessings of Sri Swamiji to make sure that he would not make mistakes repeatedly. A disciple cannot hide from Sri Swamiji and sincerely to follow his words. Best way to redress our mistakes is to acknowledge them and beseech his forgiveness. It is appropriate to remember Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalambastotram written by Adi Shankara which describes the perils of samsara, dangers of past karmas, hazards of insatiable desires and requests the Lord to protect him from the deadly crocodiles of day to day life the way the Lord protected Prahalada. Let us request Sri Swamiji to protect us from all the potential dangers that are described briefly here:
I have been traveling in the dark forests of day to day life,
Where I have been terrified by the lion called desire,
And scorched by the heat called competition, and so,
I have reached the very dangerous and deep,
Bottom of the well of day to day life,
And also being troubled by hundreds
Of miseries which are like serpents,
And am really miserable and have
Reached the state of wretchedness and so,
I have climbed the tree of worldly life,
Which grew from the seed of great sin,
Which has hundreds of branches of past karmas,
Which has leaves which are parts of my body,
Which has flowers which are the result of Venus,
And which has fruits called sorrow,
But I am falling down from it fast and so,
I am drowned in the ocean of day to day life,
Please protect this poor one, oh, Lord, Oh treasure of compassion,
Just as you took a form to remove the sorrows of Prahlada, so also
Please give me the protection of your hands.
With full faith and one pointed concentration, let us all request Sri Swamiji to protect us from falling in the bottomless ocean of sorrows and troubles.
With this request, Let us welcome Sri Swamiji with a loud round of applause to Hanuman Temple.
Please subscribe to Save Temples Telegram channel at https://t.me/savetemples