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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Avarṣakasya ca varṣakasya ca - about rains and no rains. Devā na jānāti - even Devas do not know. Kuto manuṣyaḥ - wherefrom can man know? It is a proverb that we always remember and sing. Avarṣakasyā’pi ca varṣakasya Devā na jānāti kuto manuṣyaḥ.
In the third chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna introduces the concept of yajña, sacrifice. Yajña literally mean making use of an offering in the form of a dedication, something which is yours or somethings which are yours. Our possessiveness, our clinging, these are always towards our possessions, things which we possess. It is this possessiveness that has to be got rid of and yajña is an effective means for it. But the poor man out of his delusion even spoils the very yajña and makes it a selfish affair. This is the travesty of human nature.
So yajña is a pursuit of man which has got great relevance and effect. Krishna says यज्ञात् भवति पर्जन्यः। (Bhagavad Gita 3.14). Through yajña rains are born. And yajña can be of several kinds. First of all, yajñas are prescribed in Vedas. They are always religious and ritualistic. But yajñas need not be religious, they can be very secular in their character and content also. And Krishna lists quite a number of items, prāṇāyāma, āsana, pratyāhāra, swādhyāya means spiritual reading, religious reading. Upavāsa, not having food once in a day or two times in a day or three times, extended upavāsa, taking prāṇāyāma, offer prāṇa in apāna and apāna in prāṇa. Practice kumbhaka, rechaka, all these He speaks of as yajñas.
In all these yajñas, Krishna points out that all are in the nature of activity and action done by man, and the rule for activity is that he should do it without any delusional clinging. Anything performed, pursued or done without delusional clinging becomes yajña is the pronouncement that Sri Krishna makes in the third chapter.
Everything will become a yajña, provided it is done not for your sake but for the sake of providence or God. Because this world belongs to Him, He maintains it, all of us are within the orbit of the world. So whatever the world is for, our life also is for that. Don’t intercept it with any selfishness. That selfishness makes ayajña, and without selfishness anything done, thought, said, it becomes yajña. This yajna, He relates to the rains which are generally indefinite, nobody can control rains. People say forest brings rains but how were the first forests formed? There was no rain at all then. First forests, how were they made? Actually, rains must have made them. Then only forest started making rains. So yajña is an important coordinate which he can use for ensuring his welfare.
I understand that clouds are an unpredictable element in nature and they can move and swerve in any direction. Say, there can be a huge cloud coming towards Venginissery, our Ashram, but it can spare us and pass that way and we will not have the rain. So in our state, quite a number of people approach different divine agencies when they have marriage to save them from the impact of rain. How is it that these practices came into vogue? What is the law behind it?
In Bihar, in Burma and in many other places when we don’t have rain in time, they try to perform some special ritual as a result of which you will have rain. My simple question is simple, a childlike question. Do we want to live or we are born and therefore we live? Why were we born - because our parents gave birth to us. What about them? They were also born. Then what about the first parents? They did not have another set of parents to be born from. So the first humans were creations of nature. Why did nature create humans like this? When nature has created us and we have our own aspirations, our own needs, these aspirations also are for survival. And when the survival itself is at stake or it is threatened, what is the way? I think the way is to seek redress. If the visible redress is not available, you will get it from the invisible hands. That is what our spiritual and philosophical literature repeatedly advise us on.
Dasaratha had a daughter born of Kausalya. He gave for adoption the only child he had. There is nothing better and nobler than this. But he did not have another child from Kausalya. Why? What is the reason? Then he married Sumitra and Kaikeyi. Then also he did not have a child. So the visible sources deserted him. Then he decided to invoke the invisible source and performed an Ashwamedha Yajña. He had four children from the three queens. Just imagine how it happened. I told you many instances where providential help has been extended when there was a demand and a crisis for it.
Many years back, our place was not so safe, dacoits also were here, there, everywhere! My father use to tell me about the announced theft that was taking place in village concentrations. ‘Theevetti kolla’ is the local name for it. They come usually with a burning torch for light. Before that, they send a message: “We are going to rob your house.” So there used to be people who used to keep oil ready to be poured into them when they come. Such things use to take place here.
A young family, resourceful family was proceeding to Guruvayur. They got down in Shornur. Shornur was the junction. Then from Shornur they were travelling towards Guruvayur. It is a little long way, most probably in a horse cart or bullock cart. This lady had a lot of ornaments on her neck. When they came into an almost lonely area, some dacoits intercepted them. You can imagine the palpitation all of them must have had, the lady all the more. So they called out “Guruvaurappa, Guruvayurappa!” That is the name for the Lord in Guruvayur. “Please protect! Narayana, Narayana!”
Suddenly the galloping of a horse was heard. Actually there was no horse and galloping at that time here. When that man came with a sword galloping, these dacoits ran away. So the person came and asked: “What is the matter?” “We were about to be robbed.” “Don’t worry; I am here. Go safe.” Then they asked: “Who are you?” He said, “Mangāt Acchan”, that is the identity he announced. So that lady took out a ring from her finger and gifted him. He said it is not necessary but she insisted. He took the ring and went away.
Next day they reached Guruvayur, had their bath early in the morning and came for the darshan at 3 o’clock where the Lord will be poured oil and after that by applying an indigenous powder, He will be washed after the oil bath. It is called vāga-chārthu. Many devotees consider it to be very austere and a source of blessing to witness that bath of the Lord. So when the priest came and opened the door, he found at the foot of the idol a ring. He had not placed it there. If at all there is a ring, it is generally put on the finger etc. that is the way. So he was surprised.
So the matter became a news, small news, then big news and they started enquiring what happened. Some enquired: “Did anything happen yesterday? Are there any devotees who have come here who had any problem on the way and who sought redress from the God?” Then this lady said, “Yes, this happened.” Then he brought the ring and said: “Can you identify this ring?” She said: “This is the ring I gave as a reward to Mangāt Acchan who came galloping in a horse and saved us.” There was nobody like Mangāt Acchan anywhere there. This is an instance that took place, maybe 150 years or a little this side or that side years back. One instance is Dasaratha, another instance is a simple lady about to be robbed on the way to the temple.
So I am one who has no problem in either understanding or believing episodes of this character. We are not living in this world for our purpose. We were not born because of ourselves. God who has shaped nature, that God alone has through nature shaped us and He preserves this world not for our purpose, He likes to preserve, maybe to display his majesty and magnificence. So whatever happens in this world must be under his control and provocation or machination. So the rains which are about to shed can simply tilt and go in another direction. And when there is no rain, rains can also come and favour him. It will respond to an individual’s call or a collective call. But the people are not believing it that it can be done. The present rainy spell I believe if all the people concerned have a feeling to avoid this rain, we can simply pray, wish and will and the rains will simply stop and the clouds will go in another direction.
Mā showed me a Whatsapp message or so where our Kanchi Acharya was approached by the people seventy years back, when Tamilnad was threatened to be destroyed by rains. He said in Sāmaveda there is a mantra, let people go on chanting it, particularly scholars, Brahmins who know Vedas and Vedic chanting. They picked it up and started chanting and the entire clouds went away. The mantra particularly says, “O Lord Varuna, do not shed so much of rain, we are not able to bear. So let your clouds go towards forests, mountains, toward the sea. We are not able to bear the impact.”
My first point all of you should keep in mind. What is that? अवर्षकस्यापि च वर्षकस्य देवा न जानन्ति कुतो मनुष्यः। About rains or no rains, even the citizens of the heavens are not aware of, they cannot say anything, then what about human beings? But rains are such that it can avoid a place, a small place, even a house. Rains will not shed, it will simply exempt it and bypass. This has happened on so many occasions.
We can also invite and bring rains. We have a particular tune, rāga in Carnatic music called Amṛtvarshiṇi. Varsha means rains. Amṛtvarshiṇi means nectarine rains. I think there are people who sang this tune and produced rains. I always used to say when there is no rain if people will join me, we can go jointly and then do something in the form of an austerity and bring rains and also avoid rains. I wanted to tell you that the knowledge I have, the recognition I have, the discrimination I have, I have gained, the śāstras I know, my own experience and knowledge, all of them point to a vibrant source for everything. It is very vibrant and very responding.
Understand very clearly that the whole world is not ours, it is produced and preserve not for our purpose. Our purpose comes much later. So the ultimate purpose is God’s. Understand it and live without ego and possessiveness. And without possessiveness, whatever you propose to do can be done, will be done and will be facilitated also. But in an organized political set up, they will not give room for all this.
Kochi Maharaja came to Thrissur and asked the Brahmins here: “You are all in charge of Vedas. We are having a drought. I want you to invoke your Varuṇa and bring rain.” So Maharaja always speaks in a commanding tone, so all of them got up and they started chanting Varuṇa Mantra in Vadakkechira tank, northern tank, it is called Vadakkechira. Now and then the king will come, move about there and go away. You know these people chanted and it started raining. The tank became full and they were almost up to their umbilical cord wet, then they got up. These are all points which have taken place.
How is it that the people of the past had this vibrant belief and vibrant power to act? And how is it that we believe only in Science and Technology and we don’t know who bestowed us the intelligence which was capable of working in these science and technology areas? Our present government is a leftist government and they don’t believe in God at all. But they have to manage temples and citadels of faith. Remember that whatever you earnestly need, seek and ask for, the Providence will make it available. Don’t tell me: “I tried, I could not get it.” You are nobody to give a judgment. Try! Maybe you don’t have that required intensity of vibration in what you do. So it will take some time to develop it.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.