SANT NARAHARI SONAR

SANT NARAHARI SONAR

 

                                                                                                                        
Sant   Narahari   Sonar
Narahari was born into a family of goldsmiths. He was a pious man .He was doing his family business with utmost sincerity, devotion and honesty. He was an ardent devotee of lord shiva “MALLIKA ARJUNA”whose temple is situated on the mahadwar of Vitthal Rukmani temple in Pandharpur. He firmly held lord Shiva in his heart and chanted NAMASHIVAYA panchaksharam. He was a non-compromising staunch saivite and even though he lived in Pandharpur and though his house was just a stonesthrow away from the Vitthal temple yet he never once visited Vitthal’s temple as he wanted to have nothing to do with lord Vitthal or even his devotees. During festival season at Vitthal’s shrine Narahari would move away from pandarpur to the neighboring villages as the festivities did not interest him and the crowds of devotees bothered him. Everyone in the village knew of this peculiar quality of his.
However one day a devotee of Vitthal who was a trader by profession and was from a different town visited Narahari. Narahari was busy making gold ornaments. The trader told Narahari that he had come to see him with a special jewel order. Narahari asked him, what he wanted. The trader said, ”Swami, on hearing your extraordinary skills I have come here to make an exclusive one of a kind waist band. ”Narahari said, ”surely I will make one for you.”The trader replied, ”you are indeed a lucky person and do you know to whom you will be making this ornament. It is for our great Vitthal. ”On hearing this Narahari became furious. The trader did not know much about Narahari’s resolve, not to have anything to do with Vitthal. Again he said to Narahari, ”Swami, you are going to make this for our Vitthal. It is indeed your great fortune and it is very appropriate as there is no such skilled person in this village to do this job. Kindly accept my request. ”Narahari shouted, ”I don’t know anything about Vitthal and have no intention of entering the temple for any reason whatsoever.”
The trader persisted as ”I have been childless for a long period. We prayed to Vitthal and we got all our prayers answered and now we want to show our gratitude and keep up our vow by offering this special jewel. Finally the trader pleaded with him and half-heartedly and reluctantly Narahari accepted to do a waist band for Vitthal. Even then, Narahari said, ”Take measurement of Vitthal’s waist and I will make the jewel. I will not come to the temple myself.”The trader was surprised to hear this and he agreed to bring the measurements. The trader then went to the temple and took the measurement of Vitthal’s waistline and gave it to Narahari. He also gave a few valuable diamonds and various other precious stones for embedding on the jewel. Narahari started making the waistband and finished it in a short period of time. The jewellery came out so beautiful and dazzling with excellent workmanship and the trader was pleased with it.
Narahari Sonar
On an auspicious day the trader took the jewel to the temple and made elaborate pooja arrangements and offered it to Vitthal. But unfortunately the waistband didn’t fit the lord and it was tight. Disappointed he took it back to Narahari and told him to make it longer. Narahari added an extra link to the jewel to increase its length a bit. Again the trader went to the temple and tried the jewel, but this time surprisingly the waistband was too loose.At first the trader was confused and the next moment he thought that he had committed some mistake causing unhappiness to the lord and tears rolled over his eyes. Then he pulled himself up together and came to a final conclusion. He went back to Narahari and said, ”The waistband does not fit Vitthal. It is very surprising and confusing. Will you please come to the temple and take measurements yourself?”
Narahari got angry and shouted, ”I am a staunch saivaite. I will never come to the temple and look at your Vitthal. I have done my job perfectly. Please go away. ”But the trader was adamant and told him that he would blindfold him and take him to the temple and to this Narahari agreed. Both of them went to the temple.
The blindfolded Narahari took a thread to measure Vitthal’s waist and began his work. But while touching Vitthal’s body he felt Vitthal wearing tigerskin as his garment. This made him curious. Then he held his hands and felt the deer, axe, trishul, agni, drum and all of Shiva’s paraphernalia and this made him very suspicious. He even felt rudraksha mala around  his neck, cresent and Ganges on his head ,his third eye on his forehead  and snakes over his body. Having felt all this his suspicion made him so anxious and he wanted to have darshan of Vitthal as he was almost sure of seeing lord Shiva. The very next moment he removed his blindfold with great expectancy but he was utterly disappointed to see lord Vishnu instead of lord Shiva. At first he felt as if he had made a grave mistake. Immediately he closed his eyes with his hands, but he felt lord Shiva’s presence in front of him. He then understood this leela of god and he prostrated in front of lord Vitthal.
Narahari immediately bursted out crying , Oh Vitthala, ”please forgive me, I have done a great mistake all my life due to my ignorance. I didn’t realize Hari and Shiva are the same. I will have to forsake moksha for my fanatic attitude and the sin I have committed. ”Then a voice was heard from the sanctum sanctorum” this leela was performed to show to all through you that there is absolutely no difference between Vishnu and Shiva who are both aspects of the same Parabhramam”. Narahari was excited with what he heard and the realization that he had and with great love offered the waistband to the lord and it fitted perfectly. From then on, Narahari became devoted to Vitthal whom he realized was Hari &  Shiva  in one form. In one of his abangs on Vitthal he says “it is immaterial to me whether this deity is Shiva or Vishnu, all I seek is your unconditional love and grace oh Vitthal”.
Gurumaharaj Sri Sri Anna says that one should have exclusive love towards ones ishta deiva but at the same time he should never entertain any type of hatred towards other forms of god and must respect all his forms and more importantly respect the devotees of all his forms.

SANT KURMADAS and SANT SAVANTA MALI

SANT KURMADAS and SANT SAVANTA MALI

Pandharpur  VITTHAL   &   RUKMINI   Temple

 Lord   VITTHAL          Goddess   RUKMINI

Lord   VITTHAL

                 Kurmadas was born around 70kms from Pandharpur. He was born with out limbs. As he had no limbs he only had to roll over and couldn’t walk. One day he was listening to a discourse about Vitthal and understood the greatness of Pandharpur and going there on an ekadasi day. He immediately decided that he would visit Pandhari for the next ashada ekadasi. Hearing about his decision the villagers said that it would be difficult for him to go to Pandhari and that sitting here he could think about Vitthal and do his prayers. He then told them that his love for Vitthal is so much that he will put all efforts to roll over and go there. He also said if Vitthal wishes I may reach Pandhari, else let me die on my way to Pandhari; any way I am not of any use to anyone here. He then said if I am able to reach Pandhari I will have the darshan of Vitthal and stay in Pandhari. Immediately he left for Pandhari with a group of Pilgrims. The pilgrims looking at him crawling left him behind and started moving at their own pace as they felt that Kurmadas would only delay them. However Kurmadas was firm in his decision to go to Pandhari and continued to move towards that direction. As he was rolling over the roads his body was fully wounded. Kurmadas braved all this and continued to cover whatever small distance he could everyday. One day a rich passer by saw him and asked him where he was going. Kurmadas then told him that he was going to Pandharpur for ashada ekadasi. He then told him that Pandharpur was very far and that it would be difficult for him to go there. Kurmadas then told him that he will put all efforts to go there and if god wishes he would reach Pandhari. He then asked him what he will do for his food. Kurma then told him that he can’t go to the place where food is available and that he will have food only if some one gives it to him, else he will starve. Hearing this rich man told him that doing seva for bhakthas is Panduranga seva and as he is also going only to Pandhari he will give food for him every day and they could go together. Every day the rich man would go to a distance that Kurma could cover and prepare food for both of them and wait for Kurma to come. They would then have food, sing the praise of god in the evening, sleep under the tree and then leave again the next day morning. They went for several days and almost came near Pandhari. The rich man who came with Kurma told him that the next day was ashada ekadasi and that he would like to go and visit Vitthal. He also said that if he waited for Kurma, he may miss seeing Vitthal on this auspicious day. Kurma immediately told him that he has done a great favor to him all these days and that he should now go and see Vitthal tomorrow. Kurma then requested him to tell Vitthal that a cripple by name Kurma is coming to meet him. The rich guy then left Kurma and disappeared. This rich man was none other than Vitthal him self but Kurma did not recognize him.
Kurma now sitting there was telling every yathri to think of him when they have the darshan of Vitthal. That day in the temple bhajans started as usual and saints like Namdev, Gyaneshwar were also there. Namdev and Gyaneshwar are great bhakthas who see Vitthal and speak to him. When everyone were singing and dancing Vitthal slowly stepped out of the temple and started going some where. Namdev and Gyaneshwar saw this and followed him thinking when so many sadhus are singing his praise here, where he was going and why. They then caught him near Chandrabhaga and asked him where he was going when so many thousands of bhakthas were singing here. Vitthal then told them that there is one bhaktha of his called Kurmadas and that he individually was equal to all of them in his bhakthi. Hearing this Namdev and Gyaneshwar said that they would also like to have a darshan of such a big bhaktha. Though Vitthal wanted to meet Kurmadas alone, he agreed to their request and asked them to come along with him. On the way there was a big garden, seeing the garden Vitthal said that he was feeling very thirsty and that he would go in have some water and come back. He also asked them to wait there till he comes back. Vitthal’s idea was to give darshan to another great bhaktha of his in that garden. Savatha MaliHis name was Savanta Mali, he had a huge garden and would give flowers to the temple everyday. He dint come to the temple today as he was in the process of making a huge multi color garland for ashada ekadasi. He would also prepare garlands for all the saints and sadhus who participate in the bhajans. This seva was more important for him than coming to the temple or participating in the bhajans. Vitthal came inside the garden and stood in front of Savanta and gave him his darshan. Seeing this Savanta was excited, he woke up worshiped him and asked him why he had come here when there were so many bhakthas performing kirthans and bhajans in the temple. Vitthal then asked Savanta why he dint come to the temple for the bhajans. Savanta then replied to him that he would be happy only when he sees, Vitthal wearing his garland and that he was about to finish this work and then come to the temple. Vitthal then asked him to put the garland on him. Savanta then happily put it on him. Vitthal then told Savanta that there were two thieves outside and that he wants to hide from them. Savanta then asked him if there was any place in the universe where he was not there. He then said as there is no such place and how would he be able to show him such a place. Vitthal then told Savanta that he doesn’t have time for all these Vedanta and asked him to give him some place where no one would find out. Savanta then told him that his heart would be the right place for him to hide in that case. As Savanta was a yogi he closed his eyes and sat in meditation and Vitthal went in to his heart and stayed there. Namdev and Gyaneshwar who were waiting outside for quiet some time, then came inside the garden in search of Vitthal. Nama was searching for Vitthal all over the garden but Gyaneshwar was just standing in one corner. Nama was a Prema bhaktha and Gyaneshwar was a Gyani, so Gyaneshwar understood where Vitthal was and was looking at Savanta. After searching all over the garden, Nama started crying and asked Gyaneshwar where Vitthal went, but Gyaneshwar was smiling. Nama then asked him why he was smiling. Gyaneshwar then told Nama that the guy sitting in front of him who is acting like doing meditation is the guy who swallowed Vitthal. Hearing this Nama got angry and ran towards Savanta to hit him. Seeing this Vitthal called Nama and appeared in front of him, as Vitthal dint want his bhaktha to be hurt. They then understood the leela of Pandurang, hugged each other and all four of them started going towards the direction where Kurmadas was there.
Kurmadas was sitting in the place where he was left by the rich man earlier and was crying and thinking of Vitthal. Vitthal came to Kurmadas gave him his darshan, hugged him and put him in his lap. He then became an idol there and told him that the place where you are will be like Pandhari and that I will be there with you where ever you are. This village is now called Kurmia in his remembrance.
Source : http://indiansaints.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/sant-kurmadas-and-sant-savanta-mali

SANT KANHOPATRA

SANT KANHOPATRA

Sant   Kanhopatra
SANT   KANHOPATRA
LORD   VITTHALA
Statue of  Sant  Kanhopatra

Sant Kanhopatra

There was a dassi by name Shyama in the town of Mangalvedha which is about fourteen miles from Pandharpur. Shyama had a beautiful daughter by name Kanhopatra. She was so beautiful that there was no match to her beauty in this world. While she was young she learned the art of singing and dancing. Shyama, asked her daughter to come with her to see the king so that he would give some money and ornaments to her. Kanhopatra then said that she would not come to the kings durbar. She also said that she would only marry someone who is more beautiful than her.

One day a group of pilgrims who were going to Pandhari were passing by singing the praise of god. When Kanhopatra saw them she made a namskar to them and asked them where they were going. The pilgrims then replied to her that they were going to Pandhari to see lord Vitthal. She then asked them to describe his glory to which they said that even lord Brahma and others were unable to describe his glory and that his beauty exceeds that of Lakshmi a billion fold. Kanhopatra then asked them if she goes as a suppliant to the lord will he accept her. The saints then told her that he will definitely accept her and she then went home and told her mother that she is going to Pandhari and left with them taking a vina in her hand. She joined the pilgrims in singing the praise of lord and reached Pandhari. She had the darshan of Vitthal and decided to be in Pandhari. She would always remain in the great door of the temple and sing his praise.

One man who had come from Bedar saw her and went and told the king about her and her beauty. On hearing this, the Mohamedian king sent his guards to go get Kanhopatra from the temple of Pandharpur. The guards arrived at the temple gates and told Kanhopatra the king’s orders and that if she failed to listen to them, they would have to take her forcefully. She then told them that she would visit Vitthal for one last time and come back with them to the king. She went in and prayed to Vitthal and told him that if he abandons her now the whole world will blame him for this. As she pleaded with Vitthal, he removed her soul and united it with him. He took Kanhopatra in his lap and she died on his lap. Vitthal then asked the priest to burry her corpse at the southern gate of the temple. As soon as they buried her a tarati tree sprang up immediately in that place and everyone were surprised. We can till date see this tree in Vitthal Rukmani temple in Pandharpur. Meanwhile the king’s guards who were sitting in the main gate of the temple asked the priest what happened to Kanhopatra. They told them that she now got united with Vitthal and is no more. The guards then asked them to show her corpse to which the priest told them that it has changed in to a tree. The guards dint believe what they said and arrested the priest and took him to king. The priest then offered coconut and bukka from the temple to the king as Prasad and told him what happened. When the king took the coconut he saw a hair in the coconut and asked the priest how this came in the coconut offered to god. The priest was afraid and confused how it had come. He then decided to tell the king that it was Vitthal’s hair. The king dint believe this and asked him if it was true. The priest then told him to come to Pandhari and see it for himself and also gave it in writing. The king then decided to come to Pandharpur and visit the god to check if what they described about him was true. He entered the temple paid his respects to the god and went to god’s bed chamber and looked at the god. He then saw god’s brilliant crown, beautiful curly hair, his lotus eyes, his crocodile ear rings and the kaustubh around his neck. The moment the king saw this he became repentant and told the priest that he had seen the lord just the way they had described him. He then prostrated before the god and embraced his feet and said that Kanhopatra’s fortune is supreme in getting united with Vitthal.

Source : http://indiansaints.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/sant-kanhopatra/

Bhakta Shabari and Lord Rama & Lakshmana

BHAKTA SHABARI

Shabari  and  Lord Rama & Lakshmana
Bhakta Shabari & Lord Rama
Bhakta Shabari and Lord Rama & Lakshmana


BHAKTA   SHABARI   

 Shabari was a hunter’s daughter and belong to the Nishadha tribal community. The night before her marriage, she saw that thousands of goats and sheep were brought by her father, which were going to be sacrificed for the marriage dinner. Moved by compassion, during the early hours of the morning, she renounced the world and ran away to meet a Master. After days of traveling, she met Sage Matanga at the foot of the Mountain Rishyamukha and accepted him as guru, serving him with devotion. When her guru Matanga was about to die, Shabari—now an old woman—says that after serving him throughout her life, she wanted to reach the same “abode of peace” which Matanga reached. Thereupon, the sage said that by the virtue of her seva (service), Lord Rama shall give her darshan and asks her to wait for his arrival. Saying thus, the sage sitting in lotus posture attains Mahasamadhi. As per her guru’s words, Shabari waits for the

arrival of Rama.

Everyday Shabari would go out of her ashram, with the help of a walking stick and pluck berry fruits for Lord Rama. She would pluck a fruit, first taste it, and if it was sweet she would put it in her basket and discard the bitter ones. She wanted to give the good and sweet fruits to Rama. The thought never came to her that she should not taste it before it was offered to a deity. Traditional writers use this narrative to indicate that in bhakti, faults are not seen by God. Thus collecting a few fruits, Shabari went back to her ashram and eagerly anticipate Rama’s arrival. Shabari is commonly used as a metaphor for an        endless wait for God.

Arrival of Rama
According to the story, even though hundreds of other yogis were waiting to receive Rama in their ashrams, Rama went only to Shabari’s ashram because of her sincere devotion. On seeing Rama, Shabari became ecstatic and said, “There were so many exalted yogis waiting for Your darshan, but You came to this unworthy devotee. This clearly shows that You will neither see whether a devotee lives in a palace or humble hut, whether he is erudite or ignorant – neither see caste nor color. You will only see the true bhakti – I do not have anything to offer other than my heart, but here are some berry fruits. May it please you, my Lord.” Saying so, Shabari offered the fruits she had meticulously collected to Rama. When Rama was tasting them, Lakshmana raised the concern that Shabari had already tasted them and therefore unworthy of eating. To this Rama said that of the many types of food he had tasted, “nothing could equal these berry fruits, offered with such devotion. You taste them, then alone will you know. Whomsoever offers a fruit, leaf, flower or some water with love, I partake it with great joy.” Lakshmana also had a great experience tasting the fruits. Pleased with Shabari’s devotion, Rama blesses her with His vision and grants her . Shabri also tells Sri Rama to take help from Sugriva and where to find him. The Ramayan says that Shabri was a very bright and knowledgible saint. Moksha (liberation).

Rama’s discourse
Rama delivers his discourse on nava-vidha bhakti (ninefold devotion) to Shabari.
Such pure devotion is expressed in nine ways, .
First is satsang or association with love-intoxicated devotees and righteous people.
The second is to develop a taste for hearing My nectar-like stories.
The third is service to the Guru.
Fourth is to sing My kirtan (communal chorus).
Japa or repetition of My Holy name and chanting My bhajans are the fifth expression .
To follow scriptural injunctions always, to practice control of the senses, nobility of character and selfless service, these are expressions of the sixth mode of bhakti.
Seeing Me manifested everywhere in this world and worshipping My saints more than myself is the seventh mode of bhakti.
To find no fault with anyone and to be contented with one’s lot is the eighth mode of bhakti.
Unreserved surrender with total faith in My strength is the ninth and highest stage.
Shabari, anyone who practices one of these nine modes of My bhakti pleases Me most and reaches Me without fail.
That which is most difficult for the greatest yogis was easily attained by you, Shabari, because of your sincere devotion.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabari

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Santh Tukaram

Tukaram

Tukaram
About Sant Tukaram
Tukaram was one of the greatest poet saints ever born in India. It is quite renowned for hiscontribution to the Bhakti Movement of Maharashtra. Read this biography further to know more about the Sant Tukaram.

Early Life
The exact records related to the life history of Tukaram are not available. So, there is a little disagreement regarding his exact birthdate. It is considered to be one of the four – 1568 AD, 1577 AD, 1608 AD or 1598 AD. He was born in Dehu, near the Pune city to a trader father. He was married twice. His first wife died of starvation, during a period of severe famine. While, his second wife constantly nagged him for not being able to properly support his family.

Enlightenment
Tortured by the death of his first wife, the constant nagging of the second and the failure in his spiritual quest, Tukaram went into a severe depression. By the age of twenty-one, he had lost all the hopes in life and was at the threshold of death. At this point of time, he had a dream, in which one Babaji Chaitanya initiated him into the spiritual path. That particular moment changed his destiny and he started his journey as one of the best poet saints of the country.

Teachings of Sant Tukaram

  • An individual should make God the center of his universe. Serving others and loving others is the best way through which we can find Him.
  • For the attainment of sadhana, an individual needs to have faith in his/her destiny.
  • It is not necessary to renounce the world and lead the life of an ascetic in order to be one with God. Spirituality does not require elaborate rituals.
  • Nama Japa (reciting the name of Lord) is the most important privilege of being a devotee.
  • Siddhis serve as impediments in the attainment of genuine sadhana (meditation).
  • Traditions prevent an individual from budding in the love of God. One has to sidestep the usual customs to achieve the same.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
About Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the creator of the transcendental form of meditation, along with being the leader of the Transcendental Meditation Movement. One of the most renowned spiritual Gurus of India, he is highly influenced by the principles of Adi Shankaracharya. The main aim of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is to promote the use of the Vedic ways in daily life. Read on to explore the biography of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi further…

Early Life
Maharishi Yogi was born in the year 1911, in Allahabad town (in Uttar Pradesh). After graduating from Allahabad University (in physics), he spent 13 years under the tutelage of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati. During this period, he developed an inclination towards the ancient Vedic Science of consciousness. At the same time, he started practicing intense meditation. He is also credited with making efforts towards the restoration of the thousand-years-old scattered Vedic Literature. He is responsible for organizing it as a complete science of consciousness.

Upgradation from a Student to a Teacher
As per the life history of Maharishi Yogi, he assumed the title “Maharishi” in 1955. From then onwards, began his journey as a teacher of traditional meditation technique, now known as Transcendental Meditation.

Mahesh Yogi Transcendental Meditation
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi aims at developing a society in which there is good all around. The first step that he took towards the fulfillment of his aim was the starting of the Transcendental Meditation Movement. Transcendental Meditation is a mental technique that helps a person in achieving consciousness. It involves the use of a mantra or sound, through which the mind becomes alert, but the body feels relaxed. He has also established a number of foundations to support his movement, one of which is The Spiritual Regeneration Movement, founded in 1957.

The Maharishi Effect
Various studies have been conducted throughout the world to ascertain the effects of Transcendental Meditation. It has been found out that the places where even one percent of the population practiced Transcendental Meditation, the crime rate was found to be declining. This phenomenon, where Transcendental Meditation is seen as being negatively related to crime, violence and other negative forces, is known as the Maharishi Effect.

Santh Surdas

 

About Surdas
Surdas is one of the people who had great influence on the cultural heritage of India. He was a poet, a saint and a musician and played all the parts with the same finesse. Since there are no authentic records on the life of Surdas, hisbiography comes up as a combination of facts and fiction.

Early Life
There is a little disagreement regarding the exact birth date of Surdas, some scholars believe it to be 1478 AD, while others believe it to be 1479 AD. Same is the case of the year of his death, it is either considered to be 1581 AD or 1584 AD. As per the limited authentic life history of Surdas, it is said that he lived in Braj, near Mathura. Surdas was born blind and because of this, he was neglected by his family. As a result, he left his home at tender age of six.

Meeting Shri Vallabharacharya
In the eighteenth year of his life, Surdas went to Gau Ghat, a sacred bathing spot on the embankments of Yamuna River. It was here that he came across Shri Vallabharacharya, the great saint-savant. Vallabharacharya advised Surdas to sing Bhagvat Lila, the Creative Play of the Lord and introduced him to the secrets of contemplative devotion. From this time onwards, Surdas never looked back on the path of spirituality. Surdas spent the last years of his life in Braj, the place of his birth.

Literary Works of Surdas
The work of Surdas mainly consists of the following three compilations.

Sur-Saravali
Sur-Saravali, based on the festival of Holi, originally consisted of hundred verses. In this poem, he tried to create a theory of Genesis, with Lord Krishna as the Creator.

Sahitya-Lahiri
Sahitya-Lahiri is mainly associated with Bhakti (devotion) towards the Supreme Lord.

Sur-Sagar
Sur-Sagar is considered to be the magnum opus of Surdas. The poem has been woven around the life of Lord Krishna. It originally contained 100,000 poems or songs, out of which only 8000 have survived the travails of time.

Philosophy of Surdas
The Bhakti movement that was widely prevalent in India at the time of Surdas deeply affected him. He propagated the Shuddhadvaita school of Vaishnavism. It makes use of the spiritual metaphor of the Radha-Krishna Lila, derived from earlier saints.