SANT KURMADAS and SANT SAVANTA MALI
Pandharpur VITTHAL & RUKMINI Temple
Lord VITTHAL Goddess RUKMINI
- Trip : Pune-Tuljapur-Pandharpur-Jejuri (manojhirway.wordpress.com)
|Statue of 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/
|Shabari and Lord Rama & Lakshmana|
|Bhakta Shabari & Lord Rama|
|Bhakta Shabari and Lord Rama & Lakshmana|
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 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
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.
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.
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 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…
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.
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.
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, 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 is mainly associated with Bhakti (devotion) towards the Supreme Lord.
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.