An Upanayana and Guru Tatva

Having begun the month with a piece on a Guru Pujya Gurudev HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji of The Art of Living I sign of the month also with a piece of Guru Principle or the Tattva. Cutting down on the verbosity, this would be almost a photo blog of an Amazing place I happened to visit to attend an Upanayana ceremony of Vatu Chinmay, son my friend Deepak Naik and Sister Sushma Naik . The venue was Sri Sadguru Chaitanya Mandira. A few interesting snaps uploaded here.  Do not miss this place at any cost when you visit Bangalore.

Firstly, my tributes to the Vatu, Chinmay, who became a Dwija (Twice-born) in the Honor of Sanatana Dharma and the ancient Vedic Tradition. He was given Upadesha (instruction) as part of introduction to the concept of  Brahman. He is vested with a Three-Stranded Sacred Thread (Janivara) representing Goddesses Gayatri (Mind) Saraswati (Word) and Savitri (Deed). He was also initiated into the all powerful Gayatri Mantra formally today. My respects to the Vatu

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Chinmay with his Father Deepak Naik
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Being Explained various Concepts of the Sadhana
Bhiksha Karanam
Bhiksha Karanam

Wishing him all the prosperity, wisdom and success in his life. 

Coming to the main purpose of this blog, some interesting details on the venue where this Upanayana Happened, Sri Sadguru Chaitanya Mandira

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Sri Sadguru Chaitanya Mandir
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The Entrance – Couldn’t capture Beautiful Padukas
Mahaganapthy Temple as we enter
Mahaganapthy Temple as we enter
Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya
Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya
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Sri Sadguru Paduka Mandir Entrance – 1st Floor
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The Gallery and Sthapana Stala of Padukas
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Another Row of Paduka Sthapana Stala
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The 3rd Row
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The Primary Paduka Puja and Ashtottara performed here – Sri Dattatreya
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Sadguru Dhyana Mandira – 2nd Floor
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Extremely Rare Comination – Sri Dakshina Murthy and Sri Dattatreya Together
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A very Happy me – customary sit-down in a Temple
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A Photo-op Proud me with that Dwaj


A brief write-up on the Presiding Deity Sri Dattatreya and this Mandira would not be out of place here. It is believed that Sri Dattatreya is a Deity encompassing the Holy Trinity or Trimurthy – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. (depicted with 3 heads). He is the Author of Tripura Rahasya, a treatise on Advaita Vedaanta (which incidentally is my current reading) that was instructed by Him personally to Parashurama.

This Mandira was primarily built to showcase and make available in a single place Padukas of  various Gurus including that of the present and previous Acharyas of Shringeri Sharada Peetha, Avadhutas of Sri Dattatreya lineage, Sri Raghavendra of Mantralaya,  Sri Gondavale Maharaj of Hebballi. Sri Bharathi
Teertha Mahaswami, The Jagadguru of Dakshinanmaya Sri Sringeri Sharadha Peetha, His Holiness Bharathi Theertha Swami blessed the trust members with Sri Dattatreya Paduka with a mandate to worship in all Guru Peethas – thus each of the Padukas in the Paduka Mandira has been worshipped in over 40 holy Peethas.

Sri Sadguru Chaitanya Mandira’s Prathista Kumbhabhisheka of Sri Dakshinamurthy, Sri Dattatreya and Sri Sadguru Shila Paduka by His Holiness Bharathi Theertha Swami was performed on 4th March 2012

Another highlight of this Mandira is Ganesha Prapancha, where unbelievable variety of Lord Ganesh in different Postures and made of different materials are on display. Will update with some pictures after my next visit

The Mandira Address :

Sri Sadguru Chaitanya Mandira, Bharat Housing Layout, Thurahalli, near Poornaprajna Layout, Uttarahalli-Kengeri Road, Bengaluru.

About 3 km from Uttarahalli Circle, towards Kengeri (a left turn before Patalamma Temple)

Wikimap of Sri Sadguru Chaitanya Mandira

||Namo Namaha Sri Gurupadukabhyam||

Busting “How Shiva did not recognize his own son” Myth

Ganapati Idol at Home – This Ganesh Chaturthi

The stories in the Puranas contain many incredible and hard-to-believe occurences. But they should not be interpreted as a nursery rhyme. Their language is Shakespearean and laden with great depth and meaning. We need to interpret these stories with a very refined state of mind.

The story goes that Parvati created a boy out of dirt from her body and appointed him to guard the doorstep. The first question that comes is how could Parvati, the Goddess Herself, have so much dirt? Parvati symbolizes the triguna – sattva, rajas and tamas. The entire creation is made up of trigunas. The dosha or imperfections that originate out of the triguna is an obstruction for the functioning of Prakriti. That was the boy that Parvati created to stand guard at the door.

Shiva is Shuddha Chaitanya, pure consciousness. Like the sun does not recognize darkness and cuts through it, Shiva does not recognize dosha and slays the impurity. But Prakriti cannot stay without impurity. So Shiva replaces the dosha with the head of an elephant, which symbolizes knowledge. Through knowledge, all the doshas or obstructions of Prakriti can be taken care of. This is the spiritual and metaphysical meaning of Ganpati being slain. So worshipping Ganpati as the remover of obstacles and the giver of gyana, knowledge is the most amazing depiction of the nature of consciousness.

Going a step further, even this difference between Prakriti and Purusha is done away with. That is why, the Ganpati Upanishad says,

ajam nirvikalpam niraakaaram-ekam
niraanandam aanandam advaita poornam
param nirgunam nirvishesham nireeham
para brahma roopam ganesham bhajema

Ganesha is the only One unborn unmanifest Reality. He is nirvikalpa and advaita – the formless, undivided One. This is the play and display of consciousness within itself.

While Ganpati is certainly the nirakara Parabrahman, he is invoked and worshipped in the mud idol for a period of time for the joy of the devotees. Then the Ganpati is asked to merge back into our heart and the idol is immersed in water. This ritual is observed for the sake of devotees, not for the sake of Ganpati. He who is without form is invoked in a form and then his spirit is invoked back into one’s heart as the idol is immersed.

AUM/OM – a beginner’s narrative

This is in response  to two of my fellow bloggers on another discussion forum (which is not functional now) – Ved Vahan and Subash. Cross posting it again to share it with the audience here. While I don’t have access to those blogs wherein those 2 loving souls had brought out concept of OM, I humbly submit that this is an amateurish attempt to complement their indisputable explanations. Wherever relevant, I have made any reference to their writing,I have specifically reproduced for relevance.

So here I go….

For our ordinary minds (and true for almost all beginners on the spiritual path), it is not so easy to conceptualize or comprehend an idea without expressing them in words. If it cannot spoken about or if not expressible we somehow get a  feeling of surreality or unreal.

So this idea of God or Divine, has to necessarily be associated and expressed with Words. Another condition is that since God/Divinity is considered fundamental fact of the Cosmos, the word expressing It needs to be fundamental too. The ancients saints, seers and Rishis struck upon and agreed that this word “AUM” is a fundamental word that can truly express the Divine.

Why is this word fundamental? Here let me begin by exploring deeper purport of one of my fellow blogger on another site – Sri Subashji’s explanation. Representing the “G”enerator, “O”perator and “D”estructor – nature of GOD.

“A” the creative force originating at the lower part (Step on a thorn or when you get hurt on your legs or feet, the natural sound that emerges out is “Aaaah”)

“U”, the maintaining force originating at the middle part (someone punching on your abdomen, the natural sound that is expressed would be “Uuuuuu”).

“M”, the destructive force – of evil tendencies originating at the top part (ask
someone to give a sharp knock on your head, the sound that emerges would be “Mmmmm”).

Sum total of these forces represents the entire universe and hence lends a legitimate expression representing God representing the Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, considered as the Creative, Maintaining and Destructive Forces.

The very construct itself renders AUM a fundamental WORD.

“A”, the root sound is pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or roof of the mouth,

“M” pronounced with closed lips representing the last possible sound.

“U” rolls from the root to the end of the palate, right upto the lips. So the three
syllables together forms the PRIMORDIAL expression called “AUM”, which represents the whole phenomena of sound production (“A” + “U” representing “O”).

Next why 3 times? As Ved-Vahan ji rightly said, “it represents three dimensions of our existence and a honor to all the three dimensions representing the
divinity in us. More importantly someone said, “It is Gurudev’s bidding (referring to His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar ji of Art of Living) , HE knows why :-)” (personally the most important and favourite reason for chanting it 3 times).

It is pertinent to remind here that chanting of 3 times is an aspect specific to Sudarshana Kriya and many Art Of Living processes but not mandatory – it could be more. (As HE keeps saying in various forums, in these busy times,
it is good enough if someone can chant 3 times – anything more and people would simply cite lack of time and discontinue Sadhana). 108 time chanting is quite popular too (9 Grahas x 12 Rashis).
My personal experience (not to do with numbers, but the very act of Chanting OM) – it clearly demarcates the activities on either side of my chanting. Prior to starting with a Sadhana, I disconnect the pre-Sadhana life with OM. As a rule, our group of AOL’ites whatever be the spiritual practices we embark on (viewing Knowledge Videos, beginning of AOL meetings, beginning satsangs)we chant OM, which clearly separates (mentally and physically) the mundane things from our mindspreparing the ground for our subsequent activities.

ॐ ॐ ॐ