The Aug 2015 edition of the monthly ‘Hanuman Chalisa Satsang‘ was organized on 30th Aug evening at Vedanta Ashram – the last Sunday of the month. Apart from the regular attendees, the campers of the Vedanta (Janmashtami) Camp were also present. The camp was to start from the next day.
After the lovely bhajans by the Das Bageeche Bhajan Mandal, everyone chanted Hanuman Chalisa, and then started the pravachan of Poojya Guruji. He first felicitated everyone for the Raksha Bandhan festival which was just a day before. He briefly talked about the importance of the festival which re-inforces the bonds of love & respect between brothers & sisters. He said that apart from this aspect of the day, on this Shravani Poornima, we also change our old janeu. Janeu is a very important part of a Hindu Religion. Such a person becomes qualified for all religious rites only after this sacred thread ceremony. Connecting this to the Hanuman Chalisa he said that todaay we shall reflect & think on the line wherein we bring to our minds that form of Hanumanji wherein he is wearing a janeu of munja grass.
काँधे मूंज जनेऊ साजे
Anyone who has been initiated properly will wear this thread to symbolize the realization of infinite blessings being showered on us from all sources. Basically these sources are three – our parents & forefathers, our heritage & its great masters, and finally all the unknown sources which are encompassed in the word devatas. So we have three kinds of indebtedness, namely Pitr-ryn, Rishi-ryn and Dev-ryn, our indebtedness towards our parents, our great masters and all the powers of the world. The three threads of janeu symbolize these three sources of blessings. One who can realize the showering of blessings is in fact qualified to don the janeu. These people feel profondly blessed, and this is what becomes the basis of their lives. Such people alone can afford to be selfless in their thoughts & deeds, and this is what becomes the real turning point in their lives. Blessedness is the door to Sattvikta, and that is why to initiate someone in that we take up janeu. So janeu stands for various great things – and this is how we look at Hanumanji – blessed, selfless, sattvik.
Poojya Guruji alongwith some Ashram Mahatmas and devotees decided to go for darshan of the newly made Kshipra-Narmada Sangam, which is on the outskirsts of Indore. The drive is of 45 odd minutes.
The first stop was at Dev-Guradia, which has an ancient Shiv Mandir with Gutakeshwar Mahadev residing there. The Mandir is at the base of a hill, with nice forests around and a dharamsala with rooms. There is a seasonal water spring there, and also a water reservoir. The place is very respected with Shiv-bhaktas, and there is huge rush during Mahashivratri there. The spring was active, and the reservoir full of water. The devotees & children were having fun taking dip in it. Had lovely darshan there, and then proceeded further.
The second stop was the Sangam. The roads were very nice – all newly made. Sangam was been very lovingly designed & made. There is an ancient Kshipra Mata Mandir on a hillock, from where the river is said to have sprung from a spring. With times and the underground water table going down, that spring had dried up, and so the river had become seasonal, active only in monsoons. However, the present dispensation planned to rejuvenate the river by bringing Narmada waters there in big 7-8 ft diameter pipes. A tasteful waterfall with statues and ghats have been made, and the whole place has been made into a pilgrim center. This time of the year we saw many ‘kavadias’ taking water from here and then going to ujjain or Omkareshwar for abhisheka. Men & women taking dip in the ghats there. There are separate ghats for both. Green lawns, flowers etc have been planted there and are manitained too nicely. After spending sometime, and also going uphill (with around 160 steps) we had darshan of the ancient mandir – we started for our next destination.
Our final destination was the ancient Kevedeshwar Mahadev Mandir. This is about 2 Kms off road, and the road is old & broken too. Along with the Mandir there is also an Ashram with a Mahamandaleshwar residing there. The present head of the place is Mahant Dharampuriji Maharaj. We found him doing the special Savan Shiv-Puja with hundreds of Parthiv-Linga’s. He respectfully welcomed Poojya Guruji and other Mahatmas, and honoured everyone too. Later by lunch time we were back at our Vedanta Ashram – for hot lunch.
On 8th Aug, a Cultural Fest, called Savan-Utsav was organized at the Sankaracharya Sabhagruh of the Vedanta Ashram. 8th Aug is the birthday of Swamini Amitanandaji and the devotees do gather to pay their respects, so we decided to special flavor to the program and planed this Shiv-Jhula Utsav.
In this program we decided to have a Jhula for Shivji during this special & beautiful month of Savan – and give a chance to devotees to present dances, bhajans etc. A lovely jhanki of Shiv-Jhula was set-up on the stage of the second floor hall. The hall was tastefully decorated with plants & lights. Various devotees planned to bring different food items, and put stalls for everyone. So we had Dal-Bati-Laddu / Pani-Puri / Salad / Cake / Coffee / Pan from different devotees. Sh Sunil-Manju Garg decided to judge and also give awards to the best presentations. So the stage was nicely set for a great evening.
Sh Manohar Agarwal did the compereing, It was his first such attempt and was great. His handling of the event was appropriately peppered with small inspiring stories of Shivji and also lovely jokes. The evening began with a Ganesh Vandana dance by Anagh, Then there were various other dances by Deeksha & also Rekha and one more award-winning presentation from Anagh. After the various cultural presentations, there was the customary cake cutting by Swamini Amitanandaji & also Angad Kapoor, whose birthday as on the next day. Poojya Guruji gave a brief talk with blessings & best wishes to all. Thereafter started the food-fest.
The best stall was of Pani-Puri which was set-up by Mayank & Alankrita Arora. Dal-Bati was obviously a heavy choice, but has the Malwa taste. Later Swamini Amitanandaji have the prizes to all participants.
We are happy to publish the Aug 2015 issue of Vedanta Sandesh – the monthly ezine of the International Vedanta Mission. VS contains inspiring and enlightening articles, snippets, quotes of Vedanta & Hinduism, and news of the activities of the International Vedanta Mission and of Vedanta Ashram.
Links: Vedanta Sandesh is available on all of the following sites, and can be either downloaded or read online.
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Vedanta Sandesh is a free magazine, and you are welcome to share it with your friends & relatives. May the good values & vision spread to bless the lives of one & all.
A five days Vedanta (Guru Poornima) Camp was organized at Vedanta Ashram, just before the Guru Poornima from 27th to 31st July 2015. Campers from Lucknow & Ahmedabad attended the program. The subject matter of the camp discourses was a very important & serious subject – it was a detailed elaboration of the famous mantra of Mundakopanishad, namely – Parikshya Lokan Karma chitan. Poojya Guruji gave nine discourses on the mantra in these five days. Apart from this Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji gave pravachans on Manisha Panchakam. P.Swamini Samatanandaji conducted classes on Meditation and chanting (of Dakshinamurthy Stotram), while P.Swamini Poornanandaji directed devotees in Puja and also managed the Kitchen very nicely.
Everyday there was a discussion session by Poojya Guruji or some other Swamiji, and later in the night a bhajan session in which various questions were also answered.
On the day day in the concluding Dakshina session, the campers shared their experiences – and it was a great joy to see that everyone goes back highly inspired.
On 31st the Guru Pornima day, devotees thronged the Ashram to pay their respects to their teacher. There was puja, pravachan & finally the bhandara.
In the monthly Hanuman Chalisa Satsangs of the months of June & July Poojya Guruji talked on the 4th & 5th chaupayi of the chalisa, which is :
कंचन बरन विराज सुबेसा . कानन कुंडल कुंचित केसा
He told that this chaupayi facilitates upasana of Hanuman ji. In any upasana we need to clearly visualize the form of our Ishta Devata. In Yoga Shastra visualization comes under dharana – the capacity to focus our attention on one object or place. This easily quietens the flickering of mind and facilitates better attention. Focussing on a form is a stepping stone to turn our attention on that which the form stands for. Feel blessed to turn your attention to Hanumanji – an embodiment of strength, service, devotion & wisdom.
The form of Hanumanji which Goswamiji reveals here is unlike what we see in various temples – which is generally of sindori color. The real color of Hanumanji is golden – kanchan baran, baran is the color, and kanchan means like gold. While the sindori color of Hanumanji has a beautiful message of living as per the likes of our beloved God, it calls for profound surrender & devotion – complete egolessness, but one should not forget that this is just one of the messages of Hanumanji. So the priority of the devotee should be to see Hanumanji – as he is, in his entirety. Whether it is his color, his service, words or thinking. The capacity to see a thing or a person as they are is the way of knowledge. Gyana is all about seeing a thing as it is. So in upasana one should rather aim to visualize Hanumanji in beautiful & divine golden color.
Golden color also stands for effulgence, it is shiny metal and has profound beauty & divinity associated with it. So see Hanumanji as self-effulgent & divine manifestation. That is what both God & Atma truly are – self-effulgent.
Some commentators explain the word ‘subesa’ as someone who has good dress sense, so that whatever they wear looks beautiful & appropriate. Sensible presentation. Even though Hanumanji wears minimal dresses but here Goswamiji says he look very smart & appropriate even in his minimal dress.
Kundal are ear-rings. Ear-rings are symbolic of ones traditions. In fact various sects are identified by such things. One should always have great respect for ones ancestors & traditions.
Kunchit-kesa: His hairs are short & clipped. This reveal that he is dressed for action. Whenever we are in for some action, we naturally keep our hairs well tied or even cut – like the soldiers or even wrestlers or warriors. He is always ready for action & hard-work. So here we have a beautiful & dynamic form of Hanumanji – for our upasana.