Just as we pick only the rose and not its thorns
So do we need to take only the quintessence of the sastras. Leave the asaara and take only the saara ( the essence).
Sri Bhadrachalam Ramadasar
Tuesday (Feb 23rd), the second day of this year’s discourse series saw Sri Hariji discoursing on the
charithram of Sri Bhadrachalam Ramadasar. The extraordinary incidents in Sri Ramadasar’s life are
very well known. While Sri Hariji did narrate these incidents with all the intricate details, the
nuances of dharma and bhakti that he elaborated upon were very important.
In fact, he began his lecture with the famous sloka from Bhagavad Gita “Paritraanaaya
saadhuunaam”. He pointed out that God has declared here about his commitment to take
avathara in every yuga, for protecting the good people, to destroy the bad people and to establish
Dharma. But He is known as “Triyugan” meaning He takes avathara only in three of the four yugas.
How do we reconcile this contradiction? Further, it is Kaliyuga which will see the worst of erosion
of dharma. And it is this yuga which badly needs the emergence of God to re-establish dharma.
The answer is, emphasised Sri Hariji, that God takes avathara in Kaliyuga through a series of
Mahans. He listed out how mahans of various kind right from Aazhwars, Nayanmars and others all
the way to Saint Thyagaraja in recent times have emerged to guide and uplift people. They have
been performing the task of dharma samsthaapanam and protecting/uplifting the good people.
The one essential difference is that there is no “vinaashaaya ca dushkrutham” (destruction of bad people) in the case of Mahans. Instead the Mahans try to correct such people.
And in this series of Mahans, Bhadrachalam Ramadasar is one of the renowned Rama bhaktas. He has written many keerthanas and also set them to Ragas (Vaggeyakara). His keerthanas are famous for their bhakti rasam. In the bhajan sampradayam, during dhivyanamam it is a tradition to sing Bhadrachalam Ramadasar’s keerthanas first, said Sri Hariji. Sri Hariji sang excerpts from a few of Ramadasar’s well known krithis. “Sri Rama nee naama yentha ruchiraa” was one of the sweet krithis sung by him during the discourse.
In the midst of the discourse, Sri Hariji went into an exposition of ‘What is bhakti?’. Bhakti is ‘premai’. It is a love for God. It is something that cannot be taught or imparted as a message. It has to be an innate urge. Priya (premai) is the very form of God, says Upanishad. Sri Hariji quoted Taittiriya Upanishad (Anandavalli): तस्य प्रियमेव शिरः। मोदो दक्षिणः पिः । िमोद उत्तरः पिः। आनन्द आत्मा । Sri Bhadrachalam Ramadasar’s sufferings in the prison were emotionally detailed by Sri Hariji with the help of the many keerthanas that Ramadasar had composed while in the prison. Each was an emotional appeal to his Lord Rama, dripping with bhakti and suffering. Eventually when he appealed to Matha Sitamma through the keerthana “nanu brovamani cheppave sitamma thalli nana brovamani cheppave” Rama melts and comes to his rescue. Sri Hariji’s explanation for the long delay in Rama’s rescue of Ramadasa went like this: Sri Rama is a very majestic and straightforward Purusha. He wanted others not to follow Rama Dasar’s action of using someone else’s money/wealth to do seva (build temple) for Him. But Rama was full of compassion and love towards his great devotee. Hence he delayed his rescue and then personally came over to have him released from the prison. In fact he had personally come over once earlier to save Rama Dasar’s child too. In this process, the Nawab Tanisha was blessed with a personal darshan of Rama & Lakshmana. How fortunate!
(Lord Sri Rama with Sitamma and Lakshmana at Bhadrachalam)
A sloka from Srimad Bhagavatham which comes up repeatedly during Sri Hariji’s discourses on the charithra of Mahans is this:
न ह्मम्मयानन तीर्ाानन न देवा मॄच्छिलामया: |
ते पुनन्त्युरूकालेन दर्ानादेव साधव: ||
The meaning of this sloka is …… “The kshetras of holy water and God in idol form do purify the devotees, but they do so slowly over time. However the very sight of Saints purifies one immediately”.
----------------Written by Sri Prabhakar Rao of Singapore
SRI HARI ANNA'S AND SRIMATHI VISHAKHA HARI'S AMERICA TOUR