Monday, May 31, 2010

Guru Samarpanam - Issue # 1

Voice of the Guru -
Now people want to live in comfort and to be provided with all sorts of amenities. There is no end to their unseemly desires. In America, it is said, everybody has a bungalow, car, radio, telephone, etc. But are people there contented? No. There is more discontent in that country than in our own. There the incidence of crime is more than anywhere else. It is all right that every American has a car. But today's car is not good enough for them tomorrow. More and more new models keep coming in the market and each new model offers more comfort than the previous one. This means that the American citizen is compelled to earn more with the appearance of each new car. A time may come when aircraft will be used in the U. S. for people to fly from house to house.

Similarly, we see such a progression all over the world in the matter of housing. First there was the hovel or the hut; then came the dwelling with the tiled roof; afterwards houses with cement and concrete walls. The flooring also changed over the years. First the floor was wiped with cowdung; then it was plastered and cemented; the mosaic flooring came later; and the search is on for smoother and shinier surfaces. It is the same case with clothing - better and finer fabrics are being made everyday.

Although we are already living in comfort we are all the time using our ingenuity to discover objects and gadgets that will make our life still easier. However, all the time we are likely to have the feeling of uneasiness with all the comforts we already possess and this means there will be no end to our yearnings. Not knowing any contentment or peace of mind we are compelled to earn more and more. It is like thinking that fire can be extinguished by pouring petrol on it; we keep discovering newer and newer objects but in the progress we keep further inflaming our longing for ease and comfort. This truth was known to our sages, to our forefathers. They taught us that we ought not to seek more than our bare needs. In recent times Gandhiji impressed upon the people the same lesson.

In this century, people seek ostentatious living in the name of progress. So long as the hunger for new comforts continue neither the individual nor society will have contentment. There will always be feelings of rivalry, jealousy and heart-burning among people. In the varnasrama dharma, the Brahmin and non-Brahmin are equal economically speaking. In spite of the caste differences, the same simple living is enjoined on all. The ideal of equality can be achieved only if all people live a simple life. In this order every individual experiences contentment and inner happiness and no one has cause of envying others their prosperity. No man, whatever his vocation, should have either too much money or too many comforts. Above all what is important is that for which all these are intended but that which cannot be truly obtained through them: contentment and a sense of fullness within.

Only when there is inner satisfaction can one meditate on the Lord. And only in the mind of a man who has such contentment is the Ultimate Truth realised as a reality. When a person has too many comforts he will be incapable of going beyond the stage of sensual pleasures. If he is addicted to enjoyments, without any need for physical exertion, he will do injury to his mind, and his inner being. Hard work and the capacity to suffer discomforts are essential for those who yearn for Atmic uplift. They will then learn to realise that there is comfort in discomfort and in hard work.

Mahaperiyava miracle experienced by Ghatam Mastero Vikku Vinaykram

An ardent devotee of the Paramacharya, he attributes all the success to his bountiful blessings. “I have felt his divine presence on more than one occasion,” he says.

Once Vinayakram went on a tour to Athens to perform a concert alongwith L. Shankar and Zakir Hussain. Somehow the ghatam he took got broken a few days before the scheduled date. Vinayakram was in tears and called his wife in Chennai and told that he would like to return as there is no point in staying in Athens. His wife told him to wait for one day and she went to Kanchi Mutt and told the same to Acharya. Acharya did not reacted for her statement and kept quiet. She was in tears and when she was about to leave Paramacharya gave a full coconut and remained silent.

Meanwhile Zakir Hussain went scouting around Athens and atlast found it in a show piece in an American’s House. The American was initially skeptical in giving telling that the person who gifted to him asked him not to give or sell it to anyone. When asked who has gifted him the Ghatam he told it was “Vinayakram” to everyone’s surprise. Zakir then told him that the ghatam is required by the same person who has gifted you. The American then decided to part the ghatam with a letter to Vinaykram that the is happy to part the ghatam if it of great use and you will not be let down by the Lord whom you worship. Even more surprising the instrument was exactly in the same sruti in which Vinaykram were to perform.

In another occasion in Germany, after missing a flight to the U.S., Vikku spent some time going around a music shop. On learning that the visitor was Vinayakaram, the shopkeeper showed him a ghatam and asked him to certify it. It was made by a German lady. Vikku was satisfied with the tonal quality that equalled the ones made in India. A jubilant shopkeeper gifted it to Vikku despite the latter’s protests. On reaching the U.S., Vikku found his own ghatam in a broken condition and used the one he got as a gift for the concert. The sruti was G (5kattai) and it perfectly matched the concerts aadhara sruti of C (1kattai). Convinced that it is Maha Periyaval’s ghatam, Vikku has found for it a place in his puja room.

Reference :

Hindhu Dharama – by Sri R.G.K.
The Hindu – “Pot of Rhythm”
Talk by Sri Ganesa Sarma

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