An Acharya (guru) without an ego
Acknowledgement : Kalaimagal
Do you recall the last shloka in Saundarya Lahiri? After composing the 100 hymns, the composer surrenders all the hymns at the feet of Mother. Saundaryam means beauty. One can see things that are beautiful. One can hear things that are beautiful and are pleasing to the ears. Saundarya Lahiri is one such hymn that is so pleasing to the ears.
Beauty in this universe is a blessing from Goddess Amba. It is a portion of Ambal’s grace that is visible to us. Ambal is so beautiful. It is due to her grace that Saundarya Lahiri was born. A scholar who has created such a beautiful and powerful hymn doesn’t have any pride about the fact that he has created such a beautiful hymn. Instead he attributes it to Mother Goddess. Look at his humility. “Vaaku” is very important. It is hard to change it. “Saundarya Lahiri is a vaaku that is timeless.
On the day of Sankaranthi, rangoli is drawn at homes and Sun God is portrayed in the rangoli. Then sugarcane, sarkarai pongal and coconut are offered to Sun God. Camphor is lit. Look at the effulgence of camphor. Can it be compared with the effulgence of the Sun? The Acharya who composed says that his creation of saundarya lahiri is like showing a burning camphor in front of the Sun.
Why go to temples when God is everywhere?
When sunlight directly falls on cotton, the cotton does not burn. But the cotton catches fire if the sunlight falls on it through a lens. Temples are locations where God who is full of energy resides. The temple is like the glass lens. The power of God is bountiful in temples so there is a need to go to temples.
Without God’s grace it is impossible to accomplish anything in this world. The “sakti” or the “energy” or the “strength” that drives us is “parasakthi” or “ ambal”. This sakthi or energy manifests itself in temples that have been built by rishis and tapasvis. The waters in Pazhani have such spiritual and magnetic energy that benefits mankind immensely.
All of you know about fireflies. Fireflies radiate a certain glow in the dark. Creepers called as ‘jothirlathai’ are conspicuous by their absence during the day but they illuminate the darkness in the night.
We are talented and knowledgeable. But we should never let this feeling go to our head. One has to be very careful not to fall prey to vanity, ego and arrogance. There is no need for us to fall prey to such vicious emotions like arrogance and ego. Once we realise that whatever we have achieved and whatever we plan to achieve is only possible through the grace of God, then there is no place for ego.
Adi Shankaracharya had this quest for seeking the truth. Prior to his birth, India had several religions but it is only after the birth of Adi Shankaracharya that other religions faded away. Adi Shankaracharya’s fame spread far and wide even in countries like Cambodia where Buddhism was rampant.
1000 years ago Hinduism would have been the religion in those countries. Thereafter Buddhism must have become popular in those nations. Temples were found during excavation in these countries. The Lotus feet of Adi Shankaracharya was such that people had no compunctions in bowing down at his feet.
We speak well; we write well, the world celebrates us. It is easy to fall prey to arrogance and ego. It is important for us to think whether it makes any sense to fall prey to such vices and succumb to deviant behaviours.
Whatever we achieve is due to the anugraha of ambal. We should surrender everything – good or bad – at her feet. She is our mother, she is our protectors. We should never lose faith in her. Once we repose our faith in her, we will get many more opportunities to achieve greater glory and we will be motivated to surrender everything at the Lotus feet of ambal. This is the only way to attract good things towards us.
(to be continued)