Tag Archives: Indian culture

Guru of Lord Hanuman!

Surya Bhagavan stands for the Light of Knowledge and Wisdom. He is the All-knowing silent Witness of the entire world. He represents the World Teacher, the Giver of both subjective and objective knowledge. It is said that the Vedas are under the care of Surya Bhagavan. Young Hanuman wanted to have Lord Surya alone as his Guru. One day in the morning, Hanuman took a big leap and reached Surya Bhagavan. With folded hands he approached Lord Surya and requested him to accept him as his disciple.

Surya Bhagavan was very pleased with Hanuman’s request. However, since he is constantly on the move, he told Hanuman that he cannot stop at any point of time to teach him. Hanuman came up with a solution and told Lord Sun that he can continue his celestial journey without break and still teach him. He told Surya Bhagavan to keep moving forward and keep teaching him, and he would face his Guru and keep moving backwards at the same speed!

Surya Bhagavan was very pleased at the disciples loving persistence and agreed. Facing the teacher and moving backwards, Hanuman quickly grasped all that was taught to him by Lord Surya. He studied the four books of Knowledge (Vedas), the six systems of philosophies (Darshanas), the sixty four Arts (Kalas) and mastered the nine Vyakaranas along with the one hundred and eight mysteries of Tantra. Having completed his education, it was time for him to offer his Guru dakshina to his Guru. Hanuman asked his Guru what he could offer him, but Lord Surya said that he was more than happy to have a sishya like him, and he did not want anything from his disciple. However Hanuman insisted. Surya Bhagavan then asked Hanuman to look after the welfare of his son Sugriva (the prince of Kishkinda) and help him later in life. Hanuman agreed.

In keeping with his words to Surya Bhagavan, Hanuman was always by the side of Sugriva, and helped him enter into friendship  with Lord Rama. When Sugriva became the King of Kishkinda, Hanuman was his most trusted minister.

The famous “Surya Namaskar” is generally attributed to Hanuman in utter reverence and gratitude to his Guru Surya Bhagavan.

The Master can clearly see the spiritual destiny and the divine perfection which lie in the innermost core of the disciple. - Swami Chinmayananda

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The Fisherman-Guru of Sage Narada

shiva narada A yagna was being conducted at Swarga Loka. Lord Indra had taken special care to invite all the Devatas, the Nava Grahas, the Sapta Rishis and others. It was a huge assembly. The sacred fire was lit and the Vedic rituals started. Narada, the greatest among the devotees of the Lord, who always chanted the Lord’s name “Narayana, Narayana” arrived. Surprisingly he was given a seat which was lower than that of the others. Being the ‘manas putra’ of Brahma, he questioned his father – Lord Brahma as to why he was being treated inferior to all the others. Brahma replied that though he had mastered all the Vedas and was a great devotee of Lord Hari, he had not been initiated into a mantra by a Guru. Narada was constantly singing and chanting the Lord’s name, but he had never approached a Guru and obtained Mantra Deeksha from him. Realizing this, he told the Assembly that he would go down to Earth (Bhoomi), and whoever he sees first at dawn, he would accept that person as his Guru and with the Guru mantra he would return soon. The light at dawn had just begun to dissolve away the darkness of the night. Narada was waiting expectantly for the sight of the ‘one’ who would be his Guru, and whom does he see! An old fisherman with a net on his shoulder came walking along, and all the time he was busy weaving the net. Narada ran to him and fell at his feet and declared him to be his Guru. He requested the old firsherman to initiate him with the Guru mantra. The fisherman was shocked to see the great sage at his feet. He told the sage that he himself had never taken any mantra from a Guru and was incapable of giving him Guru mantra. Narada did not give up. He asked the old firsherman to speak whatever was in his mind at that moment. The fisherman said “Hari Bol”. Accepting this as his Guru mantra Narada returned to the assembly of the Devas. Now, he was given a higher seat in front of the Assembly as he now had both a Guru and a Mantra! The assembly demanded to meet his Guru, upon which Narada returned to the old fisherman and requested the old man to come with him. But the old man said he was partially lame and hence could not undertake this long journey. On hearing this, Narada lifted the old man and carried him on his back to Deva loka. Narada now presented his Guru to the entire assembly. Everyone was surprised and shocked to see an old lame fisherman who was being introduced as Narada’s Guru. In the presence of all, in utter surrender Narada fell flat at the feet of his Guru.  All the Devatas in the assembly were surprised seeing Narada falling at the feet of an old fisherman. At that very moment the old fisherman revealed his true nature. He was none other than Lord Shiva Himself who had appeared to Narada in the form of an the old fisherman. The Lord had taken up the form of the old fisherman to test whether Narada would keep up his words and take as his Guru whoever he first saw at the break of dawn, and Narada had indeed lived up to his words. Narada’s firm resolve and his eager longing for the Guru brought him to none other than Lord Shiva Himself who initiated him and gave him the mantra. [PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]
Devarishi Narada: A personality very familiar throughout the Puranas. He works everywhere as a friend, philosopher and guide, to all devotees....it is his job to propagate the Path of Love, and, therefore, he appears of his own accord to guide devotees of the Lord. - Swami Chinmayananda
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Sripadaraya – An Exemplary Guru!

Sripadaraja

Sri Sripadaraya was one among the eight prominent Haridasas of Karnataka. He was considered to be the founder of the Haridasa movement in the 14th century along with Narahari Tirtha. Being the pontiff of Madhvacharya Mutt at Mulbaagilu (town in Kolar District in the state of Karnataka), he is credited with the invention of suladi (musical rendering of devotional verses).

During his lifetime, Sripadaraya taught sarvamula granthas (Acharya Madhva’s works collectively are known as Sarvamula) forty times to forty different batches of students.  Being an exemplary guru, he would take lessons paying personal attention to the learning of each and every student.  One young worker (paricharak) who stayed and worked in the ashram used to regularly attend classes and listen to the discourses of the Guru with great attention. He stayed in the ashram, and therefore happened to  listen to the teachings of Sripadaraya being taught to forty different batches! Hence, he sat through forty batches as a student. On the day of graduation of the fortieth batch, students from the other thirty nine batches were also called.

The students who had come, saw this paricharak and made fun of him that he had indeed not completed his learning in any of the batches. They commented that he was indeed a junior to all those who passed out and a senior to all new students who joined.  Sripadaraya heard all their comments silently. When all of them assembled in front of the Master, he picked up a certain sloka from the texts taken and asked each and every student of the outgoing batch to explain it. Since all the students were from the same batch, they all gave the same interpretation as heard from their Acharya during the classes taken.  The Acharya nodded with approval and then turned to the paricharak who was also sitting in one corner and asked him to explain the same sloka. All the students were astonished. They thought that now the paricharak’s ignorance would get  exposed and they all waited to see him totally crest fallen.

The paricharak rose up from his seat, offered his salutations to his Guru, and in all humility, and to the astonishment of all the students gathered there, he rendered forty different interpretations of the same sloka! Every year the teacher had interpreted the same sloka in a different and unique way, to which only he was exposed to! The paricharak was the only “student” who had listened to all the forty different unique and rare interpretations by the Guru! Not only he had heard the different interpretations, but also had retained them in his memory!!

Hearing this, all the scholarly students hung their heads in shame. The Guru, Sripadaraya was immensely pleased with the devoted paricharak-student and blessed him immensely. He then advised all the students who had gathered there never to look down upon anyone and to respect all.

The legacy of Haridasa tradition was continued by Vyasatirtha after Sripadaraya who was the guru of Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

The shortest and most direct method is to hear from a Master of Experience, with all attention, full faith, supreme concentration, abject devotion, extreme vairagya and acute intellectual absorption. Such rare ones are called Supreme Disciples. For them, to hear the Guru is itself to float at once into the experience of IT. - Swami Chinmayananda

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Sindoora Varna Hanuman

Lord-Hanuman

Sri Hanuman was the greatest devotee of Lord Rama.  Lord Rama and Seeta considered him to be their first son. Hanuman would be ready to do anything for Lord Rama, ever at His service.

Once Hanumanji saw Seeta applying sindoor on her forehead. It is a tradition for all married ladies to apply sindoor. Being a brahmachari, ever immersed in chanting the name of his Lord, Hanumanji was unaware of the purpose of married ladies applying sindoor. Innocently he asked Seeta why she applied sindoor daily on her forehead. She smilingly replied that by applying, it would increase the longevity of her Lord, Sri Rama.  She did not mention the word “husband” but addressed Rama as her Lord. Infact Rama was the Lord of Sri Hanumanji too.

Having now known the reason for applying sindoor, Hanumanji thought that if by applying a little bit of sindoor the longevity of the Lord would increase, why should he not apply it to his entire body? That would indeed increase the life-span of Lord Rama a lot more. Seeta’s words went straight into his heart. He waited for Seeta to leave her room and then immediately went inside. He saw the little sindoor box on the table. He was not satisfied. He wanted lots more and searched around. There in one corner he found a big jar full of orange powder stacked up. He quickly brought some water, poured it into the jar, stirred it and poured the sindoor all over his body. He was dripping from head to toe with the sindoor liquid!

With the wet sindoor dripping all over and a huge victorious smile on his face, Hanumanji came to the darbar. Everyone was shocked to see Hanumanji in this new avatar. Some of them were amused also. Sri Rama also was taken aback, but knowing that Hanumanji never did anything without a sound reason asked him to explain why he had drenched himself in orange colour. Seeta immediately understood and smiled! Hanumanji narrated his conversation with Mother Seeta and said that he had applied sindoor all over his body in large quantity wishing for his Lord Rama a very…very long life!! The Lord, seeing Hanumanji’s devotion for him was supremely happy.

Hanuman knew that Lord Rama was the incarnation of the Supreme Personality. But still, due to his unlimited love towards Lord, he thought of applying sindoor to his body for the Lord’s sake!!

From then on, Hanumanji is worshiped as Sindoora Varna Hanuman and it is a tradition to offer sindoor to Sri Hanumanji in temples, and this is distributed as prasad.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]