Sunday, April 3, 2011

Article 501- The First Step Towards A New Milestone

Seeking the Blessings of Jagadguru Sri Chandrashjekhara Bharathi, 34th Pontiff of the Sri Shankara Math,

Sringeri, I have pleasure in enclosing my 501st Article on " Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharathi-

Divine Incarnation in the Garb of a Rishi"

Best Wishes

B.M.N. Murthy, Saturday 9th May 2009

Divine Incarnation in the Garb of a Rishi

Among the Path Finders to the Eternal, Acharya Shankara stands pre-eminent. In the illustrious line of the Jagadgurus who adorned the Sringeri Shankara Math founded by the Acharya in the 8th century A.D, Sri Chandrasekhar Bharathi, the 34th Pontiff [1912-1954], is the latest authentic vindication of the truths of spiritual life.. Born in a poor Brahmin family and installed on the Peetham at an early age, he was the very personification of the wisdom of the Upanishads. He was a most shining embodiment of the marks of perfection that are summed up as the summit experiences of a ‘Sthitaprajna’ as described in the Bhagavadgitha. He taught the Path to the Eternal not merely by precepts but also by his own shining example.

Cast in the image of Acharya Shankara, His Holiness was divine and yet human. His grace was all-embracing his appeal universal.. No one who had his Darshan and received his blessings went back the same person that he was before. Practically every devotee did experience inner transformation and discovered that his erstwhile agitated mind had changed into a light, limpid and luminous mind.

For this great Jnani, all living beings were alike and received equal treatment, in keeping with the Bhagavadgitha dictum: ‘Panditah Samadarshinah’. Once while he was performing Sri Chandramoulishwara Pooja at Sringeri, a king cobra slowly crept in, causing consternation among the devotees. But the Mahaswami signalled to them to keep cool and he proceeded with the worship. The cobra went near the place of worship. The Mahaswami took a small cup, filled it up with milk and extended his hand with the cup of milk to the cobra. The cobra licked up the milk, took a good look at His Holiness and slithered away quietly. When there is no fear, the response of the reptiles and animals would be normal and fearless. But who except a Jnani can be fearless?

Once the whole of erstwhile Mysore State went dry for a few months. Special worship was done in Sringeri as per instructions of His Holiness. The Acharya also instructed all the Vedic scholars that each one of them should do 1008 Gayatri Japams every day. The purpose of the Gayatri Japam was not known to any Vedic scholar. One day all the scholars were summoned by the Acharya who dwelt at length on the greatness of the Gayatri Japam. Next day he went ‘Antarmuhka’ [deep meditation]. When the cumulative and aggregate Japam reached one crore Japams, it rained very heavily all over the State and there was universal joy. The prayer to Lord Varuna had yielded rich results after two months of rigorous Japam

The Jagadguru’s poetic genius was remarkable. Even in the midst of his busy activities as the Pontiff of the Math, he could compose nearly 36 works all of which bear eloquent testimony to his poetic dexterity and deepness of philosophical thought. The whole world is indebted to the Acharya for his monumental prose commentary on Acharya Shankara’s ‘Viveka Chudamani’. This was a work dear to his heart. He began this work early in 1940 during his second trip to Kalady, as the inspiration came from the birthplace of the great Acharya. Probably no one else was better suited to write this than His Holiness, since each verse in ‘Viveka Chudamani’ was directly applicable to his own Sadhana and Siddhi of the state of Jeevanmukta. H.H. was a great Tapaswin, a Master of all Shastras and Tantras and more than anything else, he was a fully Realised Soul. In his commentary he left a few verses [Shlokas 516 to 581] uncommented. When this omission was brought to his notice, he said “All that has to be said has been said. My mind is now intent on Tapas and not on anything else”.

The most impressive aspect of His Holiness was his great spiritual eminence, his yogic power and the way it manifested itself by his mere presence. Soon after his ascension to the Peetham, he went on an itinerary for four years to propagate the tenets of Advaita. After his return, he gave himself to intense Tapasya, oblivious of his surroundings. He discarded all pomp and reduced his personal wants to the barest minimum. He seldom spoke and the eloquence of his silence was phenomenal. He rarely came out of his seclusion and on the few occasions he did, he used to perform Sri Chandramoulishwara Pooja meticulously. The first sign of his intense inwardness was seen during the regular Pooja at night. Sometimes he would hold the flower for a long time instead of offering it, keep looking at the flame, continue Abhiskekham without any sense of time. Evidently his mind was not on the act of worship but on the Supreme whose presence was being invoked. Gradually he lost all sense of body consciousness and the Math authorities could not understand his super conscious state of mind. As it would be difficult for the common man to understand and appreciate this divine state of mind of the Mahaswami, severe restrictions were placed on the Mahaswani’s movements. He was confined to his room in Narasimha Vana. Only the attendants and personal staff had access to him.

Like the great Bheeshmcharya of Mahabharata, His Holiness was an ‘Ichcha Marani’ which means a person who could give up his mortal coil whenever he wished. At the time of Vyasa Pooja in July 1954 he appears to have decided that his end was nearing, since some of his close disciples who had watched him from close quarters could y get the necessary clues about this like his returning all the books which he had taken from the Math’s library etc. On 26th September he got up early in the morning and went for a bath in TheTunga River, a servant following a few steps behind. He slowly went into the waters of the river, stood in waist deep water, had a dip, climbed a few steps on the river bank, assumed Padmasana pose for Pranayama. Thereafter he suddenly jumped into the river. The assistant heard a thud, jumped into the river and brought back the body to the shore.. By that time His Holiness had given up his physical body and had become a ‘Videha Mukta’. People were surprised to find that the two fingers of the right hand of His Holiness namely the index finger and he thumb had joined to form a circle and had assumed the Chinmudra pose which philosophically represents the Merger of the Ego represented by the index finger with the Paramatman, represented by the thumb [The Chinmudra pose can be seen in some of the pictures of Lord Ganesha and Acharya Shankara on their raised right hands]
. B M.N.Murthy

ARTICLE NO. 501--His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharathi,34th Pontiff of Sringeri Shankara Math
Created: Friday, May 8, 2009 9:25 PM


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