MAHABHARATAM- a magical, mystical experience
Updated: Oct 8
MAHABHARATAM- a magical, mystical experience
PUJYA SRI SRI GANAPATHY SACHCHIDANANDA SWAMIJI
by thdm team.
OM NAMO NARAYANAYA JAYA GURU DATTA
“Who is watching Mahabharatam, I will be with them lifelong!”( Sri Appaji)
To me, listening to Sri Appaji’s voice as He delivers Mahabharatam, and watching Him online, is a daily dose of Divine Nectar --of strength, guidance, wisdom and bliss!
My heart starts to race with anticipation as I hear a familiar ringing of a bell from my cellphone! “Oh no! I’m late!” I think as I gulp down the last mouthful of my breakfast and rush to my phone to click on fb for yet another episode of Sri Appaji’s Mahabharatam Pravachana! This is one thing I do not want to miss!
I have been watching since the first day, but was sceptical about being ‘tied down’ to two hours of watching Appaji’s video at first. I persevered and in no time felt ‘addicted’ to His Mahabharatam Pravachana!
“ Wonderful energy Appaji is giving”
Why is this? In the first place my Sadguru is coming via Live to my home daily on my cell or computer, with this Mahabharatam Pravachana, and so it is special to me to be in His Divine Presence! We receive not only His Divine Darshan, but the unique, powerful Shakti He transmits as we listen to His voice! So varied are its particular intonations to suit the episode, the characteristics of each individual and each situation! The art of story-telling is taken to a new higher level with Sadguru Sri Appaji! I feel so blessed to witness His gestures, as, Divine Narrator that He is, with His detailed descriptions of every scene, be it of war, internal or external conflict, of pleasure, love or hate, or humour or tragedy, every conversation, every thought and changes in feelings of the characters, each episode comes alive so that I feel that I’m personally there witnessing everything as it unfolds! Yet through it all, even in serious battle scenes Appaji has us smiling, in scenes especially where the wicked are fleeing, such is Appaji’s vivid, humourous style! I feel that Maharishi Veda Vyasa, the author who called this ‘the fifth Veda’ and who wanted the essence of the Vedas to reach the masses, is Himself fulfilling this desire through our Sadguru Avadhoota Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji!
Why is this Mahabharatam so important to us now? According to Pujya Sri Appaji,
“ Mahabharatam is our history. It gives us the cool shade of Vedic essence! Where are we all travelling? Towards death. En route we experience thirst. Mahabharata quenches that thirst for spiritual practicioners. Our thirst is quenched by the knowledge in Mahabharatam!”
Mahabharatam being a universal epic, can be read, seen or listened to on many levels, to suit each individual. But the specialty here is that this is an authentic Scripture, seen in meditation by no less than the author, Veda Vyasji himself!
“ It gives enormous energy, strength to fight life’s every difficulty”
So, it is not just a story, but a compendium of values and ethics, which are totally relevant to the complex, multiple situations today! It also emphasizes our purpose of being born as a human being--to seek, worship and understand the Supreme God since He is the only permanent Reality!
Adi Parva “ There are four key persons in Adi Parva, and their lineage is clearly given in Adi Parva: Puru, Bharath,Kuru and Pandava. By learning of their lineage we benefit from the good deeds done by ancestors. It is important for parents to be noble so that their lineage benefits….Envy is ruinous and the real reason for the Pandavas and Kauravas war! Duryodhana nurtured envy and it became the refuge for many other related vices. Because of his envy of the Pandavas, he was cursed by the entire world. But Dharmaraja, a devotee of Lord Krishna, nourished many virtues and gained great fame and adoration. Always live with Dharma to achieve victory.
The original seed is why people turn out either wicked or noble….I am teaching. You must hear, adhere and practice the morals.
Pregnant women must keep their mind pure. Prahlada is the best example. He was taught Narayana mantra in the womb. Gandhari was jealous when Dharmaraja(Yudhistara) was born to Kunti, and hit her own stomach, so her jealousy came to Duryodhana. King Kuru’s story shows that an ascetic’s austerity or penance, just like wealth, should be beneficial to others as well.
“Mahabharatam shows the importance of Truth. Doing Sadhana or penance without desire leads to eternal Liberation, otherwise you come back to earth.”
“Non-violence is the greatest Dharma….
“Dharmaraja served Virata sincerely, though he was a king. He practised no shortcuts in Dharma and thus attained victory! The episode of Vashishta and Vishwamitra also shows the greatness of forgiveness. Maharishi Vashishta forgave Vishwamitra despite his deeds against him.”
Adi Parva is the seed for the tree of Mahabharatam.”
Each episode in each chapter teaches many lessons for us today. For example, the episode of Draupadi being dragged by her hair before Dushasana attempts to disrobe her, is reminiscent of many scenes of domestic violence that are so common nowadays! We must practise remembering and seeking refuge in the Lord as we will then have His saving Grace, whether in worldly or spiritual difficulties. Somehow He makes sure we receive the help we need just as Sri Krishna caused a miracle to save Draupadi . The Udyoga Parva that Appaji just completed contains many lessons also, including that even in political decisions, sacrifice of the ruler’s personal interest should be made to safeguard the citizens! So many elders and even sages including Vyasa tried to advise Duryodhana to make the correct decision and give the Pandavas what they were requesting—just 5 villages, not even their fair share of the kingdom—so as to avoid war, terrible loss of life or injury and suffering unnecessarily! Even Sri Krishna tried but did not succeed in changing his mind! His jealousy and hatred of the Pandavas overwhelmed and clouded his good judgment! Again we see in this Parva also, as in others, that Dharma or righteousness, is the foundation for happiness and noble actions. Just what our modern day governments should remember, I can’t help thinking.
Some devotees even testify that they love the way each story leads to another, so it is never boring! Some say that that itself is confusing, but just like life! Some like especially Appaji’s humorous, inimitable style and others add that they can relate to the infinite lessons being taught in each Parva or Chapter, finding divine much-needed, timely guidance through Appaji’s extremely clear presentation! Sometimes I am forced to get up, turn a pot, wash dishes, or attend to some other chores, but always, with the cell phone on top volume, as I quickly glance at some translations and, before I know it, the video is over!
Later, after lunch, I revisit the video as I do not want to miss hearing one word, nor one angry gesture or comical facial expression of my Sadguru, so mesmerizing is His style as He tells a particular story or teaches something! His often joyful or puzzling smiles, sad or joyful, lively expression and presentation capture my imagination, and thankfully, because of the English translations, I am able to witness or feel myself to be in the middle of the situation taking place, yet be apart or detached from it. The happy twinkle or serious look in His eyes at the end, or His bright smile, makes me anticipate the next session and encourages me to reflect on what transpired on the Live for that day! Sometimes though I'm not sorry, I miss my short rest to look again at the video posted later on Avadhoota Datta Peetham facebook!
The Debts of human beings
In Episode 1, Appaji explains,
"Shastras have said that every human being is born with three debts –debts towards the Devatas, towards ancestors and towards Rishis. Maharishi Vyasa has said that humans also have another debt called ‘manushya runam’( indebtedness due to getting a human birth) and that along with the other three debts, we must also clear this debt! This debt can be cleared only when compassion is developed for all forms of life.”
This is also Appaji’s own experience as is so lucidly described in His ‘Life History”! We devotees also see Him setting the example for us to follow in His care and concern always for the environment, animals and birds, the needy, weak and downtrodden in society, devotee or not! As Vyasaji points out, “Understanding Mahabharata helps us clear all the four types of debts.” Appaji clarifies ,
“For this reason, while taking members from his own family such as Bheeshma, Dharmaraja, Dhritashtra, Duryodhana, as examples, Maharishi Vyasa, while explaining their good and bad qualities, he taught how people should and should not behave. A human being operates from ‘heart’ and from ‘head’ categories. Friendship, compassion, love, love for motherland, devotion etc. belong to the ‘heart’ category. Thinking faculty, the desire to lead moral life, dedication to duty, dexterity in work, ability to discern right from wrong and not getting mentally depressed due to troubles—all these belong to the ‘head.’ Both the categories should be diligently followed. Only then the person becomes totally complete.”
Dharma always wins.
It encourages me to know that even the most Dharmic of persons have weaknesses and go through all kinds of karmas, but with the Lord’s help they persevere and win in the end! Arjuna chose Sri Krishna, not his army, and thus earned His Grace, and thus the blessings of various deities and Rishis, for the Pandavas!
What an amazing collection of wisdom from the ages is daily transmitted by Appaji! I remain forever thankful to the ‘Live’ team and translators and I cannot thank Appaji enough!
Ancient secrets revealed
“At first many doubts, many questions arise, but Mahabharata itself gives the answer!” (Sri Appaji)
How a ruler should be, how to take guidance from elders and the wise, how to earn in righteous ways, how to be tolerant when insulted, how to make constant efforts for success or peace before resorting to war, how attachment and anger lead to ruin—all lessons applicable to us nowadays, are clearly revealed here, by our Sadguru Datta! There is something for everyone, something to help anyone in trouble, or looking for guidance, devotee or not!
How well I remember the conversation, unknown to me before, between Karna and Sri Krishna before the war starts, where Karna, though loyal to those Kauravas and his fisherman family, refused to listen to the advice of Sri Krishna--to be king, being the eldest of Kunti's sons, just give the Pandavas five villages. Yet the Sri Krishna still hugged him out of divine compassion! The story of Yayati bestows merit and destroys sins including unknown sins and those committed in dreams. Austerities help in conquering anger. Appaji initiates with the mantra to chant to remove fear of snakes—and reveals many more esoteric secrets, in stories little understood before by me, and many devotees!
This is a rare combination of a Sci-fi movie, a romance, fairy tale, drama, tragedy and comedy, all genres you could think of, and is better than a movie, narrated by our Sadguru Datta Himself! From demons and gods, to forests and palaces, warriors and sages, half river goddess queen, from Amba who changes into the male Sikhandi, to warrior Arjuna who becames ennuch and dancer, and many more 'different characters, Appaji has us astounded with detailed descriptions! Often amazed, we find ourselves giggling and smiling through all the internal mental , physical and emotional battles, the ups and downs, the twists and turns, much like life itself! It is as though He is stressing,“Take it easy, take all problems with a smile!"
Mirrors life, a mixture of roles, gunas or temperaments/natures
He reveals that most of the key figures among the Kauravas were always partying, drinking and gambling, with no thought of doing charities to Brahmins nor giving support to yajnas nor to the needy, while enjoying the riches of the Pandavas! On the other hand, the Pandavas, even when suffering, existing on forest roots and leaves, made sure to perform their daily sadhana, many times doing extra austerities as advised by sages and saints!
Even in the most serious of episodes, and especially when describing the wickedness of thoughts and actions of the Kauravas and their supporters, Appaji adds in the most humorous of comments, sometimes echoing our thoughts or feelings, saying what He would have done to the wicked one, throwing all watching these Live sessions, into sudden, unexpected stitches of laughter! His hand gestures, sunny smiles, His frowns, eyes opening wide with disgust, or narrowing with disapproval, suitable changes of hand or facial expressions enrich the experience like no other!
Mahabharatam is healing
There are still a few episodes before the Sampoorna Mahabharatam Live, is finished by Appaji, no small feat in the space of a few months to cover this epic work which so many scholars avoid, owing to its complexity! Alone except for a couple technicians in the production room, facing bright lights, He sacrifices His time, voice, throat, and for a few hours makes every effort , every day, to help us devotees, as well as future generations, as the videos are then posted on You Tube for the benefit of all to view and imbibe the lessons! The Darshans with the beautiful malas of all kinds of flowers available are solace to my eyes! He has said that each Parva bestows endless spiritual merit and worldly guidance to the one who is teaching it, and to the listener, especially when it is our Sadguru who is doing this for us! Our Sadguru is making effort after effort, like Sri Krishna and the sages did, to help us to gain internal peace of mind no matter the external situation!
This Pravachana is a daily treat, and treatment, a healing session in these days of Covid 19! Just the laughter Appaji brings to our home lightens the heart, and is mood-changing, as we delve into the hearts and minds of the many varied characters! It is a stress-buster with a difference! Many devotees are testifying about the help they received just by having the Mahabharata playing in their home, even if they could not fully watch it for whatever reason! One family testified publicly that they were cured of sickness, another of high blood pressure! Appaji wants especially the younger generation, and indeed, all of us, to truly dive deep into our own selves, and rise about the life strife and conflict, of worldly illusion surrounding us! After all, as told in Episode 1, the purpose of our human life is to know or understand the Supreme God! Another miracle of help of strength and courage given to us unasked, of the unending Grace of our Sadguru Sri Appaji!
Mahabharatam Pravachana—a miracle ‘gift’ , “Jaya”!(Victory)
Bhagavad Gita initiation "Bheeshma Parva coming. If you miss, there is no greater misfortune than that!....Appaji has given you the Deeksha to listen to Mahabharatam. Listen as long as I narrate. That is your Deeksha vow!" (Appaji)
Soon He will be doing the cherished Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, on Live Avadhoota Datta Peetham fb and urges us not to miss this as it is also an initiation!
“Free up your schedule completely to watch coming Parvas. Whoever learning Bhagavad Gita or reading or listening must watch these!....Send links or share to all your friends, it’s okay if they curse you.”
As instructed by our Sadguru
1) Devotees should develop their connection with Him via their thoughts, analyses on Mahabharatam through Whats App Avadhoota Datta Peetham +91 9902651942 .
2) Have all devices possible playing these videos so that His powerful voice resonates through every room in the house!
Watch and experience for yourselves the awesome greatness of Him daily doing Mahabharatam Pravachana! Another miracle ‘gift’ from our Datta Guru whose speciality is to ‘give Himself’ to devotees!
SRI GURU DATTA!
FB LINK https://www.facebook.com/sgspage/videos/782647869180338/
You tube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VTGI4c72M4&ab_channel=SriGanapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji